Throughout the past few weeks, I have been focused on finding the learning ‘gold’ across our College. This ‘gold’ is when students make real connections, when they understand a concept deeper, or when they place their own prior knowledge into a new environment and reach a goal that exceeds expectations! This is often referred to as ‘learning how to learn’. Pleasingly, I notice this very regularly. Importantly, it is not just students that I observe this ‘gold’, as I have seen many staff, coaches and mentors continuing to learn how to learn. This is what makes a learning hub thrive, when all members of the community have a pursuit for more learning!
This week, I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about myself as a learner with the Year 7 SOC2City community. Firstly, we adapted to a ‘new’ learning space, our ‘City Campus’, based at the School of Architecture at the University of Tasmania at Inveresk. Learning environments can be and should be anywhere. They can be as well-known as City Park, or in the community, for example, a Mall, or a University Lecture Theatre. This week many of our learners have been challenged to learn in so many ways, this is very important as we embrace the Scotch Oakburn Learner Attributes.
I noticed students taking on ‘roles’ within a group, using their strengths and interests to help their group achieve learning outcomes. These ‘attributes’ are critical as our learners adapt to the learning environments of the future. The key purpose for programs like SOC2City is to provide students with the ingredients to learn, not providing them with a step by step recipe, for that type of learning only limits the outcomes. I challenge all learners (students, staff, coaches, mentors and parents) to continue to focus on the ingredients (our Learner Attributes) so that more recipes can be created and not followed.
The Scotch Oakburn College community is a wonderfully diverse and inclusive community. Feedback that College staff often receive from students and families who are new to the College is how welcomed they feel as they make the transition to our school and its community. I am not surprised, as inclusivity and compassion are two of the College’s Values, which we live out every day. To reflect the sense of belonging for all people in our community I am pleased to announce the release of the College’s Inclusion and Diversity Policy. To view the policy click on this link now. This policy is an important statement of what our core beliefs are around the importance of being inclusive, and that all members of our community and safe, valued and cared for.
There was quite an excited buzz around the Middle and Senior Schools on Monday when it was announced that this year’s College Production is Shrek the Musical. This year’s production is going to have many firsts – the first Year 6-12 production and the first one to be held at the Princess Theatre for many years.
Ms Denise Sam will be directing the show and she is in the final stages of scheduling workshops and audition times. If you are interested in being part of this exciting musical adventure, then please keep your eyes on the Dash and the Performing Arts Centre noticeboard.
Watch this space for more details about dates and bookings as it is sure to book out quickly.
The NSATIS Swimming Carnival will take place on Wednesday, 10 March at the Launceston Aquatic Centre. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions, no spectators will be allowed. The following transport arrangements have been made to accommodate the split format of the carnival.
Students competing in U13 and U14 events can be dropped at the Centre by 9.15am.
Students in U13 and U14 events requiring transport from school can catch the bus leaving from outside Briggs House at 9.00am. U13 and U14 swimmers will return to school at 11.45am via school bus.
U15/U16/Open Swimmers will catch the school bus to the Aquatic Centre at 11.30am from the Briggs House turning circle. Open Swimmers who drive may drive to the Centre.
The carnival should conclude around 3.00pm. A bus will return to school at 3.10pm for those requiring it. Otherwise, students may be collected from the Aquatic Centre.
Congratulations to Year 12 student Ellie Muller and Year 11 students William Gray and Wylie Howell who are the Swimming Captains for 2021. These students are most deserving recipients of these leadership positions. With a swimming team displaying considerable depth of talent, the College is anticipating strong results from a very competitive team this year. I wish all three leaders and the team the very best on what will be an exciting day of swimming.
Scotch Oakburn College has been asked to provide the children’s chorus for Opera Australia’s upcoming tour featuring Bizet’s Carmen to be held at the Princess Theatre on Monday 28 June 2021.
If you would like to be on stage with some of Australia’s leading opera performers then this is your opportunity. The chorus is open to students between 9 and 14 years as of 28 June 2021. It is an auditioned choir and auditions will be in the Leigh Speedy Room, Wednesday 17 March 4.00pm-5.30pm.
