Term 1 Week 3 – Friday 23 February 2024


We have had a fantastic start to the school year, with a vibrant atmosphere and enthusiastic students eager for what lies ahead. Before joining Scotch Oakburn College I had heard about the College’s strong sense of community, and I have been fortunate to experience it firsthand over the past couple of weeks.

Recently during my College assemblies, I urged students to dare to dream big and it has been particularly heartening to see students at the Elphin Campus identify their big dreams or goals for the future in the recent parent, student, teacher interviews. As we grow older, it’s common to lose some of that dreamer’s spirit due to societal pressures and fear of failure; however, embracing big dreams isn’t about giving up; it is about embracing growth and opportunity. Personally, I have been a dreamer from a young age and continue to dream and aspire to achieve key goals personally and professionally. From aspiring to be a professional footballer and then a tennis player in my younger years, to eventually finding my path in education and achieving my dream of becoming a Principal, I have learned that dreaming big not only fuels personal growth but also provides purpose and direction.

Dreaming big helps us focus and pushes us forward, igniting excitement and anticipation. It infuses our thoughts with abundance rather than scarcity, guiding us through life’s challenges with resilience and purpose. As we work towards our dreams, we develop crucial skills like time management, goal setting, and self-improvement, ultimately becoming better versions of ourselves.

Over the coming weeks I encourage our community to discuss your dreams over dinner table conversation and see how you can support one another reach those heights.

Ross Patterson



In the journey toward excellence and innovation, there lies a cornerstone within our community – Wellbeing. It’s not just a concept; it’s a practice, an integral part of our Strategic Vision, SOC2035. Join Kylie Wolstencroft, Director, Wellbeing – Penquite and Renee Hodgetts, Director, Wellbeing – Elphin as they discuss our commitment to nurturing a holistic environment at the College and our 2024 Wellbeing Priorities.



On Wednesday 14 February, conneXions felt very loved, as students gathered to celebrate Library Lovers’ Day. This international event honours libraries, librarians, and all those who cherish books.

Students had the opportunity to share their love for conneXions:

“I love conneXions because I can spend time with my friends.”
“I love the craft.””
“In conneXions, there are no bad memories.”
“I love the books, activities and decorations.”
“I love conneXions because there are SO many books.”
“I love the Lego, Minecraft books and blocks.”

ConneXions, is such a special place where passion for learning and inquiry meets the magic and comfort of literature. We are extremely lucky to have it at the heart of our Elphin community.

Students also explored books about love, provoking some interesting inquiry questions:

“Are there different types of love?”
“How many ways are there to love?”
“How many words are there to describe love?”
“Can you love places, as well as people?”

And as if that wasn’t enough, students also enjoyed crafting love token bookmarks during lunchtime.

Library Lovers’ Day at conneXions was a celebration of love, learning, and the joy of being surrounded by books.

Laura Beaumont
conneXions Teacher



This year the Round Square International Conference is to be held in Colombia, South America, an exciting opportunity for Year 10 to Year 12 students.

The theme for the 56th Round Square International Conference is “Blooming from the Past” is an invitation to understand that, in order to build a better future, it is crucial to acknowledge history.

Colombia has worked hard to change its image to ensure the country and its people are able to harvest a prosperous future.

It is with great enthusiasm that Colombia extends an invitation to ‘Join us and embark on a journey of learning and growth’.

​By focusing on theme, “Blooming from the Past,” they aim to create an experience whereby students can reflect on their roots, learn from the past, and channel those lessons into personal and collective growth.

Colombia, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes, serves as the perfect backdrop for this journey.

Sunday 16 September – Saturday 28 September (Term 3, Week 10)​ [estimated. The trip is expected to be 1.5 to 2 weeks]

Delegation size:
Up to 4 students

Delegate Age:
Ages 16 – 18 (in 2024)

Further information can be found on the Round Square Dash page.

Leigh Cordell
Round Square Director


Providing leadership for our students is one critical element of providing agency and engagement in creating a thriving learning culture. Instilling self-belief in being capable of leading others, starts from within and results in developing more pride and a sense of belonging. Our Junior School students enjoy the chance to be leaders in many forms. From House captaincy nomination, Claremont Garden projects, buddy class programs, wellbeing lunchtime chat groups, art clubs, Round Square conference opportunities, and public speaking participation plus many more to come, combine to create a vibrant community culture and continuous growth for our student leaders!

