Being Prepared for Anything

Mark Richards | Director of Learning and Innovation

“Our job as teachers is not to ‘prepare’ kids for something; our job is to help kids learn to prepare themselves for anything” – A.J.Juliani

Never has teaching students to be tenacious and adaptable been more relevant than today, with the media swirl of disinformation and hyperbole crashing around us it is more important than ever to remain calm and carry on.  Being able to sift through the barrage of data that surges at us every day is a difficult skill to master.  This is why the College emphasis on critical thinking and working problems out for yourself is vital, and why we have increased the time allocated to STEM in the Middle School.

Facebook is one of the worst culprits for this; it has recently found and taken down four state-backed disinformation campaigns, the latest of dozens that it has identified and removed this year and a sign of how foreign interference online is increasing.  Three of the disinformation campaigns originated in Iran and one in Russia, with state-backed actors disguised as genuine users. The campaigns were aimed at people in North Africa, Latin America and the United States but we are seeing an increase of these types of issues across the entire world.  It is more important than ever to use verified, fact-based, sources, some of which are linked to below and at the end of this article.  The media do not help this, constantly speculating worst case scenarios rather than focusing on the facts of what is actually happening.

As a College, we will remain open and will continue to have the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community as our top priority.  We will continue to monitor any advice given to us by Queensland Health and act on it.  The most up to date information can be found on their website using the link below:

http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/217/838/novel-coronavirus

The FAQ questions factsheet from the Australian Government Department of Health can also be found here:

https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions_1.pdf

The message is very clear. To help stop the spread of germs, use soap and paper towels to wash your hands regularly, especially before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.

  • regularly clean hands with soap or alcohol-based hand rubs;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow
  • dispose of tissues in the bin immediately
  • if you’re unwell, stay at home and avoid contact with others through touching, kissing or hugging

It is really important to involve your children in conversation and planning, thinking about hygiene and helping to give children a sense of control over the events to help alleviate their fears and concerns.  Below is a link to great resources from School TV that helps explain Covid-19 and what you can do as parents to help; it is well worth a watch.

https://schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-coronavirus

As you would expect, this situation is evolving daily. We will continue to take advice from the relevant government and health authorities and seek to communicate with you as further details become available.  Below are some verified, reliable links for more information:

  • World Health Organisation Clip

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOV1aBVYKGA

  • QLD Health Resources

http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/217/838/novel-coronavirus

  • Australian Health Dept. Resources

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-schools-and-early-childhood-centres

  • UNICEF information

https://www.unicef.org/stories/novel-coronavirus-outbreak-what-parents-should-know

  • Simple explanation of the virus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPsY-jLqaXM&feature=youtu.be

  • Social Distancing Factsheet

https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-information-on-social-distancing.pdf

You would have received a communication from my office earlier in the week outlining our plan to maintain quality teaching and learning should we be forced to close.  Our staff are planning and preparing for any eventuality, but we are currently in a very good position, thanks in part to our size and brilliant, adaptable teachers.  Everyone is ensuring that, whatever the situation, our students will be able to learn.  As a consequence, there maybe some modified teaching and learning programmes which will be communicated by individual teachers or Heads of Faculty.  If you have any concerns or queries, please do not hesitate to contact myself or the Head of Junior and Middle Schools, Ms Amy Woodgate, or the Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School, Mr Richard Dobrenov.

In these crazy times we must endeavour to stay safe and stay calm, whatever happens I am sure the indomitable spirit of the SCOTS PGC community will win out.  It brings to mind the famous Scottish song of ‘Scotland the Brave‘.  Early every Friday morning in my office I hear the sweet meandering sound of our brilliant Pipes and Drums sweep over the campus as they play this song.  It is fitting in these times to remember it and to rise to the call, with tenacity and spirit, to beat the myriad of challenges before us.

Hark when the night is falling
Hear! Hear the pipes are calling,
Loudly and proudly calling,
Down thro’ the glen.
There where the hills are sleeping,
Now feel the blood a-leaping,
High as the spirits of the old Highland men.

Towering in gallant fame,
Scotland my mountain hame,
High may your proud standards gloriously wave,
Land of my high endeavour,
Land of the shining river,
Land of my heart for ever,
Scotland the brave.

From the Co-curricular Desk

Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-curricular Southern Downs Trial Success Last Friday several students trialled for Southern Downs Teams in the sports of Netball, …

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From the Co-curricular Desk

Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-curricular

Southern Downs Trial Success

Last Friday several students trialled for Southern Downs Teams in the sports of Netball, Rugby League, Football and Hockey with a number being selected in their respective teams.

Rugby League – Innes Nowlan

Netball – Holly Shepherd, Hannah Bourke

Hockey – James Bourke, Tanner Henley, Colby Miller and Lachlan Groves

We congratulate these students on their success. Unfortunately with the latest bans on sport they will not be able to attend the Darling Downs or State Championships so this is the end of the road at this time for these sports.

 

School Sport Cancellations

This week has been a turbulent one indeed for the entire nation. I have been following several sporting peak bodies making various decisions around the COVID-19 virus outbreak and nearly all have decided to cease operations for a time.

