The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Headmaster Dr Alec O'Connell

Headmaster's Reflections

Headmaster
Dr Alec O'Connell

The Raven and Writing

"The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself." -  William Blake

'Writing is the Painting of the Voice' - Markamoment.com

Concerns about the gap between boys' and girls' achievement in writing are not new. At all key stages, the gap is wider than that in reading and has persisted over a number of years. At Scotch College we are well aware that we have to ensure that we look for ways to encourage our boys to develop both a love of writing and an understanding of why writing really matters. As Mr Stewart, our Head of Junior School says, 'Boys can be reluctant to write. That may be for a variety of reasons. For some the challenge of getting their ideas on to paper is a deterrent. Others may struggle with the genre or even just not know where to begin.'

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Donald H. Graves was a pioneer in literacy education who ultimately revolutionised the way that writing is taught in the United States and around the world.  The research study he began in the 1970s at the Atkins Academy, a rural New Hampshire elementary school, would transform writing instruction and launch a new kind of resource: professional books for educators.  His bestselling book, Writing: Teachers and Children at Work, challenged teachers to let children's needs and interests, not mandates, guide instruction.  For the first time, young children became engaged as writers—not just students learning to write but students encouraged to see writing as a voice to express their interests and understandings. As they were guided to make the decisions writers make in an authentic writing process, they raised our understanding of the capabilities of young writers.

Across the whole school we have a number of writing initiatives to develop a genuine love of writing, much more than just meeting a technical curriculum need.

In our Junior School we employ the VCOP (Vocabulary, Connective, Openers and Punctuation) programme. The programme gives boys a focus for the development of their writing. As we work through the entire VCOP process the boys address each of the four areas in a structure modelled approach. What we have seen is that the boys begin to write longer pieces of work as their confidence has grown and the quality of what they write has improved significantly as they know what to do to make their writing better.

In Middle School context and interest are major hooks to get the boys to enjoy writing. Topics which interest boys in their day to day lives can well be the motivator to get them to write. A good example of this occurred at a recent assembly where some boys shared their slam poetry. In fact, two pieces have actually been published in this edition of our Raven.

One of the other jewels in Scotch's crown for encouraging boys to write and publish is our publication The Raven. Our most recent copy can be accessed here.  As you read the work published in this electronic magazine you are likely to be encouraged by the quality of boys' writing at Scotch.  Their imagination, insights, alternative perspectives and enjoyment of word choices are very evident.

While it is important that boys have the necessary skills to write, it is also important that they see writing as a purposeful and pleasurable activity. The ability to write well is not reserved for authors, poets, journalists, and screenwriters alone. In fact, strong writing skills are crucial for countless careers and callings. They're even important for an email to a friend or a text message to a family member. Perhaps most critical of all – writing is another way in which we can develop to become better people.

So, in summary 'Why is Writing Important?'

  • Writing is critical to becoming a good reader.
  • Writing is an essential job skill.
  • Writing is the primary basis upon which one's work, learning, and intellect will be judged—in college, in the workplace and in the community.
  • Writing equips us with communication and thinking skills.
  • Writing expresses who we are as people.
  • Writing makes our thinking and learning visible and permanent.
  • Writing fosters our ability to explain and refine our ideas to others and ourselves.
  • Writing preserves our ideas and memories.
  • Writing allows us to understand our lives.
  • Writing allows us to entertain others.
  • Writing can bring comfort and meaningful insights to others.
  • Writing is a shared space for knowledge and growth.
  • Writing can be a site for social activism and reform.
  • Writing provides us with vicarious experiences and alternative perspectives.

Our boys have many opportunities to express themselves throughout their journey at Scotch. Let's hope writing continues to be a central medium for their expression. Who knows when we will read their work after graduating, but at least we know they can aim to become published authors while at Scotch through our own publication, The Raven . What better way to relax then to pen a story or two over the summer break. As part of encouraging some summer reflections, if any student (PreK – 12) or their parents are interested, the editorial committee of the Raven would love to receive submissions for when the new year starts on the topic 'Reflections of Summer'.

Finally, speaking about the value of regular writing, this is our last fortnightly edition of the Thistle for 2019. I trust you have found each edition informative and reflective.

On behalf of my family, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to each and every one of you for the level of support and engagement throughout the year. Our school and wider community is the beneficiary of your engagement, commitment and trust.

I wish all families a safe and joyous Christmas and an even happier 2020 to come.

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Revd Justine Wall - Chaplain

Chaplain

Revd Justine Wall
Chaplain

The First Season

In the liturgical calendar, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas are known as Advent. This is the first season of the Church year when we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ child. Churches are decorated in majestic purple or dark blue, symbolic of the kingship of Jesus. For Christians, this is a time of hope, faith, peace and joy.

In the Noongar calendar, December and January are known as Birak. The season of the young, when the rain eases and the summer heat takes hold. Fledgling birds start to venture from their nests, reptiles shed their old skins and tadpoles complete their transformation into frogs. Traditionally, this was the fire season and the Whadjuk people burned the country around Perth and the South West, triggering seed germination and plant regeneration. For indigenous people, this was a time of preparation and renewal.

Traditional and new symbols of this first season of the spiritual year are to be found in the PC Anderson Chapel at Scotch College. Across the back wall, Kamsani Bin Salleh's artwork, entitled Boodja Kaartdijin, shows the six seasons of the Noongar year, beginning with Birak. At the front of the chapel, Christ is represented in the trinity of stained-glass windows from Swanbourne Uniting Church. These visual images reflect the diverse spiritual heritage of our college and they are a sign of our ongoing commitment to reconciliation.

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In the lead up to this Christmas, let us prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and reach out to our  neighbours  of every faith and culture with goodwill, peace and love.

