13 November 2017

Welcome back to Spring Term. It is wonderful to rejoin the community after having returned from my term sabbatical. Having time for professional and personal reflection was certainly a bonus. In particular, I would like to thank Mr Ledger for the great job he performed as Acting Headmaster in my absence. I thank the community for giving him your support during last term.

I sincerely hope all families took the opportunity to spend the recent holidays to spend invaluable time with each other. In a rapid paced world, quality family time can suffer at the hands of getting tasks done and by adhering to an unrealistic set of commitments. If you were considering getting more balance back into your life then why not start now?

It is hard to comprehend that last week marked the change of school year for our Year 9, 10 and 11 students who all commenced their new academic year by moving up a grade. Commencing the new year in October is something that sets us apart from many other schools. While it does present us with some challenges, this strategy is aimed at maximising teaching and learning opportunities for both students and staff.

Of course, one of the biggest events on our calendar occurred last Friday when we said farewell to our Year 12 students at March Out. This event is a highlight on the school calendar and seems to draw bigger crowds every year. The day is special not just because we say farewell to the Year 12s, but because it is one of the few times in a year when our whole school comes together. We do so because we want to say thanks and wish the Year 12s farewell. For our young boys, it provides yet another great moment for them to experience aspirational achievement as they watch our Year 12s March Out and commence the first stage of their post school journey.

At a school, so rich in history and heritage, it is sometimes hard to visualise how we can add to our unfolding story. This Friday 20 October will prove to be one of those occasions when we will make a significant addition to our history as we hold a seminal ceremony to reopen and rededicate Memorial Hall. First opened in 1957, Memorial Hall has served our community in so many ways. With the College adding the Dickinson Centre in 2007, it was time to re-envisage how best we could maximise utilisation of Memorial Hall. Which on an annual basis was underutilised.

Consequently, the current space has been converted into a magnificent theatre and presentation venue, including the conversion of three other spaces to house the College's archival history. The formal ceremony has been planned to dovetail with our Foundation Day celebrations. While the ceremony in Memorial Hall is an invite only event, anyone else wishing to be part of this special moment in the College's history, can do so by watching the short ceremony which is being live streamed into the Dickinson Centre at the normal Friday assembly time. I look forward to what will be a very special day in the history of our great College.

Additionally, the Scotch Community will have the opportunity to enjoy Memorial Hall by attending the first in the Scotch Parents Guest Speaker Programme with Mike Utsler, Chief Operations Officer at Woodside, with us on Thursday 26 October 2017 at 6.30pm. Please see the flyer in the Scotch Parents section for details.

In closing I ask all of the community to keep our Year 12 boys in their thoughts and prayers as they embark on their final examinations or workplace commitments. I know the boys appreciate the support of all of us at such a significant time of their Scotch journey.

I look forward to seeing everyone around the College or in the wider community.

Dr Alec O'Connell
Headmaster