/ Junior School

The Power of Picture Books for young children

This week’s National Simultaneous Storytime saw more than 2 million listeners in schools, libraries and other institutions around Australia captivated by the reading of ‘The Speedy Sloth’ (from Taronga Zoo in Sydney) by author Rebecca Young and illustrator Heath McKenzie. NSS is an annual Australia-wide group reading and literacy event designed to promote the value and fun of books and reading. Helping young children get hooked on reading is one of the most powerful learning initiatives we can commit to – at school and at home. The broader cognitive as well as social-emotional development benefits for every student are immeasurable.

The Speedy Sloth opens opportunities for children (especially but not exclusively in the 3 to 8-year-old age groups) to learn more about embracing individuality, overcoming challenges, building self-confidence and self-belief, courage and risk-taking, fostering empathy and compassion – all in a very engaging and fun way. The learning is so much more than just the reading outcomes.

This is one example from the rich range of picture books available for teachers and parents to share with children to spark their enjoyment of reading and their love of learning. The educational benefits of children being read to every day (or evening) are well-documented. These encompass reading skills as well as learner attributes and worldly understanding.

Cross Country & Fun Runs

Due to the extreme weather conditions this week the Year 2 to 5 Inter-House Cross Country Carnival was been postponed to the same time next week (Thursday 1 June, 12:15 pm to 2:45 pm). All details of the program are unchanged.

Also next week the Prep and Year 1 students have their Fun Run on a course at the Elphin Campus. This is on Tuesday 30 May, Prep at 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm and Year 1 at 2:00 pm to 2:45 pm.

Spectators are most welcome at these events.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School




/ Middle School

World Peace Games begin for 2023!

The students of Year 7V along with five of our Middle School teaching team, are in for a wonderful week of geo-political problems solving as the World Peace Games begin for 2023 in the Middle School.

We are extremely fortunate to have this multi-dimensional learning opportunity,  The Middle School welcomes a special guest presenter from the World Peace Game Foundation, Mr Daniel Sheinwald, who is providing facilitator training for more of our Middle School staff, which will ensure further curriculum connections for our students into the future.  Special thanks to Mr Simon Dray for his commitment and creativity to ensure the continued growth of this unique learning opportunity for our Year 7 students.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School


/ Senior School

A Captain’s Perspective

College Co-Captain, Zoe Bremner, spoke recently at our Discovery Day to families considering Scotch Oakburn College for their children.  Here is what she had to say:

As a Year 12 Scotch Oakburn student in 2023, I often reflect on the incredible experiences that I have been involved in since Early Learning in 2008. From a young age, the College has presented me with an abundance of unique opportunities, which I believe is one of Scotch Oakburn’s greatest strengths.

Throughout my schooling, the College’s involvement with Round Square has contributed greatly to my personal growth and learning. Round Square is an international network of schools that promotes the ideals of Kurt Hahn, including the development of character, leadership skills and service to others. In year 6, I attended a Round Square conference in Melbourne, and in year 7, I attended a Round Square International Conference in China. Both of these events provided me with a unique learning opportunity beyond traditional classroom learning. I collaborated and made friends with students from all around the world and developed my leadership skills, whilst engaging in meaningful community service.

Education Outdoors throughout the years has also always been a highlight, with every year inviting a new camp experience. For Year 10 camp, we chose a week-long adventure – from walking the Overland Track, to exploring the Mole Creek caves, and even white-water rafting down the rapids of the Mersey River. For my experience, I chose white water rafting. This experience encouraged me to embrace daunting experiences and be resilient, whilst also nurturing new friendships.

During Year 10 we also embarked on a one-week Work- Experience program. For my work experience, I wanted to try something new, so I worked a few days on a farm and a couple of days at the Junior School. Not only did this experience give me practical experience in the work environment, but it also made it very clear to me that neither farming nor teaching young kids was the job for me.

School sport has been a dominant aspect of my school life as I have been a member of the football, basketball, netball, athletics, and cross-country team. The profound sense of belonging I experienced throughout my time at Scotch Oakburn can largely be attributed to the culture and camaraderie fostered within the school’s sports programs. As I approach the end of my final year, I know that one aspect I will deeply miss is the invaluable sense of belonging that participating in school sports provided me.

