High Notes, Vol 23 No 37, November 25 2022

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From the Principal

What you need to know about Vaping

Vaping devices were introduced in the USA in 2007 as aids to help people quit smoking.  They are popular among young people because of their enticing flavours and perceived lack of negative health effects.  Evidence now suggest that prolonged vaping may introduce high levels of dangerous chemicals into the body with the potential to cause lung injury and even death.  Vaping can affect periodontal health negatively and can produce (decay and crumbling of teeth), due to the chemicals (sucrose, ethyl, maltol) used in the flavourings. The sweet flavours attracting teenagers are highly cariogenic. Apart from the serious potential health effects, vaping is very addictive.  Nicotine in cigarette smoke is inhaled in smaller quantities than is the case with vaping, which delivers considerably more nicotine with each inhalation. Selling vaping products to anyone under 18 is prohibited. A 2021 report on vaping commissioned by Public Health England, found that since May 2016 there have been three fatalities in the UK linked with vaping products.  Surveys of young people found smoking prevalence at 7.1% and 5.3% for vaping among more advantage groups aged 11 to 18. The most common nicotine strength was under 20 milligrams/litre (54%) but 6.6% used 40 milligrams/litres or more. The report found 18.4% of current vapers aged 11-18 reported experiencing urges to vape almost all the time. The proportion of vapers (11 to 18) who thought that vaping was less harmful than smoking had declined from 66.7% in 2015 to 43.3% in 2020.

I have reports of vaping behaviour, particularly among Year 10 students.  Peers have expressed concerns about the vaping habits of their fellows. With the chance of addiction running as high as one in five among young people who vape, students experimenting with vaping are exposing themselves to risk of serious harm. Parents are urged to have a conversation with their sons about this public health issue which now rivals smoking in importance. For more information, go to https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/tobacco/factsheets/vaping-factsheet-young.pdf

Scholarship Applications

There is only one week left for students to apply for the Phillip Day Memorial and Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation Scholarships. If you have financial needs due to family or special circumstances; if you are a great all-rounder; or if you have a special talent that needs extra resources to help you develop; or if you are going into Year 11 and you have a strong background in community service, please consider applying. Scholarships are valued at $1500 in school credit per year. Application forms can be downloaded from the school community website – sydneyhigh.school/scholarships.  Applications close on Wednesday, November 30.

Student Awards Scheme

The Student Award Scheme for points to be earned for this calendar year will close on Wednesday, November 30.  All students will have their points calculated as of this date. Check your points’ status on the Student Portal to see how close to an award you are so that you can make up the difference. If you see something missing, contact the MIC for the activity to make sure a text file is created and sent to Mr Dowdell. Year 11 Prefect Interns will have their final points calculated and must have qualified to continue as Interns by earning an award this year. Even if they have carry-over points, they must earn 100 this year to stay as a Prefect Intern.  The 2023 Scheme commences on December 1, 2022. Boys who are close to getting an award should fire up now. Look for service areas in parking, school-related working bees or volunteering, in order to reach the threshold required.

Student Leave Requests – Reminder

There is a Department of Education and school policy on Student Leave of Absence – Extended Leave Travel requests. This applies to leave that is five school days or more in duration. Parents are reminded that as a matter of policy leave may not be processed or approved unless four weeks’ notice has been given. Also, cogent reasons for travelling during school term need to be supplied. The effect of this decision is that all leave requests that involve that last four weeks of term should have been lodged with me for approval by the end of week 6, each term. If you are planning to travel during the school term you need to download, complete and submit the form for my approval by the closing date.
Dr K A Jaggar

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