18 June 2018

Welcome to the final edition of The Thistle for Autumn Term. Over the last few weeks there have been so many successful events and activities, none more so than the College's first musical in 11 years. The Addams Family production proved to be a huge success in so many ways and provided a great point of celebration for our students, staff and the wider community. Last Friday night our annual Jazz Night was held and once again proved to be a very special night out. Congratulations to our music staff, FOSM and of course the large number of students who sang and played as part of the programme.

Our Junior School cross country team did the college proud by taking out the JPSA cross country meet by three points. Well done boys on a great effort.

In a recent report entitled "Happy Schools - a framework for learner wellbeing in the Asia Pacific" (p XII), Friendships and relationships in the school community ranked as the most important factor among respondents in terms of what makes a happy school, with the findings identifying school practices that encourage parental involvement, foster interactions and friendships between students of different grades, and school activities that directly involve community members. I believe Scotch is an exemplary community in this regard.

Another important criterion for happy schools is positive teacher attitudes and attributes, which include characteristics such as kindness, enthusiasm and fairness, and the role of teachers in serving as inspiring, creative and happy role models for learners. At Scotch we take this into account through our teacher recruitment and evaluation processes, so as to place more emphasis on teacher personality, attitude and ethics when hiring and assessing teachers. Choosing teachers and all other staff based on cultural congruence and fit is vital.

This term has been very productive and busy. I would like to thank our dedicated staff, the parents and of course our students for the energy they bring to our College each and every day. With the three week break ahead of us all, I encourage everyone to find time to relax and break the usual routines in readiness for returning to school refreshed and ready for all that Winter Term will bring.

Have a great break.

Dr A J O'Connell