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March 2012 - from the Principal

posted Apr 10, 2012, 5:59 PM by Eddie Woo
We have had a great start to 2012. This year we are having an even greater focus on developing creativity, working creatively and addressing social justice issues. We expect our students to use their wonderful minds to make a real difference to our world. We welcomed Mr Warren Stanley, our new HT Teaching and Learning who is also a HSIE teacher and congratulated Ms Liza Mayers, who has been appointed our new HT English via a merit selection process. 

2011 HSC Cohort Nine students received the highest ATAR of 99.95: 
  • Anna Zhong 
  • Sherman Siu 
  • Frank Liu 
  • Elizabeth Huynh 
  • Andrew Lee 
  • Peter Joon Lee 
  • Babitha Selvananthan 
  • Carmen Tran 
  • Timothy Le 
In 2011 we achieved wonderful state rankings across a range of subjects: 
  • Biology – Betty Huang 14th, Angela Le 16th, Jeffery Wang 18th and Carmen Tran 19th
  • Chemistry – Peter Joon Lee 4th, Carmen Tran 6th, Andrew Lee 9th, Frank Liu 10th,
  • Shefali Chaukra 11th, Edward Lo Cao and Christine Wu 12 th and Jeffery Wang 16th.
  • Information Processes and Technology – Sumedh Jayanti 3rd (year 11 2012)
  • Mathematics Extension 2 – Vincent Kong 5th, Jinghang Luo 9th and Dennis Lam 10th
  • PDHPE – Jason Ko – 2nd
  • Physics – Peter Joon Lee 8th and Andrew Lee 9th
  • Software Design and Development – Joshua Lau 9th (year 11 2012)
James Ruse again topped the honours list in the HSC with 786 credit marks of 90 or above. 94 students were considered top all rounders making the Premier’s List of achieving 10 or more units in subjects with a mark over 90 and the median ATAR in 2011 was 99.1. Our senior students had the pleasure of listening to Anna Zhong and Hari Sritharan speak of their journey through the HSC. Flexibility, time management, consistency and balance were the key messages. Castle Hill Show How wonderful in this Year of the Farmer, we re-enter the show and win the school’s section. Our entry on The Journey of the Bee won a huge trophy and lots of ribbons due to: Karina Shum, Katherine Wu, Patricia Wu, Christina Lee, Crystal Mak, Tanya Han, Justin Li, Ravi Marwah, Krithika Rajashekar, Angela Tan, Dev Kuhasri, Juhi Krishnaswamy, Alicia Lee, Stephanie Cheung, Stella Ye, Ray Li and Rhea Gu. Hills Shire Young Citizen of the Year Sanji Fernando (2011) has been named Young Citizen of the Year for helping people in tsunami-affected Sri Lanka, as well as the elderly. Australian Junior Chess Championships Andrew Pan (Year 9) won the Australian Junior Chess Championships U14 division, held in Melbourne 14 – 11 January. He also won the U14 Lightning Championships and the U18 Problem Solving competitions. More details are on the website Andrew is currently one of the top 6 juniors at U14 in Australia. He is one of the ten members in the Australian Olympia Team Training Squad. The World Olympiad Team Championships will be held in Turkey later this year. Weekly lunchtime competitions and inter-school Friday night competitions support our huge growth in chess players. 

BHP Billiton Science Awards The following students who entered the BHP Billiton Science Awards in 2011. Avan Zeng Testing lift and drag of airfoils – Semi Finalist Eklavya Wangoo Magic Microbes Daniel Feng Vitamin C in oranges over time Mudith Jayasekara Soundproofing Table tennis success Erny Tsao has been ranked No. 1 in U15 Boys, and No. 4 in U18 Boys nationally in 2011. As a result, Erny has been selected to the 2012 National U18 Boys Tier 1 Squad, and also selected to the 2012 National Men Tier 2 Squad . Erny is the youngest and the only junior from NSW being selected to the National Men’s Squad. As member of the Men’s Squad Erny has been selected to the 2012 Olympic Shadow Team. Erny is the youngest, and the only junior from NSW being selected to the Olympic Shadow Team, and has been invited to compete in the 2012 Australian Olympic Qualification Tournament (AOQT) held in Sydney from 16th to 19th of February. More Table Tennis success Sarah Tan has been selected to represent Australia at the 2012 ITTF WJC New Zealand Junior and Cadet Open/Oceania Cadet Challenge and World Junior Championships Oceania Qualification event in Auckland, New Zealand, 15 – 22 April. Recently, Sarah competed in the NSW 2012 Junior Division and Youth Closed championships and 2012 NSW Closed Table Tennis Championships with wonderful results: Gold Medal in U21 Women’s doubles; Silver medal in Youth (U21) women’s singles; Silver medal in the women’s open doubles! NSW Junior Pole vaulting Championships Mudith Jayasekara (10) competed in the NSW Junior Championships. Although he had to compete in a higher age group, Mudith achieved a Silver Medal in the U/18 Boys Pole Vault and 2nd Overall in the U/20s. 

