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

The Evolution of Reporting

Not only do students begin each year at different points in their understanding of the curriculum, but as the year progresses, their capacity to learn also grows and changes: neither their learning nor their capacity to learn is static or fixed. This is the premise that Scotch Oakburn has adopted in regards to Student Learning and Reporting, and it is why we are committed to reporting each student’s learning growth as well as where they are in relation to academic performance at a given point in time.

If we compare two hypothetical students, one who, in ‘old speak’, consistently achieves 80% and the other who started the year achieving 50% but by the end of the year is reaching 70%. We can recognise that the growth in learning has been far greater for the second student.  This is an important distinction because ‘learning how to learn’ becomes a life-long skill applicable well beyond a single subject’s academic learning outcomes.

Taking this thinking a step further, we gain a new perspective on an additional role that reporting can play. Assuming we are in agreement with the notion of continual or life-long learning, the role of reporting should be to assist the learner to continue to learn. The half-year and end-of-year reports that I received when I went to school were a summation of my performance in the curriculum that had already been studied, with some vague comments about needing to talk less in class, but that’s another story. Statistics such as 80% and B+ told my parents that I had a good understanding of most of the work but gave no specifics. This ‘summative’ report did nothing to actually help me improve in the topics or areas that had been covered. To paraphrase Dylan Wiliam (British educationalist, now the Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education), they were an autopsy, when what we need to help the learner is a diagnosis and course of action to improve understanding, that is, a formative assessment. Both are valid but serve two different purposes.

With advances in technology, reporting can now be much more frequent and thus closer to ‘real time’ and consequently more relevant and more informative for the learner and their parent(s).  Those of you who attended the Junior School Information Evenings and/or read the relevant letter sent out with the start of year pack for the Penquite Campus will know that I am speaking of ‘continuous reporting’. The advantage of this additional form of reporting is that each student’s learning can be celebrated (and conversely their lack of understanding can be addressed immediately) to ensure an upward trajectory over the course of the year.   It also encourages the reporting process to be a two-way street where information can be presented that informs what a student is able to do by providing samples of their learning and parents can comment, query and qualify at the time that the work sample is presented. Continuous reporting can therefore be another element of the learning process, regardless of the learning area, as well as a powerful tool to keep the learner improving their understanding and performance. (source: A Commitment to Growth, by Geoff Masters, Chief Executive of the Australian council for Educational Research)

Very soon I will send a letter to families about the changes to our reporting for Years 1 to 10, for 2017 and beyond. This will provide further information to that which you have already received about this element of Scotch Oakburn’s education. I hope you will enjoy the greater insight into your child’s/children’s learning that this system will provide and look forward to receiving your feedback as the year progresses.

Andy Müller

College Fair

Fresh Produce for College Fair

The Scotch Oakburn College Fair is being held next Friday 3 March 5.00pm – 8.00pm at the Middle School, Penquite Campus.

We are seeking donations to assist with the Fresh Produce Stall.

Any surplus fresh produce that your garden may produce would be warmly received, from apples to zucchinis and all chutneys, herbs and jams in-between.

We are also seeking any plants or freshly cut flowers for the stall this year.

Please feel free to deliver any of your produce to the Fresh Produce Stall, located adjacent to the front carpark of Middle School, on the afternoon of the Fair.

Rosalynne Rees
Fair Convenor

Middle and Senior School Swimming Carnival

Congratulations to this year’s record breakers in our 2017 Swimming Carnival.

Emily Mitchell U/12 25m Butterfly ( new record 15.47, old record 16.18 in 2016 )
Dawson Howell U/16 Backstroke ( new record 35.71, old record 36.39 in 1986 )

Age Champions for 2017 are:

Year 6 Champion – Lachlan Robins
Year 6 Runner-up – Rupert Mackenzie
U13 Champion – Wylie Howell
U13 Runner-up – Malachi Wallis
U14 Champion – Cooper Foot-Hill
U14 Runner-up – William Gray
U15 Champion – Jonty Pretorius
U15 Runner-up – William O’Toole
U16 Champion – Sam Canny
U16 Runner-up  – Samuel Gray
Open Champion – Alexander Grove
Open Runner-up – William Foster

