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

From the Head of  Junior School 

For years I have farewelled boys from Year 5 as they leave Junior School and move up to the Middle School. As the boys have visited us in the Junior School, they have told us about their wonderful experiences in the Middle School.  They shared with us how happy they were in their new surrounds, how they were challenged by the new level of independence they were expected to demonstrate, how they were supported by the teachers who were around them and how much they enjoyed the different learning opportunities that were presented to them each and every week in the Middle School.  Having heard the boys speak with such enthusiasm about their new sub-school, it made me proud that the boys were in capable hands of such committed teachers.

Last term I had the honour of being the Acting Head of Middle School.  It was a fortunate opportunity to see first-hand what the boys have been telling me for years.  One of the things I undertook to do during my time in the Middle School was to visit each teacher and learn alongside the boys in all the various lessons they were engaging in.  Having sat in every class, with every teacher, and the boys they teach, I was amazed at what I saw happening in each and every lesson.  The quality and commitment of the teachers has been outstanding.  Their ability as teachers to craft the lessons and engage the boys is something I have greatly enjoyed being part of.  Watching the attitude of the boys, their engagement in the lessons, their interactions with the teachers and each other, and the maturity they demonstrate in their learning was wonderful to see.

I joined boys in their PE lessons, as they engaged in gymnastic activities and ran coaching sessions in their units of work.  I sat in awe of the work the boys were doing in the media classes creating digital art. I was challenged in mathematics lessons, inspired by poetry written in their English classes and watched the boys do some amazing experiments in science.  I joined the boys in Metal Design, where they were using metal presses and welding equipment.  In Food Design, not only were they taught wonderful healthy meals, they also learned important skills in handling knives and cleaning up after themselves.  I spent time in Wood Design where the boys learned how to design, measure, cut and construct CO2 race cars.  I also had the opportunity to conduct the Middle School Concert Band, badly, as they prepared for their upcoming performance tour.  The boys are also blessed with the option of learning either French or Indonesian. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to learn alongside them in these classes.

The boys in the Middle School are at the halfway point in their journey through Scotch College.  They demonstrated an increased maturity in their interactions with their learning, but they are still boys on their learning journey.  They are still growing into the fine young men we hope they will be.  Guided along this journey with the support of their teachers and their parents, I was impressed in how well they are doing and how much they clearly value what is happening for them in the Middle School.  They are so very fortunate to have these experiences, to work with these teachers, in these wonderful surrounds which I believe will prepare them very well for their next stage through our College.

When I sit with parents now and talk about the journey for boys leaving the Junior School, I can speak with some authority having seen it first-hand.  I know with confidence that any boy leaving our Junior School and moving up to the Middle School will be cared for, looked after and will have a wonderful opportunity to extend himself, to embrace new learning challenges and to be the best he can be.