A lot happened over the term break.  Principal Andy Muller shares some of the details.


/ Junior School, Middle School, Senior School

This term, students were welcomed back to classes on Tuesday 21 July for what has turned out to be the first full term of face to face classes this year. It’s hard to believe but the end of Term 3 has now arrived, in a year that has seemed somewhat surreal in so many ways. The College maintained our mantra of being agile and adaptable to come up with ways to have our usual Term 3 events in a COVID-safe and compliant format. This term:

• We moved to providing information evenings online and continued with P/S/T interviews in this format.
• Students commenced virtual Round Square meetings and Baraza groups via zoom and/or Teams with Round Square schools from around the globe.
• The College hosted two Round Square virtual conferences.
• The Education Outdoors program got back in full swing with Year 8W in Week 2.
• Interschool sport and cultural activities recommenced, to great excitement from students and staff.
• We celebrated National Science week, commencing on Saturday 15 August, with amazing displays, engaging guest speakers and interactive activities throughout the week on both campuses.
• We followed that with Children’s Book Week.
• Interhouse activities recommenced – Penquite House Singing was coordinated in a very altered virtual format and we held Senior School House Athletics in week 10. Unfortunately, scheduled Junior and Middle School Athletics events had to be postponed due to poor weather.
• Virtual Fathers’ Day replaced our usual breakfast gathering, with a video of many beautiful heartfelt sentiments from students.
• The TCE Formal finally happened, including COVID-safe dancing.
• Year 10 Dinner Dance was also held, and it too featured dancing.

As has been the case throughout the year, the students, staff and families all pitched in and made these events happen so that our students could enjoy many of the fun House and co-curricular activities that they look forward to so much.

Recently, College Leadership has been reviewing our COVID-protocols and details of the relaxing of many current restrictions will be emailed to parents prior to the commencement of Term 4.

Also, the College has introduced an Exeat on Friday 30 October, with the only exception being Vacation Care that will remain open. This additional non-school day is in recognition of the wonderful efforts that our staff and students have gone to this year to make the year as positive as it could be. Many members of the school community felt the effects of this extraordinary year towards the end of Term 3 and I am keen to ensure that the College finishes the year strongly, with everyone fit and well. In addition, Term 4 can be an intense time of the year for all and a mid-term break will help recharge the batteries.

In conclusion, I wish you all a safe, relaxing and fun-filled holiday period and I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday 12 October.

Andy Müller


/ Junior School, Middle School, Senior School

A reminder that Term 4 means summer uniform!  Please make sure all uniform items fit and that everyone has a hat.  The College Shop will be open on Friday 9 October from 9am-5pm for general sales.  No appointment are necessary.

We have also launched our online uniform shop this week.  You can order anything you need online anytime using your My School Connect account.  Items can be ready for pickup from the shop on Friday 9 October or can be collected from your nominated collection point once school returns.

Deanne Dietrich
College Shop Manager



/ Junior School, Middle School, Senior School

The 2020 Languages House Carnival format was altered this year and transitioned into a virtual talent show like competition. This did not stop many students uploading various videos of themselves singing, dancing, doing art, cooking, and performing – all in a language other than English! An amazing effort!

For the first time, the Junior School was invited to participate in the competition and there was even a greater range of languages being spoken including German, Japanese, Chinese, French, Indonesian and even Auslan!

The results of the 2020 Carnival are as follows:

Junior School:
1st = Fox
2nd = Briggs
3rd = Nance
4th = Dean

Middle School & Senior School:
1st = Briggs
2nd = Nance
3rd = Dean
4th = Fox

Well done to all those students who participated, and it really highlights both the talent of students at Scotch Oakburn College as well as the diverse linguistic and cultural background of the students and the community.

Leigh Cordell
Head of LOTE


/ Junior School, Middle School, Senior School

It has been an active start to spring for a number of people here at the College Fitness Centre. As always we continue to express the importance of regular exercise for overall health and well-being, no matter your intensity.

Over the term break, our resident personal trainer, Tim Reese, will be onsite from 6.00am-8.00am on each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The College community can choose to come in and participate in one of Tim’s classes (active circuit-like training for beginner to advanced) or simply complete their own training program.

