College News2018-09-28T14:06:43+00:00



The College weekly news highlights all activities throughout the College each week. A reminder of weekly news is distributed to the College community via email each Friday but can be viewed online at any time.

Across Campus

Principal’s Message

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Diversity and Growth – Term 3

It has been another amazing term with many highlights, including Robotics, Debating, Chess, concerts, stage productions, sports of all sorts, academic competitions, cultural excursions, Service activities, House competitions and, of course, learning both in classrooms and beyond. All of these amazing opportunities allow our students to participate in that in which they shine, while developing their knowledge, skills and abilities in a range of areas.

The last few weeks of term were a great example of the diversity of activities in which our students were able to represent themselves and the College with great pride. Maths Relay, Chess, Equestrian, Debating, Athletics and Round Square overseas trips to South Africa and Canada gave our students an opportunity to display teamwork, compassion, commitment, empathy, courage and collaboration – all important inter and intra-personal skills that they will need to thrive in their future.

For that, we have our wonderful staff to thank for providing the energy to lead, coordinate and support these student activities and our parents for supporting our young people and the College’s programs.

The coming two weeks give us all a chance to recharge the batteries and for our TCE students to gather their thoughts and prepare for the final few weeks leading into their exams. I wish our senior students good luck in their endeavours and thank everyone for a wonderful term. I trust you will all have a safe and relaxing break in the coming weeks.

Andy Müller

Blessing of the Animals

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It is unusual to find a donkey at school, it is even more unusual for it to be accompanied by three dogs, one cat and a chicken but that is exactly what happened at the very first Scotch Oakburn College Blessing of the Animals Service.

This unique event took place on Wednesday 26 September in the College HPEC. Students and staff from the Penquite Campus prepared for this service by collecting donations and contributing photos of their beloved pets for a blessing montage which was played during the Service. Reverend Carol Bennett of the Uniting Church, a member of our College Board, presided over the (at times amusing) proceedings. Dr Andrew Byrne from the RSPCA and Rachel Beech from Just Cats, accompanied by a very nonchalant 10kg marmalade cat called Gavin, spoke about their work and the need for communities to become more aware of animal welfare. It initially seemed a bit bizarre seeing the animals taking their places in seats usually reserved for official parties, but once proceedings began it seemed perfectly appropriate for our furry friends Bo, Chloe, Gavin, Beau and Summer to be present. Arabella the donkey delighted students as they arrived and even quietly attended the service with her human family members.

As if demonstrating their skills in reading the mood, the dogs laid down peacefully to listen to a superb rendition of Hallelujah by the school’s acapella group Stay Sharp under the direction of Ms Denise Sam. Following the service, a raffle was drawn from the names of those who contributed donations. Congratulations to Ella Fischer (Year 6) who won a family pass to Tasmania Zoo in Riverside and Emily Greenhill (Year 12) who won a lunch voucher to Stonesthrow (who we thank for their support of this occasion).

Our heartfelt thanks to all families who contributed and a special thank you to Reverend Bennett for her thoughtful blessings and presence at our unique and special event.

Kylie Wolstencroft
Wellbeing Coordinator / Registered Psychologist

A community grieves

This week, on Thursday, we were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of one of our past students, Ben Paton.

Ben, who left Scotch Oakburn College at the end of Year 10 in 2014, is fondly remembered by all of his teachers and peers.

Ben was a fine young man who became a close friend to many during his years at Scotch Oakburn.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, Doug and Jenni and his older brother Tim at this incredibly sad time.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Support Year 3’s War on Waste!

What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint? Scotch Oakburn College Planet Care Cups are now available!

Inspired by the ABC’s ‘War on Waste’ series, Year 3 students and families have consciously made changes at home to make their lives more sustainable. Our families have committed to switching off power, using beeswax wraps, composting and even keeping chickens!

Instigated by this Year 3 sustainability inquiry unit, Scotch Oakburn College Planet Care Cups are now available to purchase.