Australian Athletics Junior Championships Mudith did it again. He won the U/17's Pole Vault at the Australian Athletics Junior Championships and now retains the National Champion title for his age group. He jumped a great personal best (PB) of 4.15 m which is 35cm more than his previous PB and won by 2 heights to the Silver Medallist. His season is nearly over after he competes at the NSW State Opens competition at the end of term. 

Swimming Carnival The weather was magnificent. Congratulations to the following four students who broke eleven records: Yale Yi (holds five records), Hannah Qu (holds 5 records), Angela Luo (one record) and Andrea Luo (one record). We won the zone swimming carnival! Our wonderful swimmers who participated in the zone swimming carnival this week. Zone carnivals are a team event and without the participation of every student it would not be possible to achieve such a wonderful outcome. Three fabulous swimmers became zone age champions: Jessica Guo (7), Yale Ye (8), Jason Guo (9). Michelle C Wang (11), David Tang (11), Angela Chen (10) and Hannah Qu (7) also finished in the top places of their age group. 

2011 Junior State Debating Championships I received the following report at the end of last year. Congratulations on the achievements of students from schools in the Western Sydney Region at the 2011 Junior State Debating Championships (JSDC) this year ! To reach the State Final of the Championships is a great recognition of the individual & collective Debating talents of these students throughout the tournament & was nothing short of what they deserved. It is always difficult to put together four or five gifted speakers from different schools & hope that the team 'works' at JSDC, but it quickly became clear in the training sessions leading up to the Championships that this particular team was bonding well both in terms of Debating expertise as well as socially, so fingers were crossed that they would be competitive at JSDC. And they were much more than merely competitive in winning four of their five debates to reach the State Final.After a narrow loss to the always-strong Sydney team in Round 1, Western Sydney then proceeded to win the next three debates against Hunter Central Coast, New England & Western NSW, to finish first in Pool A. They then defeated another strong metropolitan team, North Sydney (that includes students from North Sydney Boys & Girls High Schools), in a unanimous panel decision on Tuesday night to reach Wednesday morning's State Final. It was fantastic to sit back & watch & listen to the four girls prepare & deliver each & every debate. Every one of their debates was an improvement upon the previous & highlighted exactly how well they incorporated advice & feedback from the adjudicators & their own experience. 

CONGRATULATIONS to the Western Sydney Region Representative Debating team on being 2011 JSDC Finalists. Students came from Colo High School, Glenwood High School, James Ruse Agricultural High School & Penrith High School. Well done to Natalie Buckett from Penrith High School (ex Colo High School) on being awarded the prestigious Lily Gunther Shield for Best Speaker at JSDC. It was an absolute pleasure to be associated with these girls at this year's Championships. Thank you to all four girls for being such wonderful ambassadors for their respective schools - Natalie Buckett from Penrith High School, Archita Sreekumar from Glenwood High School, Thanya Sritharan from James Ruse Agricultural High School & Rebekah Ward from Colo High School. George Zivkovic, Speaking Competitions Co-ordinator, Western Sydney Region Extracurricular activities showcase This took place in week 4 at recess and lunch, our own version of O-week! It was a wonderful opportunity to see all the school has to offer and to find out how to participate. While it targeted Year 7 and new students, all students got an overview of what is possible in 2012. Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day is always an action packed time at James Ruse and 2012 was no exception. Tuesday was spent sharing smiles and laughs as we listened to the prefects serenade us and deliver us roses. The concert was wonderful, showcasing the many talents of James Ruse students – some of which we have never seen before. Another successful dance occurred on Wednesday night allowing all year groups to share a wonderful time together, creating great memories. Our New Families BBQ was hosted by the Community of James Ruse. Many parents, students and teachers were able to attend and share the evening together. We had our fabulous peer support leaders doing all they can to ensure a smooth transition for Year 7 into high school. Israeli principals’ visit We hosted a visit from a small group of Israeli principals. It was interesting to share experiences and understandings. 

