Principal's Newsletter, Week 4, Term 3, 2017

posted Aug 12, 2017, 4:22 PM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

Congratulations to our Year 10 students who succeeded in the Science and Engineering Challenge on Tuesday. Although we are still waiting for a confirmation of results before we proceed to the next round, the students did extremely well scoring over 100 points in excess of other teams. The students have spent many hours working after school with their teachers, Mr Kowalski and Mr Stevenson. Thank you to both Mr Kowalski and Mr Stevenson for giving up so much time to help the students.

On Monday our Korean Food Day will occur. Our Korean parents and members of the CoJR have worked tirelessly to ensure a fabulous food feast. Please make sure you send students with lots of lunch money to buy the fabulous food.

Our HSC students have completed their trial examinations – well done. It is now the most important phase before the HSC; time to consolidate without the pressure of assessment tasks and work collaboratively with peers. It is very important that students attend all lessons and are at school every day. We wish our Japanese students well as they prepare for their speaking exams which occur tomorrow.

Our very talented Software and Design students had the fabulous idea to completely revamp our JRAHS Intranet. Shalini Vijeyakumar, Hayes Choy and Julia Tran of Year 11 have worked for two terms on the complete overhaul of the Intranet website and the finished project is fabulous. The students presented to our Staff Meeting on Monday afternoon. They are waiting for staff to upload more content and will go live in one month. Thank you Shalini, Hayes and Julia.

On August 24th Mothers’ Club will host their Annual General Meeting and has invited former students to share their career journeys. The meeting starts at 9.45am in the lecture theatre.

Year 10 enjoyed a fabulous Geography Fieldwork excursion on Monday. Thank you to Ms Belevski, Mr Federico, Ms Silvestro, Mr Flood and Mr Pakes.

Mrs Ashhurst was so impressed by her Year 7 student Celine Kim who could not purchase a real tamarillo (as they were not in season) so created a clay model of both varieties. What talent!

Congratulations to Cameron Greig and Daniel Selvadurai who competed in the final of the Evatt United Nations public speaking competition at State Parliament.

The school, both staff and students, have been hit by influenza and viruses. I have asked students to remain home if they are unwell. The flu seems to take 6 days to recover from. Students must rest at home or we just spread the illness. Year 12 cannot afford to contract illness at this time – please keep sick children at home.

 

Coming Events

Week 5B

Monday August 14th                 Korean Food Day

Tuesday August 15th                Whole School Assembly P3

                                                Year 9,10,11 Music Samba Workshop

Wednesday August 16th           Year 10 Bathurst Agriculture Excursion

                                                Year 8 and 9 Slam Poetry

Thursday August 17th              Year 10 Bathurst Agriculture Excursion

Friday August 18th                   Year 10 Bathurst Agriculture Excursion

Week 6A

 

Monday August 21st                 Preliminary PDHPE – Senior First Aid

 

Tuesday August 22nd               Urban Challenge Parent Meeting in Lecture Theatre for Year 10 parents 6pm

 

Wednesday August 23rd          Year 7 and 10 Wellbeing Seminars

 

Thursday August 24th              Year 9 High Resolves

                                                9.45pm Mothers’ Club in Lecture Theatre

 

Friday August 25th                  Duke of Edinburgh Silver Hike

 

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors

Principal

Principal's Newsletter, Week 3, Term 3, 2017

posted Aug 4, 2017, 3:51 AM by Ms. Connors

On Monday to celebrate Education Week, we held our celebration of our Year 8 Literacy Writing project. This project involved working with Dr Bernard Cohen (author), Cumberland High School and Carlingford West Public School. Dr Geoff Lee, MP, presented our finalists with their certificates. Our Year 8 students formed part of the audience to listen to the stories and poems of the finalists. The level of writing across all three schools was impressive and captured the essence of their observation walk in the Hunt’s Creek Reserve. Thank you to our MCs of the event, Colin Cui and Emilie Wu of Year 10. Our finalists were: Mahica Jain, Adrian Lai, Sarah Phae, Natalie Le, Linda Wang and Afra Kamal.

I have attached our finalists’ pieces later in the newsletter.

Here is also the link to Parramatta Sun Ginko article

http://www.parramattasun.com.au/story/4827365/no-walk-in-the-park/

This week our Year 10 Preliminary PDHPE participated in our annual Ski Trip. This wonderful opportunity allows students to enjoy a new form of outdoor education. Many of our students have seen snow for the first time. Thank you to Mr Peter Low, Mr Ian Goggin, Ms Chelsey Killey and Ms Monique Bobanovic for organising and supervising this excursion.

Ninety students sat the Chemistry Olympiad Qualifying examination this week, others will also attempt the Earth and Environmental NQE, Biology NQE and Physics NQE. Thank you to our teachers, Mr Mansour Khoury and Mr Daniel Hutchinson and also our Year 12 tutors for preparing our students for these exams.

Today our students participated in the collection of funds for Jeans for Genes day. Every dollar collected helps scientists at the Children’s Medical Research Institute discover treatments and cures, to give every child the opportunity to live a long and healthy life.

Congratulations to all our students who performed so well at the Regional Athletics Carnival. Our Under 15s Boys’ relay team did particularly well, achieving second place and are now competing in the state final.

Coming Events

Week 4A

Monday August 7th                  HSC TRIAL exams continue

                                                Year 10 Geography Excursion

                                                NQE Biology Olympiad Exam

Tuesday August 8th                 Science and Engineering Challenge (Year 10)

Wednesday August 9th            NQE Physics Olympiad Exam

Friday August 11th                   Ideas Forum

                                                Science and Engineering Challenge (Year 10)

Saturday and Sunday 12th and 13th      Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Hike

Week 5B

Monday August 14th                 Korean Food Day

Tuesday August 15th                Whole School Assembly P3

                                                Year 9,10,11 Music Samba Workshop

Wednesday August 16th           Year 10 Bathurst Agriculture Excursion

                                                Year 8 and 9 Slam Poetry

Thursday August 17th              Year 10 Bathurst Agriculture Excursion

Friday August 18th                   Year 10 Bathurst Agriculture Excursion

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors

Principal

From the Farm

“Calling to all JRAHS families. If you have any egg cartons at home, could you please have students bring them in to the 

Agriculture staffroom so they can be refilled with fresh JRAHS eggs. These eggs can then be purchased from the canteen at $4/carton."

