The College weekly news highlights all activities throughout the College each week. A reminder of weekly news is distributed to the College community via email each Friday but can be viewed online at any time.

Across Campus

Principal’s Message

How sleep affects learning

One thing I emphasise when I speak to students about things they can do help their learning is the importance of sleep. I tell students that if you’ve tried your best to make sense of a new concept or solve a problem and you can’t make any headway, ‘sleep on it’. When you wake up the answer will probably be right there in front of you and appear obvious.

Recently I read an article written by Judah Pollack and Olivia Fox Cabane that provided a scientific reason for just why the above occurs. As it turns out, when you are using your brain intensely, thinking on a topic or problem, you create and strengthen neural connections. However, the connections that are built up during the day can be inefficient and become like an overgrown hedge, tangled and impassable. When we sleep the least used connections are cut back, leaving only those that have been used most and ridding the brain of the waste. This, in effect, means that we can think more clearly and hence understand concepts and solve problems that seemed impossible before we had a nap.

The authors liken ‘thinking with a sleep deprived brain akin to hacking your way through a dense jungle with a machete. It is overgrown, slow-going, exhausting’. This is also why practice is so important. The more we use the specific neural pathways that a particular activity requires, the stronger they become and the more effortlessly we can perform that task.

The College’s focus on Growth Mindset and a positive attitude to learning also has its foundations in this science of the brain. The more we tell ourselves that we can learn, that we will persist and try a different approach to solve a problem or that we are capable of learning a new skill, the more those ‘positive’ neural connections are strengthened. The when we sleep, those connections that are created by negative thought processes are cut back to make way for those related to positive thoughts to grow.

Finally, to our TCE students who are embarking on their mid-year exams, ensure that you adhere to your study program and when your brain is ‘full’, nothing is making sense and it is late at night, go to bed and have a good night’s sleep’; the answers will be there in the morning.

Andy Müller

Vale – Dr Owen Ingles

Owen Graeme Ingles (centre), as a member of the Scotch College Rowing Firsts Winners, 1941.

On 17 June, past scholar and supporter of the College, Dr Owen Graeme Ingles, passed away.

Born on 22 December 1923, Dr Ingles was a student at Scotch College from 1932 to 1941. He performed strongly in his studies and in 1937 when in Form V A (Lower) he was first in his Form in English, Arithmetic and Chemistry, second in form in Latin, French, Algebra and Geometry. In his final year at Scotch College, he achieved four credits and four higher passes in his Leaving examination and was awarded Dux of the College.

Other highlights of his years at Scotch College include being named a Prefect, holding the position of Stroke of Crew and being awarded a Senior City Bursary and General Scholarship.

Dr Ingles went on to the University of Tasmania and then graduated from the University of New South Wales. He was a qualified Chemist and loved languages studying French, German and Japanese. His combined knowledge of the sciences and languages enabled him to publish and/or translate technical papers in all three languages. He was also author and/or co-author of over 150 books and papers in journals worldwide between 1947 and 2002.

Dr Ingles worked as a University lecturer, Research Officer for the Broken Hill Associated Smelters, Research for the CSIRO and was Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Materials at University NSW before returning to Tasmania where he became the Director of the Launceston Flood Authority.

After retiring in 1985 he focused his attention to complex engineering problems in the north of Tasmania. In doing so, he designed new flood levees, silt settling ponds, rock fall defences and landslip countermeasures, as well as designing micro-zoned risk analyses for insurers and local Government Authorities.

Dr Ingles was a regular attendee at Old Scotch lunches where he enjoyed catching up with old friends, even though he admitted that many were younger than him. He will be missed by all those who knew and met him.

Andy Müller

Mid-Winter Culinary Event

Friends of Scotch Oakburn College invite you to attend our Mid-Winter Culinary Event. Superb locally sourced produce prepared by Hubert & Dan coupled with Tasmanian wine and excellent company.

Please join us in our very own Helix for an opportunity to catch up with friends in this amazing new centre that our community has created.

Date: Friday 11 August 2017
Time: 6.30pm -10.30pm
Venue: HELIX,  Penquite Campus
Dress: Lounge Suit

Ticket: $80 per person

Includes welcome drinks and 3 course feast

RSVP by Friday 28 July

Community News

We are pleased to provide a community news section in our news highlighting news from the wider Launceston community that may be of interest to families. Included this week:

  • Art Classes
  • Maritime Museum School Holiday Program

Junior School

Year 1 Fairytale Ball

This week’s Year 1 Fairy Tale Ball was a very exciting community event for all Year 1 students (and their parents).

