As we move close to the end of Term 3 we celebrate the wonderful successes of this term which have culminated in our Year 12 Awards Day and Cadet Passing Out Parade.
Thank you to Mrs Haslehust-Smith for her wonderful organisation of so many JRAHS events and traditions but in particular this weeks‟ Award Day Ceremony. It was wonderful to welcome Stephen Stannard back to JRAHS (class of 1985). Professor Steve Stannard is a research academic and the Foundation Head of the School of Sport and Exercise at Massey University. He has a doctoral qualification in Exercise Physiology and also a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition, both from the University of Sydney. Professor Stannard is also well known for his research in the area of Sports and Exercise Nutrition, the latter in endurance-based sports, particularly cycling. His research activities sit at the interface of exercise science and human nutrition. In his younger years, Professor Stannard represented Australia as a Road Racing cyclist. He is still a keen competitor in bicycle racing, mainly on the road, but also in the occasional mountain bike and track event. Steve spoke on the importance of ethics and described difficult choices that people face often in the world of science and sport. We will publish Steve‟s speech in a later newsletter.
Yet another impressive day in the world of informatics: huge congratulations to Joshua, Ray and Ishraq who have won the Progcomp for JRAHS again. Another beautiful trophy for my mantelpiece and $5000 for the boys and a trip to Sri Lanka for Ishraq and Ray. The team were very impressive and the only group this year to solve all problems and gain full marks. It was also great to see so many students at Open Day and lots of visitors to see the boys. I saw lots of students from Year 10 and 11 which was great.
Last week we were privileged to receive a letter from the University of NSW offering Jonathan Zheng and Rachel Wong of Year 12 wonderful scholarships. “The Beautiful Mind” scholarships have been created to recognise the success of the highest achieving male and female year 12 student in the Australian Mathematics Olympiad team at the recent IMO. These scholarships could be worth between $45000 and $65000 over four years. Students at JRAHS have the capacity to reach for many prestigious scholarships. Jonathan and Rachel will have many decisions to make and consider before they choose any scholarships, universities or courses. Visiting Open Days and talking to experts in your child‟s field of interest is very important in helping make decisions.
Year 12 last week have been completing their university and scholarship applications. To be able to write a full personal statement, it is crucial that students have experienced a range of opportunities. Taking advantage of the many extra-curricular programs that JRAHS provides is essential. Students that have experienced a Cadet bivouac, a Duke of Edinburgh Hike or an immersion experience overseas are well placed to write about their life experiences. Following your passion through Informatics, Public Speaking or other fields also shows commitment and dedication to continuous learning and self-improvement. Employers and Universities want a JR student that is “ the whole package” – intelligent, creative, passionate, determined, socially aware, empathetic and of the highest integrity – all of our students have the capacity to have these characteristics but they need to be encouraged to pursue a range of interests and expand their world.
An example of reaching for new experiences and opportunities was seen last week at the annual Ascham Philosothon. Our students performed extremely well and Brendan Ma (10) won the medal for the Best Contributor to Discussion. Our team has now been invited to participate in the 2013 Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools “Australasian Philosothon” in Perth in July 2014. We are able to send a team of 8 students which would be a fabulous experience for our students. I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank Ms Keira Brooks who has shown exceptional leadership of our speaking and debating initiatives. Ms Brooks actively seeks out and promotes fabulous new opportunities for our students and gives up many hours outside of school time to pursue these opportunities.
This week I also met the NSW Member for Castle Hill, Dominic Perrottet, who wished to introduce us to a new leadership program he is developing for High Schools in his electorate. The program would involve inviting 2 students from year 12 from each school to participate. Each month Mr Perrottet would host a dinner with guest speakers that are national leaders such as John Howard, Gail Kelly and Pat Farmer. This will be a great opportunity for the school and the students involved.
In the last two weeks we have seen the culmination of many of the School Action Projects of our Year 9 Leadership program, High Resolves. On Friday last week, Year 9L, surprised the staff with a thank you morning tea and present (a handmade origami rose). The students spoke eloquently of how much their teachers mean to them – it was very touching and meaningful to the staff of JRAHS. They also presented the staff with two large collages of pictures. We were all very appreciative of their thoughtfulness and efforts and we are so proud of their achievements.
Year 9T also completed their project “The Healthy Games”. A year 7 student, Esha Gupta, sent me the following message: “The Healthy Games was excellent and the really funny thing about it was that some people called it the "Hunger Games". The three weeks of training enabled us to get ready for the final competition which I really enjoyed (and am absolutely sure the others did too). Regardless of the scorching heat, we all had a brilliant time and I am certain that the lovely fruit, wrap and popper was appreciated. The Year 9s made the experience a memorable one and I hope that the bond between 9T and 7T continues to grow.”
Earlier this week we received the fabulous news that Robyn Lu and Jack Zhong of Year 12 have both been nominated by the HSC Drama markers for the On-Stage performance program. On Wednesday night we witnessed the wonderful talents of Jack, Robyn and the Drama class as they performed their HSC pieces.
The Cadet Passing Out Parade is a fabulous event in our calendar and was as spectacular as previous parades. Fifteen Year 12 cadets celebrated the end of their school cadet career in a very fitting fashion. Congratulations to:
Cambridge University (UK) will hold interviews in Australia for the first time this year. Interviews are planned to be held in Sydney in the period 9-13 December 2013. Applications for Cambridge are due on September 20. As you might be aware, two recent graduates Stacey Law and Nancy Fu are now studying their undergraduate degrees at Cambridge.
This is our last newsletter for Term 3. Coming up next week are our Year 12 events – their farewell concert on Monday and Lunch with parents on Tuesday. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and well deserved rest.
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