Size: 340ml/medium
Plastic: $12.99    Glass: $19.99

Pre-order a Planet Care Cup today! Not only will you help raise awareness for the fight against disposable waste, but you will also be positively supporting the Year 3 Woodcock-Davis sustainability campaign. Any proceeds raised will help fund local and environmental ‘Planet caring’ initiatives selected by Year 3 Woodcock-Davis.

Orders will be available for early Term 4 delivery.

Order your Keep Cup/s now

Fitness Centre on the move

As Term 3 comes to an end, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank our regular group of parents who come along and attend our classes each week in the fitness centre. We are always keen to see new people and are constantly searching for new ways to cater to the needs of our school community. Please feel free to email me any ideas, or come and visit and have a chat.

Over the term break, the Fitness Centre will be open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6.00am until 8.00am (2, 4, 9, and 11 October). Our resident PT, Tim will be on site to run classes as well as construct individual programs if you wish on those dates.

Please refer below to the new roster that will commence at the start of Term 4.


6.15am to 7.00am


5.00pm to 5.45pm

Monday Power Bar Cardio HIIT
Tuesday Boot Camp Boxing (30)
Wednesday Cycle HIIT Indoor / Outdoor
Thursday Cardio Hiit Cross Fit
Friday F45 No class

*Please note all AM classes start at 6.15am on the dot and afternoon classes at 5.00pm.

*Cycle HIIT class- if possible bring your own road bike and Wind trainer.

Workout descriptions:

Power Bar – Using adjustable barbells, this class will hit all muscles off the body with a focus on high repetitions and range of movements.

Cardio-HIIT- High-intensity interval training. This type of training improves cardiovascular fitness and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time using a variety of body weight exercises provides the challenge and intensity you need to get results fast.

Boot camp – A circuit-based group class done to time or repetitions, that consists of a constant variety of exercises.

Cycle HIIT – Using the stationary bikes or bring in your road bike and wind trainer this class will improve on your cardio fitness while riding a bike on and off the seat 40minutes.

F45 – F45 Training combines elements of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Circuit Training, and Functional Training. This combination of interval, cardiovascular and strength training has been proven to be the most effective workout method for burning fat and building lean muscle.

Indoor/Outdoor – A cardio and conditioning class that incorporates body weight or functional exercise equipment like medicine balls, exercise balls etc. A great way to tone the body.

Boxing (30) – Boxing not only helps to increase the muscular stature but also help you to gain mental strength. It is the perfect form of workout that balances mind, body and soul all within 30minutes.

Cross-fit – Individual/Partner/Team- A variety of exercises that works a wide variety of muscles. Participants will move through different types of activities. These create a good insight into different exercises. The exercises can be modified as required.

Should you have any queries at any time, please do not hesitate to make contact.

Paul McKendrick
Head of Health & Physical Education


Environment and Us Photography Competition

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Congratulations to all entrants in the 2018 Environment and Us Photography Competition.

The judges have completed the difficult task of deciding the winners for this year’s competition and the votes collated for the People’s Choice Awards have been collated.   The winner in each category receives a $100 gift voucher from Stallards Camerahouse.

Congratulations to the following students who won the respective section(s):
Judges Choice
Landscape – Carl Els (Year 9)
Flora & Fauna – Catherine Bean (Year 10)
Human Interaction with the Environment – Lily Millwood (Year 7)
Wetlands and Scotch Oakburn – Louise Tyson (Year 10)

People’s Choice
Landscape – Rebekah Collins (Year 11)
Flora & Fauna – Catherine Bean (Year 10)
Human Interaction with the Environment – Lily Millwood (Year 7)
Wetlands and Scotch Oakburn – Louise Tyson (Year 10)

The winners will be presented with their certificates and prizes in the first assembly of Term 4.

