High School News

News from the High School

Pi Day

Although held in March, it is still worthy to report the efforts of our Pi Day. Below are some visual representations of PI using different colours for each digit. There appears to be no pattern to PI, the colours look random. Many students took on the challenge but credit to Allanah and Lily who memorised PI to 150 decimal places, which might be handy one day!

We also made a chain of different colour rings each representing a digit in Pi and hung it up along the total length of the High School GLA. This went up to 223 digits of PI.

  Playground renovations

Students returned from our April break to find the playground renovations almost complete. The eagerly anticipated hill continues to provide a focal point for a range of games, cardboard surfing was a big hit! Likewise, the gym equipment has been a bonus and sees students climbing and hanging at break times. The space has also been used for work sessions. We are currently sanding down the gazebo in Occupations with the hope of staining and freshening it up in the next few weeks. Bulbs, lettuces and herbs have been planted with potatoes next on the list.

Occupations: Bunnings Fundraiser

 20kgs of sausages, 6kgs of onions and 15 loaves of bread kept our 28 Year 7-10 students very busy at our fundraiser last Thursday at Bunnings Wollongong from 8am to 4pm. Students all took part on a roster basis, serving, preparing, cooking and interacting with the public. We have yet to count our takings, but the day was successful in bringing all the students together in social exchanges. Thank you also to all parents and staff who called by to show their support and particularly to Franz and to Valentina for giving their time to help out on the day.

Term 2 Reports

Teachers will begin the process of compiling the Term 2 (Semester 1) reports for Years 7-10. These are expected to go home to parents in Week 8 and will be followed by parent teacher night on Tuesday 21st June. Please stay tuned for details on how to book a time in future Elmontis. 

Diaries/ Planners

Teachers have been encouraging students to use their diaries as planners for the lesson and the work cycle. Please feel free to also use these as a form of communication with teachers and the school.  A reminder that there is an absentee record section at the back of the planners which may make it easier to complete explanations for absences.

South Coast Writers’ Centre Writing competition

Stage 5 English students completed a unit of study on “Identity” and our engagement with Asia. This coincided nicely with a South Coast Writers’ Centre competition themed around the title “Asia: a Journey”. The students were encouraged to revise their work to suit the word limit and Maariya S. of Year 9 received a Highly Commended. Maariya was unable to read her work at the reading at the Gallery but her work was read for her. The submitted piece appears below for all to enjoy.

“This is just a passing phase, I’ll get over it.” She murmurs repeatedly, reassuring herself.

Walking out of her New York apartment, the cold wind bites harshly against her face. Chen feels the cold dive into her body. Skyscrapers frown bitterly down at her whilst no pedestrian stops to bid her a friendly ‘hello, how are you? ’They did in Beijing.

She calls for her yellow cab, climbs in, utters the address of her work and makes no small talk.

There is not much colour in New York, Chen contemplates to herself, buildings and billboards tower about wearily as if mesmerizing any person who looks upon them. Their dark colours are remorseful and are anything but welcoming. She can’t help but compare this to her home. Buildings and temples smile from ear to ear and radiate such gentleness in Beijing. Colours project an uplifting spirit that undeniably seeps through every person, humbling every soul.

Tears swell in her eyes but she refuses to cry, feeling a twinge of pain but is quick to disregard it.

 A deafening honk snaps Chen out of her drowning thoughts. Baffled, she wonders how long her thoughts took over her. Perching up from her seat, she glances outside, passing Grand Central Station; she knows she is ten minutes away from work.

Chen looks down at her palms and scowls in a resentful manner, coming from nothing to one of the best cities in the world, how can she afford to think like this? Compromising her culture is worth this lifestyle. It has to be. Association with her own cultural identity doesn’t make you a lawyer, working here does.

The honking continues, the cab is now buried in traffic. As she gazes upon the hustling street of affluent brands, Valentino, Burberry, Prada, nestled between them she sees a trinket of a shop secluded in a way that if one didn’t pay close attention, it would seem nothing was there. She squints her eyes to get a sharper view. A Chinese shop. Amongst these brands, a Chinese shop? Chen shifts in her seat and presses her nose against the cold window of the cab. Hanging is a bright red cloth with intricate detailing, she is too far to recognize what the detailing is but without doubt she knows. She feels the hairs on her arm raise.

 It is early spring and the cherry blossoms are awakening from their slumber and garnish trees like fragile ornaments. It is evening and the crickets are commencing concerts of songs. Opening the front door, the warm air kisses her face.

“Chen! I almost forgot to give this to you!” a frail voice calls out.

“Mum, I can’t, I’ll miss my flight!” she responds

A dainty figure walks into the hallway, the dim light framing her face displaying signs of advancing years.

“It won’t take long”

She’s holding something folded, it’s silk. She unfolds each perfect corner allowing a vibrant cloth to gracefully drape down. Its vivid red colour amongst the darkness is at first blinding but slowly Chen’s eyes adjust and examine the elaborate patterns of golden dragons and dazzling blue flowers. She looks up with questioning eyes but before she can ask anything her mother’s tranquil voice is the sunrise wakening her mind.

“Chen, I love you and– “

“Mum, so do –“

“Let me finish. I love you very much and am full of joy with your much earned accomplishments and cannot begin to explain how much I will miss you when you are in New York, but please, let your achievements never belittle your identity.” She hands over the slippery cloth into Chen’s hands and smiles so that in the dark, her pale skin is the moon in the night sky.

“Keep this to embody your Chinese identity. These dragons exemplify the characteristics you ought to cement within yourself, ambition, nobility, perseverance. Do not become intoxicated with your ego. Do not omit your integrity and never forget the land you grew up on which fed you generously because be mindful “A nail that sticks out will be hammered”

“Your destination ma’am.”

Chen hands over the pale green note, utters a quiet ‘thank you’ and climbs out the cab. Tears swell up in her almond eyes but this time she does not stop them, one by one they trickle down her face, blush from the cold, like drops of rain on a window.

She looks up, no one seemed to have noticed, people just walk around her. No one stops to ask if she is okay. They would in Beijing. Chen calmly begins to walk in the direction of her office averting any attention she may cause to herself, concealing any sign of disorder.

“This is just a passing phase, I’ll get over it.”

 By M. S. Year 9.