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

Headmaster Dr Alec O'Connell

Headmaster's Reflections

Dr Alec O'Connell

Now the Federal election is complete, and there is still some way to go before we arrive at an agreed model of funding, it is important to continue to reaffirm why schools such as Scotch exist and what does it truly mean to be independent.

In WA, one of the more interesting educational developments over the last few years has been the implementation and growth of what are now called Independent Public Schools (IPS). The use of the term 'Independent' and the ensuing expansion of its use was a not so subtle way to blur what the term independent truly means in the broader community. In 2020 the Government will open yet another IPS, Subiaco College.

Just recently I was speaking to a parent who for some time had been challenged by his own siblings as to why he would commit a significant amount of his disposable income to send the boys to Scotch. Having recently experienced a few activities and witnessed the progress of his nephews, the person followed this up with a "now I see why" statement.

A couple of years ago, AISWA developed a statement about what the term 'independent school' truly means. This statement can be found on the AISWA website, but I thought it is timely to remind our community of the true test of what it means to be an independent school:

In recent years the Western Australia Government has introduced a category of schools within the government sector referred to as "independent public schools". The use of the word independent has created confusion and a blurring between genuinely Independent Schools and those now referred to as "independent" in the public sector.

The reality is that independent public schools have limited autonomy. Such public schools do not have the power to fully self-determine their operations. They are obliged to meet teacher awards (the Department of Education State Agreement) and workplace entitlements and are subject to a range of department policies and accountability requirements. These public schools have no separate legal status.

On the other hand, the following list illustrates some of the distinctive features of genuinely Independent Schools:

  • Each Independent School has legal status in its own right. Each school is separately constituted under its own constitution.
  • Independent Schools are owned and operated by a separately constituted association or organisation and as such, determine the strategic directions of the school whilst meeting all legislative requirements. Some Independent Schools are part of a small system within the sector and these have an independent governing body that makes determinations for the schools in that small system.
  • Independent Schools are separately registered by the Minister of Education and must have a constitution that outlines the structure, roles and responsibilities of the governing body.
  • The governing body of an Independent School is responsible for the strategic planning for the school, the selection and support of the principal and the financial viability of the school.
  • In an Independent School it is the school's governing body that is ultimately responsible for the welfare of students and the school and ensuring the school meets the standards required by the Education Act.
  • Independent Schools develop their own behavioural management and discipline policies that suit the needs and culture of their school and the community they serve.
  • Many Independent Schools have their own Enterprise Agreements (EAs) and others work under the conditions of the State Independent School Teachers' Award (1976) or the Federal Educational Services (Teachers) Award (2010).
  • Independent Schools develop their own culture, ethos and values system that is reflective of each Independent School's belief structure.

A key part to being independent is to promote brand and choice; this is our job. Why wouldn't we do this? A school such as ours offers a brand that commenced in 1897, a brand that is rich in academic and co-curricular culture and a brand that lasts well beyond the formal years of schooling. As our Old Scotch Collegians motto so rightly highlights, when you graduate from Scotch you graduate into a 'Community for Life'.

My reminder to our community is not to be distracted by pop culture politics querying why anyone would pay fees to receive an education when they can get it for a lot less somewhere else. The families I speak to make many financial disposable income sacrifices to send their son(s) to Scotch. The investment is for a life long journey as part of the community of Old Scotch Collegians; a community that is there for their professional and personal support of each boy well after they have completed the formal schooling years.

Recently I spoke to an OSC who proudly told me he would have five grandsons coming to the College he graduated from in 1954. In so many ways, Scotch 2019 is not the same College that existed in 1954; however, the College's strong sense of history and transmission of its heritage and culture continues today.

Put simply, all schools and sectors are different. It is educational choice that truly matters. I am a great supporter of all education sectors, Independent, Government and Catholic. In WA we are very fortunate to have many great schools that serve their communities very well across all sectors.

In closing, I believe our parents know why they made their choice of school. Hopefully when others who do not understand the true value of independence, or even worse, challenge the concept from a place of ignorance or bias, then the AISWA statement will place you in a better position to explain your decision to send your son to an independent school such as Scotch.

Our job as the current Scotch community is to continually reaffirm 'why Scotch' for your son(s).

Have a great fortnight.


Revd Justine Wall - Chaplain


Revd Justine Wall

Chaplain's Reflections

God help us to Change

"Species extinction rates 'Accelerating';

Current global response insufficient;

'Transformative changes' needed to restore and protect nature;

1,000,000 species threatened with extinction"

This was the ominous warning from the UN Intergovernmental Science Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystems, the summary of which was released to the world's media this month. A prophetic voice, calling for a change in our current policies and practices while there is still time. Will we heed its recommendations and make the transformative changes needed to restore and protect nature?

Caring for God's gift of creation is a key tenet of Christianity, along with loving one's neighbour and holding all life to be sacred. If we take these precepts seriously, we should be preparing to change the way we live - to reduce our consumption and waste of resources, to live more sustainably and to treasure the rich diversity of species entrusted to us for future generations.

Michael Leunig's prayer seems fitting:

God help us to change.

To change ourselves and to change the world.

To know the need for it. To feel the joy of it.

To undertake the journey without understanding the destination.

The art of gentle revolution.



Cara Fugill Director of Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning

Mrs Cara Fugill
Director of Teaching and Learning

FORM Partnership

"Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can."   Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow, The Storytelling Edge

The Scribblers Festival was once again brought to life by FORM and hosted by Scotch College for the purpose of inspiring our younger generation to read, be creative, imagine new possibilities and explore the world through a new lens. Our boys, Years 1 to 9, had the opportunity to hear from an impressive line-up of renowned local, national and international authors and TV personalities, along with 4000 primary students from across Perth. To be able to host such a major event using our incredible facilities, and have the boys inspired by authors, illustrators, famous Mathematics teachers and Scientists, certainly makes Scotch College an exciting community to be a part of.