Stephen King
Head of Visual and Performing Arts

SATIS Athletics 2018

Scotch Oakburn Athletics participated in the SATIS Athletics carnival at St Leonards Athletics centre, Saturday 22 September.

In a near perfect day for athletics, our students presented themselves and performed in outstanding fashion. We had several eye-catching performances as the list below shows.

Lucy Jones- Open Girls 1500m (3rd), Open Girls 3000m (2nd)
Chelsea Freestone- Open Girls Hurdles. (2nd)
Danieka Wagner – Open Girls Shot Put- (2nd)
Isabella Foster- U/16 Girls 100m (2nd), U/16 Girls 200m  (1st) , U/16 Girls Hurdles (1st), U/16 Girls Long Jump (1st), U/16 Girls Triple Jump (1st)
Isobella Larby – U/15 Girls 200m, (2nd), U/15 Girls 400 m (3rd)
Ashleigh Reid – U/15 Girls Hurdles (2nd)
Eva Baonza- U/15 Girls Long Jump (3rd)
Amy Campbell- U/14 Girls 400m (1st), U/14 Girls  200m (1st)
Kate McShane- U/14 Girls Shot Put (1st), U/14 Girls Discus (2nd)
Ben McShane- Open Boys 800m (2nd), Open Boys Shot Put (3rd), Open Boys Discus (3rd)
Oliver Marshall – Open Boys 3000m (2nd)
Patrick Munnings – Open Boys Javelin (2nd)
Tom McShane – U/16 Boys High Jump (1st), U/16 Boys Triple Jump (2nd ), U/16 Boys Shot Put (1st), U/16 Boys Discus (1st)
Alexander Creak- U/15 Boys 200m (3rd), U/15 Boys 400m (1st), U/15 Boys 800m (2nd)
Liam Canny- U/15 Boys 1500 m (3rd)
Bryce Lawes- U/13 Boys 800m (1st)

Thank you to staff members John Poynter, Julie Kemp, Trish Reid, Ben Grayson, Mark Simco and Tom Waller for assisting on the day.

Special thanks to our 2018 Athletics Captains, Danieka Wagner and Ben McShane, for their leadership during NSATIS and SATIS Athletics carnivals.

Rob Jeffery
Sports Administrator


Pipes and Drums

Our Pipes & Drums have competed in a pipe band contest for the first time since 1965 with great success!

Our Piping Trio, made up of Kael Haysom (Year 11) leading, Lachlan Stewart (Year 10) and tutor John Ralph, placed first in their event. This is the first win by the school band’s players outside of solos that anyone can remember. A fantastic effort!

Other performances included: Solo Novice Tenor Drumming (E Grade) Violet Haysom (Year 5), 2nd place; Novice Piping (E Grade) James Hurd, equal 2nd place, Will Hurd, 3rd place;
Elementary Piping (D Grade) Lachlan Stewart (Year 10), 1st place and Kael Haysom, 2nd place. The group also competed in the Mini Bands (Open) event, placing 4th.

Collegian Matthew Holzberger (’03), won the Advanced Piping section, with our Pipes and Drums tutor, John Ralph, 2nd.

Susan Mclean – Cybersafety parent forum

Susan McLean is Australia’s foremost expert in the area of Cyber safety and young people.

An informative & entertaining session for parents and carers is delivered with Susan’s famous ‘no nonsense’ approach & will cover the positive benefits of technology as well as what parents need to be aware of:-

– What are kids doing online  – The popular social networking sites and apps such as KiK, and Instagram & Yubo as well as live streaming sites.

-Online Grooming – What is it and when/how does it occur? What are the warning signs & what to do if you suspect this is happening to your child.

-Cyberbullying – What it is, where it happens, what it looks like, how to prevent and what to do if it occurs. Also the legal consequences and the possible criminal charges.

-Sharing Nudes – the taking and sending of explicit images. The social and emotional consequences as well as the Law.

-Potential dangers and safety tips – how to assist the children in your care to stay safe online via parental controls and restriction pass codes.

