Mrs Michelle Brown – Director of Boarding

“What surrounds us is what is within us.” T.F. Hodge from Within I Rise

If the above quote is true, we here at SCOTS PGC College, and particularly staff and students in and around the boarding houses, must be very beautiful. I say this with all sincerity as, after daily showers for the last few weeks, our grounds and gardens are nothing short of breathtaking.

Yet in the busyness of life, we who call both Oxenham Street and Locke Street home can easily forget to see the beauty that surrounds us at all times. I am not a photographer yet managed to snap some images around the boarding houses to capture just how serene and beautiful our surroundings are.

I am going to challenge our boarders to enter into a competition, run by boarding staff and particularly our resident photographer Ros Hart, to see who can take the most eye-catching photo around our campus. We will then look to print a variety onto canvas to decorate in and around our boarding houses. That way, when the rain is not falling and everything is somewhat drab, looking at these photos will give us all hope and an understanding that beauty will return.

As I contemplated the trees, green grass, flowers, bushes and a myriad of insect and bird life this week I also found myself reflecting on a quote from Warren Buffett: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Last weekend saw past students, young and old, return to the school for Past Students Weekend. Some of the trees and gardens, particularly surrounding PGC, are heavily featured in the many old photos shared on these days. The grounds and buildings remain a constant and the people who come and go through the doors all come with their own story and gifts and challenges. We are truly blessed to be part of the tapestry that is SCOTS PGC and when we take time to relish in our surrounds, it reminds us just how important these years are.

Senior Boys Boarding

Mr Fraser Bolton – Head of House

There are weeks in boarding where you are simply blown away by the tenacity and fearlessness of our young men. This was one of those weeks with Hawkins House boys playing various roles in the musical, Footloose.

As you can probably imagine, stage performance is not the most natural thing for many of our boy boarders. They tend to be quiet achievers, who are happy for others to take the spotlight, which makes their performances last weekend all the more remarkable.

I was lucky enough to attend Friday’s performance and I was bursting with pride when our very own Fab Four – Charlie Brennand, Mitch Mack, Mitch Ford and Max Batterham – stepped into the spotlight. It was great to see these boys singing, dancing, delivering lines with a natural energy and seemingly, having the time of their lives. The atmosphere was truly electric and the camaraderie shown by the boys really shone through. It is not every week, or even every year, that a chance like this presents itself, and it’s even rarer to see so many boys take the opportunity and run with it. I am sure that this is a memory that will last with them forever.

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge those boys who were involved behind the scenes at the musical, and special mention must be made of Joshua Crow. Joshua was instrumental in guaranteeing that everything went off without a hitch, ensuring the technical side of things (the sound, music and lighting) was perfect. This was a gargantuan effort. Bailey Steel and Ronan Crotty also worked behind the canteen for all three shows, and some boys helped with painting and building sets, demonstrating their commitment both to the College and their peers.

It goes without saying that this has been a tremendous week both for SCOTS PGC and Hawkins House. Well done boys!


Junior Boys Boarding

Mr Stewart Bailey – Head of House

Each year, our boys are challenged to be the best they can be – in the classroom, on the sports field or when taking to the stage. And each year our boys excel in all these areas and more.

Yet while achievement is important, happiness is of equal importance too.

Helping our boarders to become more mindful and establish habits that help foster positive emotions remains our ultimate quest in the boarding environment.

Positive psychologist, Dr Tim Sharp, wrote a particularly good article on happiness titled ‘Finding Yourself’ that I’ve shared quotes from below. It’s one of my personal favourites and a piece I reference regularly.

“To begin with, I’d like to address one of the biggest mistakes made by those wanting to live a better life and experience more happiness: some people simply try too hard! Further, if what you’re trying is not working then trying even harder is not likely to lead to a successful outcome either!

I am encouraging you to think about the notion that happiness does not necessarily come to those who work the hardest but rather to those who work the smartest; and in the context of happiness, working smart often involves just being… So rather than asking if you’re trying hard enough, try asking if you’re trying the right approach.

And finally, happiness is not something you will ‘find’; ‘you’ cannot ever really be ‘lost’. If you’re not clear about what to do to achieve more happiness it’s more likely to do with you not acknowledging or not honestly facing up to that which you probably ‘know’. Happiness is inside you and happiness can only ever be experienced in the ‘here and now’; so instead of asking where can you find happiness ask instead, how can you create more of it.”

For me, the article acts as a great reminder of the role relationships play in helping others to look within and the value of being present in the moment. This is particularly relevant to the work we do as boarding staff. The relationships we have with our residential students and their families is very special. It’s built on mutual trust and evolves over time. These relationships are what enable us to create an environment where every individual feels safe and secure and is able to prosper and thrive.