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

Principal's Newsletter, Week 4, Term 2, 2017

posted Jun 4, 2017, 2:22 AM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

Congratulations to Ms Joyce Ng who has successfully gained a position at Cheltenham Girls’ High School. As a Year Advisor, teacher and colleague, Ms Ng will be missed by all. We wish Ms Ng every happiness in her future career. Both the Head Teacher of English and an English teacher position have been advertised on Jobs NSW.

Ms Keira Brooks, our relieving Head Teacher of English, has driven our collaboration with Carlingford West and Cumberland High School to create a Literacy Initiative focusing on writing. Our Year 8 students will participate in a Ginko walk and a writing session with author, Bernard Cohen. The project will culminate in a story telling day in Education Week (August) where student finalists will share their writing.

Our Athletics Carnival is on Monday. Attendance and participation is mandatory at all of our carnivals. It is very important that students do not leave the venue until the end of the carnival.

Our next Mothers’ Club meeting will be held on Thursday June 1st at 9.45am in the Lecture Theatre. Two topics will be presented “HSC and scaling” and “Introduction to the new English Syllabuses”. Both topics will provide information for parents to better assist their child navigate the HSC in the years to come.

Year 11 completed their Crossroads program yesterday with a visit to RYDA. More information can be found at http://www.rse.org.au/ . At RYDA, students attend six interactive sessions at a dedicated venue over the course of a school day. In small peer groups, they are challenged to change the way they think about road safety; participating in a stopping distance demonstration, devising personalised strategies, gaining an understanding of their individual risk profile and getting tips from road safety experts on how to protect themselves, their friends and family. The greatest impact at RYDA often comes from the personal stories of loss and survival where students come to realise how one poor choice can change a life forever. Thank you to Mrs Kaarin Mckenzie for organising this event and thank you to Mrs Liza Mayers, Mrs Natalie Novotni, Mr Morgan Gengiah, Ms Chelsey Killey, Ms Robbie Ashhurst and Mr Jason Driscoll.

 

On Monday May 29th we will be holding the Year 11 Parent Teacher Evenings between 4pm and 7pm. Year 11 parents can book times using the parent portal from 9am on Monday 22 May. It is advisable that students attend the night with their parents to gain valuable feedback.


Megan Connors

 

Principal's Newsletter, Week 3, Term 2, 2017

posted Jun 4, 2017, 2:20 AM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

The Year 11 camp has once again been a wonderful success. Thank you to our Year Advisor, Mr Gengiah, for doing such a great job organising the camp and thank you to the teachers who gave up their time – Ms Romic, Ms Knight, Ms North, Mr Hutchinson, Ms Annetts and  Ms Chan, Three day camps could not happen without our dedicated James Ruse staff. Year 11 are a harmonious, thoughtful and supportive year group and eagerly encouraged their friends to take on challenges and overcome their fears.

Congratulations to Steven Liu (12) who has won a Bronze medal at the Asian Physics Olympiad in Russia.


Thank you to Mr Yeo, teachers and students for the smooth implementation of NAPLAN. It is disappointing that tests such as NAPLAN that should be used to help students learn better are now becoming a source of anxiety and additional pressure for students. I am hoping that we can find better ways of improving student literacy and numeracy to ensure all students are prepared for the future without having to put additional testing pressure on our students. The key for us to improve our literacy is reading – please keep encouraging your students to read. Most teachers are avid readers. In a discussion with our School Captain Fayanne Cui, Fayanne mentioned that she can’t wait for the HSC to end so that she can start reading again. Year 12 is a year when it may be hard to find time to read books that are not related to study but all other years should be making the time.

Share with your child your love of reading and also the books you have read. I recently read a fabulous book – The Shepherd’s Life and if you are looking for something a little different and fantastic we do have this book in the library. Mrs Jennifer Bowen and Mrs Heather Weber have created a program to encourage reading by incorporating reading into maths enrichment. Year 7 have been challenged to read 2500 pages by the end of term incorporating a range of different texts.

With our upcoming junior exams, students are encouraged to develop a study plan by closely following their timetable. Students should still be in bed early (most definitely before 9.30pm) as sleep is the most important part of a healthy study pattern. We can only ask that each child does their best in all activities and exams. I ask parents to please praise students on their efforts and organisation not on the results that they achieve.