-Problematic Internet use and gaming issues.

This is a free event open tot he wider Launceston community. RSVP is essential.

Confirm your seats now

Proposed re-design of Evandale, Deddington and White Hills school bus services

The Department of State Growth has advised that they are proposing changes to the Evandale, Deddington and White Hills school bus routes and timetables.

Parents with students using these bus services are encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed changes by Friday 5 October.  Details on how to provide feedback, along with detailed information on the proposed changes can be found on the link below.

Download information –  Proposed mergers of White Hills Evandale Evandale (via Relbia) Deddington


Triathlon Years 7 – 12

Students in Years 7 to 12 are invited to enter in this year’s Triathlon Schools Challenge, being held in Devonport on Wednesday 28 November.

Students wanting to participate should download the entry form below, complete and give to me, along with payment, by Wednesday 17 October.

Download entry form – Schools Triathlon Challenge Entry Form 2018

Rob Jeffery
Sports Administrator

Old Scotch Collegians women’s side

Old Scotch Collegians Football Club will be entering a women’s side in the upcoming 2019 season and are looking for players.

Anyone interested or wanting more information should contact Liz Dixon on 0408 447 801 or


Community News

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

  • Festival of Roses – November, Longford
  • All Schools Track & Field – 10-18 years
  • Tamar island Wetlands 20th anniversary event
  • Headspace information eveing
Go to Community News

Junior School

End of Term and Term 4

Thank you to all students, families and staff for such an engaging and productive Term 3. Best wishes to all members of our learning community for a holiday which includes some ‘recharging’ time alongside a range of exciting family experiences and adventures, be they at home or travelling.

The first week of next term includes the House Athletics Carnival for Years 2-5 students on Friday 19 October and then the Northern Primary Basketball Championships for Year 3-4 teams on Saturday-Sunday 20-21 October. Families and supporters are most welcome at these events.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Sustainability Pop-Up Fair

Year 3 students have been challenging and inspiring us all with their passion for a focus on sustainability in our everyday activities, both at school and in the community. On Wednesday 17 October, from 1.30pm – 3.30pm, they will be leading a sustainability pop-up fair on the front lawn of the Elphin Campus. This will include interactive activities, stalls, speakers, special visitors and more.

All Junior School parents and families are invited to drop in for a short time and enhance their sustainability awareness – there will be something to do, see and learn for all ages! Stay tuned for more information.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Congratulations to the 60 members of the Junior Voices choir from Years 4 and 5 who represented the College so well at the 2018 Singfest. Held at the Albert Hall, this event brings together more than 600 students from 18 Northern Primary Schools over two days and evenings in a wonderful choral spectacular.

Thank you to the Junior School music staff who played a significant role not only with our own students but also in the overall organisation of the event.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Inter-School Fishing

A team of 29 Junior School students participated in the annual Inter-School fishing event at Brumby’s Creek this week. A catch of six fish by the team was the highlight of a very successful day with all team members developing their knowledge of some of the intricacies of trout fishing.

Thank you to Mr Daniel Ellis who coordinated our team and to the parents who supported the students on the day.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Where? Where? Wedgie Expo

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Isabella Wilson, Amelie Geddes, Lucy van der Aa, Makaela Fulton, Samantha Kirschbaum, Abhinav Sundaram, Surya Koirala and James Walker from Year 4 represented the College at the Where? Where? Wedgie! Expo at the University of Tasmania. These students shared a small reflection from what they had learned from participating in the Eyes to the Sky Citizen Science survey of wedge-tailed eagles. In addition to this presentation, there was also a display of related student work that students were able to engage the audience with.  As part of the Expo, students heard from a panel of scientists and experts from the field and what they have discovered so far from the data collected. The Year 4 students were part of that panel sharing their experiences from the program. They were highly praised for their presentation from all in attendance. They also had the opportunity to speak directly to these experts and ask questions about their field of science.