In the coming weeks our Year 5 students will have many moments to learn and activate their leadership skills. Including, leading House Spirit and motivating others at the Elphin Inter-house Swimming Carnival and then participating in our Year 5 Leadership Day, supported by our Student Executive members, are two great opportunities on the horizon… Developing Learner Attributes in leadership is at the centre of providing these opportunities so our future leaders know more about leading with compassion, and being collaborative, agile, courageous, ethical, and effective communicators are real threads to developing a deep understanding of leadership. These skills are developed from our early Primary focus on ‘I can statements’ on how our learning is crafted with our College’s Learner Attributes.

Congratulations to our Year 5 House Captains for Term One, 2024: 

Dean House – Maddy Bell and Lucas Jones
Briggs House – Violet Allanson and Ben Veldhuis
Fox House – Maia Barritt and Angelo Wickramanayaka Arachchilage
Nance House – Lucy Kershaw and Zeke Yang-Sun

Ben Green
Deputy Principal – Elphin


Pop Wednesday 28 February into your calendar! This is when our Elphin Campus Inter-House Swimming Carnival will be commencing at 9:30 am. This year our Junior School carnival will reflect the results from the recent House Swimming trials, with our carnival divisions being based on the trial results. The aim of this is to create even competitions within the division and to encourage greater cheering and encouragement from the houses as the races are more evenly competed.


The Middle School Homework Club will be starting back up on Thursday 7 March and any Middle School student who would like some additional help with their homework tasks are encouraged to attend.

It will be held in room DV1 from 3:30 pm to 4:15 pm each week.

If you would like any more information about Homework Club, please contact me at yvette.cassidy@soc.tas.edu.au.

Yvette Cassidy
Learning Support Coordinator – Penquite


Friday 16 March saw the 2024 Penquite Campus Inter-House Athletics Carnival held at St Leonards in excellent conditions. Having only been at school for two weeks, it was great to see the House spirit and competition in full flight again with great efforts and sports-ship shown at each event around the track.

This year we had six records broken in the program and these students will be recognised with a certificate in assembly.

F U/17 1500m MARSHALL, Sophie (Briggs) 4:58.03
Old Record: 5:04.63 L. Jones (Fox 2018)

F U/17 800m MARSHALL, Sophie (Briggs) 2:25.78
Old Record: 2:32.95 L. Jones (Fox 2018)

F U/17 4x100m Relay (Briggs) 58.37
Old Record: 58.72 Fox (Fox 2022)

F U/17 High Jump GREEN, Mia (Nance) 1.50
Old Record: 1.40 C. Taylor (Fox 2018)

F U/17 High Jump BERLESE, Abbey (Briggs) 1.50
Old Record: 1.40 C. Taylor (Fox 2018)

F U/17 Javelin (500g) BERLESE, Abbey (Briggs) 29.92
Old Record: 23.21 S. O’Keefe (Fox 2022)

M U/17 Javelin (700g) ATKINS, Oliver (Briggs) 44.38
Old Record: 42.86 T. Watters (Fox 2023)

A carnival of this size conducted in just under 6.5 hours, does not happen without our staff and volunteers who assist on the day. I would like to thank our Grounds, HPE and Works teams for setting up and bringing the equipment to St Leonards, our House Heads for organising their teams, Amanda Hardwicke for organising transportation of many students, Michelle Stevenson for the electronic programming and the hours that go into structuring the carnival, Paul McKendrick, Cale O’Keefe and Mike Wall for coordinating the track and field, and Wim Vassen, Izzy Wing and Kate Watters for volunteering on the photo finish software.

We had a close carnival throughout the day with some excellent participation helping to maximise House points scores.

Lastly, all students are to be congratulated for their efforts. I hope everyone enjoyed the day and the challenge.

House Points
Fox 2383 1st
Dean 2252 2nd
Briggs 1967 3rd
Nance 1967 3rd

Girls Age Champions

U/12 Clementine Gee
Runner up: Madeline Perraton & Gwyn McLoughlin

U/13 Sarah Horsman
Runner up: Bronte Krapf & Mila Huegill

U/14 Zoe Jarvis
Runner up: Poppy Beaumont

U/15 Macie Petterwood
Runner up: Chloe Horsman

U/16 Claudia Beaumont
Runner up: Chaeli Barron

U/17 Abbey Berlese
Runner up: Blaise Fitzallen

U/21 Anna Day
Runner up: Ella Nast

Boys Age Champions

U/12 Alfie Beaumont
Runner up: Tom Dobson

U/13 Josh Mau
Runner up: Bobby Byrne & Charlie d’Emden

U/14 Solly Boyle
Runner up: Diego Munoz Lagos

U/15 Ben Berlese
Runner up: Andy Heazlewood

U/16 Lochie Plunkett
Runner up: Jack d’Emden

U/17 Oliver Atkins
Runner up: Jack Creak

U/21 Tom Watters
Runner up: Rory Dick

Ali Foot
Head of Sport


The TCE Outdoor Leadership students completed an overnight trip to the Valley Campus on Tuesday 20 February, 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 the students have been learning in class and gave them some authentic leadership experiences to reflect on. We had some wet weather which taught some good lessons about gear management, and the positive mindset of the group created a great atmosphere for our first trip of the year.


