The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Headmaster Dr Alec O'Connell

Headmaster's Reflections

Dr Alec O'Connell

The Arts – More Than Just Subjects

Welcome to our final Thistle for the Winter Term.

Last week saw the conclusion of a wonderful celebration of the Arts at Scotch College – our annual Arts Week. We have celebrated drama and music via our production of We Will Rock You; music alone through myriad public student performances as they come to the end of Year 12, student rock bands playing at the Rosemount Hotel, and numerous sub-school performances at Assemblies; senior Art represented through the magnificent perceptions on display in the Stairwell Gallery; media and filmmaking through the Director’s Final Cut Media Night; Pipe Band competitions and on it goes. With all of this in mind it begs the question: “Why are the Arts so important to us at Scotch, and just as importantly, how do they add to the wider society?”

In a 2015 blog by the National Endowment for the Arts, based in Washington DC, their staff were asked why the Arts are so important.

“The Arts matter because art is meant to move people either on an intellectual or emotional level. Whether this is a book that stays with you days later, or a performance that moves you spiritually or a song that makes you look at the world around you in a different way. The purpose of art is to cause a reaction and with this purpose it can create a synergy of change; change in attitudes, perceptions, and thoughts.” – Catherine Brookes

“The Arts matter because without them our strong emotions, our vital voices, our move-to-the-groove energy and necessary empathy and life-affirming connectedness and tendency toward complexity might all wither from disuse, maybe even destroy us through misuse. The Arts matter because with them, we matter.” – Amy Stolls

"The Arts matter because we matter, and our stories matter. We are moving miracles, walking creators engaging in a cosmic dance. The art we express is timeless.” – Mohammed Sheriff

“The Arts matter because they help us see the world from different perspectives. They give us empathy and help us understand people, places, periods of history, and issues with which we may otherwise be unfamiliar. They comfort us in grief and energise us in celebration. They are important because they can act as a catalyst for change… they can start a revolution! The Arts ignite something in our brains that I can’t explain, but I know it’s essential for life.” – Jennie Terman

“The Arts matter because they allow us to express ourselves and illustrate the world around us in a different light, helping us to gain understanding, build communities, and give hope.” – Kelli Rogowski

“The Arts matter because they are the record of our civilisation and the arrow pointing forward to our future.” – Greg Reiner

“Art matters because people matter, and Arts events are one of the best ways to gather individuals and build communities around a shared experience.” – Eleanor Billington

“The Arts matter because they allow you to experience different ways of seeing and thinking about life.” – Don Ball

“The Arts matter because life is dull without perspective. All art, good and bad, made by an individual or a team, brings the perspective of an artist to others. It is so important to have art, to teach art, and to allow ourselves and our children to live with a national tradition of art, because the Arts give us the tools and means for communicating about the way we see the world. Without the Arts, we are confined to one world and one worldview; with the Arts, we have the treasure of a million worlds and a million ways to see them.” – Daniel Fishman

“When my children are feeling sad or mad or confused, a song will lift their spirits. Whether we sing or they pick up an instrument and play, all is well again.” – Allison Hill

“The Arts matter because it is our most expressive form of sharing.” – vEnessa Y Acham

“The Arts matter because they help you see what’s in between – they help you think twice. Notes, chords, images, and words float within you and have the power of surfacing at any moment, to soothe, distract, entertain, or give comic relief. That’s a lovely thing and yes, it matters.” – Wendy Clark

“The Arts matter because they allow people to uniquely express themselves… without fear of giving a wrong answer.” – Lauren Tuzzolino

“The Arts matter because they extend our lives. I'm not talking about years added – though certain artists, through their creations, can claim a type of immortality. Rather, the Arts allow us fully to inhabit other personalities, perspectives, and states of perception. The Arts thus elongate human experience. And while it can't be displayed on a standard chronology, who's to say this qualitative increase in life doesn't translate to a quantitative one?” – Sunil Iyengar

I am of the belief that the above comments answer “Why are the Arts so important to us at Scotch, and just as importantly, how do they add to the wider society?”

Our Next School Leaders

It has also been a significant week in terms of student leadership. I had the pleasure of announcing the five school leaders at last Thursday's Senior School assembly. These positions represent the whole school, not just the Senior School. The new leaders for the 2020/21 academic year are:

  • Captain of School Joshua Ledger
  • Vice-Captain of School (Operations) Jarvis Banfield
  • Vice-Captain of School (Service) Simon Arnott
  • Head of Student Council Jim Allan
  • Captain of Boarding Brenton Macauley

Winter JPSSA and PSA Finishes

It has also been a huge week in Sport. Congratulations to every student who represented our College in Winter Sport. It is the total volume of students that participate for Scotch which creates the sense of pride and a desire to succeed at all levels. Thanks to everyone who pulled on the burgundy, blue and gold. All of our teams across all grades did a fantastic job in representing us throughout the reduced season.

Two of my favourite events are the JPSSA and PSA Athletic meets. Why? Because these squads represent teams made up with boys from Years 4–6, in the case of JPSSA and with the PSA, Years 7–12. Congratulations to our Junior boys who came third and were only five points away from securing second. Our PSA squad came first as a result of an outstanding team effort.

In particular I would like to thank all of the Year 12s who have represented our College for all these years, as the end of Winter Sports marks the end of their sporting commitments for the College.

Indigenous Awards

Finally we had some outstanding academic news within our Indigenous programme. The College nominate two Year 12s from different scholarship provider programmes for awards. Last night at the AISWA and Madalah awards night, Sam Wolf and Reuben Westerman, won their respective categories. This is simply outstanding for both boys and indicative of the success they have achieved through commitment and hard work.

Thank You Miss Penny Hooper

Speaking of the importance of contributions, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Miss Penny Hooper, Acting Head of Junior School who finishes in this role at the conclusion of this term. Penny has been an incredible stabilising force since Mr Stewart left us at the end of 2019. Little did we know that COVID-19 was around the corner when Penny accepted this acting role. Penny guided our young boys and girls and their families through this challenging time. She was also an incredible support for our staff, and through her calm approach the Junior School navigated their way with purpose and security. Thanks Penny for everything you did while steering HMAS JS Scotch.

