It has been a very busy term. Principal, Andy Muller looks at some of the highlights.


/ Middle School

Learning by Doing!

The balance between learning experiences being active, cognitively challenging and building self-regulation is a constant goal for the Middle School curriculum.  This week, I enjoyed seeing, hearing and knowing that these important elements of active learning were in action through our science curriculum.  Students were ‘on prac’ in the Scotch Oakburn Wetlands, completing water testing, hosting Junior School Early Learning students on campus as active leaders and our Year 6 students enjoyed science practical experiments outside their learning spaces; just three insights into developing the mind, hands and hearts in learning.  This approach is supported in recent Australian Curriculum reviews with a larger focus on cross-curriculum priorities.  These align with our focus on developing Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences throughout the Middle School, all aiming to develop a deeper learning understanding and continued engagement in learning.

In the week ahead the ‘learning by doing’ opportunities expand with the first round of the Year 7 World Peace Game and Education Outdoors programs for Year 8.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School



/ Senior School

Community Service – Salvation Army Appeal

Service Learning extends learning beyond the classroom and into the local community.  It is about developing empathy and compassion for others in our community through gaining a deeper understanding of their life circumstances.  It is encouraged that each student of the College will engage in and contribute to a local organisation.

Last Saturday and Sunday 21 and 22 May, students from Years 6-12 volunteered to assist the Salvation Army with its annual Red Shield Appeal campaign. Due to COVID, the traditional door knock appeal has been replaced with various collection points around Launceston accepting coins, cash and card. This Saturday 28 May more students will be volunteering at Bunnings North Launceston from 10.00am – 4.00pm and Launceston Quadrant Mall from 10.00am – 2.00pm. Drop by and say hello and give a little to help out someone in need in our community. If you cannot drop by, please consider donating via the Scotch Oakburn College digital doorknock. Any amount, no matter how small, makes a big difference.

Donate online to the Scotch Oakburn College digital doorknock to raise funds for the Launceston Salvos

Jamie Breden
Community Service Coordinator

From the Futures Centre


Every year the Victorian Tertiary Information Service runs a series of roadshows, providing an opportunity for students to learn more about their higher education and tertiary study options once they have finished high school. We’re visiting Launceston on 31 May and you’re invited!

In 2022, there is a 30 minute presentation to complement the in-person expo in Launceston. You are encouraged to watch it prior to attending.

Date: Tuesday 31 May
Session Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Inveresk Library, Level 1, University of Tasmania (Inveresk Campus)
2 Invermay Road, Launceston

Institutions attending are:

The University of Melbourne
University of Tasmania
Deakin University
Swinburne University of Technology
Monash University
La Trobe University
UNSW Sydney
Universities Admissions Centre (NSW & ACT) UAC
Bond University
RMIT University
JMC Academy

Letz Live applications for their New Zealand gap year program and working holidays in the UK are open now.  For more information and to apply – Gap Year and Working Holiday Organisation | Letz Live  – NEW

Interested in Agriculture? Would you like to travel Australia, build your skills, and get paid?  Why not consider

ADF Gap Year – A great range of paid opportunities ranging from submariner roles to cabin crew are available across the Army, Navy and Airforce for 2023 Gap Year applicants, but hurry as positions fill quickly! Defence Jobs Australia – Discover your path in an ADF GAP year

Important Dates

UNE 2023 Early Entry Program Opens – Early Entry – University of New England (UNE)


May                       UNSW Co-Op Scholarships open now – Apply | Co-op Program (

May                       LaTrobe Aspire applications Open Now – Aspire Early Admissions Program, Study with us, La Trobe University

May 30                 University of Melbourne Visit – 1:00pm in the Don Wing Lecture Theatre – NEW

May 31                 Tertiary Information Service (Interstate Tertiary Providers) Expo 6:00pm to 7:30pm UTAS Inveresk Library Level 1

May 31                 RMIT Property, Building & Trades Webinar – Discover What’s Next: Property, Building and Trades – RMIT University

May 31                 Bond University Visit – 1:00pm in the Don Wing Lecture Theatre


June 2                   RMIT Education Webinar – Discover What’s Next: Education – RMIT University

June 7                   RMIT Flight Training & Aviation Webinar – Discover What’s Next: Flight Training and Aviation – RMIT University

June 21                 RMIT Health Science Webinar – Discover What’s Next: Health Science – RMIT University

June 23                 RMIT Biomedical Science Webinar – Discover What’s Next: Biomedical Science – RMIT University

June 30       UTAS Schools Recommendation Program Opens – SRP-2022-timeline.pdf (


July 2                     Launceston School Leavers Expo


Reminder to follow the Scotch Oakburn College Futures Facebook Page to be kept up to date with events and career-related information.

