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Principal's Newsletter, Week 9, Term 1, 2014

posted Mar 28, 2014, 9:41 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 28, 2014, 9:41 PM ]

Congratulations to Praveen Wijerathna (12), Yang Song (11). Kevin Jian (10), Bobby Dey (9) and Linus Cooper (8) who have been selected to attend the April camp of the Mathematics School of Excellence. From this camp the Australian team will be selected to compete at the International Mathematics Olympiad. We wish all our students the best of luck.


Showcase of our Band and Ensemble Program – Thursday 3rd April 6.30pm: We have made a wonderful start to 2014 with a restructure of our band and ensemble program and the introduction of the Orchestra. Next Thursday we will hold our first concert. It is so important that our fabulously talented students have a large audience for this concert. I ask that all parents attend if at all possible. Please do not drop of your child and return to pick them up – please stay. The concert will finish at 9.00pm. It would also be great to see all performers’ classmates and peers in attendance as well.


Unfortunately our cross country carnival scheduled for Thursday was delayed due to rain. We have rescheduled this to next Wednesday 2nd April and hopefully the weather will be kinder on that day. Thank you to Mr Peter Low for all organising this carnival.


Over the 14-16 March, the United Nations NSW Youth Conference was held at Collaroy Centre with a focus on ‘Conflict in the 21st Century’. The annual conference brought together over 170 delegates from years 9-12 and provided workshops on the nature of global conflict from Crimea to Kurdistan and hosted a wide range of highly acclaimed speakers who engaged with the students in thorough Q&A sessions, including the Hon. Bob Carr (former Foreign Minister and longest-serving NSW Premier), Major General Simone Wilkie AM (Australian Deputy Commander in the War in Afghanistan), Dr Bates Gill (CEO of the US Studies Centre), Michael Gill (President of the United Nations Children’s Fund), Richard Broinowski (former Australian Ambassador) and Camilla Schippa (Director of the Institute for Economics and Peace). The 3 day conference concluded with a final day of Model United Nations debates, which are simulations of UN committee sessions where delegates represent individual nations with the aim of debating, amending and voting on draft UN resolutions on issues such as Global Food Security, Military Intervention and North Korea. We had a strong cohort of James Ruse students at the 2014 conference, including Aileen Lin, Alice Cao, Anisha Gunawardhana, Brendan Ma, Christina Johnpillai, Daniel Yan, Helen Park, Holly Yuan, Jack Shen, Jessica Bulluss, Tharsini Urutherakumar, and Winnie Wang. At the conclusion of the conference, Brendan Ma (11) was selected as part of the top 10 at the conference to be a member of the NSW delegation to the Australian United Nations Youth Conference, held in Canberra this year. He will be training with the delegation before heading to Canberra in the July holidays with delegations from all Australian states and territories, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific.


It was wonderful to see a year 8 class (8T) win the point score of Interact’s Food and Necessities drive for Exodus. 8T collected food and other items with a value of over 1000 points.

1st place: 1011 points - 8T

2nd place: 994 points - 10C

3rd place: 749 points - 10A

4th place: 576 points - 12K

Congratulations to these classes on their fabulous team approach to this challenge.

After trialling with other debaters from across the state in the last few weeks, Brendan Ma (Year 11) has successfully gained a place in the NSW Schools Debating Squad. This squad of 13 debaters was selected from triallists from public, private and independent schools across NSW. Brendan will be training with the squad under the guidance of two former Best Speakers at the World Debating Championships for the next few months until the final NSW team for the National Schools Debating Championships is selected. In the 41-year history of the National competition, NSW has been the most successful state.


HSC Assessments are now collected and students are in the process of receiving vital feedback. Listening carefully to teacher feedback and seeking ways to improve is the most important aspect of assessment. Assessment must be “for learning”. Year 12 parent teacher afternoon will be held on Thursday 10th April 3pm -5pm. We are using a new company this year - “Edval” - to organise our parent teacher night events. Year 12 parents will receive an email with their password this week. If we do not have an email address we will send an SMS. Please see the document attached that outlines this process.


Year 8 participated in the Bully Busters Program on Wednesday afternoon. Thank you to Ms Brooks for organising this event. A major focus of all our welfare and anti-bullying programs is to ensure that “bystanders” ACT and do not just let bullying occur. Please encourage students to speak up if they ever see or experience negative behaviours.


On Wednesday morning, Ms Jenny Burgess, led Year 9 through their first section of High Resolves. High Resolves is our explicit leadership program and unlike other schools that select only 30 students to participate, we allow all Year 9 students as part of their classes to take part. The High Resolves Global Citizenship and Leadership Programs together offer a three-year transformational experience for high school students in Years 8 to 10. The foundation level Global Citizenship Program is for all Year 8 students, and is comprised of two highly interactive modules on Collective Identity and Justice. This is then followed by an advanced two-year Global Leadership Program for Year 9 and select year 10 students. It consists of further modules on Conflict Resolution and Collective Action as well as two major student-led social action projects designed to create positive impact in both the school and wider community. Thank you to Mr Wilson, Mrs McIntosh, Ms Boatswain and Ms Walker who have volunteered to lead the school action projects for each class.


Thank you to Mr Greg McNulty for organising the Australian Geography competition. Year 11 have also participated in their first session of the Study Skills program.


Thank you to everyone who contributed a Tissue Box to the SRC’s drive. Having tissues in every classroom and exam rooms is such a small thing but so helpful.


Coming Up:

Saturday 29th and 30th March              Silver Duke of Ed Hike

Monday 31st March                               Knockout Girls Soccer

                                                            Year 9 Visual Arts Excursion

Tuesday 1st April                                  Year 10 excursion to Riverside Theatre

                                                            Year 9 Brainstorm Productions in hall

Thursday 3rd April                                JRAHS Ensemble Showcase

                                                            Year 9 Study Skills

                                                            Year 10 Visual Arts Excursion

Friday 4th April                                                Gold Day (SRC)


Thank you

Megan Connors