Upon return to school on Monday 12 October, the fitness centre will return to normal hours of 6.00am to 8.15am Monday to Friday and 3.30pm to 6.00pm Monday to Thursday.

Paul McKendrick
Head of Health and Physical Education


/ Junior School, Middle School, Senior School

Last weekend the Equestrian team participated in the Northern Schools Dressage competition at Gravelly Beach.   After months of wondering if we would get an inter-schools competition happening this year, we were overjoyed to know that Launceston Pony and Riding Club would host it.

We had some fabulous success in the Teams competition with:
First place in the Senior Teams trophy: Ingrid Bradley, George Furzer, Iona Glover.
Second place in the Senior Teams competition was Bethany Hirst, Ruby Hirst, Maddison Rees.
First place winning the Junior Teams trophy was:  Lucy Johnston, Isla Willows, Oceana Blundstone.
Second place in the Junior Teams was Abbi Lloyd-Bostock, Scarlett Glover, Meg Kilby

In the individual competition; the Grade 1 winner was Ingrid Bradley and second place Bethany Hirst.  The Grade 2 second and third place were won by our riders; Lucy Johnston and George Furzer respectively.  In Grade 3 Junior Isla Willows was second and third place went to Oceana Blundstone.  In the Grade 3 Senior competition, Iona Glover won, with Maddison Rees taking third place and Annabelle Peddie fourth place.

While the team performed strongly, bringing home trophies and ribbons, the success of these events goes well beyond our superb results.  I was touched by the kindness that riders and families showed; it was wonderful to be part of the strong and supportive team spirit that makes Equestrian such a compelling sport.

Joy Russell
Person-in-Charge of Equestrian


/ Junior School, Middle School, Senior School

Scotch Oakburn Rowing is a well-established and committed sport within our College, offering students the opportunity to be part of a long-held tradition of competitive rowing.

The College is seeking expressions of interest from rowing coaches who would welcome the opportunity to be part of our rowing program for our U13 and U14 Boys and U16 Girls. Coaches are paid an honorarium depending on the age group.

For further information and copy of the Position Description and Selection Criteria, please direct enquiries to me via email

Expressions of interest close Friday 9 October 2020.

Jamie Breden
Director of Rowing


/ Junior School

School Holiday Break

Best wishes to all members of our College learning community for an enjoyable family time over the school holiday period. Hopefully, this is an opportunity for everybody to get a little bit of down-time and to re-charge after a very busy ten-week Term through the coldest part of the year. It might also be an opportunity for all students to re-set their learning goals as we look forward to new opportunities and experiences together in Term 4.

Thank you to all Junior School students, staff and parents for your hard work and contribution to College life in Term 3.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Senator Wendy Askew visits

Senator Wendy Askew visited the Elphin Campus this week to gift an Australian flag and an Australian Aboriginal flag to the Junior School community.  Senator Askew was greeted by the Year 5 peer leaders as they accompanied her to the flagpole area and then the various learning spaces.

Seeing our new Aboriginal flag hoisted and flown for the very first time, was a wonderful addition to children’s understanding and respect for members of our Aboriginal community, past and present, and their learning about flags, in particular our Aboriginal flag.  The Early Primary years were represented by Early Learning Beaumont and Prep Biggs who have been researching and investigating about flags.

The children in Early Learning Beaumont have done a lot of thinking about flags.

  • Flags tell everybody about the world they’re at.
  • When people see flags, they are in the same country as the flags and it makes them feel happy.
  • Frankie said that a flag makes you happy because you know you are in your country. If we are missing the Aboriginal flag, how will it make Aboriginal people feel?
  • It will make people sad if we are missing a flag.
  • They will get sad because they gave it to us with the country. It’s not kind to Aboriginal people because they built the land.
  • The Aboriginal people made sure the home (land) was safe for us.

Prep Biggs have been inquiring about the three flags of Australia, as well as other flags that represent each of the members of their learning community. Percy noted “I love my country because it has three flags”.

Through this inquiry the children used the three Australian flags plus others that represented each of them, to create their very own flag. They then put these together to create an art piece that was gifted to Senator Askew to thank her for her visit to our school community.

