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2021 was another wonderful year in the College’s history, a year of amazing highlights, community events and student achievements; from the day-to-day activities, in and out of the classroom, to the special events that involved our amazing students, enabled by the College’s passionate and dedicated staff. There have been so many wonderful events and achievements over the last 12 months that have been celebrated in our news each week, that to name any selection would inadvertently do a disservice to those not listed.

The highlights that you have read about in the news, witnessed first-hand or shared on various forms of media to be read about soon after they happen are inspiring for us all. What is often not visible is the work that goes on in preparation and behind the scenes to bring these activities and events to fruition. The diligence and determination of our staff, teaching and non-teaching, and our Board of Directors, to stay at the forefront of education, educational practices, governance and those less obvious but no less important aspects that add value to our students’ education, is where the love of learning is enabled and reinforced.

Scotch Oakburn truly is a lived example of the ‘Gestalt phenomenon’, where the whole is greater than the sum of its constituent parts. This is a metaphor for our students’ collective efforts where together they achieve far more than each of them could do if working in isolation, whether that be on the sporting field, the stage, the outdoors or in the classroom. All student involvements are vital parts in creating the somewhat intangible dynamic that we call ‘school spirit’ and is at the root of the culture that we so enjoy and that we should never take for granted. That culture is collectively generated and reinforced by staff, students and families in all that we say and do.

To all our community I say a heartfelt, ‘thank you’ for your ongoing and enthusiastic support of the College throughout 2021. I wish you a safe and relaxing Christmas break and look forward to another wonderful year in 2022.

Andy Müller


We invite our community to watch our live stream of Celebration, being held on Tuesday 14 December at 6.30pm.

Please share this link with others who may be interested in tuning in.  Join us @

Should you have any questions about Celebration please email Nicole Willcox at


Following on from the success of Shrek – The Musical this year, Scotch Oakburn College is delighted to be able to announce its productions for 2022 for both the Middle and Senior Schools.

Middle School students will be performing the Roald Dahl classic Fantastic Mr Fox in May. This timeless classic has been adapted to the stage by playwright David Wood. Roald Dahl’s much-loved story follows the vain attempts of three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, one fat, one short, one lean, to get rid of the fox who regularly steals food from their farms. They try to kill him by any means possible. Outwitted at every turn, the farmer’s ploys backfire. Fantastic Mr Fox devises a plan which will ensure full stomachs for not only his family but all his friends, who celebrate with a sumptuous feast.

Our Senior School students will be performing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the end of August. This musical follows an eclectic group of six teenagers who vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

Fantastic Mr Fox is being performed by arrangement with OriginTM Theatrical on behalf of Samuel French, a Concord Theatricals Company.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was conceived by Rebecca Feldman, additional material by Jay Reiss, music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin and is licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia). All performance materials supplied by Hal Leonard Australia.

Andy Prideaux
College Production Coordinator

Stephen King
Head of Visual and Performing Arts


Keep moving over summer and take advantage of the College Fitness Centre.

Our Fitness Centre will be open at certain times during the summer holidays and Tim Reese, our qualified personal trainer will be happy to put you through your paces.

Feel free to join in one of the group sessions or alternatively ask Tim for a program to suit your goals and ambitions. This service is free to all members of our College community and one we continue to strongly encourage to all, in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Open from 6.00am until 8.00am on the following dates:

Monday 20 December
Wednesday 22 December
Friday 24 December
Monday 10 January
Wednesday 12 January
Friday 14 January
Monday 17 January
Wednesday 19 January
Friday 21 January
Monday 24 January
Friday 28 January
Monday 31 January

From Wednesday 2 February the fitness centre will return to its normal operating hours of 6.00am until 8.15am Monday to Friday and 3.30pm until 6.00pm Monday to Thursday.

Paul McKendrick
Head of Health and Physical Education


How have the gifts of others enabled our learning community to flourish?

This question was the spark that inspired the Thursday evening Family Carol Service on the Elphin Oval this week. Woven through a program of choral singing and instrumental music, and also featuring items by the Junior School Rock Band and the Stay Sharp singers from the Senior School,  Year 4 speakers shared their gratitude for the gifts given by their parents, teachers, learning assistants, support staff, peers and all who have contributed in so many ways big and small to our learning community this year.

Along with the messages about the gifts of giving and gratitude, the Service included reminders about inclusivity – the essence of community – in and beyond our College community from the Chaplain and the Principal.

Thank you to the more than 200 students who played a part in the Service, to the Music Staff and Year 4 Staff who coordinated the evening, and to the large gathering of families  – from grandparents to parents to children of all ages  – who filled the oval and sang along with the family carols. The positive vibe rippling around the venue was felt by all who were fortunate to share the experience.

The Carol Service embodied one of the very special aspects of our College – the incredibly strong sense of community expressed through the strong school-home partnership that we all enjoy. The active engagement of families in their children’s school life enhances the learning and wellbeing outcomes for students of all ages, and the support to the College itself from all members of our community reaps rewards for all of us – students, staff, families.

The last week and a half of the school year has been a wonderful demonstration of this partnership.

On Wednesday, Year Level celebrations for each of the Prep and Year 1 cohorts saw the HPEC@Elphin buzzing with excitement and pride as the students sang, played instruments, acted and displayed their public speaking skills to ‘full house’ audiences of parents and family members.

On Thursday morning Early Learning Erina students brought the main oval at Scotch Oakburn Park alive with their singing and Christmas message to the large group of families gathered in front of the Eastman pavilion.

On Friday the Final Assembly for Year 5 students was a special occasion for the 82 students who received their Mary Fox Certificate marking the finish of their Junior School days from the Principal in front of another capacity audience of parents.

Next Tuesday will see Early Learning Elphin students celebrating the end of their school year with their families at a celebration and picnic in Claremont Park with their parents.

For Penquite Campus families, this week’s Middle School Final Assembly and next week’s College Celebration at which the Year 12 students are farewelled are further events exemplifying the school-home partnership across the College.

Thank you to all members of the College family for your community contributions all the way through 2021. These contributions both big and small have enabled our learning community to flourish.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

End of the school year

The finish of the school year is racing to meet us! Thank you to all Junior School students, families and staff for your part in a wonderful school year for all of us.

Term 4 finishes for all classes on Wednesday 15 December between 2.50pm and 3.00pm. All Year 5 parents are invited on-campus (outdoors) from 2.45pm to share the moment as the Year 5 students depart the HPEC@Elphin through the farewell avenue of their Junior School peers.

After school Care closes at 6.00pm this same day.

The Vacation Care program commences on Thursday 16 December at 8.00am and runs until 6.00pm on Thursday 23 December. The January program then commences on Wednesday 5 January 5 and runs until Tuesday 1 February before Term 1 2022 commences on Wednesday 2 February.

The Junior School Office closes at 4.00pm on Wednesday 22 December and reopens at 8.00am on Thursday 27 January.  The Penquite Campus office will be open 9.00am to 4.00pm from Wednesday 5 January and the Junior School can be contacted through this office if required.

Best wishes to all members of our community for a joyous festive season, a restful family holiday break and a prosperous New Year.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Picnic Day

Class picnics are a traditional end of year activity for all Junior Students. Early Learning Erina started the ball rolling at Scotch Oakburn  Park this week, the Prep to Year 5 picnics (various venues) are on Monday 13 December and Early Learning Elphin on Tuesday 13 December.  In wishing everyone a happy picnic day with friends in their class of 2021, an important reminder is for sun protection to be a priority – wearing clothing that gives good protection, applying sunscreen as needed, maximising time in the shade.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

College Celebration

76 Year 4 and 5 students will join with Middle and Senior School students in the massed choir singing at the College Celebration night at the Silverdome on Tuesday 14 December. A number of other Junior School students will participate in on-stage reflections of the 2021 school year in the feature Showcase part of the Celebration program. Our community can watch the event live @

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Vacation Care

Full details of the programs and booking process for the December and January Vacation Care programs can be found on this link on the College Website. They are also available from the Outside School Hours Care room in the Early Learning Erina building.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

The Soggy Bottom Cardboard Box Boat Regatta 2022

In the Junior School, our Year 4 classes love being part of the Soggy Bottom Boat Regatta each year, using the event as part of a science-based learning unit with the testing of student-designed and made boats in the College pool prior to the big day being much anticipated by the Year 4’s as well as their student audience!

The annual Soggy Bottom Boat Regatta returns in 2022. This community event, run by the Youngtown  Rotary Club to raise funds for young people in the community living with challenges, will be held at Waverley Lake on Sunday 6 March next year. Family groups, sporting clubs and businesses are encouraged to be creative, build their own cardboard boats and enter events on the day. All families and members of the community are invited to the day which includes on-shore as well as water-based activities. College grandparent Leigh Dyson coordinates the event and details can be found online at

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School




Throughout 2021 the Middle School community has connected and shown commitment to ‘bemore’.  At this exciting time of the year, it is important that we all continue to ‘bemore’ to others and think of the needs of others rather than ourselves.  The notion of giving rather than receiving for young and old is a great quality and connects well to our Learner Attributes.  For the upcoming summer holidays, I wish everyone a safe and rewarding break with family and friends.  I am looking forward to the exciting opportunities and curriculum developments in 2022 in the Middle School as we continue to provide exceptional learning opportunities that develop all the aspects of becoming a lifelong learner.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School

Da Vinci Awards

To complete the year, Year 8X were invited to create useful, pioneering, and creative inventions to celebrate their learning about the Renaissance.  Given old school stationery to upcycle and recycle, teams of students sweated it out to think innovatively much as Leonardo da Vinci did. Our classroom became a messy hive of creativity as inventions such as the Vend-o-matic Candy Sorter and the Rock Slinger 10 000 were launched. Many thanks to our official judges: Mr Nick Bean and Mr Dean Hawkins for their time and consideration in giving out Da Vinci Awards.

In a world today where we need creative and dynamic thinkers, 8X is leading the way!

Katie Lester

Tasmanian Science Talent Search

Students in Year 6 were recognised for their work preparing a comprehensive research investigation in this competition across Tasmania. The standard of work by Scotch Oakburn Students was very high, and a Merit Award was been awarded to Arlo Lancaster and Benben Boonsiri for their work investigating Wing Shapes in Paper Planes. Well done to the boys for their excellent report.

Fiona Taylor



Gratitude and Best Wishes from the Senior School

As the school year draws to a close, I would like to express grateful thanks to all those that have made 2021 such a successful year in the Senior School. The time has come to slow down and reflect on the busyness of the year and celebrate the contribution of all concerned.

To all staff, teaching and non-teaching, we are always grateful for everything you do to make the experience of our students so fulfilling. So many staff put in extra time and effort, beyond what is asked of them, and this does not go unnoticed. Working in education is often referred to as a ‘calling’ rather than a job, and many of the Scotch Oakburn staff are living proof of this.

To all parents and guardians, the Senior School community thanks you for your continued support and collaboration in making the experience of your children exceptional. Teenagers sometimes do not express their gratitude openly, but you can always be assured that they genuinely appreciate the opportunities that you afford them by sending them to Scotch Oakburn.

To all our students, we thank you most of all because without you there would be no school. Your enthusiasm and willingness to lead the College and set an example for the younger students is very evident. Your participation in such a wide range of activities and programs is a joy to witness, we know that this will be the key that contributes to your own success in the Senior School and in life.

A special word to the current Year 8 cohort, it has been a joy spending time with you over the past week, both in your classes and on transition day. I am very excited to welcome you into the Senior School in 2022 as Year 9 students and I can tell that your move across the road into the Helix space will make the Senior School an even better place. Congratulations on graduating from Middle School today.

To all members of our wider community, we wish you a safe and happy holiday period. Wishing you everything that is good in the world, be grateful to each other and to those around you for the very lucky life we all lead here in Tasmania.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School

Senior School Transition Day

Students in Years 8 and 9 combined for activities and challenges designed to build links between the future students leading the Senior School. Leadership and respect were common themes and these attributes were lived and experienced by staff and students on the day. Year 8 students finished the day with a Race Around the Campus to find people and places they will need to connect with in the future. Many thanks to all the staff and Year 9 students who helped develop a spirit of positive collaboration throughout the day.

Fiona Taylor
Year 9/10 Coordinator

Students selected for ArtRage 2021

ArtRage is an annual exhibition that showcases the talents of students across the state, who have just completed TCE Art Production or Art Studio Practice. Scotch Oakburn College has had 5 students selected to be in this year’s show: Eva Baonza, Sally Smith, Olivia Willows, Sydney Carnie and Hannah Seymour.

All of our TCE Art students have worked incredibly hard to produce their folios of work and should be proud of what they have created. For Eva, Sally, Olivia, Sydney and Hannah to achieve the additional recognition of being selected to be in ArtRage is very special.

ArtRage opens this weekend at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Inveresk for family and friends of participating students. It will be open to the general public in the new year before travelling to Hobart.

Carmel Dilger

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Gold Award

The end of November 2021 saw the first opportunity in two years to celebrate the success of those young people from across Tasmania who achieved the highest possible standard within the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, the Gold Award. This particular award is highly regarded due to the dedicated commitment required over at least 18 months and with the added component of a Residential Project, in addition to other standard categories that require completion; Physical Recreation, Service, Skill, and an Adventurous Journey.

Very few students complete their Gold Award, this year only 12 students from across Tasmania were welcomed to Government House in Hobart to receive their award from Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC, Tasmania’s 29th Governor.

Angus Foster (Year 12) was one of those students honoured at the proceedings at Government House. His Residential Project took him out of his comfort zone of agriculture and immersed him in the world of aquaculture. Angus spent 12 days at Freycinet Marine Farm as a farmhand with his aim being to learn more about these two industries, as a whole, but also about their similarities, differences, and best practice opportunities. His activities ranged from harvesting and grading oysters, repacking oysters for sale, shucking oysters in the cellar door, as well as preparing mussel lines for the upcoming season by placing droppers on the line in Great Oyster Bay.

The College would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Angus on this achievement and his commitment to achieving his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

Simon Dray

Library returns

We are seeking to have all items on loan that are due back this year to be returned by Tuesday 14 December.  If there are any problems with returning items, please alert Library staff before then.

We encourage students to use the Libraries Tasmania network – all public libraries throughout the state are part of this network.  It is easy to join up online through the Libraries Tasmania portal.

Wishing you all happy holiday reading!

David Morris


Student Achievements

In September 2021, Swimming Tasmania announced their State Team, which would have competed at the Short Course National State Teams Championships in October at the AIS.

Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, for the second year in a row. College students that were members of the team were Taylor Brock (year 8), Atlan Devin (Year 8), Ella Fischer (Year 9), Grace Mitchell (Year 8), Bella Muldoon (Year 8), Xavier Nesbit (Year 9) and Charlotte Pilsbury-Milne (Year 10).

Ali Foot
Head of Sport


Our boys’ senor cricket team played in four games at a T20 cricket competition.

