27 May, 2022


Engaging Learning Environments

How can we create learning environments that cultivate curiosity and grow young people as confident, capable and creative inquirers? How can we ensure that our teaching nurtures rather than diminishes the sense of wonder with which we are all born? How can we become better inquirers as we teach? How can we help our students grow as thinkers, collaborators, self-managers, communicators and researchers as they inquire?

Kath Murdoch, Australian teacher, author, lecturer and consultant, poses these questions for schools and teachers in her widely read book ‘The Power of Inquiry’. In summary she highlights some key elements of inquiry-based learning which is integral to numerous early years learning approaches internationally. These include the Primary Years Program (PYP) of the IB curriculum, the Teaching for Understanding Framework from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Reggio Emilia philosophy of Italian origin.

•       Learning is an active process of construction (not reproduction) and is enhanced when each learner has a voice in, and can make real choices about, their learning.

•       Providing opportunities for learners to identify and explore their own interests, beliefs and questions promotes deeper engagement.

•       Learners benefit from continual reflection on and through the learning process. Self- knowledge and metacognition enhance learning and build self-efficacy.

•       Cooperation, interaction and mutual respect enhance opportunities for learning. We learn from and with others.

•       Emotional resilience, a positive self-image and a growth mindset help the learner set and work towards challenging goals and learn from mistakes.

•       The learner should be given continual and specific support, guidance and feedback to take their understanding and skills further.

•       Learning – even when challenging – should be invigorating and joyous and feed the desire to do and learn more.

Inquiry-based learning with an interdisciplinary curriculum engages students and builds skills for lifelong learning. In our Junior School this is complemented by explicit direct instruction to ensure that all students have the basic ‘toolkit’ – notably with foundation literacy and numeracy knowledge – with which to develop their higher order thinking skills, learning dispositions, conceptual understandings and, critically, appetite for learning.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

National Simultaneous Storytime – Family focus

On Wednesday, Year 2 students celebrated National Simultaneous Storytime for 2022. This event is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association. Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, and other locations and many other places around the country. ConneXions was one of 31,865 locations that shared a reading of Family Tree, by Josh Pyke and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh.

This event was preceded by a conneXions author study where students began by understanding the etymology of the words ‘national’ and ‘simultaneous’ as well as exploring the beautiful poetry and vocabulary in this text. During the live event, we joined in singing with Josh Pyke as he shared his song entitled Words Make the World Go Around. To read the story and find out more see the connexions dash page here The Dash.

Kylie Brewster
conneXions Teacher


This week just over 90 Scotch Oakburn College students participated in the Launceston School Futsal Championships at the Elphin Sports Stadium. For some students, this was their first experience of Futsal and a team sport. For others, it was a chance to showcase their futsal technical skills and their leadership ability within a team.

On Tuesday we had six boys’ teams take the court while on Wednesday our six girls’ teams and our Year 5/6 boys played throughout the day. Each team played a minimum of four games each and some proceeded to finals. The results were mixed across the two days with both losses and wins; however, enjoyment and a sense of team spirit was the ultimate winner. One of our Year 5 girls teams made the semi-final and was narrowly defeated by St Anthony’s. Our two Year 4 girls teams ended up playing each other in the Grand Final, so we were both Runners Up and Champions for this age group. These two teams will be invited to participate in the National Tournament later in the year in Queensland. Congratulations.

A big thank you to all the parents who acted as supporters on the day and coaches in a lead up to the tournament. Also, thank you to a number of College staff who coached teams over the past six weeks. The students very much appreciative of your time and commitment. We look forward to building on this in 2023.

Rachel Buck
Junior School Cocurricular Coordinator

Inter-House Cross Country

The Junior School Cross Country Carnival was held on Thursday 26 May at Scotch Oakburn Park.   The rain held off and Year 2-5 students displayed a wonderful level of determination and resilience to complete their course.  House spirit was on display with coloured outfits, cheering and the passionate singing of house chants.

A special thank you to Mr Robert Breier and his team for preparing the grounds, Mr Rod Thompson for capturing amazing photos of the afternoon,  Mrs Debbie Reynolds and Mrs Fiona Bye for bike support on the course, Year 12 students for their assistance at checkpoints and Mrs Robyn Ockerby for first aid support.

Fox House ended the afternoon in first place, followed by Briggs, nance and Dean.  Well done to all participants.

Individual results

Year 2 Boys: 1st Jesse Cooper, 2nd Archi Page, 3rd Charlie Green

Year 2 Girls: 1st Katie Hyde,  2nd Olive Byrne, 3rd Jasmine Liu

Year 3 Boys: 1st Hamish Woolley, 2nd Lachlan Kleinig, 3rd Jasper Clifton

Year 3 Girls: 1st Maia Barritt, 2nd Lucy Kershaw, 3rd Jossie Cetti

Year 4 Boys: 1st Alfie Beaumont, 2nd Tom Dobson, 3rd Finlay Lovell

Year 4 Girls: 1st Alice Hyde, 2nd Victoria Allen, 3rd Clementine Gee

Year 5 Girls: 1st Sarah Horsman, 2nd Chloe Hassell, 3rd Harriet Rigney

Year 5 Boys: 1st Bobby Byrne, 2nd Charlie d’Emden, 3rd Douglas Hyde

Nicky Reid
PE Teacher