This was a very rich learning experience that further enhanced the learning already happening in each of these groups of children and emphasized the importance of the flags for our country. Meeting a Senator and understanding the role they play in our society added to the learning.

Following the flag-raising and visiting the learning spaces, Senator Askew concluded her visit with a tour of the campus where she had been a student at Oakburn College, which became Scotch Oakburn College for Year 7-12 of her schooling.

Thank you, Senator Askew, for your visit!

Bronwyn Bushby
Early Primary Coordinator


The Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge is ‘an interactive way to teach students critical, creative, and computational thinking as well as collaboration’. Organised by the CSIRO, this challenge was taken up by many students across Years 3-5 at the Junior School earlier this month. Working in small teams (usually of 2 or 3) students had their problem solving and thinking skills stretched as they tackled the online tasks.

All students who participated are congratulated on their efforts. Results across the board were extremely strong and a testament to the strength of our curriculum emphasis in these areas.

In Year 5 High Distinctions were achieved by Elizabeth Moore, Alex Miller, Isaac You, Declan Cocker, Steve Hanson and Distinctions Preston Toh, Nathan Abbott, Chloe Horsman, Scarlett Glover, Sam Allen, Benji McDermott, Olivia McLeod, Nico Devin, Ava Corbould, Cy Eberle, Lulu Palmer, Josh Mulford, Alex Musk, Samuel Fischer, Harriet Millen, Darcy Redpath, Ben Giasli, Liliane Atkinson and Arlo Lancaster. A further 17 students were awarded a Credit.

In Year 4, Distinctions were achieved by Pallavi Haribhakth, Olive Kwan, James Seaman, Jessica Muldoon, Archie O’Brien and James van der Aa, with a further 18 students being awarded a Credit.

In Year 3, 6 students achieved a Credit Award and a further 31 were awarded a Merit Certificate.

Thank you to Mrs Marissa Saville who coordinated this event for all students involved.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


School Photographs – Junior School

A number of queries have been received about 2020 School Photographs. Student and class photographs were deferred from Term 2. These are now scheduled for the whole Junior School across two days in Term 4  – October 26-27. Full details will be forwarded to all families in Week 1 of next Term.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


2021 Enrolments for Early Learning

Families considering enrolment of younger siblings in Early Learning for next year are reminded of the need to submit a formal enrolment application. Early Learning places are always in high demand and applications are processed in order of receipt.

For Early Learning Erina places (pre-Prep year for children who are aged 4 at January 1 2021) this is of particular importance. Note that CCS (Childcare Subsidies) apply at this level for eligible families. Further information is available from our College Registrar, Trish Reid, or reception at the Elphin or Penquite Campuses if needed.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Inter-campus Connections

Earlier in the year, our class was fortunate enough to collaborate with the Year 8 Textiles class and Mrs Heggarty on a toy monsters project.  The Early Learning children drew their design and the Year 8s took notes and design details before taking on the challenge to create a monster true to the design.

As part of our Bush Learning Program, Early Learning children walked to Heartbreak Hill to meet with the Year 8s for a monster/thank you note exchange.

It has been a wonderful experience for the younger children to make connections with the older students.  We walked the older students to the top of the hill to say goodbye, before enjoying the spectacular view across Scotch Oakburn Park.

On our return journey, it was wonderful for the children to look skyward and see how far they had just walked.

We were lucky to see the beginnings of the Senior School House Athletics Carnival as we enjoyed our bus trip back to Elphin Campus.  A wonderful end to our Bush Learning Program for Term 3.

Caroline Tandy


Aleesah Darlison Zooms in

Year 2 students dialled with award-winning author, Aleesah Darlison.  Meeting authors, both in person and digitally, is one way conneXions aims to encourage student’s engagement and love of literature, whilst also providing them with opportunities to strengthen their individual reading development. Our focus was to share some our questions with Aleesah about her new series, League of Llamas. Students came up with questions such as;

Why do you love llamas? Elka.
What’s the worst thing that happened to that was funny? Luca
Is your favourite animal a llama?   Maekela
How do you Llamy-fy words? Holly
Are you going to make any more books?  Harley
How did you get the idea of the golden llama? Charlie

