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


/ Junior School

Student Engagement

Student Engagement is a term that is often used in relation to learning and living at school – for all age groups. High levels of engagement lead to both improved learning outcomes and positive wellbeing.

What is meant by ‘engagement?  A South Australian study (reference below), offers a definition which gives some insight into factors contributing to student engagement in Childcare and Primary School settings.

Engagement refers to the level of participation and intrinsic interest that a student shows in school. This involves both behaviours (persistence, effort, attention) and attitudes (motivation, positive learning values, enthusiasm, interest, pride in success). Thus, engaged students seek out activities, inside and outside the classroom, that leads to success or learning. They also display curiosity, a desire to know more, and positive emotional responses to learning at school.

The results of the SA study highlighted some key aspects of pedagogical practices enhancing engagement and leading to improved social, meta-cognitive and academic outcomes for young learners. Things such as greater choice in what and how to learn, more social and collaborative learning experiences and learning that is less class centred contribute to higher on task behaviour associated with greater interest, markedly better overall wellbeing, better problem solving ability on assigned tasks, higher capability to articulate about learning (meta-cognition) and superior performance on standard numeracy and literacy tests.

Children’s wellbeing is viewed as both a cause and an effect of engagement in numerous studies. The learning environment at school strives to support children’s wellbeing, developing things such as trust and confidence, a sense of belonging, self knowledge, and good emotional health. These enable children to participate in their curriculum with vitality and enjoyment.

More details and discussion of this topic can be found by clicking here.

School photographs

The last two days have had periods of great excitement for our youngest learners in particular! Annual school photo days are a special time for students and the challenges of getting a whole class group to all smile and look in the same direction at once has tested the skills of the photographers and class staff at times.

Thank you to all families who have supported this process yesterday and today.

Cross Country

All students from Years 2-5 will be participating in the House Cross Country afternoon at Scotch Oakburn Park on Thursday 26 May.  The first event starts at 12.30pm. Family spectators are most welcome to attend and details of the program together with COVID-19 protocols have been sent to all families.

 Kindergarten (Early Learning Erina) Reading program

Thank you to all families who have met with their child’s Class Teacher over the last two weeks to initiate individual Read-at-Home programs. This is a key step in the beginning stages of learning to read and building a love of reading. Anybody who has not yet been able to drop in to discuss this with the Class Teacher is urged to do so in the week ahead.

Maths at Home

Youcubed is a website with a wealth of resources and information about the learning of mathematics and the development of growth mindsets in relation to maths capabilities.

The site has a Youcubed at Home drop down where a wide range of maths based activities suitable for children right across the Early Learning to Year 5 age groups.

Parents interested in reading more about ways in which young children develop maths skills and mindsets will find a wealth of information on Youcubed.

Winter weather!

Our first frost this week reminded us all that winter is upon us. Students across the Junior School are reminded of the importance of keeping warm (wearing jumpers at school) and having a raincoat or Japara at school to be prepared for wet days. These things are especially important this year from the perspective of the range of winter ailments impacting children currently.

Everybody is also reminded of the importance of staying at home if they are unwell, be this for COVID-19 or cold and flu symptoms.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Coffee@Laneway has returned to the Junior School for Term 2 and we’ve added an additional day. You can now get your coffee fix and catch up with other families on Wednesday and Thursday mornings between 8.00am – 8.45am. Remember to grab a loyalty card to make every 5th coffee free!

Justin Clarke
Coffee@Laneway Coordinator

Author with a heart – Stef Gemmill

Stef Gemmill is an award-winning children’s author of adventurous books full of hope and heart.  Year 1 students were lucky enough to be zooming in live to her reading from the NSW State Library Story time event this week as part of our conneXions author study.

Students are working on exploring her three picture books by writing and sharing text to self connections and were excited to get a special shout out during the event. Learn more here

Kylie Brewster
conneXions Teacher


/ Middle School

Servant leadership, developing ‘social currency’ through EY8

It is inspiriting to report the passion and commitment being displayed by the Year 8 students while they plan and prepare their EY8 proposals.  The EY8 program provides the chance for our Middle School student leaders to design their own learning project, that will have a direct positive impact upon others, i.e. building our social currency.  This is achieved by understanding Servant Leadership.  During the past two years we have experienced times of isolation and social restriction, so the need for projects like EY8 have never been more important for both the community and our student leaders.  It will be exciting to see these projects come to life in our communities bringing much connection and care.  Thank you to the EY8 mentors who are assisting and guiding our students and their projects.  The presentation of these projects will be in late Term 3.


Thank you for the support with students sitting NAPLAN Assessments over the past two weeks.  For many this is the first NAPLAN Assessment since Year 3 due to recent COVID-19 restrictions.  NAPLAN is one assessment indicator to inform learning and understanding.