A chance to dress up as a favourite character, to walk the red carpet surrounded by the paparazzi, and to enjoy games, dancing and supper together was a wonderful culmination to this term’s learning.

The focus on fairy tales as a theme for learning across the curriculum has engaged students for much of the term. Reading, writing, spelling and punctuation, along with oral language and listening skills, have been at the core of this. The enthusiasm for writing, and the quality of writing produced, have been areas of marked growth for many students over the last two months. Alongside the English curriculum, creative thinking and learning new techniques through visual art, drama and music have also been to the fore in daily learning experiences.

Thank you to all staff and parents who supported this event.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Metaphors as a learning tool

Research in the science of learning often highlights the importance of metaphors as a tool for elevating conceptual understanding, enhancing the effectiveness of communication, looking at topics and issues from new perspectives and developing creative problem solving capabilities.

At this week’s LIVE@Elphin, led by students from Year 2 Gibson, some introductory thinking about the purpose of LIVE@Elphin was followed by a sharing of examples of metaphors in learning, writing, art, mathematics and friendships  – and then the audience were invited to think metaphorically themselves.

What is Live@Elphin about? In the minds and words of 2 Gibson learners:

It’s a time to share your learning; It’s a time to surprise your parents and make them happy for all the learning you have done; LIVE@elphin is where you can share happiness and joy; It’s a time to let all of your learning out; Or let your learning run free; LIVE@Elphin is about us sharing our learning; With the world; With our community; LIVE@Elphin is about sharing our learning to the environment; It’s a time to let your learning pour out; LIVE@Elphin is like you are letting your feelings out with the people in the school; It’s a time to share your learning; It’s like a waterfall with all your learning rushing out to all the people of the world; So it’s like a recycling of knowledge; LIVE@Elphin is about being brave and not shy and standing up in front of everyone in the school.

Some of the learning metaphors shared were:

Learning is a tree because a tree grows just as your learning grows
Learning is a river because it never stops, even when it hits a rock
Learning is Snakes and Ladders because there are ups and downs
Learning is a building site because it keeps on building and building

Visitors to the Year 2 Gibson classroom  in Lemana will see and hear many examples of metaphors as they are used as a vehicle for elevating levels of thinking and understanding across the curriculum.

The work of the Year 2 Gibson students highlights some key planks of the Scotch Oakburn Vision for Learning: becoming inquiring and reflective thinkers, effective communicators and learning how to learn.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Mid-Year Progress Reports Years 1-5

Throughout Terms 1 and 2 reporting on student progress via ePortfolios has been creating opportunities for student-parent discussions about ongoing learning. The formative nature of assessment through the ePortfolios is an integral component of academic development.

During the final week of this term, mid-year report ratings for Years 1-5 students will be available online to families as another indicator of learning progress. This year these report ratings will be more explicitly tied to the Australian Curriculum Standards in key learning areas of the curriculum. All Australian schools are required to rate students against the standards.

The curriculum sets achievement standards for the end of each school year level. The mid-year ratings are an indication of how a student is tracking towards the end of year standards. They show whether a student’s work at this stage is demonstrating that they are on track to meet the standards, ahead of expectations or needing further work to reach the standards.

The ratings are based on a range of examples of student learning and this includes day to day classroom work, moderated learning tasks and more formal tests. In some subjects not all strands will have been covered by all students at this stage of the year – in these cases a rating won’t be available until the end of year ratings report.

Further information on the standards and ratings will be included in the report cover page when the reports are finalised next week.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Cross country

The cross country season is drawing to a close! The commitment and performances of all the more than 50 runners who have participated in the Saturday inter-school series this year are commended. There are just two meetings to go – this Saturday at Hagley Primary School and Saturday 1 July at Trevallyn. Thank you to all runners, to Mrs Rachel Buck who has coordinated our Saturday teams, and to all families who have supported their children on these weekend events.

Next week (Tuesday 27 June) we also have the State Primary All Schools Cross Country day at Symmons Plains. Best wishes to our team of 64 runners who have been working hard on their preparations for this event.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

End of Term

Term 2 finishes for all classes on Friday 30 June. After School Care closes at 6.00pm on this day.

The Junior School office will close at 4.30pm on Friday and re-open at 8.00am on Tuesday 25 July; the first day of Term 3 for all classes. The Penquite Campus office will be open at normal business hours throughout the school holiday break and messages can be left there for anybody needing to contact the Junior School.

