Term 2 Week 6 – Friday 7 June 2024


Before joining Scotch Oakburn College, I was inspired by the four strands within the College’s Strategic Plan, SOC2035. The College’s emphasis on learning, wellbeing, capacity, and community was particularly impressive, especially the goal of ensuring all staff have opportunities for development. Since joining Scotch Oakburn College at the beginning of the year, I have deepened my understanding of the College and focused on learning about its history, culture, programs, processes, and strategic direction.

A significant part of my learning has involved connecting with former students at Collegian Networking/Reunion Events. Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of attending three collegian events, providing me with fascinating insights as the new Principal. These interactions have underscored the invaluable significance of engaging with alumni and the vital role these connections and insights play as I contemplate future strategic projects.

One compelling reason to learn from collegians is the wealth of practical knowledge they possess. During these events, alumni shared firsthand accounts of leveraging educational opportunities and overcoming obstacles. Additionally, collegians serve as role models, embodying the values and traditions of their alma mater. Their achievements and contributions across various fields testify to the quality of education and character-building aspects of their school. I was particularly inspired by the great interest many collegians have in the College and their acute awareness of recent developments.

Equally important is the continued connection among collegians and their ongoing relationship with the College. This connectivity helps maintain a vibrant and active alumni network that benefits all members. Regular interactions among alumni foster a strong community that supports professional and personal growth. Moreover, their sustained involvement with the College ensures they can continue to contribute to and uphold our legacy of excellence.

Learning from and engaging with collegians is about gaining knowledge and building a bridge to the future while honouring the past. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those in attendance at recent events for their warm welcome and invaluable insights. I am already looking forward to the next opportunity.


Ross Patterson


Round Square Student Exchanges are a fantastic opportunity for our students. These programs foster empathy, cultural understanding, and personal growth. Settle in (it’s nine minutes but worth it) and hear from some of our visiting exchange students from Colombia and the USA and their Scotch Oakburn hosts!


Image source: Examiner

Year 10 student Bella Shaw is off to the Australian Swimming Trials in Brisbane from June 10-15 where they will select the Olympic team for Paris!

At the Australian Age Championships (Gold Coast), Bella competed in the 15 girls’ 50, 100 and 200m backstroke, finishing fourth (200m) and ninth (100m) in the A-finals.

She also achieved two open women’s national qualifying times and won six individual state backstroke gold medals (15s (15 girls’ 50m; 14-15 girls’ 100 and 200m; and women’s 50, 100 and 200m).

We wish Bella the very best of luck at an amazing opportunity.


At the Prep to Year 2 Connect@Elphin this week, students learnt about Friendship Fires and strategies for managing these so our friendships can be in the healthy zone of the Friend-O-Meter.

Students understood that Friendship Fires are misunderstandings or disagreements and are a normal part of any friendship.  Friendship Fact #1 is  ‘no friendship, or relationship, is perfect’!

The steps to put Friendship Fires out so we can move back to the healthy green zone are:

  • Find a time for you to have a 1:1 conversation when you are both calm
  • In a serious and calm voice:
    – recall the situation ‘When you….’
    – explain how it made you feel ‘I felt…’

Helping students to think about a positive reaction in response to this ‘talk it out’ conversation is also an important step to ensuring the friend feels heard and acknowledged.

Research shows that relationships are the heart of wellbeing & learning. When we get friendships right in schools, children flourish.  The Friendology curriculum provides the skills and the strategies to support students to establish and maintain healthy relationships, manage conflict with kindness, and increase their overall resilience.  Use this link to access the Friendology Parent resources – https://urstrong.com/parents/.

Renee Hodgetts
Director, Wellbeing – Elphin


This Term, Year 1 Boatwright and the Year 8A Food Glorious Food class have worked together in an inter-campus collaboration.

The Year 8s were given a design challenge of creating a healthy and appealing lunch menu for Year 1 students, keeping in mind their dietary needs and preferences. Earlier in the Term, Year 8 visited the younger students in their classroom. There, they surveyed their buddies on their food preferences. Using this data, the Year 8 class worked together to design a menu. The Year 1 class used the data collected in their learning on tally marks.

Last week, Year 1 visited the Senior School to visit the Briggs House Kitchen and eat the lunch the Year 8s had prepared. The Year 8s had worked hard to create a fantastic lunch with choices including sushi, bao buns, dolphin fruit cups, vegetable fritters, hot dogs, fruit skewers, pikelets, burgers, pizzas and milkshakes.

This collaboration allowed the Year 8s to cater for others for the first time, work together as a class and develop their leadership skills with the younger students. The Year 1s enjoyed the experience of visiting the senior campus, interacting with the older students and tasting different foods.


Bec Rockliff and Kylie Boatwright


Early Learning Teacher Anne Green explains how Bush Kinder benefits our young learners.


Born on this day in 1886

“There are three ways of trying to win the young. You can preach at them—that is a hook without a worm. You can say, “You must volunteer”—that is of the devil. And you can tell them, “You are needed”—that appeal hardly ever fails.” Kurt Hahn

Today, on what would have been his 138th birthday, we celebrate Kurt Hahn, a key figure in the development of experiential education, without whom Round Square would not exist today.

