/ Junior School

Harmony Week

Thursday’s Harmony Day activities across the Elphin Campus, together with Friday’s House meetings for Year 2-5 students, were highlights of Harmony Week at the Junior School. Activities in classrooms also focused on the central messages of belonging and inclusivity.

The campus was a sea of orange on Thursday and many students proudly wore a national costume reflective of their family heritage. The Harmony Day lunch saw a number of students share their family background with the Prep-Year 5 gathering.


LIVE@Elphin for students and families across the Prep-Year 5 levels is an exciting opportunity for members of a class to share some of their recent learning experiences at school with peers and parents. It is also a time for parents and other family members to learn a little more about what their children are doing at school – both how they are learning as well as what they are learning.

What does ‘LIVE’ mean and why do we have it?

The name in itself conveys important central elements of our approach to teaching and learning:  Learning, Inquiry, Visual, Engaging.

Some key reasons for, and learning benefits of, LIVE include:

  • Effective communication is one of the College’s core Learner Attributes. LIVE enables students to consider, apply and practice public speaking skills, visual communication media and other communication techniques.
  • Preparation for LIVE involves reflection on and synthesis of recent classroom or outdoor learning experiences across a range of curriculum areas. Widespread research tells us how important these higher order thinking skills are in consolidating deeper understanding of both content and conceptual learning.
  • Understanding learning processes (metacognitive thinking) is as important as achieving learning outcomes when we keep both short term and long-term educational goals in mind.
  • Development of a number of other Learner Attributes are to the fore in LIVE, perhaps most notably collaborative skill development, being courageous and being inclusive.

With all of this in mind, LIVE@Elphin is viewed as a valuable learning experience in itself for every student.  While it has a performance aspect to it, the process is more the goal rather than the product.

Families are warmly invited to attend LIVE@Elphin when it is led by their child’s class.

The Dash

Year Level, Class, House, Sport and conneXions pages on The Dash are all sources of school-home communication developed by Junior School staff.

Students and families are encouraged to visit these pages as avenues for both information on current and upcoming school activities and also as learning resources to support students.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School





/ Middle School

Harmony Week brings Leadership into Action!

In celebrating Harmony Week, our Middle School Peer Leaders have designed and led daily challenges for our community to live up to.  Every aspect of these activities is to celebrate that ‘everyone belongs’!  A highlight has been the repeated efforts of our Peer Leaders giving of themselves to help others, embracing the challenge and reward of servant leadership.  In reflection our Middle School community does feel more connected by these student leadership actions, it is up to all of us to ensure that we keep the momentum.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School


/ Senior School

Year 9s Immersed in Southern Tasmania Experiences

The Year 9s have been let loose on Southern Tasmania over the past week, travelling independently in their House groups. This experiential Humanities and Science learning opportunity has again proven to be a very popular part of the Year 9 curriculum and our students have impressed everyone from Premier Rockcliff to the Port Arthur Ghost Tour guides.

I have had the pleasure of spending time with all four groups at different locations and have thoroughly enjoyed being part of their learning. The way our students learn is so varied and that is why opportunities such as this are so important. Students who find traditional classroom learning a challenge may often disengage and stop believing in their ability to learn. During an experience such as this, students often have a lightbulb moment when they realise that they are an equally competent learner when they benefit from the varied delivery.

At Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre an experiment showed clearly why the Northern Pacific Sea Star is out-competing the local native species and changing the local ecology, and students were able to understand this in terms of global warming. Students also learnt that they can handle the animals in a sensitive way where both human and echinoderm remain unharmed.

At Parliament House, students were enthusiastic when learning about the reality of how Tasmania is governed, and they were warmly welcomed by Premier Rockcliff, Janie Finlay, Jo Palmer and Mark Shelton, amongst others. Jo Palmer was especially prepared for Nance House, dressed in her yellow suit on Wednesday.

Time with Briggs at the Cascade Female Factory in South Hobart was a reality check for all of us as we were reminded of the hardship suffered by female convicts at what was an awful place in the early 1800s. We all embraced the opportunity of practicing our story-telling skills in a workshop that encouraged us to write down what we noticed, remembered and imagined. The importance of learning from the past and doing better in the future was palpable.