St Brendan Shaw College won the first game scoring 5/81 against our 78.  Top scorers were Charlie Skipper 23 from 22 and Tom Hawkins 16 from 15 and bowlers, Charlie Skipper 2/12 from 4 overs and Roy Penn 1/13 off 4 overs. We bowled with fire and set an electric fielding standard but our score was chased down in the 19th over.

In our second game again St Virgils College saw exceptional bowling and fielding once again. Roy Penn 3/18 off 4, Tom Hawkins 2/11 off 4 and Lachlan Goldschmeid 2/21 off 4.

Our batting mainstay Oliver Hadley held the team together opening and batting through for 36 off 50 balls. Charlie Skipper (12 no off 7 balls) late in the innings and Eli Bellinger (17 off 25) both caught up some ground to have the game on an even keel. With only several balls to go we were chasing hard but just fell short by 5 runs in a great game.

On day 2, games were played against Marist College and Launceston Christian School (LCS). After 10 overs, Marist was 5/57 after some incredible fielding and catching efforts and they finished with a modest total of 8/95. Oliver Hadley bowled well with 3/13 off 4 as did Roy Penn with 2/16 from 4.  Struggling with the bat the game ended with an 18 run loss.

In the final game, our bowlers never missed the spot and remarkably bowled out LCS for just 15 in 3.4 overs! Roy Penn was instrumental in the attack taking 5/4 from 2 overs.  We won the game in the 2nd over at the loss of 1 wicket.

Thank you to Oliver Hadley, Roy Penn and Tom Gatenby for each leading the team in a game and to Quinn Elliot and Oliver Atkins from Year 8 for stepping up to help out our 1st XI for the tournament.


Our girls’ cricket has never been more advanced than it is now. After our girls won the NHSSSA Hurricanes Cup our numbers for the SATIS T20 comp went through the roof and we entered three teams of 11 players. Navy, Maroon and Gold. Most girls were first time players and we are all so proud of how they presented themselves in the contest.

On day one, Navy had two convincing wins, against our Maroon team and LCS. Maroon also LCS but fell short of a win. Gold played a competitive Launceston Grammar team and Guildford Young College (GYC) in their games and were unable to secure wins.  playDAY 1

After another win against LCS and a loss to GYC Navy finished second in our first girls SATIS competition, Maroon finished fifth and Gold fourth in a very competitive environment.

Thank you to Belinda Wegman and Alice McLauchlan for their efforts and time taken out of their schedules to coach the teams and to Naomi O’Loughlin who has always been there for the girls, but sadly was unable to attend.

Dean Hawkins
Director Of Cricket



This week marks the start of summer, and the end of the school term draws near. Recently, I have been looking at how I engage with technology at home and the amount of time I spend checking emails and doing tasks after hours. I have realised that it is very easy to fall into bad habits. Holiday time can be quite different depending on how we choose to engage with technology. This can be particularly difficult for students coming off regulated school time between 9 and 3. Here are some ideas of how to get children of all ages to engage differently with technology over the holidays:

  1. Create digital content – Children can use technology to create photo stories of trips or by creating a video of an event. Part of this could be interviewing a person or relative during Christmas lunch.
  2. Playing with others, maybe even parents or grandparents – Teaching someone else the rules and how to play can be a great opportunity for children to become teachers.
  3. Create habits in the morning that don’t include rushing to technology.

Use of social media over the break

Christmas is often a time when children are gifted with technology. It is important that with new internet-enabled devices that we take the time to talk to children and help them become aware of the digital footprint that they begin to create. Earlier this year we had a virtual presentation by Susan McClean who reminded us that the age limit for common social media apps and networking sites such as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube specify that users must be at least 13 years old. Many parents may be unaware of this.

The holidays are also a time to remind children that if they are old enough to use social media, to think carefully about the images and information that they are sharing and who they are sharing this information with.

An important discussion to have with children when they start using social media is to work with them to set up some guidelines these might include:

  • Using social media
  • Posting content and comments
  • Staying safe on social media
  • Protecting their privacy

Resources on introducing children to social media can be found at these government sites

Social media benefits & risks: 9-18 years | Raising Children Network

Use social media and online chat | eSafety Commissioner

In case you are interested in looking at technology gifts and some of the recommendations around Christmas Gifts, this site can be a great resource to help you understand technology uses and things to think about.

Gift Guide | eSafety Commissioner

Brendan Vince
Head of Learning and IT Services


Scotch Oakburn College proudly hosted the State Chess Finals last Monday 29 November. More than 200 students from Primary and Secondary schools throughout Tasmania attended this event, based on their chess ranking from interschool tournaments undertaken during the year. It was wonderful to finally engage in this State tournament: it was originally planned for October, but because of lockdown restrictions in Hobart at that time, the event was delayed.

Ten Senior School students and twelve Primary Division students represented Scotch Oakburn College. Our students were positive representatives of our school, demonstrating many of our Learner Attributes and values, including resilience, agility and commitment. Students participated in eight games over the day, with some intense competition being displayed ‘over the board’.

We extend our congratulations to the Senior Chess team, who came second in the State Finals. Addison Djatschenko finished the tournament as our Secondary Team’s top player, ably supported by Hamish Knowles, Ishani Kataria, Jack Duncan, James Walker, Mohak Dhakal, Thomas Gleeson and Ryan Puccetti.

Our Primary Division Team was placed ninth, with Charlie Johnson leading our Year 5 and 6 players. Students are congratulated on their participation and positive mindsets.

The delay in the Tasmanian State Finals meant that this event coincided with the National Finals, which were held online 29 and 30 November. Eight of our Secondary Team players (Addison Djatschenko, Hamish Knowles, Ishani Kataria, Mohak Dhakal, Thomas Gleeson, Ryan Puccetti, Jack Duncan and James Walker) followed their successful day at the State Finals with participation on the second day of the National Finals. Scotch Oakburn College finished 14th nationally, with Addison again recognised as the team’s best player.

Thank you to all staff, students and families who helped support these significant co-curricular events. It was certainly a team effort to host the State Final, and in particular, we would like to acknowledge Ms Kate Gard and all of her behind the scenes work.

Kiran Oates Pryor and Kate Gard
Persons-in-Charge of Chess 


Year 5 End of Year

The end of Year 5 is a special milestone for all Year 5 students as they transition from Junior School to Middle School and from the Elphin Campus to the Penquite Campus. Through the second half of this year, and particularly through Term 4, the Year 5 students have been engaged in transition experiences in readiness for this.

To mark the milestone, all Year 5 students are invited to sign the Valedictory Register at the Junior School Reception over these last two weeks of the Term. Parents are able to call into reception with their child at any convenient time through the school week to share this symbolic tradition together.

On Friday 10 December, at 1:30pm, the Year 5 Final Assembly will be held in the HPEC@Elphin. All families of Year 5 students have received details of this formal celebration.

On the last day of the Term (Wednesday 15 December) the whole Junior School will farewell the Year 5’s in a less formal gathering in the HPEC@Elphin from 2:40 – 3:00pm. Year 5 parents are welcome on campus to catch the moment and photo opportunity as the students leave through the ‘celebration avenue’.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

End of Year Events

All College families are invited to the Family Carol Service at the Elphin Campus (outdoors) on Thursday 9 December from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Year 4 students will lead the Service and students from Years 2-5 will lead choral and instrumental items.

Over the next 10 days, class celebratory events are scheduled for all Early Learning, Prep and Year 1 students and their families, and details of these have been communicated to all involved.

On the evening of Tuesday 14 December Year 4-5 choir students will participate in Celebration event at the Silverdome.

We look forward to enjoying this exciting time of year with all members of our College community.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

2021 Reports, 2022 Classes and Staff

Junior School ePortfolios and Reports are currently being finalised and next year’s classes and staffing are in the final stages of planning for next year.

All families will be advised when 2021 ePortfolio updates (Early Learning to Year 5) and School Reports (Prep-Year 5) are able to be accessed shortly before the end of term. Confirmation of next year’s teaching teams and class placements for all year levels will be communicated to families by the end of next week.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Vacation Care

Bookings for the December and January Vacation Care program are now open.  Download the program and booking from the College website by using this link – View Vacation Care program.

Pie Day and Hot Dog Day are coming!

We will be holding a ‘Pie Day’ for lunch at the Junior School on Wednesday 8 December.  Pies are $4.00 each and a vegetarian option is available.

We will be holding a ‘Hot Dog Day’ for lunch at the Junior School on Wednesday 15 December.  Hot Dogs are $4.00 each and a vegetarian option is available.

Both Pies and Hot Dogs need to be pre-ordered, please check My School Tuckshop for order closing dates.  Please note the normal Tuckshop Menu will not be available on Wednesday 8 and Wednesday 15 December.

It’s easy to order. Simply login to The Dash, click on ‘My School Tuckshop’, choose the correct date and add the product. Remember to complete your order by clicking on the cart, checking out, and receiving the big green thumbs up for confirmation.  Forgotten your login details? Simply click on the ‘forgot your password’ link and follow the prompts.

conneXions reminder

A reminder that all loans from conneXions need to be returned by the end of the Term. Any student with current loans has received details of those loans this week.  Please contact if you have any questions.



The needs of the future learner

Aligned to the SOC2035 Strategic Vision is the central focus on the needs of the future learner.  What skills (along with attributes) are forecasted?  According to many research papers, the following are essential:

critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication.

These are also known as the four C’s in the development of the future learner.  Importantly, not one of these is a stand-alone nor one being placed as more important than another.  It is the power and influence upon the combination of these skills that enable students of today to be active contributors and life-long learners for the ever-changing learning landscape of tomorrow.  As we continue to provide explicit learning experiences, I encourage our learners to view each opportunity and challenge as a chance to improve these skills rather than just focus on a result or ‘grade’.  The important link on focusing upon these 4 C’s is that they promote growth in learning, attributes and attitudes, this is something that can not always be measured, but is never the less important.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School

Upcoming Events in Week 9 in the MS

Some events coming up next week to be aware of:

2023 Scholarship Information evening for Years 5-9 – Monday 6 December in the Middle School, commencing at 5.00pm.

Year 8 Transition Day into Year 9 – Wednesday 8 December, commencing at 8.45am in the Helix.

Middle School Final Assembly – Friday 10 December, 10.45am for 11.00am in the Penquite HPEC.  A special occasion for our Year 8 leaders and their families.



Year 9 Giving Back

This week our Year 9s from Briggs and Fox House were fortunate to have JCP Youth (Will Smith, Jade Marquis and Kai) with us for 2 days to develop a better understanding and appreciation for what community service looks like and how they can be servants in our community to help others.

We had the opportunity on Tuesday to engage and do some activities and learn more about some of our own local community agencies – St Vincent’s de Paul, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Tasmanian Fire Service, Royal Flying Doctors Service (Tasmania) and State Emergency Service. On Thursday, the students packed up and gift wrapped 50 Christmas gifts for the Salvation Army and made 100 sandwiches for JCP Youth to distribute to homeless and at-risk youth in Launceston and Hobart on Thursday and Friday. Our focus this week was ‘doing’, putting in practice how we can contribute and support those people in our community who need a helping hand. Well done to all our Year 9s over the last six days. Your contribution by our community agencies hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Jamie Breden
Year 9 Community Service Coordinator



Mountain Biking

College riders competed in the 2021 AusCycling Tasmania State XCO MTB Championships at Osmaston.  Maya Martin (Year 9) won gold in the U17 female competition, and Henry Jones (Year 9) came fourth, Jock Peddie (Year 8) fifth and Campbell Skirving (Year 8) sixth in the U15 boys.

Luke Hammond
Person-in-Charge of Cycling

Basketball – Northern High School Sports Association Rosters

There were certainly some exciting games of Basketball for our Grand Finalists! We had five teams recognised as Grand Finalists this term:

The Year 9/10 Firsts Girls team, coached by Mrs Gelinda Dell, were automatically awarded the Premiership for this roster given their undefeated status and will be presented with their pennant and the respective Holly Grima Cup! Congratulations to all these girls on an excellent term and year of basketball.

The Year 7/8 Firsts Girls team, coached by Miss Jordan Holloway-Clarke, matched up against St Patrick’s College and played determined basketball from the start. Whilst the game was relatively close until half-time (SOC 13 to SPC 7) the girls third quarter saw them extend their lead considerably and they finished the game up by 19 points 35 – 16. A fantastic effort and a great reward for the season!

The Year 9/10 Thirds Boys team, coached by Mr Lachie Bremner, played a very close match against Lilydale District High School and scores were all tied up at both the first and second quarters, with the half time scores, 15 all. Our boys edged a small lead at the third of 2 points and whilst they led all of the fourth quarter it was in the last two minutes that a couple of baskets from Lilydale allowed them to take the game by 3 points in the dying seconds of the game (28 – 31). Certainly, a great game to watch and the consistent effort from all our boys was excellent.

The Year 7/8 Firsts Boys team, coached by Mr Elliot Warren, also played St Patrick’s College. The boys started strong and were only down by 3 points at the quarter break, however the next two quarters we struggled to make successful shots and St Patrick’s played strong defence. However, the last quarter saw a resurgence and improvement from our boys, but this wasn’t enough to make up for the early deficit. The team went down – SPC 55 to SOC 24.

The Year 9/10 Thirds Girls team, coached by Miss Kate Wallace, played Cressy District High in their Grand Final and unfortunately, due to school camps, were missing over half of their team. Despite this, with some younger girls to fill in, they were still very competitive and went into the last quarter only 5 points down. They were eventually defeated by 11 points (21-32). Congratulations on the excellent effort.

Many of our other teams played their remaining roster games last night and some great results were also achieved.

Once again, a huge thank you to all our players, coaches and parents for your commitment to basketball this term.  I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Xmas and we look forward to recommencing in Term 1 2022.

Natalie Good
Director of Basketball


The Lung Foundation Australia recently said that although tobacco smoking has fallen out of favour amongst Australian youth in recent years, there has been a rise in the popular alternative of ‘vaping’. It is indeed a long time since we, as teachers, remember dealing with incidences of students smoking at school, down the hill behind the bushes, which is a very positive observation. However, as with any adolescent risk-taking, we would be naïve to think that some Scotch Oakburn students were not experimenting with vaping and e-cigarettes.

It is every educational institution’s responsibility to ensure that students and parents are provided with current research and information that protects our young people from potential harm. That is the aim of this news item.

So, what is vaping? Vaping is the act of smoking e-cigarettes, or ‘vapes’, which are lithium battery-powered hand-held devices. Vapes use cartridges filled with liquids, or ‘juice’, which typically contain nicotine, artificial flavourings and various chemicals. The liquid is heated into an aerosol, or vapour, and inhaled into the user’s lungs. The range of vape and e-cigarette choices have evolved rapidly in recent years, with many models and liquid flavours. Vapes can include nicotine but there are vapes that are branded as non-nicotine. It is important to note that non-nicotine systems can be just as harmful due to the toxins they use. Though safe to ingest, these toxins may be very unsafe to inhale. These products lack proper testing, and often still contain nicotine even if they claim to be free of it.