Year 6 Champion – Emily Mitchell
Year 6 Runners-up – Jasmine Irani
U13 Champion – Amy Muldoon
U13 Runners-up – Amelia Donaldson
U14 Champion – Ellie Muller
U14 Runner-up – Olivia Willows
U15 Champion – Charlotte Bell
U15 Runners-up – Taylah Croucher
U16 Champion – Dawson Howell
U/16 Runner- up – Zoe Neville
Open Champion – Jeanmarie Els
Open Runners-up – Caitlyn Badcock and Caitlin Gregory

Rob Jeffery
Sport Administrator

College band joins TSO

Scotch Oakburn College’s Senior Stage Band makes history on Saturday, 25 February, when it becomes the first school ensemble to share the stage with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Under the Stars.

More than 5,000 people are expected at Launceston’s City Park to hear the band perform jazz, rock and funk music.

The Head of Visual and Performing Arts at Scotch Oakburn College, Stephen King, described the concert as a highlight on the Tasmanian summer calendar.
“The performance sees the beautiful City Park transformed into a spectacular concert venue where music lovers soak up the atmosphere and the wonderful sounds of the TSO,” Mr King said. “And as an added bonus, they get to hear our own Senior Stage Band.

“The band has been rehearsing since the first week of school and is committed to extra rehearsals after school on Fridays to ensure that everyone is ready to shine.” The Senior Stage Band performs from 6.00pm to 6.30pm and the TSO performs from 7.00pm.

The Senior Stage Band is just one of a number of bands and ensembles at Scotch Oakburn. The College has a vibrant music program with an extensive range of opportunities for students to develop their potential and perform throughout the year. Each ensemble is led by a member of the College’s outstanding team of full-time and visiting tutors.

Important – Student Medical Details

All parents are reminded that all student medical details including action plans for anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy must be current. It is imperative that the school has the most current details on file.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Road safety and parking – Penquite Campus

Everyone has a role to play in road safety and while we still have a building project on the go, we are aware that there are additional strains on the flow of traffic and parking. Could I please ask that students are dropped off in the turning circle outside the Briggs House Dining Room and that the Middle School and HPEC carpark is not used for this purpose. Everyone should use the underpass to cross from one side of the campus to the other. Crossing Penquite Road during busy times is not permitted and is a potential danger. Please either use the lights further along at the Amy Road corner or again, use the underpass. Parents are requested not to park at the rear of the Amy Road shops unless of course they are using their services. I thank you for your assistance on these matters.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Team Work

If you were lucky enough to be at the Inter-House Swimming carnival last week, then you would have seen wonderful collaboration and House team spirit. This week, at the House Chapel services we again witnessed excellent team work and leadership with the Year 11 students in Fox and Briggs House working together on their Chapel Services. A reminder to Dean House families and Nance House families that their services are in Week 5 – Dean House on Tuesday 7 March and Nance House on Thursday 9 March, both commencing at 5.45pm.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

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:

  • Hockey skills development program 11-14 year olds
  • Boys Forward Institute – a seminar on educating and managing boys

Junior School

House Swimming

The Junior School House swimming was a wonderful community day highlighted by some fantastic swimming from students in all three Houses (Years 3-5), along with sessions for each of the Year 2 class groups. The quality of the swimming, as well as the teamwork, energy and spirit within the Houses, were outstanding.

Willow House won the day in a very exciting finish, with Thistle second and Oak third.

Special congratulations go to Isabella Muldoon and Noah Wallis who set new records:

Isabella – Yr 4 25m freestyle (17.26 broke Georgie Orders 1994 record of 17.40) and Yr 4 25m backstroke (20.66, broke Zoe Neville’s 2011 record of 21.04)

Noah  –  Yr 5 25m backstroke (18.88 broke Marcus Clarke’s 2001 record of 18.97).

Thank you to all participating students, to parents, staff and Year 12 College Executive students who assisted as officials, and to all parents and friends who were able to spend some or all of the day as spectators.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Music in the Junior School

Students right across the Junior School, from Early Learning to Year 5, have embraced the beginning sessions of class music, choirs and instrumental programs with a real sense of anticipation and much enthusiasm. Music is an integral element of learning for every student. A research study through the University of Kansas (see is one example among many studies that have reached similar findings  – increased music participation has important direct and indirect effects on positive outcomes in student achievement and engagement in all areas of learning and school life.