There was no doubt that illustrator Matt Stanton, author of the Funny Kid, was a favourite with the boys and had them in fits of laughter as he shared how Max, the main character, was created through his own experience of being the class clown. Or perhaps for some, their favourite was the effervescent, Megan McDonald who shared her stories of pretending to be a pencil sharpener and how she uses the ordinary tales of her childhood to imagine the extraordinary adventures of the characters in her books.

For those youngsters whose imagination is ignited by the sciences, I have no doubt that Eddie Woo, Mathematics teacher and Woo-tube sensation, created a sense of excitement about the magic of Mathematics and its everyday occurrence in nature. From fractals, to knots and flowers, Eddie explained how trees, rivers, water molecules, DNA and flowers are just geometry in disguise.  Dr Karl Kruszelnicki backed Eddie up, providing further insight into scientific phenomena, explained so simply, to our Year 5 and 6 boys. His ability to make science engaging and real, will no doubt leave them curious, noticing and inquiring about science more often.

At Scotch, the partnership with FORM extends beyond the Festival with our further involvement in the Creative Schools Programme.  This learning programme, aims to enhance outcomes for our boys by activating creative learning strategies through the establishment of partnerships between teachers and creative (arts) practitioners. The next iteration of the programme will expand into Year 2 French through music and Year 10 Language and Culture through performance.

Creative Schools is designed to provide an intense arts-rich programme, using arts as a pedagogical tool for learning which cultivates a unique set of academic, social and personal skills. The defining characteristic of the programme is the collaborative partnership between artists, classroom staff and learners, and the ways in which this partnership helps to bring the curriculum to life. It is about providing new ways for learners to engage with a subject.

Mrs Cara Fugill
Director of Teaching and Learning


Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing Mr James Hindle


Mr James Hindle
Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing

The lost art of conversation

Genuine conversations appear to be somewhat of a luxury these days. Whether it is sitting with a friend in the sun with a cuppa and having a chat. Sitting around a fire with a good glass of red wine discussing the meaning of life. Taking a walk with your kids to talk about personal or global issues. There seems to be less and less time for this most important of things.

It seems that the world is crowding in on us, and technology is partly responsible for that. Being constantly connected (and therefore bombarded with an irrepressible influx of information and a constant cacophony of communication) takes our time and absorbs our energy.

At the heart of good conversation is the art of listening. To listen well, we must be curious about what the other person has to say and what is going on in their lives. If all we want to do is to make sure they hear us, then conversation becomes a competition, where there has to be a winner and a loser; where one person is right and the other wrong, and having the last word is all that matters.

We should all strive to get better at listening to our friends – giving them time to talk, and listening to the way they say things, or listening to what they do not say, what they leave out, or what they are saying by their body language - which may contradict their actual spoken words.

It is hard to listen to views with which we disagree: terrorists, racists, bigots; views that contradict our world view. There is a wonderful quote from Martin Luther King, in which he says,

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

That is not to say that hatred and cruelty in their many forms should not be resisted; of course, they should be. But we need to put aside how angry and outraged those opinions make us feel, and move beyond simply trying to silence those views, so that we can try to understand why those people have those opinions. Because if we are not willing to at least explore why they think and feel the way they do, we can never hope to persuade them to see the world differently. Muzzling them, refusing to let them speak, silencing them before they have spoken does not prevent such opinions from existing. The internet has shown us this.

Listening goes far beyond talking with another person. We need to get better at listening to our bodies. Perhaps technology drowns out the message and occupies our minds so that it is easier to ignore that gut instinct deep within us. For some people, their phones and watches are doing the listening. But our bodies tell us when we need to rest; our bodies remind us what is right and wrong; our bodies warn us of approaching danger, and it is only by listening to what is inside us that we can lead optimal lives.

We are not listening closely enough to the past. We would do well to seek out those voices which have been kept silent and which can teach us so much more about who we are. Our country in particular has a strained relationship with its past, but if we are not prepared to sit with those uncomfortable sounds of the voices speaking about what happened and sharing with us the problems this has caused, it will be hard for us to build a better future for all Australians. This is something we must teach our children to do better than we have done.

We do not seem to be listening to the natural world. The singing of birds, the sound of the ocean's waves, the wind in the trees – there is restorative power in such things if we remember to listen. And we appear unwilling to listen to the deeper messages the planet is sending us. Perhaps this is something that our children will have to teach us to do.

These are good conversations to have, not because they are easy, or the solutions are simple, or we will all agree, but because they are not and we won't always agree. But I have often thought we would get a lot further along the pathway to understanding and consensus if we approached such conversations thinking, "I might be wrong". Imagine that.

Parenting Boys

The Rotary Club of Cambridge are hosting a presentation by Helen Davidson on Wednesday 29 May at 9.00am on the topic: "Parenting Boys: the Highs, the Lows, the Joys, the Woes". Please contact Jeannette Wood at There is a $5 charge.

The Fathering Project

We are in the process of organising a presentation from The Fathering Project (TFP) at Scotch College. This is an organisation dedicated to inspiring, encouraging and supporting fathers and father figures in our community to be more present and pro-active in children's lives. These people can be fathers, grandfathers, uncles, coaches, teachers or any other positive male role model in a boy's life. More information about TFP can be found at their website ( A separate information sheet/invitation will be sent out shortly, the presentation will be on Thursday 13 June, with drinks from 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start, finishing at 9.00pm. I strongly suggest joining their mailing list to receive weekly inspiration and tips – I have reproduced one below:



Weekly Tip: Listen to your son

  • Listen even when you are afraid to hear what they want to tell you.
  • Do not boomerang discussion back to yourself.
  • Ask yourself what it is like from their shoes.
  • Ask questions about their favourite websites and about their friends.
  • Do not solve, criticise or judge.
  • You want your son to come to you when they have a problem or have made a mistake. When they do tell you about issues – express your feelings respectfully. Do not 'explode', instead, listen carefully.
  • Tell them if you think they have made a bad choice, but ensure they know they are still loved and supported.