State Selection – Rugby Union

Congratulations to Year 8 students Eddie Toohey and Nate Henrys  – who have been selected in the U/14 State Rugby Union Team to play in Canberra in July.

Rostrum Youth Voice of the Year

Congratulations to Gina Kumar (Year 7), Reinard Fourie (Year 8) and James Walker (Year 8) for competing in the Rostrum Voice Youth Competition. All three were outstanding representatives of our College.  Special mention to James Walker on winning the Northern Regional final, qualifying for the State Finals in June.

World Peace Games

One of the most exciting learning opportunities for Year 7 is on the horizon.  Thank you to Mr Simon Dray for the preparation and leadership with this exciting learning program, commencing with Year 7Y in Week 5.  Looking forward to seeing collaboration in action!

Year 5/6 IPSHA Leadership Day

A group of 24 Year 5/6 students participated in the Independent Primary Schools Student Leadership Day.  This experience was facilitated by ‘yLead’, providing an online leadership forum, challenging the students to collaborate and share their leadership potential.


/ Senior School

Year 10 Work Experience

This week, 39 Year 10 students have been out in the “real world” of work, experiencing a wide variety of occupations in almost 50 workplaces around Launceston, across Tasmania, and on the mainland.

Teaching, veterinary science, trades, hospitality, hairdressing, agriculture, health professions, architecture, engineering … the huge variety of career options being investigated during our work experience week has given students the opportunity to test drive future career ideas, as well as providing valuable learning with regard to their understanding of education and training pathways.

This experience inevitably results in students returning to school with a renewed appreciation of the value and relevance of their learning, in preparation for their TCE years and beyond.

Judy Poynter
Year 10 Work Experience Coordinator

Senior Debating Roster

Wednesday 18 May was the 11th and final round of the Northern Colleges Debating Competition. This year, Scotch Oakburn College fielded four excellent TCE teams, who have gone from strength to strength with each passing week. All debaters represented the College with distinction. This competition saw SOC 1 became the overall winners of the 2022 shield and SOC 3 were equal runners-up.

Special thanks to Ms Helen Dosser for hosting last night’s final round and for her excellent mentoring of these speakers as they have developed through the years.

Next week,  Friday 27 May and Saturday 28 May, our debaters will be contesting the annual Parliamentary Shield at St Patricks College. The debates will take place at 2.30pm, 5.10pm and 7.10pm on Friday and 10.10am on Saturday morning. Finals will be in the afternoon. The teams would appreciate your support.

Sharon Beattie
PIC Debating

TCE Ball

Attention: this is highly classified information for senior personnel only!

As of Saturday 14 May, at precisely 1930 hours, operation ‘007 TCE Ball’ was in effect at the Country Club Casino.

This report pertains to the top-secret details of the night’s events, and the relevant debrief for all agents involved. The operation was a coordinated strategy devised by the Q division (otherwise known as the Seniors Committee).

Planning began in February, and preliminary operations began in the few weeks prior to the event, with diligence and continued cooperation between team members – even outside of their operational hours (raise in agent pay has yet to be determined).

The event in question called into action the various agents and correspondents of the Scotch Oakburn ‘Training Combat Enterprise’ or ‘TCE’ cohort (figures, descriptions and photographs will be available for authorised personnel only).

The night called on the talents of the Q Division Chairs (Agents Oliver Lindsay and Georgia Taylor), ‘Protectorate in Command’ or ‘PIC’ Agent M (Ms. Roy Russell), and live musical entertainment was provided by the entertainment division otherwise known by the codename Odysseus.

Further, the camouflage division, with head agent Ms. Carmel Dilger, provided perfect cover for surveillance operatives (the ‘Personal Attentive Rangers Engaged in Teaching Stuff’ or ‘PARENTS’).

Field reports at the event describe an amiable atmosphere, but also tell of riotous attitudes in response to musical stimuli, resulting in wild behaviour in sector ‘Dancefloor’ of the venue.

However, final reports suggest that the mission ‘007 TCE Ball’ was a success and an enjoyable evening for all attending parties.

Aiden Tripathi, Amelia Donaldson, Cadence Brown and Jess Donahue
Seniors Committee Members


2022 House Cross Country Carnival

This coming Tuesday 24 May 2022, is the Middle School and Senior School House Cross Country Carnival. Students will have a House meeting in period 3 then will head to class in period 4 until 12.10pm, before making their way to Scotch Oakburn Park for the event. The gates will be locked at 12.30pm and there won’t be any vehicle access after this time. Spectators are to sign in at the main reception and park on Penquite Road.

Starting times are as follows:
Year 6 Girls and Boys 12.50pm
U/13 Girls and Boys 1.05pm
U/14 Girls and Boys 1.20pm
U/15 Girls and Boys 1.40pm
U/16 and Open Girls 2.10pm
U/16 and Open Boys 2.40pm

All course maps can be found under the Cross Country Carnival tab on the Sportal@Penquite Dash page. 