In the Early Primary (EL, Prep and Year 1) years the specialist music staff (Mrs Nicci Dray and Mr Andrew Sulzberger) complement the class-based experiences led by class teachers. From Year 2 onwards Mr Sulzberger, Mrs Fiona Bye and Mr Jamon Dingemanse lead the programs and are supported by a team of specialist tutors. Weekly choir sessions are open to all Years 2-5 students, and for Years 4 and 5 students seeking a more challenging opportunity there is the Junior Voices option. The Junior Voices will be singing at the College Fair.

In Years 4 and 5 the opportunity to play an instrument is available to all students as part of the school program. Various wind, brass, woodwind, string and percussion instruments are catered for through small group tuition, ensembles and bands.

For all students there is a further opportunity to engage in private tuition with external tutors who come into the school on a regular basis. For students interested in this, the music staff are able to give full details at any time.

Throughout the year there will be opportunities for music students to perform in a variety of settings at school and on occasions in the community. Parents and friends are always invited and are most welcome to come along and enjoy these performances.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Early Primary Family Picnic

All families with students in Early Learning, Prep and Year 1 are invited to an informal family picnic evening (4.30pm-6.30pm) on the Elphin Campus on Tuesday 28 February. Details have been sent to all families in these year groups and class teachers can answer questions for anybody wanting further information.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Year 5 Leadership Day

Leadership development and opportunities are a highlight of Year 5 at Scotch Oakburn. All students are guided and mentored in leadership skill development and all have a range of experiences in leadership roles through the year. As a Round Square school, leadership is one of the key IDEALS embedded in daily learning opportunities as well.

The Year 5 Leadership Day on Thursday 2 March follows on from last week’s Education Outdoors week as part of the leadership focus. This day includes a session led by Chris Duffy, known for his work supporting St Giles and Life Without Barriers and a previous Australian of the Year finalist. Year 8 Student Leaders will also work with the Year 5’s during the day.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

College Fair

We hope to see as many members of our College community at the Fair on Friday March 3 from 5:00-8:00pm. This will be at the Penquite Campus.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Claremont soil project

A collection of Year levels in the Junior School are currently investigating soil in Claremont Garden.  As part of this investigation, students are working on improving the soil for optimal plant health.

We would like to add compost, manure and mulch to the patches.  If you are able to help with any of the above supplies please contact me at

Georgia Gee

Student Achievement

Congratulations to Jade Muller (Prep) who broke the State U6 Long Jump record last weekend. She was also a member of the winning 4 X 100m relay for her age group.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Middle School

Year 6 Sport

Year 6 Sport commenced this Friday afternoon.  Students are participating in a number of new sports this year including Speedball and Touch Football.  Other sports included T20 cricket, t-ball, hard-ball cricket and tennis.  All Year 6 students at Scotch Oakburn College participate in our Year 6 sport program and play others schools in our surrounding areas.

This is a great opportunity for our students to learn the rules of each individual sport but also to learn basic sportsmanship and fair play.  If you have any queries regarding Year 6 sport, please contact Mr Paul McKendrick.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Year 7 Dean and Nance camp

Next Week Year 7 Dean and Nance students will travel to the Valley Campus to participate in the “Valley Life” program, as part of their Education Outdoors journey.  Students will spend time in both cabins and tents, including the much anticipated “survival night”.  We look forward to hearing of their adventures upon their return.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Year 7 Quest through the Decades

During Week 4, Year 7 Fox and Briggs students will participate in an integrated learning unit called Quest through the Decades.  This Integrated unit of work requires each student to travel back in time to a decade spanning from the 1900s to present.

Students must research their chosen decade and discover significant events that occurred throughout the decade.  Students will also design their own Sydney Harbour Bridge with popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, glue and card.  Each bridge will be tested for strength next week.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Fred French visits

This week we resumed our fortnightly visits to the Fred French Care Home.  Students, accompanied by Mr Clyde Goosen and Ms Kylie Wolstencroft will spend time with the residents reading, playing cards and even performing musical items.