Teresa Darcy
Careers Advisor / VET Coordinator


/ Middle School, Senior School

Improving our sports mindset

Congratulations to everyone for their sports achievements this week.

We took some losses this week and I want to remind everyone that a loss is not a failure to achieve your goals.  It is feedback that we have to do something differently.  Change the way we think, or change our decision-making process in the moment, change how we feel about our teammates, and build our trust with them.  There are many ways that tweaks and changes can be the difference between winning and losing.

In Legacy, Will Hogg, a management consultant says that there are four key areas for change to happen and without one of them, the end goal won’t be achieved.

The first is “A Case for Change”.  Why should we change?  What needs changing for us to get on a winning streak.  For the All Blacks, they had become a team of individuals, like little islands – they had forgotten what team meant.  I wonder what team means for us at Scotch Oakburn in our sporting endeavours?  Are we there for our team, have their backs, trust them with knowledge and are they receiving what we might send them?   A good thing to sit and reflect on.

The second is a “Compelling Picture of the Future”.  This week our Senior Firsts Footballers sat down together and worked out that their compelling picture for their future was to win the flag.  Now they are concentrating on the strategies and tactics they will take to win the flag for their sport.  I wonder what yours might be for your sport?

The third key area is “A Sustained Capability to Change”. One to focus on here is the passing of responsibility for appropriate areas of the game to the players so that management, coaches and players all have a responsibility and shared ownership.  In other words, they all have “skin in the game” to achieve their compelling future.   Do we, as participants in our sport, take responsibility for team protocols, principles and culture that gives structure to achieve our future, or do we leave those processes for team management and blame them for anything that goes wrong?

The fourth area is a “Credible Plan to Execute”.  For the All-Blacks, this is where they excelled.  The players were to “develop and deploy a self-reflective, self-adjusting plan that developed the technical, tactical, physical, logistical and psychological capabilities of their collective”.

Their plan wasn’t an immediate one though.  Their plan extended over years, seasons, series, weeks and “even the seconds the match clock travelled as it counted down to the final whistle”.  They executed their plan in public but it was all worked on behind the scenes and led them to their most successful period of All Blacks Rugby in history.

We are doing the same here at Scotch Oakburn.  We all believe in you, now the question is, Do You?

Could we execute a plan to ensure our sporting history is in the records?

Rev Grace
College Chaplain

2022 House Cross Country Carnival

Tuesday 24 May saw the Middle and Senior School Inter-House Cross Country held at Scotch Oakburn Park in ideal running conditions. We had some standout performances, but even more importantly, it was great to see many students grasp the opportunity, giving their all in support of their House and leaving the Park knowing they put forward their best performance.

It was great to see so many parents coming along to support the students as well as staff participating in the run.

Age groupAge ChampionRunner Up
Year 6 BoysAlfie PalmerJosh Mau
Year 6 GirlsPoppy BeaumontEve de Deuge
U13 BoysOllie CannonBen Giasli
U13 GirlsChloe HorsmanJaz Hartley
U14 BoysWill NichollsTariku Brammall
U14 GirlsBella ShawEmily Atherton
U15 BoysSam MulfordCharlie Stellmaker
U15 GirlsSophie MarshallAbbey Berlese
U16 BoysFlynn LesterPercy Bennett
U16 GirlsMaya MartinElla Nast
Open BoysCam ParkerSandy Wood
Open GirlsKate AthertonDaisy Willows

A full list of placings will be on the Cross Country Dash page as well as the times for the top 10 competitors for each age group after assembly on Tuesday.

Thanks to all the staff for helping on the day, our Heads of House for their support as well as all the students that gave their all out on the course on a great afternoon of activities.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

All Schools Mountain Biking

On Friday the 20 May the College Cycling team competed at the All Schools Mountain Biking Championships at Trevallyn Reserve, consisting of a cross country section, which is a lap-based race, and an enduro section which is a time-based race down a single trail.

Although we were unfortunate to be unable to come away with any pennants, in the Under 15 boys section we came tied for second place, the Under 19 men also came second place, and the Under 17 women placed third with only 1 rider in this category which is quite an achievement.

Our team of riders all performed well and upheld the College Learner Attributes. We did have two riders who did exceptionally well and were able to complete their seasons on a high; Maya Martin (Year 10), the current National champion for the cross country section, came second in her Under 17s enduro section and first in her cross country section and Henry Jones (Year 9) placed second in his Under 15 cross country section. Other results in the Under 19s cross country race included Harry Kilby (Year 11) placing 11th, Kai Butler (Year 11) 10th and Benjamin Findlay (Year 12) 5th.

I would like to thank Mr Luke Hammond for a great season and Mr Cale O’Keefe for helping me organise the team on the day as well as all students that were involved.

Good luck to all riders in the future.