They generally come in three main categories: minis, closed pods, and refillable. Types of vapes include:

  1. Minis – also known as ‘cigalikes’, Cuvides, BIDI Sticks or Stif. These are made to look like a normal cigarette and are disposable.
  2. Refillable systems – also known as Mods, Tanks or APVs. These are newer models with more settings and longer battery life. The vape juice is re-filled into the device’s tank.
  3. Closed pod e-cigs – these look like minis but aren’t disposable. The liquid ‘pod’ is replaced with another when it runs out.
  4. Other brands – there are also some closed pod brands such as JUUL which can be charged in a USB slot.

Vaping activities are attractive to young people because of the novelty nature of these devices, the influence of a direct family member or friend who vapes and the incorrect perception that vaping is relatively harmless compared to regular cigarettes. The accessibility and affordability also makes vapes attractive. Though restricted in Australia, vape equipment can easily be obtained through online channels, and remains a cheaper option than cigarettes. Sophisticated marketing through social media and online channels has been successful in glamourising vaping.

Vaping is unsafe and dangerous. We know that vaping in the short-term has been associated with nausea, vomiting, mouth and airway irritation, chest pain and heart palpitations. There is a common misconception that vaping is merely harmless water vapour — in fact, it’s an aerosol made up of tiny toxic particles. While this aerosol might have fewer chemical additives than combustible tobacco products, it still contains and emits many harmful compounds. These include:

  1. Formaldehyde and acrolein, which can cause irreversible lung damage.
  2. Propylene glycol, which is toxic to human cells.
  3. Nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm the still-developing adolescent brain, particularly in areas that control attention, learning, mood and behavioural control.

Additionally, vaping is associated with the future uptake of cigarette smoking and can be considered a ‘gateway’ to further risk and health complications. Also, the manufacturing of these devices is not regulated and in many instances they have caused permanent disfigurement after exploding or catching fire.

Please engage regularly in conversations with your children about the dangers of vaping and never assume that your child has not tried it, or is not being tempted to try it by friends. Here are some ideas about talking to young people about this issue:

  • Be patient, avoid criticism and be open and honest when talking to your child about vaping.
  • There should be an emphasis on easy discussion and mutual receptivity in a safe, caring and understanding space.
  • Stick with the facts, steer clear of overreaction and keep the emotion out of it.
  • Assist your children to make their own informed decisions around the issue.
  • Emphasise the way in which the tobacco industry covertly manipulates young people through glossy imagery and savvy marketing.
  • If nicotine addiction is involved, work with your children in an open and honest way by building rapport to start getting them the help they need.
  • Above all, always deal with the facts, make sure to underline the health issues and demonstrate authentic care in a non-judgmental setting.

The College’s new wellbeing resource, SchoolTV has a special report on vaping with an accompanying video which would be worth watching with your children, here is the link:

SPECIAL REPORT: Vaping | Scotch Oakburn College (

For more information or support in relation to this issue you can contact your medical practitioner or one of the following services:
Lung Foundation Australia 1800 654 301 • Quitline 13 78 48
Poisons Information Line 13 11 26 • Alcohol and Drug Foundation 1300 85 85 84

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School


Round Square Flag Ceremony

Year 2-5 students attended a Round Square Flag Ceremony at the Junior School this week. Led by Year 12 Round Square Captains Carl Els and Jess Finnigan, the ceremony included Junior School speakers representing the five global Round Square regions of Australasia and East Asia, South Asia and the Gulf, Europe, the Americas and Africa. Ida Eberle (Japan), Shiv Kataria (UK), Aarogya Mudwari (Nepal), Diego Munoz Lagos (Chile) and Anja Jacobs (South Africa) shared some of the culture and favourite memories of their homelands.

Round Square schools are in 55 countries around the world and within the College community, there are students and families with direct links to many other countries and cultures. The flags of all these countries are displayed in the HPEC@Elphin as we recognise and celebrate the wonderfully diverse makeup of our vibrant College community.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Congratulations to all Year 4 and 5 students who played at one of the four short concerts at the Junior School this week. The 4-5 instrumental program is a very important part of the music curriculum and the students have worked hard in class and at home throughout the year as they developed their skills on their instrument and their ability to play together in groups and ensembles. String, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, flute, rhythm and percussion players all proudly celebrated the year’s learning as they played to audiences of peers and parents.

Thank you to all family members who were able to attend one of these concerts and to all members of the Elphin music staff for their guidance of the students at these concerts and throughout this year.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Being Active

This week has been a busy bike week for many Junior School students. All Year 3’s had their bikes at school for the intensive on-campus bike education and road safety program and on Thursday 60 students from Years 3-5 participated in the 2021 Primary Triathlon Challenge at Devonport.

These activities, together with today’s Walk-to-School Day for Junior School students and families, are a reminder to us all of the health and wellbeing value of active outdoor lifestyles. Students really cannot get too much daily outdoor exercise!

A small but growing number of students, in many cases with parents accompanying them, are walking or riding (bike or scooter) to school on a regular basis. Others might consider this, especially in the summer months. Even those who need to travel by car from home could consider a ‘park and ride or walk’ option for the last km or even half km?

Parking near the Elphin Sports Centre, or at the very bottom end of Cypress Street, or closer to Newstead on Elphin Road, or near the Launceston Aquatic Centre, or other similar distance-from-the-campus locations, and enjoying a short family walk (or ride on bike or scooter) to school in the morning, or the reverse at afternoon pickup time, could have the extra benefit of avoiding busy school traffic areas and the time spent in drive-through queues. How different would the walk/ride time be to the time spent in traffic?

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Author Julie Hunt visits conneXions

Last week, each Year 3 class had a virtual author visit with Tasmanian author Julie Hunt to explore her award-winning picture book, The Coat. We have been working on a term-long project exploring the elements involved in this story and students were excited to share their understandings of the big ideas with Julie, asking questions back and forth and developing a deeper understanding of the text. Students are fortunate to have direct insights from the Tasmanian artist, Ron Brooks, as Julie shared his inspirations and process of creating the stunning illustrations.

This project is unique to Year 3 and students are lucky to have access to ask questions and share thinking directly with Julie via our Social Stream component on The Dash. We will continue to focus on this text, writing our own stories which also feature a character and an object that experiences ‘transformation’, similar to The Coat.

Please visit The Dash page with your child to share insights from this project and view images from her Zoom visit. make sure you ‘LOAD MORE’ to view the wonderful insights from students to Julie.  Visit The Dash – Julie Hunt Year 3 The Coat

Some thoughts from students –

Ryad D – We have enjoyed talking to Julie Hunt and loved looking at her different books and hearing about The Coat.
Holly – I enjoyed how Julie showed us the story of how she came up with the Coat.
Tom – It was amazing to be able to see and work with an author.

Kylie Brewster
conneXions Teacher

Year 3 Bike Education

This week Year 3 students have participated in Bike Education.  The program aims to develop students’ confidence and competence as safe bike riders out in the community.

Students have participated in a range of mock riding experiences including riding on the road, using shared pathways and riding in a group.

Nicky Reid
HPE Teacher


Sixty Year 3-5 students competed in the Schools Triathlon Challenge in Devonport this week.  It was a beautiful sunny day and perfect conditions for a triathlon.  Our students did a fantastic job over the course, showcasing grit and determination throughout their swim, bike and run.  It was a great learning experience with many noting that the transition area was the most challenging part.  A fun day that ended with many smiles and aspirations to compete in the next triathlon. A big thank you to all staff and parents who assisted on the day.

Daniel Ellis
HPE Teacher



Commitment is the key!

As we come towards the end of a very successful year, it is important that we reflect upon “What ingredients are consistent for success?” Success in this reflection is based on the achievement of learning goals.  One consistent ingredient regardless of age or perceived ability is ‘commitment’.  Commitment can be found in plentiful volumes at the commencement of something, however, as the pursuit of a learning goal progresses through the year, those who are more committed achieve more, those who accept that ‘it is just too hard’ don’t quite make it to their goal.

For us all, learning is a life-long investment, it is never complete.  Therefore, accepting and gaining skills in the development of commitment is definitely part of the Middle School learning approach.  I have been using the term ‘holding yourself capable’, as often in times of challenge we can look outside for help, when we first need to look inside and remain 100% committed.  We all have a great opportunity during the last weeks of 2021 to keep aspiring for our goals, be committed as an individual or as a team member in our summer sports rosters, performing in Middle School Bands and Choirs, showcasing our Performing Arts, or assisting with the preparations for 2022.  I am sure you will enjoy the rewards that commitment brings, it is certainly one of the ‘keys’ to success.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School


Year 9 Community Service Excursion

On Thursday this week whilst the students in Dean and Nance House packed and prepared for their Education Outdoors Adventure trips next week, the remaining Year 9 students travelled to Devonport to visit the distribution facility of Loaves and Fishes. A Tasmanian based not-for-profit organisation, Loaves and Fishes repurposes packaged food from Coles, Woolworths and other businesses, and fresh vegetables from local farmers from around the state. Each week their warehouse and kitchen prepares and packages up this food into more 5,000 meals to be distributed around the state by more than 300 community agencies to support local communities, households, and schools.

Like all community agencies across Tasmania, Loaves and Fishes heavily rely on volunteers to collect and sort much needed food, clothing and other essential items that many of us take for granted. Year 9 Scotch Oakburn College students had the opportunity to contribute by packaging up more 1,000 food hampers that will go to families via the various community agencies between Christmas and New Year when lots of families around Tasmania are doing it tough. We also helped with sorting two big crates of onions and potatoes.

Jamie Breden
Year 9 Community Service Coordinator

Debaters visit Parliament House

On Tuesday 23 November our winning Parliamentary Plate debating team visited Parliament House at the invitation of Minister Michael Ferguson. Students attended question time in both Houses, toured the House and had lunch in the parliamentary dining room with the Speaker of the House, Mark Shelton. Alysha Carins, Harry Furzer, Alex Munro, Jack Oates Pryor and William Scott were able to chat with our parliamentarians and ask a range of questions about life as a politician and the political process. They represented Scotch Oakburn College with distinction and we wish them all the best for their studies and any future debating opportunities which will no doubt come their way.

Sharon Beattie
Person-in-Charge of Debating

Year 11 students lead Adventure Day

On Monday 22 November, eighteen Year 11 students volunteered to be leaders on an Adventure Day for Year 6 students from St Marys and Bicheno Primary schools. Our students planned and ran a range of activities at the Valley Campus. This is the second year we have conducted this partnership with the two east coast schools. The day provided authentic leadership experiences for our Year 11’s while providing a great day of fun and learning for the younger students.

Mark Hassell
Dean of Students



On Sunday 14 November the All Schools Gymkhana was at Faulkner Park, hosted by DPRC.  The conditions were fine in the morning, but at midday turned dreadful, with hail, rain and gusty winds.  Whist riders completed all the flat classes, the Games were cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Some riders were able to participate in the jumping section, however, many riders had to scratch on account of the poor conditions.

There was a huge team effort from both parents and students and it was wonderful to be part of the strong and supportive team spirit that makes equestrian such a compelling sport. Great horsemanship and fabulous friendship and mentoring really made the events, and I would like to thank all the families for their support.
All our riders made an outstanding effort, in very trying conditions and should be very proud of their endeavours.  Whilst there were many individual ribbons, the team awards are treasured.

Top Team of 3  – Isla Donald, Meg Kilby, Lucy Johnston
Showjumping top team of 3 – Mercedes James, Emily Kilby, Meg Kilby
Overall top team of 3 – Lucy Johnston, Ella Nast, Meg Kilby

While the team has been successful, bringing home numerous trophies and ribbons, the success of these events goes well beyond what were superb results.

Joy Russell
Person-in-Charge of Equestrian 

Schools Triathlon Challenge

Congratulations to all our competitors this week at the Schools Triathlon Challenge. We had two magic days at the Mersey Bluff with students participating in the individual as well as most in the Teams division. It was great to see the students prepare their area and learn the skills required to check their equipment and ensure their path was clear in transition along with warming up and being prepared for the race.

The learning that comes from participating in an event like this is dynamic, agile, and requires courage to have a go at all three disciplines. A great example of this was seeing two Year 3 boys waiting for their older brothers to finish the Year 6 teams event. Both boys then teamed up to jump into the team event despite being 3 years younger than their competitors. It was great to see Steve Hanson (Year 6) jump in at the last minute to help the boys on the final run leg to make the task manageable. Excellent collaboration between the 3 boys. I would like to thank the parents that help support the students and a special thanks to the staff that attended the event across both days and helped prepare for the event, Mrs Tania Gaby, Mr Tim Reese, Mrs Kendal Selby, Mrs Michelle Robins, Mr Ben Green and Mrs Esther Croft-Elliot.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport


Tasmanian State Championships

Congratulations to all players in our Year 7/8 Boys and Year 9/10 Girls teams who participated in the Basketball Tasmania State Championships on the weekend of 20-21 November.

These teams definitely found some of their games very challenging, but to their credit, they were still very competitive.

The boys were placed in the same pool as the eventual winners, Burnie High School, which was certainly a tough draw. Whilst not progressing to the semi-finals they finished with an eight-point win against MacKillop College in their morning game on the Sunday and a very close match against Riverside High in their last game that afternoon.

Similarly, the girls were placed in a draw that also made it very difficult to progress to finals as they faced a strong Marist Regional College. The girls finished second in their pool after defeating Riverside in their first pool game. Their games on Sunday saw them easily account for St Patrick’s College 2 and a very close game against Sacred Heart College to finish the day, finishing in sixth position.

Whilst both teams placed in the bottom half of their respective divisions, it was a great result to be just one of the top qualifying schools in Tasmania competing.

A huge thank you to Elliot Warren for coaching the boys and Gelinda Dell for coaching the girls. Thank you also to the Team Managers, Naomi Wallace and Caroline Bremner for all their coordination and of course, the parents, as your support is always greatly appreciated.

Northern High School Sports Association Rosters

Another great term of Basketball!

Many of our teams have been very successful in their weekly roster games. All rosters will be completed next week (last games 2 December) with some teams playing their final games this week. Playoff games and other final roster game details will be uploaded to The Dash this coming Monday 29 November. Awards for teams will also be presented at upcoming assemblies prior to the end of the year.

Once again, a huge thank you to all our players and coaches for your dedication this term and best of luck in your final games.

2022 Basketball – 3×3 Competition

We ran a very successful 3×3 competition in Term 1 this year for our Year 7/8 players and we will be expanding this to any interested Year 6 students in Term 1, 2022. Should there be any students in Year 6 who would like to play in this competition could you please register your interest here.

2022 NSATIS Squads

All of our squads have been selected and will be available on The Dash today. Our Firsts Squads have been training throughout Terms 3 and 4 and it is expected that teams will be finalised in the first week of Term 1, 2022 and games will also be played that week, i.e. Thursday 3 February and Saturday 5 February. These Firsts Squads will therefore need to be back in late January in order to prepare for these games. All students who are required to order uniforms should do so over the coming week and these will be available prior to their first games next year.