Mr David Kyle Director of Service and Citizenship

Service and Citizenship

Mr David Kyle
Director of Service and Citizenship

Walking for awareness

On Friday, it was the second time that the Scotch and PLC Junior Schools have joined forces to raise awareness around the scarcity of water in much of the developing world. See John Stewart's article below.

The event was organised and run by the Year 11 IB Community Action Service classes from both PLC and Scotch College and it was brilliant to see these students organising the younger students and explaining to them the purpose of the event.

After walking around the Lake on Friday and then riding around it on Sunday, I was reminded of how fortunate we are to have such a pristine natural environment, literally on our boundary. It is important to remember that the Lake was not always like this and it has taken a huge amount of hard work to return it to such a healthy environment. The College has supported the work of Friends of Lake Claremont through the Year 10 Friday Service Programme and other initiatives such as the Early Learning Bush School. Below are some photos of Year 10 boys making nesting platforms that are placed in the lake. There are also photos from the Anderson House clean-up last month.

img_0751.jpg img_0752.jpg img_0753.jpg

img_0754.jpg img_0755.jpg

The Friends of Lake Claremont are always looking for volunteers and hold monthly busy bees on the second Sunday of the month, starting at 8.00am.

Tanzania 2020 Information Evening

On Wednesday 12 June there will be an information evening for the Tanzania Service Tour in July 2020. Scotch College and PLC have been visiting the village of Matipwili since 2005 and the relationship is as strong as ever. There will be more information to come but, in the meantime, feel free to click here for an insight into previous tours.


All School Matters

Junior School Information Session

Scotch College invites interested families (new to the College) to attend our May Junior School Information Sessions on Tuesday 21 May, 9am - 10.30am and Wednesday 22 May, 5.30pm - 7pm.

Junior School sees the foundations of learning being further developed – it is a time of discovery, growing independence and confidence building. Hear from Mr John Stewart, Head of Junior School and find out about how our teachers invest the time to fully understand the academic and emotional needs of each boy.scc41683-sept-instagram-tile-junior-1080x1080px.jpg

If you know a family who may be interested, please direct them to the College website for further information and to register:


Annual Appeal 2019

The 2019 Annual Giving Programme will be dedicated to the Scotch College Scholarship and Bursary Fund. Each donation from the Scotch community will help us to offer the gift of a Scotch College education to students to whom it may not otherwise be available.

Donations to the Annual Appeal are tax deductible and can be made online here. Alternatively, please download and complete this form and return it to the College.

For more information, please contact Kate Quinn, Director of Marketing, Advancement & Community Relations on or (08) 9383 6832.



Year 11 and 12 Drama Production: The Government Inspector

Adapted by Jeffery Hatcher, based on the original by Nikolai Gogol

A Government Inspector is on his way to a small Russian town and the corrupt local officials are thrown into a frenzy. In their panic, they mistake a penniless gambler and con man as the Inspector – with hilarious results. Widely held to be Russia's greatest comedy, this timeless play is as fresh, feisty and funny today as it was at its first performance. Do not miss out on a rollicking night of slap-stick fun!


Tickets:   $15/$25 click here 
Venue:    Dickinson Centre
Dates:     4, 6, 7 and 8 June 7.00pm, also 8 June 2.00pm Matinee.


Ever thought of trying Boarding?

Scotch College Residential Life continues a long and valued tradition of boarding at the college. It provides a structured, supportive and caring educational environment for boys to develop skills and attitudes that will prepare them for the wider world. In boarding, we pride ourselves on teaching the social values of trust, co-operation, tolerance, respect, loyalty and pride.

At Scotch, we provide a range of flexible boarding options to meet the needs of our Year 7 to 12 students and their families.

We offer full-time boarding for students from remote areas, international destinations and for even those who live locally. In fact, many metropolitan families now see boarding as an option for their family because of the opportunities that living within the Residential Community provides. Full time boarding means that students live within the Residential Community seven days a week.

We also offer boarding on a temporary basis for parents who may be traveling or for other reasons where it may not be possible for children to stay with other friends or families. This option provides stability for the boys and allows them to continue to meet all of their school requirements without families having to depend on others to care and transport them. Temporary Boarding can be as flexible as you need it to be and boys will become part of a close-knit community and have plenty of opportunities to study, play sports and enjoy recreational activities.

Another option available to Scotch families is weekly boarding. With both parents now working within many families why not take the pressure of having to prepare the family meal, manage after school pick-ups and then oversee nightly homework by taking advantage of all that living within the Residential Community at Scotch has to offer. Five meals a day, laundry, structured homework times, nightly tutors, school activities right at their door step, monitoring and regulating use of mobile phones and laptops are just some of the reasons why boarding is becoming a viable option for many of our families.

Boarding, even in the short term, aids in developing boy's independence, self-management, resilience and social skills and also provides a fantastic opportunity for them to increase their network of friends.

An example of weekly boarding would see students live in the boarding house for four nights (Monday to Thursday) and then have three nights at home (Friday to Sunday).

For further information, please contact the Residential Life Administration Office.

Phone: +61 8 9460 6655


Hours: Monday to Friday; 08:00 – 16:00 during term time.