It’s that time of year again, 5 months after Valentine’s Day and the lambs are appearing. We had three single births over the past 2 weeks and today, our first pair of twins were born. Our ewes are all first time mothers and so far they are doing a very good job of caring for their offspring.

With the farm so dry and having to supplementary feed our animals on JRAHS farm, it is hard to remember that at the end of March we were being inundated with water when these cattle decided to investigate the netball courts

Year 8 relearning to prune peach trees and attacked this one with gusto. Not a bad job in the end and just as the first blossoms emerge to mark the beginning of spring. The peach orchard should be as ‘pretty as a picture’ in a few weeks during blossom time.

Those beautiful flocks of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos we see around the school that destroyed our Sunflowers and Sweet corn crop last year, decided to have a go at our orange orchard this year and significantly reduced our harvest. Being between seasonal crops at the moment, it seems these lovely native species had become bored so attacked the insulating covering of our native Tetrogonular stingless beehive!!



Principal's Newsletter, Week 2, Term 2, 2017

posted Aug 3, 2017, 1:54 AM by Ms. Connors

Congratulations to Ms Fernandez, Aisha Abdu (10), Sabiqul Hoque (10), Christy Ma (11), Daniel Forrest (11), Jeffrey Kennedy (10) and Aniruddh Chennapragada (11) who represented us at the World Gifted and Talented Conference. Our team presented on a “student’s perspective on life at James Ruse”

The presentation followed the Department of Education’s Secretary Mark Scott’s Keynote Presentation in which he mentioned the review into our current DEC’s Gifted policy and development of a new Gifted policy to come out later this year. A transcript of his speech can be found at

http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/about-us/key-people/mark-scott-s-update/the-promise-of-potential

Our presentation:

2.1.2 A student perspective snapshot of life at James Ruse Agricultural High School, Sydney, Australia

James Ruse Agricultural High School is a beacon in our education system, as a school for the exceptionally and highly gifted. Programs exist to assist students to reach their potential in academia and to promote positive wellbeing, develop leadership skills and an awareness of global and social justice issues in a culturally diverse context. Students excel in various fields of endeavour as they are provided with a range of opportunities within the curriculum and in the extra-curricular environment. The school has achieved first place in the NSW HSC merit list for the past 21 years.

We presented to a packed audience who were thrilled to hear the views of our students. The students chosen to present were all students who had arrived new to James Ruse when in Year 9 – hence they have a unique perspective on their school.


This week Linus Cooper (11) competed at the International Mathematics Olympiad in Brazil. Linus achieved a Silver medal and solved a problem that only he and one other could solve. Below is Linus’ bio as published by the AMT.

Linus has had a love of numbers, patterns and logic since he was a child. With a keen interest in languages and board games, Linus is looking forward to meeting talented students from all around the world at the International Mathematical Olympiad. When asked about his plans for the future, Linus said, ‘I expect I will be involved in research and algorithms, possibly connected with finance’.

Congratulations to our Physics Olympiad Scholars. Steven Liu and Yuyu Ma both received Bronze medals in the IPhO.

Our NAIDOC week assembly was a highlight. Our guests Des Barton and Jo Cavanagh engaged our students through dance and the playing of the didgeridoo.  Our guest speaker, Edward Santow commenced his five-year term as Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission in August 2016.  Prior to joining the Commission, Ed was chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a leading non-profit organisation that promotes human rights through strategic litigation, policy development and education.

As Human Rights Commissioner, Ed leads the Commission’s work on marriage equality and other human rights issues affecting LGBTI Australians. Ed also leads the Commission’s work on the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and the Commission’s work on freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion.

Edward gave a thought provoking and interested speech to our students.

At the end of last term, I was invited to a number of fabulous year meetings. The student performances were dazzling.

We received another beautiful email recently praising another student from 7T – Hiya Patel. Congratulations to all the students who regularly show such inspiring values.

Hey James Ruse,

I just wanted to acknowledge the great values you have imbibed in your students. I'm saying this from my experience at Parramatta Station today. I was waiting at the station when a train arrived and when the doors opened a blind, elderly man was trying to get out but people were crowding around the doors. Then a girl in a James Ruse uniform cut through the crowd and not only helped the man get off the train but also lead him down the elevator. The whole time she was having a polite conversation with the man. When she came back to the platform I asked her what her name was and what grade she was in. She said that her name was Hiya and she was in Grade 7.

It’s great to see such children who still help other people around them and I'd like to congratulate your school for having such students and imbibing these values in them.

Thanks

On Monday we celebrate our Year 8 Ginko Writing Project. The 6 winners from James Ruse will read their work to a large audience.

On Tuesday night the CoJR hosted four ex-students who shared their journey into medicine. The lecture theatre was full of both students and parents who gained great insight into becoming and working as a doctor.

Dr Rashi Minocha

Rashi graduated James Ruse in 2007. She is currently training to be a Dermatologist at Royal North Shore Hospital. She has completed her medical degree at Newcastle University in 2012. Since then she has obtained a Master of Medicine and is currently completing a Master of Philosophy in Dermatology research. She is an associate lecturer at the University of Sydney and a keen participant in various community organisations.

Dr Frances Yuen

My name is Frances Yuen, and I graduated from James Ruse in 2010. I completed my MBBS at the University of Adelaide, which has become my firm home away from home. After 6 amazing years, I decided to make the move back to Sydney for my internship. I am currently working at Mona Vale Hospital right next to the Northern Beaches of Sydney and am loving life - I can see the ocean from our wards every day! As for my future, I'm not sure where I will end up or what kind of doctor I will be, but the beauty of medicine is that there are so many different avenues to choose from that you are bound to find something right for you and your lifestyle. 