The Vacation Care program, available to all students aged 3-12, commences on Monday 3 July and runs from 8.00am – 5.30pm each week day until Monday 24 July. Details of the program and registration process are online or available at the Junior School Office or Outside School Hours Care room in the Early Learning Centre.

Thank you to all members of our learning community for your contributions to such a productive Term 2 and best wishes to all families for an enjoyable school holiday break.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


38 Year 4 robotics students joined Middle and Senior School students at the new Helix building on the Penquite campus this week to share their progress in designing, building, programming and costuming, and their robots.

They were part of a STEAM Fair, celebrating learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics.

In his opening speech, David Finnigan of Pitt & Sherry Engineering, emphasised the importance of the development of these type of skills as vital for future learning and careers.

The Year 4 students will take their robots to this year’s State Robocup event on 19 August at UTas (Newnham Campus).

Marissa Saville
Learning Technologies Teacher

Vacation Care July 2017

The program for Vacation Care July 2017 is now available online, from the Junior School reception and from the Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) room.

Visit the OSHC page on our website to download the program now.

Middle School

Middle School Arts Evening

Next Thursday 29 June the College’s Middle School students will share their learning in the Arts from the semester.  The Performing Arts Centre will be filled with the sights and sounds of the amazing teaching and learning programs that occur each and every week.  On display in the s.p.a.c.e. Gallery will be artworks students have created.  Students will also share performances from their Dance, Drama and Music classes in the Horton Auditorium.

Commencing at 6.00pm, the Middle School Arts Evening promises to be a wonderful celebration of the Arts.

Stephen King
Head of Visual and Performing Arts

Interschool Cross Country

On Tuesday, 27 June a number of our Year 6 students will participate in the Tasmanian All Schools Primary Cross Country Championships at Symmons Plains.  We wish them all the best as they represent the school at this Statewide event.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Year 8 camp

Today we welcome back students in 8X and 8Y from their “Odyssey” experience. While the students are exhausted and ready for showers and their own beds, they had a fabulous week, participating in abseiling, bush walking, high ropes courses, an Indigenous unit, MasterChef and a cultural feast.  It was an opportunity for the students to test their resilience, perseverance and teamwork and they demonstrated these skills on numerous occasions throughout their journey.

Year 8 Parents and Guardians

If you have recently received an overdue letter from the HPV Register stating that your child missed the 2nd dose of Gardasil in 2016, please contact the council on 6323 3208 to confirm as the HPV Register missed the 2nd dose off their report for some children.

The problem is in the process of being fixed, and the affected student records should be showing as completed within a few days.

Senior School

Senior Football Finals Fever

Scotch Oakburn College Senior Football teams will play in their SATIS Grand Final’s tomorrow.

Both teams, Senior Seconds and Firsts won their respective games against The Hutchins School and Guilford Young College last Saturday 17 June. The Senior Seconds maintained their unbeaten record this year with a hard fought win over The Hutchins School by 12 points, 6-10-46 to 4-10-34. Seconds goal scorers – Will Harper 4, 1 each to Cameron George and Max Neville. Best players Nick House, Josh Thomson, Hugh Bradley, Max Neville, Will Harper and Harry Lewis.

The Senior Firsts game against Guilford Young College was a torrid affair with Scotch Oakburn holding leads at each of the major breaks. Scotch Oakburn pushed the lead out to 27 points heading into the final quarter, however, Guilford Young dug deep and Scotch Oakburn struggled to contain their enthusiasm and run. A crucial goal by Will Foster in the second half of the final quarter gave Scotch Oakburn some breathing space. Guilford Young continued to attack and scored their fifth goal of the quarter after the siren with the final score Scotch Oakburn College 10-14-74 to Guilford Young College 11-6-72. Goal scorers – Will Foster 3, Connor Dixon 2, 1 each to Will Edmunds, Lachlan Gee, Harry Rand, Tim Auckland and Clay Ritchie. Best players – Will Edmunds, Jasper Cowell, Fletcher Bennett, Connor Dixon and Matt Duggan.

The Senior Seconds Grand Final will be between Scotch Oakburn College and The Hutchins School at St Patrick’s College starting at 11.00am. The Senior Firsts Grand Final will be between Scotch Oakburn College and St Patrick’s College at St Patrick’s College starting at 1.15pm. Both teams will be at full strength with no fewer than 12 State representatives playing in the Grand Final.