Mr Marcus Wilkinson
Director of Residential Life


Uniform Shop

Opening Hours


8.00am to 5.00pm

Thursday, Friday

7.30am to 11.30am

The Uniform Shop will be closed for the mid-term break (ie Friday, 31 May)


Mr John Stewart Head of Junior School

Junior School

Mr John Stewart
Head of Junior School

From the Head of Junior School

Walk for Water

Aysha is 13 years old. Her day starts at 6.30am with gathering up the empty water containers, strapping them to the back of the camel and beginning her long walk. She walks alone through the barren countryside for three and a quarter hour to a drying water hole where she unstraps the water bottles, fills them up with the cloudy surface water, washes herself and then begins the long trek back to her home. She will arrive back at the family home at 3.45pm, finally sitting down for some food and water at 4.20pm. Sitting around with her brothers and sisters, she will see some of the work they have done at school that day, do some of her household chores and go to sleep at around 9.00pm.  The next day, she will get up at 6.30am again, put the water bottles on the back of the camel and begin her trek. Each day, Aysha will spend about eight hours gathering water for her family.

Across the world, 2.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. Much of the water that they drink is filled with numerous diseases that can cause them great illness.

On Friday, the boys from Years 3 to 5, in conjunction with Presbyterian Ladies' College (PLC), went for a walk around Lake Claremont. Each boy was asked to bring a two-litre plastic container filled with clean water to carry with him as he walked around the lake twice. This was to symbolise the average distance that children walk in developing countries to obtain water, six kilometers.

Following the walk, the children returned to the MacKellar Hall for an assembly with Mr David Kyle, Director of Service and Citizenship. He reminded them about why they were taking these important actions. The small gold coin donation that the boys provided to take part in the event on Friday will go towards funding much needed fresh water resources for the village in Matipwili in Tanzania.

The boys were then asked to take the water bottles home with them over the weekend and see how long that two litres of water would last. The purpose of the event on Friday was two-fold.  Firstly, to raise awareness of the plight of children around the world and the desperate need for clean drinking water for their health and wellbeing; and secondly for the boys to see that their small actions of taking a walk around the lake and donating a gold coin towards this cause, can make a real difference to people less fortunate than them.


From the Deputy Head of Junior School


The Junior School continues its wellbeing journey in a myriad of ways. Classes engage in mindful activities including short reflections, understanding body posture, practicing breathing exercises, learning about the areas of the brain and what they are designed for, and showing mindful listening. The Junior School staff have participated in some professional learning through Mindful Meditation Australia (MMA) which in turn has enhanced the Yoga sessions the Year 1-3 boys and staff have been engaging in on Wednesday afternoons.

These sessions of Yoga are running throughout the term and the Year 1 and 2 boys participate in fortnightly gatherings, whilst the Year 3 boys come together every week to enjoy the lesson.  Each week the sessions build on from the last, so the boys get to practice a range of techniques and activities. Experiencing the different breaths, such as, balloon breath, snake breath, ocean breath, bunny breath and candle breath all help the boys to understand a variety of breathing methods and know what type of breathing may help in different situations.

Whilst breathing variations are being shared with the boys, they will practice this through meditations, affirmations and particular poses. The sessions have been very well received by staff and students alike, and we look forward to seeing the impact the Yoga has on the well-being of Year 1-3 staff and students throughout the term.

  img_0078.jpg img_0079.jpg img_0125.jpg img_0126.jpg img_0127.jpg

Miss Penny Hooper
Deputy Head of Junior School
(Administration and Pastoral Care)


Art News

During Visual Art, the 5L boys have been observing different flowers and the meanings associated with them. Each boy selected a flower that they felt best represented their own mother.  After careful observation, the boys each created a beautiful watercolour flower painting to give as a gift to their mother. The artworks were shared as part of a special Mother's Day assembly which was presented on Friday 10 May.  Each boy explained why they had chosen their individual flower and how it reflect their feelings about their mother. The 5L classroom teacher Irene Louden, had filmed the boys sending a wonderful message to their mums to let them know why they are so special. The assembly was a joyful celebration of motherhood and it was the perfect opportunity to highlight and recognise all those who play a motherly role in our lives.

art-thistle-pic-1.jpg art-thistle-pic2.jpg

Mrs Jane Roche
Junior Art Specialist


Year 2A News

In our last Unit of Inquiry, 'How We Organise Ourselves' the central idea was focused around: public spaces, people and the community. The boys started the unit with a provocation walk around Scotch and Lake Claremont. The key concepts of function, connection and responsibility played an important role with the children through their understanding of public spaces and their uses. On evaluating each public space, the children observed:

  • How does the space work (function)?
  • How is it connected to other things (connection)?
  • Who is responsible for the space (responsibility)?

These questions were the focus through the whole unit, with the boys seeing public spaces in a completely different way and each of the boys learning to be being more appreciative of the space and how they are also responsible for looking after that space.

Following on from the provocation walk, the boys wrote their own surveys which they conducted with the boys from 5C and Pre-Primary. The data they collected enabled the boys to design and make a 3D model of a completely new public space based on the conclusions and feedback from these surveys. Discussions on what the public needed and what they wanted were held. The needs included: toilets, first aid centres, and shelter being the most important things. Creches and no adult zones were thoroughly debated as a need but the outcome was a want. Finally, 3D nets were given out and the room was buzzing with activity.  All boys were exceptionally proud of what they came up with. The hope is that some of their collective ideas will come to fruition when they join the outside world in 10 years' time.

In addition to the key learning objectives the boys pursue, mindfulness has been the key to a calm classroom this year.  The boys are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviours and emotions and through the use of mindfulness techniques this is showing the boys how to do this. Every morning the boys practice daily meditation to help them to be present in lessons. Understanding how the brain works have also led to the boys understanding their own emotions and their reactions to these and one can often one can hear in the class, "is your prefrontal cortex engaged in a positive way" or "is your amygdala taking over"? Well done boys on being so mature and learning the benefits of such a useful tool in life.