Vincent An

Vincent graduated from James Ruse in 2010, and entered the combined Science/Medicine program at USyd in 2011. He is currently in his final year of medicine and will be working at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 2018.

Dr Ben Wan

Ben graduated from James Ruse in 2009 and went on to study Medicine at the University of New South Wales. He is currently a Resident Medical Officer at Royal North Shore Hospital with an interest in Critical Care Medicine. 

Congratulations to our bands who achieved fabulous success at the NSW School Band Festival last weekend.

Wind Orchestra - Gold!

Symphonic Band - Bronze

Jazz Orchestra - Silver

Thank you to Mr Richard Brus and our conductors.

It was wonderful to hear that our Year 11 Debating team won the Western Sydney Regional Final.

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors

Principal

Principal's Newsletter, Week 1, Term 3, 2017

posted Jul 21, 2017, 8:06 PM by Ms. Connors   [ updated Jul 21, 2017, 8:07 PM ]

Congratulations to the SRC who organised a fabulous SRC week, which encouraged fabulous student involvement by all years. The SRC Dance was also a fabulous success and a great night had by all. Our Captains Fayanne Cui and Winston Woong certainly had a great time.

Thank you to Mr Bruce McFadyen and Mr Peter Low and the Cadet Under Officers for organising a fabulous Cadet Bivouac in the last weeks of Term 2.

Thank you to our teachers and parents who have participated in the various parent teacher nights that have occurred. Year 9, our last one, will be next week. Over the last year we have seen an enormous increase in the attendance of parents.

Congratulations to our 2017-2018 Prefect Body who were elected late last term and will be inducted on Monday. 

Byun, Seung Won

Cha, Minho

Chennapragada, Aniruddh

Cho, Monica

Choy, Hayes

Chui, Natalie

Dalal, Aditi

Forrest, Daniel

Guo, Jia Min

Heckenberg, Joshua

Jeong, Joseph

Jiao, Leona

Lee, Jeany

Lee, Nicholas

Leung, Adam

Li, Jason

Liu, Dragon

Ma, Christy

Rewell, Nicholas

Selvadurai, Daniel

Shin, Janet

Sun, Jack

Tiong, Megan

Tran, Julia

Wang, Angela

Wrigley-Carr, Hannah

Yosaviera, Aletheia

Yu, Haoze (Jack)

Yuan, Athena

Zhou, Janet





















































































Congratulations to our new School Captains Julia Tran and Daniel Forrest, our new Vice Captains Aditi Dalal and Aniruddh Chennapragada and Senior Prefects Aletheia Yosaviera and Jack Yu. Congratulations to our Sports Captains Jason Li and Jeany Lee.

During the holidays Ivan Hou successfully competed in the International Chemistry Olympiad and achieved a Silver Medal. Well done Ivan. Yu Yu Ma and Steven Liu have just begun competing in the International Physics Olympiad and we wish them well.

During the school holidays, Eunice Cheng, Eva Ge, Alexander Tran and Kexin Kathy Li spent four days immersed in the world of Historically Informed Performance (HIP). 47 students from 22 schools throughout Sydney and beyond came together in the beautiful Santa Sabina College to play Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Symphony. Musicians of the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra tutored the students in rehearsals, sectionals, and workshops, applying musical stylistic practices from Mozart’s time. Students were able to experience period instruments and learn about how European musical styles have changed through time. Finally, the Haffner Symphony was brought to life in an exceptional performance for friends and family which showcased the abilities of our Young Mannheim Symphonists. Congratulations Eunice, Eva, Alex and Kathy.

We welcomed another Ruse family member on the 7th July. Ms Amy Murphy and her husband Joel become the proud parents of their second daughter Scout Hikari Savage. Congratulations.

Kelly Xu has been selected to represent New South Wales at the Australasian Under 19 Badminton Championships to be held on July 7th – 16th in Adelaide, South Australia. Well done Kelly.

Thank you to Rehan Gunawardana (10) who presented to us on the importance of language to this year’s NAIDOC celebrations.

Yesterday students were given their 2017 raffle tickets. The CoJR have accumulated a large number of wonderful prizes. Please encourage your child to sell tickets as soon as possible.

Congratulations to our Band students for completing the 2017 Band Camp. Thank you to Mr Brus, Ms Annetts and Mr Pronger for supervising the camp. Thank you also to Ms Elton for her wonderful organisation of the Band Program and Camp.

Next Tuesday night, 25th July at 6.30pm in the school Lecture Theatre, the CoJR will host their forum meeting for Term 3. Students and parents are both welcome to attend. The focus of this meeting is "Pathways to Medicine". Four ex-students will share their stories into studying medicine and becoming a Doctor.

 

Vincent An       Sydney University Post Grad ( in Final Year)

 

France Yuen     Adelaide  ( now working in Sydney)

 

Ben Wan          UNSW ( now working in Sydney)

 

Rashi Minocha Newcastle (now working in Sydney)

 

The presentation will include a Q and A section.


Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors

Principal

 

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posted Jul 19, 2017, 3:42 AM by Ms. Connors   [ updated Jul 21, 2017, 8:16 PM ]




Principal's Newsletter, Week 9, Term 2, 2017

posted Jul 9, 2017, 5:58 PM by Ms. Connors

Congratulations to Steven Liu (12), Yuyu Ma (12), Ivan Hou (12) and Linus Cooper (11) who had the honour of receiving their Australian Olympiad Blazer at a ceremony on Monday at Parliament House, Canberra. Ivan is part of the Chemistry team, Linus the Mathematics team and Yu Yu and Steven in the Physics team. Thank you to Mrs Heather Weber who represented our school in Canberra to witness this tremendous honour for our students.

On Monday afternoon our students in Year 7-10 enjoyed an ideas filled lecture given by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. Dr Karl led the students through a journey of the latest discoveries across a range of industries and sciences; inspiring students to follow their passions, to set high goals and be active and responsible citizens.

