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

From the Head of Middle School

It is Men's Health Week across Australia this week with the theme, Healthy Body - Healthy Mind: Keeping the Balance. An interesting comment I read is that men and their health sit about 30 years behind the awareness and proactivity of women and their health. Significant to this is a seeming reluctance or shyness by men to discuss health related matters, particularly their own. There are a range of activities planned throughout the metropolitan area this week, however if you wanted to help address this shyness to talk about health by starting a simple conversation at home, these are the Health topics Middle School boys are working on this week:

Year 6: Healthy Lifestyle - the effects of alcohol and tobacco and how to refuse.
Year 7: Healthy Eating - the nutritional value of foods, the food pyramid and food labelling.
Year 8: Growth & Development - physical, social and emotional changes during puberty.

In a busy and challenging world it is often the easy or expedient choice to put our own health matters on the backburner as we attend to others or events lining up in front of us. Men's Health Week is a great reminder, that our health, men's and women's, needs to be our highest priority.

Last weekend we hosted the World Scholar's Cup at Scotch College. 360 Year 6-10 students from schools around the state, along with an equal number of stuffed alpacas, competed in teams and as individuals, across 4 very challenging activities. It was a fun filled weekend that celebrated academic challenge and aspiration.

Two important activities in Middle School as we close in on the end of term are:

Middle School Open Day

Tomorrow Middle School hosts its own Open Day where prospective families visit and learn more about Scotch College, in particular about life in the Middle School. Of the 200 students in each year group from Year 7 onwards, three quarters of these boys set foot at Scotch for the first time in Years, 6, 7 or 8 hence the importance of the Middle School mission of supporting and developing Transition and Engagement. Following my presentation Year 8 students will host small groups on a tour of Middle School, and whilst it is a chance to see and talk about the activities of Middle School, one of the aspects parents are most interested in is the chance to meet and talk with some Scotch boys. Without doubt, central in their minds will be to note the manners and courtesies shown by their guides and their willingness to engage with their guests. The degree of enthusiasm and advocacy they show for their school and the respect they display for both the people connected with school and the opportunity they have in attending, I believe, is such a strong demonstration of the Scotch College culture and the positive effect it can offer. Open Days always have an air of excitement and anticipation, from both prospective parents and our host classes. In anticipation of our boys doing another great job I have already ordered their "thank you" trays of muffins.

Semester 1 Reports & Semester 2 Goal Setting

Semester 1 Reports are in the process of being written and will be uploaded online to parents, with all time lines going to plan, on the last day of term. During Week 1 of next term students will have the opportunity to analyse their report grades, each criterion, their Approaches to Learning and teacher comments and formulate some strategic goals for Semester 2. These goals are discussed with their teachers and will then form the basis of the Parent Student Teacher Interview (PSTI) in the second week of term. Reflection is such an important part of the IBO philosophy and a powerful means of confirming what we know and how we learned it. The process of reflecting on Semester 1 data we hope; (a) provides each boy with a set of clear objectives for this coming semester and (b) helps groove a very valuable habit for students to apply independently as they move into Senior School and beyond.

Mr Richard Ledger
Head of Middle School