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A Big Question


21 February 2020

A Big Question

A Big Question

About five years ago, Dr Newton asked the leadership team the BIG question: What would it be like to create an educational experience that would have lifelong benefit? Is there such a thing?

We pondered, contested and then decided the challenge was one worth exploring. We then embarked on developing a grass roots strategic plan involving our whole community. We sought input from parents, students, staff and governance bodies. We asked, we talked, and we listened.

Emerging from the extensive consultation was the desire for our educational offering to be more than simply a successful academic outcome and an extensive array of opportunities for student participation. Our goal was a framework for developing the whole person; to equip our students and staff to be their best in an organisation that has become renowned for its focus on wellbeing. We have come to learn that without wellbeing at our core, our hard work in all other areas of the College offering would have a diminished impact. To shape our learner experience, we have developed a comprehensive teaching and learning model in which we place the lens of wellbeing over our curriculum design, through programs such as 9@Scotch and Live Well, in addition to regular subject programs. 

For individuals, we use the Scotch Fit model. We believe that for our students to lead successful lives, we must prepare them in four core areas:

  1. Academically Fit: Where our results speak volumes, but more importantly, we develop intrinsically motivated learners who know how to learn and which questions to ask to have fluency in their learning.
  2. Physically Fit: Where we create numerous opportunities in our Phys Ed and Sports programs, and in the ways in which we teach our adolescents about what they eat, how their bodies work and the vitality of good health.
  3. Socially Fit: We help our students develop empathy, understanding and to celebrate differences, knowing that a community is made stronger when individuals take on responsibility. Our environment needs to be, first and foremost, safe and distinguished by respectful relationships. Our staff model these behaviours and we work with our students every day to build and maintain these core principles.
  4. Psychologically Fit: Each individual who embarks on our learning journey is provided with the tools and skills to enhance their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. We do this through our Healthy Minds program at Year 8 and WAVE at Year 7, as well as the House system.

This week in our eNews I urge you to read Shawn Kasbergen’s article on the recent presentations by Dr Michael Carr Greg, Australia’s leading Adolescent Psychologist. As our Director of Student Wellbeing, Shawn has been instrumental in the evolution of our response to the BIG question. We know we are not there yet, but with every activity your adolescent undertakes at school, I would like you to put the lens of Scotch Fit over it and help us better understand what it truly means to prepare young people for life.

Wishing you all a great weekend – great weather for our sports program!

I also wish our freshly minted cast of Matilda all the best for their first rehearsals for what we know will be a truly amazing learning experience.


WATCH: Dr Newton discusses how we innovate as a school, highlighting the recent Education Committee Think Tank Eve