Kylie Brewster


/ Middle School

Year 6 Chinese

During Term 3, Year 6 students have been studying a ‘Food and Drink’ unit in Chinese. They have been learning common vocabulary, how to express likes/dislikes towards certain food/drink in Chinese language, food culture, how to order in a Chinese restaurant and Chinese eating etiquette. To celebrate students’ achievement and to further develop their understanding and knowledge of Chinese food culture, a special meal was arranged in class. Each student received an individual pre-packed Chinese meal (spring roll, dumpling, chicken stick, fried rice and Asian style cupcake) in an eco-box. Our guest, Mr Hu, demonstrated a Chinese Tea Ceremony. Students enjoyed practising their speaking skills, eating with chopsticks and tasting the Chinese tea.  A special thank you to Mr Hu for the tea and to Wang’s restaurant for the delicious food.

Lei Sun & Doreen Liang

Cows Create Careers

As a part of our Cows Create Careers unit, last week all Year 8 students visited Mr Tom Lindsay’s dairy farm to find out about the processes involved in the dairy industry. We learned about feeding, milking and breeding cows in Tasmania. Thanks to Mr Lindsay from all involved at Scotch Oakburn College.

Lachlan Jenkins
Year 8

Year 7 Bubble Tea Week

In a fun way to end the term, Year 7 enjoyed Bubble Tea week. Bubble Tea was delivered from Chichi Cafe that each student had ordered in Chinese.

Doreen Liang


Student Achievements

The Little Athletics State Cross-Country Championship was held in Campbell Town on Saturday 19 September 2020.  Isabella Shaw (Year 6) won Gold in the 3km Under 13 Girls Cross Country in a time of 11 minutes 27 seconds and Blaise Fitzallen (Year 7) Bronze in the 3km Under 14 Girls Cross Country.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School


/ Senior School

A busy Term

Term 3 has certainly been a busy term and it has been wonderful to see Inter-house Singing, Debating, Athletics and some Public Speaking in the past few weeks. Thank you to all students who have participated in these events and the Heads of House and other staff who have been responsible for organising these.  I wish all families a restful break and look forward to Term 4, beginning on Monday 12 October.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

House Athletics

Cool, but dry conditions welcomed us yesterday for the Senior School House Athletics Carnival. With no limits on events or participation, numbers were high and students enjoyed the open space at Scotch Oakburn Park. With the new format, we were able to introduce novelty and House based challenges to keep everyone active.  We will announce  results and age champions at the conclusion of the Middle School Carnival, which is on Tuesday 20 October.

I would like to thank Ali Foot for his tireless efforts in preparing for this carnival. Also Cale O’Keefe for taking on the role of Field Event Marshall, the grounds and maintenance staff for their tireless efforts, Tania Gaby and Michelle Stevenson for helping with Sportstrak, along with all of the other staff who either helped in the lead up or on the day of the carnival.

Paul McKendrick
Head of Health and Physical Education


Student Executive – Operation Christmas Child

A reminder to all students in Years 6-12 to bring items to school on Friday 16 October for the packing of the Christmas boxes.  Communications were sent home on Thursday with details for each year levels.  Thank you for your support, we really appreciate the assistance of the College community for this appeal.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Sports Group Photo Day on Friday 16 October

Students that are having a photograph for a sports team may wear their full College sports uniform on this day.  Students should also bring with them specific sports items such as the relevant basketball top or netball dress for the photograph.  This applies mainly to the Firsts and Seconds teams, however please check the list & schedule on the ePlanner to see if your child is required. Students not involved in sports photographs should wear their normal summer uniform.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Nance wins House Debating

The topic for this years House debating was ‘COVID19 is the pandemic we needed’.

Nance House was affirmative and they won!! Fox House came second and Dean and Briggs were equal third on one win each. Particular thanks must go to Helen Dosser for her support of the College debating program, and this competition, as a mentor and adjudicator.