Thank you to Ms Katrina Jenns, Mr Neil Pakes, Ms Lauren Killey and Ms Kaarin McKenzie for organising and completing our latest Duke of Edinburgh Hike. Thank you in advance to Mr Bruce McFadyen, Mr Peter Low, Mr Neil Pakes and Ms Lauren Killey who will take our cadets to Murramurra (a beautiful national park on the outskirts of Sydney) this weekend.

 

Congratulations to our Mothers’ Club and the amazing parents who worked so diligently to prepare lovely dishes of food for our staff and students to purchase.  It is also so impressive to see our former parents come back to guide and assist us. The amount raised was $5246.30 – a fabulous total – this will be of great benefit to our purchase of equipment for our science laboratories.

 

2017 Mothers’ Club Food Day Helper List

 

Team Leaders  Annie Chen/Wendy Lin

 


Co-ordinators  Angela Tung

                        Susan Wu

Curry -             Doris Pua

                        Cindy Chong

                        Michelle Soon

                        Peiling Tiu

                        Rebecca Troung

                        Angela Li 

                        Jennifer Ho

                        Laura Chen

                        Sophie Wang

                        Sue Fung

                        Karen Lim

    

Gua Bao -         Tian Chuan

                        Kathy

Laura Chen

                        Eva Lu

                        Jenny Chen

                        Winie Chen

           

Rice -               Kerry Huang

                        Belinda Xia

           

Rice Noodle-    Amy Ou

                        Jenny Luo

                        Huang Song (c/o Teng)

           

Deep Fried Chicken -   Sharon Su

                                    Xiao Ying

Pearl Milk Tea -           Marissa Li

                                    Agatha Jo

                                    Ayisa Ha

           

Deep Fried Wonton -   Effie Lee

                                    Susanna Law

                                    Boey Wong

           

Pre-Order -                 Teng Teng Gan

                                    Cora Yung   

Roti                             Tracy             

It was lovely to receive an email from ex-student Yang Song (2015) earlier this week. Yang shared a newspaper article he is featured in. This is the link:: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/hsc-study-guide-2017/advice/where-the-hsc-can-take-you-20170522-gwagmi/  . Yang is still very appreciative of his education at James Ruse and also the help we gave him in his completion of the application process to gain entry into Princeton. A generous young man, Yang would be very happy to help others with advice and guidance in applying to overseas universities.

 

At James Ruse we will celebrate NAIDOC week in Week 1 next term with an assembly on Thursday. However during the holidays there are many wonderful opportunities for students to embrace. It is very important that students expand their horizons and experience our Indigenous culture. There are plenty of ways to get involved in NAIDOC Week: from films to feasts, tunes to talks. Here are some picks of the program, which runs from 2 – 9 July.

 Klub Koori

It’s an all-female line-up for the latest edition of Klub Koori at Carriageworks on 6 July. Casey Donovan leads the charge alongside emerging and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists Jess Beck, Mi-Kaisha Masella and Thaylia.

Blak Markets at Barangaroo

Aboriginal artists from 11 remote Australian arts centres will bring their artworks, sculptures, textiles and accessories to Sydney for the Blak Markets at Barangaroo on 2 July. You can join in Tjanpi weaving workshops, watch demonstrations of Rarrk painting and pandanus weaving and sample bush tucker.

 

3. NAIDOC in the City

Book a long lunchbreak on Monday July 3 and experience Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance, song, food and more in the heart of Sydney. NAIDOC in the City is a free, family-friendly day out. There will be lunch cooked in a traditional earth oven, performances by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians, market stalls, weaving demonstrations, sports workshops for kids and so much more.

 

4. NAIDOC Week cultural cruise

Spend the afternoon on Be-lang-le-wool (Clark Island, National Park). Tribal Warrior’s NAIDOC Week Cultural Cruise will take you to the centre of Sydney Harbour, where you’ll have your pick of activities, from hand stencilling, guided tours, cultural dance and Yidaki (didgeridoo) performances.

5. Lunchtime Film Screenings

Immerse yourself in a series of free lunchtime film screenings at Museum of Contemporary Art during NAIDOC Week. The program features documentary The Tall Man, about the death of Cameron Doomadgee at Palm Island Police Station as well as much-loved 2006 film Ten Canoes.

More information can be found at https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/posts/celebrate-naidoc-week-in-sydney .

Thank you to Ms North for organising and implementing a superb learning experience for our Japanese students. Professional chefs were brought in to teach our students how to make sushi. The hall was transformed into a restaurant for Year 8’s dining pleasure.

Year 7 and 8 enjoyed year meetings today. Thank you to Mr Ng and Ms Sami-Pullay our Year 7 Advisors and Ms North (our newly appointed Year 8 advisor) and Ms Zhu for organising such positive celebrations of the term. The student performance is always a highlight.  Many students had received awards from their teachers. This term we recognised students that regularly exhibit enthusiasm and participation in class.

 Congratulations to our Year 10 Brain Bee team who not only won the Brain Bee finals but also achieved 1st and 3rd place in the individual competition. Congratulations to Wenjing Chen on achieving 1st place and Chelsey Teng for coming 3rd. A fabulous effort by all concerned. Thank you to Mrs Pooviah for training and supervising the team.

 I recently came upon the following article written by Dr Louis Wang, an ex-student of Sydney Boys (HSC 2000) and recommend it to you.  https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/comment/i-got-a-perfect-uni-entrance-score-but-i-dont-want-the-same-for-my-daughter-20170113-gtratg.html .

Being studious and getting good grades count for very little in the great lottery of life. Rather, where we end up and our own future happiness are determined by a multitude of other factors, such as being open to new experiences, exploring one's interests, learning and honing new skills, being able to communicate our ideas, and making informed choices.”

His message certainly made me reflect and I ask that parents and students do the same. In our recent Tell Them From Me student survey it was pleasing to note that our students do value the so-called “soft skills”. As a school and staff we dedicate our time and resources to ensuring our students can lead a full extra-curricular life, experience new things and follow passions. I am often very disappointed by the number of hours our students report they spend in tutoring and the lack of free time to explore they may have. To gain these soft skills, students need to spend many hours in the metaphorical ‘sandpit’ as Dr Wang suggests.