As this is the final Thistle for Winter Term, I trust everyone will enjoy the break when it finally arrives and recharge in preparation for the busy Spring Term to come.

Thanks for your support this term.

Dr Alec O'Connell


Revd Gary van Heerden - Chaplain


Revd Gary van Heerden


Inspired by our House Singing last week, I came across an organisation called Koolulam that brings Israelis from different ages, races and religions together for mass singing events. Their motto is ‘singing is believing’. When we sing together, we discover the common heartbeat that connects us all.

Two years ago, Koolulam brought together a group of 3,000 Jewish, Muslim and Christian Israelis, some religious, some not, to learn the song One Day , released by the Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu in 2008. In an hour they learned to sing and harmonize the lyrics in three different languages. The result is a breathtaking display.

It is a song of unity, peace, and hope for a better future. In an interview, Matisyahu said: “One Day is the song I’ve been wanting to make since I started my career. It is an anthem of hope with a big beat, the kind of song that makes you bob your head and open your heart at the same time.’

While the obstacles to peace in the Middle East are enormous, such gatherings provide a glimmer of hope. At the end of the day, most people want to live and let live, and just want a safer, more tolerant world for their children.

The song challenges us to strive to make Scotch a place where every single boy can feel safe, feel that he belongs, that he is respected and that he is celebrated for who he is.

And may God make all of us more sensitive to people who find themselves on the edges and help us to find creative ways of including them.


Cara Fugill Director of Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning

Mrs Cara Fugill
Director of Teaching and Learning

Studio Scotch — Podcast

The Studio Scotch podcast project is the brainchild of two passionate Scotch College teachers, Mr Sam Sterrett and Mr Steve McLean. The aim of the project is to provide an innovative and increasingly popular platform for our community to share their views, ideas, successes and challenges, both new and old.

Courtesy of the Old Scotch Collegians, these pilot podcasts have been shot in the OSC Reading Room in Memorial Hall and made available to the community and broader public through major podcasting platforms Spotify , Apple , Google Podcasts and YouTube.

Released each fortnight, these podcasts were initially driven by a desire from these impressive teachers to share their passion for lifelong learning, philosophy, creativity and modernisation. Sam and Steve have invested many hours in the pilot series entitled, The Range Project, and have since received wide recognition from the education community.

The Range Project sets out to question the age-old 'folk wisdom' that we must specialise and specialise early, where the straight and narrow pathway is often considered the best way to achieve success. In this series they ask people from diverse backgrounds, who have taken a less conventional route in their career, to describe how diversification assisted them to see the world differently and what they believe contributed to this mindset. The success of this project ultimately led to the inception of Studio Scotch.

Although podcasts have been around since 2004, their popularity in modern learning is still relatively new. The time required to learn how to use the equipment, source willing and knowledgeable interviewees and edit during post-production, not to mention initial outlay costs of purchasing the equipment, is something that most schools can simply not afford. At Scotch College, we are fortunate to have the support of Scotch Parents who see the benefit of innovative ideas and have generously donated funds to equip the studio with state of the art recording gear.

Look out for the next release of The Range Project, featuring Emergency Specialist, Dr Dave McCutcheon (OSC 1996) and stay tuned for more from Studio Scotch. This promises to be an exciting new initiative.


Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing Mr James Hindle


Mr James Hindle
Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing

Overcoming Life's Hurdles 

Athletics is not my strong suit; never has been. In the past few years, however, I have  helped out  in high jump, hurdles and throws and I have gained a far greater appreciation for the grit and grace required to perform in these disciplines.

Last year, I  helped out  in a very minor way with the hurdles. Now I know very little about hurdling, but I have come to appreciate a few things about this art, and the way that people approach the hurdles has many clear links to how we approach obstacles in life. It is, in a sense, the perfect – albeit obvious – metaphor.

If you have ever seen hurdles done well, you will know what a graceful, seemingly effortless, thing it is. The hurdler's head stays inscrutably level, always fixed on the horizon. They are sure of the number of steps before the first hurdle (eight of them, in an ideal world). They sail across the first hurdle and are already into full stride as they head towards the next. There are three strides between each hurdle and, with each one, the leading leg is thrust forwards towards the hurdle – almost demanding that the rest of the body follows it. The back leg trails and, like the front leg, goes over the hurdle by the barest of margins. Less energy is expended, less time is wasted. The front leg is already driving down to the ground and preparing to propel the individual toward the next hurdle as the back leg  lifts over the hurdle. A good hurdler is the epitome of efficiency.

If you have seen hurdles done by someone who is, shall we say, a novice, you will also know the excruciating anticipation involved in watching them. They  labour  their way up to the first hurdle, stutter in their approach, slow right down, then jump as high as they can to avoid contact. Then, as they land, some of them even look behind them, thoroughly grateful yet mystified as to how they managed to overcome that first obstacle. And then they stagger towards the next hurdle, no rhythm, no real momentum and no real plan as to how to they will get over this one, either.  

The reason that good hurdlers are good hurdlers lies in their preparation and training. They warm up properly, with drills specific to the task before them. They start with little hurdles and work on getting warmed up and ensuring that their technique is correct, building their way up to a full-sized hurdle. They practice their starts and the taking of that first hurdle. They don't often run the whole race, because once you get over that first hurdle and you fall into the rhythm, the others are so much easier to take.

The issue for us non-hurdlers is that we don't do it very often and so that first hurdle seems huge. Our minds focus on not hitting our foot on the top of the hurdle, rather than getting to the end; we break the task into such small bits that it does not flow, or we have no real plan about how to put it all together so we focus on the mechanics of jumping, which is such a tiring approach.

That's the big difference between good hurdlers are the rest of us: a good hurdler is focused on counting their steps and they are focused on the finish line, whereas the rest of us are focused on the potential disaster (and considerable pain) of making contact with each hurdle.  

