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

Enrichment in the Junior School

Winter Term was crammed with opportunities for our Junior School boys and they rose to the challenge, immersing themselves in tournaments, competitions and in class offerings that have provided additional layers of extension in all areas of the curriculum.

Along with the Middle School, 3 teams of 7 boys each trained throughout Autumn and Winter Term, giving up weekends and evenings, to prepare for Tournament of the Minds. As a facilitator, my role was one of supervision, as this challenge adheres to a strict policy that requires that the children have to do everything for themselves. Watching each team prepare for their Long-Term Challenges was inspirational, as they learned how to cooperate, innovate, design, evaluate and think critically, in order to produce a group presentation that showcased their research and work. The Regional finals were held at ECU Joondalup, where one of our teams won their STEM challenge and went forward to the State Finals. Congratulations to the Middle School team who then went on to win that final and are heading to Hobart to compete for the National Title. It’s an amazing accomplishment and we wish them every success.

Anther exciting competition is the Da Vinci Decathlon, where eight Year 5 boys work in teams on a series of ten disciplines that are not for the faint hearted. The boys have been lucky enough to receive expert tuition and advice from some of our teachers who came down to run workshops in Cartography, Engineering and Drama. Many thanks to Carolyn Hector, Sarah Coombes and Steve McLean for helping the boys to prepare. The competition will take place on 21 October in Winthrop Hall at UWA . Good luck to our boys; Jack Mayo, William Macknay, Oliver Campbell, Thomas Lovegrove, Leon Hugo, Logan Herbert, Jake Cuomo and Guillaume Daoud.

Meanwhile, many of our Junior School boys participated in the ICAS and AMS papers, sitting test papers in Science, Mathematics, Writing and English. There was a strong turnout, especially for the Mathematics component, and the boys showed great commitment, getting up super early to take the tests before school.

Our First Lego League Club is reaching the end of their preparations for the event and their constantly evolving model encompasses the use of coding, creativity and design for this technical challenge. We were fortunate enough to enjoy the expert tuition of Harold Yap, our new CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)  partner, who also came in to assist the Year 5 cohort in the research stages of their PYP Exhibition. Harold is an engineer at Woodside Petroleum, who has offered his time and expertise to the school, in a STEM partnership facilitated through CSIRO, and we look forward to benefitting from his vast experience and technical knowledge as our boys explore their chosen Burning Questions.

The College is a stimulating place for our students; the cross campus connections, the wide range of co-curricular opportunities and competitions, the constant influx of experts who enrich our students’ learning through workshops and incursions, in addition to skillful differentiated learning that occurs daily within each class, all add up to a programme of enrichment that crosses all domains and caters for all learning styles. Junior School is continually developing in the area of enrichment and it is certainly an exciting time to be involved in such a growth sector.


Eryn Richards competing in the Junior Philosothon


Sarah Coombes, Head of Drama, trains the Da Vinci boys in Creative Producers


Team 3 competes in their Long Term Challenge at Tournament of the Minds

Mrs Alison Webster

Junior School Enrichment Coordinator