Our Senior Seconds team are hoping to make it three consecutive SATIS Seconds State Premiership’s and our Senior Firsts are aiming to win the Colleges third SATIS State Premiership to go along with wins in 1967 and 2005, both against The Hutchins School. I look forward to seeing a big crowd of Scotch Oakburn College supporter’s on Saturday.

Jamie Breden
Person-in-Charge Football

Student achievement

Congratulations to Anneliese Gray (Year 11) who has been selected as part of the Under 17 Tasmanian Soccer team to compete in Canberra in July.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Thinking Project

Students presented their projects at the STEAM Fair

Scotch Oakburn students are tackling complex real world problems in creative new ways.

Year 9 and 10 students are conducting investigations into everything from artificial intelligence to flood-proofing Launceston; from tackling mental health issues to preventing endangered Tasmanian devils from becoming road kill statistics.

They are all part of a new elective subject at Scotch Oakburn entitled the Thinking Project.

Teacher Luke Hammond is the Thinking Project Coordinator.

“The Thinking Project is a STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics] subject designed to use curiosity-driven innovation to push the boundaries of what is known and what is not yet known through the application of skills and information to solve real world problems in creative and innovative ways,” he said.

“The subject helps students to gain a deeper understanding of the world around them, helps them to reach their potential and gain the 21st century skills required for the jobs of the future.”

Students work on their own or in a team of up to four on a project of their own design in any combination of the STEAM disciplines. The subject has specialist Science, Art and Design and Technology teachers, who run workshops to expand students’ STEAM-related skills and complete challenges.

They develop skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation.

“Students often have the misconception that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects are not for creative students,” Mr Hammond said.

“The Thinking Project allows students to learn by creating. They are designing and building the solution to the problem they decide on.”

Scotch Oakburn will offer an expanding range of STEAM opportunities in the future and continue to develop innovative and creative learning programs.

Defence Force Recruiting presentation

Defence Force Recruiting are holding an information evening where you can discover what career opportunities are available in the Australian Defence Force.  Land, sea or air, find out which one has a role that suits your future.

Date: Tuesday 27 June
Time: 6.00pm
Location: The Tramsheds Function Centre, 4 Invermay Rd, Launceston

Teresa Darcy
Careers Adviser/VET Coordinator

A Day at Melbourne University

Year 10 or 11 students who would like to learn about what is on offer at the University of Melbourne are invited to sign up for ‘A Day at Melbourne’.

Students will be able to find out more about the Melbourne Curriculum, scholarships, study abroad, Access Melbourne, clubs and societies, accommodation options and much more.

There’s even sessions where students can hear about how other people’s university ‘journey’ has allowed them to follow their passions toward their careers.

Event Details

Date: Friday 7 July
Time: 9.00am – 3.30pm
Location: The University of Melbourne, Parkville Campus

For more information or to register, please click here.

Teresa Darcy
Careers Advisor / VET Coordinator

Round Square

No posts found.


Why first borns fuss, seconds are resilient and last borns like to laugh

Author: Michael Grose

How can two or three children in the same family be so different? They are brought up in the same broad social environment, under a similar set of rules and an identical family value system. They also come from the same genetic pool yet they can be so different in personality, interests and achievement. While they may be born into the same family they are not born into the same position. The effects of their birth position have a significant impact on children, their behavior and their personalities. In order to really understand children it is useful to look at how their position in the family impacts on their development.

If we look at the big three in birth order – first, middle and youngest – we will notice that children born in each position share a similar set of characteristics.  If your child is an only child, they share similar birth order characteristics to first borns – they are super first borns.

First borns

First borns are often more motivated to achieve than later borns. A greater percentage of first borns end up in the professions such as medicine and law. They go for jobs where determination, strong powers of concentration and discipline are valued. First borns are born into a pressured yet treasured position. They are usually the objects of great delight in a family – they are the first. Parents and grandparents often overdo everything with first borns. There is an air of expectancy even before their birth. Names are chosen half way through the pregnancy and photo albums are filled as baby’s every special moment is captured on film. They are the centre of attention, which is an obvious plus if you are a first-born child.

The flipside to this adulation is that first borns are coached, prodded and pushed to perform. The expectations are high for first borns, particularly first-born boys, so pressure is something they know all about. It is no coincidence that anecdotal evidence suggest that first born males tend to be lower risk-takers as learners than girls, or those in other birth positions. First-born boys fear failure so they often steer away from areas where they can’t excel. Interestingly, some first borns confuse excellence with perfectionism and won’t try unless they can do the perfect job. These kids drive their parents and teachers nuts as they just won’t move out of their comfort zones to take a few risks and even (shock, horror) mess up. This is first-born thing.

