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April 2010 - from the Principal

posted Apr 10, 2012, 5:18 PM by Eddie Woo
As usual at our school, the term has been packed full of learning in and outside of the classroom. We have had outstanding successes academically , in sport, in leadership. Fundraising for the gymnasium remains a building priority. We are halfway there. We need $3 million in total. Thank you to all our ex-students who have made significant contributions. We have been trying to reinvent the role of agriculture in 2010 in our curriculum – across the whole curriculum. The farm plays a very significant part in the lives of our gifted and talented students, meeting emotional and social needs as well as academic. Whilst the academic results that we achieve in agriculture continue to be important, as fewer students go directly into agriculture, we are trying to make more explicit the role of agriculture in understanding life/death cycles, coping with disappointment and loss, dealing with natural time processes and with natural seasons. Students learn they can’t speed up the growth of a potato, that overseas political decisions determine the way corn syrup is found in most tinned products, that the Romantics were right in the role of nature in our psyche. ( In Japan, doctors can prescribe a walk in the forest, instead of pills!) We have a way to go, but with deep agricultural understandings our students will leave school being able to make good decisions regarding sustainability, climate change, food production, land use, creating calm, – wherever their lives may take them. 

Congratulations to Andrew Li (year 11) for being runner-up in the Australia-New Zealand Brain Bee Challenge Finals 2009. He has already been awarded prizes in the 2008 and 2009 Australian Mathematics Competition. Andrew enjoys history, and is a keen debator. He has been awarded four medals in the UNSW English and Mathematics competitions. He likes creating visual effects and comedic digital art, and runs a number of websites. He is an active member of Cadets, and enjoys tennis, table tennis and swimming. He also plays the piano and likes writing stories. He is a wonderful James Ruse student who challenges himself across the curriculum! Andrew says, “Neuroscience is a great field with a lot of promise and a lot to explore ...I feel more inclined towards the medical disciplines of neurology and neurosurgery, because they’re the ones where the work, research and the discoveries are focused around people and improving their quality of life.” 

Congratulations to Jacqueline Lai! As a result of her coming first in Chemistry in 2009, Jacqueline had been offered the opportunity of work experience in the Office of the Chief Scientist and Scientific Engineer, Mary O’Kane. It was wonderful to see our students meet their South Korean colleagues from the Cheong Shim International Academy as part of our inter school global research project. Seven students and a teacher arrived on Tuesday in Week 2 and spent four days at our school. We have 30 students participating in this project, but not all their partners were able to visit this time. The students are researching the following: algae alternate fuels as energy sources; the development of Korea, Australia and Taiwan after independence; identify the most appropriate Non-Government Organisation (NGO) for community; economic crisis and junk food; eco-friendly agricultural technologies; Right whales and Irrawaddy dolphins; the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms and their potential future use. 

Congratulations to Sharon Ho. Sharon has been chosen to represent NSW in the 2010 Australian Badminton Championship in Perth from 2 – 10 April. 

Congratulations to Erny Tsao, who has been formally selected to represent Australia at the upcoming Table Tennis Oceania Cadet Challenge, World Junior Circuit event and Oceania Championships which are to be held from April 1 – 18, 2010 in Auckland, New Zealand. Erny will fly out of Australia on Tuesday March 30 with the rest of the Australian Team to compete in the 3 events and will return to Australia on Sunday April 18. Erny is a current National Junior Squad Member and has been identified as a future Australian Senior Representative. 

Congratulations to the school on winning the zone swimming carnival! This is an amazing achievement – usually Castle Hill HS are the winners. As well as being academic winners, we have now won in cross country and in swimming! 

Congratulations to our teams’ successes at the recent Computational Linguistics Olympiad. Our team of boys – Gerald Mak, Evan Tran, Richard Yuen and Andrew Wang – came second to Smiths Hill HS from Wollongong. Our team of girls – Rosanna Lam, Agatha Lossy, Carmen Tran and Joanne Kim – came fifth. Well done to both teams. The first three teams now go into the national finals: Smiths Hill, James Ruse and Sydney Girls. One of the prizes for the Boys’ team was a visit to the Google office ! We have had five students selected for the AMOC Mathematics Olympiad Selection School, to be held at Macquarie Uni from 5 – 14 April. There will be a total of 25 scholars at the school. Six students will then be selected for the 51st maths Olympiad, to be held in Kazakhstan, from 5 – 14 July. 

Congratulations to Sampson Wong (12), Stacey Law (12), Victor Khou (10), Steven Phan (10), and Brian Gao (10). Thank you to the Prefects for organising a range of activities which resulted in $1475 being raised for the Haiti appeal. Members of our concert bands are rehearsing for their participation in the Anzac Day march through the city. This is the first time that we will have James Ruse Band marching in the Anzac Day march. 

Congratulations to Joey Chen who has been selected to be a member of the Biology Olympiad Team. Congratulations to Alan Chow and Kelvin Cheung who have been selected for the four person Chemistry Olympiad team. We got two out of the four! 

Congratulations to Olivia Kim who has been selected to be one of the 8 member Physics Olympiad team in the Asia Pacific Olympiad. 

Congratulations to Sonya Marshall who has been invited to attend the residential UBS Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Sydney University 12 -16 April. Sonya will be working with a diverse group of contemporary women leaders in leadership skills development and she will be exposed to different careers in business. Best wishes to Anna Yu and Bryan Zhu. Their names have been selected to be sent forward for the Dobell School at the National Art School.
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