As we head into Term 3 many in our community have had the added challenge of navigating an ever-changing COVID landscape. Some families and staff have been impacted by quarantine requirements with some still unable to return to Tasmania, further interrupting study programs.
I would like to acknowledge everyone who has stepped up to support our students and colleagues throughout this period. For some this has meant a return to online lessons, collaborating remotely and additional check-ins with students and families.
Here at Scotch Oakburn, we are prioritising the overall wellbeing of all students as we head into what, for our TCE students, is their final Term of new learning content. We encourage all students to remain attuned to their overall wellbeing and to utilise the various supports in place. These include Tutors and House Heads, our Wellbeing Coordinator, Dean of Students, Chaplain and Heads of school, as well as class teachers.
Term 3 is an important time of consolidation and preparation for the final exam period next term. The Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences earlier this week provided a valuable opportunity for our TCE students to focus their efforts and identify specific areas for improvement. We encourage all families to make time to reflect on these discussions and implement the strategies discussed with class teachers.
Of course, maintaining a healthy balance means our cocurricular and House competition programs remain in full swing. This week I have had the great privilege of supporting the Middle and Senior School House Singing rehearsals in the lead up to the Inter-House Singing Carnival in Week 5. All students and staff are congratulated for their commitment, enthusiasm, and talent. It has been especially pleasing to see our students leading these rehearsals.
Our winter sports teams have endured a wet start to the Term. Despite the challenging conditions, we have seen some excellent results. Both our netball and soccer teams had big wins in Burnie this week.
Finally, if you haven’t booked your tickets for the upcoming production of Shrek, don’t delay! This promises to be the sell-out theatre event of the year.
As has been communicated to all families, the College is partnering with Family Zone to provide greater protection and visibility of how students are using the internet and their computers during school time. The purpose of this is related to our duty of care and keeping our young people safe on their device(s) during school hours. The College already provides content filtering and internet logging on our firewall. However, this data is not readily available to teachers and pastoral staff.
Installing the Family Zone application on students’ computers has the following added benefits in regard to students’ effective use of class time, maximising their learning and safe use of devices.
During school hours on school days:
1. During classes, teachers will have greater visibility of student’s computer use to ensure they are focused on their learning activities. 2. If a student uses their phone as a mobile hotspot, connecting their computer to it for internet access, the application will provide the same internet filtering as provided by the College.
To clarify one issue that has been raised, the College is not installing any software on students’ phones. If you wish to do that within the family context, you can privately purchase the software from Family Zone, but the College’s software does not monitor students’ use of technology outside school hours.
As a part of our Community Education and Support Program, a reminder of two guest speakers events happening in August.
Respectful Relationships – Catherine Manning 17 August 7.00pm Horton Auditorium
Hear from CEO and Program Director of SEED Workshops, Catherine Manning, as she outlines information and strategies on supporting young people as they navigate adolescence. This session is recommended for parents and guardians of students in years 6-12.
Growing up Online – Susan McLean 24 August 7.00pm Horton Auditorium
We are pleased to welcome back to the College Australia’s foremost expert in Cybersafety and young people, Susan McLean. Susan will share discuss many issues including, Cyberspace 101, online grooming, cyberbullying and exposure to damaging content. This session is also recommended for parents and guardians of students in years 6-12.
Lunch Breaks for many Primary students and staff are often just another ‘lesson’ with a range of options to choose from. The all-important downball or build-ups, or other creative self-initiated group games, are a big part of this for many students, but other options are frequently open to those looking to try something new.
This week, as an example, has seen students engaging in one or more of chess coaching and practice, Art Club, daily mini-Olympics in the HPEC, music practices, public speaking coaching and on Wednesday, the Junior School Rock Band drew a large audience in the Mary Fox Hall.
Break times in Early Childhood and Primary years are important times for the learning and development of social skills, for emotional growth and self-regulation learning, for movement and physical activity, for practising skills in activities of personal choice and interest, for enhancing focus on learning in class sessions after the break, and more. There is quite a body of research reminding us of how significant these breaktime activities can be for learning during the break itself as well as for class time following the break, for physical and mental wellbeing, and then for longer term improved academic outcomes.
