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Principal's Newsletter, Week 4, Term 3, 2014

posted Aug 15, 2014, 2:26 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Aug 15, 2014, 2:32 PM ]

The annual James Ruse Raffle is happening once again. All students in Year 7 to 11 have received their raffle tickets and we hope they are busy selling them. Year 12 will receive their tickets soon. Our major collection days are Friday at rollcall but at other times students may take tickets to the Uniform Shop or leave in the roll. It is very important that all raffle tickets are sold and returned before August 26th. This is the Community of James Ruse’s major fundraising event and will help the CoJR support us in raising funds for the refurbishment of our science labs.


Congratulations to our Year 10 students who participated in the Science and Engineering Challenge recently. Our team has been successful in gaining a place in the NSW Super Challenge at Newcastle University on Thursday 28thAugust. We wish them well in this very challenging competition.


Congratulations to Stephanie Wu, Jessica Choi and Brendan Ma who have been accepted into the 2014 Salvos Ambassador Movement program. SAM is a leadership development platform that aims to educate, equip and empower the next generation of history makers to tackle social justice issues. To find out more please visit:


On Thursday this week, the whole school fell silent for the Australian Mathematics Competition. Many students have also begun their Olympiad team qualifying exams in Chemistry, Physics, Biology and new this year, Earth and Environmental Science. The trial exams continue and will finish this upcoming Thursday.


Our Year 11 debating team convinced the judges they should be in the Premier’s Debating Challenge for Year 11 Metro last week. Congratulations to our team Edwina Kuang, Stephanie Wu, Anisha Gunawardhana, and Brendan Ma and their coach Ms Kristy Webb. State finals are to be held 5 September.


Our Year 7 debating team also won their round of the Premier’s Debating Challenge and move on to the next round, where unfortunately they meet our Year 8 team. It should be a great debate on August 20th. Our Year 7 team members are Chelsy Teng, Charlie Yang, Calla Lee and Rehan Gunawardhana.


It is so important that as a school we ensure all students wear the correct school uniform at all times. All students understand that the blazer is the outer garment in the winter terms. Ties must be worn correctly, shoes polished and shirts tucked in. Thank you to the students below who agreed to model our uniform for postcards to be given to new students.



Our Year 9 High Resolves are working on their school action projects. The students work together to come up with their project and then use their leadership skills to collectively implement their projects. Each Year 9 class is in the process of implementing at present but all are at different stages. 9C have petitioned the School Executive to rezone the lower playground area and also paint handball courts. I will include part of their proposal below. I was very impressed by the thought, planning and leadership this class has shown. The decision of the Executive was to trial the rezoning of the lower playground for 5 weeks.


Dear Ms Connors / School Executives,


We, the members of 9C would like to paint handball courts in the Lower Quad area and Passive area. We would like to paint 2 4-square courts in the Lower Quad area and 2 6-square courts in the Passive area. We would also like to paint stencil designs onto the handball courts to make them more appealing and interesting.


There are several reasons why handball courts would be beneficial to the school. First of all; students of the school who already play handball will have an area where they can officially play handball. This stops them from playing in areas where other students are socialising or eating. There have been reports of incidents where students and teachers have been knocked over accidentally by students playing handball. The establishment of handball courts would get rid of this risk and eliminate the prospect of people playing handball in areas where it is unsuitable.


A drawback to putting the handball courts in the Passive area is that the Passive area will no longer be "passive". However we have noticed that the Passive area is rarely used and believe placing handball courts there would be practical and would also free up space around the rest of the school. We also believe that the handball courts, and the stencil designs we plan to put on them will make the school look better.


We of 9C understand that we need your permission before undertaking this task, and are looking forward to hearing your response and any suggestions or changes that you think will be beneficial.


Kind regards,

9C High Resolves 2014

9A have decided to support and raise awareness of young people who identify as LGBTQI. On Friday next week they will hold a “Wear it Purple” Day, slightly earlier then the official day on August 29th. Wear it Purple has a simple message: you have the right to be proud of who you are. Sexuality or gender identity does not change this. To show support those who wish to are able to wear purple as part of the mufti day.


9T will be holding sporting competitions at lunchtime to raise funds for more lunchtime sports equipment.


Coming up soon is our next Mothers’ Club Meeting On Thursday 21st August at 9.30am. We have engaged a wonderful guest speaker, Rowan Kunz, to educate parents on how to assist students develop effective study habits, time management skills and  better organisational systems.


Coming Events


Week 5

Trial Exams continue

Monday 11th August                  Biology ASOE

Tuesday 12th August                 Year 11 Agriculture HSC Trial

                                                AMOC Years 8-11

Wednesday 13th August            Physics ASOE

                                                Music Elective Classes – The Lion King

Thursday 14th   August             SRC White Ribbon Day

                                                Year 8 High Resolves Day

Friday 15th August                    Term 3 Mufti Day- Wear it Purple

                                                Period 6 Whole School Assembly

                                                SAMBA workshops

                                                Year 11 History Debate


Week 6

Monday 18th August                  Drama HSC Performance Exams

                                                Year 8 Skyworks Excursion

Tuesday 19th August                 CHINESE FOOD FAIR day

                                                Year 10 Elevate Education Study Skills

                                                Year 9 SDD excursion

Wednesday 20th August           Meet the Music

                                                Year 7 v 8 Debate

Thursday 21st August               Mother’s Club Meeting 9.30am Lecture Theatre

                                                Year 10 Bathurst / Gloucester Excursion

Friday 22nd August                   Year 11 Semi Final Debate

                                                Year 10 Bathurst / Gloucester Excursion

Monday 25th August                 HSC Concert Recital 7pm in the Lecture Theatre

                                                Year 8 Resourceful Adolescent Camp – 2 days



Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors



Pierre de Coubertin Award

As mentioned in last week’s newsletter Mudith Jayasekara was recently awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Award at the Hall of Legends, Sydney Olympic Park and he participated the ‘Olympic Academy Day’. Below is an article he wrote for that occasion.


The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.

Citius. Altius. Fortius.


Together, these are what Pierre de Coubertin has so wonderfully established the modern Olympic Games on and has emphasised that the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part.


What follows are dreams formed, sacrifices made and determination running through the veins of every athlete. Every day, not only aspiring Olympians, but mothers, fathers, siblings and friends look towards these positive role models that provide a culmination of belief and confidence towards every facet of our lives.


However, most importantly, every single individual associated with the Games from volunteers to viewers back at home embraces the spirit of Olympism. It thus provides an opportunity for people from every nation to come together on a momentous occasion and focus on the greatness of humanity itself, removed from the barriers of nationalism and discrimination.


For me, there is one specific individual who encompasses the Olympic Spirit the best; Renaud Lavillenie. Renaud is a French pole-vaulter who stands at 5 foot 10 inches. In an event where height plays a big role, he has silenced critics and defied odds to break legendary Sergey Bubka’s world record of 6.15m. However, over his extraordinary jumping ability, Renaud’s amazing passion for the sport in both training and competition and the enriching connection he establishes with others sets him apart as he continually inspires us all.


Thus, The Olympic Games promote a greater world.


Mudith Jayasekara, Year 12

James Ruse Agricultural High School