Natalie Good
Director of Basketball


This week I am exploring the connection between Wellbeing and Learning, two strands of the College’s Strategic Vision, SOC2035.

Supporting the wellbeing of young people is not a revolutionary idea in schools. For a long time, we have understood and prioritised the wellbeing needs of our learners. This has traditionally been through reactionary interventions, such as the work of Schools Psychologists and Counsellors.

Increasingly, educators and educational theorists are researching and implementing programs and initiatives aimed at explicitly developing and teaching the skills of wellbeing. This enables students to positively influence their wellbeing and develop strategies for working through the inevitable challenges along the way.

So, what is wellbeing? Well for me, it’s as simple as feeling good and functioning well.

The science of wellbeing tells us that we process information emotionally before we can process it cognitively and that improved positive emotion leads to cognitive change. This includes a broader attention span, increased working memory, enhanced verbal fluency and heightened creativity and engagement. We also know that that the skills of wellbeing can be taught, learnt and developed.

Recently our Pastoral Leaders have been collaborating on a refreshed Wellbeing Framework, to be implemented across Elphin and Penquite campuses in 2022. The Resilience Project (TRP) will continue to provide a proactive intervention to support the wellbeing of students and, for that matter, staff. Additionally, there will be reduced pastoral group sizes across the Penquite campus and the addition of a Middle School Counsellor to the Wellbeing Team.

In Senior School there will be a maximum of 15 students from Years 9 and 10 or 11 and 12 working with a Mentor throughout their senior years, reducing the size of these groups by around half. This will allow Mentors to build meaningful relationships with the students under their care. In Middle School, students will have fewer core teachers and the link between learning and wellbeing will be supported through one of these core teachers also mentoring a class within each year level.

Our Learner Attributes provide another pathway between learning and wellbeing outcomes. The development of these attributes directly influences our wellbeing. For example, people who are effective communicators and can self-regulate, also experience increased positive emotion and overall wellbeing.

At the Elphin campus, a new role has been created to support the Social and Emotional needs of our younger learners. The Social Emotional Learning Coordinator will work with the Deputy Head of Junior School to promote the wellbeing of Junior School students and build links through the curriculum.

It is not only our students who will benefit from this refreshed Wellbeing Framework. Throughout 2021 a group of dedicated staff, under the direction of Head of Professional Learning Research and Innovation, Virginia Berechree, have explored ways to improve staff wellbeing. This week the group has made some key recommendations to the College Executive. Furthermore, the launch of SchoolTV has provided an important resource for our parent community to engage with and better understand the wellbeing needs of our students.

Ultimately, our objective is to build people of good character who are resilient, that experience positive emotion in their lives and are able to achieve in their academic learning. The College’s refreshed Wellbeing Framework will support this objective into the future.

Ben Marsland
Deputy Principal


Parenting, alcohol, parties and sleepovers in Year 9: Why this year group can be so challenging and the importance of putting things into place now.
Thursday, 20 January 2022
7.00-8.30pm (AEDT)

If you’re a parent of a child about to begin Year 9 it’s important to prepare yourself for issues around sleepovers, parties and gatherings. Putting things into place now can prevent potential problems in the year (and years) ahead.

This presentation will focus on the positive influence that parents can have on their child’s drinking behaviour, even during adolescence, as well as the barriers that they may face during this time. Peer influence is a significant issue at this time and it is important for parents to have clear rules and boundaries in the area of sleepovers, parties, gatherings and alcohol.

This presentation will also examine the latest data on Australian teen drinking behaviour and the growing evidence on the risks associated with this practice.

For further details and registration please use this link

Andy Müller


Scotch Oakburn College has clear expectations around the non-use of mobile phones by students when at school. That is, once students enter the College, their phone is to be ‘off and away’. If a student brings their mobile phone to school, it is their responsibility to ensure that it is not used while at school. However, it is recognised that there are times when mobile phones can be used for legitimate educational purposes and in those instances, students will be given direct permission by their teacher. Additionally, if a student needs to be given an urgent message, then that can be passed on via the relevant student reception, Junior, Middle or Senior School.

In situations where ‘we’, staff (teaching and non-teaching) experience students using their mobile phones during the school day, we find that as a minimum they are a distraction from learning and in the extreme become a means by which harassment and bullying can occur. Neither of these outcomes are acceptable nor can be allowed to continue due to the negative impact on our students’ learning and wellbeing. Hence, any mobile phone being used without express permission by a staff member will be confiscated, handed to reception and the owner can collect it from the appropriate reception at the end of the day.

Andy Müller


Athletics – NIJSSA

The Year 3-5 members of the team representing Scotch Oakburn at this year’s NIJSSA Athletics Carnival are all congratulated on a wonderful day of personal bests. Our Year 3 Girls, Year 4 Boys  Year 5 Girls each finished first, the Year 3 Boys second and the Year 4 Girls and Year 5 Boys fourth, with the whole Year 3-6 team placed second in the overall results for the day.

21 members of the team won individual events, with Year 5 girls Bronte Krapf (5+ Relay), Zoe Jarvis (4+ Relay) Poppy Beaumont (3+ Relay), Year 4 Boys Deacon Sims (2) , Hugh O’Connor (2) and Year 3 Girls Alice Hyde (3), Georgia Byrne (2) Clementine Gee (2) all multiple event winners.

Thank you to Mrs Claire Rockliffe, Mrs Kiran Oates-Pryor and Mr Tim Bristow who accompanied our team.

Close to 500 athletes from nine schools enjoyed the full-day program with the whole event which was coordinated this year by Scotch Oakburn. Thank you to Ms Justin Clarke from our Community and Marketing team who oversaw the COVID linked protocols for the whole event, to all staff and parents who worked as officials, and particularly Ms Nicky Reid who led the planning of the full carnival.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


The latter part of the school year includes a lot of transition support for all students. The finish of one school year and the beginning of another is a time of significant change for students, parents and staff. Through this time it is important to bear in mind that many important ‘big picture’ aspects of school life and relationships do remain constant. Enjoying and celebrating the finish of the current year with current teachers and peers is to be savoured at the same time as planning and preparing for the excitement and opportunities of the new school year with new teachers and classmates in our sights.

This week’s Orientation Days for all Year 5 students at the Middle School, and for all new students joining the College in Prep-Year 5 in 2022 have been important steps in the transition process for students. The recent Parent Information evenings for 2022 Early Learning, Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 families are also part of the process.

Transitioning from Early Learning into Prep, and from Year 5 into Year 6, are identified as key change points and in recent weeks students at these levels have had a number of visits to meet staff and experience facilities in their new areas. For three-year-olds (and their parents) starting school for the first time will be a major change and this Term’s Learning Together program in the Early Learning Centre is designed to support everyone involved in this.  At an individual level, many students at different levels across the Junior School have had arranged visits to 2022 indoor and outdoor learning areas and time with a House Head or other staff who will be working with them next year.

Behind the scenes, the passing on of student learning and wellbeing information and records between staff teams at different levels is taking place and will be an important focus as class teachers and class placements are finalised during the next month.

A major benefit of being part of one Early Learning to Year 12 College is transition support at all levels as we ensure the move from one school year to the next is as seamless as possible for every student and every family.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Cast your vote for fishing!

Year 3 students Zachary Dondas and Henry Bishop are looking to establish the Barracudas Fishing Club for 8 to 14 year-olds.  They have entered The Great Regional City Challenge competition in the hope of gaining some funds to start the club.  You can support the boys by voting in the competition for their project.

Go to to find out more and cast a vote!



Making New Connections

Today the Middle School was buzzing with the 2022 Year 6 and Year 7 students enjoying an action-packed orientation day.  A day full of energy, creativity and collaboration.

There was excitement meeting new classmates, new teachers and mentors, plenty of House spirit in our House competition and many opportunities to experience new things in the specialist learning domains of food technology, textiles and design, digital technologies and coding, scientific research, orienteering and sport and languages.  The key outcome was for every student to feel that they belong, that they feel comfortable to be themselves and to contribute positively to their learning community.  The greatest daily test of courage is to be oneself!  This is can only be truly tested in real-world situations. I encourage every student to ‘live’ this learning lesson, it is certainly a life-long behaviour and quality that is highly desirable in every social setting.  Thank you to our Year 8 Peer Leaders and the Year 9 Student Leaders for their servant leadership to assist with the learning program and guide our Middle School students of 2022.

From today, I hope that our ‘new’ Middle School students feel energised and connected ahead of the formal start of the academic year next February.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School

Student Achievements

Year 8 students Adelaide Ambrose, Zoe Ballantyne and Layla Dyson-Oliver shared some great results at the state ‘Infinite Spirit‘ cheerleading and dance competition in Hobart last weekend. The girls are all part of local team “Allstar Cheer and Dance”.

Layla and Zoe were in the Open Level 3 winning cheer team ‘Odin’. Layla, Zoe and Adelaide were all part of Senior Level 2 cheer team ‘Aura’ who came second. Adelaide also came third as part of the Junior Level 1 cheer team ‘Apollo’. Layla won the overall Solo/Duo Grand Champion for the highest scoring solo performance.

Ben Green
head of Middle School


Year 10 Pinnacle Experiences

I had the pleasure of spending a few days with our Year 10s this week as they tackled their Education Outdoors Pinnacle Program. My two days with colleagues and students reminded me of the incredible life experiences that our students are offered when they embark on their annual Education Outdoors opportunity. These incredibly well planned, highly organised programs often spark a passion for our young people that stays with them for life. One thing is certain, these memorable experiences are so much more than a camp.

One group spent the week based out at the Arm River Education Centre in the Mersey Valley. They have spent the week White Water Rafting with a team of professional guides who have taught them the skills needed to navigate the rapids in large eight-man rafts, smaller two-man rafts and one-man kayaks. On Monday they woke up to a winter wonderland, providing an opportunity for some snowball fights but by Wednesday when I was with them it was 18 degrees with bright sunshine. The feedback from the team of teachers and guides regarding the willingness of students to hone their skills and cooperate as a team was incredibly positive. I witnessed students that look ready to take on the Franklin, no surprise after spending a week with highly experienced passionate river guides.

On Thursday I shared the excitement with the Caving and Canyoning group, led by colleague Steve Jacobs, who is a passionate caving guide himself. During the week this group of young people visited three different wild caves, one tourist cave and spent a day canyoning, all in the North-West of Tassie. The students explored Sassafras, Baldock’s, Honeycomb and Marakoopa caves. On my day with them, the students were very keen to show off their cave guiding skills and share the immense knowledge that they had learnt about the extensive, fragile karst environment that they have spent the week in.

On behalf of the Year 10 community, I extend a massive thank you to all members of our very highly qualified Education Outdoors team who care so much about the unique experiences that our students get to take part in.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School

Year 10 Work Experience

This week 64 Year 10 students have been out in the “real world” of work, experiencing a wide variety of occupations in over 90 workplaces around Launceston, and in other parts of Tasmania.   Teaching, veterinary science, professional writing, trades, hospitality, aquaculture, 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




The Northern High School Hurricanes Cup finals were played at Scotch Oakburn Park yesterday.

In the first of the semi-finals, SOC Maroon defeated Riverside High School in a great game with Maroon running out victors by 22 runs.

In the second semi-final, SOC Navy defeated Queechy High School 151-94 but it wasn’t until the last few overs that Navy drew away in a convincing win.

The Grand Final couldn’t have been a better stage as both SOC teams made it through; a great result for our girls and our coaches Naomi O’Loughlin and Belinda Wegman. It was a tight final as momentum swung both ways throughout, however Navy ran out eventual winners 6/144 to 9/100, to become the Northern High School Hurricanes Cup champions.

A presentation by Cricket Tasmania will be held in the coming days to our winning team at assembly.

A terrific day for girls cricket and a very proud moment for the College.

Dean Hawkins
Director of Cricket

Tasmanian State High School Basketball Championships

This weekend will see two of our teams competing in the Tasmanian High School Basketball Championships being held at Elphin Sports Centre in Launceston.

Our Senior Girls, coached by Mrs Gelinda Dell and our Junior Boys, coached by Mr Elliot Warren will be competing against the best High School teams from each region of Tasmania in the hope of winning a State Final for their respective age group.

Overall 36 teams will be participating in this Championships in what is shaping up to be an exciting weekend of basketball.

The teams have been allocated to pools over the weekend based on their specific rankings in each region and a summary of their Saturday 20 November games is as follows:

Game times on Sunday 21 November will be determined by the placings of each team after Saturday games.

The teams would certainly appreciate support from our Scotch Oakburn community if you have time to call into a game or two.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those staff and parents who will be assisting with all teams over the weekend and wish all teams the best of luck for their games.

Natalie Good
Director of Basketball


As one of our College’s Learning Attributes, being Inclusive, is a constant, everyday expectation in every learning moment, in every team/choir/band or club.  The connection to a community and being truly included, welcomed and valued is one of the greatest social and emotional aspirations for our young leaders.  Earlier this week, I had conversations and discussions with many students about their important role in leading the way of being ‘inclusive in their communication in a digital world’.  The intent of modern technologies is to connect people, make our globe borderless and ensure we can all keep up-to-date on the learnings and explorations of our ‘like-minded’ friends.

One of the greatest insights this year into this world of digital technologies is how our young communicators can easily make others feel disconnected, excluded or left out of conversations due to the selections or choices of who is in the group on TicTok, Snapchat or other social media genres.  This thought process and decision making is a big area of development for us all, young and old!  However, the approach of considering others, connecting with our peers is a real measurement of being inclusive.  I encourage our young leaders to continue to measure their ‘digital footprint’, ensure that this footprint is inclusive and positive so the genre creates a sense of connection.  Never before has our communication methods been so visible, so easy to copy or to see, therefore we must explicitly uphold the values of being inclusive and respectful in the development of collaborative communication.  Couple this with the increasingly younger accessibility to mobile devices, our mentoring requires prior learning expectations and clarification of the positive use of such a communication method.

During the last century, our communication skills have been enhanced by a thirst for global languages. Currently, we have thriving numbers in the Middle School in all three offerings; Japanese, French and Chinese.  Learning a second or third language requires an understanding of the origin, the intent of the characters in the language and an appreciation of the culture.  This approach is exactly what is needed in our daily communication in the digital world, including the development of the ‘characterised genre’ of emojis and symbols! Our digitalised communication world can lead to a ‘gap’ in tone and expression if some of these understandings of origin, intent or culture are not inclusive. It is our combined responsibility, student, parent and staff, to reset the rules of engagement as we continue to learn about how the message/communication is received.

As we approach a very busy end to a hugely successful year, I encourage our young leaders to continue to think others, bring their groups closer through inclusive communication skills and enjoy the rich and diverse conversations that can come from an almost borderless audience rather than worry about how many ‘likes’ they can count from unknown ‘friends’.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School


Remembrance Day

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Junior School students came together in the beautiful Claremont Park setting to remember those who have served our country in times of conflict during and since World War 1. The short ceremony was led by our Year 5 House Leaders and the address was delivered by our Principal, Andy Muller. A wreath was laid and the trumpet sounds of the Last Post and Reveille, punctuated by a minute’s silence, rang among the trees on a very still morning. Lest we Forget.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Grandparents and Friends Day

This week our Year 5 students hosted their Grandparents or special family friends at the Elphin Campus. Almost 150 visitors joined the students for a Welcome Service, campus tours and morning tea on a day which is an annual tradition at the College.

