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

Welcome back to Autumn Term. It is not quite what many of us would have envisaged at the start of 2020, but nevertheless, here we are facing a very different start to the term.

Firstly, can I extend my sincere thanks to our boys, their families and of course, their teachers for navigating us all through the last two weeks of Summer Term and the first week of Autumn Term via our SCOT programme. While I am aware there may be elements that can be developed and improved, the on-balance feedback has been extremely positive. Thank you for your notes of support and suggestions for improvement.

So now we recommence our face-to-face teaching journey. The transition back to face-to-face will also have moments of challenge, especially for those families who have decided to keep their son(s) at home. Our survey results indicate that our return to school percentage is 90+, but this week’s attendance records will confirm the reality. While for the majority of student face-to-face classes may be commencing again, there are still many other matters requiring consideration before we return to full operational normality.

One of the major challenges over recent weeks has been some of the confusing public messaging. We must remember that each school has its own set of unique circumstances and Scotch is no different. We will continue to navigate our way forward based on well-thought out processes, available information and what we feel is best for our community. If you hear anything that is of concern to you, or does not make sense, please speak to the College for clarification regarding our position, not that of another school.

Over my time at Scotch, I have often referred to the fact that without our students, staff and our wider support network, Scotch is simply a collection of great facilities in a beautiful suburb. So, as today marks the start of returning to some normalcy as a school community, let us not become complacent.

I urge families to encourage their son(s) to continue to exercise high levels of hygiene and sensible social distancing in their day-to-day interactions with each other and the adults to which they come into contact with, especially their teachers. A priority for me is the ongoing health and safety of our staff who have returned to teach or support our boys through their role at the College. With this in mind, I ask for your support through avoiding any unnecessary entry onto campus by parents or any other adults not employed directly in the operation of the College. The return to school is a major step in relaxing community restrictions, but we still need to approach this time with measured optimism, not complacent exuberance.

Once again thank you so much for supporting the College with the challenges we have faced thus far and for the support you will continue to give us as we journey through this COVID-19 environment together.

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact your respective sub school directly.

Have a great fortnight.

Dr A J O’Connell