Development Day Monday July 2017
The school was delighted to welcomed back Dr Ben North, class of 2001 to Development Day this term. Ben studied English and History at Sydney University, and has a doctorate in gifted and talented education. His presentation was on assessing for differentiation for gifted learners. He is currently seconded to work with the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation in the Department of Education, and is a Principal Research Officer. Ben’s doctoral thesis was in Educational Psychology from UNSW and was titled: ‘Under pressure: a Comparison of gifted and average-ability senior secondary student responses to academic pressure in high-stakes assessment contexts’. He mentioned to us how strange it felt returning to his old school and teaching both his ex teachers and young newly appointed teachers to Tech whom he had taught himself in his schools, Oatley Senior campus and Engadine High School.
Ben reminded us that we must take care to find out where our gifted students are in terms of their interests and understanding of the curriculum. About 60% of selective students have mastery over aspects of the curriculum when they come into year 7, and it is our job to acknowledge this, and to avoid repetition and lack of engagement. By pretesting students and gaining insights into their skill levels and interests, we can then differentiate the curriculum to better meet their needs. This is particularly important at Tech where we have students from as many as 80 different Primary schools. By making learning explicit and visible, and asking students to reflect on their own learning when they have completed units of work, we can take the guess work out of teaching and learning.
Ben is currently working on the new Gifted and Talented education policy for the Department which was in the news on Friday July 21st when Mark Scott, Secretary of the Department presented his take on gifted and talented education to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children Biennial Conference at the UNSW . A copy of his speech can be found at
Secretary Scott mentioned the work of gifted and talented educator Dr Jae Jung who I am very pleased to say will be presenting to us at our joint P&C meeting with St George on Tuesday 1 August 2017 in the school auditorium. Dr Jung’s area of expertise is decision making in adolescents.
Sydney Technical High School said goodbye to long term mathematics teacher, Stephen Parrish today. Mr Parrish has taught at the school since 1989. He completed two years country service before teaching firstly at Punchbowl Boys then at Kogaragh High School. Mr Parrish’s first ambition was to join the airforce, but unfortunately his poor sight prevented that career path, and happily he chose mathematics. A passionate educator, Mr Parrish has shared his expertise, insight and wisdom with decades of boys and colleagues at Tech. Mr Parrish was always happiest in the classroom, teaching, and his humility and gentle humour will be missed by students and staff. The school wishes him every future happiness, as he starts the next chapter of his life after school.
As always, there have been a number of events on the music calendar, which have provided our gifted and talented students with a range of opportunities to develop and display not only their musical skills, but also their remarkable ability to work cooperatively- demonstrating exceptional leadership qualities. Ensembles camp, Bandfest and Musicale have provided students with a platform upon which they could enhance these skills.
“Musicale”- the school’s annual concert, turned out to be very successful indeed. The show commenced with a performance by the intermediate band, who had only recently won a gold award at ‘Bandfest’. With their polished performance, it was not hard to see why they had achieved such an accomplishment. Musicale also included performances by other regular school ensembles such as the string ensemble who once again produced a captivating performance with their smooth and diverse repertoire, the vastly improved stage band, the choir who produced an excellent rendition of the song ‘I Believe’, the soulful Uke Club and the concert band who also won gold at ‘Bandfest’.
Also worth mentioning are the student initiated ensembles, such as the orchestra who continue to produce some fine performances due to the motivation of some talented year 11 music students- Kenneth and Atkins Fan, and Dylan He who have recently become the driving force behind this unit. Other performers who are to be commended on their invaluable contribution include; Tom McDougall, Rikki Arendesn, Adam Robey and Jackson Fisher.
It was pleasing to see so many old boys returning to the school to either perform with or in some cases even rehearse our ensembles, or simply showing their support for their fellow Techies by being a part of the audience. Of course, the concert would certainly not have been so successful without the help of the STHS sound & lighting team and our two fantastic comperes Vincent Yuan and Leo Guo.
All students, teachers and parents who were present at Musicale would have to agree that they were treated to some high-quality instrumental and vocal skills, and all the ensembles are looking forward to their next gig.
Shane Gamage and Julie Ryan
Performing Ensemble Coordinators
On Friday 5 May we welcomed a group of students who are recent Tech graduates. Terence Kwok (2011), Shakib Parvez (2013), Gordon Wu and Jason Daley (2014), Andrew Lucas (2015) and Sampath Somanchi (2016) spoke of their time at school, post school studies and aspirations for the future. It was a very informative afternoon in a very relaxed atmosphere. It is always good to have our students come to the school.
Next Friday, 9 June, Year 7 parents will be attending parent teacher afternoon to discuss how their sons have settled into Tech. Information about this has already gone out to parents.
I look forward to seeing you there.