School Sport Australia, Queensland School Sport and Darling Downs School Sport through the Acting Assistant Director General for Education have made a blanket ban on all representative school sport as per communication I have forwarded to all families earlier this week. There will be no district, zone or regional trials in the foreseeable future, but when we do resume I will inform families as quickly as I possibly can.

All I can say to families of our sporting stars is to keep enjoying as much of your sport as you can, stay fit and active and we will restart all representative programs when we can. Stay tuned for all update through SEQTA over the coming weeks and months.

 

Training Continues

Please see the Weekly Co-Curricular Training sent each week for what is on. We will maintain training for Rugby, Netball, Equestrian, Runners Club and Futsal will return in Term 2. As the situation evolves we may put in place some internal competitions for students to participate in Clan based activity but this will be under advisement from the Government agencies such as Queensland Health.

Arranmore Junior Tennis – Change of Date featured image

Arranmore Junior Tennis – Change of Date

A reminder to our Arranmore junior tennis students that next week’s session will be held on Monday 23th March (not Tuesday) due to Mr Farrell’s …

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Arranmore Junior Tennis – Change of Date

A reminder to our Arranmore junior tennis students that next week’s session will be held on Monday 23th March (not Tuesday) due to Mr Farrell’s availability.

Year 6 Science featured image

Year 6 Science

Melissa Cole | Year 6 Teacher Year 6 has been investigating how to work as a scientist and conduct ‘fair tests’ (changing only one variable …

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Year 6 Science

Melissa Cole | Year 6 Teacher

Year 6 has been investigating how to work as a scientist and conduct ‘fair tests’ (changing only one variable at a time).

In small groups, students had to decide what they wanted to test and how they wanted to test it, so aims and methods were all student devised.

Students then had a lesson to conduct their experiments in the classroom and record their results, which will be written up as formal science reports.

A lot of learning took place, particularly around the idea that mistakes or ‘getting it wrong’ doesn’t mean we have failed – it means we have learned how not to do things and the more important thing is to reflect on what went wrong, what we learned from it and how we can improve next time.

Some of our aims were:

To discover which type of chocolate (white, dark, milk) melts the quickest

To find out which type of ball will roll the furthest

To discover which type of vinegar (white, apple cider or balsamic) reacts the most with baking powder

To find out which type of lolly is most absorbent

Pi Day featured image

Pi Day

Angela Brittain | Head of Mathematics and STEM Departments March 13 (3.14) is known as PI day across the world, but as it fell on …

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Pi Day

Angela Brittain | Head of Mathematics and STEM Departments

March 13 (3.14) is known as PI day across the world, but as it fell on Saturday this year we celebrated PI (minus 1) Day on Friday March 12.

At the start of the day MS and SS tutors groups were given a PI word challenge – How many words beginning with ‘pi’ can you name? Ms Woodbine’s Year 12 Tutor won with a staggering 58 words!

At morning tea students in the MS were invited to participate in a HULA PI competition. Students strutted their stuff by walking a line and doing a hula hoop at the same time. Then the challenge was – How many hoops can you hula? Some students were quite talented while others were very entertaining!

Lunchtime brought the famous PI pies. A massive THANK YOU to the catering staff who made special pastry to put the symbol pi on every homemade pie!

It was a fun day with a Mathematical flavour. A great way to end the week.

Girls Boarding

Chemane Fairleigh | Head of Girls Boarding End of week 8 – how did that happen?! Girls boarding has been a busy little bee hive …

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Girls Boarding

Chemane Fairleigh | Head of Girls Boarding

End of week 8 – how did that happen?!

Girls boarding has been a busy little bee hive indeed!  Over the last few weeks we have welcomed 2 new boarders into our community:

Charmaine Wakpi (Year 9)

Charmaine joins us in Year 9, from PNG.  She is following in the footsteps of her 2 sisters who were boarders here in the 1990’s!  It is wonderful to have Charmaine here with us and we look forward to following her journey through the College.

 

 

Kymi Curtis (Year 11)

Just last week, Kymi joined us from the Tablelands Region in Far North Queensland.  She is a welcomed addition to our Year 11 cohort and adds another dynamic of artistic flare and creativity!

 

 

 

 

I was delighted to be able to attend a local International Women’s Day breakfast on Friday 3rd March with our Senior House Leaders, Molly Turnbull and Heidi Robson.  We were joined by the College Captain, Kira Holmes, and a number of female College Prefects all stylishly accompanied by Mrs Bellingham and Mrs Hobbs.  Warwick Gardens Galore was the venue for the gathering, where participants were treated to a delicious buffet-style breakfast and an inspirational talk by local woman, Fiona Smaha.  It was a wonderful way to start the day.

On the actual IWD (Sunday 8th March) Glenbrae House opened her doors to members of JBB and SBB who came to celebrate with us in the form of a pool party.  Ms Clark very kindly organised fairy floss and snow cone machines for all students to enjoy.

Our newly purchased chairs from Bunnings made their debut around the pool. The Year 11 girls decided that a bluetooth speaker was not needed as they ‘treated’ us to hit song after hit song…..it was a lovely, relaxed afternoon.  Thanks to all the boys who made the journey over to us.

 

 

 

Birthday News

Izzie Twidale turned 13 on 6th February

Eleanor McFarland turned 13 on 15th February