Mark Hassell
Head of Experiential Learning


As we wrap up Week 3 of Term 1, it’s a perfect moment to reflect on the vibrant events and achievements that have defined our journey as a unified Penquite community. My message to students and staff in these opening weeks of term has been one of unifying the Penquite Campus. We are a community within our broader College community, comprising Middle School, Senior School, our Boarding House community, and a range of smaller groups such as our House, Mentor and co-curricular communities. There is a place for everyone to flourish.

Among the highlights of this term to date have been the Year 6 Education Outdoors program at the Valley Campus and the exhilarating Penquite Campus Inter-House Athletics Carnival in Week 2. The results were tight with Briggs and Nance tying for third place. Dean nearly took the points, but it was Fox House who ran out winners on the day. These events not only showcased our students’ talents and teamwork but also strengthened the bonds within our community.

As we continue to foster a sense of unity and belonging within Penquite, we also recognise the value of cocurricular programs in nurturing well-rounded individuals. These activities provide avenues for personal growth, leadership development, and community engagement, enriching the overall student experience.

Rehearsals are underway in the Performing Arts Centre for all our ensembles and choirs, as well as our Middle School Production of James and Giant Peach. Already this term, we’ve witnessed commendable performances in cricket and rowing, underscoring the dedication and skill of our students in sports. Our basketballers this week edged out St Pat’s after a tightly contested series of games between the two sides. A special highlight this weekend will be the presentation of the ‘Baggy Tartans’ to our triumphant girls’ cricket team ahead of the inaugural NSATIS roster match between our Girls Firsts and Seconds teams.

This week Nance House and Fox House Chapels were a wonderful display of House spirit, spirituality, and leadership, particularly from our Year 11 students. We look forward to the Dean and Briggs services in Week 5.

On Tuesday 27 February, our Student Executive will lead a Penquite Campus Assembly with a focus on supporting Cystic Fibrosis. Remember to wear your crazy socks on Tuesday or purchase a pair of Jolly Souls Socks on the day, with all proceeds going to support Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania.

As we approach the heart of Term 1, let’s celebrate the achievements and camaraderie that have characterised our journey so far. With each event and accomplishment, we reinforce our commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive environment where every member of our community is Known, Valued, and Cared For.


Ben Marsland
Deputy Principal – Penquite


Recently our Year 6 students attended the Coastal Explorers Education Outdoors Program, based at the Valley Campus. The program promoted courage and collaboration through a variety of engaging experiences from canoeing to hiking, surfing and collaborative games.

Since returning from the program students have reflected on their highlights and challenges faced during the week. For many students visiting Bicheno and attempting to surf was a new opportunity that was exciting and exhausting all at the same time. Setting up tents, including the new bell tents, which proved to be popular, provided opportunities to collaborate to achieve a common goal.

Now that we have been back at school we continue to promote the Scotch Oakburn Learner Attributes through group work, problem-solving and encouraging everyone to be courageous whilst embracing new experiences. Thank you to all staff who attended this program and enabled students to engage in learning beyond the classroom.


Esther Croft-Elliott
Year 6 Teacher | Year 6 Co-ordinator


Students have recently been complimented on the respect the College always shows to the traditional owners of the land on which we gather. As we always run the risk of becoming robotic and forgetting to understand what we are saying when we recite the acknowledgement, I have recently spent time in assemblies unpacking aspects of the acknowledgement that we use at Scotch Oakburn to ensure deeper understanding.

At Scotch Oakburn we acknowledge the litarimirina tribe of the palawa/pakana people. This clan occupied the country from Low Head to modern day Launceston, living in clusters of up to ten huts in the Tamar Valley, along the river also known as kanamaluka.

The original spelling of this clan was letterermairrener, this came from the journals of George Augustus Robinson. When creating the palawa kani language, researchers assessed the spelling and pronunciation of aboriginal words written down by white settlers, taking into account how their accent would have influenced the way they heard, spoke and wrote aboriginal words. Based on this research the spelling has been recently revised to litarimirina, although many sources still use the old spelling.

There are extensive archaeological remains of occupation on both sides of the Tamar River and along the north coastal country that provide evidence of this tribe’s presence in the area. This litarimirina people were part of the Northern Midlands Tribe and evidence found by archaeologists suggests occupation and usage of the Tamar basin for at least 35,000 years.