OzCLO NSW winners (Computational Linguistic Olympiad) Congratulations to our two teams who achieved first and third place! Both teams now compete in the Nationals on 29 March. First place - 91.5 - Team 233 JRAHS: Kerrie Yuan (Year 12) Sydney Tang (Year 11) Emily Hall Jenny Liu; Third Place - 90 - Team 232 JRAHS: Bonita Gu (Year 11) Monica Tay (Year 11) Carmen Cheng (Year 11) Benjamin Zhu (Year 11) Australian International Informatics Olympiad Eight students were invited to compete in the prestigious Australian International Informatics Olympiad: Leo Huang (12), Michael Su (12), Joshua Lau (11), Daaron Chiu (10), Ray Li (10), Saimarooban Muralidaran (10), Kevin Shi (10), Mohammad Ishraq Huda (9). This four hour exam combined with the FARIO on March 9 determines the Australian Informatics Olympiad Team for 2012. Students also competed in the Australian Mathematics Olympiad this term to win a place in the team. French-Australian Regional Informatics Olympiad (FARIO) Ray Li and Joshua Lau came first and third in the ninth annual FARIO with scores of 297 and 251 – an amazing result! More details are on the FARIO website. They beat members of last year’s Olympiad team. Informatics Scholar School It is a wonderful achievement to get five places to the April school. The following students were successful: Joshua Lau (11); Ray Li (10); Daaron Chiu (10); Kevin Shi (10);Israq Huda (9). Asia-Pacific Physics Olympiad Steven Xu (12) has been selected to represent Australia in the Asia-Pacific Physics Olympiad to be held in New Delhi. We wish Steven every success as he prepares for the Olympiad. David Roshan and Victor Yang competed for a place in the Australian team for the International Biology Olympiad. Social Justice The school has set up a representative Social Justice Committee. All years voted to elect a representative to join the inaugural social justice team. Social Justice Programs continue to grow and are widely publicised in this newsletter and in the daily notices. Students attended the UN Youth Conference in March. There is an exciting indigenous immersion and exchange program in the September holidays. Ms Murphy, the Social Justice Co-ordinator, presented to the Selective Schools Principals’ meeting being held at our school on 9 March. Global citizenship We launched a set of resources to support global education called Make a World of Difference: a Guide to the Global Citizen. Abbi Linghanathan and Richard Tong spoke magnificently. Other presenters included Dr Sam Johnston, United Nations University, Dr Susan Bliss, Director of Global Education 2000- 2010, Mark Eldrige co-author and Verity Firth CEO, Public Education Alliance. The event was chaired by Ms Joy Smithers, actress and Deputy Chair, Hope for Cambodian Children Foundation. Australian Legal History Essay competition Ben Nam of Year 11 was successful in winning the 2011 Australian Legal History Essay competition. This competition is sponsored by the Forbes Society ( Ben has won a $250 cheque and a $250 Abbey’s book voucher. Ben’s wonderful effort has also earned the school $500 and a $500 book voucher. Grinchball games tournament Despite the weather in recent weeks, students have been competing at recess and lunchtime, demonstrating their sporting skills, teamwork and camaraderie. 