“At school, our children will work from the syllabus; at home, we can also help them understand not only what they need to know but also the sort of person they should strive to be. We can role-model compassion, integrity, resilience in the face of adversity, tolerance and acceptance of other people's differences, respect for one another and the environment, the importance of hard work, and the satisfaction of doing a job well. And as our children cross the threshold into school, not only do they carry our hopes; they also remind us of our pledge. With everything that is going on in this world, theirs is the generation that may one day help save us all. We just need to show them how.”

Louis Wang is a Sydney doctor.

 

As we approach the holidays please demand that your children seek each other out, go on outings, practise a little independence and have lots of fun. Next week I urge you to encourage students to attend the SRC dance on Wednesday evening (5.30pm – 8.30pm). Please note that we do not allow students to leave the hall without their parents and ask that you come through the pedestrian gate to collect your child.

Coming Events     

Saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th June       Cadet Bivouac

 

Week 10A

 

Monday 26th June                    SRC week

Tuesday 27th June                   Prefect Voting

                                                Yr10 Debate V’s Strathfield Girls

                                                Yr 10 meeting

                                                Yr 11 meeting

                                                Yr 9 Debate V’s Strathfield

                                                Year 10 Parent Teacher Night 4pm

Wednesday 28th June              Drama IP HSC Trial

                                                SRC Dance 5.30pm

Thursday 29th June                 Announcement of School Captains and Prefects

                                                Yr 8 Taster and Information day

Friday 30th June                      Prefect Assembly

           

Term 3

 

Week 1B                                

 

Monday July 17th                     NAIDOC week.

School Development Day

                                                Band Camp begins.

Tuesday July 18th                    Band Camp continues.

Wednesday July 19th               Band Camp continues.

                                                HSC Drama Trial Performances

Thursday July 20th                  NAIDOC Assembly Period 3

                                                Year 8 Parent Teacher Night

Friday July 21st                       Year 9 Study Skills    

 

As this is the last newsletter for Term 2, I wish everyone a wonderful break and refreshing holiday.

Megan Connors

Principal

Deputy Principal's Newsletter, Week 8, Term 2, 2017

posted Jun 19, 2017, 12:44 AM by Ms. Connors

Deputy Principal’s Report

Deputies’ Conference

On Thursday and Friday last week Mrs Mayers and I attended the 18th Annual Selective Deputies’ Conference in Bowral.  We were lucky enough to hear some fabulous speakers. Ruth Phillips presented A New Approach to Identifying Who may be Vulnerable to Underachievement. Ruth is a lecturer at the UNSW. Kathryn Taylor the Director of Turning Point presented on Leading A Talented Revolution. On day one we were able to share our ideas from our own school on differentiation and supporting gifted and talented students with deputies from other Selective High Schools. Another session we shared was focused on Supporting GAT students to connect, Succeed and Thrive. On day 2 Dr Andrew Marin presented on Motivating High Ability Students and Steve Den-Kaat a clinical psychologist spoke about Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Magda Pollack and Louise Courtney updated us all about the writing task in the selective test and also data from the Selective Schools Unit.

It is a huge advantage to share with colleagues from other selective schools. We have created a strong bond with these deputies and we support each other and also share some ideas that would suit those particular schools.

On Tuesday this week Year 9 and Year 10 attended the Nyholm Lecture. Thanks to Ms Jenns, Ms Kong, Mr Khoury and Mr Kowalski.

Debating still continues its strong connection at Ruse. On Tuesday James Ruse debated against Kellyville which they won. They had to debate the next day and they won the regional final. We wish them all the best for the next round.

Year 7 Parent Teacher Night

Wednesday afternoon parents of Year 7 met with teachers to discuss the wonderful achievements of our junior students. It was a great afternoon and it was wonderful to meet interested parents.

Alumni Night Tuesday 13th June

Tuesday evening saw our annual Alumni Night. Months of preparation has gone into finding ex Rusians who are now employed in various fields. The list this year is extensive.

We had Robert Spooner-Hart Associate Professor of Sustainable Plant Production Systems, John Cadogan Journalist and qualified Mechanical Engineer, Samantha Thomas Sonographer and Janice Hancock, Physiotherapist, Brijanthi Rajeev, Senior Counsel Consumer Law, Sandra Pedram, Dental Surgeon, Mathew Rudd Lawyer and public servant, Quang Chen, Gastroenterologist, Bowei Zhao Management Consultant, Elena Ng Corporate Lawyer, Norman Ma Software Engineer, Rex Huang Dental Surgeon, Trevor Liu, Business Analyst, Benny Lee Digital Content Producer, Bryan Zhu Masterchef contestant 2017, Isabella Kwai Editorial Assistant for the New York Times, Marilyn Pan USYD Tutor / final year of Law/ Economics and Neil Nguyen Analyst Deal Advisory . Year 9, 10 and 11 students were invited to attend and ask these wonderful Alumni about their career paths.

Thanks must go to the executive team of the SRC – Daniel Forrest, Julia Tran, Jack Yu , Leo Yu and Aniruddh Chennapragada who have worked tirelessly in searching, inviting , planning the evening and making the whole event a huge success.

Harvard Summer News

Michelle Chen from Year 11 has been accepted into the Harvard Summer School Program for her desired course; Digital Media, Society, Culture and Economics. The two-week course provides an introduction into the role of digital media in culture, politics and our daily lives. Through visits to various museums, daily readings, lectures and assignments, she will learn about the role of technologies such as social networks, computer generated imaging and the IPhone, in relation to cultural production, political activism and the global workplace.  She is looking forward to meeting people who share the same passions as well as experiencing what college life is like. Feel free to ask her any questions regarding the application process or the course.

