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

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.