4 February 2019

Last Friday our whole school community commemorated a very special day in the life of our service men and women. Congratulations to everyone who made this such a moving and fitting ceremony.

Remembrance Day 2018 marks the centenary of the armistice that ended The Great War in 1918. It was exactly 100 years ago in November, the 11th month and at the 11th hour on the 11th day that World War I ended.  Germany signed an armistice, an agreement that peace would prevail and that fighting would cease. This had been prepared by Britain and France.

At the time this was seen as the first step towards worldwide peace and the end to all world wars. It was a time of hope, a time of celebration but also a time to remember the sacrifices others have made to allow us to be in the position we are in today.

Acknowledging sacrifice is a concept that we can carry with us throughout all facets of life, whether that be through thanking your parents for getting up at 4.00am three times a week to take you to rowing training so that you can improve, or remembering all the hours your teachers put in to help you improve when you receive outstanding exam results. No matter who you are, your success and your happiness are usually never all of your own doing. Everyone gets help, everyone needs support and without others in our lives we would not achieve anywhere near our potential. We often get so caught up in our destination, that we actually forget how we got there, we forget everything that had to line up for us to be in our current position.

We often speak about how silence and contemplation are something we need to find more time for in our day to day lives. It is within silence that we can find true solitude and reflection. Many of our classes are now engaging in strategies to find time to reflect and be at peace through yoga and mindfulness. Our Director of Wellbeing, in conjunction with each of the sub schools, is continuing to work on strategies to help our boys focus on what really matters, their health and wellness.

At this time of reflecting on Remembrance Day, I recommend you pay a visit to our Scotch Heritage Centre and the respective displays in the renovated Memorial Hall which pays respect to past Scotch College students and staff who served both in the First and Second World Wars. It is a great addition to our College and demonstrates our acknowledgment of sacrifice from those who graced our very halls and fields at Scotch College.

Last Wednesday I had the honour of officially opening the PYP Exhibition. This night was the culmination of a term of concentration and focus by our Year 5 boys. These projects are still on display in the College Gallery so I urge you to call past and marvel at what these young boys have produced. The projects represent reflection, action and discernment. Well done to our Year 5 teachers and many others who acted as student mentors throughout the project.

As of last Friday, a majority of our Year 12s had completed their final exams. Some are still sitting papers so we wish them well as they near the end of their formal schooling. I caught up with a lot of the boys before and after their exams and the general feeling is one of satisfaction and a sense that the exams were relatively fair.

As part of our whole school surveys this year the OSC have been asked about their perceptions of the College and about being Old Scotch Collegians. We ask all OSC to look for the email communication and participate as fully as possible as the results will allow us to consider the responses as we review our strategic plans.

The new building project is making rapid progress. May I remind all parents that no one should be dropping their son off outside the old drop off zone near the Pipe Band room at the circle on Wright Avenue. This is simply too dangerous and unnecessary. Actually, in the pursuit of wellness you should try and increase your son's walk to class and see what benefit and enjoyment he could gain.

Entry to and from the building site by trucks is restricted and the site is closed to traffic movement between 8.00am and 9.00am. This allows the boys to arrive at school and get to their respective campus without the movement of heavy articulated trucks. Can I also ask that all parents reinforce that the underpass has been constructed for the safe movement of all students across Shenton Road. Students should walk up from Stirling Road, or down from Australind Street to access the underpass.

Thanks for your ongoing attention and support with our new pedestrian movement plans.

Have a great fortnight.

Dr Alec J O'Connell
Headmaster