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

From the Head of Senior School

This year there has been a focus on the use of our 'mentor' time in the Senior School. Many OSC will recall this as their tutor group, the sub group within their House. There was a feeling that the previous title did not effectively reflect what was happening within that time. With our vertical arrangement and a staff member working closely with the students, the term Mentor Group was deemed more appropriate.

The purpose of the mentor time is to further develop the connection between students within a House and to build the relationships between staff and students. The Year 12 students have been given more responsibility in taking on a leadership role within these groups and the House Mentor also contributes to the pastoral and academic tracking and support of students, under the guidance of the House Head.

The House Mentor also provides support in the delivery of the pastoral programme with different activities and courses that focus on mindfulness and wellbeing occurring during mentor time.

We believe this is a great strength of our House system, which also assists with our Year 9 boys and their experience on the Rottnest Camp. This camp is one of the keys to helping the Year 9 cohort transition into the Senior School and is unique in its set up and nature as we have the full cohort on Rottnest together. While I would not recommend this as a great time to holiday on the Island with your family, due to the influx of students enjoying their Ecology, Snorkelling or Aquatics arriving at a picturesque and otherwise peaceful bay, it is a fantastic opportunity for our staff and the boys to build upon their relationships.

Our House Heads and students work together in all activities, with a focus on personal growth, resilience, service and challenge built into the camp. There is a continued focus on Wellbeing, with time dedicated to the boys working within their House groups. On their return to school, they have the opportunity to reflect and offer feedback to their Mentor Group, on their time away.

The opportunity to have a full cohort away at the same time and in one place is extremely important to the transition of the Year 9 cohort into Senior School. The students enjoy some fantastic outdoor education opportunities later in Years 9 and 10, but we believe the Rottnest Camp helps to build the foundation for their time in Senior School.

To our Year 9 boys, well done on your efforts and the manner in which you approached the camp. To our staff who led and supported our Houses or the various activities, thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication in ensuring the camp ran so successfully.