Two teams of our most gifted mathematics students travelled to Canberra last week to compete in the ANU Mathematics Day which is hosted for students in NSW and ACT. We are the only Sydney school invited. The competition format is a series of challenging mathematical problems that are completed in teams in a set time frame, over a whole day. Amongst our group are two students with outstanding achievements in the Australian Mathematical Olympiads, Jordan Ka Truong and Hilton Nguyen. In true Tech spirit the team chose to share their expertise across both teams. My thanks to their teachers Ms Dinos and Mr Sender for giving their time to accompany students.
We were finally able to run our Cross Country on Wednesday of this week, in a much shortened version, and we were very fortunate that it decided to pour down later on that afternoon. It was a shame that we were unable to hold the carnival at the regular time, as it is always a very pleasant day which concludes with a school BBQ. My thanks to all staff who had a very busy Wednesday.
We celebrated Anzac day by commemorating the Centenary Anniversary of the Western Front in 2017 on the last day of Term 1. Year 9 World History class under the guidance of Mr Lachlan Drummond researched and presented an excellent narrative focused on the Battle of Pozieres and Villers Bretonneux, battles in which the Australians suffered severe casualties. The program included the school choir and the school concert band, and we welcomed back old boys from the 50s and 60s for the commemoration. My thanks to all staff who contributed to this event and my congratulations to students for their excellent presentation. More photos in May Tech Talk 2017.
THE NEW HSC
New Syllabus for Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) in English, Mathematics, Science and History have been developed by the newly named NSW Educational Standards Authority, NESA (The old Board of Studies). This new syllabus will affect Year 10, who will be the first cohort to present for the new HSC starting in 2018. In recent press releases, the new syllabus claims to reflect a move to stronger standards. Their aim is to encourage students to show off their deep knowledge, conceptual understanding and problem solving and analytical skills. School based assessment practices will change from 2018. There will be mandated components and weightings for tasks in both Years 11 and 12. The number of school based assessment tasks in Year 11 will be capped at three per subject studied, and in Year 12 it will be four. There will continue to be external assessments such as the formal HSC assessments. Submitted major works such as Visual Arts or English Extension 2 or Music and Design and Technology will remain the same. There will continue to be a 50:50 breakdown between school assessment and the HSC. For each course you study the final HSC mark is comprised of the school assessment and a moderated exam mark from NESA. A very brief look at the new English syllabus shows that there will be a very strong focus on writing skills.
NAPLAN CHANGES - The focus on writing is also reflected in the new NESA regulations about NAPLAN. To be eligible for the HSC from 2020, you must demonstrate a minimum literacy and numeracy standard. That means that all students completing Year 9 NAPLAN will be expected to achieve a Band 8 or above in their NAPLAN tests. The minimum standard applies to reading, writing and numeracy, and is mapped against the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) which is a nationally agreed standard of functional literacy and numeracy. Any student in Year 8 will be affected by this change.
If you have reached the ACSF standard, then you are expected to be able to:
- Predict the meaning of unknown words based on the context
- Understand some words and phrases have figurative not just literal meanings
- Read and interpret diagrams
- Write clear sequenced instructions for using everyday technology equipment
- Use email for routine workplace communication
- Write a short formal letter with a purpose such as closing a bank account
- In numeracy you are expected to be able to demonstrate:
- Comparing the cost of everyday items in different sized containers to work out the most cost effective purchase
- Create a personal weekly budget on a spreadsheet
- Prepare an invoice for a particular job eg to build a fence of a set length
For further information on the Australian Core skills Framework click here https://www.education.gov.au/australian-core-skills-framework
The school has a strong focus on literacy development and we have a targeted literacy class in Years 7, 8 and 9 to assist students gain these important skills. It is of critical importance that students read on a very regular basis, and the Library is full of very good books bought with student interest in mind. Students are also encouraged to ask our Librarian, Ellen Campbell, to purchase books they may like to read. I ask parents to do all they can to encourage reading.