Sharon Beattie
Person-in-Charge of Debating

RACI Titration Competition

This year, as a part of Science Week, all TCE Physical Science students took part in the state titration competition coordinated by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Excellent state awards were achieved for the following students at Scotch Oakburn College for accuracies of less than 1% error:

1st Ashleigh Reid and Hannah Scott
2nd Lauren Gleeson
3rd Ben Marshall and Mia Pribil, Lauren Knight, William Scott, Trinity Latt, Bronte Legro

Fiona Taylor

Senior Foundation Oratory

It was an exciting battle, watching three of our senior public speakers battle it out to win this year’s Senior Foundation Trophy!  It was the third year Zahara Walker Smith (Year 12) and Dean Power (Year 11) have been head to head and this year Ishani Kataria (Year 10) put her hat in the ring too. All three chose highly academic subjects that were both thought-provoking and engaging.  Under the watchful and experienced eyes of our adjudicators: Joyce Williamson, Rod Fraser and David Morris, a winner was announced: Dean Power!  Congratulations Dean on your charismatic and smoothly delivered speech on freedoms we have in Australia.

Katie Lester
Person-in-Charge of Public Speaking


Senior Japanese Speech Competition

TCE students of Japanese had the opportunity this week to enter the Tasmanian Japanese Speech Contest which involved being asked a series of questions in Japanese and responding in Japanese.  This year it was done via Zoom.  It is my pleasure to announce that Dean Power (Year 11) was awarded second prize and Aruna Rungmang (of LCGS, but studies Japanese here at SOC) received third prize.  Congratulations to both these students.

Jenny Banbury
Coordinator of Japanese

Outdoor Leadership

This week, the TCE Outdoor Leadership class had their final trip for the course. The class have been studying a unit about human/nature relationships and learning about how different people will perceive nature very differently depending on different factors such as their culture, upbringing, and choice of employment. The class headed to Derby, which provides an excellent example of this. There have been Aboriginal people, tin miners, loggers, and now mountain bikers who have all used and perceived the same patch of land around Derby very differently. Students started the day with an interactive and informative session with Aboriginal elder Patsy Cameron, before heading to the Schoolhouse Museum to learn about the tin mining history of the town. The class then spent the afternoon on mountain bikes exploring the myriad of purpose-built tracks that are now world-renowned.

Mark Hassell
Dean of Students

Object Design

Scotch Oakburn College TCE students have had the amazing experience of being enrolled in the UTAS course Object Design. This course is offered to Year 12 students who have a passion for design and are mentored throughout the course by Scotch Oakburn staff and UTAS project officers. Students explore design and varied manufacturing processes to produce a personalised journal and project. This is assessed by UTAS project officers and this course counts towards the student’s ATAR at the end of the year. Changes to learning this year has made the course a challenging one.  The topic for the project was Transmogrify.

The brief provided a great challenge to the students as the result was to display evidence of research and understanding of the topic. Students were encouraged to explore and use a designer’s licence to work their way through the design process to research concepts that supported their thinking that guided them to their final ideas. This allowed for broad and varied concepts covering Transmogrify.

Students work is currently displayed at UTAS in Inveresk but unfortunately due to the current restrictions, the work is not open to the public to view at this time.

The students who completed the course: Liam Hughes. Luke Sherriff, Farrah Henderson, Mason Bennett, Finn Wallace, Miranda Houlahan, Holiday Holcombe-James, Caleb Thompson, Jack Schouten, Jonty Darcy, and Tom McShane, gained much experience from the course and now have the opportunity to pursue design pathways at university level in future years.
They have been a pleasure to work with and have provided all our design staff great joy to experience their learning journey during this year.

Roger Carey


SATIS Basketball win

Our Senior Firsts Boys team travelled to Hobart on Wednesday to play in what was the College’s third SATIS State Final in the past five years and came away with a nail-biting win against Guilford Young College, winning by 4 points, (47–43).

From the start, it was obvious that both teams meant business. The pressure defence from both sides saw baskets difficult to attain and the scores at quarter-time reflected this low scoring, with Guilford taking only a very narrow early lead, 10 – 13 at the first quarter break.

We certainly retaliated after the break and secured some early baskets with Alex Davies shooting three baskets in quick succession, turning the game in Scotch Oakburn’s favour and entering the half time break with a 5 point buffer, 25 – 20.

Whilst the boys increased that lead to over 10 in the early stages of the third quarter Guilford Young was never going to give up and fought their way back into the game with scores with four points difference at the end of the third (35-31).

