Unprecedented Times

Mr Kyle Thompson | Principal

‘Unprecedented times’, COVID-19, ‘ever changing environment’, iso (or isolation), ‘new normal’, ‘social distancing’, travel restrictions, and a variety of other pandemic related phrases have created the need for me, on this last day of term, to sigh deeply (hear sigh). I for one will be pleased to escape from our school new normal into a period of time where we can re charge without the need for learning from home, virtual meetings, and constantly moving goal posts in terms of work the requirements being placed on schools and home. This, I hope for all of us, will be a time of rest and distancing ourselves from some of the intensity of the last term so that we might return for Term 3 energised and refreshed and ready to start the rest of the year – albeit for the third time!

I have had cause this week to reflect on what success looks like for us as a school. The easy part is referencing data, results and academic tables. However, is this truly an indicator? Certainly, they can be components. I prefer to look more deeply for indicators – what helps these things happen? And, on a broader scale what does success look like for us all in a general sense and for teachers in plying their craft? It is easy to put data measures in place for these things too- money, more money, a class with the best test scores, a new car (or truck), and the list could go on. Whilst recognising the value of some of these things I do not believe they are accurate measures of success in its entirety and, in fact, one can have these things and still not be truly successful or content.

So, what do I really want for my children? What do I really want as a professional? What do I really want on a personal level? At the risk of sounding a bit clichéd, it would be fair to say I want my children to be happy, I want to be happy in my work and I personally want to be happy in my life away from work. Sounds simple. Sounds easy. As you unpack how you obtain this ‘happiness’ it becomes a little more complicated yet more explicit. For a start to be happy you don’t need to be happy all the time. In fact, you could argue that experiencing unhappiness is essential to happiness (that’s another article). I believe ‘happiness’, or perhaps fulfilment as a better word comes from the following: to feel safe; having a sense of belonging; being empowered or needed by someone else, believing in what it is you are doing or working for; being challenged; feeling satisfaction from what you do; and having a balance in your life and in particular time with your family and friends.

As I reflect further, these characteristics not only create a sense of happiness, they also are the cornerstones of the culture of a school, a workplace, a home. This term has presented many challenges, as does every term. Challenges do not break organisations, people or culture. Challenges show you more clearly what was broken, what was strong and reveals culture and character. At SCOTS PGC, I am pleased to further reflect on the above. We have a safe place to work and learn, we empower students and staff to explore, create, learn and ‘do their thing’, our staff derive great satisfaction in working with young people (not just teaching them curriculum), staff, students and parents are challenged every day, and there is a sense of belief – in the school and in each other. This is something we need to continue to be conscious of and embed in our daily practices, including an awareness of how we are, how we act and our demeanour influences all around us. Happiness flows uphill and down. This has been a great learning of mine this term.

Whilst the above alludes to connectedness as part of our sense of belonging and community I am pleased to share an exciting development; our new College website which will be accessible early next week!  Throughout Term 2 we have been working busily behind the scenes to provide an updated and refreshed feel to this important face of the College.

The simple new design is easy to navigate on all devices and the updated imagery and content now truly reflects our College personality and culture. It also allows us to share that with our market place, the true purpose of any website.

You’ll still be able to access the key pages you are used to visiting, via the following links:

  • MySCOTS contains portal links to access SEQTA, Reach and Webmail.
  • Quicklinks will direct you to important information like Term dates, Uniform Shop and the College Newsletter

Please note, if you need to ever contact any of our staff directly, this can be done within SEQTA via a DIREQT message or by contacting the College Reception.

We encourage you to take a look around and explore our new website: (www.scotspgc.com.au)
We hope you love it as much as we do and that you can see it reflecting many of the characteristics I have spoken about above.

I wish all of our students, staff and families a wonderful break and I sincerely thank everyone for their support throughout our unprecedented Term 2 (sigh!).

 

Boarding Update featured image

Boarding Update

From Girls Boarding Mrs Chemane Fairleigh | Head of Girls Boarding This semester has undoubtedly been the most unpredictable, interesting and rewarding of my time …

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Boarding Update

From Girls Boarding

Mrs Chemane Fairleigh | Head of Girls Boarding

This semester has undoubtedly been the most unpredictable, interesting and rewarding of my time here at SCOTS PGC College!

I remember early March, when COVID-19 was beginning to dominate the news headlines and the girls began to ask ‘What does this mean for us in Warwick?”  Some of the them were desperately asking when will school close so they could go home and commented on how amazing it would be to have an extended midterm break.  Little did we know of the chaos and mayhem that would follow with the closure of schools, state borders and of course shops – which brought our country and indeed the whole world to a standstill.