This programs offers our students and the residents a great opportunity to interact, engage and learn from each other, while enhancing student’s social skills.  For the older residents our visits provide an opportunity to socialise, contributing to their overall mental health.

If you would like further information or if your child would like to be involved in these visits please contact Clyde Goosen at

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Year 6 & 8 Parent Student Teacher conferences

Year 6 & 8 Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, 21 March from 4.00pm until 6.30pm (Session 1) and from 7.30pm until 9.00pm (Session 2) in the Middle School building. To allow all parents and students to meet with their teachers we ask that bookings are limited to 10 minutes with each core team.  Interviews can be booked through our online booking system –   Information will be sent home shortly which will include your booking code required for the website. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs Kendal Selby at Middle School Reception on 6336 3401.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Year 7 Immunisations

On Monday, 3 April the Launceston City Council will be conducting the first round of Year 7 Immunisations to Year 7 students.  Second and third round immunisations will take place on Tuesday, 6 June and Tuesday, 17 October respectively. Parents will be receiving information about these vaccinations shortly; however, if further information is required please do not hesitate to contact Launceston City Council.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Student Achievement

Congratulation to Emily Mitchell (Year 6) who set a new state record at the Launceston swimming time trials.  Emily set a new Long Course state record time of 1:17.15 in the 100m backstroke breaking the previous time of 1:17.30 set on 15 November 2003 (11&U).

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Senior School

TCE Outdoor Leadership Valley Campus trip

The TCE Outdoor Leadership students recently completed an overnight trip to the Valley Campus, where they engaged in a range of activities to test their problem-solving, teamwork, leadership and communication skills. The trip had direct links to the theory we have been learning in class and gave the students some real-life leadership experiences to reflect on. Fine weather and a fantastic group of students created a great atmosphere for our first trip of the year.

Mark Hassell
Deputy Head of Senior School


Basketball at Scotch Oakburn College started in full swing in the very first week back of Term 1 and once again we have great numbers of students playing across all year levels. Pictured are all the students who meet for our sports meetings, it certainly shows how strong our sport is when we are gathered altogether.

We are very pleased to announce our student leadership team this year with Captains of Basketball for 2017, being Year 12 students Sophie Williams, Connor Dixon and Ben Kingsley and Vice-Captain, Lachie Bremner. These students have taken on their leadership positions with great enthusiasm and we are looking forward to working with them this year.

This term we have had a record number of teams competing in both the NSATIS Senior Competitions and the Year 10 Northern High Schools Rosters, with 14 teams competing across 10 different rosters.

Our NSATIS competitions have been very competitive and our coaches are very impressed with all players’ commitment.

Standings so far:

Senior Firsts Boys, coached by Mr Rick Wyllie, have won 2 from 3 and are currently sitting in 2nd place on the ladder to Marist Regional College. Defeating their rivals in last year’s 2016 NSATIS Grand Final, St Patrick’s College, this week has certainly placed our Firsts boys team in good position to gain a finals berth once again in 2017.

Senior Firsts Girls, coached by Mr Trevor Marson, may not have secured a win at this point, but were missing key players in their first two games and in their third only lost to St Patrick’s College by 2 points.

Senior Seconds Boys (Gold), coached by Mr Clyde Tuck, have won both their hit outs and are sitting in top position on their ladder.

Senior Seconds Boys (Blue), coached by Mr Will Smyth, have won 1 from 3, and have been very competitive in their games, this younger group of boys are proving to be a great combination.

Senior Seconds Girls, coached by Mrs Deb Reynolds, have won 1 from 2, and will secure second spot on their ladder.

Senior Seconds Girls (Gold), coached by Mr Tim Batten, are a force to be reckoned with in their Thirds roster and having won all their games, and are currently sitting in the top position.

Senior Thirds Boys (Blue), coached by Mr Trace Stewart and our Senior Thirds Boys (Gold), coached by Mr Luke Good, have only had one match up each for their rosters. Whilst both were very competitive in their respective games they are both yet to secure a win.