This day is a small opportunity to enable members of students’ extended families to spend time together in a setting that plays such an important part in the lives of our students.

There is a wealth of social research confirming that when children can have time with members of their extended family and be loved and cherished, and then go home to more people who love them, they are more connected to the love and goodness in humanity and better able to live positive and productive lives.

We have a repertoire of strategies and programs at school for students to learn to care, be compassionate, to know respect and empathy and humility and commitment, but it is the generational conversations, modelling and mentoring through family and friends that is the glue that brings all this together as children’s independence and sense of responsibility develop on their pathway to adulthood.

Thank you to all our visitors and to our Year 5 staff and Marketing & Community team for coordinating such a memorable day.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

2022 Information Meetings

All parents of 2022 Early Learning, Prep and Year 1 students have been sent details of the Information Meetings scheduled for next week. The Prep and Year 1 meeting is on Tuesday 16 November and Early Learning meeting on Wednesday 17 November. Both sessions commence at 7.00pm in the Mary Fox Performing Arts Centre and include visits to the 2022 learning spaces for these year levels.

Details of the online booking process were included in the information sent to families.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Year 5 family Get together

Some of our Year 5 families recently gathered for a Sunday afternoon at the Hoo Hoo Hut for an afternoon of fun. Teams used a custom-coded digital treasure hunt app to explore the area. Braving some brisk winds, attendees feasted on a Gather&Graze spread and enjoyed live music by local musician Tom Fowkes. Fires were lit and new friends were made as the afternoon progressed.

Diego Munoz Lagos led his determined team to become outright champions, by completing a series of physical challenges as well as local and school-based trivia.

It was a wonderful afternoon enjoyed by everyone who attended.

Softly Dunstan and Vanessa Wolf
Parent Year Level Representatives


Middle School Orientation Day for 2022

Year 6 and Year 7 students, Friday 19 November, from 8.30am – 3.00pm.

The Middle School community is looking forward to the Orientation Day program, full of creative and collaborative learning for our 2022 Year 6 and Year 7 students.  Current Year 7 and Year 8 families please be aware that on this day, it is a student-free day with no classes being held.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School


Our Year 8 debating team compete in the quarter-finals of the Virtual National Competition today. The team of Mollie Gray, Eliza Duigan, Harriet Lynch and Blaise Fitzallen were runners up in the Northern Debating Competition.  We wish them the very best of luck.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School 


From the Futures Centre

Online Parent TAS Ed Talks Program

As part of the 2021 TAS Ed Talks, online evening sessions have been scheduled for parents/carers who would like to learn more about the career and pathway opportunities open to students in Years 9 to 12 and beyond.

The sessions will cover the following topics:

  • Tools for building career competencies and exploring pathways – showcasing digital career services
  • Pathways to post-school life and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Pathways from school to further education and training (hear first-hand from UTAS and TasTAFE)
  • The role of Apprenticeships and Traineeships for School-Aged Learners (ApTSLs) for preparing learners for work and life

Parent/Carer Registration is now open and registration needs to be completed by 30 November – register via this link.

Are you looking for work this summer?

Summer’s almost here and school is almost over! It’s the perfect time to start thinking about combining getting out and having some fun with earning dollars. There are opportunities in tourism and hospitality across the state. It doesn’t matter what experience you have, if you love talking to people, being part of the action, you know all the best places to go and things to do, there’s potentially a job waiting for you. It’s your chance to learn new things, meet new people, and pick up new skills.

In November, the Tourism and Hospitality industry will be launching a new jobs hub to help match people with jobs solely in Tourism and Hospitality. To get a head start, simply send your name and email address to: and they will let you know when it’s up and running.

Upcoming Date and Events


15-19 November   Year 10 Work Experience – Group 2

21 November         UTAS Open Day – HOBART in person and virtual – Register Here

22,23,24, 26          Year 9 Futures Program

22-26 November  LaTrobe University Bendigo Campus Talk and Tour

26 November         Last round of UTAS SRP applications due


1-10 December      Online TasED Parent & Carer Career Information Sessions

6 December          Monash Clayton Campus Discovery Day

6-9 December       LaTrobe University Melbourne & Albury Wodonga Campus Talk and Tour

8 December          Monash Caulfield Campus Discovery Day

8 December          Monash Parkville Campus Discovery Day

8 December          Monash Peninsula Campus Discovery Day

15 December         TASC Results released


Teresa Darcy
Careers Adviser/VET Coordinator


Year 6 at the NJISSA Athletics

Last Friday 5 November saw the NJISSA athletics carnival held at St Leonards Athletics Centre. The College sent a large number of Year 6 students to compete. With a large gap of time between our Penquite House athletics carnival and the NIJSSA carnival, our Year 6 students competed very well and are commended on their efforts. The Year 6 Girls team placed first and the Year 6 Boys finished in third in their respective year level pennants. Thank you to Mrs Esther Croft-Elliot for accompanying and supporting the team along with Year 12 students Ashleigh Reid, AJ Creak and Harrison Gee for coming along to support the junior students.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

Hurricanes Cup Cricket

Congratulations to both our boys and girls teams that competed in Cricket Tasmania’s Hurricanes Cup Cricket competition. All three of our teams had predominantly students from the Middle School playing against students from other schools in Years 7-10.

Our boys played very well to narrowly miss playing in the finals 18 November. Our girls teams both won their way through to the finals next Thursday at Scotch Oakburn Park. A big thank you to Mr Dean Hawkins, Mr Sam Nugteren, Mrs Naomie O’Loughlin and Mr Jamie Breden for their coaching on the day as well as Ms Belinda Wegman for providing coaching to our girls in the leadup.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

Tasmanian Trampolining Championships

The Tasmanian Trampolining Championship was held at the Launceston PCYC. Grace Culhane (Year 8) won the Level 5 Women’s Tramp and Level 4 Double Mini events. Congratulations Grace.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

Examiner Junior sports awards

Congratulations to all Scotch Oakburn College students who were involved in the Examiner Junior Sports awards on Wednesday. Finalists were invited to the Country Club Casino for a two-course meal and to enjoy a Q and A with Arianne Titmus.

The College was represented with finalists in every category, a fantastic achievement. In the up-and-coming rising star female section, we had Ella Nast, Ruby Hirst and Abbey Berlese. For the up-and-coming junior male section, we had Matias Munoz Lagos. College parent Chris McLarty coached the premiership ELJFC under 14 Girls team and was a finalist in the Ricky Ponting service to sport category. Bella Shaw was a finalist in the sports scholarship for providing a short story of ‘What sport means to me’. For the Junior Sports Team of the Year, we had finalists Anna Day with her Launceston United junior soccer team, the ELJFC U14 Girls premiership team and the winners of the award, the Scotch Oakburn Girls First VIII rowing crew. This is the fourth time in eight years the College has won the award. In the Junior Female Athlete of the Year, Lindsay Calvert was a finalist and in the Male Junior Sportsman of the Year, Alexander (AJ) Creak was announced as joint winner of the award, a fantastic effort with both Lindsay, Heidi and AJ all representing Australia this year in their chosen sports.

I would like to congratulate our winners and finalists on their outstanding achievements in 2021. Thanks also to the Examiner newspaper and Woolworths Ltd for sponsoring the evening.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

Basketball Tasmania – Northern High School Basketball Tournament

Congratulations to all players for their efforts over the weekend of the Northern High School Basketball Tournament held on the weekend of 6-7 November. All teams were very competitive and the sportsmanship displayed over all the games by all players was excellent.

Results – Girls Teams
The Year 9/10 Girls Div 1 team, coached by Mrs Gelinda Dell, played in a combined Division 1 and 2 roster and won all their games convincingly, progressing to the Semi-Final. The setup of the pools made it very difficult for the top two Division 1 teams to meet in the Grand Final. Our girls matched up against the very strong St Patrick’s College 1 team in the semi and despite the girls playing great basketball, it wasn’t to be. Instead, the girls played off for third place (and what was designated as a Division 2 Grand Final), playing the other Riverside High Div 1 team. The girls were determined to prove that they were State Championship material and were rewarded with a 41 point (57-16) victory, a Division 2 shield and qualified for States.

Our Year 7/8 Girls Div 1 team, coached by Miss Jordan Holloway-Clarke, finished their pool games in fourth place and progressed to the play-off game for third. It was a thrilling game going down to the last dying seconds, the girls were narrowly defeated by St Patrick’s College (SPC) by 1 point (34-35) and unfortunately missed out on qualification for the State Championships.

The Year 7/8 Girls Div 2 team, coached by Miss Kate Wallace, were all Year 7 Girls except for 1 player and were matching up against many Year 8 students. They performed extremely well against these older players and were very competitive over the weekend. Our Year 9/10 Girls Div 2 team, coached by Miss Madi Shaw, were also very competitive in their games and played some great games, their best performance was against Prospect High School where they went down by only nine points.

Results – Boys Teams
Our Year 9/10 Boys Div 1 team, coached by Mr Dylan Warren, faced some very tough competition in all their pool games and whilst they didn’t secure a win, their final match saw them nearly defeat Launceston Church Grammar School (LCGS), losing by only 5 points in the last minute of the game. LCGS finished runner-up for the tournament, which demonstrated just how competitive our team was.

Our Year 7/8 Div 1 Boys, coached by Mr Elliot Warren, finished in third place when winning two games quite convincingly against Queechy High School and St Patrick’s College Gold. The boys have now progressed to the State Championships.

Our Year 9/10 Div 2 Boys team also performed very well. The team, coached by Mr Brett de Hayr, played some tough competition. Their best games were on Day 2 in their cross-over playoffs where they won against Queechy High School (52-23) and only lost their second game by six points to Scottsdale High (23-29).

Both Year 7/8 Boys Div 2 teams, Blue coached by Mr Tim Batten and Gold by Mr Alex McCowan, also had some very challenging matches over the weekend. Blue won two of their four matches and Gold won one, losing their other pool games by only small margins of seven points to Riverside and two points to Kings Meadows.

All in all, it was a very successful tournament with two of a possible four teams now qualifying for the State Championships being held 20-21 November at Elphin Sports Centre. These Championships are the pinnacle of the Basketball Tasmania program where all winning schools from across the North, South and North West will all meet.

A huge thank you to all players, parents, team managers and our coaches, as events like this are only as successful as the people involved. Your support and participation certainly ensured that this was the case this year.

Natalie Good
Director of Basketball


It is that time of year again. “Exam season” as one of my students observed. This week has seen the beginning of Year 10 exams and also the continuation of some TCE practical exams with written exams on the horizon. Despite teachers often telling students that exams are a wonderful opportunity to show what they have learned, for many students these are not wonderful times. They are times when heightened anxiety is experienced, a time of tears and frustration and of second-guessing themselves and their abilities. It can be easy for students to feel as though everything is riding on the performance in that final exam. However, it is important for us – teachers and parents – to reinforce to students that exams are also only one piece of the puzzle.

There is no doubt that exams are important summative assessments measuring discipline-specific learning. But these assessments should never be observed in isolation. The reason teachers use a range of formative assessments during the year, have internal ratings for TCE students and report ‘continuously’ via the Dash is to paint a picture of student learning through all the peaks and troughs, struggles and celebrations. In this way, the process is just as important as the product – the journey just as important as the destination.

The College’s adoption of our ten Learner Attributes reinforces our belief that the recognition of student success should be holistic. Yes, a particular exam might be assessing, for example, geometry skills but it is also vital for us to be able to recognise a student’s capacity to have the courage to be resilient as they try, fail and try again perhaps multiple times before achieving success in their geometry task. In this way, the success in particular Learning Outcomes is also the product of learner attributes. Finding ways to recognise this for every student is an important goal for the College.

Over the past few years there has been a noticeable shift in what universities and workplaces need and value but also in how they assess. How we assess students must also reflect this shift. Yesterday the TCE Student-Directed Inquiry students presented their learning to a panel of examiners. They were able to communicate how their learning had progressed, the challenges faced and, ultimately, how they had used attributes such as agility, collaboration, courage, self-regulation and curiosity to shape their year-long ethical research.  Assessments need to be meaningful and relevant. We need to provide students with opportunities to show not only what but also how and why they know.

Sarah Lillywhite 
Director of Curriculum 6-12


Education Outdoors

What an exciting week for Year 2 students as they experienced their first overnight Education Outdoors program. Led by the College Education Outdoors staff, with the support of Year 2 teachers and learning assistants, students from the three Year 2 classes began their Thursday morning learning how to pitch tents as they set up the campsite on the oval at the Elphin Campus. They then embarked on the day’s bushwalking and associated activities in the Trevallyn Reserve before returning to school for dinner and evening games, followed by a night in tents, an early plover-initiated morning and then breakfast.

Students bring a wide range of prior experiences to this program but for all of them it is a significant and important contributor to their personal development individually and as a collective group. Planning and organisational skills, problem solving mindsets, resilience, environmental knowledge and awareness, empathy and inclusivity are among the key learnings for all participants in Education Outdoors programs.

For the Year 2’s this week has been one more big step in their growing independence and broader character development. From a curriculum perspective, this step builds on the Day programs they have had through Early Learning, Prep and Year 1 as well as setting more foundations for the Year 3 overnight program at the Valley Campus next year. Beyond Year 3 Education Outdoors opportunities steadily build in terms of degree of challenge and length of time through Primary and Middle School and then into Senior School years.

Congratulations to all Year 2 students on their personal achievements this week and thank you to all parents for the support of learning in this area. Thank you also to all the staff involved in the program.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Growth Mindsets

This week’s Connect@Elphin, led by Year 3 Ockerby students, reminded us all of the meaning of a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) and the importance of this for all aspects of our learning and our daily lives. The students shared strategies they use as they tackle learning challenges in the classroom, as they support and encourage peers and teammates a range of activities, as they embrace unfamiliar experiences – and more. Always the underlying thoughts are: ‘I’ll give it a try, I’ll do my best, I’ll practice more or stick at it until I get there.’ ‘Yet’ is a key word – rather than ‘I can’t do this’, the mindset is ‘’I can’t do this yet, but I will find a way to do it.’

This school week has been full of challenges for students. Prep students beginning a Learn-to-Swim program, Prep Black and Year 3 Birt students standing in front of an audience to lead their respective LIVE@Elphins, the Year 3 Ockerby students themselves public speaking, Year 2 students camping at school, athletes from Years 3-6 representing the College at the NIJSSA carnival…. This is all on top of everyone’s in-class literacy, numeracy and other subjects learning and daily interactions around the Campus, all of which can bring hurdles both small and sometimes larger to navigate.