And so it is with life. Those of us who prepare well, who hit the occasional hurdle but who know how to get back up or who know how to recover in time for the next hurdle, are the ones who tend to get through in good shape. The more we practice with small hurdles, the better prepared we are and the better we are at overcoming larger ones. When we have a plan for how to approach these hurdles, we feel a certain level of confidence that this plan and our training will enable us to get over them. And there is the satisfaction of getting to the end in good shape, rather than relief at the race being over.

Telethon Kids Institute Research

From time to time, we work with TKI on a variety of projects. We have worked with them regarding bullying and we have another opportunity to do so. They are looking for two student and two parent volunteers to take part in a 35– 40-minute i nterview. The students need to be in Years 4 to 6. The parents do not need to be related to the student – so if you would like to be involved but your son does not – or vice versa – that would be fine. If you are interested in taking part, please email me at


Just a reminder that we subscribe to this online parent information platform which covers topics affecting young people. There is plenty of easy-to-access information here on a variety of topics.

Three of my favourite  topics are:


All School Matters

Uniform Shop

School Holidays

The Uniform Shop will close for the school holidays at 11.30am on Friday   25 September .

The shop will only be open during the holidays on Tuesday 13 October, prior to school returning.

Opening Hours

The shop will be open on Wednesday 14 October from 7.30–9am.

Normal opening hours will resume on Thursday 15 October

  • Tuesdays: 8am–5pm
  • Thursdays: 7.30–11.30am
  • Fridays: 7.30–11.30am

Uniform Shop Assistant

We are currently looking for a new Uniform Shop Assistant to join our team.

Apply by 9am, Monday 21 September.

Apply now


Technology Influences Learning

It is critical that schools research changes in technology to ensure its influence is positive to the teaching and learning experiences of our students. Making the best use of new technologies requires us to reshape our pedagogies and how we teach in the classroom.

The technology we choose provides our students with new ways to learn and to discover and build information. More importantly, it allows for creativity in the construction, manipulation and communication of that information. The focus of our research is not the device per se, but what the technology brings to the table in terms of enriching the teaching and learning experience. The literature on critical skills for future employment all concern topics like communication, collaboration, analytical skills, problem-solving, resilience and self-management. There is no mention of touch-typing or skills specific to a device or operating system. Those skills will change over time and in the modern workforce adaptability is paramount.

We have found that the technology afforded by a mobile tablet device is better suited to the learning of our younger students. The interaction and creativity using a digital pen, a finger, your voice; the ability to take images, record video and build solutions through augmented reality are some of the things that provide our students with the opportunity to be differentiated and innovative. This year we have expanded our trials of mobile tablet devices with the Senior School teaching staff. The staff have more opportunity to be differentiated and innovative.

What does the future hold? Apple has announced they are transitioning their laptop models to the same chipset as their mobile tablet devices. This means they will have a common architecture, common OS, a common development cycle and a unified applications ecosystem. The devices will converge, and their perceived advantages will complement each other. Already cameras using LIDAR technology create 3D images that can be used as augmented reality components. Others are developing desktop LIDAR technology to scan a user's position in 3D, track their hand movements and enable remote touch and gesture controls of a device. Digital models will be investigated, manipulated, stretched and reshaped with your hands as you view them on your device screen, which in the future may be digital eyeglasses.

Our Year 1 students will graduate in 2031 and the device they will hold in their hands in Year 12 is yet to be developed. We may not have the specific words to describe the future devices and technologies that we will need to consider for our students, but technology integration at Scotch College is well-placed to research what is stable, what is applicable and what can be utilised in the education domain, and  onl y  apply those technologies that will most benefit teaching and learning.

Dr Nick Spadaccini
ILT Curriculum Integration Manager


ILT – Keeping you and your device safe

Stay safe – Apple power adapters 

Recently we have seen several students who are using Apple chargers with exposed wires. Please take a moment to routinely check your son’s cable and if wires are exposed, please bring it into the Middle or Senior School Tech Centre for a replacement (an exchange price will apply). You can minimise the risk of exposed wires by encouraging your son not to pull the charger out of the socket from afar. 

Laptop and iPad cases

All students have been issued with protective cases that are warrantable. These can be replaced in the MS or SS Tech Centre. You must return the broken case in order to receive a new one.

Laptops and liquids 

Hot chocolate, juice, water and IT devices are not the best of friends. We continue to see laptops booked in for repair due to water bottles or drinks spilling on the device. Please encourage your son to keep liquids away from his device.


There has been an increase in student laptops being left unattended outside the classroom or around the campus. Lockers are provided to the students and should be used when the boys are at recess or during lunchtime. Damage to the devices are often due to negligence, which can result in a charge.


Community and Service

On Thursday 13 August, the Service Council held Scotch's first Big Freeze fundraising event, in support of FightMND (motor neurone disease). Given that Scotch's late Headmaster Mr Bill Dickinson tragically fell victim to the disease, the Service Council thought it was a very worthwhile cause to support.

The Big Freeze established a connection with  FightMND , with Big Freeze beanies were purchased by students and a sausage sizzle held. The highlight for many was seeing teachers being dunked in an ice-filled dunk tank. All proceeds were donated to  FightMND . Students wore their beanies during the week and marched in their beanies on the Friday. There was a buzz all day – the atmosphere of the event was amazing, the frivolous fun of the dunk tank combined with the meaningful impact of the beanies created an event that supported and raised awareness for a very worthwhile cause in an entertaining way, which all of the boys got behind to support.

The event ended with around  30 Year 12 students jumping into the  Swan River off   the Scotch College Boat Shed. The good student engagement and support shows that this is a cause that struck a nerve with students at Scotch. Photos from the Big Freeze and river jump can be found on Vidigami. Approximately $4,000 was donated to FightMND .

The Big Freeze is an amazing cause and now that we have had our first one, I look forward to watching it become a tradition for many years to come.

Ronnie Fellows-Smith
Vice-Captain of School Service


Miss Penny Hooper Acting Head of Junior School

Junior School

Miss Penny Hooper
Acting Head of Junior School

Competition and its Challenges

I often get asked about the level of competition in the Junior School and what impact it has on students who aren't as capable as some of their peers. It draws me back to my own journey and what messages were passed on to me through all of the wins and losses that occurred throughout my life. Those who guided me along my journey were my biggest influencers and still are, these being my parents. They have guided me through other life challenges like acceptance, rejection, failure and seeking approval, just to mention a few. All of these experiences have shaped who I am today and will continue to evolve as life progresses.

