As we reach the end of Term 2, replete in our scarves and puffer jackets, we can take a breath and reflect on all that has been achieved in recent months.

Our classrooms have been busy….

It has been remarkable to watch the breadth of what goes on in classrooms as we approach the end of the our first semester of the year.  In recent weeks Year 2 and 3 have had exhibitions of their design work, showing how they are embedding their numeracy and communication skills into complex problem-solving activities (the conversation I had with one Year 3 engineer about why water collected off a roof didn’t need to sit in a tank, and how it could be piped directly into a house’s taps by gravity was great fun).

Our Year 5 signature learning experiences that culminated this week showcased critical and creative thinking at high levels, and showed the depth of analysis children are capable of when they are deeply engaged in a task (and gave me some interesting health and wellbeing strategies for us as a school to think about).

And, our senior students have finished the term with assessment cycles, with Stage 1 Examinations on Torrens Park rounding out the semester’s work for Year 11s.

In the life of a school assessment is always an invaluable experience for teachers to help them understand the students in our care.  No one ever tests or weighs or measures anyone for the sake of it, each piece of assessment we use helps us learn more about our students as individuals and as cohorts.  Is it foreseeable or predictable that some of our students will feel nervous or uncertain about a task where they have to show what they have learned? Of course.  Are there safety nets here, underneath them, so they learn that if the trapeze rope breaks they won’t hit the ground? Absolutely.  Do we learn persistence when we keep going when things are uncomfortable, resilience when things don’t go our way and we ask what will we do next time (rather than thinking the sky has fallen in)? Undoubtably.

The lessons in classrooms are not always taught from textbooks, and the result of an assessment is far richer than a grade on a page. Seeing that up close is a real privilege.

.…and our students have been far and wide….

The past term has seen Scotch lions a long way from Torrens Park.  From visits to our partner school in Vietnam, the largest group the school has taken on an overseas language immersion to France, to our Year 6 exchange with Kristin School in New Zealand, to Future Problem Solving Competition global finals in Indiana, to the GAIL Student Conference in Peru in the weeks ahead it is wonderful to see students bring their experience from the global stage back to the College.  These opportunities are fuelled by the energy and effort of the teachers who lead them, but the impact and richness for those students that take the chance to put themselves out of their comfort zones are significant.

…while we published our annual performance report….

Our 2023 Annual School Performance Report is available on the College website.  These types of things are part of all large organisations’ reporting obligations, but here they play a different role.  They are a real opportunity for us to reflect on all diverse parts of schooling, and how they come together to create an experience for our children.

… and we sat around (a few more than just) One Table….

The 2024 One Table event was a tremendous afternoon to connect and celebrate our community together – thank you to the over 400 people from across the College who joined us for the lunch in May.  The event has raised approximately $100,000, which will support the establishment of the Scotch College Community Scholarship, a needs-based opportunity for someone to attend the school who would not have the means or capacity to do so –the generosity of our community will have lasting impacts.  

….and then we look ahead into the second half of the year.

As we move into Term 3 the culmination of a winter sports season and the celebrations that come with that, the opening of School of Rock at the Queens Theatre, catch-ups with our boarding families at regional field-days and community events, and the start of the final months for our Year 12s are all to look forward to.

I look forward to sharing them all with you.

For those travelling near or far in the weeks ahead, travel safe.  See you in Semester 2.

Trent Driver