18 June 2018

Welcome back to the Autumn Term. While this will be one of our longer terms in 2015, the reward for application and hard work will be our inaugural three week break in July. When I first consulted the community about this strategy I made it very clear that the break is geared at giving boys and our staff a wellbeing break in the middle of the year. In particular, it will allow our Year 12s to balance their heavy workload with a more significant break in order to recharge and prepare for the run home. As Headmaster I hold the same expectations of all breaks and for families to avoid the temptation of utilising breaks for extended holidays either before or after the allocated break period.

Last Friday we held what I believe will be regarded as one of the most significant College services at Scotch throughout our history. The opportunity to bring 1555 boys together from our three sub schools, along with staff, parents, OSCs, our sister school PLC and the wider community was one to be cherished. There were well over two thousand people in attendance.

The combined ANZAC service with PLC has resulted in a significant amount of positive feedback. So much so that our service was given special mention by the Governor in her ANZAC day address. High praise indeed. In the next edition of Clan I will be writing about some of the key elements that I believe differentiate us as a College on the Australian and global stage. One of these differentiators to which I refer is Ceremony and the ability to deliver when it really matters.

Friday's service was one such example. The combination of our Scottish heritage via the Pipe and Drums and our attention to reverence and detail, ensured that those in attendance would forever remember what they had witnessed. The sense of occasion was given even more gravitas considering the role our OSCs played in the various military conflicts throughout history.

I would sincerely like to thank all of the staff and students who were involved in the planning and delivery of the service. It was an incredible day and one of which I was extremely proud as Headmaster and one I will remember for the rest of my years to come.

This term will deliver many academic and other challenges for all of our boys. As we commence another term it is important for all of our boys to settle back into their routines no matter whether they are in Year 1 or Year 12. The same crucial elements apply for all of our boys; these are suitable rest, a proper diet and a balanced programme of physical activity. We know that if you get these three things right it will enhance the boys' wellbeing and performance at school, not to mention a decrease in home based grumpiness.

For those of you with sons who are in Senior School and who may from time to time try and challenge the boundaries of independence, remember that you are the parent and that you have every right to question what your son is doing at all times and set appropriate boundaries. The key is to keep engaged in conversations with your son whether over dinner, at sport or simply relaxing. Open communication and trust are essential. The partnership between the College and parents is crucial and between us we must try and deliver clear and consistent expectations for all of our boys.

This week all of our teams will be involved in either JPSSA or PSA. It is the time when I remind everyone of my expectations of the boys and their coaches as to how I want Scotch to approach all sport, that is, to train hard, compete to the best of ones ability and to show sportsmanship of the highest order. Remember that we will be judged just as much by how we play as where we finish in terms of the respective score. I wish the players and their coaches the best of luck for the Winter fixtures.

Have a great fortnight, one that has commenced with the rightful balance of purple power!

Dr Alec J O'Connell