During my schooling at Scotch Oakburn, I have had incredible opportunities to delve into my personal interests and showcase my talents through a diverse range of co-curricular activities. These enriching experiences have not only enabled me to pursue my passions for sports, mathematics, and space science, but they have also unveiled new areas of interest and facilitated the development of valuable skills. Throughout my academic years, my teachers have not only gone above and beyond to maximise my learning, but they have also established themselves as approachable figures for both me and my fellow students, creating an inclusive and supportive educational environment. This strong student-teacher bond is the foundation of the community feel here at Scotch Oakburn. My advice to all new students coming to the College would be to embrace the opportunities presented, and to fully immerse yourself into the strong culture and community that Scotch Oakburn offers young people.

Zoe Bremner
College Co-Captain

Science & Engineering Challenge

On Friday 12 May, 23 students from Years 9 and 10 headed to UTAS’ Newnham Campus for the Launceston Science & Engineering Challenge.

The Challenge, designed to promote students’ knowledge of STEM careers, involved activities as diverse as inventing secret codes, building artificial hands, scheduling a music festival, and in a nod to the classics, designing and building a bridge. Students competed in groups of two or three, working together to solve problems and engineer solutions.

The Scotch Oakburn team finished third behind Prospect High and the Challenge winner, Riverside High. More importantly, students engaged with STEM, demonstrated innovation, collaboration and agility, and had fun.

Kate Gard
Head of Science

Year 9 Dean and Nance House Community Service Week

The week beginning 15 May 2023, I had the great pleasure to be part of the Year 9 Dean and Nance House Community Service Week. The focus of the week has been for our students to understand how to become the best versions of themselves and how they bring value to other people.

On Monday and Wednesday, we worked with the amazing Will Smith and the team from JCP Youth with themes of Creating and Sustaining Change. The workshop activities have been thought-provoking and challenged our students to inspire them to be the best version of themselves every day.

On Tuesday, we held our Agency Expo Day with first responders, and emergency and community services organisations from Launceston showcasing what they do in our community. Organisations involved include Ambulance Tasmania, Tasmania Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Royal Flying Doctor Service, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society. Our students were able to spend time with each organisation and learn about what they do and volunteer opportunities. We also acknowledged and celebrated National Volunteer Week 2023.

On Thursday, our focus was ‘Service to Others’ through our Service in Our Community Day. Students in groups, supported by a teacher, spent the day volunteering at the St Vincent de Paul Society facility, previously YMCA site in Kings Meadows, The City Mission, Mission Shop at Youngtown, The Salvos Store at Invermay, and The Salvation Army HQ in the CBD. A group also spent the day at the Junior School, Elphin Campus assisting in classes from Early Learning to Year 4.

Friday was an opportunity for the students to consolidate their learning and experience from the week, developing group presentations to showcase their Community Service Week. I would like to take the opportunity to say how proud I am of the way our students have contributed and conducted themselves with the many activities and sessions they have been part of. I hope they have shared their experiences with you during the week.

Jamie Breden
Community Service Coordinator


/ Middle School, Senior School

Student Achievement

Ella Nast (Year 11) and Lucy Johnston (Year 9) have been selected to represent Pony Club Australia individually and together as a pair in the Pony Club International Alliance Virtual Dressage Competition to be judged early in June.  Filming of their individual elementary test and their Pas de deux freestyle pairs was completed on the weekend for submission last week.

Twelve countries from around the world are invited to submit teams of four riders in each section. The Pas de deux was an event new to Ella and Lucy. They said that although difficult, it was thoroughly enjoyable working together to choreograph and execute a five minute test in pairs to music.  We wish them the very best.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

Rise Above the Rim – Basketball Shootathon

I am very pleased to update everyone on the wonderful efforts of our students, parents and staff on Saturday 20 May when they completed their Basketball Shootathon. We raised a total of $3,922, part of the Tasmanian total of $38,525 that will now go to directly assist critically ill children and their families, through the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This equates to 240 nights for a family to stay at the house.

A huge thank you to everyone who donated.

And a very special thank you to all our shooters who came from all year levels to work together for such a great cause.