 

ASPIRE day was a huge success. Thank you to our SRC and Ms St Louis for organising this most important school event. Ensuring Year 7 understand what values we as a school hold dear to us is crucial to the continued success of Ruse. Special thanks to Jeffrey Kennedy and Jocelyn Hon of Year 10 who were spectacular leaders of the day. Special thanks also to Mr Ng and Ms Samy-Pullay for supervising the BBQ. To teach and induct Year 7 into the values of Acceptance, Integrity, Service, Participation, Endeavour and Respect; a series of events/interactive activities has been designed by the SRC and is led by students in Year 10 and 9. These activities are updated and changed each year to ensure all students are able to engage with our values. Thank you again to the SRC.

Many students have participated in our Study Skills programs over recent weeks. Further information and assistance is provided by Elevate Education through their website. www.elevateeducation.com contains a range of resources students can access after the seminar. These include:

  • A copy of Elevate's best selling guide, Science of Student Success written by the company's founder, Doug Barton. The book retails in bookstores for $20 but is FREE for Elevate clients. It is available to download in PDF mode under the tab 'Books'
  • A range of practice papers for each subject
  • Video tutorials
  • Tips from presenters all around Australia who have recently aced and faced their final years of high school
  • Question forum that allows students to have support even after their Elevate session

To access the online website students can use the following username and password:

  1. Go to elevateeducation.com
  2. Enter username STUDENT
  3. Type in password pacco

Over the next two weeks, we will begin our faculty evaluation of the PDPHP faculty. We will begin by surveying parents and students. It would be of great assistance if you could take time to complete the survey.

 

Have a wonderful week.

Megan Connors

Principal

 

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

posted Jun 4, 2017, 2:16 AM by Ms. Connors   [ updated Jun 4, 2017, 2:17 AM ]

Principal’s Report

 We wish Steven Liu (12) and Yuyu Ma (12) a fabulous experience as they compete as part of the Australian team at the Asian Physics Olympiad in Yakutsk, Russia.

Australian Science Olympiads

Steven first discovered the Australian Science Olympiad Exam from his teacher who promoted it. “It was an opportunity to enhance my learning beyond school content. I wanted to explore more about science so I decided to sign up.” 

He has loved science for as long as he can remember and constantly looks forward to learning new physics concepts especially in a challenging environment like the Summer School. 

“I’d like to go into space someday”. With his goal clearly defined, he works hard to pursue them. Besides getting involved with the Olympiad, he leads a team in the Zero Robotics programming competition run by MIT, and also spearheads a robotics team that competed in the FTC FIRST Tech
Challenge and got through to the international level. 
His role models are his peers who he can relate to that share similar traits such as resilience, motivation and precision.

With his career aspiration focussed on designing and building new machines such as rocket engines or automated industrial processes, with persistence and endurance, it seems it is only a matter of time until his dream takes off.

#AustralianScienceOlympiad #SummerSchool2017#AsianPhysicsOlympiad #APhO2017 #Yakutsk#TeamAustraliahttps://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v8/f72/1/16/1f1e6_1f1fa.png

Yuyu’s bio:

Australian Science Olympiads

 

This time next week, Yuyu will be travelling across continents to Yakutsk, Russia to compete as part of eight-strong team representing Australia in the Asian Physics Olympiads (APhO).

For him, the appeal of competing comes from the challenge of learning beyond school syllabus. “My decision to take part in the Australian Science Olympiad Competition stemmed from my passion in science and the motivation to broaden my horizons beyond what I have learned in school.”

While it is a competitive selection program, having selected out of 5,000 students nationwide, he finds plenty of inspiration at school as well, having spent his time practicing with other Olympiad hopefuls from school to prepare for the selection exam.

Balancing school, hobbies and preparing for the competition is a juggling act that’s all too familiar to participants of the APhO including Yuyu. Motivated by the challenge ahead, he spent most of his time preparing for the qualifying exam by getting in touch with other program alumni. In his leisure time, he indulges himself in playing chess, piano and also reading dystopian science fiction books. 

Yuyu, who looks forward to his trip to one of the coldest cities in the world, dreams to have a career in
STEM related areas such as computer science, electrical engineering or actuary. 
#AustralianScienceOlympiad #SummerSchool2017#AsianPhysicsOlympiad #APhO2017 #Yakutsk#TeamAustralia

This week has been an exciting week in the media for James Ruse. Two of our ex-students have appeared on television. Ex-student and former teacher at James Ruse, Eddie Woo, featured on Australian Story. We also saw Eddie and his mentors/ teachers Mr Lisle Brown (former Agriculture Head Teacher) and Mr Alan Best (Music Teacher) walk around the school reminiscing on their shared experiences. If you missed the episode on Monday night you can watch it on ABC iview http://iview.abc.net.au/.../australian-story/NC1701Q012S00 .