What does this mean for parents, who at times, are faced with difficult conversations with their children about not winning? How does a parent respond to a disappointed child who is upset at losing or a child who lost and is determined to make the winner feel uneasy with comments like "I let you win" or "I didn't try my hardest". I don't have the answers to these questions but what I can say is that competition is present in schools and in life generally. Competition is found in the playground, the classroom, on the sports field, the academic arena, in job selection and in battling an illness, to name a few examples of competition. Competition is a part of life and how we manage the related emotions is beneficial to our life skills.

The challenge to parents is how to guide their children through the maze. How do you support a child that has always excelled and when they have their first loss are unable to cope? How do you support a child that will never win throughout their schooling journey but with guidance they will find their niche eventually? How do you instil in your child that participation is key and without winners and losers, there is no competition? There are so many questions that are faced by parents in their task of raising well-rounded and resilient children.

One thing I can share is that acknowledging your feelings whilst experiencing winning or losing can be a helpful tool. Being disappointed because you haven't won is understandable, being excited because you did win is acceptable. Winning as a team is a different feeling to winning something as an individual. Playing games with your children and making sure they lose occasionally is a very simple way to start this journey. There are excellent resources and reference points out there that can be accessed by parents. There are many experts in this field that we can draw on and one great example is Maggie Dent. On the radio the other day, she mentioned that when 'pass the parcel' became an 'everyone wins' event, we lost a rich learning tool for our children in the lesson of losing.

Winter Term in the Junior School is particularly competitive. The Athletics Carnival is a big event which raises a myriad of emotions and questions for children. Ribbon receiving, race after race results, the joy of winning or the disappointment of having to stand at the end of the line are all ever-present emotions for the children to absorb and understand. Trying to bring to the surface the enjoyment of being outside in the glorious weather, for not being in the classroom and writing for the day, being able to cheer on your friends and classmates who are having a go and for snacking whenever the chance arises are all part of the experience of the carnival and they mustn't be lost in the moment.

Also at this time of the year, we have the academic competition with International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS). The results of which will be shared in Assembly, where we will acknowledge any outstanding performance by a student. Other competitions and events such as Challengeopolis, Philosothon and Tournament of the Minds are all examples where students are selected to compete in these academic challenges.

As parents, I would like to encourage you to continue to talk to your children and discuss the concepts of fair play, the enjoyment of participating, missing out, losing, winning and not being selected. It may seem hard at times for both parent and child but it will place your child in a much better position for some of life's challenges that will present to them in their adulthood.

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Miss Penny Hooper
Acting Head of Junior School


4T News

Who can believe that we are close to the end of Winter Term, with the time zooming by faster than the speed of light! There's been a bustle and busyness to the term that has seen the remarkable lads of 4T engage with an impressive sense of commitment and caring toward each other and the rigours of their learning.

The boys in 4T have spent the better part of the term ensconced in their unit of inquiry about the scientific process and the impact this has on decision making. Boys have also begun to appreciate the scope with which they can be inquiring and experimental. Decisions were made based on information collected through questioning, research, experimenting and analysing data, demonstrating that knowledge can be power at any age.

The line-up of investigations was vast! We explored concepts of weathering, farming, erosion and natural and processed material. The boys investigated growth patterns of wheat and barley in order to inform a farmer where the greatest produce and profit margin could be gained. Properties of natural and processed materials were explored using scientific jargon and then applied to experiments to determine the most absorbent paper towelling. The pint-sized scientists weighed up absorbency against cost and were able to inform parents of the best product to purchase.

A current news topic regarding erosion in coastal New South Wales communities became our next endeavour. Donning engineering hats, students investigated erosion and measures that prevent its damage like seawalls, groynes, breakwaters, barrier walls and vegetation. Armed with knowledge, small groups built a preferred structure, tested its effectiveness and recorded suggestions for councils on how to avoid further damage to housing on coast lines.

Our next adventure was a visit to PLC. The girls invited us to a maths relay and STEM challenge. In mixed groups, we battled and pooled our scientific knowledge to solve ten tricky relay problems. This was closely followed by a technology challenge using Dash robots. It was harder than it looked programming the bots to traverse a tricky pathway. For the engineering component, a deck of cards caused untold frustration as we tried to build the tallest structure possible. A mere breath of excitement saw the structures topple and fall! After the maths relay, we then faced a new challenge: to build a balloon-charged race car. We think balloons are best used at birthday parties as our cars spluttered and choked not racing very far at all. Despite the dismal results, the laughter, fun, discussion and negotiating made the event a complete success.

It is safe to say that the boys enjoyed a tremendous term filled with opportunity and discovery. They are adventurous souls, every one of them, and bring to their learning a unique brand of courage. What a joy it is to work with such vibrant, creative and engaged lads. One can only look forward to the last miles of Spring Term, knowing full well it will be an exciting road to the finish!

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Mrs Rebecca Turkich
Year 4 Teacher


French News

Bonjour to everyone, are you enjoying the change from l'hiver (winter) to le printemps (spring)?

Year 4 have been busy examining French professions as part of their How We Organise Ourselves unit and last week we took an in-depth look into an industry that employs many, many people in France: le fromage – cheese! The students completed an online research session, pairing up to find out about a range of milk, sheep and goat cheeses that are popular in France. They discovered that some have been around since the time of the Romans, while others are matured for months in caves!

Then the piece de resistance… a cheese tasting ensued! Now I don't know about you, but I am not much of a fan of the 'king of cheeses', old Roquefort, but it was part of the tasting and we all had to have an eye-watering taste to discuss the flavours. The boys had to say how each of the five sample cheese looked, smelt and, of course, tasted, and then score it from one (awful) to five (yummy!). Not surprisingly, the washed-rind, stinky reblochon had a few boys leaping for their water bottles post mouthful! They are now in the process of composing an 'ode to le fromage' to let us know what they thought. Great work boys!