Girls transitioned into the Learning from Home program with mixed responses.  Many thrived when provided the opportunity to become more independent learners, taking ownership of managing their time and ensuring they kept up with online Teams meetings and assignments. Others found it a challenging virtual space to learn in but still persevered and did the best they could do given the circumstances.  A highlight of my weeks was scheduling year group Teams meetings where I was able to check in with a number of girls simultaneously.  For the first time I was able to get a glimpse of the beautiful properties so many of our girls are fortunate to live on.  Isabelle Twidale gave me a very detailed tour of her grounds, and although I was thousands of miles away – it felt really nice to be able to maintain a connection to the girls I have grown so fond of.

All too soon however, the Grade 11 and 12 girls were back in boarding!  It was fantastic to see them and for the boarding house to once again hum with the excitement and chatter that adolescent girls create.  It was during this time that Mrs Hoffman established a love for crochet and origami with the girls – sitting down in their socially distanced seats of an evening, with crochet hooks, a cup of steaming tea and tales of the day to share.  The house became a more intimate, more peaceful and relaxed environment – where everyone re-established their place as a member of this unique little community.   We celebrated the 17th birthdays of Molly Turnbull and Emily Timmins, and with fewer girls there was more cake to go around!

A few weeks later, we welcomed back all of our boarders from Year 5 – 10, and were delighted when the vast majority were able to return to school.  Sadly, our remote rural students were unable to get flights back to Brisbane and so remained at home for the duration of Term Two.

The boarding staff tried our best to entertain the girls and keep them socially occupied as they adjusted to the ‘new normal’ for living in the boarding house.  I must take a moment to thank Mrs Clark, for her creativity in producing a modified activities program.  Some of the activities included a BBQ and song night hosted by Mrs Wiid and her family, learn to knit, yoga and Pilates sessions run in house by our very own Rachel Caton and a softball competition.

In addition to this the boarders were treated to a mocktail party, where girls actually created their own mocktail and then dared others to drink it – congratulations to the Year 9 team for winning with their take on a Mojito.  The last weekend in boarding saw Mrs Clark’s infamous Amazing Race around our grounds (and in-between the heavy downpours of rain). We capped off a brilliant weekend with a Candle Light in House Chapel service lead by Charmaine Wakpi and Heidi Robson.

So, as you can tell – boarding has not been boring by any means – despite being limited to Warwick for these past few weeks.

This term would not have been such a success without Mrs Hoffman and Mrs Clark but also the support we have received from Mrs Wiid, Miss Berriman, Miss Woodbine, Mrs Mortison and Mr Sullivan.  Finally, however – the real stars of this term and the girls, every single one of them that came back to school, adjusted to our COVID safe protocols and just got on with things.  Thank you girls for……well for just being you!

I wish each and every member of our boarding community a peaceful, restful and enjoyable mid-semester break and look forward to Term Three with baited breathe for what it will bring.

 

From Junior Boys Boarding

Mr Tom Bradbury | Acting Head of Junior Boys Boarding

As the Term draws to its imminent close, a closing note from me prior to vacating the chair for Mr Bailey on his return.

Next Term we welcome a new face to Cunningham House. Declan Stanley will be joining the boys and Mr Bailey. Declan comes to us from Brisbane and is a keen swimmer, runner and drummer who enjoys skateboarding.  We look forward to welcoming Declan in a more formal way when he arrives.

The boys have worked hard in the past week to complete their assessments and get everything submitted on time. Sometimes this has been a trying affair and there have been frustrations and tiredness, but for the most part they have been very studious and all have applied themselves with our help and that of the day school staff. We trust that Term 3 will see a little less stress but be assured we will need to continue to work at being the best we can all be in the boarding house.

I take this opportunity to wish all the boys and their families a relaxing time together without the pressures of Learning from Home and look forward to seeing them all back in the house and the day school sometime next Term. I leave the boys with one thought regarding their time with us and that is to ask themselves what is it they want to get out of their time here at SCOTS? This answer will differ from lad to lad, and from family to family, but it is a conversation each family should have to make it clear to their sons and vice versa what it is they each expect from their experience.

My hope is that each boy will come to realise that they will only get out of this place that which they are prepared to put in. There are a plethora of opportunities available and if you just take a chance and put yourself out there you may find something you did not realise was going to make you shine.

