16 October 2017

'Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell and how many times I got up again.'

Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013

Welcome to the 2014 academic year. We have had an exceptionally smooth start to the year and this is an indication of the quality of the data collected, information sent in by parents and work put in by staff following Orientation Day last October. Thank you all very much. One of the positive outcomes of this is that we have been able to commence our Academic Support programme in Maths and English two weeks earlier than we have in past. This is a good result for boys in every class.

The purpose of the Middle School is summed up in our three word mission statement: Transition, Engagement and Innovation. These are the terms that drive the ethos and culture of Middle School and that set us apart, to some degree, from the other sub-schools.

Middle School is a great place to try something new, to make a mistake and learn from it, to learn about yourself and how you learn, to make connections with subjects, teachers and peers that will support a more effective, efficient and enjoyable journey through Senior School. It is a dynamic time with so many new to the College. The transition from boy to young man commences and academic skills developed to date become the keys to unlocking the next phase of learning. Opportunities grow and so do expectations. It is a unique and challenging time. Negotiating Middle School successfully is a collaborative effort on many fronts. A significant goal of mine is to make sure as parents you know what we are doing, when we are doing it and why, and how you can support us and your son.

I am looking forward to 2014, the Year of the Horse, and a year where Nelson Mandela's quote about not giving up will be a continual reference point.

New Staff in the Middle School

Mrs Sophie Berry joins the Year 6 cohort, coming to us from Floreat Primary School. Mrs Berry has Year 6B and the responsibility of Maths for 6B and 6O.

Ms Emma Payne, Drama, has replaced Mrs Couzic who has gone on Maternity Leave this year. Ms Payne is already holding the reins for this year's Middle School Drama Production 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin' due to hit the stage at the end of this term.

Mrs Tiffany Nalder is our new Middle School Administration Assistant. Mrs Nalder is likely to be the first voice you hear on the phone or the first to respond to a general email inquiry.

In terms of other new faces in Middle School, of our 270 students we have 108 boys new to the College this year, including 4 boys from country areas (Coroow, Mt Barker, Newman and Yerecoin) living in our Boarding House. We also have 54 boys new to the Middle School and the MYP from Junior School. Transition into Scotch College, the Middle Years Programme and the PSA is a significant component of the purpose of our Middle School.

New Building Timeline

The two photos below are views of the final building phase for Middle School taken from our top floor temporary library looking north toward the ovals. At this early stage the builders anticipate this phase being completed in time for semester two.

Parent Information Evenings

Parent Information Evenings will be held this week with Year 6 on Tuesday 11 February and Year 7 on Wednesday 12 February. Both meetings will commence at 6.30pm in MacKellar Hall before progressing at 7.10pm to the classrooms. Parking will be available on the lower ovals for your convenience. The evenings will finish by 8pm. The central purpose of the evening is not to overwhelm you with every piece of information you will need for the year, but more to have you walk away from the classroom with more knowledge about the Middle School programme, a greater connection with your son's homeroom teacher and the confidence he is in good hands. We look forward to seeing you there.

The next Parent Teacher opportunity is scheduled for Week 6 when we run our Parent Conferences that offer feedback on your son's first 5 weeks. The focus will be on the pastoral elements of his start to the year with a particular regard to organisation and timekeeping, engagement with lesson content and his peers, and enthusiasm and attitude in classes.

MS Swimming Carnival

The Middle School Swimming Carnival will once again be held in the Scotch College pool on Tuesday 18 February. The carnival is an all day event with the first race at 9.00am and the final event at 2.40pm. Lunch is scheduled between 12.00pm -12:30pm. Boys arrive at school in their House colour shirts and PE shorts. Thongs or sandals are permitted footwear. For racing boys wear their scotch bathers, goggles, a swim cap is optional. Boys bring a towel, a hat, lunch and extra drinks in their sports bag to the pool. As a minimum every boy will swim 1 individual and 1 team event on the day. Boys are nominating for events through their PE class. I hope you might be able to join us for a part of the program. Please click here to see the program.

Outdoor Education Programme Summer Term

Middle School begins the Outdoor Education Programme very early in the year with Year 6 boys commencing their open water safety and skills me with surfing at Scarborough in Weeks 3 & 4. This programme links to the sailing, rafting and kayaking opportunities boys will have in Years 7,8 and 9. Year 6 finish the year with the Lancelin Surf camp in Autumn term. Year 7 boys have their 4 day expedition to Moray in Weeks 7, 8, 9 this term. Four days out of the classroom in the bush with your mates is eagerly looked forward to by all however it is a continuation of the programme of open water safety and skill development, independence, personal responsibility and self management and the opportunity to develop new friendships. Mr Drew Templar is the Outdoor Education Coordinator for Middle School.

Richard Ledger

Head of Middle School