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

Year 12 Feedback Lunches

As the Headmaster mentioned in the previous edition of Thistle, over recent weeks the Year 12 students have met in House groups with the Headmaster and I to discuss different aspects of their time at Scotch College. This annual event takes place after the Semester 1 examination period and is an important part of the year where the Year 12s are encouraged to share their views about the school. Naturally, there are a number of different perspectives and we value the diversity of opinion and the varying suggestions contributed by these students. As each House group includes students who started in Junior, Middle and Senior School, their experiences are varied.

This year we focused on three main areas for discussion. The first was:

How do you think the COVID-19 situation has been handled by the school?

The students were encouraged to share their thoughts in an open and non-judgemental environment. The feedback was positive and focused mainly on communication, academics, wellbeing, co-curricular and connectedness to the College. Some points were raised that could be evolved further, such as how to improve the delivery of some of the courses' practical components, if a similar situation were to arise in the future. We will use these responses, as well as the feedback provided in the recent parent survey, to refine our approach if there is a need to return to online learning.

We will also look for opportunities to improve as a school, as we return to our 'normal' operations, hopefully in time for the start of Winter Term. It is incumbent on the College to learn from this experience and we feel it has provided us with a chance to look at how we operate and, more importantly, why we chose to do the things we do.

With that in mind, we also asked the Year 12 students to respond to two other questions:

Is there one thing about the College you would never change?

Is there one thing about the College you would change?

With a full cohort of students having the opportunity to respond, we gathered a wealth of information. The most common responses from our Year 12 cohort to the first question were:

  • Our traditions, for example: marching
  • The Mentor and House systems
  • Offering a choice of academic pathways
  • Compulsory PSA sport
  • Camps, tours and expeditions
  • Sense of community
  • Co-curricular opportunities in Music, Drama, Debating and Public Speaking

These are all areas that we value as a community and, while the feedback from our Year 12 students re-enforces their importance, we are always working to improve their delivery in order to engage the students, while remaining conscious of maintaining balance.

In terms of what the boys would change, the most consistent response was to further develop the pastoral connection with the Junior and Middle Schools. We have a number of activities that strengthen these links, including Year 2 and 12 get togethers, whole school events such as Boarding Day, Year 5 and 12 Leadership mornings, Transition Day for Year 8 boys and House activities that lead into the start of the year. However, we do believe we can further cultivate the pastoral connection between the sub-schools and will be exploring ways to advance this.

Mr. Peter Burt
Head of Senior School