26 November 2018

From the Head of Senior School

We are fortunate at Scotch to have a growing culture of personal excellence. This encourages individuals to take pride in the development and improvement they make on a personal level, not necessarily or exclusively against an external benchmark or by comparing themselves to the person sitting next to them. One only needs to consider the 90 personal bests achieved by the Swimming Team at the PSA Inter-School Carnival to understand the importance of personal goals and personal excellence. While the nature of competition can serve as a powerful motivator for performance in some individuals it does not work for all. It often produces a win-lose mentality. So how do we get the best out of our boys? Well, it is simply "about knowing the boy".

Encouraging boys to challenge themselves in ways which suit the individual is not necessarily an easy task. Having such a huge range of opportunities for Scotch boys to become involved in, allows for different methods in different context. Again, not all boys will respond to a model of direct competition, but rather to a step-by-step approach of personal development. So the development of personal excellence becomes a personal journey. When one considers opportunities within the music, sporting, arts or cultural domains offered at the College, it becomes clear that all students have the opportunity to develop their talents. However, one aspect that is inseparable from the type of pursuit and the manner in which the challenge is presented is the hard work necessary for boys to become the very best version of themselves. Students must commit to attain their best by spending the hours practising and refining their skills. It is pleasing that the College takes on a proactive role in acknowledging these contributions both within the School and the wider community. In our weekly assemblies, the acknowledgement of students for their notable achievements is something I enjoy sharing with the community. We encourage students who represent the College at the highest level of their competition to wear their formal winter uniform on Fridays and they are clearly identifiable during marching. This is important because it provides an opportunity to acknowledge students, who participate across a wide variety of domains, for their different skills and their dedicated work ethic.

Please encourage your boys to engage in the varying domains and give themselves the chance to find their niche and a strength of which they can be proud.

Mr Dean Shadgett
Head of Senior School