It was also a fabulous surprise to see Bryan Zhu, also an ex-student, receive a white apron on Masterchef.  A lovely article about Bryan’s journey can be found at: http://www.nowtolove.com.au/celebrity/tv/masterchef-australia-contestant-bryan-zhu-has-a-lot-to-prove-37127 .

 

Bryan at school was a creative, artistic student who we fondly remember. Bryan has just finished his University degree in Marketing and International Business but perhaps a very different career is beckoning.

 

Year 11 and our preliminary cohort have completed their first set of assessment tasks. Year 11 will be at camp on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Year 7 and 9 will complete NAPLAN exams next week.

 

 

The following letter arrived from NESA (formerly BOSTES) this week:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: HSC minimum standard resources for Year 9 students and parents

In the lead up to this year’s NAPLAN tests, I am writing to ask your help to ensure every Year 9 student and parent has accurate information about the NSW Government’s implementation of a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy for the HSC from 2020.

In particular, the main messages I would like to convey are: 

  • The HSC minimum standard is being introduced to help ensure that students leave school with the basic literacy and numeracy skills fundamental for life after school.
  • NAPLAN is a chance to check a student’s progress towards the HSC minimum standard or, for more advanced students, prequalify for the HSC minimum standard with Band 8s or higher. 
  • Most students will demonstrate the minimum standard by passing online reading, writing and numeracy tests in the lead up to Year 12. 
  • Year 9 students have three more years of learning before the HSC.

I have written a letter to Year 9 students and a message to Year 9 parents explaining the new HSC minimum standard. I would appreciate if you could distribute my letter to your Year 9 students and publish my message in your newsletter.

Additionally, the NESA website has an extensive range of resources designed to help explain the new HSC minimum standard including:

Thank you for your support in clarifying understanding of this important education initiative.

Yours sincerely
​​​​​​​
David de Carvalho
Chief Executive Officer

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

We received the wonderful news this week that Matthew Ku (9) will have two poems published in the Bankstown Poetry Slam Anthology. Congratulations Matthew.

 

On Tuesday night we had the pleasure of hearing three ex-students, Kevin Xian, Edward Jiang and Kevin Tang, present to the CoJR meeting. The boys gave a detailed presentation on how to apply to overseas institutions. Edward will be attending Pennsylvania University, Kevin Tang UC Berkeley and Kevin Xian Cambridge. We received excellent advice and guidance. Kevin Tang made a very heartfelt comment, his “only regret in high school was not continuing his wide reading”, as the personal essays, statements and the grammar component of the SAT were so important.

 

It was with great pleasure that I received the following emails over the last week. I am very proud of our students and particularly our senior students who are so vigilant in places such as Epping station.

 

 

The Principal
James Ruse High School
Carlingford

Dear Sir/Madam

Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I joined a large gathering of your students at the Carlingford Rail bus stop awaiting a bus to Epping.  We had a while to wait and I was struck by the pleasant and courteous demeanour of your students towards each other as they interacted.

When the bus finally arrived, there was only sufficient room on board for some of these students so the rest would have to wait for the next bus. When they saw my wife and I obviously waiting to board, a senior student beckoned two students off the bus to allow us to board which they did seemingly quite happily.

We are elderly and had several hours of travel yet to go so we accepted with thanks and boarded.

So many times we hear pejorative comments about today's children. The demeanour and courtesy of these young people gives the lie to such reports and I believe that the School should be justly proud to have them as worthy representatives.

We very much appreciate the thoughtfulness they showed to us. 

Yours faithfully

 

 

Dear to whom it may concern, 

 

I'd like to express my gratitude for the Year 12 students at the Epping station who assisted me with my luggage. I had just returned from a long business trip and was extremely exhausted after a tedious flight. I struggled to lug my suitcase down the flight of stairs and without hesitation they kindly helped me carry it to my bus stop. I must say I was very impressed with the behaviour of all the students at the Epping bus station. There was clearly a lack of space for all the students to fit along with providing a sufficient pathway for the rest of the public YET the senior students persisted in allowing the public to comfortably walk through and the rest of the students seemed willing to squeeze themselves tightly against wall. I am aware of this school's elite academic reputation and I am delighted that their courtesy and generosity perfectly reflects this. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors

'The Wizard of Oz' premiering at JRAHS - March 31st and April 1st, 2017

posted Mar 24, 2017, 1:23 PM by Ms. Connors

This time next week we will be about to open our 2017 Musical – The Wizard of Oz. Our staff and students have worked so hard to produce a spectacular show. Led by our CAPA faculty there have been approximately 15 teachers involved in all different aspects of the musical – it is truly a whole school effort. Please book your tickets today - https://www.trybooking.com/OXKR or https://www.trybooking.com/261889.