Around the Grounds – this week’s Sports Fixtures

Click here to view the sports fixtures for this week.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

Improving our Sports Mindset

Congratulations to everyone for their sports achievements this week.

This week at our First XVIII Football Team, I blessed our players for the season, and then we discussed the formula that A-Rod, who played 22 seasons with the New York Yankee’s Baseball Team, believes about success.  In his view, success equals Fundamentals + Confidence – how do we get confidence, we learn, know and practise our fundamentals so that they become automatic skills in our game playing.

It is important to note this because quite often we want to get to the big league, be one of the team players always picked in the right place at the right time.  Yet, how much effort do we put into our fundamentals each week.  Are we humble enough to practise them and grow our ability to play them too?

Our chapter in Legacy this week, humility is explained beautifully in the light of mana.  Humility is deeply ingrained in Maori culture and implies normal or natural to distinguish the people of the land from the gods above.  To get above yourself is deeply frowned upon in Maori culture, and more broadly in New Zealand society.

The author explains that humility does not mean weakness, but its opposite.  Leaders with mana understand the strength of humility.  It allows them to connect with their deepest values and the wider world.  For Scotch Oakburn, this means that to be true leaders in our sporting endeavours, we have to be truly humble, playing out of our sporting values.

For the All Blacks, humility is seen as a vital part of a well adjusted character.  It is essential to their word mana, which captures so many qualities:  authority, status, personal power, bearing, charisma and great personal prestige and character.

As I look at this word, I understand what humility is and how humility for the All Blacks is truly the basis for their foundation, the foundation we need at Scotch Oakburn. To sweep our sheds after a game, clean up our fields after our games and training, clean up after our hospitality events and all that it takes to learn our fundamentals for our on-field endeavours.

Are we truly humble enough to be truly successful?  Will we learn our fundamentals?  Will we clean our sheds and be responsible for our decisions both on and off our sporting fields?

Have a great week of sports everyone.

Rev Grace
College Chaplain



Mr Andy Gray

The College farewelled retiring Board Chairperson Mr. Andy Gray this week, following a long and dedicated period of service to the governance of the College.

His retirement this week follows a remarkable length of volunteering of Andy’s skills and experience to the College over the past 16 years. Andy commenced on the College Finance Committee in 2006 where he has remained a member until now, bringing considerable financial management, planning and audit skills to the Committee.

He joined the College Board in 2011 and went on to assume the role of Chairperson of the Board in May 2019, three years ago. This period, as for many organisations, has been a particularly challenging time regarding Covid-19. Among many other things, Andy’s time as Chairperson can be reflected on by:

1.    His steady and measured oversight of the College during the COVID pandemic which has been particularly noticeable to the College community. What could have been a very negative period for the College has been transferred into a significant positive regarding enrolments, finances and College reputation, no doubt in large part to Andy’s leadership of the Board.

2.    The development of the new 15-year strategic plan for the College, SOC 2035. An enormous amount of work and strategic oversight was achieved by the Board working in close collaboration with College management to deliver SOC 2035, and Mr. Gray leaves a very solid legacy in place for the College within the strategic plan.

3.    The obvious productive relationship that Andy has had with the Principal and the management of the College. The two Andy’s have formed a wonderful partnership with the College being the beneficiary of this. The recent reappointment of the Principal for another term, effectively arranged by the Chairperson, continues an important and positive era for the College.

The College’s Remuneration and Governance Committee, which oversees succession planning of the skills-based College Board, has recently considered appropriate Board nominations and at the Annual General Meeting of the College last week, three existing casual Directors were endorsed to commence their first term of office on the Board – Jessica Woodroffe, Emma Vincour and Jim Wilson. These members bring considerable skills in education, legal, governance and risk management to the College.

Mr David Finnigan

Further, at a College meeting of Directors this week, David Finnigan was appointed as the new Chairperson of the College Board. Mr. Finnigan has been a College Director since 2016 and has been the Deputy Chairperson of the Board for the last three years. He is a respected Executive Manager and Professional Engineer with significant industry, executive management, strategic business development and leadership skills.

Ms Rebecca Cuthill

Ms. Rebecca Cuthill has been appointed the new Deputy Chairperson of the College Board. Ms. Cuthill has been a College Director since 2018 and brings skills in effective communication, strategic management, fundraising, leadership and mentoring to her governance role in the College.

I take this opportunity to thank Andy Gray, on behalf of the College community for his lasting contribution and service – and welcome new Chairperson David Finnigan, and Deputy Chairperson Rebecca Cuthill to their roles.

Calton Frame
Board Secretary and College Business Manager

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