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

There is a very common saying and misconception that 'The grass is always greener on the other side'. Unfortunately, due to our humanness, this seems to be prevalent in many workplace and personal conversations. Of course this somewhat negative perception can easily be challenged through a saying that was recently pointed out to me by one of our own staff, that is, 'The grass is the greenest where you water it'. In other words we should try and look for what is directly in front of us every day, take charge of what we can do, and work on making our own reality the best it can possibly be. The education sector and schools in particular, spend a lot of time assuming there is some magic bullet being used elsewhere to achieve a Utopian educational outcome.

As Headmaster, the most beneficial aspect of being away on school programmes such as the current Stanford Tour and visiting other institutions, is that it allows me to critically review and consider what we do at Scotch within a wider context. Of course the other major issue within education is the fear of change from what we have done year in and year out. This is particularly relevant for those who have a very limited and singular experience base. In the last couple of days we have seen a regular debate about the role of the ATAR appear in the national press. For anyone interested you can find a copy here.

With reference to change, Dr Spencer Johnson, in his short but succinct book 'Who Moved My Cheese?', highlighted the multiple challenges of facing change. His characterisation of people in the workforce via fictional characters highlight four types of people:

  1. The person who can sniff out change well before it is upon them and others
  2. The person who rapidly engages in change and gets on with trying to address the new reality
  3. The person who fears change and that it may lead to something much worse
  4. The person who methodically adapts to the change because in time they can see it brings with it improvement and growth.

In an ever changing and evolving world, our College must use the next 18 month strategic planning period for the college to investigate what the next phase of our College should or should not include. We need to do so through questioning the Why? the What? and the How? if we are to make any changes moving forward. I look forward to engaging the community where appropriate in this most important process. We need to be cognisant that, in the word of the title of Marshall Goldsmith's book, 'What Got You Here, Won't Get You There'.

Congratulations to all of our PSA teams on a hard fought winter season. While we did not come out with any trophy, the consistency of performances across all teams is to be commended. Thanks to all of the staff and coaches for their support and commitment. A special thanks must go to our Head of Sport, Mr Foster, for his continued passion and relentless work to ensure we not only get to participate, but we do so with a strong code of ethics and values.

This week is Book Week in Junior School, so no doubt our campus will abound with the many and varied literature characters loved by all students.

Have a great fortnight.