Thank you to all students and parents who attended.

Naomie O’Loughlin and Rachel Buck

Vacation Care

Details of the program and registration process for the Vacation Care program can be found on the link below or via the Outside School Hours Care room in the Early Learning Centre (Phone 63363380).

Students aged 3-12 from Scotch Oakburn or from other local schools are able to attend and normal Childcare Subsidies apply. The program includes both on and off-campus activities and runs Monday-Friday from 8.00am – 5.30pm each day (except the Show Day Public Holiday 11 October).

Download Vacation Care program

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Middle School

Fred Hollows Humanity Award

Charlotte Ball (Year 6) is one of 13 Year 6 students from Tasmania recognised for their compassion, integrity and kindness at a presentation ceremony for the Fred Hollows Humanity Award at Parliament House in Hobart last Friday.

The Humanity Award is a national initiative of The Fred Hollows Foundation that acknowledges Year 6 students who follow in Fred’s footsteps by demonstrating humanitarian values towards others.

Charlotte visits elderly care home residents during her lunchtime on a weekly basis and helps organise charity events. She is interested in democracy, the environment and community service. We congratulate Charlotte on this wonderful recognition.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Senior School

South Africa IDEALS trip

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Our South Africa IDEALS group have spent time at Tiger Kloof school this week.  They were warmly welcomed with a chapel service and have spent time with children at the school. An update from the group follows:

“Yesterday was our last whole day at Tiger Kloof. We went to the primary school in the morning where each of our learners jumped in and managed a class for a bit. The director was worried it might have turned a few off of becoming a teacher! They all did very well and learned a lot. Following this we went to the Hem (soup kitchen) for our final day. It was VERY busy today as next week schools have a week off so soup kitchens don’t operate as regularly. As you can see everyone got very involved with the children and the tasks involved in feeding over 200 hungry children. It was also very warm which made things more challenging for the children and our crew as well.

This morning we leave Tiger Kloof bright and early (6.00am departure) to drive back to Johannesburg where we will be staying the following 2 nights before heading up to Kruger National Park and the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) where we will spend a week working with cheetah and rhino.

Everyone continues to travel well and are truly making the best and most of each of the experiences and opportunities offered. It’s just wonderful to see them all get involved and work so well with one another and the Tiger Kloof students.”


Round Square

Waste Not, Want Not Action Makes a Difference

The student-driven Waste Not, Want Not project has had some good results during Term 3 and I’d like to congratulate the Middle School Round Square environment team and the Waste Not, Want Not team for their dedication and hard work to help us achieve these results. See the table below for the details of our audit results.


ITEM Audit 1 – 9/8/18 Audit 2 – 21/9/18
FOOD WASTE 45.8kg 26kg
HARD PLASTICS 4.7kg 3.5kg
MILK AND JUICE IN TETRA PAKS 2.4kg (108 items) 2.6 (93 items)
GENERAL WASTE 14.4kg 7.2kg


There was a significant impact in our composting program with the amount of food waste being diverted from our general rubbish stream nearly half what it was earlier in the Term. There have been some student presentations on assembly, competitions run at lunchtimes to help raise student and teacher awareness of the issues that we are facing as a college and a wider community with regards to managing our waste and tackling our consumption in general.

In order to help celebrate this success and a lot of the other great Sustainability work that is happening around the College, I encourage you to come along to the Sustainability Pop Up on Wednesday, October 17 and Thursday, October 18 at the Elphin and Penquite campuses respectively. See the event flyer above for more details.

Students will be sharing some short TED-style talks, assisting with the sale of a variety of sustainability-related products/produce. They will also be helping to set up stores, run practical workshop activities and participate in practical workshops as well.