Clean Up Australia Day More than 200 students volunteered to clean up the school at recess and lunchtime – a wonderful group of volunteers. Go Green is very active. International Women’s Day celebrations Students attended the IWD breakfast in the city. Other students attended a Women in Science Forum at Macquarie Uni. The Social Justice Committee have been very active! Year 7 enjoyed the POP quiz they entered about women as part of our IWD celebrations. Year 8 put Did You Know facts about famous women all around the school. Year 9 created an inspirational WALL of Women. The photos taken by Year 12 for the IWW collage were magnificent Table display in the library Year 9 Design and Technology students have had a wonderful display of their work in the library. Mr Widmer inspired his students to reach excellent standards of craftsmanship. Dobell Art School Ben Chen and Joyce Cheng have been selected to attend the Dobell Drawing school at the National Art School 10 – 13 April. 

School musical. Rehearsals are in full swing for Hullo Dolly. It is wonderful to see the commitment from so many students. Stellar Astronomy Scholarships for Girls Michelle Wang (11) received this prestigious scholarship. The Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli is presenting Michelle with her Award on Monday 2 April at noon at parliament House. The Chief Scientist for NSW, Mary O'Kane will be giving a keynote address. The scholarship is funded by the Public Education Foundation. Wollemi Pines In 2011 the 9A High Resolves group focused on conservation issues and bought, with fund raising, four Wollemi pines. Recently they were planted near the heritage tractor, between Powe and Cameron block. With Mr Pronger’s guidance and Mr Tardelli’s efforts, this area could be turned into a mini rainforest. Ms Fernandez championed this initiative with our students. 

Year 7 Information Night Year 7 parents received their curriculum and assessment booklets. A lot of information was shared with parents.. It was a delight to listen to our Year 8 students deliver information and expectations and to promote their love of different subjects so passionately. Well done to: Michael Paulraj and Pooja Halasagi (who chaired the evening); Kerry Xue (SRC Vice president); and our presenters - Bridget Huang, Eva Sinha, Simon Yang, Justin Wu, Stephanie Moon, Joanne Liu, Jin Yoo, Sarah Bak, Supuli Ranasinghe, Lily Chen, Jeffrey Khoo, Joel Huang, Joshua Selvadurai and Joel Jenson. Mrs Chen organised the parents to provide the amazing supper, supported by Mrs Jo of the Mothers’ Club support, and Mrs Xu and Mr Alison from COJR. Once again we see how strong our school is because of parent involvement. Blood bank donations The following students who gave blood: Caleb Wu, Jane Ma, Beatrice Zhang, Alex Tu, Marco Lee, Suraj Ashok, Victor Yang, Nashin Khan, Ralph Bulandi, Jack She, Melissa Lee, Sophie Wu, Vanessa Shim and Tristan Ku. It is such a wonderful thing to do. 

School Zone Flashing Lights Initiative I have been advised by the Roads and Maritime Serivces (RMS) that the school zone on Baker Street and the school, has been included as one of the next 82 school zone sites to receive school zone flashing lights to alert motorists of the speed restriction around schools to improve safety. It is expected that the work will start in mid March 2012 and all school zones in this roll out should be fitted with the flashing lights by June 2012. Air conditioning The parents provided the school with air conditioned classrooms . The students and staff have really appreciated it during our very hot days. It is much more conducive to learning. Hopefully, we can have the whole school air conditioned by the end of the year. Sound And Lighting The following students have been selected to be part of the Sound and Lighting team. Year 11:Kack Shi, Anki Tang, Bridget Lee, Frank Zhu, Andrew Tsui; Year 10: George Lin, Daiming Du, Wilson Cheng, Kathu Zu, Sen Fang; Year 9: Kai Lun, Anna Shen, Edwina Kuang, Joshua Zhao, Trevor Khan, Joe Chen. 

Handwriting course This seven week course will again run next term to support students who need help with their handwriting. Premier’s Reading Challenge Many students are signing up. Knitwits This starts in Term 2. We will see how many squares we can knit or crochet to make the blankets for Wrapped with Love Community of James Ruse meeting, Tuesday 20 March This was held in our refurbished Ruse cottage. I was asked to explain our expression of interest for Empowering Local Schools, as part of the Local Schools Local Decision Making rollout, and the introduction of LMBR (Learning Management Business Reform,) the total software package to replace OASIS, and all other packages to do with timetabling, attendance, reporting, student data etc. We had only been given a little over week for the initial consultation process, and details have still not yet been released. It was a good opportunity to discuss as many issues as we could. 

Larissa Treskin