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Madame Carolyn Vinton
French Specialist



House Captains

Whilst our Specialists Captains have the opportunity to speak at Assembly to promote their specialist areas, our House Captains also work hard behind-the-scenes. Recently they were involved in preparing for our Inter House Carnival; the House Captains dreamt of victory and wrote acceptance speeches, ready for their potential House win. In addition to this the House Captains reviewed their House chants, met the boys from Years 1 to 5 and led them in their respective chant practice. Guiding for practice can be a daunting charge, but they all stepped up to the task admirably. It was delightful to hear all the House chants sung around the school on Friday afternoon! Each fortnight at Assembly, the boys wait with bated breath to hear the House Point update. Following the outcome the winning House Captains are entrusted to coordinate their house, and lead the singing of the chant to celebrate their win – a lovely way to end the week.

Year 12 Leaders

Throughout the year, our Junior School Specialist and House Captains have the opportunity to meet with the Year 12 leaders. The purpose of these meetings is for the Year 12 leaders to share their thoughts on leadership, and to actively support the Year 5 boys in seeing the future stages of their leadership journey.

This Wednesday our current Year 12 leaders will meet with the Semester 2 Captains and take them on a tour to the new Mathematics and Commerce Building, whilst sharing their leadership journeys. I know the Year 5 boys are looking forward to the opportunity to speak to our outgoing Year 12 leaders and will be wishing them well for their upcoming exams, and future steps beyond Scotch College.

Mrs Amanda Ritchie
Acting Deputy Head of Junior School
Administration and Pastoral Care


Mr Richard Ledger Head of Middle School

Middle School

Mr Richard Ledger
Head of Middle School

Head of Middle School

Student-Led Conferences (SLC) were the focus at the start of Winter Term with boys analysing their Semester 1 Reports, assessment feedback and producing a set of goals and an action plan for the second semester. The COVID-19 social distancing rules forced our hand into looking for an alternate mechanism for boys to demonstrate the growing accountability they have for their learning via their Student-Led Conferences.

Microsoft Teams became the means to deliver these meetings and after the fortnight of conferences, we surveyed you as to your satisfaction with this mechanism. The table below is the data from that survey which indicates between 83-89% satisfaction with this method of delivery. The COVID-19 period has highlighted the value and effectiveness of online conferencing right across the workforce. Given your feedback, it suggests the online SLC mechanism will be one we continue to use into the future. Future SLCs will offer a clear purpose and context for the development of video conferencing skill set in our students. It is important to note, however, that online conferencing has not and will not ever remove the opportunity for a parent seeking academic or pastoral information by directly contacting their son's teachers. What we have discovered in online SLC's is an additional communication mechanism that can really help our mission of preparing boys for life.


Highland Games

Week 9, Friday 25 September

To finish this term Middle School holds a half-day Highland Games event on the last Friday of term. Highland Games was once a fixture on the College calendar and a walk through the College's Archives highlights the fun and activity of these days introduced by former Headmaster Mr Bill Dickinson in 1976.

The Middle School Highland Games, with the boys dressed in House uniform, commences with a sausage sizzle for lunch, coordinated by the MS Pipe Band, before moving to the oval for Tug-o-War, the Kiltie Dash, Putting the Stone, the Hay Bale run and other events. The Middle School pipers will perform prior to the newly elected Chieftain commencing the games. The Scotch College Pipe Band Parents Support Group will manage the sausage sizzle and will also hold a stall on the oval with cakes, drinks, snacks and College paraphernalia for sale. As it is an outdoors event, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and dogs on leads are more than welcome albeit being mindful of social distancing restrictions.

Learn more


Highland Games

We will be holding the annual Middle School Highland Games on the last day of term, Friday 25 September. All students should come to school wearing their House shirt and PE uniform for the day.

Students will attend a short Assembly in MacKellar Hall from 11–11.30am before heading to the Middle School Quad for an early lunch. Following lunch, boys will compete in a series of events on the Playing Fields in their Houses to test their Highland spirit!

During the day the Middle School Pipes & Drums parents will be selling food and drinks with all proceeds going to the Pipe Band. Students are asked to bring lunch money as there will be plenty of items to purchase:

  • Hot dog, $3.00
  • Gatorade, $4.00
  • Hot dog and Gatorade, $6.00
  • Lolly bags, $2.00
  • Biscuits/slice/muffin/cupcakes, $3.00
  • Bottled water, $3.00

There will be Scotch College memorabilia available for sale and EFTPOS facilities will be available.

Donating baked goods

If any Middle School parents are able to provide baked goods for us to sell on the day, it would be appreciated. All donations can be dropped off to the Middle School Reception by 9am, Friday 25 September.

No nuts or fresh cream please. Please cut biscuits/slices/muffins/cupcakes into individual portion sizes and wrap them individually to comply with COVID-19 regulations. Please label GF/vegetarian/vegan donations as such. 

Please label any containers or plates that you want returned with your name and number. These can be collected from 12pm, Friday 25 September from Reception.

Please let us know if you can donate. If you have any queries please contact Trish Hawkey at or 0415 593 118; or Jen Thorpe at or 0415 715 332. 


Understanding Geography with Keynote Animation

This week's snapshot of iPads in the classroom takes us to some recent lessons in Year 6, where we see a great example of dual coding taking place whilst learning about tectonic plates and plate boundaries around the world.

Through the use of carefully designed activities, students were asked to demonstrate their knowledge of tectonic plates by creating an animation in Keynote. Where previously boys may have drawn a diagram with labels in their exercise book, the iPad allowed them to draw a diagram of tectonic plates and animate the tectonic movement in Keynote. They then recorded and embedded their own voiceover explaining the process that they'd animated, including any impacts such as the creation of mountain ranges, using the correct terminology in their explanation.

Our teachers observed that through the use of dual coding (presentation of knowledge in text, visual and audio formats) our boys clearly developed an increased understanding of geography content and concepts.

For a detailed overview of the learning, including some excellent student reflections of the process, please watch the video.