Widespread research links growth mindset with many benefits. These include preparedness to take personal risks and strive for more stretching goals, increased intrinsic motivation, enhanced brain development across wider ranges of tasks, lower stress, anxiety and depression, better peer relationships and higher academic achievement.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Learning Through Their Eyes

‘Learning Through Their Eyes’ provides an opportunity for Early Learning Elphin students to share their learning with parents through classroom visits to see learning in action. All families with students in Early Learning Greenwood, Schulz, Green, Brown and Blair have received invitations and details of the booking process for sessions that commence next week. There are a number of sessions in each classroom, spread over two weeks. Bookings are essential to ensure compliance with the number of visitors permitted in rooms at any one time.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

2022 Parent Information Meetings

Parents with students entering Early Learning, Prep, Year 1 or Year 2 next year have been invited to information session over the next two weeks. The first of these meetings is for 2022 Year 2 families and is on Tuesday November 9 from 7.00pm to 8.00pm. Details of the online booking process have been sent to all current and new families with children entering Year 2.

For all year levels the sessions commence in the Mary Fox Performing Arts Centre on the Elphin Campus and include a visit to the 2022 classroom areas.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Student Achievements

Charlie Reynolds (Year 7) has been awarded the NTJSA Tom Strickland Scholarship Award for 2021, recognising his soccer achievements and his character and attitude towards the game.

Congratulations also to Ruby Ball (Year 8) who was named runner up in the junior section of the Young Tasmanian Writers competition held by Forty South.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School



We have had a great start to our NHSSA Basketball rosters in Term 4 and our sport continues to attract great student support across all year levels.

This weekend we will have another a record nine teams competing in the Basketball Tasmania Northern High Schools Tournament. There are five boys and four girls teams across two divisions. These are combined teams of Year 7/8 and Year 9/10 students. We would like to take this opportunity to thank those staff, coaches and parents who will be assisting with these teams over the weekend. This competition is part of a state-wide event being held this weekend in each of the North, North West and Southern regions. The top three teams from each Division 1 Competition in each Region will then meet for the State Championships on 20-21 November.

A summary of the games can be downloaded via this link – Basketball Tasmania Northern High Schools Tournament Roster Nov 2021. The majority of Sunday’s game times will be determined by placings from the Saturday games. It would be great to have as many supporters as possible at our games.

We wish all our teams the best of luck for their games and look forward to an exciting weekend of basketball.

Natalie Good
Director of Basketball


Year 12 Leavers Assembly

Fifty Year 12 leavers were honoured at the Leavers Assembly at the Junior School this week. These were students who attended the Junior School as part of their journey through Scotch Oakburn – some of them all the way from Early Learning (14-15 years), others joining the cohort at various year levels prior to Middle School. For many of their parents, the assembly was a return to the scene of their early years as part of the College learning community.

Year 5 students, nearing their own departure from the Junior School and transition to a new campus and Middle School, led the assembly which featured the Year 5 choir, some wonderful reflective student photos, the giving of a symbolic gift to each leaver and a trip down memory lane from three Year 12 speakers.

All staff and students at the Junior School thank the Year 12 leavers for their contribution to the life of our College and wish them the very best for their upcoming examinations and for their chosen study, work or travel pathways in 2022 and beyond.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Grandparents and Friends Day

Grandparents and Friends Day for Year 5 students is a long-standing tradition at Scotch Oakburn. On Friday 12 November all Year 5 students will welcome and play host to their grandparents or a special family friend. Current travel restrictions limit the options for some family members to attend this year, but all students are looking forward to showing their school to visitors who are able to share the experience with us this year.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Coming Events

Families at each year level across the Junior School have now received a summary of key dates and events for their child’s class over the next 6 weeks. It is an action-packed period for everyone’s diary. Class teachers or the Junior School reception can provide additional information about any of the scheduled events if required.

Next week all Prep students commence their two-week Learn-to-Swim program at the College pool and on Thursday-Friday Year 2 students have their first overnight Education Outdoors experience at school with a night in tents on the Campus following a day of bushwalking and outdoor activities.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Thought spark for the week:

Innovative thinking is one of the core Learner Attributes in the Learning Strand of SOC2035. Developing a learning culture that encourages and nurtures innovative mindsets incorporates:

  • Courage to ask questions… and keep asking questions, especially ‘why’ questions. The questions are often more important than the answers.
  • Courage to think outside the square, or laterally, or beyond normal routines and processes.
  • Courage to take learning risks, experiment, make mistakes, persist when solutions aren’t readily forthcoming.
  • Courage not to always take the path of least resistance, but to delve into the unknown in search of a better process or better outcome.

Learners with an innovative mindset are forward-thinking, are creative and open to experimenting, making mistakes and trying again; they are collaborative and progress-loving: they are extremely observant and read widely. They know ‘new’ is always coming! They know they are in a safe and supportive learning environment where risks can be taken.

Lachie Wright
Head fo Junior School


Over the past two weekends, 114 students participated in the Primary School Basketball Championships.  We had eight Year 5/6 teams and seven Year 3/4 teams.  The success over both weekends was mixed, however some teams had a very tough draw and probably weren’t rewarded with the results deserved of their skill and commitment. Regardless of this, they still turned up and gave it their all every single game.

We had two teams make it through to a Grand Final.  One of the Year 5 girls’ teams were victorious in their final game, winning the Division 2 Year 5/6 Girls competition and one of the Year 4 girls’ teams were runners up in the Division 2 Year 3/4 Girls competition.

All teams improved immensely both personally and as a team as the weekends progressed. All teams showed tremendous sportsmanship, enthusiasm and a positive sense of team spirit, supporting and encouraging not only their own team but other teams as well over both weekends. It was great to see so many students find a love for the game and express interest to pursue it as a sport in the future. Those who had played before stepped up into positions of leadership and acted as mentors and coaches for those inexperienced players. All teams learnt valuable lessons in humility, courage and resilience.

Special thanks to all the coaches, many of whom were senior students, and team managers who offered their time and expertise, in the lead up to and on game day.  Thank you to all the parents and friends who assisted on bench duty and who came to support their child and others throughout the weekend. And lastly thank you to the players for trying their hardest right up to the final siren and representing their school with pride.

In the words of a parent… ‘It didn’t matter if they won or lost the actual game, they all won because they were able to play a sport they love with a bunch of their mates.”
Rachel Buck 
Cocurricular Coordinator 

Volunteers needed

With the Northern Junior Athletics postponed today until next Friday 05 November, we are in need of some volunteers to help out for the day.  If you can help, please contact  Thank you.



With the Finish line in sight, keep focused!

The Middle School enjoyed connecting with the Year 12 students during their final week of on-campus learning.  The list of ‘lasts’ for our Year 12 students enabled many connections and memories with Middle School students, through Final House Meetings, Vertical Tutor Group Sessions and/or being an audience member to the Final Year 12 Assembly.  These cross-campus connections remind us all of the community connection and care within our College.  During the week many Year 12 students visited the Middle School to show gratitude to staff and to encourage today’s Middle School community to grab every opportunity.  A consistent theme in the reflections from Year 12 students has been around ‘taking every opportunity’; the more you accept, the more connections, memories and learning you enable!  To today’s Middle School students and families, our community has so many opportunities to join in, some exciting ones coming up include the Year 8 Peer Leaders assisting with Junior School Education Outdoors Day programs, the Schools Triathlon, Middle School Choir, Band and Ensembles for end of year events just to name a few!

With the 2021 year finish line in sight and rapidly approaching, I encourage all students to use this as an opportunity to stay focused, keep up their learning habits (intensity) and create a positive legacy for 2022.  This week, we welcomed all new families ahead of 2022 into the Middle School.  The atmosphere and community spirit was memorable, as our new students and families embraced the Inter-House spirit with a series of games and challenges.  Looking ahead to Week 6, Friday 19 November, the Middle School Orientation Day for 2022 will provide another opportunity for friendship connections and learning interests to be shared on a day of creating and making through many curriculum pursuits.  I am looking forward to seeing how we can continue to #bemore!

Ben Green
Head of Middle School

Student Achievement

Congratulations to Ruby Ball (Year 8) has been named runner up in the junior section of the Young Tasmanian Writers competition held by Forty South.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School 


Connecting with Japan online

This week saw the Year 9 and Year 10 classes of Japanese have online interactions with our Sister school in Osaka, Japan.  As travel is not yet on the cards, both schools have been thinking creatively as to how to create opportunities for interactions between our students.  The process started with exchanging letters and some students were lucky enough to interact online with the person with whom they had been corresponding.  There was excitement and some nervousness but in the end, it was agreed that it was a positive experience.  Effective communication was achieved and all participating students were courageous.  A mix of Japanese and English was spoken.  Thank you to all who were involved!

Jenny Banbury
Coordinator of Japanese

M. L. Urquhart Mathematics Competition

Harry Furzer (Year 12) has won the M. L. Urquhart Mathematics Competition, an annual problem-solving competition for Tasmanian students in Years 11 and 12. This competition is the most mathematically demanding of competitions conducted within Tasmania. M.L. Urquhart was known for his work in Geometry, so this competition always has a few questions focusing on that aspect of Mathematical study – Harry’s solutions to these problems was noted as being also the best in the state. Students have three hours in which to attempt five questions. The winner of the competition receives the Urquhart Medal, a framed certificate and prize money. Congratulations Harry.

Nathan Peterson

Bridget Archer visits Legal Studies class

An important part of the TCE Legal Studies course is to better understand and engage with current political issues. Earlier this term Bridget Archer MP, Federal Member for Bass, was invited to a forum where students and their teacher, Mrs Jane Gregg, had the opportunity to ask her questions that would help them better understand the structures and processes of government and decision-making.

Bridget and Senator The Hon Richard Colbeck, who was an additional visitor that day, were put on the spot by students who were keen to understand the rationale behind decision making on issues such as division of powers in light of COVID challenges, voluntary assisted dying legislation, the treaty for indigenous communities, sentencing alternatives and the debate around raising the age of criminal liability.

Bridget commented that she was very impressed by the Legal Studies students; in particular the intelligent nature of their questions and their ability to understand the complex nature of the issues discussed.

Sarah Lillywhite
Director of Curriculum 6-12

From the Futures Centre

Are you looking for work this summer?

Summer’s almost here and school is almost over, yes! It’s the perfect time to start thinking about combining getting out and having some fun with earning dollars. There are opportunities in tourism and hospitality across the state. It doesn’t matter what experience you have, if you love talking to people, being part of the action, you know all the best places to go and things to do, there’s potentially a job waiting for you. It’s your chance to learn new things, meet new people, and pick up new skills.

In November, the Tourism and Hospitality industry will be launching a new jobs hub to help match people with jobs solely in Tourism and Hospitality. To get a head start, simply send your name and email address to and they will you know when it’s up and running.


30 & 31 October    Glion and Les Roches Hospitality Education Virtual Fair – Register here

30 October            Education USA Liberal Arts Colleges Info Session – Register Here

31 October            UTAS Scholarship Applications Close


1-5 November       TasTAFE Info Week – Register Here

15-19 November    Year 10 Work Experience – Group 2

21 November         UTAS Open Day – HOBART in person and virtual – Register Here

22,23,24, 26         Year 9 Futures Program

26 November         Last round of UTAS SRP applications is due

If you have any questions or need help at any time with, come and visit the Futures Centre.

Teresa Darcy
Careers Advisor / VET Coordinator



Well done to all students who competed in the recent Japanese Speech Competition across Tasmania.  Year 7 students memorised a 20 sentence self-introduction speech.  There was a set speech about Tasmania that the Year 8 students had to learn and deliver.  Year 9 students created their own script around the topic of “Last Saturday” to memorise and deliver and the Year 10 category was responding in Japanese to questions asked in Japanese.  Students showed courage and effective communication skills.  The following students were awarded  Honourable Mentions:

Year 7: Erin Grubert
Year 8: Lincoln Giasli
Year 9: Ella Fischer

Other participants were: Angus Poulsen, Emily Atherton, Jay Buist, Elise Kingston, Iona Hamilton, Maya Martin, Charlotte Oates Pryor, Mackenzie Buck and Kim Latt.

Jenny Banbury
Coordinator of Japanese


This week we farewelled our successful sporting Year 12 cohort. I would like to thank them for their years of service in sport at the College and wish them all the best for the future.

Please note this weekend is a long weekend, so SATIS cricket rosters don’t have matches scheduled for 30 October. I would also like to make a note that if you are ill and can’t attend training for your summer sport, could you please email your coach and relevant sport PIC so they can keep track of your attendance. Please make sure you check the relevant Dash sport page for training times and other information. Thank you.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport


Our Mountain bike riders have begun the twilight season on offer from the Launceston Mountain Bike Club on Wednesday nights. Mr Luke Hammond was excited to see our students racing again. I would like to thank Mr Hammond for organising the racing season. The results and racing times can be found at LMBC – Home (

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

Student Achievements


Congratulations to Oliver Hadley (Year 12) for winning the Tasmanian Pardey Shield for 2021. This is the holy grail of individual school tennis trophies.

Great work Oliver and we appreciate you working with our junior tennis players prior to the SATIS season starting next year.


Last weekend  Scotch Oakburn College was represented by twelve students at the 2021 Tasmanian All Schools Track and Field State Championships at the St Leonard’s Athletics Centre.  The students achieved some excellent results for the school despite very challenging weather conditions over the weekend.  Selection for the Athletics Tasmania State Team is based on performances from this event, however, national Championships scheduled for December have been cancelled.  Instead, Athletics Tasmania will announce a virtual state team for successful athletes in the U14, U16 & U18 age groups shortly.

A summary of the results:

10 Year Old Girls: Bronte Krapf – 3rd place Long Jump

11 Year Old Girls: Zoe Jarvis – 1st place Combined Event (Long Jump, Shot Put, 100m, 800m), 3rd place Long Jump, 3rd place Shot Put, 3rd place 100m, 3rd place 200m; Grace Watters – 4th place Combined Event (Long Jump, Shot Put, 100m, 800m), 4th place Discus, 2nd place High Jump, 7th place Shot Put,

Under 14 Girls: Bella Shaw – 1st place 800m, 1st place 1500m, 6th place Javelin, Eva Shaw – 10th place Javelin

Under 16 Girls: Blaise Fitzallen – 3rd place Javelin, 3rd place Shot Put, 5th place Discus; Sophie Marshall – 1st place 400m; Abbey Berlese – 2nd place 400m, 1st place 90m Hurdles,           4th place Shot Put

Under 16 Boys: Tom Watters – equal 1st place High Jump, 4th place Javelin, 5th place Discus, 4th place Shot Put, 1st place 100m Hurdles

Under 18 Girls: Kate Atherton – 3rd place 100m, 4th place 200m, 2nd place 400m; Kate McShane – 2nd place Hammer Throw, 5th place Shot Put, 5th place Discus

Under 18 Boys: Sandy (Alexander) Wood – 3rd place 400m, 3rd place 800m, 4th place 1500m

Ali Foot
Head of Sport




Who am I? What do I want? How do I get there?