This set the scene for a very physical last quarter, where both teams were hungry for the win and Guilford Young were relentless. They came within a one point difference in the latter stages of the fourth quarter, but it was sheer determination by Scotch Oakburn and some great shooting by Henry Cox in the dying minutes of the game that secured the State Final Premiership win for our boys.

The team’s limited preparation over a very difficult and unusual year, due to COVID-19, certainly did not hinder them in their pursuit of a State Final win for 2020.

Congratulations to all the boys for their fantastic contributions to basketball at Scotch Oakburn and to their coach, Mr Rick Wyllie, who has provided great direction and mentorship. The boys have certainly proven that hard work and determination to succeed certainly does pay off.

Scorers: Henry Cox (23), Alex Davies (9), Tom McShane (7), Hamish Auton, Harry Corbould, Theo Ives, Alex McCowan (2)

Natalie Good
Director of Basketball


Author:  Amy Moran as published in Psychology Today


As a parent, you’re going to fail at one time or another. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll fail on a regular basis.

Parenting fails don’t make you a bad parent. In fact, every time you mess up, you have an opportunity to sharpen your parenting skills and teach your child valuable life lessons.

Social Media Has Changed the Way Parents Discuss Failure

Social media has led to an interesting shift in the way we talk about parent failures. It’s encouraged us to be more open about funny and relatable parenting problems while also discouraging us from talking about the deeper, more serious issues.

Look up the hashtag “ParentFail” on social media and you’ll find humorous parenting stories. A quick peek at Twitter reveals these parenting fail confessions:

  • I’ve clearly done something wrong when [my] son Facetimes me from the driveway, asking me to bring him a yogurt before he leaves. #ParentFail
  • My 3-year-old just said he loves Walmart. When I asked why he said, ‘Because they have free internet.’ #ParentFail
  • Just in case all the moms and dads out there think they’re having a #parentfail today, you’re wrong. I’m winning. Two words: #SalsaFight

It’s great so many parents can laugh at themselves and share the humorous side to parenting. But not all social media discussions about parenting remain lighthearted. Parent shaming has become a serious problem.

Post a picture of your child enjoying a day at the beach and someone might be quick to remind you, “Too much sun exposure is bad for kids.” Or, share a photo of your child enjoying a hearty meal at his favourite restaurant and you might need to brace yourself for comments like, “I’d never let my child eat that much in one sitting. That’s why kids are so overweight these days.”

Who wants their happy memories and proud moments to be met with criticism and judgment?

Parents Are Shaming and Judging From Afar

Unfortunately, even tragic accidents often spur people to become the judge and jury in the court of public opinion.

When the news broke that child fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo in May of 2016, the parents were vilified. Many people demanded the parents be charged with a crime without knowing the details of how the child fell.

Just a month later, when a toddler was snatched by an alligator at Disney World, commenters on the media articles were quick to call the parents “careless” and “stupid.”

And it’s not just the readers who are shaming parents. There are many media outlets who are happy to point out parents whom they think aren’t doing a very good job.

OK Magazine ran a story about Charlize Theron “dragging her 4-year-old son” in a parking lot. The pictures appeared to show a preschooler who didn’t want to get in the car and the subtitle read, “Relationship experts dissect shocking photos.” The magazine invited readers to share their thoughts on Ms. Theron’s parenting habits.

The Fear of Looking Like a Bad Parent

Harsh judgment and parent shaming causes many parents to fear that they’ll look like a bad parent—even when they aren’t doing anything wrong. And that can lead to even bigger problems.

The fear of looking like a bad parent leads to three major problems:

1.      Parents refuse to let their kids fail. Parents worry that their child’s forgotten soccer cleats or botched homework assignments will make them look bad. So they rescue them and prop them up. In the end, kids lose out on learning valuable life skills.

2.      Parents hide their mistakes. No one wants to experience harsh criticism. So in an effort to avoid judgmental comments and unsolicited advice, some parents go to great lengths to hide their parenting mistakes. Secrecy can lead to shame and problems often go unaddressed.

3.      Parents lose sight of their values. Some parents are changing their parenting habits in an effort to avoid looking like a bad parent. They give in to whining and tantrums in public because they’re afraid a child’s misbehaviour will make them look bad. Or they get so caught up in trying to look like a perfect family on social media that they don’t work on addressing their real-life issues.