In 1967, eight schools: Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, Gordonstoun in Scotland, Box Hill School in England, Louisenlund in Germany, Anavryta in Greece, Battisborough in England, The Athenian School in America and Aiglon College in Switzerland established the Round Square movement from a meeting held in the Round Square building at Gordonstoun School.

The idea had formed at Hahn’s 80th birthday the previous year, in June 1966. During those celebrations, there was a conversation between school heads who followed Hahn’s educational approach, and whose students had worked together on an earthquake relief effort in the Ionian Islands.

They shared similar experiences, that this service expedition had broadened their students’ horizons, developed their sense of responsibility, courage, compassion, and international understanding, through working with their peers from other countries and cultures.

The Heads agreed that this type of experience could be repeated, and they planned to meet again the following year to discuss how. In 1967, this conference was officially established as Round Square, named after the building at Gordonstoun in which that first gathering took place.

Today, Round Square has grown to become a network of over 250 like-minded schools across 50 countries over six continents, yet the impact that participating in an international service project, and making a positive change within a community, has on young people is as life changing now as it was nearly 60 years ago.

Leigh Cordell
Director of Round Square


Recently, we, the Round Square Committee’s Environment Sub-Group, hosted a Round Square session about PFAS chemicals. The aim was to inform the Scotch Oakburn College community about these chemicals. What are they? Where are they found? And what can we do to limit our exposure?

PFAS chemicals are a large group of man-made materials that have been used in many industries around the world, since the 1940s. More than 3000 PFAS related compounds are classified as PFAS chemicals and all of these compounds are made from chains of bonded carbon and fluorine atoms – these are very strong, making the chemicals hard to break down. PFAS are found in everyday products, such as cleaners, clothing, cosmetics, food packaging, furnishings, outdoor apparel, paints, papers, protective coatings and sealants, and firefighting foams, just to name a few. But what is even scarier is that PFAS are now being found in our drinking water. This contaminated water can also, unfortunately, find its way to farms, and show up in the plant and animal products that we eat.

Mr Mark Hassell, our Head of Experiential Learning, connected this concern to the environment in which we live, explaining how we can never know we are doing anything wrong unless we are informed, and discussed how we can reduce the impact of PFAS.

As a group, we explained how the Australian Government have been taking appropriate measures to manage PFAS contamination, and we offered a list of simple steps we can all do to decrease our own exposure to PFAS. These include:

• Being informed: Knowing which products contain PFAS and trying to use alternatives.
• Reducing usage: Limiting the use of non-stick cookware and other items known to contain PFAS.
• Advocating: Supporting regulations and policies that aim to reduce PFAS pollution and promoting the cleanup of contaminated areas, for the good of the environment and ourselves.

A large part of the Round Square ethos is sharing our ideas and listening to each other. The Round Square Committee will continue to share important ideas and opinions like this throughout the year with the Scotch Oakburn College community.

Round Square Committee’s Environment Sub-Group
Ella Fischer, Annabel Peddie, Olivia Gunningham and Nandun Peiris


It would be hard to overstate the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in our lives. The challenges of today and tomorrow are complex; addressing them requires an interdisciplinary, integrated approach that combines understanding, technical expertise and practical skills. Many of our Learner Attributes, including agility, innovation, curiosity and courage , go hand-in-hand with STEM, providing a further justification for the need to develop these attributes in our young people:

The Science & Engineering Challenge, run every year by UTAS in conjunction with the University of Newcastle, allows Year 9 & 10 students to apply STEM solutions to various scenarios. This year, 26 Scotch Oakburn College students sought the opportunity to participate in the Launceston Challenge, held at UTAS Inveresk on 24 May. Throughout the day these students relished ambiguity and uncertainty, persisted through their challenges, explored alternative solutions, negotiated with their teams and acted with creativity, thereby demonstrating some truly important skills.

The highlight of the day is the gathering of all participants to watch the testing of the Bridge Challenge. In a thrilling finale, our Silver Team won this contest with a bridge that was light, yet held the equal highest mass. Special mention must also be made of the Yellow and Pink teams, who won at least one of their challenges throughout the day. Scotch Oakburn College narrowly missed out on second place in what was a very high-scoring contest. All teams had an enjoyable day, gaining insight into varied types of engineering, while demonstrating excellent teamwork.

Kate Gard
Head of Science


This year we welcome back an old regular – the College Dance Showcase. This showcase will take place on Wednesday 19 June at 5:00 pm. It promises to be a colourful and fun array of many dance styles, groups, duos and solos – with dancers and performers from Year 6 up to Year 12, it is sure to be a 1 hour feast for your eyes.

Tickets are available via at https://events.humanitix.com/danceshowcase24.

Tickets are free, but please book to ensure you have a seat as we expect the auditorium to be full.

Andy Prideaux
Acting Head of Performing Arts


Our Year 8s were fortunate to have Dr Frank Madill OAM visit the Middle School recently to share his experiences of parliamentary life with us.  As a former politician and GP, Frank was able to explain to us how bills are made into laws using colourful hats and stories.  As a strong supporter of our school over many years we are grateful to Frank and his daughter Christine for bringing civics to life for us.