This week’s LIVE@Elphin for Year 2-5 was led by 3 Kerrison. All students in the class worked together to share a wonderful presentation of their learning over the first half of the Term. Along with content from their reading, writing, maths and science work, they confidently and clearly conveyed some great messages about wellbeing, learning strategies and learner attributes for their audience to reflect on. The importance of developing a growth mindset in all aspects of our learning and daily activities was a recurring theme throughout the presentation.
All Classes from Prep-Year 5 are scheduled to lead a LIVE@Elphin in the coming weeks and parents and friends are warmly invited to attend these. Year 2-5 LIVE is held weekly on Thursdays in the HPEC@Elphin and Prep-Year 1 LIVE is fortnightly on Wednesdays in the Mary Fox Performing Arts Centre.
Lachie Wright Head of Junior School
Years 2-5 students attend CONNECT@Elphin each Friday morning in the HPEC@Elphin. All classes have an opportunity to lead one of these community-building sessions which are also a vehicle for public speaking skill development and personal confidence building in front of audiences.
This week’s CONNECT@Elphin was led by 2 Robinson and was based around the book, ‘Have you Filled a Bucket Today?’ by Carol McCloud. Each of us carry an ‘invisible bucket’ at all times and when our bucket is being filled with positive messages and experiences we are happy, enjoying life and approaching learning and friendships in a productive way.
When we are helping others fill their buckets the wellbeing benefits to both ourselves and the recipient(s) of our giving are significant. Buckets can be filled by something as simple as a smile or a word of encouragement or support, by a compliment, by an act of kindness or in so many other ways big and small.
Year 2 Robinson students captivated their audience with an outstanding presentation of a most uplifting message that gave all of us a wonderful start to the day as well as longer term food for thought.
Lachie Wright Head of Junior School
Visitors on Campus
All visitors to the Campus during the school day (between 8.45am and 2.50pm) are reminded that campus entry is only via one of the two main Elphin Road pedestrian gates. Anybody entering within these times should proceed directly to the main Junior School reception to sign-in, unless attending a specific event by invitation in which case a sign-in table will be located inside the gate or at the event point itself.
This is important for student security and safety as well as with respect to COVID protocol requirements.
Drop-Off and Pick-up Drive Through Zones
The morning and afternoon drive through zones for student drop-off or pick-up are designed to assist families with a quick transit to and from the campus at these times.
Each of the four drive-through zones (Erina St, Elphin Rd, Claremont St at Lemana and Claremont St top end) is clearly signed. These are no parking areas between 8.00am and 9.00am and again between 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Staff are on duty on the footpath at each zone to assist students and keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible. Drivers are asked to join the moving queue in order of arrival and not look to swing into the middle of the queue if a momentary gap appears. This is for road safety as well as efficient traffic flow. Thank you for your support of this process.
Lachie Wright Head of Junior School
LEGO Brixhibition is on again
What you need to know:
Open to all students Prep to Year 5
Your LEGO creations can be delivered to conneXions any time from Monday 15 – Thursday 18 March
Voting will commence on Friday 19 March
Your Lego creation can be no larger than 52cm x 52cm x 52cm (or no larger than four 32×32 lug Lego baseplates)
Must be an original design and not made from a Lego kit or any set of instructions
We have 3 age category winners – Prep/Year 1, Year 2/3 and Year 4/5
One overall winning LEGO creation will be professionally photographed and entered into the Brixhibition Lego competition for virtual judging by Tasmania Brick Enthusiasts Inc. and will also be featured on their website.
Commencing on Tuesday, I congratulate the following students on taking in the leadership opportunity of being Middle School Peers Leaders for the remainder of Term 1.
I look forward to many student-led initiatives that promote a vibrant and engaging Middle School environment.
Angus Forbes Young, Anya Randall, Olivia Darcy, James Robinson, Isabelle Gower, Anna Yu, John Skipper, Blaise Fitzallen, Ashlee Rees, Lincoln Giasli, Jess Bamford, Grace Briggs.
Ben Green Head of Middle School
NSATIS and NIJSSA Swim Teams
Congratulations and best wishes to our swimming team members for the upcoming representative carnivals. With a focus on personal bests, I am sure you will represent our College with pride.