Principal's Newsletter, Week 9, Term 1, 2017

posted Mar 24, 2017, 1:20 PM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

 

Congratulations to Ivan Hou of Year 12 who has been given the well-deserved honour of becoming an Australian team member to compete in the International Chemistry Olympiad. This year the Olympiad will be held in Thailand.

 

Congratulations to Aisha Abdu of Year 10 who has been selected as a delegate for the UN Youth National Conference. She will be travelling to Perth for 7 days where other students in the Asia-Pacific region will come together for a week of simulating Model UN debates, workshops and advocacy sessions. The National Conference 2017 will examine the theme of ‘The Innovation Revolution’. The student representatives will be given the opportunity to formulate their own policy proposals on issues of global significance and present their ideas in front of foreign and local diplomats.  This is such a fabulous opportunity. It was also wonderful to see so many of our students attending the NSW Conference over last weekend.

If students are late arriving at school, i.e. after 8.50am, it is essential that they finger scan to record their attendance. Period 1 is the official roll marking period of the day. Students who are marked absent in this period will have a whole day absence recorded. When students finger scan, this whole day absence is changed to a partial absence or ‘late’. Students will then need to bring a note from home explaining lateness. Students should see the Attendance Officer in the Print Room if there are any problems with scanning. Messages are sent to parents if a child has not been marked present.

Well done to our HSC classes who have now completed this round of assessment tasks. They have been very impressive, working very hard and staying positive and cheerful. Thank you to our teachers who now begin the process of marking and providing the very valuable feedback to each student.

As we get closer to the holiday can I ask all parents to reinforce the need for all students to be reading every night. Australia –wide we are seeing a decline in reading and hence writing ability. If students do not read they do not learn how to be creative, how to structure great sentences and what is really going on in the world. It doesn’t matter what they are reading just that they read. So much of future exams require high levels of literacy and will demand so much more than a rote learned approach. Reading for enjoyment is the key. If your child needs help finding a book please send them to our Librarian, Mrs Jenny Bowen, who has a wonderful selection on display at present. Parents, remember the best way to encourage reading, is to model it yourself. Turn off your child’s computer, unplug the Wi-Fi and grab a book!

I have attached a flyer from NESA (formerly known as the BOSTES) which outlines the changes to the 2020 HSC which will impact on students in Year 9 2017 or below. It discusses the importance of achievement of a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy. This achievement could occur in the Year 9 NAPLAN tests or during subsequent tests. We will discuss the implications of NAPLAN with your child at school in the coming weeks. NAPLAN this year is in Week 3 of Term 2 (May 9-11) for Year 7 and 9. Students will be advised to familiarise themselves with the tests and also to practise the reading and writing components. More information and sample tests can be found at http://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/the-tests .

This time next week we will be about to open our 2017 Musical – The Wizard of Oz. Our staff and students have worked so hard to produce a spectacular show. Led by our CAPA faculty there have been approximately 15 teachers involved in all different aspects of the musical – it is truly a whole school effort. Please book your tickets today - https://www.trybooking.com/OXKR or https://www.trybooking.com/261889. It is important that Year 7 families experience this fabulous part of our school culture – so Year 7 parents and students please come along. The production begins at 6.30pm each night and will run for approximately two hours.

 Have a wonderful week.

Megan Connors

Principal

Principal's Newsletter, Week 8, Term 1, 2017

posted Mar 24, 2017, 1:17 PM by Ms. Connors

Principal’s Report

On Monday we celebrated another hugely successful cross country carnival. All students participated well and some exceptional performances were recorded. Thank you to Mr Low, Mrs McKenzie, Mr Driscoll, Ms Russell and Mrs Novotni who organised and ran the event so smoothly. Thank you to Mothers’ Club who sold refreshments at the end of the race to the many thirsty runners.

Over the last two weekends Ms Jenns and Mr Pakes have led two Duke of Edinburgh hikes, one very soggy and one beautiful. The students have coped well with the changing weather and were praised for their positive behaviour. Thank you Ms Jenns and Mr Pakes.

The Girls KO Volleyball team played Cumberland in Round 2 of the competition. All girls involved played well to WIN 3 sets to 1. They now move into Round 3. Our boys team was narrowly defeated by Cumberland (2-3). The boys all played with great determination and won the first 2 sets. 

Congratulations to Aletheia Yosaviera of Year 11 who competed in Round 2 of the Lions’ Club Youth of the Year last Tuesday night. Please read Aletheia’s reflection below.