Mrs Sophie Berry
Dean of Teaching & Learning (Middle School)


Headmaster's Commendations

Congratulations the following Middle School boys who received a Headmaster's Commendation last week:


Jack Douglas


James Bain


Tom Chalmers


Rory Fleming


Xavier Balnaves


Tane Croon-Hargrave


Nicholas Chi


Oscar Brazier


Harry Nicholls


Important Dates — Middle School Winter Term

For all upcoming events, visit our online calendar.

Tuesday 15 September

MS Inter House Philosothon

Wednesday 16 September

Year 8 Community Project Submissions

Thursday 17 September

Year 8 Parent Function, 7pm
Guild Hall, North Fremantle

Friday 18 September

MS Photo Day (individual and class photos)

Year 8 Social

Saturday 19 September

Year 6.1 Parents Lunch, 1pm
Dilly Dally, Subiaco

Monday 21 September

MS Languages Week Commences

Thursday 24 September

MS Free Dress Day

Friday 25 September

MS Assembly (staff & students only), 11am
MacKellar Hall

MS Inter House Highland Games, 12.30–3.15pm

Agricultural Day

Winter Term concludes


Mr Peter Burt - Head of Senior School

Senior School

Mr Peter Burt
Head of Senior School

The Arts

The last few weeks have provided a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Arts in Senior School. Starting with We Will Rock You, this incredible musical production highlighted the talent, creativity, collaboration, resilience and passion of the students and staff involved. Those of us who were lucky enough to go along were treated to some wonderful entertainment and amazing performances. As an audience, we saw the pinnacle, but what was not so obvious was the work undertaken behind-the-scenes. We are fortunate to have such talented, passionate and creative individuals in our community. I would also like to acknowledge the excellent performances of the PLC students. The entire cast and crew demonstrated what is possible when we work together and commit to a task.

Some of our students then travelled off-campus for Scotch Rocks at the Rosemount Hotel, a night featuring rock, funk, metal and contemporary music performed by our boys. This was followed by House Singing, with the theme 'Kings and Queens'. This event involves all Senior School students and culminated with Alexander, Cameron, Shearer and Stuart Houses battling against each other in an entertaining final. Shearer House was crowned 'Kings' for their great rendition of Castles by Freya Ridings. There were some inspiring performances across the week but, for me, the highlight was seeing students involved in an activity that for some would have been outside their comfort zone and for many, a challenging or even daunting experience.

These musical extravaganzas were followed by Arts Week, featuring the Art and Design Exhibition opening night in the Stairwell Gallery. It was fantastic to see the range of work on display from our Year 9 to 12 students. To hear from some of them about the inspiration behind their creation, the methods that they used to create their work, the time and dedication that made it possible and the guidance and support from the staff was fascinating. The pieces evolved from the students' own past experiences, abstract thinking, themes and premises studied in class or even something as simple as a fridge magnet. Most impressive was the manner in which the students developed these ideas and implemented different techniques to express themselves through their work.

Arts Week continued with the Director's Cut: Media Night in the Dickinson Centre, followed by our Year 12 Music Recitals. I hope many of you took the chance to attend these events as they continued to showcase the talent of our boys in  a number of  different mediums. I commend  all of  those students involved in these events and thank the staff for their passion, ongoing commitment, encouragement and expertise in these areas.

We celebrate the Arts for many reasons. They are an avenue to communicate and express ourselves, they bring joy and help develop our creativity and problem-solving  skills. They allow us to explore our identity while providing opportunities to build resilience. The Arts are central to everything we offer here at the College and are embraced by our community.


Important Dates — Senior School Winter Term

For all upcoming events, visit our online calendar.

Please refer to the   Year 11 and 12, Semester 2, 2020 Examination Timetable  for examination details.




Week 8A Winter Term 

Tuesday 15 September 

Year 12 Anderson House Breakfast, Typika


Year 9 Examination Period (Mathematics)


Year 10 Philosophy Incursion


Wednesday 16 September 

Year 9 Examination Period (Science)


Year 12 Music (ATAR) Practical Examinations


Thursday 17 September 

Year 9 Examination Period (English)


Year 10 Enrichment Incursion


Friday 18 September

Year 10 and 11 RAC Driving Incursion


Saturday 19 September

Year 10 Outdoor Education expeditions depart


Week 9B Winter Term

 Year 10 Outdoor Education Expeditions away all week (no Year 10 classes)

Wednesday 23 September 

Scotch Parents Meeting, Dining Room Annexe


Thursday 24 September

Year 9 Enrichment Incursion


Friday 25 September

Winter Term ends in Senior School


School Holidays

Thursday 8 October

Rowing Camp departs


Saturday 10 October

PSA Sport – Hale School v Scotch College (Away) (practice fixtures for Firsts teams only)

8.30am onwards

Week 1A Spring Term 

Monday 12 October

Incoming Student Leaders' Induction


Tuesday 13 October 

Incoming House and Boarding Student Leaders' Meeting


Boarding House opens 3pm, students due back by 5.30pm


Music Dinner, venue to be confirmed


Wednesday 14 October 

Spring Term commences (Senior School)


Sports training commences in the morning as per the Spring Term schedule


Year 10, 11 and 12 Conferences and examination handback


Leaving Year 12 House Dinners


Thursday 15 October 

Ensemble Auditions


Student Leaders' Breakfast, Dining Room Annexe


Year 10, 11 and 12 Conferences and examination handback


Boarding Community Dinner


Friday 16 October 

Senior School Assembly including Student Leadership handover


March Out


Year 2 and 12 Activities and Lunch


Year 12 Parents' Lunch, The Quarry


PSA Sport – Scotch College v Aquinas College (Home)

1.30pm onwards

Saturday 17 October

Inter House Rowing Regatta


PSA Sport – Scotch College v Aquinas College (Home)

8.30am onwards

Sunday 18 October

Year 10, 2021 Bibbulmun Track expedition departs



Careers Information

Year 12 Information

Year 12 students and parents are encouraged to read the latest TISC School Circular that provides useful information including:

  1. TISC applications and early offers
  2. Early-bird closing date  
  3. Unique Student Identifier (USI)
  4. TISC videos
  5. English competence concession threshold – Curtin University  
  6. English competence requirement – Murdoch University

Online Open Day at the University of Notre Dame

10am–4pm, Sunday 20 September 2020

Open your mind to the next big thing in degrees and future careers:

  • Explore your study options with degree information webinars
  • Live Q & A sessions with academics and students
  • Access on-demand videos and resources
  • Check out demonstrations and taster sessions

Register now

Apply now for 2021 at Notre Dame

School leavers applying for 2021 should submit final Year 11 and available Year 12 reports for consideration. Offers for will be made on a rolling basis.