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Cara Fugill Director of Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning

Mrs Cara Fugill
Director of Teaching and Learning

UWA Business School

In a new and interesting initiative, all Year 10 Scotch boys were invited to spend the morning at the UWA School of Business. Since many Scotch boys choose to study commerce subjects in Year 11 and 12 before continuing this pathway in university, the Scotch Commerce Department reached out to UWA to form a partnership. The purpose of the morning was to provide our boys with insight into the many and varied opportunities a business graduate has access to post tertiary education. The UWA School of Business boasts flexible degree structures, high quality facilities that provide practical experience and progressive curriculum that meets the needs of an evolving industry as automation replaces repetitious work. 

The Dean of the Business School explained that although automation may be replacing repetitive jobs, this is actually a positive for their profession since there is still a high demand for commerce skilled employees, however the focus of their work is more interesting as they are expected to draw upon problem solving, communication, innovative thinking and entrepreneurial skills in order to be successful.  One major point made throughout the presentation was that understanding and using 'Big Data' was increasingly becoming a critical aspect of all business degrees and is assisting both micro and macro economists to make more informed decisions. Therefore, students need to enter university with strong mathematical knowledge and a capacity to read and interpret statistics. After the initial presentation the boys rotated through four lectures; business management and discrimination, economic theory, understanding trading and the impact of blockchains. 

With the new Commerce and Mathematics building close to completion, these Year 10 students will have the opportunity to be a part of their own business school. The classrooms have been carefully designed to emulate a business feel while incorporating state of the art technology so that students gain practical, real-world experience whilst learning commerce theory. Features such as flexible learning spaces, lecture theatres and student collaborative office spaces will inspire the boys to enhance their skills required to be successful in the business world.  Additionally, commerce has deliberately been combined with mathematics and is an equally impressive space inspired with geometrical shapes, circle geometry and number theory on walls and floors throughout. It's exciting to be able to provide facilities that will ultimately help transition the boys successfully from school to post-secondary pathways.

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Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing Mr James Hindle

Wellbeing

Mr James Hindle
Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing

Enjoying the Moment

When things get busy, as they do just before the end of the year, it is often a challenge to be present and to enjoy the moment. We worry about the work we have to get done, and the deadlines we have to meet. You often hear people saying things like, "I can't wait for this week to be over". We all know that feeling, but it is one I am very conscious of avoiding, because it means we can never make the most of our time and enjoy what we are doing and truly appreciate the company of the people we are with right now. 

Three events from last week highlight this for me – the Year 5 Musical, International Cuisine Day and the Valedictory Dinner.  The Year 5 Musical, "Let the Games Begin",  was an amazing production, particularly given how limited the preparation time was. I was fortunate to watch some of those rehearsals and it is such a great process for boys to engage in – the discipline required to  memorise  lines and songs and stage movements and choreography, and to do all of this as just one cog in a far larger and well-oiled machine. And throughout the process, the boys were forced to live in the moment – to pay attention to what was going on around them and to contribute when required. I am sure, if you had stopped and asked many of them what they were thinking about at that time, or during the actual performance, their focus would have been entirely on playing their part. This is the very definition of flow. And it  was something that was  shared by the audience. Everyone was engrossed in what we were seeing and hearing on stage and the central message – of the benefits of spending time together, face-to-face with others – summed up the entire experience for the boys perfectly. My thanks to  Ms  Samson for her Herculean efforts in pulling the whole show together. 

The second event was  International Cuisine Day . This was run by the Year 11's under the guidance of their House Heads and was one of the most successful we have seen. I was so impressed with the level of involvement and the positive attitude being displayed across all Houses. Again, I am sure if you asked many of the boys where their thoughts were at lunch time on Thursday, they would have been entirely focused on trying to do their bit and contribute to their House selling  all of  its food. Well done to Mr. Mark Gale, Mr. David Jones and the House Heads for their work in facilitating the occasion.

The final event from last week was the  Valedictory Dinner . It is a wonderful example of different parts of our community working together to celebrate the end of school for our leaving Year 12s. Scotch Parents oversee the occasion and their band of volunteers once again did a magnificent job and I thank them for their efforts. They were well supported by our Year 11s (the new Year 12s), who acted as waiters and I thank them for their willingness to serve others in their community. The evening provides an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the contribution of the Leaving class, and to express gratitude.  Staff, parents and students have different things for which they should be grateful and expressing gratitude such as this has been shown to add to our overall wellbeing.

Each of these events involved a great deal of work from a good many people. I am very grateful to have been able to witness and be a part of these and so many other moments this year. Appreciating the moment enables us to be more thankful for the past and more hopeful about the future. Acknowledging and enjoying what we have, rather than what we lack, is a very healthy outlook to have on life and it is one which fits so well with this time of year. I am so grateful for the myriad of minor interactions I have every day of my life with so many wonderful people.

Holidays are a good time to relax and enjoy the moment; to reminisce about what has transpired; and dream about what might be. They are also a good time to refine our routines and I encourage you to help your son to slow down, connect to nature and adopt some more healthy habits in readiness for 2020. He (and you!) might like to consider options such as:

  • Changing his exercise routine
  • Not looking at his phones for the first hour after rising 
  • Reading for half an hour before bed
  • Expressing gratitude more regularly
  • Doing something different
  • Doing the unexpected kind thing
  • Slowing down
  • Contemplating what you can cut out of life

I look forward to seeing you and your sons back at school in the New Year.

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Mr David Kyle Director of Service and Citizenship

Service and Citizenship

Mr David Kyle
Director of Service and Citizenship

Summer is here!

Although the recent heat makes it feel like summer started months ago in fact it only officially began yesterday and this means  tomorrow is Boardies Day!