 

Coming Events

             

Week 9B

 

Monday 19th June                    Year 9 and 10 Shakespeare Interactive

                                                Period 6 and 7 Years 7-10 Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

                                                Year 11 – ‘Wired’

                                                Cadet Parent Information Night 6pm

Tuesday 20th June                   Zone Athletics

                                                Year 7 Shakespeare Interactive

Wednesday 21st June               Zone Athletics

                                                Year 8 Japanese Incursion

                                                Year 11 Debate

Thursday 22nd June                 Year 10 Subject Selection Night 6.30pm

                                                Whole School Assembly Period 4

                                                Brainbee Yr10

                                                Yr 12 Chemistry – Uni Of Sydney

Friday 23rd June                      Year 11 Camden Ag Excursion

                                                Year 7 Meeting

Saturday and Sunday              Cadet Bivouac

 

Week 10A

 

Monday 26th June                    SRC week

Tuesday 27th June                   Prefect Voting

                                                Yr10 Debate V’s Strathfield Girls

                                                Yr 10 meeting

                                                Yr 11 meeting

                                                Yr 9 Debate V’s Strathfield

                                                Year 10 Parent Teacher Night 4pm

Wednesday 28th June              Drama IP HSC Trial

                                                SRC Dance 5.30pm

Thursday 29th June                 Announcement of School Captains and Prefects

                                                Yr 8 Taster and Information day

Friday 30th June                      Prefect Assembly

 

Annetta St Louis

Deputy Principal

 

 

 

 

Principal's Newsletter, Week 7, Term 2, 2017

posted Jun 19, 2017, 12:41 AM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

It was an honour to meet a relative this week of the first family to live on and farm the land surrounding Barrengary House. Anna Underwood, whose grandfather grew up on the site, was thrilled to be shown our archives and given a tour of the school. Thank you to Mrs Kunz who not only looks after our archives but is always eager to learn more of our history. Ms Underwood provided these wonderful photos of the Felton / Underwood family and Barrengary House.

Next Wednesday afternoon is our parent teacher meeting for Year 7 students and parents. We encourage students to attend the interviews with parents. The meeting will be in the hall. Teachers have been asked to adhere strictly to the 5 minute time limits and interview schedule.

Mothers’ Club will host their Annual Food Day next Thursday. This wonderful event brings many parents, grandparents, ex-students and friends into the school to cook delicious food and raise funds for our science laboratory refurbishment project. Please encourage your children to bring their money and purchase the fabulous dishes. The canteen will not be open on this day.

As we approach the end of the financial year please consider making a tax deductable donation to our building fund. The building fund has reached $151000 since the gymnasium funds were passed to our Asset Management Unit last year. We are beginning the planning process to refurbish at least two new laboratories and our science prep room. If funds permitted we might be able to complete an additional two labs.

Please ensure your student (Years 10,11 and 12) is able to join us at the SRC Alumni night on Tuesday at 5.30pm. The SRC has engaged a diverse group of ex-students to mingle and socialise with students. Students will learn of a vast array of careers and paths our Alumni have followed.

Coming Events

 

Week 8A

Monday June 12th                    Public Holiday

Tuesday June 13th                   Year 12 English Extension 1 Oral Assessments this week.

                                                Year 9 and 10 Nyholm Lecture Theatre

                                                Oztag Tournament

                                                5.30pm Alumni Night

                                               

Wednesday June 14th              Regional Cross Country

                                                Year 11 Debate

                                                3.30pm Year 7 Parent Teacher Night

 

Thursday June 14th                  Year 11 Meeting

                                                Year 10 History Debating

                                                Year 10 IPT Assessment

                                                Mothers’ Club Food Day

 

Friday June 16th                      Duke of Edinburgh Hike

                                                Year 11 History Debate

                                                Year 9 Personal Impact High Resolves Leadership program

                                                Progcomp

                                                Year 11 & 12 Vaccinations

 

Week 9B

 

Monday 19th June                    Year  9 and 10 Shakespeare Interactive

                                                Period 6 and 7 Years 7-10 Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

                                                Year 11 Crossroads

Tuesday 20th June                   Zone Athletics

                                                Year 7 Shakespeare Interactive

Wednesday 21st June               Zone Athletics

                                                Year 8 Japanese Incursion

                                                Year 11 Debate

Thursday 22nd June                 Year 10 Subject Selection Night 6.30pm

                                                Whole School Assembly Period 4

                                                Brainbee

Friday 23rd June                      Year 11 Camden Excursion

                                                Year 7 Meeting

Saturday and Sunday              Cadet Bivouac

 

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors

Principal

 

Principal's Newsletter, Week 6, Term 2, 2017

posted Jun 4, 2017, 2:36 AM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

 Congratulations to our Band and Ensemble students and conductors who demonstrated fabulous skill on Tuesday night. Thank you to Mr Richard Brus, Mr Patrick Wong, Dr Anthony Clarke, Mr Richard Sandham and our percussion ensemble leader Holly Conner. The Year 7 Choir and Band were very impressive. Thank you also to the many parents who filled the audience.

Year 8 began their literacy program today with their Ginko walk. While in the nature sanctuary, students made observations to begin the writing process. Under the guidance of author Bernard Cohen, two Year 8 classes completed phase 1 of the program today.

Thank you to our teachers and parents for making Parent Teacher Night so successful for Year 11 students. This year we have separated each year into a different parent teacher night to allow teachers to see more students. In future meetings we will use a timer to ring a bell every 5 minutes. Parents must understand that if they are late or miss a timeslot it is often impossible to fit in at a later time as teachers’ timeslots are all taken. Year 7 parent teacher afternoon is on Wednesday June 14th.

 

Thank you to Ms Keira Brooks for presenting at the Mothers’ Club meeting on Thursday. Ms Brooks explained the changes to the new English syllabuses.

 

On Tuesday 13th June we are holding our SRC Alumni Careers night. Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success and this year students will once again get to meet and mingle with ex-students who are now pursuing a diverse range of careers.

 

Our HSC students began their exams during the week. If you have a child in Year 12 please encourage them to prioritise their sleep as this will ensure more successful examination performances.

 

I have included an item from an ex-student where his work has been published in Honi Soit.

 

Privileged, Monocultural Automatons

 

BAOPU HE unpacks the selective schools debate (Bob He) 15.5.17 ACAR edition of Honi Soit

 

"TOP SCHOOL'S SECRET WEAPON: MIGRANT STUDENTS"

 

"HOW MUCH DOMINATION WILL WE ACCEPT?"