For consideration for Semester 1, 2021, applications for the Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Physiotherapy must be submitted by 30 September 2020. Applications for other degrees will continue to be accepted after this date.

Gap Year Opportunity

Consolidated Pastoral Company is seeking expressions of interest from students who may be interested in completing a gap year as a station hand.

Station hand positions are now available on the CPC website for next season commencing in March 2021. Fill in the online application form and attach your cover letter and resume to apply.

Learn more

ATAR Revision Courses

The final ATAR revision courses will be conducted over the upcoming holidays. Find further information and registration.

Defence Force Recruiting

Discover the technical trade roles that are available in the Army, Navy and Air Force at the Trades Mini Careers Expo.

You'll get to hear firsthand, from current ADF personnel, what it's like to be in the Navy, Army or Air Force.

Session 1

10–11.30am, Saturday 19 September 2020

Level 7, 66 St Georges Terrace Perth WA 6000

Register now

Session 2 

1–2.30pm, Saturday 19 September 2020

Level 7, 66 St Georges Terrace Perth WA 6000

Register now

Year 10 & 11 students interested in Medicine

Virtual Medical Experience 

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September is an online work experience weekend for students interested in careers as doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare professions.

Students of any age can join hundreds of other students from all over the world to be guided around six hospitals, all online, from the comfort of their own homes. They are able to see the diagnosis and treatments from real-life patients and then UK doctors will host a live Q & A session to help them interpret everything they have seen and offer advice on how this can be used in applications to university.

Enrol now

iCanMed Webinar: Introducing the UCAT, Interview & Medical Admissions Process [Free]

4.30–6.30pm, Tuesday 20 October 20

Register now  


This webinar helps students to get exposure to the selection process and its competitiveness so that they can plan their coming years more strategically and realistically.

Michael Tsai, iCanMed's co-founder, will spend two hours walking through everything you need to know to understand what it takes to 'gain entry' into medicine.

There will be a heavy emphasis on the importance and mechanics of the UCAT (along with practice questions and live-question dissections). Michael will introduce the interview (specifically on its purpose, exemplar questions and scoring process), and add much-needed clarity around the selection process for local and interstate medical schools.

Approximately 1.5 hours will be spent on UCAT and 30 minutes on the interview and selection criteria for medical and dental schools. The webinar will be highly-interactive for attendees to gain maximum awareness and benefits.

Mr  Peter  Frusher
Careers Advisor


Boys’ Achievements

Colours for Winter Term (PDF)

2021 Student Leadership Positions

School positions for 2020/2021

Captain of Boarding                                         

Brenton Macauley (Ferguson)

Head of Student Council                                

Jim Allan (Cameron)

Vice-Captain of School (Service)                  

Simon Arnott (Ross)

Vice-Captain of School (Operations)           

Jarvis Banfield (Keys)

Captain of School                                              

Joshua Ledger (Alexander)

House positions for 2020/2021



Vice-Captain (Operations)

Vice-Captain (Service)

Student Council Rep


Anthony (Tony) Ghiselli

Oscar Clements

Macsen Friday

Pierce Davis 


Nicolas Le Page

 Hudson Wheeler

Mederic Gide

 Toren Edwards


(Thomas) Tom Lynch

Sebastian Reynolds

Matthew Robson

Charles (Charlie) Ellis


Nicholas (Nick) Vriezen

Oliver Perrin

Andreas Schultz

Samuel Bennett


Elliott Mitchell

James Shaw

Samuel Dyball 

Harry Simm


Richard Walton

Hugh Mitchell

Matthew Kerfoot

Daniel Cooper


Alexander Melville

Benjamin Ramsden

William Gale

Matthew Howie

St Andrews

Pearson Chambel

Joseph Crowley

Jack Cooper

Charan (Kanwal) Singh


Rex French

Lewis Crump

Nicholas Paganin

Dylan Field


Max De Nardi

Darcy O’Halloran

Jolyon Harrison-Murray

Milan Narula

State Final of the UN Evatt Competition

Congratulations to  Sam Wake (Year 12, Brisbane)  and  Lachlan Norcott (Year 12, Anderson)  who placed ahead of 161 teams to win the State Final of the UN Evatt Competition last Friday. Each team represented a country in the UN Security Council and were given three UN resolutions to write amendments for, negotiate, debate and speak to. Sam was also awarded best public speaker. The boys will represent Scotch College (and WA) for the final time when they compete in the Nationals in December.

Surfing WA Metropolitan Schools Competition and State Final 

In mid-August Scotch College competed in the Surfing WA Metropolitan Schools competition. Congratulations to  Archie Frazer (Year 12, Ferguson)  and  James Bennett (Year 11, Brisbane)  who were winners in the Senior surfing and  Jackson Conti (Year 9, Brisbane)  and  Joe Matthews (Year 10, Anderson) who placed second in the Junior surfing. Our body-boarders fought hard but were eliminated in the semi-finals. Everyone contributed their best and in a full team effort, Scotch College won the Metropolitan Schools Day 3 Trophy. The Senior surfing team moved on to the State Final in which they performed well in a very tough heat and went out to the eventual winners, Margaret River Senior High School. 

