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

From the Head of Junior School

Keep Rowing

In 1829, a student of Cambridge University wrote to his friend who attended Oxford University. In that letter he challenged him to a boat race on the River Thames. That letter would start a tradition that has lasted through 165 annual competitions, where men from Oxford and Cambridge Universities would gather on the Thames to pit themselves against the challenging 6.5 kilometre course to see which team would come out on top.

In 1927, the women joined the battle and since then we have seen them too compete to represent their universities in this grueling competition.

To date the scores are fairly even. Oxford University has won 80 men's races and Cambridge University has won 85. While on the women's side, Oxford has won 30 and Cambridge has won 44.

Potential rowers start training in September but the squads are not chosen until December. Each member of the final squad then undertakes a grueling programme of daily training from September to April, both in the gym and on the river. Part of the training also involves working with Army Commando Units. They also have to keep up with their studies at the same time.

So, what does this have to do with education?  On Tuesday morning at our start of term assembly, I spoke with the Junior School boys about the importance of trying hard and persevering. Using this example of the effort required to achieve a goal of not only competing for their school but to go out in the race and win. We used this to highlight the importance of perseverance. Each member of the team was dedicated to their own personal and individual competitive spirit and hard work but also needed to see the importance of working as a team. When a member of that team decided he was too fatigued or too sore to continue, he would undo all the work of the team and the team would lose.

My challenge for the boys was to see the importance of trying hard and persevering. To see that the extra effort they put into things is often rewarded. For many people, they believe that God is there to help them through the difficult challenges they may face. Others believe that through hard work and commitment to endeavour, they will enjoy success. What I have asked our boys to do is put in that extra effort and to see that through this effort, the challenges they face often result in success and a sense of accomplishment.

With great effort, brings greater rewards.

unknown-4.jpeg unknown-5.jpeg

Learning and action

At the end of last term, the Year 3 classes produced a series of separate actions to benefit both the Scotch College Junior School and the wider community. The actions they took were in response to the unit of inquiry about community groups that they have been engaged in. The actions included a rubbish collection around the playground, a toy swap, that saw 100% of the toys finding new homes amongst the boys in our school, the 'Have you switched off?' campaign encouraging students and staff to switch off equipment and power at the wall. All of the actions put forward by the Year 3 boys were outstanding and produced such positive feelings amongst our school and positive results for our community.

For the final action, families were asked to donate toys and blankets to the Shenton Dog Refuge.  Over the holidays, two of our Year 3 students: Cameron and Emerson, delivered the gifts to the Dog's Refuge.  Mrs McLeay's car boot was crammed packed. Two large bins were filled and given to the refuge as well. Their gesture and gifts were greatly appreciated and demonstrated the caring nature of our boys and the PYP in action.  Well done to everyone involved.