Wear your board shorts with your school uniform. Please note, school shoes and socks must be worn and shirts must be tucked in. Surf caps are also encouraged.

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Boardies Day is designed to raise awareness of water safety, particularly as we head into the long summer break. Importantly, it is also in aid of our Surf Lifesaving community who do a wonderful job patrolling our beaches all over our great state. These days surf patrol includes drone, jet ski and helicopter patrols, as well as the traditional beach patrols and the wonderful traditions of surf clubs that are part of the Australian culture. Surf Lifesaving WA's motto is  Saving Lives & Building Communities  and is the perfect organisation for Scotch to support. All funds raised tomorrow go to our local surf club, Swanbourne-Nedlands Surf Lifesaving Club.    

When Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound, Round Square, The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, and the Gordonstoun school in Scotland first began his career he wrote extensively about the Australian surf lifesaving culture. It played some part in inspiring his belief in a life of Service and the implementation of the  Gordonstoun Coast Guard Service  and most of his speeches and papers made some reference to Australian surf lifesaving clubs. We can be proud of the place of volunteers in our national psyche, with the organisations such as the State Emergency Service, volunteer fire brigades and the Army Reserve all playing important roles both at home and abroad.     

The College already has a large number of boys who are members of surf clubs and in 2020, we are trialling a 10-week introduction to Surf Lifesaving program with North Cottesloe Surf Lifesaving Club and we hope that encourages even more of our community to join a surf club.  

We wish everyone a joyful and happy festive season and we hope you enjoy a safe and relaxing summer with plenty of time spent in the water.  

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All School Matters

Uniform Shop

Holiday Opening Times

The Uniform Shop opening hours for the general school community during the holidays are as follows:

Summer Holiday Opening Hours  (9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm)

  • Monday 20 January
  • Tuesday 21 January
  • Wednesday 22 January
  • Thursday 23 January
  • Friday 24 January
  • Saturday 25 January (9am – 12pm)
  • Tuesday 28 January (8am – 5pm)
  • Wednesday 29 January (7.30am – 9.30am)

Normal trading hours resume on Thursday 30 January 2020:

  • Tuesdays 8.00 am - 5.00 pm
  • Thursdays 7.30 am - 11.30 am
  • Fridays 7.30 am - 11.30 am

Secondhand Exchange

The Uniform Shop accepts all current items of uniform for resale. All items should be clean. Blazers must be dry cleaned and in good condition. The old-style blazer will be donated to charity. A frayed cuff, worn elbows, very old crests, rips & tears on blazers make them unacceptable for resale. Items will be purchased from you outright providing they are in good condition and the shop is not overstocked. Bathers, hats, socks & restricted sportswear are not accepted for resale, but will be donated to charity if handed in.

Year 12 Blazers

Year 12 blazers are available for sale. Because of the unknown nature of the overall size of Year 12 boys and to avoid disappointment, it is recommended that you come in for sizing ASAP.

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The Raven

The new edition of  The Raven is out. It’s a bumper issue, with some excellent writing from Years 5 and 7 in the Middle School and from our Senior School writers.  Congratulations to the Literature Class of 2019 and the following boys for entering their engaging and well-crafted writing:   

Preferred

Surname

Year

House

Leon

Hugo

Year 5

Robert

Jack

Mayo

Year 5

Bruce

Max

Thorpe

Year 7

Andrew

Billy

Mahaffy

Year 7

Andrew

Oscar

Ralph

Year 7

Andrew

David

Walton

Year 7

Andrew

Jack

Douglas

Year 7

Robert

Rory

Fleming

Year 7

James

Mitchell

Henwood

Year 7

Bruce

Hugo

Silbert

Year 9

Gordon

George

Yuan

Year 9

Ferguson

Lochlan

O'Brien

Year 9

Cameron

Emanuel

Radici

Year 9

Cameron

MacIntyre

Baddeley

Year 9

Alexander

Oliver

Brown

Year 9

Shearer

George

Sharrin

Year 9

Keys

James

Walker

Year 9 

Alexander

Cooper

Young

Year 11

Brisbane

Ashley

Edgar

Year 11

Brisbane

Cameron

Rea

Year 12

Anderson

Photography provided by: 

Preferred

Surname

Year 

House

Jarvis 

Banfield

Year 10

Keys

Jacob

Bennett

Year 10

St Andrews

Benjamin

Edgar

Year 10

Brisbane

Oscar

Heppingstone

Year 10

Stuart

Thomas

Lynch

Year 10

Brisbane

Cody 

Price

Year 10

Ferguson

Andreas

Shultz

Year 10

Cameron

William

Taylor

Year 10

Ferguson

Please enjoy reading this work by visiting the electronic version of The Raven via the Scotch homepage. Any boy who has creative writing that he would like to submit to The Raven  can send a copy to  jeannette.weeda@scotch.wa.edu.au      

Dr Jeannette Weeda
English Teacher

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Mr John Stewart Head of Junior School

Junior School

Mr John Stewart
Head of Junior School

Performance

"In terms of brain development, musical performance is every bit as important educationally as reading and writing." Oliver Sacks.

The research is long standing that shows the benefits of musical and dramatic performance for children. Not only does it help improve brain power, it helps develop social skills, it builds their confidence and inspires creativity. Musical performance teaches children patience, gives them another form of expression and gives them discipline through the practice and preparation it takes to learn that skill.

Developing the skills of acting and being part of a team brings many great benefits as well. Working through the dramatic pursuit of putting a play together builds confidence. It helps develop the concentration for children by encouraging them to listen to each other's ideas and thoughts, and to take turns. It helps develop language and communication skills, learning of new songs and playing of new games. It also encourages them to cooperate as well as increasing their emotional intelligence, helping them develop creativity and nurture friendships.