Earlier this year we held our High Achievers’ Assembly, attached in this newsletter is the transcript of Muditha Nanayakkara, our guest speaker’s speech.

Musical Tickets are now on sale:

To purchase your ticket to this year’s musical – Wizard of Oz – please go to the Try Booking site:

https://www.trybooking.com/OXKR or https://www.trybooking.com/261889 

Please be aware that our school gates are locked at 5.30pm. All activities (with the exception of Advanced Strings) will finish at 5pm to ensure students leave the grounds directly.

 

No supervision of students who are not in activities is provided after school. Students are not to wait after school for their parents to collect them - every student should be able to make their own way home on public transport if leaving at 3.05pm.

 

On Monday a student was locked in, thankfully he was able to contact me (0419637967) and able to be "released". Students have been advised that they must never attempt to climb the fences and if locked in they must call me or DET security 1300363778.

 

 

A letter received by the Principal regarding one of our James Ruse students:-

I just wanted to take the time to email my congratulations for the attitudes, behaviour and actions of one of your students on a Blue Mountains train on the 16/03.  This young man conducted himself in a way which put many of his fellow adult passengers to shame. His actions are testament to his school, his parents and most importantly himself.
I first noticed, this young man dressed in your school uniform, engaging with a man in a polite and respectful manner who had bumped him trying to get out. Unknown to your student, this man’s behaviour prior to this encounter suggested that he may have had a disability. Only moments before he had been rocking in his seat and trying to suppress the noises of his fellow passengers. Your student’s politeness and respect, was to be just one of his fantastic attitudes and conduct that I witness from when he got on in Paramatta, to when he got off in Penrith.
However, his actions did not stop there. Every time I looked up I noticed him engaging those around him with further acts of kindness and respect. At one point, he offered assistance to a man struggling to carry luggage up the stairwell. On another occasion, he refused a seat, choosing to remain standing. Instead he offered the recently vacated seat to a senior passenger who had “been working all day” so they sit down. Upon finally getting a seat at the next stop, after all the other passengers had been seated he noticed a primary school student in the stairwell above and offered him a seat. Furthermore, he struck up conversations with some elderly people around him, paying interest in their questions and observation. He was courteous, polite and at all times whilst remaining concerned with those around him. He did so many things for such a relatively sort train ride.
As a fellow high-school teacher, I know that our young men and women are often the first to receive criticism should they do the wrong thing and feel that alternatively, this young man should be congratulated. I just wanted to let you know of what has occurred and congratulate your school on such a well-rounded young man. Unfortunately, I can only provide you with very limited details as to his identity. I overheard him say that his name was David, and other than his appearance of red curly hair can’t offer you much more to identify him by.

Coming Events

 

Week 9A

Monday March 20th                 HSC Assessment

Tuesday March 21st                 HSC Assessment

Yr 9 Science Prac Exam

Wednesday March 22nd           HSC Assessment

 

Thursday March 23rd              HSC Assessment

 

Friday March 24th                   HSC Assessment

 

Week 10B

 

Monday March 27th                 SRC Tissue Box Drive

                                    UNICEF Book Drive

 

Tuesday March 28th                Musical Technical Rehearsal

                                                Year 7 Police Talk

                                                Year 10 Debate

 

Wednesday March 29th           Sport Final

                                                6.30pm Musical Preview – Year 12 invited to preview

 

Thursday March 30th               ISCF Easter Service in the Hall

                                                Year 11 v 12 Debate

 

Friday March 31st                    Musical Opening Night 6.30p.m

 

Saturday April 1st                    Musical Closing Night 6.30pm                         

 

 

Week 11A

 

Monday April 3rd                     Year 10 Work Experience                               

                                                Year 9 Assessment in class

                                                3.30pm Year 12 Parent Teacher Night

 

Tuesday April 4th                     Year 10 Work Experience

                                                Year 9 meeting

                                                Prefect Afternoon Tea at James Ruse

 

Wednesday April 5th                Year 10 Work Experience

                                                Meet the Music – Opera House

                                                Year 8 meeting

 

Thursday April 6th                   Year 10 Work Experience

                                                Year 8 Study Skills

                                                Year 7 and 8 Maths task

                                                3.05pm Prefects to visit Children’s Rehabilitation Unit; Westmead Hospital

 

Friday April 7th                                    ANZAC service 10am

Japan Overseas Excursion

                                                Year 7 Royal Easter Show excursion

                                                Sport Trials

                                                Gold Duke of Edinburgh Hike

                                                Last Day of Term 1

 Megan Connors

Principal

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