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

Head of Junior School

Safety is such an important part of school life and encompasses many areas. Whilst we want to promote healthy risk-taking, we also want to ensure that students can identify with their limitations and work within these, yet still attempt a challenge and have a go. We often call on those with expertise to help us when we embark on something new.  As a school year begins, the boys are taking risks with some familiar challenges but there are also lots of new experiences which are stretching their boundaries and taking them into the unknown.

The Junior School has been a buzz of activity and whilst individual grade levels have enjoyed one or two events since the beginning of the year when your look across the school as a whole, there are a multitude of activities happening each and every week.

Examples of safety and risk taking can been seen across many of the classes in the Junior School. Bike and travel safety are a major focus for our Year 2 students. Madame Vinton has continued her Cycling Club and there have been some great lessons on safety learnt by this group. The younger students have been looking to their families for discussions on safety and how their family help keep them safe have been a part of this learning interaction. Globally, there is a great deal of discussion on safety and health which is extremely topical given the Coronavirus. The Year 3’s have taken action and are encouraging healthy handwashing routines and reminding students to cough into their sleeves as part of their interest in safety.

Mr Marginis has been working with students, staff and parents across the Junior School (Pre-Kindergarten to Year 5) about individual safety and how to identify key adults that form their safe network. This is part of a series of lessons on Child Protection that will run over Semester 1. Identification of safe and unsafe feelings, who to talk to, having a voice, knowing what parts of our body we are the boss of and ensuring that they are comfortable enough to assertively say ‘no’ are all parts of the lessons being run in the Junior School.

Coffee mornings with parents this term have outlined information about supporting the Child Safe Launch, Child Protective Behaviours and sharing ways in which parents can encourage their children to be confident and be in control of their own bodies. This is in line with the Commissioner of Children and Young People WA launch around child safety and the rights of children. Jon Marginis (JS Psychologist and Wellbeing Coordinator), James Hindle (Director of Staff and Student Wellbeing) and myself as Acting Head of Junior School share and update parents about JS student wellbeing, current information and the direction of Scotch initiatives in these coffee mornings with parents.