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June 2008 - from the Principal

posted Apr 10, 2012, 5:01 PM by Eddie Woo
Term 2  began with the usual  buzz of activities: School Development Day, assembly, Athletics Carnival, Year 12 Information Night, the girls’ KO soccer competition and the Year 9 Tocal Field Day excursion.

We had a successful School Development Day, while the school orchestra rehearsed. The staff of Girraween HS were our guests. Our keynote speaker was Professor Jenny Gore, Dean of Education at Newcastle University. Professor Gore is the main architect and researcher of the Quality Teaching Framework which has underpinned best practice in teaching and learning in the Department of Education and Training since 2003. Teachers shared ideas on assessment etc with Girraween HS while our support staff enhanced technology skills.

At assembly, Manbir Miglani reported on his experiences at the State Dance Camp – the first student from James Ruse to be there! He is now off to Singapore – well done!

Congratulations to Xi Chen and Jarrah Lacko who have been selected as members of the  Australian Informatics team. They will be off to Cairo in August.

Four of our ex-students who scored UAIs of 100 in 2007 have joined University of Sydney in the Faculty of Science, and their success has been reported in several local newspapers – the Hills Shire Times and North Shore Times . Attached is one of the articles about the students – Kin Lam, Joshua Lau, Karen Lee and Alex Stoyanov . Sydney University has also put the news on the Faculty of Science website:
One of our former students, Rebecca Zaman, was part of the UNSW Law Mooting Team that has just achieved second place in the world!

Rebecca and her fellow team mates competed in the Jessup International Law Moot Competition, the most prestigious international mooting competition in the world, which took place in Washington DC on 12 April.

UNSW Law students, Tom Levi, Brent Michael, Hernan Pintos-Lopez, Derek Wong and Rebecca Zaman were ranked first out of 100 teams from around the world after the preliminary rounds. The team then faced US law school Case Western in the grand final where they were narrowly defeated to take out second place in the competition.

The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Representing both sides of the argument, the teams prepare both oral and written pleadings.

The focus of this year’s moot problem was the tension in international law between ensuring human rights and responding to acts of terrorism. 

In preparation for the world finals Rebecca's team participated in an exhibition moot that that was undertaken before the Hon. Justice Michael Kirby, Judge of the High Court of Australia and Ms Anna Katzmann SC, President of the NSW Bar Association.

Another of our ex-students experiencing success is writer-director, Jasmine Yuen-Carrucan, with her first film, Cactus. The film stars Bryan Brown and Travis McMahon as “ a battler in dire need of cash who kidnaps a professional gambler and drives him west.” ( S.M.H. 22/4/08) .

The 33 members of our school community who went to the UK, Belgium and France in the holidays had a wonderful, very moving, though very cold experience. For me, the World War 1 cemeteries in Flanders and in Normandy, the D Day landing sites and the Winston Churchill Museum were the highlights. The students probably ranked Paris number 1.

I have received three wonderful letters recently.
The first letter was from the retired  principal of a tsunami-affected school in Sri Lanka, Sri Somananda Vidyala, thanking Kasuni Fernando for organising the sending of a stationary carton to the school. Kasuni had collected money and books and shipped them to the school. Mr Premadasa writes: “It is a great help to our students to start the new year with some more writing books, pens and pencils. Most of our students cannot afford to buy additional books or pencils for schools. A lot of students are from tsunami affected areas with one or o parents surviving. Others are having a very poor financial background.” Another student leadership success story!
The second  letter was from the Economic Literacy Centre, thanking us for hosting its annual Economics Conference in the M.A. Canty Lecture Theatre on 5/6 March this year. Over 130 teachers attended over the two days. Thank you to Mr Ray Lees for his assistance, and for the paper he shared with me on his presentation - Ireland: A Case Study of the Impacts of Globalisation.
The third letter was from Mr and Mrs Miyagawa, expressing their gratitude for having their nephew, Kazuki Ohtake, at the school from 18-20 March. They write: “Kazuki absolutely enjoyed attending classes, joining school events, and mingling with other students. Every morning he could not wait to get to school and could not stop talking about what happened at school after school His face literally lightened up as soon as he started talking about school, commenting that ‘The time at the school is the most enjoyable experience I have ever done in Australia’. The experience at your school also gave him the courage to speak even though his English is limited, which I believe is the most important step in learning foreign culture and its language”. Thank you to Mr Ian Lowcock and to all the students who looked after Kazuki, treated him as a new friend and made his visit  very special.
The students in our Student Leadership Program in Years 9 and 10 have been initiating a range of community service programs. Following is a list:

Leadership Program for North Rocks Public School
Cyberbullying Aware – raising awareness in local primary schools
Operation Renovation - fundraising for Fairfield Hospital
JRAHS Environmental Action Group – tree planting in the local area
Helping Sri Lankan orphans in need – material support for Tsunami orphans
Safety Guide – teaching safety to North Rocks childcare centre
5c drive – fundraising for charity
Build the Line – a petition for extending the Carlingford rail line
Writing Competition – promote and develop creative writing in the school
Healthwise – raising awareness and promoting a healthy lifestyle
Clothing drive for Salvation Army – a clothing drive for the Salvation Army
Book Club – promoting and broadening reading within the school
Serving my Community – building talent, teamwork and confidence with Yr 4    
             Carlingford West PS
Bandaid – organising the 40 hour famine and related activities in school
Chinese Lessons – teaching Chinese to Beginner Chinese students
To Write Love On Her Arms Concert – fundraising for TWLOHAC and raising   
             awareness of depression
The Harmony Festival – working in the Ryde community to promote    
  First Aid – developing first aid knowledge in the junior school
Congratulations to Isabella Kwan. Isabella Kwan has won the Year 9 section of the Sydney Writers’ Festival competition, sponsored by the Sydney Morning Herald. An outstanding result!
Last year the University of Sydney received almost 2000 applications for Undergraduate scholarships. There were 59 applications from James Ruse. The Entry Scholarships and the Scholarships with Merit are based on a combination of academic merit, together with a high level of school and community involvement and other skills such as leadership and communication. The Outstanding Achievement scholarships are awarded to any students who received a UAI of at least 99.95 (without requiring application).
Congratulations to the following students who were awarded scholarships at USYD:
Difei  Dang – Outstanding Achievement
Boya Han - Merit
Amanda Huen – Merit
Julia Islam- Merit
Mandy Kwan – Outstanding Achievement
Kin Lam – Outstanding Achievement
Joshua Lau – Outstanding Achievement
Aaron Lun – Entry
Kedar Madan – Outstanding Achievement
Vinoth Nandakumar – Entry
Alex Ng – Outstanding Achievement
Karen Nguyen – Entry
Gurfateh Sandhu – Outstanding Achievement
Alex Stoyanov – Outstanding achievement
Vignesh Subramanyan – Merit
Jia Wang – Merit
David Wang – Outstanding Achievement
Wen Shi and Emily Wong were awarded Access scholarships, worth $5000 per annum for the duration of their degree.
These are all outstanding achievements! Thank you to all their teachers, from years 7 to 12!
Congratulations to Billy Huang of Year 10, who has successfully auditioned for the 2008 NSW Public Schools Senior Drama Ensemble. The Ensemble, (gifted and talented  years 10 and 11 Drama students) meets once a week on Mondays (5-7pm) at the Arts Education Centre at Lewisham. The major performances for this Ensemble will occur at the State Drama Festival on 6 and 7 November 2008.
Sandra Li, who is a member of the NSW Public Schools Wind Orchestra, will be touring the North Coast on 23 -27 June. What a wonderful experience for Sandra!
Our concert band is preparing to tour and perform at a number of very small schools around Goulburn 9-11 September. I will be joining this tour. We will be staying on a sheep station. The students will be able to integrate work with Agriculture (especially sheep) and Geography (small towns study).
Congratulations to Irene Lo and Sampson Wong who have been invited to be members of the Australian Team who will attend the 49th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) The IMO will be held in Madrid from 14-22 July. The team will depart Australia on 7 July for a 5 day preparation school in Lisbon, Portugal, where they will participate in a group training program with the UK IMO team.
Congratulations to our 2007 Vice Captain, Aolai Chi. Ms  Billing and I were present when Aolai achieved her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, at Government House. The award was presented by the Governor, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir. Thank you to Ms Billing and Mr Iverach for their efforts in assisting Aolai achieve this goal.
Last week Ms St Louis represented the school at an afternoon tea organised by Baulkham Hills Shire Council, to celebrate teachers in the shire. We were presented with another rose plant, to add to the hundreds BHSC has already donated to us. The mayor, Councillor Sonya Phillips, made a wonderful speech acknowledging the work of teachers in shire schools. We were also presented with a book, Kokoda, by Peter Fitzsimmons, which is signed by the author. This is now in the library.
Next year we are celebrating our 50th anniversary. One of the major events, the fete, will be on Saturday, 4 April 2009. Please put this is your calendars now. We will run into the evening, and end with a short multicultural concert and fireworks. Other performances will take place during the day.
We are investigating the possibility of producing a community business directory of current parents and ex-students, as part of the 50th celebrations. To pay for the printing of this directory to be available free to the school community and for distribution at the fete and  the mail out to ex-students, the cost of entry will be $20 for a plain entry (ie the details supplied on the form) and $50 for a quarter page advertisement. The booklet will be A5 size. At the front, there will be an index by occupations, by alphabetical list of names and by year groups. Therefore, this will be a convenient way of locating friends as well as locating  a service.  Please support this venture. Fill in the form and return it to the school. Please spread it to as many ex-students as you know. If there is support for this idea, we will go ahead with it.
I received news from Mrs Shellard, that her son, Professor Paul Edward Shellard, Dux of the class of 1977, has just been appointed to the Chair of Cosmology at Cambridge University. Professor Shellard has been doing lots of work with Professor Stephen Hawking.
Larissa Treskin