 

Unsettling, alarming and downright conspiratorial: you'd be excused for thinking that these head­ lines come from a desperate, post-apocalyptic future. Such is the state of the current media discourse. These headlines are all drawn from Australian news­ papers from the past few years. The faceless threat they speak of? Selective schools. Hidden beneath the layers of sensationalist outrage is a very real anxiety in Australia regarding selective school education.

 

Who exactly is feeling this fear? One quick look through the Sydney Morning Herald's archives shows that everyone from university academics, to private school mums, to executive directors of Catholic education has published criticisms of selective schools. Even the principal of The King's School, a private all-boys school that charges well over $30,000 per annum, stated that free selective school education should be restricted to families of a certain socio-economic background in a 2012 Sydney Morning herald interview.

 

Curiously lacking in this debate are the voices of current and recently graduated selective school students. In a debate so focused on the apparent lack of 'diversity' in selective schools, it is both surprising and unsettling that the range of views expressed overwhelmingly reflect the same white, upper middle class ethos. When we look at what diversity in Australia has become today, this white-centric de­ bate shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody.

 

An alumni of North Sydney Girls, UTS Academic Dr Christina Ho, criticised the ethnic makeup of selective schools for not reflecting the diversity of Australia's society in a 2016 article in The Conversation. In it she argues that as a consequence of their lack of diversity, selective schools are no longer spaces where students can learn about cross-cultural communication by simply interacting with those of a different background on a daily basis.

 

However, nothing could be further from my own experience in the selective school system, growing up amidst a kaleidoscope of cultures and ethnic backgrounds including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bangladeshi, Sri-Lankan, and Anglo-Saxon. Whilst the majority of us do identify under the monolithic label of ‘Asian’ for the sake of unity, this does not erase our individual cultural heritage any more than calling ourselves ‘Australian' makes us a homogenous unit.

 

Why is it that to many people, a school whose makeup is 80% white and 20% PoC is considered diverse, but a school whose demographics are flipped is seen as dominated by 'ethnics'?

 

Why is it that too many people, a school whose makeup is 80% white and 20% PoC is considered diverse, but a school whose demographics are flipped is seen as dominated by 'ethnics'? It seems the issue with selective schools is not that they lack diversity, but rather that they lack the specific brand of diversity that disgruntled, privileged white parents are seeking. Their diversity, Dr Ho notes, is dichotomous in that it consists of only 'white' and 'not-white', and simultaneously built on the power imbalance that exists between the two.

 

This diversity gives a facade of harmony by appearing to tackle racial issues on the surface, but ultimately leaves the root causes of racism untouched.  It allows the predominant   cultural group to experience all the benefits of multiculturalism (highly desirable in our globalised world) without having to deal with the unglamorous prejudice that unfortunately exists alongside it.

 

There is rarely such sanitised or artificial diversity at selective schools, where white Australians are just another strand in the tapestry of multiculturalism, as opposed to the weaver who intertwines the strands into a pattern of their own liking. Even so, in my discussions with people who went to other selective schools, a common criticism was that there existed a covert but institutionalised prejudice against non-white students when it came to electing people for leadership positions; a sobering reminder for Asian students of the inequalities they will face once they leave the safe confines of high school.

 

The current debate lies in how white Australians no longer exclusively benefit from selective schools, precisely because they have helped migrant children overcome the many barriers society has erected. To further erase the difficulties faced by Asian Australians (which could result in unwanted public sympathy), the media has recently shifted the focus of the debate from race to class and wealth. Turning migrant children into public enemy number one has since become remarkably easy. All of a sudden, issues like the bamboo ceiling are brushed over in favour of the image that selective schools are "bastions of inequality'', and those who attend them aggressive underminers of the public schools system.

 

The fundamental purpose of selective schools is to provide intelligent students with a quality learning environment that does not hold them back, where they can learn regardless of socio-economic or racial background. Statistics on the MySchool's website appear to dispute this. For example, James Ruse recorded an Index of Community Socia-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) value of 1262, a number that vastly outstrips even the most expensive private schools like Ascham (1154). When synthesised with the advent of tutoring, it is tempting to conclude that students at selective schools are only there because their parents could afford to send them to tutoring.

 

While selective school students generally do come from more privileged backgrounds than no mal comprehensive schools, the nature of this advantage has been deeply misconstrued by the media. The ICSEA is a measure of socio-educational advantage, as opposed to socio-economic advantage, and is calculated through taking into account factors like school location, number of Indigenous students, and most importantly, parental levels of education. Though economic and educational advantage often overlaps, the correlation between them becomes complicated in migrant families. The high levels of education that seem to be universal amongst Asian migrants frequently does not translate into an economic advantage due to a myriad of reasons, such as language barriers, workplace discrimination, or their qualifications simply not being recognised in Australia.

 

Whilst I am lucky to come from an economically stable family, it would be disingenuous to say my background is reflective of selective school students as a whole. The majority of my school friends are on Centrelink benefits, and amongst their parents, for every highly educated doctor, accountant and engineer; there is a highly educated factory worker, taxi driver and cleaner. In Asian families belonging to the latter category; it is not uncommon to see parents work extra jobs, cut spending’s elsewhere or even borrow money to send their kids to tutoring in the hopes of landing a place at a selective school and prestigious university course. For Sophie*, a low SES medical student who attended a top selective school, the true extent of her parent's sacrifice is something she may never know.

 

At the time, they didn't tell me because they didn't want me to worry or feel guilty about how much they were spending."

 

“It was only after I graduated from high school that I found out that they had given up on buying a house and starting their own business in order to save enough money to send me to tutoring throughout high school."

 

Seemingly excessive, the initial investment into tutoring for the Selective School's Test (SST) still makes fiscal sense. After all, what is $4000 for a single year of tutoring, compared to $150,000 for 6 years of private education, or $2,000,000 to buy a house in the catchment area of a good local school such as Killara? Furthermore, tutoring in itself does not guarantee a selective school place, something confirmed by my own experience working as a teacher at a major coaching school.