Senior Thirds Girls (Blue), coached by Mrs Liz Gray, have also won 1 from 2 and our Senior Thirds Girls (Maroon), coached by Mr Luke Hammond have played some great games. As we have three Scotch Oakburn teams in the Thirds roster it will be great if we could manage to have an all Scotch Oakburn final.

This week has also seen the commencement of the Year 10 Northern High Schools roster where we have four teams competing and results will be posted over the coming weeks.

A huge thank you to all our players, parents and our coaches for such a successful start to the year.

Natalie Good and Clyde Tuck
Persons-in-Charge Basketball

Rowing news

Scotch Oakburn College competed at the State Club Rowing Championships at Lake Barrington over the weekend of 18-19 February. The event is the culmination of the State Pennant rowing season for 2016-17. All our senior crews had a successful weekend with the stand out performance being the Men’s U17 Coxed Four winning the Championship Men’s U17 Coxed Four event. Coached by James Russell, the crew of Roland Lockwood (cox), George McShane (stroke), Oliver Cox, Samuel Gray and Hamilton Cox (all year 10) established a dominant lead early in the 2000m race to beat Launceston Church Grammar, followed by the fast finishing Scotch Oakburn College second crew of Ned Napier (cox), George Taylor (stroke), William Birchmore, Bradley Lawrence and Tom Dowling (also Year 10 students).

This weekend, 25-26 February is the commencement of a busy Schools Regatta program, starting with the North West Schools at Lake Barrington.  This is  followed by the Tasmanian Schools Championships 4-5 March, also at Lake Barrington, the Launceston & Henley on Tamar 11-12 March in Launceston and culminating with the SATIS Head of the River at Lake Barrington on Saturday 18 March. For many of our junior rowers in under 13 and 14 age groups these will be their first Regatta races.

I invite you to join the College Rowing Community to support our rowers at these Regattas.

Jamie Breden
Director of Rowing

Student Achievements

Kael Haysom (Year 10) and Lachlan Stewart (Year 9) played Highland Bagpipes with St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band at the 2017 Richmond Highland Gathering last weekend.  St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band, under the leadership of Pipe Major John Ralph, was crowned the champion band with the following results:

Overall Championships: 1st Place

Musical Selection: 1st Place

March, Strathspey and Reel: 1st Place

Best Pipe Corps: St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band

Best Drum Corps Mid-Section: St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band

Quickstep Drill Competiton: 2nd Place

The boys also competed in the band’s junior band which entered the separate Selection of Marches competition, finishing third.

Congratulations to the boys on their achievements.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School

Experience a week as a Marine Biologist

Are you in years 11 or 12 and interested in Marine Biology?  Apply for a Marine Discovery Scholarship and possibly win a trip to Tasmania’s East Coast to study the marine environment on Maria Island and get a taste of what studying at University is like while you are still in year 11 or 12.  Four Tasmanian winners will secure a place on the University of Tasmania program A Practical Introduction to Temperate Marine Biology which runs from Wednesday 19 April until Monday 24 April 2017.

Learn practical techniques normally taught on the job or at University, spend five days on Maria Island exploring the marine environment and on day six present your research findings in Hobart at the state-of-the-art Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.

For more information or to apply, please click here.

Teresa Darcy
Careers Adviser/VET Coordinator

Futures in Engineering

Do you enjoy studying maths and science?  If you’re in Year 10 or 11 and are interested in seeing what a career in engineering actually involves, the 2017 Futures in Engineering program is for you.
It provides an authentic engineering experience through an opportunity to interact with engineering professionals and academics across a range of interesting activities and projects.

This full-day program includes:
• Activities and tours of the engineering facilities and labs at the Australian Maritime College;
• a fun and interactive group activity hosted by Defence Force Recruiting demonstrating key skills required by engineers;
• opportunities to meet engineers currently working in the industry; and
• a variety of short presentations from indsutry, Defence Force Recruiting and academics demonstrating what engineering is, what engineers do, how to become an engineer, and where engineering can take you!

For more information or to register, please click here.

Teresa Darcy
Careers Adviser/VET Coordinator

Round Square

No posts found.


How to talk to your daughter about her body

Author Sarah Koppelkam

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “You’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are — you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say, “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.

Kylie Wolstencroft
Wellbeing Coordinator/Registered Psychologist