Happy holidays

 

 

Reflections on this term

After a very different term, we have asked a few of our students to reflect on their experiences in Learning from Home and on their …

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Reflections on this term

After a very different term, we have asked a few of our students to reflect on their experiences in Learning from Home and on their return to school. Their honesty is refreshing and a reflection of the tenacity of the young people we are working with. From their perspective, they speak to the challenges of last term, the things they missed whilst being at home, a few benefits they observed, and some of the changes still in effect as they returned to school. Our students again show their character, their good humour and their ability to meet challenges head on. This is why they will achieve great things!


This term has been a different term for all of us. We had to adapt to unusual situations. These times where challenging for all but together we got through it. Online learning was an unforgettable experience. It was difficult to find the motivation without my friends motivating me. This time has really made me appreciate the help from my teachers. Since we have been back, it has been great to reconnect with all of our friends and teachers and to get back to normal.

By Isabelle Twidale Year 8

 

Working at home was hard because we did not have a teacher to teach us face to face. It was good because we could do it as fast as we wanted. It was also hard because my internet kept on dropping in and out.  I think coming back to school was good because I could see all my friends. But it was different because we don’t get to go to the Dining Hall. We have to go up to Junior School to eat our lunch and play there for most of play. We have to sanitise every time we come in from play and our desks are spaced far apart.

By Cody Baker Year 5

 

I really didn’t like home school because all of my friends were at school having fun and I was all alone. Before we went into quarantine everyone was excited to have no school work but when we were half way into the first week everyone wanted to go back to school and see their friends. I was so excited when we came back to school I could finally see my friends. It is still pretty weird at school because all the desks are spread out and we have to hand sanitise regularly!

By Hannah Bourke Year 5

 

It was really hard working from home. It was all of the meetings we had to go to and getting there on time was my problem. l got used to it but it was hard because our teacher would not be able to explain it as well as if we were at school. The thing l missed the most about school was my friends. Sometimes we would text online but that was probably the hardest thing l had to do in my whole life. When we got back to school it was pretty weird. l mean a lot happened since we were at school when we were in own classrooms we could not sit near anyone.  All the desks had to be moved far away. We could not go to the Dining Hall like we used to. We also have to go up to the Junior School. It just did not feel like we were at school at all. It was hard a bit when we got to school. This term felt really long even when we were at home.

By Hayley Wainwright Year 5

In-house Manufacturing featured image

In-house Manufacturing

Our senior Certificate II in Engineering students have been busy over the first semester manufacturing a range of products that fit together to make an …

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In-house Manufacturing

Our senior Certificate II in Engineering students have been busy over the first semester manufacturing a range of products that fit together to make an impressive set of portable cattle yards.  Originally intended for display and sale at this year’s Farm Fest (which has been postponed until October) the students have sold their first full set of yards and are now taking orders to produce and sell more.

If you’re in the market, or know of anyone who requires any of the listed products, please contact Mr Simon Mascadri (Engineering Teacher) at simon.mascadri@scotspgc.com.au

  • Full set of yards $12,500 + GST (made to order)
  • Round hay feeders $280 + GST    (In stock now)
  • Yard panels $69 + GST      (In stock now)
  • Crush $3000 + GST  (made to order)
  • Mobile loading ramp $2700 + GST (made to order

All profits go towards new tools and equipment for the SCOTS PGC Design and Technology Department.

 

From the Co-curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-curricular Activities As we finish up what has been a disrupted Term on all fronts, we are pleased …

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From the Co-curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-curricular Activities

As we finish up what has been a disrupted Term on all fronts, we are pleased to share the re-emergence of sports in Term 3.  Please take a look at what will recommence soon.

Rugby and Rugby 7’s will kick off in Term 3 with the Girls 7’s Competition on Sunday’s and the Boys Super Schools Cup to be played on Wednesday evenings. Both will commence under strict COVID-19 requirements which means no spectators at this stage. Training commenced this past week.

Netball will return to the College with our two Senior Girls Teams recommencing after the 18 July. All Netballers are to make contact with Mrs Wiid or Mrs Ratciffe to confirm they are continuing. You better get training over the holiday’s girls, as the competition will be intense. Our Juniors are invited to sign back in with the Warwick Junior Association details of which can be gained from their facebook page or website.

Futsal is returning to the College with students preparing for the SWQ Regionals on July 10-12 and the Nationals still set down for September school holidays in Brisbane, pending border openings. We may instigate an Interclan competition in the Junior and Senior school possibly for after school or lunchtime competition pending requirements. Training commenced in earnest this week in the Gym.

Athletics and Cross Country as previously advertised, will take place at College Championship level but we have had recent advice that the planned Darling Downs events are unfortunately cancelled.