These three questions are at the heart of what Ash Barty’s mindset coach asks her to focus on. Barty sees Ben Crowe as a critical part of her coaching team. What is a ‘mindset coach’?

Over the last two decades or so much research has been done around ‘mindsets’ in many aspects of life and many fields of work and in education. Prof. Carol Dweck’s writings about growth mindsets (as opposed to fixed mindsets) are widely referred to in business, sport, and education. Prof. Jo Boaler’s work on mathematical mindsets in education is another example. Dr Martyn Newman’s work on the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for leaders in the corporate world identified an optimistic mindset as a key competency of successful leaders.

A mindset can be defined as ‘a disposition, or a frame of mind: a mindset is your collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought habits.’ Our mindsets in a whole range of areas lead our thinking and our actions to tend one way or the other, generally somewhere on a continuum rather than at one end or the other of a balance. Importantly, we now know that while our mindsets are to some extent inherent in our nature, in large part they can be taught and learned. We can rewire our brains.

Taking optimism as an example, research suggests that 85% of people have either an optimistic or a pessimistic mindset (measured by brain activity), with a spread of the degree to which we are one or the other of these. Those with an optimistic (glass half full) mindset experience many life benefits in comparison with those nearer to the pessimistic end of the spectrum, with the proviso that it is ‘realistic optimism’.

Some of the benefits of an optimistic mindset reported include better mental health, better physical health, better coping strategies when faced with adversity, stronger resilience, greater flexibility, increased problem-solving capacity and longer life span.

How, then, do we support students (as well as ourselves) to develop and enact more optimistic mindsets? A handful of easy to implement strategies to consider are:

  • Shifting one’s perspective simply by consciously thinking happy thoughts. The more frequently this is done, it starts to change one’s mindset and the longer this continues the brain is being trained to instinctively think more positively.
  • Model social environments for young children where the atmosphere is relaxed, predictable, caring and loving.
  • Positive emotions are contagious (as are negative emotions), so be sure to choose some optimists among close friendship groups and peers.
  • Turn off the news! A few minutes of news to catch important headlines can be valuable, but the longer news is viewed or listened to the harder it is to maintain an optimistic outlook,
  • Writing in a diary or journal each day just one or two or three things that we are grateful for from the day has been shown to yield increased optimism and build resilience. Better sleep, improved heart health and fewer depressive symptoms are benefits identified from daily journal writing in this way. This is a central element of the Resilience Project implemented across the College this year.
  • Practising mindfulness helps to resist the tendency to over-think daily stressors and to focus more on things within our control. Acknowledge what we can control and what we can’t control.
  • Remember to still acknowledge the negative side of situations at the same time as striving to be optimistic. Optimism is seeing the positives, but not through rose-coloured glasses.

The development of our own mindsets is something that we can control. The learning and life benefits of an optimistic mindset are very significant.

Who am I? What do I want? How do I get there?

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


VIBES was held last night at the Penquite Campus and for those who came along, I hope you had as much fun as I did!

VIBES really was a team effort and I’d like to say a huge thank you to our MC, The Honourable Nick Duigan MLC (’87), all staff and students who volunteered, our current and past students for performing, the Works team for the amazing setup, the Marketing and Community team for their planning and coordination and our College community for embracing this wonderful event.

Ben Marsland
Deputy Principal


After 31 years at Scotch Oakburn College John Poynter has decided that he is ready to move onto the next stage of his career, whatever that may be.

John’s CV is incredibly extensive and diverse, encompassing working in the building industry prior to re-training as a teacher. He then taught at George Town High, then Ravenswood High prior to commencing at Scotch Oakburn in January 1991. At Scotch Oakburn he has taught Design and Technology in Years 7 to 12 for 30 years including Pre-tertiary Housing and Design at TCE level for the last 15 years. His work in industry has allowed him to bring a lived experience into his teaching which his colleagues and all students who have been under his tutelage have benefitted from. Further to that, in 2005 he was seconded to UTAS to lecture in Design and Technology teacher education. John also held the important pastoral role of Head of Fox House from 1999 to 2002.

In the co-curricular field, John coached rowing across many age groups from 1991 to 2004, after his own very successful rowing career, winning three Head of the River titles in 1994, 1996 and 1997, which were real highlights for him. Half of the ’97 eight then went on to win the National Schoolboy Coxed Four title. John also had two stints as Director of Rowing, 1998 – 2004, and again in 2009 – 2012. However, rowing has not been his only co-curricular involvement. He was Person-in-Charge of Hockey from 2004 to 2009 and Athletics from 2012 to 2019. Finally, John was involved in both junior soccer and cricket in the early 2000s.

Beyond sport, John ran the College Snow Skiing camp for many years and has been involved in many Education Outdoors camps in his 31 years, all experiences that have allowed him to see students in a different environment, which he has greatly appreciated.

John will finish his career at Scotch Oakburn in mid-March 2022, after covering for a member of the Creative Design Industries team who is on long service leave for the early part of 2022, after which we will appropriately celebrate his outstanding career at the College and wish him well for the future.

In the meantime, on behalf of the College community, I say, “Thank you, John, for 31 years of outstanding teaching, mentoring, coaching and collegiality.”

Andy Müller


Two Year 12 students, Harrison Gee and Alice McLauchlan have been named as Olympic Changemakers by the Australian Olympic Committee after being nominated by the college. These awards are made in recognition of the student’s demonstration of the Olympic Spirit through leadership and driving positive change in their community. The Tokyo Olympic Games celebrated the values of excellence, friendship, and respect, with an aim to build a better world through sport. Australia’s young and emerging leaders make a difference in their communities by modelling the same Olympic spirit.

Congratulations to Alice and Harrison who are two of these fine young leaders in the Scotch Oakburn Community.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School


The media recently reported that in Victoria only 6% of those people in hospital due to COVID-19 were double vaccinated. Further to this, Governments interstate have mandated employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 in a number of vocations, including education.

Scotch Oakburn staff were recently surveyed as to their COVID vaccination status and to date, approximately 75% of staff have responded to the survey. Of those responses, 91% of staff have been fully vaccinated and 5% have had their first dose.

Andy Müller


As you drive past the Penquite Campus you will note that the signs we have at our entrances are covered and for those going past early in the morning you will also see a security company car parked outside. Unfortunately, each year at this time, when Year 12 students across the state finish classes and begin final preparations for their exams, the College is vandalised. The covering of signs and security is a precaution to deter vandals or at least minimise the damage. It is incredibly disappointing that a small minority of young adults in the Launceston community feel that damaging property is an appropriate way to celebrate their end of Year 12, and in so doing tarnish the experience for others.

Andy Müller


The Department of Education has advised that Friday 29 October will be a student-free day in northern Tasmania for state primary and high schools. As the secondary colleges and the majority of non-government schools will be open as normal, Metro’s Launceston general access network will continue to operate to the Term weekday timetable as normal.



Lemana Day

Thank you to all students, staff and families who supported this week’s Lemana Day so enthusiastically. It was one of those school days that will be forever remembered by all who experienced it. A large number of Collegians, including some who were attending the College in 1941, toured the Campus and learned more about the school in 2021 from Year 5 student leaders and students in many classes. Current students learned more about schooldays of the 1940’s and the 1940-1970 era from our visitors, displays of memorabilia from the College archives, and classroom history activities prepared for the day. Playground games from the past were also enjoyed during recess and lunch break times.

Special thanks to the many families who supported students in wearing period attire and bringing school bags and other artefacts from yesteryear.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Year 12 Leavers Assembly

Thursday 28 October is the final school day for our Year 12 students. On this day, all Year 12’s who once attended the Junior School will return for their Leavers Assembly which is led by current Year 5 students. This tradition is a highlight of the school year for all involved as we farewell students who in some cases have spent 14-15 years at the College.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Junior School House Athletics Carnival

The new House flags flew high at the Junior School House Athletics Carnival on Monday at Scotch Oakburn Park.

From throwing to running events, novelties, tug of war and relays, students participated enthusiastically across a range of events earning valuable points for their House.

Year 12 Captain of Athletics and Australian representative AJ Creak showcased his amazing 400m talent running against the Year 5 Boys 4x50m relay race.

Congratulations to Fox House who were crowned 2021 Junior School Athletics Champions.

A special thank you to parents who volunteered as officials.

Final Positions:

1st – Fox, 2nd – Dean, 3rd – Briggs, 4th – Nance

Year Level Results:

Year 2 Boys: Nance, Year 2 Girls: Fox
Year 3 Boys: Fox, Year 3 Girls: Fox
Year 4 Boys: Briggs, Year 4 Girls: Dean
Year 5 Boys: Dean, Year 5 Girls:  Dean

Congratulation to Lachlan Kleinig (Year 2 Fox) who equalled the Year 2 Boys Long Jump Record recording an impressive 3.37m jump.

Nicky Reid
HPE Teacher


Learning outside your comfort zone!

One of the most valuable ‘learning lessons’ is to learn to go further than you first thought possible, emotionally, academically and/or physically.  This week I recall many highlights in this domain, as our Middle School students embrace opportunities to learn outside their comfort zones!

Year 6 Education Outdoors at Narawantapu National Park

Raft building, Trangia cooking, extensive bushwalks and surviving with sand in sleeping bags, resilient attitudes and outstanding teamwork. These are just some of the highlights of our Year 6 Education Outdoors this week. During the program, students in teams, built large rafts to complete a bay crossing.  To do this, several roles were required, the pace-setter, the navigator, the motivators, the captain and the crew members. Being a team member of a raft crew was a great highlight and an insight to the personal characteristics of our young Middle School students.  The challenges of fatiguing arms, strong gusty winds and strong tide currents, all provided a recipe for learning outside comfort zones!  This is how learning attributes are formed, tested and recalled later in life!  Congratulations to the Year 6 team on a wonderful week of learning.

Year 8 Peer Leaders – leading Junior School Athletes

A wonderful moment earlier this week, was from the Year 8 Peer Leaders supporting our younger athletes at the Junior School House Athletics Carnival.  The cross campus connection is so important as our community learns from each other!

Be Year 6

What an atmosphere in the Middle School, with our ‘Be Year 6’ days being a huge success for transition and connection ahead of 2022!  Investigations into the daily learning life at the Penquite Campus, meeting Middle School House Heads, enjoying specialist lessons including Science and Health and Physical Education sessions were highlights of the program.  2022 sure does promise to be a very exciting time in the Middle School!!

Ben Green 
Head of Middle School


Students and Staff join White Ribbon Event at UTAS Stadium

On Saturday 16 October a group of Scotch Oakburn’s senior male students and staff attended the White Ribbon event at UTAS stadium to show their support for women and children who suffer through abusive behaviour. The Launceston White Ribbon Committee organised an event that was hosted by the Mayor of Launceston, Albert van Zetten and Australian cricketer George Bailey. The event was attended by a wide range of men and boys from the Launceston area, including many schools and sports clubs.

Attendees were reminded that abuse suffered by women is not just physical but includes pay inequity, sexist jokes, sexist language, stalking, deprivation of money, social life or education, threats to children and pets and coercion. Abuse of women almost always impacts their children. We were reminded that every week in Australia at least one current or former intimate partner kills their female partner; that domestic violence is the leading contributing factor in the death, disability and illness of women aged between 15 and 44; that family violence costs Australia billions of dollars per year and that 1 in 5 women experience harassment in the workplace.

Attendees were reminded of strategies to use if they suspect abuse and what to do about it in their social group – tell your friends that you do not approve of their words or behaviour, convince your friends to stop, walk away to signal your rejection of the behaviour, remind friends to be their best selves, use your friendship to give advice, invite group pressure by asking if anyone else thinks this is OK?

Thank you to those who took their time on a Saturday morning to help create awareness about this very important issue. It was great to see senior boys in our community, along with staff, parents and board members standing up to abusive behaviour.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School


Rowing Captain’s 2021-22

On Wednesday the College announced the Rowing Captains and Vice Captains for this upcoming season. It gives me great pleasure to announce Will Gray and Harry Birchmore and as Boys Co-Captain’s and Charlotte Loane as Girls Captain and Emma Jepson as Vice-Captain for 2021-22. For Will and Harry, this season will be their third year in Open Boys First Eight, following a successful end to last season winning Gold in Schoolboys Eight Sprint and Bronze in the Schoolboys Coxed Four. Charlotte was a member of the drought-breaking Open Girls First Eight winning the 2021 SATIS Head of the River. The last win was in 1997, 24 years ago, when both the Open Boys and Girls Eight won the historic double Head of the River titles. Emma was a member of the Open Girls Second Eight that also won the Division 2 2021 Head of the River. Congratulations to all four outstanding individuals on their appointments. I look forward to working closely with them and our other senior rowers this season.

Jamie Breden
Director of Rowing

Student Achievement

Year 8 student James Robinson has been awarded the Launceston Golf Club Junior Champion Cup for 2021.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport 


Scotch Oakburn currently has a record number of 13 teams competing in the Northern High Schools Sports Association rosters across Years 7 to 10 and all teams have been training together since last Term. A huge thank you for the fantastic efforts of students, parents and coaches for such a great start to Term 4 games!

Our 2022 NSATIS Squads (Boys & Girls) are also training weekly in preparation for their rosters that commence in the first week of Term 1 2022 and for the first time we have also introduced Development Squads. These squads are being coached by our current Senior Firsts Coaches to assist in the development of key players for our future pathways within our Basketball program.

Over the weekend of 6-7 November, we will also have nine teams competing in the Basketball Tasmania’s High School Tournament. More details will be released in relation to this tournament once draws have been issued.

I am also very pleased to announce that the following students have been selected to represent Tasmania at the 2022 Adelaide Invitational Challenge. Congratulations to all players and we wish you all the best for your games:

Esme Dell – U14
Amelie Djatschenko – U15
Blaise Fitzallen – U16
Ella Youd – U16
Angus Scott – U16
Brody Wallace – U16

Natalie Good
Director of Basketball


Welcome to Term 4 and I hope all families enjoyed a relaxing and refreshing break. This term we welcome 26 new students to the College, eight in Early Learning and 18 across Prep to Year 9. Enrolments for 2022 are being finalised and we now have waiting lists in Early Learning 4-Year-old, and Years 2, 6, 7 and 8. In addition, a number of other year levels are filling. The College has maximum student numbers designated at each year level to ensure that our total enrolment is appropriate for our facilities, programs and spaces and that we can guarantee that our students are known, valued and cared for.

We also welcome five new staff to the College: James Adams as Head of Education Outdoors, Suzie Kidd who is teaching Andrew Robinson’s Year 6 class while he is on leave, Deenie Campbell in the Human Resources Department, Kylie Hughes in the Grounds Team and Reid Dolbey in the IT Team. Welcome to all.

Recently three existing staff members have taken on new responsibilities: Leigh Cordell is the College’s Round Square Director, Lauren Hayes is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Coordinator and Cale O’Keefe is the Acting Head of House for Middle School Nance for Term 4. I wish them well for the new roles.

