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

From the Head of Senior School

The upcoming three-week break provides a great chance for us all to spend time with our family and friends and regroup before Winter Term, the final term of the Senior School academic year. However, this holiday break also presents  several  great opportunities for our students to be involved in a variety of tours and expeditions.  

Over the coming weeks we will have students away in Basel for the Pipe Band Tour and Europe for the History Tour. Some of our Year 9 boys will be in Canberra and  a large number of  our Year 10 boys will be on expedition s  in the north  and south  of the state.  

These tours and expeditions have many benefits. They expose the students to new experiences that not only enhance, but reach well beyond, the classroom practices. This is particularly evident with the Canberra and History tours, which add context to students' understanding of work covered in the Humanities and History courses respectively. They benefit from hearing from different staff members and teachers, in new environments and settings, adding richness to their learning.  

The tours help nurture personal fulfilment and growth for those boys who participate, challenging them beyond the classroom and allowing them to experience a wide array of activities that our classroom practices cannot replicate. This growth contributes to their independence and ability to problem solve as they face challenges that are often unique to the environment they are in, especially in the case of the Year 10 Expeditions.  

These trips also offer new opportunities for social development as the boys find themselves spending time with students who are not part of their close friendship groups. They benefit from developing a greater understanding of others, and their differing viewpoints and approaches. The tours often involve long plane trips, bus-rides or the chance to sit by a campfire and these are great chances to listen  to and  engage with others in a relaxed and informal setting.   

The boys also experience a connection with the land or the area they are visiting ,  and this is important in terms of their learning, understanding and appreciation of others who have shared those places with, or before them. The locations may have significance due to their history, their beauty, their geography or their people and the connections the boys feel will vary but should not be under-estimated.   

As much as anything, though, these trips are about enjoyment. The reasons that were the catalyst for the boys' choice of tour or expedition may vary, but a common theme is that they have fun. They see and learn about new things in a more relaxed and less structured environment and the learning is experiential.  

I wish all boys and their families well for the break and, to those who are traveling as part of a school tour or on a family holiday, I trust you will take the time to enjoy where you are and appreciate the people you are with. To staff who are taking part in these tours, thank you for your dedication and commitment to ensuring the students have these incredible opportunities.