14 August 2017

Welcome Back to the 2014 School Year

Welcome back to the 2014 school year. In particular, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new staff, students and parents. I trust you will experience the many rewards of being part of the Scotch community.

Last week saw a great start to summer term in all sub-schools. Congratulations to all students, parents and staff for the part you played in making week one such a successful start to what should be another busy and productive year. In particular, I would like to make comment on the obvious benefit for senior school students who started their new year level in October last year. This meant that the Year 9s to 12s hit the ground running having already commenced their courses last term. This was a major contributor to the smooth start.

The first week did not pass without some challenge, especially for the Junior and Middle Schools who had to traverse a series of unfinished landscaping and paving. While the summer break always appears to be extensive, the volume of work and the uncertainty of the availability of tradesmen can lead to difficulties in meeting our preferred timelines. I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience. If anyone has any ongoing questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your respective sub-school office or Head of School.

On Thursday night, Scotch College, in conjunction with WACOSS, hosted a public address on the topic of self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to the ability of a child to deal with stressful situations effectively and being able to return to a baseline of being calm, focused and alert. Central to this work is Dr Stuart Shanker, who joined with his colleague from the Canadian Self-Regulation Initiative (CSRI) Mike McKay, to address a crowd of approximately 500. The topic of self-regulation in children proved to be a big hit. This was exemplified by the number of parents who caught up with me at our rowing regatta to speak to me about the seminar. I will be meeting with Dr Shanker this week and will arrange for as much resource material as possible to be made available through our online site. Once this is available I will notify you. While there were many messages emanating from the evening, I believe the most obvious and salient message is to ensure your son gets at least 9 hours of quality sleep on most nights. Furthermore, diet and exercise are critical to maintaining a balance and ongoing state of well-being.

During the summer, and immediately before the commencement of this year, I posted a couple of addresses on our You Tube channel. Thank you for the positive feedback and requests to utilise this medium more frequently. I have made note of this and will continue to explore the most efficient and effective means of communication. The key is to provide the options from which parents can choose their preferred modes.

Last Friday saw a seminal ceremony in the history of the Scotch College Junior School. We held the commissioning service for the new school leaders and class representatives in the Junior School. It will be interesting to watch this initiative unfold and become part of the tradition of providing leadership opportunities for students.

On Thursday we officially received notice that the Shenton Road crosswalk was being relocated to Claremont Crescent as part of our traffic safety and vehicle reduction strategy. I urge all families to make note that as of this week the underpass is to be the only way to cross Shenton Road in either direction. The Shenton Road cross walk is no longer an officially manned crossing option. Boys using the train must only cross at the approved cross walk on Claremont Crescent. We have facilitated the transfer of Dom as our cross walk attendant which is great for the College and the boys. Dom is very committed to the safety of our boys and understands what we are trying to achieve. If you are in any doubt about the changes to pedestrian access and movement, please do not hesitate to contact your sub-school office. Our main concern is the safety and welfare of every boy.

Once again welcome back and thank you for making the start to this year so smooth and proactive.

Dr A J O'Connell

Headmaster