Port Arthur is an experience all on its own and generates so many questions and emotions for students. They were immersed in the Escape Tour, the ever popular Ghost Tour, the tour of the historic site and a trip across the water to the boy’s prison at Point Puer. An understanding of the horrors associated with this significant Tasmanian icon is essential for students who live on this beautiful island.

Grateful thanks to the twelve staff involved in escorting the students around the south of the state and looking after their welfare over the past week. The building of important relationships occurs during experiences of this nature. On behalf of the students, I would like to acknowledge Georgie Routley, Andrew French, Paul McKendrick, Jane Gregg, Bo Power, Caro Catchlove-Owen, Kate Gard, Stephen Dobson, Bec Rockcliff, Fiona Taylor, Kate Wallace and Jamie Breden. Your efforts and dedication are highly appreciated. Coordination of the significant logistics involved in organising this week deserves a special mention; many thanks to Georgie Routley and Katy McGuiness for your many hours of planning.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School



This week saw the end of our focus on the first character trait of being a loving human being.

The Year 11s and 12s started their Chapel Service on Wednesday with a roaring rendition of John Farnham’s “Your the Voice”, affirming the fact that they have a chance to turn the pages over to stop conflict with each other and in the world, because at the end of the day, we are all the child of a parent no matter where we come from.

We now move into Joy in the Penquite Campus and which was started at the Elphin Campus last week.

There again, Years 3 to 5, had a very engaging Connect where they discussed how even though we might enjoy balloons going into the air at social events, the balloons may also damage the environment, damage or kill the fish in the sea or even a ship’s motors if their remains fall into their engines somehow.

This led to a very deep discussion on how we can make decisions about how we express our joy.   For example, if something we do gives us joy, but damages someone else, or the environment, should we do it?  The answer is not the same for everyone, some would choose to do it anyway, while others said they wouldn’t if it damages another.

Then they had an experience of choosing their actions according to the “Ecological Decision Making Process” – Is it good for me, Is it good for others, Is it good for the greater good?   We reflected on what was one thing they could do that day to increase their joy for the day (good for them), what was one thing they could do for their teachers that increase the joy in their day (good for others) and then the final reflection was what was one thing they could do to increase their joy for the greater good, and the examples we talked about were what would increase the joy in their schoolyard environment, for their parents and for the manufacturers of school lunch boxes.

It was a very deep spiritual learning of how joy can be increased in their lives to bring them more life satisfaction, the core of our 2023 Welling Priority.

Rev Grace
College Chaplain



/ Senior School

This week we focus our attention on how we deal with loss, particularly with respect to not being selected in a team and how we become “good sports” ie resilient if we haven’t won our particular event.

I received this video from the Hockey Academy and it is a great example of how one person dealt with the news he was not selected for the Hockey World Cup.   Field Hockey Inspiration with Ryan Julius

It is only a five-minute video yet he gives a wealth of examples in his real-life story of what it means to become resilient, even if we aren’t selected.  Sometimes in sports, we confuse our identity and character with why we weren’t chosen.  He chose to still live his character in the circumstances, and in the end, that is what he and his coaches champion.   The circumstances didn’t change his attitude about who he was.

One of the benefits I see in how this young man acted was the resilience to keep on showing up at training and events, helping out where he could, even though he knew he wasn’t selected.  He was still there to support those who were.

How do we show up if we aren’t selected for our top teams?  Do we lull ourselves into self-pity, do we get down on ourselves and beat ourselves up, or do we become real and do the things that this young man did, to put himself on top again?  Resilience in sport is a very necessary requirement because games and teams are changing every week as each team works towards their strengths to enable best performance – as well.

The second issue for us to focus on today is how we respond to our faithful supporters if we do not achieve our desired outcome in our race or individual event.  Do we sulk, do we beat ourselves up, do we ignore those who helped get us there, or do we take this as an opportunity to show our resilience by still thanking the people who have supported us?   Remember, the younger years in our College community are looking to our seniors, our top teams, to model their behaviour on.

Good things to reflect on as we finish our summer season sport and transition into our winter sports.  How do we be good sports and thank everybody who helped us achieve our best and how do we show resilience even if we are not selected for the top teams?

Have a great sporting transition everyone.

Rev Grace
College Mindset Coach


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