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

Welcome back to Spring Term.

I sincerely hope all families enjoyed the recent break and took the opportunity to spend invaluable time with each other. In a rapid paced world, quality family time can suffer at the hands of getting tasks done and by adhering to an unrealistic set of commitments. If you were considering getting more balance back into your life, then why not start now? Don’t wait to add it to the list of failed New Year resolutions or broken Lenten promises.

It is hard to comprehend that last week marked the change of school year for our Year 9, 10 and 11 students who all commenced their new academic year by moving up a grade. Commencing the new year in October is something that sets us apart from many other schools.

In Autumn Term I had lunch with all of our Year 12s, to ask them about their College and what they most appreciate about our offerings and structure. Amongst the many topics, the most unanimous positive feedback was about the change of year and how much it assists them in their journey through Year 11 and 12. While changing the school year in October presents some challenges, this strategy is aimed at maximising teaching and learning opportunities for both students and staff and will remain an integral part of our teaching and learning strategy for the foreseeable future.

Of course, one of the biggest events on our calendar occurred last Friday when we said farewell to our Year 12 students at March Out. This ceremony is just one of the many rites of passages that we have at Scotch College.

As Dr Arne Rubenstein highlights, ‘Our lack of formal rites of passage has meant young men are learning how to be a man through the media and internet’. His position is simple, that as a society, we have the ability to create contemporary rites of passage where teenage boys are challenged to think about what sort of men they are going to be. Our March Out delivers a moment in time where our Year 12s leave the ring fence of Scotch and move into their new world as a member of the 15,800+ strong Old Scotch Collegians (OSC) and, based on the values and experiences to which they have been exposed while at Scotch, go on to forge a new life after their formal schooling.

In my view, March Out is the most seminal event on our school calendar and seems to draw bigger crowds every year. The day is special not just because we say farewell to the Year 12s, but because it is one of the few times in a year when our whole school comes together. We do so because we want to say thanks and wish the Year 12s farewell. For our young boys, it provides yet another great moment for them to experience aspirational achievement and leadership as they watch our Year 12s march out and commence their next journey.

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Speaking of great moments to celebrate, congratulations to Mr Stewart, our Head of Junior School, who was last week appointed as the new Head of Preparatory School at Prince Alfred College (PAC) Adelaide. In history and heritage, PAC is very similar to our own college and is one that carries great prestige within the Australian educational landscape. On behalf of the whole community, I wish John and his family all the very best as they commence their new journey in January 2020.

In closing, I ask all of the community to keep our Year 12 boys in their thoughts and prayers as they embark on their final examinations or workplace commitments. I know the boys appreciate the support of all of us at such a significant time of their Scotch journey.

I look forward to seeing everyone around the College, or in the wider community, this term.