Finally, the term saw the second meet up with the boy's Year 12 buddies which is a highlight for the class. Marshmallow and spaghetti towers made together in a competition to find out which tower could hold an egg for the longest being a firm favourite! The Year 12 students were certainly grateful for the mindfulness activities Year 2 have been partaking in as they were focused and calm to begin their tower challenge and remained so for the task. In 10 years' time when Year 2 graduate from Scotch this cohort of Year 12 students will be invited to come and share their own personal stories of the outside world.  What a lovely and important relationship to cherish. The boys are looking forward to their next catch-up with Year 12 , where they will be sharing their favourite stories and will go to a 'secret place' in the school.

picture1.jpg  picture2.jpg  picture3.jpg picture4.jpg picture5.png

Mrs Fiona Alexander
Year 2 Teacher


Mr Richard Ledger Head of Middle School

Middle School

Mr Richard Ledger
Head of Middle School

From the Head of Middle School

Preparing Boys for Life Part 1: Character Building 

Why do something if you aren't going to win?  Why do something that isn't your cup of tea just for the sake of doing it?  Case in point: the Middle School Cross Country event next week.  Of the 450 boys who will run this event next week there is likely only 20%, 80 boys, who will be recognised for their speed and endurance with an invitation to train for the Inter-School Cross Country event.  For the rest of us, which includes me, it is a bit of a slog around the lake, up the hills and across the ovals with little prospect of any recognition.

This mindset though is really misleading.  At the back of the field I see lots of boys.  Most aren't keen on running, but knowing there will be no top 50 finish, no invitation to the Inters and limited recognition, they push on, never stopping, not complaining or looking for excuses, just a steady eating away at the distance until the job is done.  These are the boys I look for because it isn't just running ability on show here, it is character.  The demonstration of a willingness to commit to something that will be difficult, embracing it as a challenge to overcome and because they are part of a team.  I look forward to Cross Country each year because I get to see the character of the 40 or 50 boys who run near me.

One of the messages for participating in the Cross Country is: Not everything we do we will be successful at, not everything we do will be enjoyable, but everything we do will demonstrate our character and the type of person we are on the way to becoming.

Preparing Boys for Life Part 2: Organisation

In Middle School we insist that every boy has an electronic filing system.  It can be his choice and his design, but we do advocate the Desktop Filing Cabinet model for the following reasons:  Go to the Desktop and set up 11 Folders; a file for 2019 or for previous years, a separate file for each curriculum area, one for Outdoor Education and one file marked Personal.  Inside each of these folders, sub-folders can be established to help separate different units of work.  Naming a file is time well spent.  Give everything you do a name that helps differentiate it from other documents. ie The Power of One English Essay rather than English Essay.

Similarly do the same for emails. Set up folders with logical names that can store correspondence for easy reference.  It takes a few extra seconds to file each email but it can save time and frustration and the despairing task of pulling out hair whilst scrolling through hundreds of emails in a hurry.  Folder set up, file naming and saving is a discipline and a habit we hope to have grooved before our boys leave for Senior School.

Does your son have a filing system that makes sense to you?  Ask him to show it to you.  A one page document outlining our file naming and saving system can be found on SEQTA Engage under the Middle School Welcome Page.


7.3 Highlights So Far

We have just recently commenced Autumn Term, and already there have been so many highlights this year.  The Moray Camp was a definite stand out, with boys forging new friendships and rising to new challenges.  Jack Douglas reflected the feelings of the boys with his enthusiastic reflection, "When I went to Moray I loved every single bit of it, enjoyed every activity and had no regrets. I can't wait for next time!"

The boys in 7.3 know the importance of starting their day the right way with our class securing the Ride2School prize for 2019.  We had the most amount of students ride to school over the two day period, which is an outstanding achievement.  A fabulous effort, even though they may have felt wheeley tyred.  According to Tex Cross, "Riding to school allows my parents to get to work early as I get myself to school independently.  One less car on the road is a bonus."


Last term saw the Year 7 boys showcase their innovative ideas and entrepreneurial flair with their Shark Tank presentations.  Across the board the boys impressed the judges and their peers with their creativity, collaborative teamwork and public speaking skills.  Hugo Silbert, one of the finalists in the competition, was motivated by the quote, "You can never have success without passion." – and this certainly rang true for the boys in this instance.  Their enthusiasm, commitment and innovation was admirable and will stand them in good stead for the future.

7.3-2.jpg  7.3-3.jpg

Last Friday, we saw a presentation on what makes Fremantle such a dynamic place to live from the Mayor of Fremantle, Brad Pettitt, and we are looking forward to an excursion into Perth City to discover some of the elements associated with liveability.  Our exploration into this topic has allowed for some insightful discussions into the choices people make about where they live, and a common theme arising from these lessons is an increased appreciation from the boys about how lucky we are to live in our city.  The dedication and enthusiasm from the boys is highly valued by their teachers, and we are looking forward to the experiences ahead.

Ms Andrea Goodison and Mrs Sarah Sekulov
7.3 Homeroom Teachers


8.4 The Power of Mystery

Neil Armstrong summarises our natural curiosity we explore through Science; "Mystery creates wonder, and wonder is the basis of a man's desire to understand."

Through our Biology unit, the class of 8.4 have embraced this wonder and natural curiosity to question and develop an understanding on a range of topics which were once considered mysteries, such as the cell and how the heart works.  The boys particularly enjoyed working collaboratively and creatively to develop these new understandings.  Building animal cells out of clay, creating stop motion videos to outline the phases of mitosis, and dissecting different parts of the circulatory and respiratory systems, were some of the highlights of the unit.

8.4-1.jpg  8.4-2.jpg

As we move forward into Earth and Space Science, students are exploring the topic of rocks, minerals and mining.  The boys were enthusiastic to step into the shoes of a miner and extract valuable chocolate chips out of cookies.  They also managed to resist the temptation to eat the cookie before completing the activity!


As the boys continue to question the world around us, this natural curiosity is crucial not only in Science, but for future development as a society.  What does that future hold?  Well that is a mystery!


Miss Rochelle Gaudieri
8.4 Homeroom Teacher


Important Dates in Middle School Autumn Term

Tuesday 21 May

Year 7.3 & 7.4 City of Perth Excursion 12.00pm – 3.25pm

Wednesday 22 May

Year 7.5, 7.6 & 7.7 City of Perth Excursion 12.00pm – 3.25pm

Thursday 23 May

Year 7.1 & 7.2 City of Perth Excursion 8.30am – 1.30pm

Friday 24 May

Year 6 French Puppetry Incursion

Year 8.1 & 8.2 Moray Returns (12.00pm)

Wesley College v Scotch (away)

Tuesday 28 May

Ag Day at Scotch Farm/Free Dress Gold Coin donation

Wednesday 29 May

Scotch Parents' City Country Lunch

MS Inter-House Cross Country, 1.30pm

Thursday 30 May

JS/MS Music Autumn Soiree, 5.30pm Memorial Hall

Friday 31 May

Mid-Term Break (no classes)

Monday 3 June

WA Day Public Holiday (no classes)

Wednesday 5 June

Year 7 Bibbulmun Track Departs (Boarders only)

Friday 7 June

Year 7 Bibbulmun Track Returns (Boarders only)

Hale v Scotch (away)

Monday 10 June

Year 8.3 & 8.4 Moray Departs

Wednesday 12 June

MS Information Session (Prospective Parents), 5.30pm

Thursday 13 June

MS Information Session (Prospective Parents), 9.00am

Friday 14 June

Year 8.3 & 8.4 Moray Returns 12.00pm

MS Assembly (internal), 12.00pm MacKellar Hall

Scotch v Guildford Grammar (home)

Year 8 Parent Function (details TBA)

Monday 17 June

Year 8.5 & 8.6 Moray Departs

Tuesday 18 June

Year 6 Coffee Morning, 8.30am Shorehouse Swanbourne

Wednesday 19 June

State Schools WA Orienteering Championships, 8.30am Manning Park

Thursday 20 June

Year 7 Scotch v Dulwich Singapore Rugby March, 2.45pm

JS/MS Music Winter Soiree, 5.30pm Memorial Hall

Friday 21 June

Year 8.5 & 8.6 Moray Returns

Scotch v Aquinas College (home)

Tuesday 25 June

Year 7 & 8 ySafe Incursion, Periods 5 & 6

Year 7 & 8 Parents ySafe Presentation, 6.30pm Memorial Hall

Thursday 27 June

Church in the City Excursion (all MS), 9.00am – 12.30pm

JPSSA Inter-School Cross Country, 1.00pm

Friday 28 June

MS Assembly, 12.00pm DC

Trinity College v Scotch (away)

Jazz Night, 6.30pm DC

Friday 5 July

Autumn Term Concludes

Semester 1 Reports published in SEQTA Engage


Mr Peter Burt - Head of Senior School

Senior School

Mr Peter Burt
Head of Senior School

From the Head of Senior School


Research professor Brené Brown has spent decades studying courage, vulnerability and empathy and has published several best sellers and given highly acclaimed Ted-Talks on these topics. Her latest presentation, 'The Call to Courage' focuses on vulnerability and bravery, and the importance of opening oneself up, taking a chance and not holding back for fear of judgement from others. Professor Brown discusses the challenges that life throws at us, big and small, and the importance of embracing these experiences even when we feel vulnerable. Accepting this vulnerability and trying to manage the uneasiness that comes with it is important for our growth as individuals. "Maybe in that way, bravery becomes a practice and feels less scary. But I think, I know for myself, every time I'm being brave, I feel scared," Professor Brown said.

We ask our boys to step up and take a chance, to challenge themselves, to try new things and to support each other in doing the same. We know that this will make many boys feel nervous, vulnerable and concerned about how others may see them. For this reason, it is essential that the school environment is encouraging and supportive, where success and failure are viewed as learning experiences and where the boys can build upon their resilience with each new challenge. While this is usually the case, unfortunately, there will always be those who are willing to pass negative judgement on others, and this can often become quite personal. Professor Brown shared her thoughts on this:

"There are millions of cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never once step foot in that arena… But they will make it a full-time job to hurl criticism and judgment and really hateful things toward us. And we have got to get out of the habit of catching them and dissecting and holding them close to our hearts. We've got to let them drop on the floor."

This advice is simple, but for many of us it can be difficult to implement. There are times when we may not want to put ourselves out there, to feel exposed but, in order to grow, we need to, to build our resilience and to experience our lives to the fullest. Within the College, we provide an environment where all students are encouraged to push themselves beyond their comfort zone in order to take a risk because as Brown finished with in 'The Call to Courage',

"Vulnerability is hard and it's scary and it feels dangerous, but it's not as hard, scary or dangerous as getting to the end of our lives and having to ask ourselves: what if I would have shown up?"


Careers Information

Year 12 Career Focus Breakfasts

Each year the Old Scotch Collegians sponsor Career Focus Breakfasts where OSC members from various career areas attend a breakfast to talk about what their career involves, how they got there and offer some helpful advice. These breakfasts commence on Wednesday 5 June from 7.15am – 8.25am at the Boarding House dining room annexe and then each Tuesday thereafter in June.