Get Involved

Parents are welcome to attend and participate in both of these days and a number of parents have already committed to helping out on the two days. If you are not able to attend you could support the event by doing some of the following things:

-Send produce from your garden for the seed, fruit, vegetables, seedling swap store.
-Sign yourself up for a 3 min TED-style talk about a Sustainability Issue that you think would be of interest to our students community.
-Donate fabric for the sustainable bag making workshop (old pillowcases, sheets, t-shirts – all washed)
-Support your child by listening to their 3 minute TED-style talk at home and giving them some feedback. Visit the Ted Talk hints on the Sustainability Pop Up page
-Pre-order your Scotch Oakburn College Keep Cup.
-Come along and help to make some Boomerang bags if you are handy with a sewing machine.
-Send along a little money for your child to be able to purchase some nude food lunch items, get themselves a keep cup or buy some seedlings.

Sustainability Expo
Sunday, October 13th, Albert Hall

Tamar NRM is hosting this community event and would like to have some Scotch Oakburn students presenting some of their TED-style talks at it. If your child is interested in being involved in this event please contact me at or phone 0403 773 145 for more details. It will be an excellent event and I encourage all of our community members to get along and support an organisation who constantly supports the work that we do here at Scotch Oakburn College.

Mark Munnings
Director of Education Outdoors and Sustainability



Teach kids not to jump to conclusions

Many children jump to conclusions when an unpleasant situation occurs, thinking and acting impulsively rather than thinking rationally before reacting. (This is not just the domain of kids, by the way!) While these snap judgements may be justified, in reality, they are the least likely to be the right ones.

Slowing down your thinking and avoiding jumping to conclusions is a great resilience skill that can be improved with practice. As a parent, you can model this type of thinking, reciting the possibilities out loud so your kids can see how it’s done.

For example, imagine a boy walking across a schoolyard when he’s hit in the face by a football. He automatically thinks someone is trying to hurt him, basing his conclusion on the fact that he has been on the receiving end of some rough treatment in the past. He is angry and starts a fight with the boy who kicked the ball, with both of them ending up in trouble.

Don’t react, hit the pause button instead

In contrast, if the boy had paused to think before reacting, he may have drawn quite a different conclusion. He might have looked at the person who kicked the ball and, knowing that boy’s general skill level, understood that the most likely scenario was that it was just an accident. In fact, the chances of the boy deliberately aiming at and successfully hitting him were very slim. He would have laughed and kept walking, or joined in the game.

Imagine a girl waiting outside a shop for her friends. They are late, and after ten minutes the girl gets annoyed, concluding that her friends have ditched her – they had tricked her into going to the shops and were never going to meet her; they just wanted to make a fool of her! She sends them an angry text message and goes home in a huff.

This is classic pessimistic thinking – the type that often spirals out of control, leaving a person feeling physically and emotionally exhausted.

If instead of jumping to conclusions, this girl had slowed down and thought through the possibilities, she would have realised there were lots of quite reasonable scenarios causing her friends to be late. Perhaps they had missed their bus, or they got stuck in traffic. Maybe they got on the wrong bus. The buses always run late anyway. Instead of her angry text message, she could simply have sent a questioning one, wondering if her friends were okay. She could even have called them!

Resilience is a skill

Slowing down your thinking and avoiding jumping to conclusions is a great resilience skill that can be improved with practice. As a parent, you can model this type of thinking, reciting the possibilities out loud so your kids can see how it’s done. If you are the type of parent who instantly assumes the worst and builds mountains out of molehills, this practice could help you as well. (Don’t forget to do this when making judgements about your children’s behaviour too!)

It can be challenging to think rationally in our modern lives. The propensity of the media to focus on sensationalism and worst-case scenarios in many news items doesn’t help – they simply normalise the practice of catastrophising. “The worst recession in years…”, “Record drought figures…”, “Poll figures spell defeat for the government” – you know, the attention-grabbing headlines.

But neither we as adults nor our kids, need to think this way. We can think differently, reach our own conclusions, and teach our kids to do the same.

Kylie Wolstencroft
Wellbeing Coordinator / Registered Psychologist