The term breaks always provide an opportunity to attend to repairs and maintenance as per our yearly schedule, as well as some spontaneous events such as the localised flooding on Friday 1 October. Works attended to at each of our three campuses, as well as attention to our grounds and have ensured that the College remains in pristine condition and is a beautiful environment for our College community.

Our review of staffing to ensure that it has the capacity to deliver the strategic goals in SOC2035 has focused initially on Wellbeing. If people are ‘well’ – socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually – they will flourish. Therefore, we are researching and implementing the staffing structure, programs and support mechanisms to ensure that our students have the opportunity to be all that they have the potential to be.

Finally, College Leadership has been using the events in other states to forecast possible scenarios for 2022 and ‘Educating with COVID’. Our systems, logistics and preparations are in place, as best as they can be at this stage, ready for 2022 when the state is open to interstate and international visitors and we all learn to live with COVID. We will of course be guided by the Government in many aspects but will also use our own experience and common sense to minimise risk and do all we can to keep our community safe.

Andy Müller


As Term 4 commences, there are two key pieces of information that I want to pass on to all parents in the ongoing evolution of COVID protocols and actions.

Firstly, if parents are entering the school grounds to drop their child(ren) off at their classroom or similar and then leave the campus, there is no requirement to sign in or use the Check-In TAS App. However, should you be staying longer than two or three minutes, for example meeting a teacher, enjoying a coffee at Laneway on Thursday or attending LIVE, then you are still required to check-in. Thank you.

Secondly, in a change to previous advice we were given by the Government and the Health Department last term, Year 7 – 10 students will not be vaccinated at school as per the TCE student vaccination program. Hence, we have been asked to advise all families that you must organise these vaccinations yourself through your local vaccination centre.

Andy Müller



VIBES is a FREE outdoor concert held on Thursday 21 October on the Penquite Campus Green from 4.30pm – 7.00pm.

The line-up for VIBES features Collegians, Angus Leighton (’13) and his Jump-Jive/Swing Band, as well as Fergus Poynter (’14) and Emily Sanzaro (nee Husband ’99). There will also be performances from current students including the Year 5 Rock Band and a Community Jamming session.

VIBES will be a licenced event and feature the culinary delights from Small Grain, Seoul Food, Toong Thong Thai, Nitro Ella, Little Devil Donuts and the good old BBQ. It will be a cash-less event.

To join us for VIBES please make sure you register your attendance via this link. So come along, bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the good vibes!

Justin Clarke
Community Coordinator


This Saturday 16 October the Scotch Oakburn College community is supporting the White Ribbon Foundation’s call for boys and men to stand in solidarity with all the women in our lives and say a loud NO to the abuse of women and children in our community.

We will be part of a powerful photo of men and boys standing together with George Bailey and Launceston’s Mayor, Albert van Zetten and Deputy Mayor, Danny Gibson.

The photo will be taken on the UTAS Stadium playing surface at 10.30am (sandshoes only). Students are requested to wear full summer uniform and will be free to leave shortly after.
Bring as many of your brothers, sons, dads and mates as we join together with men and boys from other workplaces, sporting clubs, schools, unions, church and performing arts groups and send a powerful message of support.

Ben Marsland
Deputy Principal


Welcome to Term 4

Excitement plus! Starting school for the first time, starting at a new school, being back at school, renewing and making friendships, resetting personal goals, embracing new learning challenges in the classroom, exploring the playground… all these and more were awash across the Junior School this week.

Welcome to the new Term to all students and families, with a particular welcome to those who have just joined the College learning community for the first time and to the Early Learners who started their school life this week. Best wishes to every student for a Term that opens new learning opportunities, leads to the asking of many new questions and exploration of these, further consolidates key learning skills and keeps building fulfilling relationships. Work hard, dream big!

Term 4 Events

The Term 4 calendar is a very full one with a wide range of scheduled events right across all year levels. Details of coming activities are always sent directly to families in advance, but everyone is encouraged to scan the ePlanner on The Dash and diarise events specific to their child’s class or year level.

In our immediate sights are the Year 5-6 Regional Basketball Championships this weekend (and Year 3-4 next weekend), rescheduled Years 2-5 House Athletics Carnival on Monday, weekly Learning together sessions for new 2022 Early Learning families starting on Monday, State Chess Finals on Monday, Lemana Day for EL-5 and VIBES for the whole College community on Thursday next week.

Sun protection

UV radiation in Launceston edged up to ‘High’ (6+) this week, even on the wet and cloudy days. We all need to keep reminding ourselves of the importance of sun protection in outdoor learning activities and break times.


Thought spark for the week:

Developing the trait of being compassionate is one of the ten core learner attributes that are at the heart of the ‘Learning’ strand of the College’s SOC2035 vision. We define being compassionate as “taking on the feelings and perspectives of others with humility and acting intuitively to support them through the development of emotional intelligence (EQ). In the words of Year 8 student Lincoln Giasli whose EY8 project focused on the Learner Attributes, ‘In learning and group work it is important to understand the emotions of others…. Helping others with your learning will be a good way of understanding how others can sometimes feel. You should also talk to people during group tasks to ensure they feel safe in the environment and are enjoying themselves.’

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Year 5 Rock Band at the Harvest Market

The Year 5 Rock Band will be performing at the Launceston Harvest Market next Saturday 23 October. They will be performing two sets, one at 9.15am and the second at 10.30am. They would love to see you there!

Jamon Dingemanse


Welcome to Term 4!

“Tell me and I will forget. Teach me and I will remember.  Involve me and I learn.” –   Benjamin Franklin

As we return to enjoy the many opportunities that Term 4 provides, I encourage all students to springboard their learning from their strengths (interests and passions) to further make progress with their learning goals.  Transferring learning from one context to another is such an important attribute and a focus that will continue to be in the Middle School curriculum design.  I encourage all students to continue to try new pursuits, attempt challenges and approach difficult tasks with courage and tenacity.

Middle School Buskers going on Tour!

In the coming weeks the vocal skills of the Middle School Buskers will be ‘touring’ the Senior and Junior Schools to share their joy for singing and their skills in harmony.  A great example of passion-based learning in action!

Basketball Thriving!

Throughout the Middle School, basketball participation is thriving.  So many students are representing the College in basketball, along with endless lunchtime minutes crafting new skills and moves!  This weekend we wish our Year 6 students all the very best for the Northern Primary Schools Basketball Classics.  Thank you to our dedicated coaches and support staff for providing our students with such a positive experience.

Chess Regional Finals

This Monday, we are proud to be hosting the Regional Chess Finals in the HPEC.  A great opportunity for our strategic thinking gamers to make their best move!  Good luck to all students involved.

Try Rowing!

Next weekend, is a great opportunity for new and keen young rowers to familiarise themselves with the Scotch Oakburn College Rowing program.  Thank you to Mr Jamie Bredan and our coaches for providing this orientation.

Be Year 6!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Middle School community is excited to welcome our current Year 5 students to the Penquite Campus, for a two day ‘Be Year 6’ learning initiative.  This program enables our future Year 6 students to experience learning life on the Penquite Campus, ahead of upcoming Orientation Day and transition activities.  This opportunity is enabled through our current Year 6 students enjoying their Education Outdoors Program.  I am sure this program will be positive for all!


Ben Green
Head of Middle School

Community Benefits from EY8 project

Year 8 student Brody Wallace delivered a total of 115 balls and a frisbee to Life without Barriers at Rocherlea in the Term 3 holidays as a result of his EY8 efforts.

The staff and clients were totally overwhelmed with the donation and so very grateful. Brody and his mother, Naomi, were invited for a tour and the staff spent much time chatting to them about what they do. Brody was also presented with a small gift as a thank you.

The balls will be used for physio and fitness classes, casual recreational uses and sports days. This trip was a big eye-opener for Brody and a very humbling experience for him. Along with many other Year 8s,  Brody’s learning journey and the positive community connections he has made to serve others through his EY8 cannot be underestimated.

Katie Lester


Public Speakers meet our Premier

And what an experience it was! Accompanied by their parents, Charlotte Ball (Year 9) and Dean Power (Year 12) represented our College at the Statewide Youth Speakout event at both Government House and Parliament House on Tuesday 12 October and presented their speeches on subjects that mattered to them. It was an action-packed day with opportunities to meet political leaders including our premier, The Honourable Peter Gutwein MP.  All student presentations were formally recognised by our Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC. We congratulate two of our accomplished public speakers for their initiative in entering the event and their noteworthy participation.

Katie Lester
Person-in-Charge of Public Speaking

Performance Exam Audience

It’s that time of year again, where the TCE Drama/Theatre Performance students showcase the amazing performance skills they have developed and impress the TASC Examiners in their Practical Exam. I warmly welcome the Scotch Oakburn College community to be an audience member and support these talented students in one or all of the following shows:

Theatre Performance Play Exam (Horton):
‘A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ a play adapted by Simon Stephens from the popular novel by Mark Haddon.
Tuesday 19 October 7 – 8.15pm (Show 1)
Wednesday 20 October 7 – 8.15pm (Exam Show 2)

Drama Exam (Drama Studio):
Extracts from David Williamson’s ‘Brilliant Lies’ and Kieron Barry’s ‘Numbers’
Tuesday 19 October 6-7pm (Show 1)
Thursday 21 October 2-3pm (Exam Show 2)

Theatre Performance Monologue Exam (Drama Studio):
Thursday 21 Oct 5 – 5.30pm (Show 1)
Friday 22 Oct 2 – 2.30pm (Exam Show 2)

Please email me at to confirm the performances you wish to attend. There is no cost involved but there are limited numbers for the shows in the Drama Studio.

I look forward to welcoming you.

Kathryn Gray

Student Achievement

Xavier Nesbitt (Year 9) has been awarded a 2020/2021 Young Leadership Award by Swimming Tasmania, winning the Bill and Shea Henderson Trophy. Xavier was nominated for his composure and commitment to the sport of swimming through training, competition and club support. Xavier was commended for being a fierce competitor but for taking both success and failure in his stride. Xavier is considered a leader in his club, showing great maturity and focus by assisting coaches and helping junior swimmers develop their skills. Swimmers were nominated by their coaches and then the Swimming TAS board chose who they thought was worthy. Congratulations Xavier.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School

Hockey season ends

On Wednesday 13 October, the Launceston Golf Club was the pleasant venue for this year’s Annual Hockey Dinner and Trophy Presentation Evening.  Sixty parents, players and coaches attended the event which celebrated the College’s 116th Hockey season.  Trophies were presented to:

First Girls XI

Best & Fairest Player: Alice McLauchlan
Most Improved Player Award: Maddie Fenner
Coach’s Award: Kate Sherriff

First Boys XI

Best and Fairest Player: Carl Els
Coach’s Award: Alfie Neville-Clark
Most Versatile Player Award: Connor O’Sign
Distinguished Service Award: Theo Wolfhagen

Certificates were presented to Will Gray, Top Goal Scorer, and Alexander Creak, Certificate of Appreciation.

Thanks were expressed to our Captains of Hockey, Alice McLauchlan and Carl Els, and to all parents for their marvellous support of Hockey this season.  Thanks were also extended to all our hockey coaches and managers for the 2021 season, without whom we would not operate: Mr Simon Dray, Mr Rory Kruijswijk-Walsh, Mrs Alison McLean, Mr Richard Nichols, the Revd Grace Reynolds, Mr Daniel van der Aa, Mrs Karen van der Aa, Mr Simon van der Aa, Mr Brendan Vince, and Head of Sport Mr Alister Foot.

David Morris
Person-in-Charge of Hockey


Term 4 marks the start of our summer sports season. We have many of our sports commencing competitions this week and some over the weekend. For your son/daughter’s specific sports information, please view The Dash page for the information relevant to their chosen sport.


Any students that are wishing to compete at the Tasmanian All Schools Athletics Championships to be held on 23/24 October can find out more information and enter the competition, by visiting the Athletics Tasmania website


Are you looking for a new way to exercise after school? How about exploring some of Launceston’s parks and schools from a new perspective?

Well, Launceston Spring Twilight Orienteering Series 2021 is here. The new series is starting Wednesday 20 October. No experience necessary – just come along and have a go! Start between 4.00pm and 6.00pm, finish by 7:00pm.

October 20 – Royal Park
October 27 – Scotch Oakburn College
November 3 – Trevallyn Primary School
November 10 – St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School and Windsor Precinct
November 17 – Queechy High School
November 24 – City Park – Central Launceston

More information about specific event starts and directions is available at or contact Christine Brown 0439 443 367 or Donelda Niles 0419 358 385.


Good luck to all our basketball teams commencing their matches this week in the NHSSA rosters. The teams have been busy training from term 3 and I would like to thank Mrs Natalie Good for her coordination in getting the teams ready to go for round 1.


Cricket training is off and running for all boys and girls this season under the eye of our new Director of Cricket, Mr Dean Hawkins.

Games for this weekend are at Scotch Oakburn Park for Year 8 boys and at Launceston Grammar School for Year 7 boys. It is great to see some new players coming along to play cricket and we are looking forward to seeing your improvements across Term 4.

The girls will commence their first matches in November at the NTCA ground. As well as the Hurricanes High School Cup competition, which will be played on Thursday 4 November from 9.00am to 3.00pm and finals on Thursday 11 November at Scotch Oakburn Park. There will be more information to be released on these two competitions shortly.


The start of the sailing season is upon us, and we’ll be back on the water this Saturday! We’ll be commencing the season with a come ‘try sailing day’ to hopefully get some new students involved with our amazing sport.

The plan for Saturday:

Meet at the sailing club at 10.30am and get the boats rigged and ready for a day of sailing (try day sailors arriving at 11).
Casual sailing with new sailors prior to lunch (Lunch can be purchased at the club or BYO).
Post lunch, enter a race or casual sailing for the afternoon with some boat changes to give everyone a go in a boat.
Pack up and wash down boats.
Finish up at the club at approximately 4.30pm.
It should be a fantastic day out with good weather forecast and hopefully some new sailors! Bring your friends along!

What you will need to bring:

Wetsuit- rug up, the water will still be cold! A pair of bush walking thermals work well under your wetsuit of you need more warmth.
Personal Flotation Device / Life Jacket (SOC have club jackets)
Closed toe shoes suitable for the water (old sneakers with woolly socks or sailing shoes)
Spray Jacket to keep the wind of your body
Sailing gloves (optional but help with grip and comfort)
Sun Glasses
Plastic water bottle for out in the boat.
Spare gear is nearly always available from the club or members, so there is no need to panic if you don’t have everything you need and Tamar Marine is the best retailer in Launceston for all the gear you need.

Rob Bastick
Person-in-Charge of Sailing


Our Mountain bike riders have begun the twilight season on offer from the Launceston Mountain Bike Club on Wednesday nights. Mr Luke Hammond was excited to see our students racing again. I would like to thank Mr Hammond for organising the racing season. The results and racing times can be found at LMBC – Home (


This weekend sees the beginning of the rowing season and students will be participating in the North Esk Rowing Club long distance races on Sunday.  Races start at 8.30am with the single skulls.  We welcome our community to come along and help support our rowers.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport