18 June 2018

End of Summer Term

It feels like just yesterday that we had our welcome back to 2014 BBQ on the Chapel lawn. The reality is that this week marks the end of Summer Term. I have no doubt that our new students and their families have settled in to what is the hectic pace that we all associate with life at Scotch.

There has been much to enjoy and celebrate throughout this term and last week was no exception. The Arts came to the fore with the Summer Concert and of course our fantastic Middle School play, The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Each time I see our students perform I am amazed at the breadth and depth of talent. Congratulations to all of the students, staff and parents who helped make these two events so special.

Over the last few weeks we have held Capital Master Plan information evenings. Thus far these have proved to be an invaluable source of feedback and more importantly an opportunity for me to be able to share our vision for the College and engage in year and house interaction with parents. These evenings will continue into next term and I encourage you to try and attend your class or house information evening.

In 2014 we are conducting a review of the College's well-being programme and related strategies. Part of this review involves revisiting the structure of the school year and the breaks we have. In some other States, schools have a three week break during the mid-year July holidays. If we were to introduce an extended mid-year break, we would compensate for losing one extra week of class time in July, by remaining at school for one week longer in December. This means that we would not lose any teaching time, we would simply be rearranging the structure of the year. Furthermore, a lot of families find the early December finish challenging. This issue of an extended mid-year break has been a topic of discussion for a number of independent schools in Perth of late and has also been discussed at the PSA. The seven Headmasters at the PSA schools have agreed that each school can make an individual determination about this matter and that fixtures will be arranged accordingly.

A very simple survey will be circulated to all families this week to gauge the feelings of families about this proposal. It is very important that we constantly reassess what we do at Scotch. It is too easy to become comfortable and complacent in order to avoid the challenge of change. The email will include some commentary about the positive and negatives of extending the mid-year break as well as the link for completing the two question survey.

When we return to school next term the JPSSA and PSA commence winter sports. I would like to take this opportunity to remind the community about what all schools expect from their students, parents and coaches involved in these sporting programmes. If you have not already familiarised yourself with the PSA Code of Conduct I ask that you take time to review what is the very basis of being a member of the JPSSA and PSA. The document can be found at http://www.psa.wa.edu.au/?page_id=50. It is an expectation that we have all read this document and are aware of what it means to be part of one of the best school based sporting competitions in Australia.

Finally, thank you for the ongoing commitment and support to the education of your son(s). I would like to wish all families a peaceful Easter break and remind you to take this opportunity to maximise the break time with each other and make time to relax and recharge.

May the blessings of Easter be with you all.

Dr Alec O'Connell