First borns are trailblazers for parents and for the children to follow. Parents are usually hardest on their first borns in terms of discipline and they loosen up as they move further down the family. First borns usually don’t react well to the arrival of the second born. To parents, the arrival of another child means a playmate for their eldest. To the first born, the arrival of another child means only one thing – DETHRONEMENT. You can read the headlines: “The emperor loses his crown.” Well not quite. The first-born child does everything in his or her power to retain the favoured first position. He will point out the failings of the second born to his parents.

According to Kevin Leman author of The New Birth Order Book there are two types of first borns. The first are the compliant nurturers and caregivers. These children love to please and also love to do well in school as they have a high need for mum or dad’s approval. They also like to look after and care for other children. These compliant nurturers are more likely to be girls. Parents often rely heavily on their first borns and let them take much of the responsibility around the home.

The second types of first borns are the aggressive movers and shakers. These children are assertive, achievement-oriented and strong-willed. They are often boys who have the drive, but not the skills, to be effective leaders. Their bull-in-a-China-shop approach doesn’t always endear them to others.

The middle child

The middle (and in all likelihood the second) child is influenced by his elder sibling. The one rule of thumb about birth order is that children are directly influenced by the sibling above and will differ from that sibling. Frank Sulloway, the author of Born To Rebel, puts it succinctly, when he says that the first rule of the sibling road is that first and second borns will be different in personality, interests and achievement. Generally, the middle or second will be what the first-born isn’t. If the first born is responsible the next in line may well be a pest. If the first born is serious, as they often are, the second borns may well be easy-going and gregarious.

Middle born children are victims of bad timing. Born too late to get the perks and privileges of being born first but too early to get the easy ride that youngest receive, middles often feel squeezed between these two siblings and wonder, “Why me?” or “Its not fair!” The positive side to middle borns is that as they are squeezed between two siblings, they are good negotiators and generally develop an adept set of people skills. They are often more flexible as their lives tend to fit in more with the first born. This flexibility combined with the likelihood of having expectations grounded in reality gives them a significant lead in the resilience stakes over their siblings. Also they tend to spend more time with children away from their family to avoid the frustration of being an outsider in the family. Middle children subsequently can end up with more friends (and more social connections) than their elder siblings.

Middle born children, particularly if they are surrounded by other boys often become the free spirit or the child most likely to upset (annoy, hassle) his siblings. If you have three children sitting quietly watching television and you suddenly hear a yelp coming from the television room you can bet that the middle child has disturbed the peace in some way. Perhaps he has thumped the youngest or flicked the eldest with a ruler or some foreign object. Middles can be like that! They like to get even!

Parents need to be aware of the need to make middle children feel SPECIAL. Take photos of just them, and not the whole pack. Make sure you spend time with just them. Help them find their special talent that they don’t share with their siblings (that should be easy as they often stand apart).

Last borns

Youngest children in the family are typically charmers and manipulators. They love to get their own way – and they invariably do. They are in the fortunate position of having a sibling break their parents in for them and they don’t have the pressures of the first born. Their birth is not the big event as was the first born’s arrival.

Youngest are often babied, spoiled, affectionate, outgoing and uncomplicated. The pressure is off the last borns in terms of having to meet their parents’ high expectations so they are more likely to achieve in their own ways. Creative, artistic pursuits tend to be filled with last born children, whereas firstborns are more likely to end up in positions of leadership. One of the traits many last borns share is persistence. They learn when they are young that if they persist with what they want they will outlast their siblings and wear their parents down eventually. Persistence is a characteristic that pays off for this group.

Last borns tend to be more impetuous – they act now and worry about the repercussions later. The positive is that they are more likely to stretch themselves and try new experiences than their siblings. The negative aspect for boys is that their tendency to jump first and think later on can be downright dangerous. Youngest born girls can often be babied and have their parents jumping through hoops to satisfy them.

Last borns can appear a little self-centred, which is probably due to the fact that they tend to do less at home to help others. There are bigger, more capable siblings at home to take all the responsibilities so youngest children can easily grow up with an ‘I’m here to be served’ attitude. It is important to give youngest borns plenty of opportunities to help around the home.

The position a child has in his or her family, is a predictor only of personality, but a powerful predictor nonetheless. It is definitely a factor that parents need to consider as we look for ways to raise happy, well-adjusted and confident children.

Kylie Wolstencroft
Wellbeing Coordinator / Registered Psychologist