16 October 2017

Headmaster's Reflections

Welcome back to Spring Term. While our Junior and Middle Schools continue to work towards a December school year conclusion, this term marks the change of the school year for all of the students in our Senior School. As a community we need to acknowledge that changing the school year at this time does bring with it extra work and complexity given that we have new Year 12s commencing their units of work, while the Leaving Year 12s who have completed their courses continue to require support as they prepare for their final exams. This is nothing new to Scotch, but our staff need to be congratulated for how they handle this transition period each year. During the week before the end of Autumn Term, I joined 13 boys and Mr Loosemore on the Cape to Cape walk. It was interesting that on return from their break these Year 10s would all be up and running as Year 11s. While I try to keep too much school formality out of such an expedition, I did take the chance to remind these boys that some of the bridges and gaps we crossed while walking would probably seem small compared to the gap between Year 10 and 11. This was not to mention the gentle reminder about the need for increased application.

Last Friday marked one of, if not the most significant rites of passage and traditions at Scotch College - our March Out. This was our way as a whole school to say farewell and thank you to our Year 12s. A College the size of Scotch has limited opportunities to come together as a whole school. Last week's March Out once again proved to be a poignant reminder of how important it is to ensure we retain quality traditions which give meaning to our College and establish just how important the journey through school is for everyone. It is also an important time to recognise that our graduates are ready and in fact need to move onto the next phase of their lives. We were very fortunate to have proof of this in the attendance at senior assembly and march out our 1954 graduates. Our Year 12s were welcomed on Friday as new members of the Old Scotch Collegians; the start of their community for life.

We know that this term will pass by so very quickly. We have already commenced the planning for the full move into our new Middle School environment. We should be very proud of what has been achieved in such a short time and I particularly wish to thank all of the Middle School staff who continued to work without complaint as the complexity of all the supporting facilities was completed.

The boys in all three sub-schools appear to have settled back well into the daily routine of school. As usual I strongly encourage families to get involved with the College and their son(s) programme wherever possible.

Thank you for the support you will no doubt give to your son and the College.

Finally at the start of each year and term I try and remember to encourage boys and their families to come up and just say hello and introduce themselves. Sometimes in a school as large as we are and in the busyness of each term, a new family or a current one may not have had the chance for a one to one chat or catch up. This includes on the beach, in the neighbourhood or anywhere else we may cross paths. It is part of sharing within the context of a wider community.

Here's hoping you all have a great term.

Dr Alec O'Connell

Headmaster