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Getting comfortable with discomfort


24 August 2018

Getting comfortable with discomfort

Getting comfortable with discomfort

The last two weeks have provided an incredible opportunity to have a go at something new, expand our horizons and take a step outside our comfort zones. Our Principal, Dr Newton regularly reminds us of the importance to get into our ‘discomfort’ zones – a place where the unfamiliar provides a catalyst for personal growth. It’s a highly personal and contextualised concept – as no 2 learners will define their comfort and discomfort in the same way.

To take such bold steps into the unknown takes a degree of courage, yes, though it is also a measure of our resilience. Largely, we have come to accept that resilience is our ability to ‘bounce back’ from an adverse experience. As we learned though Dr Tom Nehmy in the Healthy Minds program in Year 8, resilience is also about the willingness to move outside our comfort zone and accept new opportunities, before any outcome can be determined. It means getting comfortable with the notion that we might indeed fail and being prepared to have a go in the interest of progress.

At Scotch, we have tremendous examples of students being comfortable with discomfort. We’ve seen Tom Voyvodich and Grace Lemonnier launch themselves into an exchange with Woodstock, our GAIL partner school in India. They embrace the challenges of this new environment and early reports below show that they are relishing the opportunity. We have celebrated International Week and acknowledged the significant resilience shown by our international students to participate in an education far from the familiarity of home. The events throughout International Week celebrate the diversity and courage it takes to study abroad as a young person.

Other outstanding individual efforts include the students who participated in the APEX Teenage Fashion Awards – see the report below for all the details. Our Year 12 Outdoor Education students completed their Solo expeditions – requiring them to plan and execute an overnight camping experience on their own. A number of Middle school students pushed themselves to complete the World Vision Backpack challenge – a personal stretch to support those fleeing from Civil War. It ties in perfectly with our numerous service learning opportunities, including the Walk a Mile event in support of the Hutt St Centre, attended by more that 100 Scotch students.

The Big Sing was an opportunity not just for individuals, but whole Houses to try something new! For some – it was 100% their element and their time to shine – and shine they did! Others had to sing, dance and possibly practice a few moves at home to get up to speed. Congratulations to all Houses for their efforts, it’s a marvellous event and the videos are available through your Heads of House.

Science week permitted us to question and go beyond what we thought was possible. A highlight for students has been the Hitachi electron microscope, hired from local company Newspec. With 10000x magnification, the students were able to look at insect eyes, wool, hay, oil, Compact Discs and other incredibly small details, providing a perspective rarely seen outside professional laboratories.

All of these opportunities have given students a platform from which to move beyond their comfort zone and try something new and different. It serves to shape their ever-growing identity, their values and understanding of the world and assists to set a pathway to further growth and goal setting.

Getting comfortable with discomfort isn’t easy, though it is an essential skill to achieve measured and sustained growth. With the wealth of opportunities on offer – there’s an activity waiting for each learner to challenge and extend themselves and an education at Scotch is an ideal way to find the right step for each and every learner.


Paul Dillon Seminar

Every year, students in the Senior School keenly await the return of Paul Dillon – Australia’s most preeminent speaker on the topic of Drugs and Alcohol Use in Adolescence. Paul’s ability to combine the facts, hard hitting information and humour, is rare and leads to an exceptional level of engagement from the students.

This year’s parent talk invited Year 7,8 and 9 parents to consider the topic “Why you must have the 'alcohol and parties' discussion with your child before it is too late”. If you were unable to attend – the slides are available at this link.

Additionally, Paul will be hosting a webinar for parents in October entitled “Parties, gatherings and sleepovers: How can parents keep their teens safe?” - more information can be found here.

In addition to Paul’s talk, a wealth of information and facts on the topic of Drugs and Alcohol can be found at our SchoolTV resource.

Finally, stay tuned for further speakers in September, where we welcome Cybersafety expert Susan McLean to address both students and parents. Paul will return to Scotch in May 2019.

Shawn Kasbergen
Director of Student Wellbeing