Ali Sport
Head of Sport


Next Week’s Sport

Download the full list of sporting fixtures for the upcoming week here –  Sport fixtures week starting 28 May




Eleanor Roosevelt suggested we should all take one risk per day that scares us. For parents and educators instinctively this advice is the opposite of what we feel we should do as carers for our children. We both want to protect them from harm, however Eleanor raises a crucial aspect of development. Giving them the freedom to explore new challenges and experiences. It is important we support them to venture into territory and experiences that are not 100% safe. This is how they learn a myriad of ways they can protect themselves in the wider world.

This is called Risky Play, and is an important aspect of how we teach them to look after themselves when we are not around.

Risky play is a term I have frequently heard our Early Learning educators discuss and the need to create experiences which have evolved from a much needed trend to get more children out into nature to experience challenging environments or situations that require a challenge, some decision making and problem solving.

There are many benefits that derive from children’s engagement in risky play as they discover lessons for life which they unconsciously learn. Driven by curiosity and a need for excitement they learn what is safe and what is not. Having a sensible focus on safety and preventing child injuries are important but the question is how much should we restrict children’s play in doing so? Placing too many restrictions can result in a lack of physical challenges for children and many recent research explorations (Adams, 2001; Apter, 2007; Ball, 2002; Boyesen, 1997; Gill, 2007) believe the focus on safety has a negative effect on children’s risk management competence and important developmental benefits.

Sandseter (2006) conducted a research study of Norwegian preschools which identified six categories of risky play we need to help our children master:

·         play at great heights, where children climb trees or high structures such as climbing frames in a playground
·         play at high speed, such as riding a bike or skateboarding down a steep hill or swinging fast
·         play with harmful tools, like knives or highly supervised power tools to create woodwork
·         play with dangerous elements, such as fire or bodies of water
·         rough and tumble play, where children wrestle or play with impact, such as slamming bodies into large crash mats
·         play where you can disappear, where children can feel they’re not being watched by doing things like enclosing themselves in cubbies built of sheets or hiding in bushes.

There are many of these aspects we at the College can help children experience through their school activities in Outdoor Education opportunities and general class activities however these are aspects you can help your children learn how to navigate safely at home. Children develop the ability to assess risk by taking age or ability appropriate risks. There are numerous additional benefits from promoting the development of these abilities such as more developed motor skills, stronger social behaviours, independence and sense of self together with developed conflict resolution abilities with their peers. Opportunities for risk has also shown to decrease mental health concerns for young children such as anxiety and fears.

By having real conversations with children about an activity, not just giving them instructions, will help them plan how to take the risk safely e.g. telling a child to be careful doesn’t tell them what to do. Instead try saying something like: “That knife is sharp, you could cut yourself. Try holding it only by the handle and cut downwards slowly onto the board” or highlighting for them what could happen if they proceed to cut something unsafely or towards themselves.

It is also helpful to introduce risk gradually and in increasing levels of difficulty. The use and competence of fire is an important skill all children should learn and master. Try starting with candles together at the dinner table, encouraging them to help you light an open fire and explain each process to them. Eventually they will be able to set and light a fire themselves.

We, as their guides, need to remember all our children are competent and deserve the opportunity to have a sense of autonomy. They need opportunities to feel as if they are alone, that we trust them to play and make their own safe choices. We can be close by, but they all need time to develop their sense of self.

They also absorb a lot from how we, as their adults react to situations. If we panic and catastrophise events, there is a chance they will project these feelings of anxiety when presented with uncertain times that require their own risk calculation and risk management skills to come to the fore. This is one of the ways we can help them to learn from mistakes and be bold. As Mark Zuckerberg stated “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

Fiona Auton
Deputy Head of Junior School


Over the past few years, the College has been experiencing modest enrolment growth and it continues to be a changing landscape when looking at future enrolments. The College is committed to ensure we continue to deliver on our Mission – providing an outstanding holistic education that enables every student to achieve their potential.

As a result, several year levels across the College are now full, at ‘Ideal Capacity’ and a waitlist process has commenced. To ensure your child is on the waitlist for a year level that is currently full, please complete an enrolment application. As soon as a place becomes available, you will then be contacted.

We are also now receiving enrolment applications for students several years in advance.

As you would expect, our priority is for current families to have first opportunity to enrol siblings at Scotch Oakburn College.

If you are considering enrolling another child at the College now, or in the next few years, we encourage you to do so now.

If you have any questions, please contact our College Registrar, Mrs Trish Reid, on 6336 3394.

Joel Brewer
Director, Marketing and Community


For all families thinking of planning holidays in 2023, we have now published the Scotch Oakburn College Term dates. They can be found anytime on the parent page of our website or on The Dash home page.

Term 1 starts Wednesday 1 February
Term 1 ends Thursday 6 April

Easter – Good Friday 7 April to Tuesday 11 April (inclusive)

Term 2 starts Wednesday 26 April
Term 2 ends Friday 30 June

Term 3 starts Tuesday 25 July
Term 3 ends Friday 29 September

Term 4 starts Monday 16 October
Term 4 ends Wednesday 13 December

Ben Marsland
Deputy Principal


This week in Chaplaincy, I want to celebrate the Junior School Class of 2 Viney.  They were the first class to undertake the new format of Connect, and they didn’t let us down.  In fact, the surprise was all mine.

We discussed the topic of Commitment and what it means at a Year 2 level to undertake and be committed to what they believe in.

We read two books, The Little Red Hen and The Big Red Hen.  These two stories showed the different sides of commitment and what might happen when we are not committed and when we are.

The main contributions that struck a chord of just how good our students are at understanding commitment.

  1. They understood, at Year 2 level, that to be committed to something, you needed to use all our learning attributes and were actually able to name what they were and how they needed to be used for commitment to occur.
  2. They understood that living our school value of commitment started when they put on their uniform in the morning so that they when they are seen publicly on the way to and from school, as well as at school, they are identifiably the good character of commitment that Scotch Oakburn holds in their values system.
  3. At the end of our time, I asked – now you know what commitment is, what is one thing that you can improve on this week to show that you are committed to your values – and one young person said, “Not treat our parents like our servants”.  An answer all parents would like to hear, I am sure.

I had a tear in my heart and eye, as I heard these students be so committed to a good, prosperous and fine character.

School and parents alike, you are raising good children with amazing qualities.  I am humbled to be a chaplain in your midst and look forward to serving you more, as I move around the classes at the Junior School and beyond.

Rev Grace
College Chaplain


The Performing Arts Department has been a hive of activity over recent weeks, and it will not be slowing down for a while.

Last week the College welcomed approximately 1800 audience members to the Horton Auditorium for the Middle School Production of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox. With three school matinees and two evening performances the 60 member cast and crew, under the direction of Miss Evie Chalk, put on a very polished performance that entertained all who came through the theatre doors.

The College has received some lovely feedback from other schools that attended the show, comments such as “…the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience – from the performers to the lighting to the backdrops to the music. The show was amazing and our students loved it!  Well done to all involved! It was a very polished performance and obviously the students spent a lot of time practicing, rehearsing and refining. It was incredible! The children have walked away inspired and wanting to get involved. It was so nice to watch the reactions of the children as they left. Some were dancing, some were singing, some were moving in very dramatic ways while others have realised that there is a whole world beyond the stage supporting productions.”

The production would not have been such a success if it were not for the wonderful performers, crew, technical and creative teams. As well as Miss Chalk’s wonderful work as Director, Mr Andy Prideaux’s work behind the scenes as the College’s Productions Coordinator was invaluable. Congratulations to all involved.

Hot on the heels of Fantastic Mr Fox, the audition process for the Senior School Production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has commenced. Spelling Bee, as it is affectionately known, is a musical comedy that centres on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups. It promises a fun-filled and humorous show. Keep your eyes open for the cast announcement and for when tickets go on sale.

Thursday 26 May at 7.00pm marks the first of the College’s major music concerts for 2022, the Annual Autumn Concert. This concert, to be held in the Horton Auditorium, will feature the Middle and Senior School bands, choirs and orchestras providing the College’s musicians with the opportunity to share their musical learning journey. Whilst this is a free concert, tickets are required and can be BOOKED HERE. Please note that face masks are required at this event.

I look forward to seeing you at one, or all, of our upcoming Performing Arts events.

Stephen King
Head of Performing Arts


To speak strongly and articulately on matters you are passionate about in front of a live audience requires a healthy dose of courage and commitment.

Eight of our students participated in Rostrum Voice of Youth on Saturday 14 May against other schools, and proved they had the muscle to do it.

As a first-time speaker,  Year 8 student James Walker rocketed right to the front and won the Junior Northern Final! Congratulations James, who will now compete against students around Tasmania in the State Final in June. Special mention to Year 8 Reinard Fourie and Year 7 Gina Kumar who, as newbies, were also quite dynamic in their delivery and content.

In the afternoon’s two Senior heats, Indra Gurudoss, Kim Latt, Oscar Winspear, Hamish Fyffe and Kulani Somarathna also exercised their public speaking muscles!  It was an extremely tough competition with two Launceston College students winning in both senior groups, but with Indra and Kulani hot on their tails winning the encouragement awards.

Special thanks to Rostrum Voice of Youth for hosting another successful public speaking event here at Scotch Oakburn College.  The opportunities they provide for our youth are hugely valuable with each of our students always walking away with valuable feedback and recognition.

Katie Lester
PIC Public Speaking

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