We did advertise these events would be held in Week 1 and 2 but may now be pushed back to allow for greater preparation and for the carnivals to possibly go ahead in their normal format which could see spectators in attendance. The only other possibility is that the 99th staging of the Warwick All Schools Carnival could still be scheduled, if COVID-19 requirements can be met by the hosts and the attending schools. Stay tuned for updates on this event.

At this stage Cross Country will remain as advertised, but could be consolidated to one day if restrictions allow. More details will be released as they become clearer. Training has been available on the College Oval over the past few weeks with a solid squad developing.

Please continue to check SEQTA for messages regarding this event and the permissions required from parents for students to participate in certain events.

Senior Hockey will tip-off in Week 3 of Term 2 with a mixed 9-a-side competition between the local schools. This will once again be pending the implementation and approved the accreditation of COVID Safe planning and procedures that will need to be passed by the RSSO. All interested students who have yet to register their interest should message Mr Bradbury ASAP.

Arranmore Sports will return with the assistance of Sporting Schools funding in Term 3. Cricket and Rugby will be the sports on offer for our Year 1-6 students to come and try and develop new skills with the competent instructors from Queensland Cricket and the QRU’s Development Officers. These programs will run in Weeks 3-9 weather and restrictions permitting.

Representative Sport Pathways will be back with those sports that can push forward to a socially distanced State Championship, see the calendar below, which you can view or download. There are several sports for which some of our students have previously qualified and they are highlighted in yellow. Please again note these are based on what is seen to be achievable gathering numbers of 500 or less at their venue. Once information regarding the Darling Downs trials has been forwarded to me I will advise the families concerned.

Well, that is a wrap from me. I trust this brings people up to speed on the latest happenings.

Best wishes for a wonderful break.  We look forward to seeing all of our students raring to go in Term 3.

 

 

Year 10 Drama Directing featured image

Year 10 Drama Directing

Over the past couple of weeks, Year 10 Drama students have been writing their own scene based off of the script for this year’s Queensland …

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Year 10 Drama Directing

Over the past couple of weeks, Year 10 Drama students have been writing their own scene based off of the script for this year’s Queensland Theatre Scene Project.

Wisdom, by David Burton, is a dark comedy about youth and revolution which the students used as inspiration for the creation of their own scenes. The students brainstormed and drafted their scenes, using their peers as dramaturgs to ensure their scene was suitable for the task.

Having written brand new scenes, it was then up to the students to bring them to life on stage. The class took on the role of director and took their peers through the key moments of the scene so that they could be photographed for their next assessment.

The scenes written and brought to life by the students are of an extremely high standard and they are to be commended for their hard work.  Well done Year 10 Drama!

Eights Explore Energy featured image

Eights Explore Energy

Mrs Marcella Mortison | Science This term the Year 8 class have been exploring different types of energy in Science. The challenge for all students …

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Eights Explore Energy

Mrs Marcella Mortison | Science

This term the Year 8 class have been exploring different types of energy in Science. The challenge for all students at the end of term was to make a self-propelled car using limited materials. Students were required to transform elastic potential energy into kinetic energy to propel their vehicles.

At the conclusion of 8B’s lesson last Science lesson for the Term, 6 cars were able to race with Lewis May’s car finishing first by a narrow margin.

 

A Chocolate Challenge featured image

A Chocolate Challenge

Ms Mel Cole | Year 6 Teacher With their pre-marked squares, blocks of chocolate lend themselves easily to demonstrate fractions and how they work.  This …

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A Chocolate Challenge

Ms Mel Cole | Year 6 Teacher

With their pre-marked squares, blocks of chocolate lend themselves easily to demonstrate fractions and how they work.  This was the case last Friday when the Year 6 class faced some tough decisions in their chocolate challenge.  Bringing in some helpers to increase numbers, the students had to work out not only how to get the biggest fraction possible of the chocolate available, but they also had to create those fractions in their final groups.

Problem:  There are three tables set up in the classroom.  The first table has one block of chocolate, the second has two and the third has three blocks of chocolate. The class is waiting outside to enter one by one. As each student enters the room, they must decide which table to sit at in order to receive a bigger fraction of the chocolate at that table.

We started with eight ‘helpers’ already seated.  Two students were at Table 1 and three students were each at Tables 2 and 3.  Students then had to decide where each of their subsequent classmates would sit and justify their answer.  Some students saw a pattern very quickly, others used some concrete materials while others still relied on the visual information provided. Once every student was seated, each group had to use the chocolate to actually show their fractions.  This was not as easy as it sounds – how would you break one small square of chocolate into sevenths?