How to Bounce Back From Parenting Fails

Whether you lost your temper and said things you didn’t mean or you role modelled some poor choices, parenting fails are inevitable. But, each time you mess up is a chance to become better. Here are five ways to successfully bounce back from parenting fails:

1.      Acknowledge your mistake. Before you can fix it, you have to admit that you messed up. So take a minute to acknowledge your failure—even if it’s just to yourself.

2.      Turn your failure into a teachable moment. If your parenting mistakes hurt your child, apologize. Role model how to accept full responsibility for your actions and show you’re committed to doing better next time.

3.      Maintain your sense of humour. Sharing your silly and harmless parenting fails can be a good way to find joy in parenting blunders. And it may help you spark some conversation with other parents who completely understand. So by all means, share your stories.

4.      Get support when you need it. Find a community of supportive parents who are willing to talk about tough parenting issues and epic parenting fails. Having conversations with other people who understand can help you become a better parent. And don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you’re struggling.

5.      Create a plan to do better next time. Whether you’ve been bribing your child to behave or yelling more than you’d like, create a plan that will help you become the parent you want to be.

Parenting Is Never Perfect

If there’s anything certain about parenting, it’s that you’re going to fail sometimes. But even if you were a perfect parent, you wouldn’t be doing your child any favours.

Your child may grow up to live with an imperfect roommate, get involved with an imperfect partner, and work with imperfect people. Learning how to deal with all people—flaws and all—is an important skill.

That’s not to say you should mess up on purpose just to teach your child more life lessons. But it does mean you can take responsibility for your parenting fails.

In turn, you can role model how to build mental strength by bouncing back from failure, making amends when you’ve hurt someone, and learning from your mistakes.


Kylie Wolstencrodt 
Wellbeing Coordinator / Registered Pychologist


/ Junior School, Middle School, Senior School

From time to time you may wonder how the College manages its income and expenditure to ensure we efficiently enable the capacity of the College.

The College exists as a not for profit charity. We don’t have owners or shareholders per se, so we operate in a closed circuit environment where every dollar of revenue earnt stays within the College and is able to be spent within the College in some way – without leakage.

Indeed, our Constitution requires that all income of the College is spent on achieving the key objective of the Constitution which is providing our students their quality education. This is a point that we continually reflect on – and whilst we ensure that the College is at all times run as efficiently as possible as a large business – our reason for existing as a business is not to make ‘profit’ but to ensure that our available resources are utilised to enable the capacity of the College’s core functions as an educational provider.

Our income sources are demonstrated in the chart below. Around 40% of our income is from Government funding, 55% from fee income (tuition costs from parents and guardians) and 5% from other sources (facility hire fees, interest income, vacation care income and other minor sources).

Government funding of the independent school sector is more modest in nature than the public school sector and is based on the demographic of our community and their capacity to pay as determined by the Federal Government. It is based on some complex Government funding models that are regularly reviewed and updated and the College amends its long term financial planning in response to these expected government funding levels. Over the next 10 years, we are transitioning to a new government funding model which will slightly reduce our funding per student, with this having been well factored into our long term financial modelling.

Our annual expenditure each year is outlined in the below chart.

As a people driven organisation, it is not surprising to see that over 70% of our annual expenditure costs are labour costs – salaries, wages and associated on costs. Depreciation, facilities and infrastructure and teaching resources make up the next most significant components of our cost base.

How do we balance, monitor and review all of this to ensure the appropriate prioritisation of our available resources?

In the short term, annual budgets are produced within the College which outline and track our annual income and spending across the course of any given year. These budgets ensure the appropriate prioritisation of the College resources in line with our strategic plan.

From a longer term perspective, we have a rolling 10-year financial masterplan which is regularly reviewed to reflect our expected longer term income and cost projections. This includes facility and property master planning to ensure that our longer term capital project priorities are regularly reviewed and included within our financial capacity projections.

It’s a complex picture with a number of moving pieces. To ensure external review and appropriate governance we are assisted by our Finance Committee and Board of Directors in oversight of the delivery of our financial strategies. We also benchmark some key metrics (or KPIs) of our financial performance regularly with peer independent schools in Tasmania and Australia to ensure that we look for ways to continually refine our approach to the management of College resources.