Lachie Wright Head of Junior School
100 Days of School!
On Tuesday 3 August Prep students celebrate a milestone – their first 100 days of formal school life. For five and six-year-olds, these first 100 days has seen an enormous amount of personal and academic growth. The countdown has been on in the four Prep classrooms since February and students, staff and parents will celebrate the big day with shared activities around the Campus on Tuesday morning.
Lachie Wright Head of Junior School
All Junior School students and families are reminded of the importance of wearing warm clothing to school at this time of the year! School jumpers can be worn at all times, school gloves and beanies are options for to and from school wear. Rain protection is also important every day – a raincoat or school Japara will be used during the day on wet days as students move between classes and learning activities as well as when waiting to be picked up or to catch a bus at the end of the school day.
Lachie Wright Head of Junior School
Daily Pickup traffic
We are all very aware of the busy 2.50pm to 3.15pm period around Elphin Campus gates each day. Quite a number of parents or guardians park and walk to the gate to collect students, others opt to use the drive-through zone for pickup by car. In total, this makes a significant number of pedestrians (many of whom are very young) and vehicles in a confined area for what is a short space of time.
Mostly this all flows safely and smoothly, but on some days (especially wet days) not quite as well as others! Pedestrians are reminded of the importance of keeping a close watch on children collected and walking from the gate as they are clearing the immediate busy area. Those crossing Elphin Road should do so at the traffic lights, even when this means walking a few extra metres to double back on the other side.
Drivers using the drive-through pick up will have noted how much it helps traffic flow when the child’s surname is clearly displayed in the front of the car for rostered staff to see. To keep traffic moving as efficiently as possible it helps greatly when drivers move as far forward in the zone as is clear before stopping, and do not leave the vehicle. These zones are signed ‘no parking’ areas for the designated pickup (and drop off) times on school days. On occasions when the lane is full, following vehicles should be very aware of not hindering through traffic on Elphin Road and may need to return a few minutes later. Arrivals for pick up in these zones start at 2.50pm for Early Learning only, then at 3.00pm for Prep-Year 5, and continue until 3.15pm (ie not all pickups need to be right at 3.00pm).
All families are also reminded of the option to pick up all siblings at one gate, thus avoiding multiple stops at different gates. In most cases, this will be at the gate of the youngest sibling.
Thank you for your support of these processes and of the rostered staff working to help everyone to depart safely and as efficiently as possible.
This week throughout the Middle School we have been excited to connect with the Tokyo Olympics. Students cheering and celebrating along with the Olympic mission of faster, higher, stronger and together. Earlier this week, I shared the following two quotes:
“Every professional was once an amateur. Every expert was once a beginner. So dream big! And start now!”
We can be inspired by others, we don’t all have to be inspirational at the beginning, but we all need to make a start for something to happen. For all of the Olympic success, every athlete was once a beginner, a student of their chosen discipline and they have stayed connected and committed to their goal. For every student, every day we can seek improvement, gain feedback and #bemore!
“You don’t have to be good to start, you just have to start to be good!”
The start of every day, of every Term, we all have a chance to make a start. Many look beyond the start and are worried or daunted by how ‘good’ others are or how much work has to be done to be ‘good’. Before any measurement or receipt of results, we must encourage the ‘start’. To make it well, to plan a first step and then stay committed. I am very pleased with the start to Term 3 for our Middle School community; make the most of every day!
Ben Green Head of Middle School
Dorothea McKellar Poetry Awards
Erin Gruber (Year 7) has a passion for poetry. She took the initiative and entered into this year’s Dorothea McKellar Poetry Awards. The awards are open to students in Australia and students are encouraged to write about something they are passionate about. Erin’s poem is about Tongelongeter, an Aboriginal leader during the Black Wars 1823-1831. She sourced inspiration from author Nick Clements, who was writing a book about Tongelongeter at the time. Nick has now asked Erin to recite her poem at his book launch in Hobart, being opened by the outgoing Governor, The Honourable Kate Warner, and in Launceston, being opened by Premiere Peter Gutwein. This is fantastic recognition for Erin’s work and I congratulate her on her project.