Ben Green Head of Middle School
Year 7 Education Outdoors
Year 7 Fox And Briggs explored the nature of Collaboration, Effective Communication and Curiosity in their outdoor environment this week.
Here is a short piece of written student work that helped to tell the story of the week.
“The spontaneous adventure is the best kind. The relaxed unorganised madness buzzes in your mind. It’s when you’re having so much fun even if you’re cold, you want the moment to last forever and never go home. So sometimes take a risk, do something wild, you never know quite what you’ll find. So next time when your life’s feeling too neat, be brave, be bold, take a leap. ” – Isabella Wilson 7 Fox
Each year the College enters many students in performance and theory examinations through the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB). The College was recently informed that two of its music students received awards.
The selection for an AMEB State award is quite rigorous as students must be nominated to the Tasmanian State Committee for consideration. Throughout the year, examiners nominate outstanding exam candidates for consideration across all exams and year levels.
Abhinav Sundaram (Year 7) was awarded the Modern Music Award for the most outstanding brass or woodwind candidate in Tasmania as demonstrated in his Flute exam.
Also receiving an award was Collegian Zoe Sherriff (’20) who was awarded the Barratt’s Music Award for the most promising candidate in Northern Tasmania, for her Singing for Leisure Grade 7 exam.
Congratulations to Zoe and Abhinav! And good luck to all the students preparing for their exams.
Scotch Oakburn College has started its quest to look for better ways to represent students, along with 36 other Australian schools and in a Research-Practice Partnership with the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education.
“New Metrics for Success” seeks to transform what we value in schools. To reform the organisation of learning so that new learning ambitions can be realised needs new ways to track learner success. The collaboration project seeks to provide a better basis for assessing and improving learning. New metrics for learner success can be used to design better metrics for school success and thus for national success.
One of the principals of a partner school in Victoria, Prince’s Hill, noted that they aim to “partner with students on a lifetime journey of learning and discovery, so they may participate meaningfully and with purpose in a world they are already helping to shape. Children need to be able to collaborate, they need to be creative in their thinking and critical in their analysis.” Prince’s Hill is one of the 37 schools (including Scotch Oakburn) in the New Metrics project aiming to expand assessment for Australian schoolchildren beyond NAPLAN and the ATAR.
The New Metrics partnership was the subject of a feature article in The Age last weekend. The schools selected for this project have been described as “first movers” because they are already on a journey looking for something more appropriate for the 21st century. One of the researchers, Sandra Milligan, noted that: “the distinctive 20th-century version of schooling” – with its age-based year levels, standardised testing, exams and timetables organised around short classes in subject areas – is past its use-by date. Professor Milligan spearheads the university’s involvement in the project and she said the Australian school system was too narrowly focused on test scores as a measure of student achievement. “Vice-chancellors know that an ATAR is meaning less and less because it doesn’t address the kinds of things the community wants,” she said. “No one wants an accountant who just wants to know how to put the right numbers in the right columns. A graduate’s attributes are just as important as their knowledge of the substantive content.”
Partner schools will collaborate together and with university experts on developing credible ways to track a student’s development in areas such as critical thinking, collaboration, oral communication and even character.
Scotch Oakburn College has started 2021 with a major focus on our 10 Learner Attributes. It is intended that this is the start of a journey towards a meaningful Learner Profile that better represents the whole student when they graduate from the College. The SOC team are looking forward to using learning from this national collaborative project to move beyond the simple ranking of students, but instead to track their skills and competencies.
Stuart Walls Head of Senior School
Reference: ‘The children decided’: Schools join quest for better gauge of student progress – Adam Carey, The Age Newspaper (Feb 22, 2021)
Last week the TCE Outdoor Leadership class headed out to the Valley Campus for their first trip of the year. They undertook a range of challenges designed to test their teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and perseverance, such as building and racing rafts, low ropes elements, river crossings, a hike to an old gold mine, and fire lighting without matches. The weather was variable, with some wind and rain, which highlighted the importance of having the correct gear so that we can remain comfortable and fully functional in the outdoors regardless of the weather. There was a great level of energy and enthusiasm throughout the trip and a solid foundation has been laid for the rest of the year’s coursework and activities.