Within our new 15-year strategic plan “Vision 2035”, we are reviewing in detail the business aspects of the College within the ‘Capacity’ strand. Our aim is to ensure that our financial capacity enables us to efficiently and flexibly resource our learning objectives and maximise every dollar earnt in achieving those strategic objectives. I’d welcome any comments or suggestions on the business aspects of our College operations at any time via the Business Office as we work together to achieve these goals.

Calton Frame
Business Manager



/ Middle School, Senior School

The 2020 Middle and Senior School House Athletics Carnival is upon us, with the High Jump and 3000m successfully completed this week.

Just a reminder that the Middle School event is on Tuesday 22 September from 12noon until 3.15pm and the Senior School event on Thursday 24 September from 12noon until 3.15pm.

We are hopeful of good weather for both carnivals. The outlook for Tuesday isn’t great, but we are hoping that the rain will stay away. Thursday looks better.

With the array of novelty events, students are encouraged to bring the following equipment:

Three-legged race strap (either a stocking or long sock etc)
Teddy bear (not too large) to use in the ‘teddy bear race’
Some extra-large clothing for the ‘late for school race’
Students can wear their house coloured top and sports gear to school on the day of their carnival.

If parents intend to come along and watch their child compete, we ask you to please register one person to attend via the EdSmart communication emailed to parents.  The list will be checked off upon entry.  Entry will only take place via the new entrance driveway from Penquite Road.

We ask spectators not to attend if symptoms of fever, cough, runny nose, tiredness, shortness of breath and loss of taste or sense of smell etc.

Paul McKendrick
Head of Health and Physical Education 


The Round Square senior student committee has set up an ongoing partnership with the Migrant Resource centre at their Harmony facility in Mowbray. A group of TCE students and Mr Stuart Walls met on-site with staff from the “Beyond Limits” program and with members of the Bhutanese and Burmese communities. Beyond Limits supports migrants living with a disability, their families and carers through information, linkages and capacity building.  They support migrants by making introductions to informal, community and mainstream supports, creating accessible and welcoming spaces through peer support groups and mentoring opportunities where individuals and families can talk, share and connect.

Scotch Oakburn College now has an opportunity to commence a long-term project with the MRC on the development of a community garden at the Mowbray premises. The connection has been made through Collegian Naomi Leighton (’10) and her memories of Round Square, some 11 years ago. Naomi was a very active member of our Round Square community while at the College.

Jo Dean, a permaculture expert, addressed the meeting and explained her vision for the community garden. We are very excited about the commencement of this project. As current Round Square Chairs, we are overseeing the commencement of the project and will hand over to a group of current Year 11 enthusiasts to carry the project into 2021 and beyond.

Our working groups will meet at Harmony in Mowbray on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons on a weekly basis, starting in Term 4. This will expand as interest and activity in the garden grows and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. A variety of things will be happening in the garden during these times ie; making garden beds, constructing composting stations, planting seedlings, conducting soil tests, weeding, pruning, upcycling garden beds etc.

So – How can you help?

We are asking our community if they are able to donate resources and materials that can be used in the setting up of this project. Usually, we would raise funds through bake sales and sausage sizzles but COVID is preventing food sharing activities of this nature. At this stage, together with our permaculture guide, Jo Dean, we have identified the following needs:

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hand tools, trowel
  • Spade
  • Fork
  • Garden hose
  • Gloves
  • Recycled timber
  • Recycled corrugated iron
  • Recycled IBC’s
  • Old bathtub
  • Geofabric/polyester fabric
  • Sheep manure/chicken manure/alpaca manure etc
  • Straw
  • Potting mix
  • Egg Cartons
  • Mulch
  • Gravel
  • Cement and lime
  • Metal buckets
  • Fruit trees
  • Berry bushes

If you are able to donate functional items from this list (new or used – in good condition) it would be highly appreciated. If you can help please contact Mr Stuart Walls on

Many thanks to anyone who can support us as we launch this very worthwhile project.

Alex Phillips and Theo Ives
Round Square Student Chairs