Katie Lester
Head of Year 8


Participating in the World Peace Game for the first time was an exhilarating and transformative experience for students in Year 7W – the first group for the 2024 year.

This immersive, hands-on activity plunged them into complex global issues, encouraged critical thinking, collaboration, and empathy. As 7W navigated intricate scenarios involving war, environmental crises, and economic challenges, students not only developed a deeper understanding of international relations but also discovered the power of cooperation and creative problem-solving.

The experience left them with a profound sense of accomplishment and a renewed belief in their ability to contribute to a more peaceful and interconnected world.

Strategic play by the saboteur in the World Peace Game is both challenging and nuanced, requiring a delicate balance of subtlety and impact. The saboteur’s primary role is to introduce complications and obstacles that test the other players’ abilities to maintain peace and stability – 7W’s saboteur performed this role exceptionally well, playing out this role undetected throughout the game, only having her role revealed after reflections.

Students’ reflections on their first experience participating in the World Peace Game indicated an overwhelming but profoundly enlightening journey whilst riding an emotional rollercoaster.

Congratulations to 7W on successfully achieving World Peace after solving the 23 scenarios in the given time… almost down to a coin toss.


Bec Tattersall


Our TCE Outdoor Leadership class have been immersed in the beautiful Freycinet Peninsula this week in one of their three treks completed as part of their course.  This three-day circuit trek is planned, managed and led by the students while developing collaboration, communication and leadership skills.


Mark Hassell
Head of Experiential Learning



The annual TCE Play will be performed next week in the Horton Auditorium. This year, Kathryn Gray has selected the text ‘Cyberbile’ by Australian playwright Alana Valentine. This relevant contemporary play was written in 2011, with the assistance of the senior students at Presbyterian Ladies College, in Sydney. The play is based on real people and real events. ‘Cyberbile’ brings awareness to important and confronting themes of, cyberbullying and derogative treatment of women online.

If you would like to support our TCE students, then there is a performance on Friday 14 June, at 7:00 pm. We recommend this performance is watched by those aged 15 years and older as many of the themes are confronting.

Andy Prideaux
Acting Head of Performing Arts


Over the last week, the music section of the Launceston Competitions has been taking place. Following on from a strong showing in the Dance and Drama sections, I’m delighted to share with you the following results of students who represented the College:

Highly Commended

Clarinet Quartet – Small Instrumental Group Section
Y6 Rock Band – Contemporary Group, U16
Jack Duncan – U18 Modern Vocal Solo (Popular Style)

3rd Place

Retro Voltage – Open Contemporary Group
Abel Lim – Grade 7 AMEB Instrumental (Violin)

2nd Place

College Concert Band – Open Concert Band
Georgette Wilks – U16 Modern Vocal Solo (Popular Style)
Isla Lifshen – U16 Modern Vocal Solo (Popular Style)
Millie O’Sign – U18 Modern Vocal Solo (Popular Style)
Junior Voices Choir – Grade Six and Under Primary School Choir

First Place

Abel Lim – U18 Instrumental (Violin)
Stay Sharp – U19 Championship Choir

Abel’s first place performance also earned him the ‘Most outstanding instrumental item performed – Under 21 years Trophy’, which is an amazing achievement.

Huge congratulations to all our students – we’re so proud of all of you.

Andy Prideaux
Acting Head of Performing Arts 



Witness Jonathan Békés, TSO Principal Cellist, tackle the ferociously challenging solo of Friedrich Gulda’s Cello Concerto. In it he unpicks everything you’d expect and then puts it back together in a jazzy, folksy and one-of-a-kind way. Adding to the eclectic excellence is the orchestra sounding like a big band in places, complete with drum kit and electric guitar.

Then, draw breath and change gears and be whisked away to Italy. In this performance of Pines of Rome, Respighi’s classic is freshly reimagined in James Ledger’s orchestration for wind, brass and percussion to create a seductive and vivid love letter to the Eternal City.

A truly captivating performance that is not to be missed. Tickets are free. The screening begins in the Horton Auditorium at 6pm and will go for just over an hour.

Instrument Spotlight – Denni Sulzberger, Cello Tutor

Keeping up with the theme of Cellos. We currently have spaces for students to take up Cello lessons. Our tutor, Denni Sulzberger, is on the hunt for the next star. Why not come along to the TSO Screening tonight to see the Cello in full action? For more information, please get in touch with Helen Carroll (music.admin@soc.tas.edu.au), we’d love to hear from you.

Tickets are free and can be accessed on this link, so please come along and witness this spectacular concert.

Andy Prideaux
Acting Head of Performing Arts


Congratulations to Sally White and Kirsty Lloyd-Bostock, winners of the South Africa International Service and Adventure (SAISA) Raffle conducted earlier this year. Winners have been notified and prizes delivered. The SAISA Team would like to thank those who supported this Raffle in support of the recipients in South Africa.

Jane Gregg
SAISA Staff Member



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

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