Year 12 students may attend as many breakfasts as they wish providing they have an interest in the career areas being offered on that day. Students need to go to the this link to register for breakfasts: register for a breakfast, they need to complete the flyer emailed to them and return it to me. Students from previous years have gained interesting career information, tips on appropriate university courses and have made a start to their networking contacts. Please encourage your son to register for one or more of these breakfasts.

Scotch College Combined Schools Careers Expo

The annual  Scotch College  Combined Schools Careers Expo  will be held in the Dickinson Centre on Wednesday 12 June 2019 from 5.00pm - 7.00pm. Students in Year 10, 11 and 12 are invited to attend this Expo that will have representatives from all Western Australian universities and TAFE Colleges, Eastern States universities and many other private providers. Please click here for further details.

University Information

The Australian National University

Applications to ANU will close 31st May 2019

Domestic school leavers willing to study at ANU and intend to commence in 2020 have until the 31st May to submit their applications. Many students have already completed the application process, which is open to domestic students who are currently in Year 12. The ANU admissions model looks beyond ATAR scores to consider a student's all-round character and will be unique in its focus on holistic student assessment.

Students can apply for all  ANU Bachelor programs  directly to the university. One form covers all students need to apply for a degree, accommodation and scholarships - there's no need to worry about multiple applications or deadlines. And even better: applications are free!  
Click here to apply for ANU.

Curtin University -  Commerce Information Evening

 Wednesday 29 May | 6.15pm – 7.30pm | Curtin University, Bentley Campus

Learn more about Curtin's Bachelor of Commerce, including the wide range of business specialisations, industry connections, innovative teaching facilities and internship opportunities, by attending the Commerce Information Evening.

During the evening, you'll have the chance to hear the real experiences of Curtin students, as well as learn more about the innovative facilities available on-campus, such as our stock-market Trading Room and The Agency, our social media command centre. You will also have the opportunity to ask our staff and students any questions you might have about studying a Commerce degree.

Register here

University of Western Australia  -  Engineering & Mathematical Sciences Information Evening

This free information session will provide students with valuable course and prerequisite advice, including direct entry into engineering with an ATAR of 80 and the $25,000 engineering scholarship. They can also talk directly to academic teaching staff and current UWA students.

Date: Tuesday 21 May 2019 
Time: 5.30pm – 7.00pm

Register at:  Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Course Information Evening

ECU Media, Communications, Arts and Design Twilight Tour
Tour the Arts Hub and experience the fabulous facilities for students in these disciplines.
Mount Lawley Campus

Wednesday, 29 May
6.00pm - 7.30pm

Register here


The  University Clinical Aptitude Test  is a compulsory test that you'll have to sit in order to apply for some degrees in the fields of medicine or dentistry.

If you're thinking of applying to Uni in 2020 for a degree in one of those fields, you should check their entry requirements to see if the UCAT is necessary for you to sit.

Registrations close on 17 May and the tests are taken between 1 and 31 July 2019.

It costs $298 to sit the test ($198 concession fee but you only have until 10 May to register for concession prices).

To see which Universities require the UCAT ANZ test for applications, to register, or find out more, click here.

Attention students considering a career in Medicine or Dentistry!

On the 24th of May 2019, 6.00pm - 8.00pm, The National Institute of Education will be conducting a FREE  information session about  UCAT and Undergraduate Pathways into Medicine and DentistryClick here to secure your FREE ticket to attend the seminar. Parents and Teachers are also invited and encouraged to attend.Venue: Perth Modern School.


UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program

There are 10 scholarships on offer to Year 12 WA high school students.

The UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program is enriching our community by investing in exceptional young people who use their skills, abilities and commitment to lead positive change in our community, State and nation.

Each scholarship is valued at $10,000.

Applications close 26 May 2019

Find out more here

Engineering Science Scholarship

UWA is offering an Engineering Science Scholarship  to high-achieving students who wish to undertake a major in Engineering Science, and subsequently the Master of Professional Engineering (MPE) at the University from 2020.

  • $5,000 will be awarded over a maximum of two semesters for candidates with an ATAR between 96 and 97.95.
  • $25,000 will be awarded over a maximum of 10 semesters, for candidates with an ATAR of 98 or above.

The main round of scholarships for prospective students will open Monday 1 July and close Sunday 3 November. Further updates and links will be provided closer to this time.

Bond University Scholarships

Bond University offers a number of full-fee and part-fee scholarships to the best and brightest applicants each year. These are designed to reward and encourage students who have excelled in the areas of academia, leadership, community and sporting. If you believe you have what it takes, apply for one these scholarships.

Download a copy of the 2020 Scholarship Brochure for domestic high school leavers. Scholarship applications for students currently completing their final year of high school in Australia are now open online.

School Curriculum & Standards Authority

The Year 10 Information Handbook 2019 and the Year 12 in 2021: Information for Year 10 Students and their Parents presentation are available on the Authority website and here.

The Year 12 in 2021: Information for Year 10 Students and their Parents  presentation has been developed to support schools for their Year 10 subject selection presentation.

The  Year 10 Information Handbook 2019 is essential reading for Year 10s, their families and teachers. It contains information for students on a range of important topics including the Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA) and the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE).

