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Speaking with one voice


3 May 2019

Speaking with one voice

Speaking with one voice

Welcome back to what will be a fantastic term for the Torrens Park Campus. 

Over the break I had the opportunity to reflect and then share with the campus team our ethos of support for our students and I thought it timely to share with you what helps inform our decision-making processes when students inevitably make mistakes. At Scotch in addition to consequences given to students who transgress our expectations and rules, we also choose to educate students and provide opportunities for those who do err to learn and seek assistance and support which will help them to become a better person into the future. The educative process is paramount if students are to learn and to grow into adults who can make a positive contribution to their community and build strong and healthy relationships. In addition, we also recognise the importance of forgiveness.  We know to forgive another for their transgressions may take some time but ultimately restitution for all parties is important for growth. If we can be a community that models taking responsibility for your actions, learn from your mistakes and show understanding and acceptance of each other then we, alongside our families, are modelling the virtues of a good life. It is this ethos which creates a strong and safe community for all of our students at Scotch. 

One area where students do make mistakes is around safe partying. That somewhat hackneyed phrase encompasses a range of interpretations from the use of alcohol and illegal substances through to behaviours which create risk for individuals and may impact on the safety of others. It is a serious matter as inevitably the environment for partying/gatherings continues to change and evolve. Currently in Adelaide at youth gatherings it is not unusual to find, in addition to the consumption of heavy alcohol (spirits etc), a number of illegal substances. These include cannabis, MDMA, and “nangs” (google for interesting and at times disturbing insights around these). In response to these worrying trends and behaviours the school regularly publishes safe partying guidelines. In addition to this our students experience curriculum experiences and seminars are provided for them and their parents. Next week we have Paul Dillon from Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia running sessions for students in Years 10,11 and 12, plus a parent seminar for parents of Middle School students. The sessions selected for Scotch run both nationally and internationally and are based on statistics gathered from years of research. You can read more here.

Importantly, what we do know is that if our wonderful parent body at each level come together and support each other and then we speak as one voice! 

I urge us all to have the conversations around not just the dangers in partying environments but the ways your teen can handle themselves in tricky situations. I urge you to talk to other parents about what they do and say and what are the baseline expectations we can expect each other to support. 

Our academic program is full steam ahead with Year 7 and 9 preparing for the NAPLAN testing regime. Further information about this testing is available in Ms Hanel’s Academic Matters article which is a regular feature of eNews.Year 12 will find the assessment regime builds over this term and if at any stage you are concerned about your students’ progress then please reach out to the school. Year 10 and 11 have examinations to look forward to as they develop the skills of working under time pressure. Our Year 9 students have commenced the 9 @Scotch residential program and I had the privilege of joining the first group this week in Burra. It really is a great opportunity for students to develop independence, resilience, leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills as part of their journey to adulthood. Our Year 8 students had great fun and growth as part of the Outdoor Education and Global Pathways programs offered at the end of last term. They are ready to settle into work and enjoy the experiential and inquiry learning program developed for them this term.

It would be remiss of me not to give a huge vote of thanks to Mrs Johnson and Mrs Deans for their coordination of the Blue and Gold Formal which was a fantastic evening at the end of Term 1. Molly Morgan and Mackenzie Spencer led the student committee and put in hours of love and labour to ensure the outcome of a truly memorable evening, congratulations. 

Today in assembly we awarded our Summer Sports Colours. We congratulate all award recipients their names are published in this eNews. We also awarded Principal Awards for distinctive achievement. Of note I would like to congratulate Jake Bastian on his amazing feat of breaking the SA Schoolboys 100m record. He continues to balance a challenging Year 12 study program and maintain his swim performances at an elite level. Congratulations Jake.

Spare a thought for the 84 awesome Music students who are performing at Generations in Jazz this weekend at Mt Gambier. We wish them every success. 

I look forward to seeing you at the various sporting arenas this weekend as we kick off the winter sports season. 


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