Thank you to our top fundraisers, Justin Thompson (Year 7) $491, Milla Deverell (Year 3) $428 and Angus Seymour (Year 12) $410 (who requested donations from his family in lieu of presents for his 18th Birthday); and so many of our students/parents who all contributed their time and fundraising efforts:

Danielle a’Campo & her two boys (Collegian & Parent)

Zoe Bremner (Year 12), Benji Collins (Year 8), Harrison Collins (Year 4), Oliver Collins (Year 10), Ely Da Costa (Year 11), Matilda Darcey (Year 6), Clementine Dell (Year 6), Esme Dell (Year 8), Sam Denmead (Parent), Nardia & Richard Deverell (Staff & Parent), Mac Edwards (Year 7), Blaise Fitzallen (Year 10), Liam Hodgetts (Year 11), Jasmine Irani (Year 12), Thomas Kubarych (Year 7), Alice Lindsay (Year 12), Poppy Marshall (Year 6), Alice Power (Year 12), Will Stevenson (Year 7), Edie Van Der Aa (Year 6), Chloe Waldron (Year 8).

Thanks to Roger Davis and Donna Mitchell from Swisherr for making our students and families feel so welcome and providing us sustenance all day and Simon Hall, from Glenorchy Basketball, who helped to organise the event for us all here in Launceston.

Once again, our Captains, Zoe Bremner, Alice Lindsay, Angus Seymour and Alice Power, also assisted over the day helping to coordinate all our students to get their shots up, trying to win the multitude of Connect ‘5’ games (in our own adaptation of the game) and generally being fantastic role models for our College.

We all now look forward to making this an annual fun event.

Natalie Good
Director of Basketball



Sports Mindset

Positive Imagery in Performance

In sport and other performance situations, you can use mental imagery primarily to help you get the best out of yourself in training, competitions, or performances, and to open the door to becoming what you can be.  Mental imagery is also highly effective when you have limited practice time, are making a comeback, or are recovering from an injury because you can repeat many successful experiences (in your mind) in a relatively short time without the physical risk or fatigue sometimes associated with doing those skills or performances in the real world.

One of the reasons that mental imagery can be so valuable in performance contexts is that the human brain cannot distinguish between an imagined experience and a real experience.  Both are equally real for your brain.  The same areas of the brain light up in an imagined experience or imagined performance as in a real experience or performance.  For that reason, positive performance imagery has enormous potential.

When you repeatedly imagine yourself doing what you want to do, performing the way that you want to perform, and being what you want to become, you are putting yourself on a path to create a more positive future reality.  Successfully repeating skills, moves, performances, or experiences in your mind and feeling those experiences in your body is often as good as doing them in your physical reality because you can do them perfectly and your brain views them as real.

You need a certain number of successful experiences to create an integrated net of nerve cells (neuronets) in your brain to perform a skill at a high level with consistency.

“A fundamental rule of neuroscience is the nerve cells that fire together, wire together.  If you do something once, a loose collection of neurons will form a network in response, but if you don’t repeat the behaviour, it will not ‘carve a track’ in the brain.  When something is practised over and over again, those nerve cells develop a strong and stronger connection, and it gets easier and easier to fire that network” (Arntz, Chasse, & Vicente, 2005, 147).

Rev Grace
Sports Mindset Coach


This week, our Year 9 and 10 students received some quiet time to do an exercise, following on from what they heard from our guest speaker, Luke Kennedy at the beginning of day.

During these reflections, the students were able to discern what strategies they learnt from Luke that would give them more peace and patience in their lives.  They were even able to assess what took away their peace, and what made them impatient and then list out the strategies that they were going to engage with to ensure that they don’t engage in them again, thereby giving them more life satisfaction, the ultimate goal of our Wellbeing priorities for 2023.

As we go to print today, we celebrate the National Sorry Day for the first peoples of our nation.

Image Source: National Sorry Day – Gippsland Primary Health Network (

This is the day that we acknowledge the hurt, pain, suffering and damage caused by the forced removal of our First Nations children from their families that we have termed, the Stolen Generations.

May we always be mindful of the reparation needed to overturn that damage and empower our First Nations people to have their own agency so that their families, communities and culture can be restored to how they were and are meant to be.

I can still hear the words of Kevin Rudd… “and for this we are sorry”.

May we all work towards the healing of our nation caused by this spiritual blight on our history.

Have a good weekend and week ahead.

Rev Grace
College Chaplain

Looking for older news?  Go to the next page using the link above.