WA Schools Volleyball Cup

Over the mid-term break, the Scotch Volleyball team competed in the WA Schools Cup. The squad consisted ofChris Zyweck (Year 12, Alexander), Finn Lumsden-Lowe (Year 12, Ferguson), Luke O’Loughlin (Year 12, Ross)Lachlan Hyndes (Year 12, Ross), David Chan (Year 12, Stuart), Bailey Thomson (Year 11, Brisbane)Anakin von-Bachofen (Year 11, Stuart) and Nelson Hegge (Year 10, Stuart). After topping their group (which included a notable victory against Aquinas College), Greenwood was accounted for in a third-set tie break, which set up a final against Margaret River Senior High School. Once again, a third-set tie break was required to separate the teams with Scotch coming from behind to secure a 16–14 tie-break win. Congratulations to David Chan who was named Division A, Most Valuable Player. 

2020 PSA Athletics Team Captain and Co-Vice Captains

Congratulations to the Captain of Athletics for 2020,  Josh Keatch (Keys House)  and Co-Vice Captains,  George Graham (Keys House), Jaxon Hayden (Stuart House)  and  Zaide Moxham (Cameron House).

Duke of Edinburgh

Bronze Level

















Silver Level

























 Engineers Australia – Certificates of Excellence (Science and Mathematics)

Each year, Engineers Australia recognises the outstanding achievement of Year 12 students in the four ATAR subjects of Mathematics: Methods, Mathematics: Specialist, Chemistry and Physics. To qualify for this Certificate of Excellence, students must obtain a score of at least 75% in each subject.






















Support Groups

Scotch Parents

It is hard to believe these are the last few weeks of school for our current Year 12 cohort! We wish both our Year 12 and Year 11 boys all the best for their upcoming exams. On behalf of Scotch Parents, I would like to sincerely thank all our Year 12 leaders who have led superbly throughout this challenging year. Congratulations to all of the Year 11 boys who are taking up leadership positions from next term.

Saturday 5 September saw our second Scotch & PLC Sundowner which was a sell-out. It was a lovely evening and a great opportunity for parents to reconnect in a relaxed social environment. Needless to say, this will be an annual event on our social calendar.

Our next Scotch Parents meeting will be held at 7pm, Wednesday 23 September in the Dining Room Annexe. As always the minutes from our previous meeting and agenda can be found on the home.scotch website.

Events supported by Scotch Parents

Year 8 Parent Evening

Thursday 17 September
Guild Hall

Year 11 Parent Evening

 6.30pm, Friday 18 September
The Floreat

Year 9 Coffee

8.30am, Monday 21 September
Mel & Co

Save the Date

Year 10 Parent Evening

Saturday 21 November
Venue TBA

Ms Kate Reynolds
Scotch Parents President


Michael Silbert President of the OSC


Mr Michael Silbert
President of the OSC

Founders' Day

Friday 23 October 2020

We are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for the 2020 Founders' Day Dinner will be the Honourable Roger Cook MLA, Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health; and Old Scotch Collegian from the Class of 1982.

It has been a tumultuous year for everyone, but Western Australia is still holding strong. I encourage all alumni from all year groups to get a table together for what is shaping up to be a fantastic event. Register early to avoid missing out!

As always, Founders' Day will begin with Founders' Day Marching and past members of the Scotch College Pipe Band are invited to march alongside the current members. A detailed invitation will be sent out shortly.

Reunions & Events

We have tentatively set dates for a number of our reunions and events, and we hope that many members of the Old Scotch Collegians community will take the opportunity to reconnect with their fellow alumni. You will find the list of upcoming events on the alumni website. Please note these are very much subject to change and will be dependent on what is happening in the external environment.

As provisional forward planning, reunions will be spread over the last few months of 2020 and spill over into 2021. This means that for some cohorts, you will celebrate your 'decade+1' reunion.

Class of 2019 Reporter Collection

It was wonderful to welcome back many members of the Class of 2019, who recently returned to Scotch College to reconnect with each other, collect their Reporters and watch House Marching. Those who were unable to make it are able to collect their yearbook from the College – please contact the OSC office to arrange a time.

Industry Mentors

A number of our OSCs, who have recently graduated or are nearing graduation from tertiary education, have reached out in the hopes of connecting with industry mentors, contacts or work experience in their chosen field or endeavour. If you would like to offer your experience, advice or workplace, please contact the OSC office.


From the Archives

Geoffrey Maxwell's 1910s Photograph Album

two_8b_5x9.4-geoffrey-maxwell-scotch-college-sports-1918.jpg 13c_7.6x4.2-scotch-gymnastics-at-beach-c-1916.jpg

Jillian Goldsmith and her son Geoffrey Goldsmith (OSC 1985) donated a significant photographic album belonging to her late father, and Geoffrey's late grandfather, Geoffrey Arthur Patrick Maxwell (OSC 1918).

The album depicts life on the family station, trips through the Murchison in a convertible soft-top automobile, summers at Rottnest, sailing Freshwater Bay, Geoffrey Maxwell stroking the 1917–18 Head of the River, gymnastics displays on the Top Oval, early images of the Boat Shed, and life at Scotch College from 1915–18. It holds many early historical images of the station settlement in the Murchison. Throughout the album Western Australia's unique and varied rural landscape is portrayed, as well as early imagery of the Swan River with views from the Boat Shed and the banks at Fresh Water Bay Yacht Club. Many photographs paint a picture of Geoffrey's time attending school with his peers, mostly on the grounds of Scotch College are illustrated throughout the book.

Geoffrey Maxwell was an outstanding sportsman and athlete. The sentiment of his natural talent is captured in the 1955 telegram donation, of ABC's live radio broadcast which states:

"It is with great sorrow we announce the death of Geoff Maxwell. He was – without a doubt – one of the finest types produced by Scotch College, Claremont, and one of the best all-round athletes this state has seen.

He stroked Scotch in the Head of the river events of 1917 and 1918, and coached the Scotch Head of the River crews from 1943 to 1951. He was a very good runner, a great swimmer, and an outstanding footballer. He was what is generally known as a born athlete, for he succeeded at anything he set himself to do.

Above all, he played his games in the finest tradition of our great Public Schools and was a powerful influence for good amongst the present day schoolboys.

It is not easy to say goodbye to one who was so kind and understanding, and our sporting community will be the poorer at his passing. Vale Geoff Maxwell – a great sportsman"

— ABC Radio Archives 1955

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