 

The SST comprises of four components: English comprehension, Mathematics,  General Ability and  Creative Writing.  None  of  these  components can be successfully rote learnt as the exams are not built  around a curriculum, but rather are designed  to test  aptitude and intuition  - both  of which  cannot be  taught.  While  tutoring  can  familiarise  children with  the pressures  of working under a time limit, success is ultimately dependant on their ability, and most of my students left a year's worth of tutoring without any significant improvement. Of course all this is not to say that capable, but rather that those who did make it deserved to do so, whether they went tutoring or not.

 

"The current debate lies in how white Australians no longer exclusively benefit from selective schools, precisely because they have helped migrant children overcome the many barriers society has erected."

 

Herein lies the contradiction often used as the foundation of this debate. On the one hand, selective schools 'ruin' local comprehensive schools by 'taking away' all the brightest students (an issue that is definitely worthy of discussion but in another article given its complex nature). On intelligent due to a heavy reliance on external help. This thinking, grounded in racism and the stereotype of Asian students being '"grade chasing automatons", still underscores much of the discussion on selective schools, leading to a situation where their students are disparaged if they do well, and denigrated if they do not.

 

For the past few years, the Australian media has carefully cultivated an alienating image of selective schools as being incompatible with the values of our contemporary society. This image, perpetuated under the guise of "promoting diversity" and "fighting inequality", completely overlooks the complexity of the issue and often scapegoats Asian Australian students as the cause of the problems seen in the educational system as a whole. Given how selective schools have disrupted society's white-centric status quo, the ease with which this image has been perpetuated is unsurprising. The scarcity of Asian perspectives is also unsurprising for the same reason: the debate was never really about us to begin with.

 

Coming Events

 

Week 7B

Monday June 5th                      HSC Assessment

                                                Year 9 Police Talk

                                                Year 10 Drug and Alcohol Seminar

Tuesday June 6th                     HSC Assessment

                                                6.00pm Community of James Ruse Meeting

Wednesday June 7th                UNSW Maths Competition

                                                HSC Assessment

Thursday June 8th                   HSC Assessment

Friday June 9th                                    Year 10 Dairy Excursion

                                                HSC Assessment

 

Week 8A

Monday June 12th                    Public Holiday

Tuesday June 13th                   Year 12 English Extension 1 Oral Assessments this week.

                                                Year 9 and 10 Nyholm Lecture Theatre

                                                Oztag Tournament

                                                5.30pm Alumni Night

                                               

Wednesday June 14th              Regional Cross Country

                                                Year 11 Debate

                                                3.30pm Year 7 Parent Teacher Night

 

Thursday June 14th                  Year 11 Meeting

                                                Year 10 History Debating

                                                Year 10 IPT Assessment

                                                Mothers’ Club Food Day

 

Friday June 16th                      Duke of Edinburgh Hike

                                                Year 11 History Debate

                                                Year 9 Personal Impact High Resolves Leadership program

                                                Progcomp

                                                Year 11 & 12 Vaccinations

 

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors

Principal

Principal's Newsletter, Week 5, Term 2, 2017

posted Jun 4, 2017, 2:33 AM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

Congratulations to Florence Poon, Justine Hu and Sharon Thio of Year 10 who have achieved amazing success in the ASX Sharemarket Game. Our three young entrepreneurs have increased their portfolio to achieve the highest profit in Australia. Well done.

Congratulations to our students and staff for ensuring the 2017 Athletics Carnival was a huge success. I was so impressed by the level of participation of students. Our talented staff were a force to be reckoned with as they were narrowly defeated by a student team in the relay. An enormous thank you to Mr Peter Low, Ms Kaarin McKenzie, Ms Natalie Novotni, Mr Jason Driscoll and Ms Chelsey Killey for their superb organisation of the event. Please encourage and support your children as they prepare for the Zone Carnival. Congratulations to Vivien Nguyen Yr9 who broke the 100m and Benson Liu Yr7 who broke the Discus James Ruse record.

To continue to promote literacy and the importance of writing, we have combined with our neighbouring schools to create a fabulous writing project. I have enclosed the task that was given to our Year 8 students, students of Cumberland High School and Carlingford West Public School at the launch on Wednesday. It is fabulous to be working with author, Bernard Cohen as he leads our students through two workshops. Thank you to Ms Keira Brooks for her leadership of this project.

It was a pleasure to receive the news for the Editor of Kids Nation magazine that Aletheia Yosaviera of Year 11 had her article on Justice published. Aletheia’s article as featured on page 30. https://issuu.com/kidsnationmag/docs/mayjun17/30 . Congratulations Aletheia.

Our students have once again competed in the Da Vinci Decathlon. Thank you to Ms Samy-Pullay and Ms Nancy Zhu for supervising our teams.

Congratulations to our Year 11 team who have achieved second place in the overall competition. Congratulations also to Year 10 who achieved first place in general knowledge and second in English. Well done to all our teams.

Next Thursday at 9.45am in the Lecture Theatre we will host the Term 2 Mothers’ Club meeting. This term the meeting will look at HSC and Scaling. Ms Keira Brooks, Relieving Head Teacher of English, will also discuss the new HSC English courses; what’s new? Different? and how students can be best prepared for the changes?

 

Coming Events

Week 6A

 

Monday May 29th                     Year 8 High Resolves Leadership program

                                                Year 11 Parent Teacher Night – 4pm

Tuesday May 30th                    Band Ensemble 6.30pm

                                                ICAS Science Competition

Thursday June 1st                    HSC Assessment begins

Mothers’ Club Meeting in Lecture Theatre 9.45am

Friday June 2nd                        HSC Assessment

 

Week 7B

Monday June 5th                      HSC Assessment

                                                Year 9 Police Talk

                                                Year 10 Drug and Alcohol Seminar

Tuesday June 6th                     HSC Assessment

                                                6.00pm Community of James Ruse Meeting

Wednesday June 7th                UNSW Maths Competition

                                                HSC Assessment

Thursday June 8th                   HSC Assessment

Friday June 9th                        Year 10 Dairy Excursion

 

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors

Principal

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