These people were hunter-gatherers, spending winter near present day George Town and summer near present day Ben Lomond. They would always return to the banks of kanamaluka during muttonbird season.

The College’s indigenous acknowledgement also refers to the palawa/pakana people. palawa refers to most Tasmanian Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of this island which is called lutriwita in the palawa kani language. It is important to note that there are some Tasmanian Aboriginal people who do not identify as palawa or pakana. An example of this is the Lia Pootah people who claim a different line of descent.

palawa kani is a composite language that is made up of 14 languages that were originally spoken on the island of lutriwita. The word palawa means ‘first man’ who was created from the kangaroo by a creation spirit. palawa kani is a unique language of lutruwita and capital letters are only used for people’s names and the names of family or ancestors. Other words are not capitalised and capitals are not used at the beginning of sentences.

The words palawa and pakana come from two different language groups originally, but palawa is recognised as being more commonly used in the south of the island and pakana in the north, which is why we include it in our acknowledgment at Scotch Oakburn. The two words can be used interchangeably but palawa is the more common collective term for Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

It is respectful to enquire what name people prefer to identify with and those of us that are not aboriginal should not assume what someone prefers to be called.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School


Wellbeing is one of the four pillars of SOC2035, reflecting our commitment to nurturing a holistic environment where every individual can flourish. Belonging is a specific focus at our Elphin Campus, which is one of the key 2024 Wellbeing priorities as identified by our data collected at the end of 2023.

Scotch Oakburn is committed to empowering your children with friendship skills to support their sense of belonging. One of our initiatives to equip students with skills and strategies for managing their friendships is URSTRONG. URSTRONG is a whole-school friendship strategy that connects over a million kids, parents, and teachers with a common language of friendship, the Friendology curriculum.

We invite Junior School parents to take advantage of a FREE Parent Membership to access hundreds of resources – including an 8-session video series. This will allow you to learn the same language and strategies being taught in the classroom through the Friendology 101 curriculum.

To login:

o Click here FREE Parent Membership to access the resources.
o Click on the pink button at the bottom of the page ‘Become a URSTRONG family’ and follow the links for the free membership.

We hope that these resources will help you to reinforce the important messages of empowerment, self-compassion and kindness at home.

We believe that empowering our students with these skills will help create a positive sense of belonging, connectedness and kindness at our school and we hope that, together, we can support your children to have healthy, feel-good friendships.



Renee Hodgetts
Director, Wellbeing – Elphin


Scotch Oakburn College is celebrating 20 years of being part of the Round Square network. Over the 2024 year, the Scotch Oakburn College community will be hearing a lot more about Round Square. So, what is Round Square?

Rod Fraser (previous Round Square Chairman and Principal at Ivanhoe Grammar) gives us an insight:

“At its heart, values-based education deals with qualities and attitudes, with personality and strength of character. It comes from experiences, real-world learning and periods of reflection. It has the capacity to instil a passion for lifelong learning and provide the personal “noise filter” necessary to develop higher order thinking skills. Both are essential for the constantly connected, communication-rich i-generation.

Round Square schools empower and challenge students to make a difference. It takes students out of their comfort zones and connects them with like-minded learners from around the world who share the same drive to make a difference in our world.

The principles that Kurt Hahn (one of the founders of Round Square) promoted have become even more important today. Built around six IDEALS of learning (Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service), the Round Square approach inspires and draws out from every child their capacity for achievement and excellence, recognising that learning is most effective when it is practical, cross-cultural and collaborative.

This values-based approach that is embraced by Round Square schools, going above and beyond academic achievement, is of particular interest to parents.

Through the Round Square network, students are able to access a range of practical activities and programmes that build character, global awareness and confidence, instilling values for positive and active citizenship, whilst also developing exceptional leadership skills.

With this approach, Round Square schools have the opportunity to blend character education and academic education.”

For more information on “What is Round Square?”, view Round Square’s video HERE.

Leigh Cordell
Director, Round Square


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

  • MyGolf Girls – 7 to 14 years
  • Launceston Rugby Junior Open Days – 10 to 17 years
  • PCYC Trampolining Beginners Classes – aged 4-9
  • Maggie Dent in Launceston – From Boys to Men: Guiding Teen Boys



25 July @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am

100 Days of Prep

2 August @ 8:45 am - 11:00 am

Fathers’ Day Breakfast

30 August @ 7:30 am - 8:30 am

Perth Reunion

13 September @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra concert screenings

20 September @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Scotch College Luncheon

23 November @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Stay Connected

Download The Dash App to stay up to date on information specific to your child, including excursions, permission slips and important dates.

Visit SchoolTV. A parenting wellbeing resource.