Calendar 2020

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04
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04
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Scotch Film Fest
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09
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Early Learning Centre Tour (T1W3...
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18
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Junior School Tour (T1W04 2021)
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25
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Middle & Senior School Tour (...
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03
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Early Learning Centre Tour (T1W6...
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13
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16
09:15AM 16 March
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Junior School Tour (T1W08 2021)
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23
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25
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An Open Letter to Year 12

News

23 October 2020

An Open Letter to Year 12

An Open Letter to Year 12

Today I thought I would share with you an edited version of my final Bonding with Bennett for the Class of 2020. They are amazing. Today has been an amazing farewell to them and we have much to be grateful for. I hope there is something in this for letter for you, too.

Dear Year 12

When we prepared for this year in 2019 there was a lot going on. The centennial celebrations had us all focussed on Scotch at its best. You were, to my mind, coming in on a high. We could thrive off the energy of the previous year and create a great first year of our new century!

I honestly didn’t think you’d have to do much other than settle into your groove, work hard and to be honest we knew there was some academic ground to be covered if you were going to continue the success we have enjoyed in recent years in our SACE and ATAR results. I knew you were like many other years and that coming together in the common room would help you gel. There were pretty obvious cliques and although you didn’t have friction, which is great, but nor did I sense deep connection across the year. I recall your Leadership Induction Service in the Fisher Chapel and trying to make sense of a year level that had, as their common top 5 core VIA strength, An Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence. I wondered and pondered just what that could mean. 

People high in Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence enjoy physical beauty whether it be auditory, tactile or abstract inspiring awe and wonder. Your love skill or talents which are of the highest standard energises you and inspires you to give your best and an admiration of those who reach the dizzy heights of excellence in their field. You also enjoy virtuous goodness with a desire to want to be better and more loving. This appreciation feeds your soul and helps you connect to the larger universe and provide meaning. 

If there was ever going to be a year when you needed this strength to rely on or be surrounded by people who have it, as it turns out it was going to be this one. 

As I reflect upon our time together, we have not been without our ups and downs. We’ve had challenges, some of which meant I had to play the tough cop and as I said the other day, regardless of how we felt about the circumstance, the rules would always win. There have been other times which meant I had to tread a fine line between knowing what goes on outside of school, but not being able to act upon it in school... that awkward space of ambiguity. I’ve been frustrated and disheartened sometimes, largely because I have not been able to change or call out behaviours which I knew would impact negatively on individuals. 

I absolutely get that I’m not perfect and I’ll put it on the record there have been times where I didn’t get it right. Times when I could have done things differently. Times when I knew I had inadvertently hurt someone. Times when I wish could have taken back something I said off the cuff. Please allow me to apologise for those times and to genuinely say I’m sorry if you have hurt because of my actions. The intent may not have been there, but the outcome doesn’t change. I hope you can forgive me. I also hope you use the remaining days and weeks of your final year to rectify your wrongs. It may not be a big thing but remember perspective is all…we can never truly know the impact we have so let’s at least consider that sometimes, just sometimes we may be wrong!

I considered starting this final meeting with you by posing the question: "Don’t you wish sometimes that we could start 2020 again?"

I’m sure in each of us there is a part that responds, “Yeah if I could, I would change...” 

But we can’t start over. All we can do is to take the learnings we have been given, make sense of them and then use them to create a better future for ourselves. Each of us will have learnt different lessons and grown in different ways as a result of the year that was. I can’t stand here and pretend to know exactly what you have learned. I can imagine big concepts like dealing with grief, growing resilience, understanding the importance of flexibility, the power of mindset and accepting that things are different and never going to be the same. We are naturally reticent to change as humans and yet this year change has been the main game. 

What I can say with certainty is that you have changed, you have grown, and you have become a person that you didn’t know was in you... even the cynics amongst know that this change has been for the better. We have become better people.  

So where does this reflection lead us to?

  1. You are amazing as a year group. You have come together through adversity and shown me the power of unity and resilience. 
  2. You have a unique perspective on life... Scotch was always going to prepare you for your next step whether you realised it as you left or in 10 years from now. One day you are destined to realise that. But Scotch didn’t plan this year for you we danced it with you. Together we learnt and together we know we are stronger and know that success does not come easy - when the going gets tough we just got tougher and made sure that together we would find our way to this point.
  3. I still don’t know each of you as well as I’d like to, but I reckon I know something about each of you that enables me to say you are brilliant people with such bright hopes for the future. I know you are ready for the next steps.

I wondered if at this stage I should reflect publicly on some individuals but then decided that it’s not about proving what I do or don’t know about you, it’s about giving you the chance to truly value what you have learned. When we do the Welcome to Year 10 workshop, we do a game called People Bingo. Today our game is a little more than knowing if you have a dog, if you have sibling, or your favourite food is pasta. Today’s game of People Bingo is going to be so much more.

I want you to close your eyes and breath with me. Keeping your eyes closed I want you to find that person in your head that:

  1. Spoke to you on the day when you felt the worst you could possibly feel 
  2. Think of the person who made you laugh most days
  3. Name the person on a class that you never thought you’d talk to but now you do without fear of being judged or ridiculed 
  4. Think of the person who smiled at you each day without actually being one of your closest friends
  5. Think of the teacher that gave you the best advice this year 
  6. Think of the time you did something for someone else in Y12 where you made a difference to their day
  7. Think of the funniest moment in the common room and who it involved 
  8. Think of the person you didn’t really know before but now you know well enough to say hey I’d be keen to catch up next year 
  9. Think of the person you need to apologise to before the end of today
  10. Think of the people who have got your back and think of those you would walk on hot coals for 

Now open your eyes. Breathe.

We are about to spend our final days together. Look after yourself, look after those around you and be the good people you are. You have come so far and have so much to celebrate. I look forward to seeing you as you journey through life. I hope you return to this great place called Scotch. You don’t have to love it and after Friday you don’t have to live it each day. But what you do have to do is to remember that there is always a place for you here. 

You have made me proud Class of 2020 and we will always have a bond forged by circumstance but based on love, respect and trust.

Go well you good people of Scotch. 

Mr B