On Wednesday 27 November, we saw the culmination of all the benefits of the Music and Performing Arts programme come to fruition on the stage in the Dickinson Centre. The Year 5 boys presented their production of 'Let the Games Begin'. A musical with a very important message that playing and engaging with other people is far more important than screen time and video games. A message that shared with the audience how engaging in activities outside of the solitary ones available on our handheld devices has great benefits emotionally, physically and socially. Aside from the message the play was delivering to the audience, it is the benefit to the boys who performed it that I want to share with you.

Working on that performance is the final experience for the Year 5 boys after their PYP Exhibition. They had to learn their lines, choreography, learn about how to put a play together, master their costumes and makeup, embody their characters and stand in front of an audience and perform it to their peers in the school as well as family and friends. The performance was simply outstanding. The confidence they took to the stage as they acted and sang and delivered their lines flawlessly, the comic timing they demonstrated and the sheer enjoyment we could see on their faces as they performed for the assembled crowds was inspiring. Under the direction of Miss Phebe Samson, the boys brought a wonderful experience to the stage. They entertained us, made us think and this filled me with a great deal of pride.

These events do not simply happen. I want to thank the Year 5 teachers for their guidance of the boys through this process. I want to thank Mrs Jane Roche for her assistance with costumes and props, Mrs Tania Wheeler for her outstanding makeup skills and finally our director and choreographer Miss Phebe Samson. Under Miss Samson's leadership, once again, she has produced an outstanding performance and gave our boys a fantastic experience that they will not soon forget. Under her leadership the boys have developed the skills previously mentioned. They developed their teamwork, creativity, confidence, concentration, patience and their social skills. While the final production was outstanding, the benefits to the boys are almost immeasurable. For some this may be their only experience on the stage in this manner. For others, we will have lit a fire that they will take into the Middle School where they will take onboard the opportunity to perform with the other boys perhaps in the Year 6 play or Year 7 and 8 play or in the Senior School musical.

To those who joined us on the day, I am sure you enjoyed the performance. To the boys who presented it, well done! Our boys were stars on that day. They made us all very proud.

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From the Deputy Head of Junior School

I often refer to leadership as 'influence' when talking to Junior School boys. Historically leaders have influenced people in both positive and negative ways. Each of us has opinions about the ways in which leaders have used their position for the benefit or detriment of mankind. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Hitler, Trump – the discussion about these leaders and their influence is many and varied.

One of the most wonderful things in working with the leadership of students is watching influence take shape. The Year 5 boys often aren't aware of the influence they have on the younger Junior School students. Our Senior School boys also forget what a significant contribution and influence they have on the Junior School boys.

This year alone, we have seen the older boys interact with us through the Year 2 and Year 12 events and the Year 5 and Year 12 events. The Pipe Band have come down to share and influence, we've had community projects, NAIDOC Week, speakers at assemblies, art projects and ongoing buddy programmes are a few influencing events we've shared in the Junior School. The level of commitment from the older boys is seen as such a powerful connection and opportunity for the sub-schools to intermingle.

When Harry Gilchrist spoke at March Out, he mentioned the sub-schools and acknowledged the work performed, so I want to take this opportunity to reply. Harry came to many Junior School events and often addressed the boys and our community. I loved that he included the Junior School and he was a strong advocate of ensuring a connection as well as being a wonderful ambassador for the whole school.

To all of the Middle School and Senior School boys who came down to the Junior School throughout the year, we thank you for your time and camaraderie. Your company and visits to the Junior School are very much appreciated and the boys absolutely love it.

Miss Penny Hooper
Deputy Head of Junior School

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Pre-Primary News

'How we express ourselves', what an awesome inquiry to finish the school year. This inquiry began through the boys reflecting on ways in which they are creative. They discovered that when they are being creative their ideas come from their imagination and experiences. The boys found they are never short of ideas and together with their amazing imaginations they are able to bring awesome ideas to life. Some of the boy's favourite creative spaces at school are the Maker Space, Performance Space, Writing Table, Construction Space and the Pirate Ship. In each space, in order to be creative, different skills are required; fine motor, gross motor, communication and social skills. The boys identified skills they were clever at and the skills they wanted to improve, they then worked with their friends and teachers to practice and develop these skills. The boys were excited to discover that with an imagination and a positive mindset the possibilities for creativity are endless. We were very lucky to work with Daniel from the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre who tapped into the boy's imagination and guided their creation of hand puppets made from recycled materials. To finish our wonderfully creative year, we are looking forward to our first assembly performance.

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Mrs Racquel Cumming
Pre-Primary Teacher

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Performing Arts

On Wednesday 27 November, the Year 5 boys performed a matinee and an evening show of their musical 'Let The Games Begin'. It followed the story of three technology obsessed youngsters who visit their grandfather, but he becomes increasingly frustrated with their disdain for anything other than their phones and the internet. He reveals a pair of very unusual seven-sided dice that he explains were given to him in the Far East by a wise old mystic. As lights flash, thunder claps and eerie, strange noises were heard, the petrified trio were transported to the strange land of Lady Fortune where they became pawns in her games. Each of them competed against the devious, devilish diva in a game of their choice to win their freedom and avoid being a game piece in Fortune's land forever!

The musical linked with the boys' Exhibition unit in which the central idea was 'As technology advances, so does its impact', as well acting as the key driver for their final Unit of Inquiry, How We Express Ourselves, in which the central idea is 'Performing Arts can engage an audience and communicate ideas and emotions'. In tying the two themes together, the boys discovered that whilst technology is an incredible tool, life is all about balance and sometimes it is more fun to ditch the surreal for the real deal.

View all the photos here. 

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First in Lego League

On Saturday 30 November, six boys embarked on a mission to qualify for the nationals of the First Lego League competition against 25 other team in our region. The First Lego League is a global competition with upwards of 312,000 students competing across 100+ countries. Needless to say, it is a big deal!

Within the competition, you have to complete in four components, each worth 25% to obtain an overall grade. They are:

  • to research an innovation project and present this as a skit (5 minutes) to the judges
  • complete a core values activity
  • design, build and code a robot to complete missions
  • compete on the game table to score points

The boys created an idea to have a hire-to-ride bike system linked to the student's Flexischool account and using fingerprint technology to release the bike and automatically charge the user (at a pro-rata rate). The team presented their skit as a Shark Tank idea and yes, there was a boy in a dress!

They completed the core values activity, in which they firstly figured out where Scotch was and identify the top three bird species within our locality. Needless to say, there was a bit of laughter from the boys. The task was designed to see how the boys worked together as a team. We can say that the boys did an outstanding job.

Next, the boys were critiqued on the robot design and coding. All of the boys had the code printed and explained; therefore, the boys demonstrated an excellent knowledge of their code. Their robot design was compact and functional, demonstrating durability with all attachments and limited breakdowns.

Finally, the most exciting component of the day. Running our bot on the game board in front of family, friends and other schools. We were first on the board and set a high score of 315 points, which to our surprise kept us in 1st position at the end of round one. In our second run, with 2 seconds remaining, we nailed our final mission to set a high score of 335 and improve our position at the top of the leaderboard. In our last run, we had a slip up but some excellent decision making from our boys maintained a score of 275, which demonstrated their ability to cooperate under stress! The boys finished in 1st position for this component.

Overall, we finished first in Robot Performance in the robot game itself with our top score of 335 and we also finished first in Gracious Professionalism, demonstrating their ability to be gracious in all facets of the game.

In the end, we came with a mission to qualify for the nationals. We are happy to announce that we have progressed to the nationals at Curtin University on Saturday 14 December.

A big well done to Brenn Armstrong, Jack Ashby, Zachary Blakey, Leon Hugo, Abe Prendiville and Luca Regli.

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Mr Richard Ledger Head of Middle School

Middle School

Mr Richard Ledger
Head of Middle School

From the Head of Middle School

The excitement of next year was thick in the air today as we ran Orientation Day for all of our new 2020 Year 6 & 7 students and parents.  Adding to the air of anticipation were the current Year 8 boys who spent the day in Senior School in their new Houses and working their way around the campus and coming to grips with their new expectations.  The lucky Year 7's, next year's Year 8's, spent the day with their Year 8 teachers at Adventure World.

Before we completely tune in on next year the final seven days of this year are critical, teaching and learning continues to the end.  Three events to be aware of:

  • On Friday we have our final Middle School Assembly, our IB Learner Profile Awards Assembly, in the Dickinson Centre.  At this Assembly we recognise the importance of the IB attributes highlighting boys in each year level who have embraced or exemplified these characteristics.  We also announce our Year 6, 7, and 8 Citizenship Award – the Mo Maslin Citizenship Award.  This assembly will commence at the earlier time 11:30am.
  • Scotch Parents Year 8 Breakfast: This breakfast event hosted by the Scotch Parents is for Year 8 students and parents.  It is a last chance for us to come together as a cohort of students and parents in an informal manner before the House structures and systems of Senior School organise us for the remaining four years.  Breakfast runs from 7:30am - 8:30am in the Middle School Quad. Bookings can be made via the website and "Book a Scotch Event".
  • Middle School Speech Night: This is a Year 8 event only, unless a Year 6 or 7 boy is a performer in a musical item.  All family members are welcome to attend.  The evening runs from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

Staff Farewells

I take this final opportunity to farewell and thank two departing Middle School staff in Mr Scott Siekierka and Mr Adrian Hicks.  Mr Siekierka has been one of our Year 8 Maths and Science teachers and also the Head of the Year 7/8 Boarding House.  It has been a significant and complex combination of roles that Mr Siekierka has devoted a huge amount of time and energy to.  Mr Siekierka moves to take up an exciting position that has Science, the development of an AFL Academy and oversight of the Year 9 Glengarry Outward Bound experience at Scots College in Sydney.  Mr Hicks began life at Scotch as a Middle School Music teacher but quickly became a Year 6-12 Music Teacher such is his range of instruments and musical flexibility.  Mr Hicks moves to take up a position with the Education Department's School of Instrumental Music.  On behalf of the boys who have come into the sphere of these two very dedicated teachers we wish them all the best in the exciting times to come in their new roles.

Semester 2 Reports

Semester 2 Reports will be made available in SEQTA Engage with email notification sent to you on Wednesday 11 December.

My final note is a thank you to the Scotch Parents, in particular the Middle School Parent Representatives.  Throughout the year we have boys and families, and this includes staff, that are grateful for the recognition, the compassion and understanding that a support network such as the Scotch Parents offers.  It is a hard service to see but it exists and kicks in when members of our community are in need.  Thank you for the meals, the emails, the additional hands that arrive so readily when the call goes out.  For a more tangible and visible example of the Scotch Parents' support, are the new basketball precinct and cricket areas in Middle School which have been a huge hit with the boys; play spaces paid for by the Scotch Parents. Thank you for your contribution to our wellbeing and enjoyment.

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I wish you all a Merry Christmas and an enjoyable summer break.

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French Sticker Design Competition

Boys studying French in Middle School participate each year in the Teachers of French Association (TOFA) WA Sticker Design Competition.  Since the College has been involved in this competition we have only had one student who won with their design.  I am pleased to announce that this year we have had two students whose designs have been selected as winners!

Félicitations to Ronan Leishman (7.5) and to Jordan Krieser (7.3) who both created humorous, clear and well-thought out stickers and were selected as winning designs.  Ronan created the "Tour Eiffel" sticker depicting little Eiffel Towers going on a guided tour (pun on the word "tour" which means "tower").  Jordan designed a very cool French bulldog "dabbing". There were hundreds of applicants from the entire state and the winning stickers needed to be cleverly designed, funny and with perfectly written French.

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These stickers are now available for purchase from the TOFA website and many West Australian students will most likely see the stickers on their work within the next couple of years.

Bravo to all our students who submitted their designs for the competition.  I am looking forward to next year's designs already!

Mdm Emilie Perrot
Middle School French Teacher

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Student Achievements

Congratulations to Angus King (7.1) who represented Western Australia in the State 12’s Cricket team that travelled to play in the National Championships last week in Adelaide.

UNSW Digital Technologies Competition

Year 6

Billy Chambers

Credit

Year 6

Alexander Fine

Distinction

Year 6

Xavier Vanden Driesen

Distinction

Year 7

Thomas Duffield

Credit

Year 7

Oscar Ralph

Distinction

Year 7

Alastair Walker

Distinction

Year 7

James Winch

Distinction

Year 8

James Pocock

High Distinction

UNSW English Competition

Year 6

William Arundel

Credit

Year 6

Alex Bunning

Credit

Year 6

Lachlan Cairns

Credit

Year 6

Alexander Fine

Credit

Year 6

Xavier Vanden Driesen

Credit

Year 7

Jack Douglas

Distinction

Year 7

James Winch

Distinction

Year 8

Alasdair Orr

Credit

UNSW Science Competition

Year 6

Alexander Fine

Distinction

Year 6

Xavier Vanden Driesen

High Distinction

Year 7

Thomas Duffield

Distinction

Year 7

James Tan

Credit

Year 7

James Winch

Credit

Year 8

Tom Gray

Credit

Year 8

Jason Pocock

Credit

Year 8

Sam Romero

Credit

UNSW Spelling Competition

Year 6

William Arundel

Credit

Year 6

Dylan Burke

High Distinction

Year 6

Alexander Fine

Credit

Year 6

Oliver Knuckey

Credit

Year 7

James Hollier

Credit

Year 7

Heydar Ismayilov

Distinction

Year 7

Santiago James

Credit

Year 7

Henry Ledger

Credit

Year 7

James Winch

High Distinction

  UNSW Writing Competition

Year 6

Dylan Burke

Credit

Year 6

Alexander Fine

Credit

Year 7

Santiago James

Distinction

Year 7

Alastair Walker

Credit

Year 7

James Winch

Credit

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Important Dates in Middle School Spring Term

Tuesday 3 December

Boardies Day

Year 8.5 Snorkelling Programme

Wednesday 4 December

Year 8.6 Snorkelling Programme

Thursday 5 December

Year 8.7 Snorkelling Programme

Friday 6 December

IB Learner Profile Awards Final Assembly, 11.30am DC

Year 7 Parent Function, 7.00pm Claremont Football Club

Tuesday 10 December

Year 8 Scotch Parents' Breakfast

MS Speech Night, 6.30pm DC (all Year 8 students required to attend)

Spring Term Concludes

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Mr Peter Burt - Head of Senior School

Senior School

Mr Peter Burt
Head of Senior School

From the Head of Senior School

As we approach the end of Spring Term and the calendar year and summer is fast approaching, it is a good time to reflect on 2019 and look forward to the break ahead.

For our leaving Year 12 cohort, who had a fantastic send off at the Valedictory Dinner on Friday night, life beyond Scotch is now a reality and they are looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead - after a relaxing break over Christmas of course. Some have chosen further study, some are starting in the workforce, while others are looking at opportunities to travel. All leave the school as Old Scotch Collegians and join around 15,000 other members of this group. This community is strong and no matter where our Class of 2019 find themselves, I encourage them to maintain their ties with their classmates and the OSC. The memories they celebrate, laugh about, debate and occasionally embellish will be shared time and again in the years ahead, and this was evident on Friday night at the Valedictory Dinner. The connections and sense of belonging were clear and we look forward to many more celebrations in the years to come.

For our current students, now is a great opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and to take stock. We are one term into the academic year and, without doubt, there will have been triumphs and challenges in the classroom, pastorally and in the co-curricular domain. Each of us now has the opportunity to reflect on how we approached these challenges and how we acknowledged the triumphs. The peaks and troughs are often there, but are not as far apart in distance or time as we sometimes imagine. It is important to keep things in perspective, understand how we all operate when we are at our best and try to work towards that. So I encourage all of our students to take the opportunity to relax and spend time doing the things they enjoy over this break. Whatever your haven is, it is important to spend time there. This may be in a physical sense or it may be finding the time to take a mental break and clear your mind. This summer holiday provides a great opportunity to do this and then to reset in preparation for the start of next year.

I would also like to thank those staff who our travelling with students on tours during the break. These include the Service Tour to India and the Basketball Tour to the USA. We wish the groups well and know the experiences ahead will be ones they will cherish. To our students, staff and families, I wish you and your loved ones all the best for a restful and rewarding Christmas break and look forward to seeing you all in 2020.

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Senior School Important Dates – Spring Term

Date

Event

Location

Time

Week 8B

 

 

 

Monday 2 December

Transition Day

Senior School

8.25am – 3.00pm

 

Year 11 Marine and Maritime (ATAR) RST Excursion

Boat Shed

8.25am – 3.25pm

Tuesday 3 December

Boardies Day

 

 

Wednesday 4 December

Brain Reset Wellbeing Session

Room 13.301

3.30pm – 4.45pm

Friday 6 December

Senior School Marching and Assembly

Dickinson Centre

8.30am – 9.45am

 

India Service Tour departs

 

22 December final day

Saturday 7 December

Disabled Surfing

Leighton Beach

9.00am – 2.00pm

Week 9A

     

Monday 9 December

Year 12 Anderson House Breakfast 

Typika Café

7.15am – 8.15am

 

Year 11 Marine and Maritime (ATAR) RST Excursion

Boat Shed

8.25am – 3.25pm

 

Cameron House Fundraiser

Memorial Oval

4.15pm – 6.00pm

Tuesday 10 December

Year 11 Anderson House Breakfast 

Typika Café

7.15am – 8.15am

 

FOSM Meeting

Senior School Music Department

7.00pm – 8.30pm

Wednesday 11 December

Year 10 Anderson House Breakfast 

Typika Café

7.15am – 8.15am

 

Spring Term ends for boys in Senior School

 

12.55pm

 

Senior School Speech Night and Lights Out

Dickinson Centre and Collegians' House Lawn

Please be seated by 6.15am for a 6.30pm start

Thursday 12 December

Rowing Camp 

Boat Shed

14 December final day

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Tours

The following tours departing in 2020 still have places available:

Duke of Edinburgh’s Adventurous Journey Abrolhos Islands Expedition

17 – 23 April 2020

Scotch College and St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls are pleased to offer an opportunity for our Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award participants to visit the amazing Abrolhos Islands on an expedition that will focus mainly on the Skills and Adventurous Journey. SCUBA experience is not required – all students will complete the PADI Open Water Dive Course or an Advanced Diver qualification. 

Year 9 Scotch College and PLC Canberra Tour

3 – 11 July 2020

The educational component of this tour supports the Civics and Citizenship unit of inquiry covered in the Year 9 Humanities course. It aims to include guided visits to New and Old Parliament House, National Electoral Education Centre, National Museum, War Memorial, Australian Institute of Sport, CSIRO and other important national centres.

The recreational component will be the opportunity to ski or snowboard at Blue Cow, NSW, staying at Jindabyne. While at Blue Cow, all students receive daily lessons based on skill level.

Please note, this is an optional tour and is not a requirement of the Year 9 Humanities Course.

French Language Tour

5 – 19 December 2020

This tour is open to current Year 10 and 11 students of French. The students will spend seven nights in Nice where they will participate in five half-day intensive language lessons and enjoy sightseeing tours along the Cote d’Azur, followed by five nights in Paris, exploring the art, food, history and culture of France. The tour aims to deepen inter-cultural understanding and greatly improve language fluency.

If you would like to learn more about any of the above tours, please contact Mrs Joanne Hallis via email at Tours@scotch.wa.edu.au  or phone on 9383 6956.

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Boys' Achievements

Please click here to view the Spring Term Boys' Achievements.

Please click here to view the Year 9 Academic Certificates of Excellence.

Please click here to view the Year 10 Academic Certificates of Excellence.

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ATAR Advice Day

WACE Examination Results

A reminder to 2019 Leavers who sat the WACE examinations that results will be available on-line at www.tisc.edu.au on Thursday 19 December 2019. Students can log-on using their student number and password created when they made their application through TISC in August/September. There is a forgotten password function if students have forgotten their log-on details.

Notre Dame University

Thursday 19 December 8:30am-2.00pm
Future unknown? If you're not sure of your next steps, chat to advisors and students at Notre Dame about your uni options. General pathway students are also invited to come along and find out more about studying at Notre Dame. You can even apply on the day! Register here

It's not too late to apply to start uni in 2020!
A friendly reminder that for Semester 1, 2020 Notre Dame will consider applicants who have completed the following in Year 12:

  • A Cert IV and ATAR English with a 50% or higher scaled score (or equivalent), for admission to degrees in the  School of Arts & Sciences  and  School of Business
  • An approved university enabling program, for admission to degrees that have a minimum ATAR requirement of 70.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Notre Dame to discuss the best admission pathway for them.

University of Western Australia

Future Students (Undergraduate)

If you have already submitted an application call 131 892 and select option 3 to speak to Admissions.

Extended opening hours

The Future Students Centre will be ready to answer all your questions over the holiday break.

  • Thursday 19 December: 8.30am - 5.00pm
  • Friday 20 December: 8.30am - 5.00pm
  • Monday 23 December: 8.30am - 6.00pm
  • Tuesday 24 December: 9.00am - 4.00pm
  • Monday 30 December: 9.00am - 4.00pm
  • Tuesday 31 December: 9.00am - 4.00pm
  • Friday 3 January: 9.00am - 4.00pm

From Monday 6 January 2020 normal opening hours will apply from 8.30am - 5.00pm.

Curtin University

TISC ATAR Help information sessions

Thursday 19 December – Friday 20 December 2019

Curtin University, Kent St - Bentley WA

Sessions are free and include a 30-minute presentation followed by 30 minutes for questions and answers.

Business and Law

19 and 20 December: 11.15am to 12.15pm
Venue: Building 104, room 101
Get directions

Health Sciences

19 - 20 December: 11.15am - 12.15pm
Venue: Building 103, room 110 (Think Space)
Get directions

Humanities

19 - 20 December: 10.15am to 11.15am
Venue: Building 104, room 101
Get directions

Science and Engineering

19 - 20 December: 10.15am to 11.15am
Venue: Building 103, room 110 (Think Space)
Get directions

Not sure which study area or course to pursue? Attend a session below if you need help meeting our admission criteria.

If you have a low English ATAR

Learn how you can demonstrate your English language proficiency for certain Curtin courses.

19 and 20 December: 9am to 10.15am
Venue: Building 103, room 110 (Think Space)
Get directions

If you have a low ATAR

Learn about your pathway options such as the UniReady Enabling Program, Portfolio entry or a Curtin College diploma.

19 and 20 December: 10.15am to 11.15am
Venue: Building 103, room 110 (Think Space)

TAFE Applications are open!

Applications are open for Semester 1, 2020 so here is some useful information to help in guiding students on where to go and what to do to get enrolled for next year.

How to apply

For full-time study , students need to visit  TAFE Admissions and complete an online application. Students will then be required to send in their relevant documentation. They will then receive a Letter of Offer which will invite them to come on campus and enrol (in January 2020). 

UNSW | Physics Online Course

Are you interested in studying physics at University? Start it whilst you are still at school or use it to reinforce your school studies.

UNSW provides a free, fully online short course covering the basics of physics. From motion to energy, friction to gravity, learn everything you need to know to kickstart your science education.

You can sign up for the course at any time and complete it at your own pace.

Find out more and enrol here

Years 9 - 10 The Conco Phillips Science Experience

This is a great opportunity for Year 9/10 students to explore the vast array of science courses and experiences at university, through 4 days of engaging, interactive workshops, lectures and challenges under the guidance of scientists. Students will be able to broaden their experience across fields such as Physics, Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Engineering, IT, Mathematics, Forensics, Ecology, Marine Biology and Vet.  
To secure a place and for further information go to: https://www.scienceexperience.com.au/

16 - 19 December 2019 hosted by Murdoch University.

C.A.S Hawker Memorial Scholarship

The C.A.S Hawker Memorial Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate students in Australia.
Applications open soon, so keep an eye out here for more .

Unwanted Textbooks

Time to de-clutter! If you have any unwanted textbooks that you haven't already thrown out and would like to recycle them please drop them off to the Senior School reception and a good home will be found for them.

Academic Task Force 2020

Head Start Programme January 2020 for Years 7 - 12, please click here for further information.

Master Mind Australia

January 2020 Jump-Start Programmes - For all students entering Year 7 – 12 in 2020.

NAPLAN -- Study Skills – Essay Writing – Subject Revision & Preparation

The January Preparation Program aims to prepare students for Term 1 (2020) before the academic year begins. The classes will revise those important components from the 2019 syllabus that are vital for success in the new year. The program will also preview what students can expect in their courses in 2020.

Courses will be conducted at:

Hale School - Thursday 16th to Tuesday 21st January 2020                        

Christ Church Grammar School - Sunday 19th to Friday 24th January 2020 

For further information please contact Dr. Robert Hallam at Master Mind Australia (08) 9486 1377 www.mastermindaustralia.com.au

Tips for Finding Summer Jobs

See our three top tips here

Mr Peter Frusher
Careers Advisor

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Support Groups

Scotch Parents

The 2019 Valedictory Dinner on Friday night was an amazing and memorable evening.  I had the opportunity on the night to thank the parents and families of our 2019 Leavers for their enormous contribution throughout their years at Scotch to our school. For many of you this is your last son to graduate from Scotch College and you will be greatly missed by our parent community.

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A HUGE thank you to the following helpers that worked tirelessly to pull a very successful Valedictory Dinner 2019 together…

  • The new Year 12 boys who gave up their Friday night to be part of the celebrations and were fantastic waiters and ambassadors for Scotch
  • To Claire, Chef Scott and the entire Scotch Catering team for preparing and delivering over 556 meals
  • To the new cohort of Year 12 parents for their help in the lead-up, set-up and on the night – you worked tirelessly to ensure everything ran smoothly
  • To Sonia Reed, Kim Gray and their team of fabulous 'flower arrangers' – the flowers were stunning!
  • And to the exceptional Scotch team of Matt, Mel, Kate and Heidi – you made it all easy and your help and support was very much appreciated.

At the recent AGM of Scotch Parents we elected a new committee for 2020 headed by Kate Reynolds (President) and Monika Narula (Vice President).  Both Kate and Monika have been heavily involved with Scotch for a number of years and I thank them for taking on these roles and wish them well for 2020.

Many thanks to all of our Class and Year Reps for 2019 – you have pulled together many great activities and social events which have been very well attended.

Thank you once again for your support of Scotch Parents, I have enjoyed my time as President and meeting so many energetic parents.  It has been a pleasure working with you and I think we can be proud of the fantastic events we've organised and the beneficial projects we've been able to support in 2019.

Happy holidays!

Sara Hector
President
Scotch Parents

Upcoming Events organised and supported by Scotch Parents:

  • Friday 6 December from 7pm:Year 7 Parents End of Year Drinks at the Tiger Bar, Claremont Football Club from 7pm – bookings can be  made here.
  • Tuesday 10 December: Year 8 Parents & Boys Breakfast, Middle School Quadrangle
  • Tuesday 28 January 2020: Welcome BBQ

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Michael Silbert President of the OSC

OSC

Mr Michael Silbert
President of the OSC

Old Scotch Collegians

As you will read in this edition of Thistle, Ryan Steenkamp, the new Head of Swimming at Scotch College, is starting an external swimming programme using the Scotch pool and discounts will be offered to alumni. For more details and to take advantage of a free trial, please contact Ryan at info@hookedswim.com.au.

As the year draws to a close, I want to take this opportunity to wish all Old Scotch Collegians a very happy and safe Christmas. 2019 has been a fantastic year for us, and 2020 looks like it will be another great year, filled with OSC events, programmes and initiatives. Keep an eye on the Upcoming Events page as dates are confirmed.

For more details about any of our upcoming events, please contact the OSC office at cass.macgowan@scotch.wa.edu.au or (08) 9383 6849.

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Community Notices

Hooked Swim Squads

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