Mr Peter Frusher
Careers Adviser


Important Dates in Senior School Autumn Term





Week 4A


Monday 20 May

Year 9 NAPLAN Testing – Reading


Tuesday 21 May

Year 9 NAPLAN Testing – Language Conventions


Scotch College v Churchlands SHS Cup Soccer Match


4.00pm – 6.00pm

Wednesday 22 May

Year 9 NAPLAN Testing – Numeracy


Thursday 23 May

Year 9 NAPLAN – Catch Up


Friday 24 May

Year 10 moving into Year 11 subject selections due


Senior School Marching and Assembly

Dickinson Centre

8.30am – 9.45am


Year 11 and 12 Drama Production bump in commences


PSA Sport - Wesley College v Scotch College (please visit


1.00pm onwards

Saturday 25 May

PSA Sport and Cross Country – Wesley College v Scotch College including Firsts Football Indigenous Round (please visit


8.30am onwards


Year 11 and 12 Scotch College and PLC Boarders' Dance

MacKellar Hall

7.00pm – 10.00pm

Week 5B


Monday 27 May

Year 12 Biology and Human Biology Excursion

Harry Perkins Institute

8.30am – 3.25pm


50 Mile Walk Meeting

Dickinson Centre

4.00pm – 5.00pm

Tuesday 28 May

Year 9 Paul Litherland Presentation

Memorial Hall

12.05pm – 12.45pm


Boarding Day (extended lunchtime activities)


Wednesday 29 May

Parent Support Group Breakfast

Dining Room Annexe

7.30am – 9.00am


City Country Lunch

Guildford Hotel

Depart 9.30am


An evening with Slava and Sharon Grigoryan

PC Anderson Memorial Chapel

7.30pm – 9.30pm

Thursday 30 May

50 Mile Walk departs


Finishes 1 June


PSA Sport and Cross Country – Scotch College v Christ Church Grammar School – firsts teams only (Please visit


1.00pm – 5.00pm


Year 12 Parents Evening

Off Campus

6.30pm – 9.30pm

Friday 31 May

Mid-Term Break (no classes)


PSA Golf Day

Royal Perth Golf Club, South Perth

7.00am – 2.00pm


50 Mile Walk


3.45am – 9.30pm


World Scholar's Cup

Sacred Heart College

8.00am – 6.00pm


PSA Surfing Competition

Trigg Beach

7.15am – 1.00pm

Saturday 1 June

World Scholar's Cup

Sacred Heart College

9.00am – 8.00pm

Week 6A


Monday 3 June

WA Day (no classes)


Drama Production Dress Rehearsal

Dickinson Centre

10.00am – 4.00pm


Boarding House opens




Boys to be back in Boarding House



Tuesday 4 June

Drama Production Dress Rehearsal

Dickinson Centre

8.30am – 3.30pm


Year 12 Biology and Human Biology Excursion

Harry Perkins Institute

9.00am – 3.30pm


Support Groups

Scotch Parents

A reminder that bookings for the Scotch Parents City Country Lunch on Wednesday, 29 May in historic Guildford close this week.  It is a great opportunity for parents from the country and the city to meet each other and we have chosen the date to coincide with the start of mid-term break to encourage more of our country community to attend.  If you'd like to attend please go to  the 'Book and Event' page of the school website before Wednesday. 

We apologise for the clash with the Junior and Middle School Cross Country events – this was unavoidable, however as the lunch is so close to the CBD, we would encourage you to come for lunch after and before the cross country events.


Upcoming Events supported by Scotch Parents…

  • Friday 24 May: Year 12 Mother/Son Lunch at Il Lido Café, Cottesloe from 1pm
  • Saturday 15 June: Year 11 Dance in the Dickinson Centre
  • Friday 29 June: Year 11 Fathers Sleepover at Moray, Dwellingup
  • Tuesday 2 July: Scotch Parents Meeting at 9am in Dining Room Annexe

Sara Hector
Scotch Parents


Michael Silbert President of the OSC


Mr Michael Silbert
President of the OSC

Old Scotch Collegians

Old Scotch Collegians who graduated over 50 years ago are invited to attend the annual Seniors' Lunch this Friday 24 May. The lunch is one of our annual signature events and a highlight of the Old Scotch Collegians calendar. Final registrations can be made here.

We look forward to welcoming back Old Scotch Collegians from the Class of 1989 to their thirty year reunion on Saturday 8 June. Past students from this cohort (even if they left Scotch prior to 1989) are able to register here.

Past students who are in the legal industry are invited to attend the Tartan Lawyers Breakfast on Thursday 13 June, held in conjunction with PLC Old Collegians Association. The 2019 event will focus on work flexibility within the legal industry. More details and tickets are available here.

Next month, Old Scotch Collegians will host a series of Career Focus breakfasts for the Scotch College Year 12 students. The breakfasts will bring back Old Boys from a range of different industries including finance, marketing, engineering and medicine, and give the students access to real world advice from experienced professionals. For more information, please contact the OSC office .

As a reminder, the OSC office has a number of Reporters from 2017, 2016 and 2015 that are yet to be collected. If your household is missing a copy, please contact the OSC office to collect one.

PLC Old Collegians Association

PLC OCA Art Exhibition 2019

The annual OCA Art Exhibition, showcasing work from 80 established and emerging artists from the PLC Community, is on from Friday 24 May to Sunday 26 May. This year artists will include James Giddy (OSC 2013), Rex Bramley (OSC 1988), Renia Lakomy (current parent), Erica Lorimer (current parent) and Shelley Cowper (past parent). 

Opening Night Cocktail Party
The exhibition launches with the Opening Night Cocktail Party on Friday 24 May. Throughout the evening, guests will be treated to Flametree wine, canapes and entertainment, as well as the chance to preview and purchase the works of our exhibiting artists. Tickets for Opening Night can be purchased here.

Exhibition Weekend
The OCA Art Exhibition will be open to the public on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm, with entry by gold coin donation. There will be a pop-up gourmet cafe on site all weekend, for you to enjoy with family and friends, while you admire the artworks.

For more information on the OCA Art Exhibition, please click here.