The College looks forward to sharing Erin’s poem with the community in our next edition of Focus magazine.
Ben Green Head of Middle School
Year 6 and Year 8 Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences
Families of Year 6 and Year 8 are invited to upcoming Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences on Monday 16 August from 4.00pm. Details on how to book have been sent to all families. This learning opportunity is important for all students.
Tasmanian Senior Secondary College Basketball Championships
Congratulations to our Senior Boys team who competed last weekend in the Tasmanian Senior Secondary College Basketball Championships at Elphin Sports Centre.
On the first day of the tournament, the boys defeated Hobart College (73-67) but lost their two other pool games to St Patrick’s College and Guilford Young. Unfortunately, this placed us out of the Semi-Finals which were the following day. The boys best finish would be 5th provided they could defeat Elizabeth College who finished 3rd in the other pool from Saturday’s games.
It was quite a solemn day for the parents of those Year 12 boys who quite possibly would be playing their last game of Basketball for the College together, many photos were shared by the group reminiscing just how far these boys have come and developed since they first played together in Year 7.
They certainly had something to prove as the game against Elizabeth College started very well, with Scotch Oakburn up 18 – 9 at the end of the first quarter. They continued to play great basketball for the remaining three quarters, with both Captain, Henry Cox and Vice-Captain, Hamish Auton, dominating the boards and each playing a strong game. The boys won the game comfortably 76 – 57.
Scorers: Henry Cox 24, Hamish Auton 23, Angus Seymour 14, William Scott 9, Xander Pretorius 4, Freddie Cox 2.
Once again, I would like to thank their coach, Mr Rick Wyllie and their Team Manager, Catherine Scott, for their tremendous work over the weekend. Also a huge thank you to the parents, as always the support you show these boys is second to none.
Natalie Good Director of Basketball
From the Futures Centre
Upcoming events in August
1 August UTAS School Leavers Expo – Newnham Campus
1-31 August RMIT Digital Experience & Campus Open Days
If you have any questions or need help please come and see us in the Futures Centre.
Teresa Darcy Careers Advisor / VET Coordinator
Lisa Gipton, Martin Kantor Portrait Prize
College Art teacher Ms Lisa Gipton has recently been announced as a finalist in the 2021 Martin Kantor Portrait Prize.
Named in honour of the late portrait photographer Martin Kantor, the award recognises the work judged as an exceptional portrait of a significant Australian acclaimed or recognised within their field, including art, letters, science, sport or politics.
Martin Kantor was a photographer and philanthropist known for his arresting portraits of famous musicians and artists including Iggy Pop, Howard Arkley, Adam Cullen, Dale Frank and Mark Seymour (Hunters and Collectors).
Held at the Ballarat Town Hall, the exhibitions and runs from 28 August to 24 October, with the winner announced on 29 August.
Congratulations Lisa, and good luck!
Stephen King Head of Visual and Performing Arts
Training has commenced for the Senior Athletics team. It has been great to see the number of students willing to improve their skills and push for a spot on the team. Athletics is the biggest event in terms of students representing the College during the calendar year. I have enjoyed the support of our Athletics team coaches, Mrs Julie Kemp, Miss Kim Badcock, Mr Andrew Robinson and parent Mrs Liz Gray.
Next week’s session times:
Members of the squad who are not involved in training or the competition should come and speak to me.
Ali Foot Head of Sport
Come and try Volleyball
Volleyball is scheduled to be a rostered sport in 2022. Taster afternoons are being held for interested students. This is also an opportunity to learn new skills.
When: 3.45pm-5.45pm (Years 9-12) – Monday August 2, 2021
3.45pm-5.45pm Years 7 and 8 – Monday August 9, 2021
Where: HPEC @Penquite
Team number: You must have a minimum of 6 players for your team. Please give a teachers name that is responsible for your team.