14 April, 2022


Towards the end of 2021, I shared news of a refreshed College Wellbeing Framework to integrate learning and wellbeing outcomes. As Term 1 draws to a close, I’d like to provide an update on some of the key achievements to date.

SOCIAL Wellbeing is the moniker for our overarching Wellbeing Framework. It’s an acronym for Scotch Oakburn College Integrated Approach to Learning and Wellbeing. SOCIAL Wellbeing is all about helping students develop the wellbeing tools to feel good and function well in their lives.

An integral part of this, our new pastoral system across Middle and Senior School is now well established. Smaller House based Mentor Groups in Senior School and class based groups in Middle School work primarily with one of their core teachers as Mentors. The Resilience Project (TRP) is being delivered in intensive blocks each term.

In Term 1 our focus has been Gratitude. Mrs Julie Kemp has taken on the role of TRP Coach, supporting the rollout of TRP across the College. At the Elphin Campus TRP is embedded in the everyday curriculum while at Penquite it is facilitated through Mentors.

A recent project has been to provide students an opportunity to tell us about their wellbeing challenges at school and in their lives more broadly. Over the past two weeks, all students from Year 4 to Year 12 have had the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive and externally facilitated Wellbeing and Engagement Survey.  From this, we will receive a detailed report early in Term 2. We look forward to working with student and parent representatives to review, analyse and synthesise this data into focused wellbeing initiatives.

Key staff will undergo specialised training to unpack the data. The report will also help us understand the specific wellbeing needs of Scotch Oakburn students and allow us to triangulate this data with Tasmanian students from across the state. Scotch Oakburn is the first Tasmanian Independent School to participate in the Student Wellbeing and Engagement Survey.

Also in 2022, key staff working to support wellbeing outcomes across the College have been brought together as a College wide Wellbeing Team. The team includes our Social & Emotional Learning Coordinator at Elphin, Mr Justin Smith, and two new Counsellors in Middle and Senior School, Ms Kiran Oates Pryor and Ms Tracey Prestage. These roles complement our existing Counsellors in Junior and Senior Schools (Mrs Franny Stewart and Mrs Kylie Wolstencroft). Kylie also holds the position of Wellbeing Coordinator.

As Deputy Principal I provide strategic oversight for the work of the Wellbeing Team. Rev Grace Reynolds imbues a spiritual perspective and Dean of Students, Mr Mark Hassell, rounds out the team with a focus on Restorative Practices and Student Engagement. This team represents a comprehensive and coordinated response to the ever growing demands to support the wellbeing of our students.

SchoolTV continues to be a much relied on resource for parents and the wider College community. Some of the important issues we have highlighted in 2022 include Youth Anxiety, Understanding Adolescence and Transitioning Schools. I encourage you to access or revisit this valuable resource.

These are some of the cornerstones of the SOCIAL Wellbeing Framework and I hope they provide an insight to the College’s commitment to the Wellbeing Strand of SOC2035.

I wish everyone in our community a happy, safe, and restful Easter in the company of loved ones. Please make time to look after your own wellbeing after a busy, at times disrupted, but highly successful Term 1.

Ben Marsland
Deputy Principal