The importance of our learning spaces

Ms Amy Woodgate | Head of Junior and Middle Schools

It may seem that the style of desk or chair, or the storage solutions in the classroom don’t play much of a role in whether a child is achieving in English or Mathematics, but these simple components of a classroom do have an impact.

In a recent article in The Conversation, the authors described their findings after speaking to a range of primary school students about their experiences with different types of classroom furniture.  The students surveyed in the article were able to describe how certain types of furniture can suit their physical and learning needs.  They discussed how they can actively work with their teachers to set up their own environments and make conscious choices about the space in relation to their own learning.

The physical space is an important component of the teaching and learning process.  It is a vehicle through which engagement with learning can occur.  Flexible, learner-centred spaces help children to collaborate and learn in group settings whilst also enabling quiet spaces for small group work and independent learning.  They are communal spaces that can be configured in several different ways to suit the learning.  There can be a mixture of direct teacher-instruction through to independent learning, as well as individual to student-directed group work within these learning spaces.

In looking to the future, we want to ensure that our learning spaces are relevant to the needs of students in the 21st century.  Our learners need to have opportunities to be creative, to collaborate, to communicate and to be critical thinkers.  Flexible learning environments are associated with deeper learning, to learning that goes beyond just the learning of facts.  They are spaces that facilitate conversation and curiosity.

As we seek to provide innovative learning experiences for our students in Junior School and Middle School, we also need to ensure that our physical environments are learner-centred and flexible to support our ability to provide contemporary learning experiences.  This year, the College has purchased new furniture for our Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 learning spaces.  This includes desks of different shapes and heights, ottomans, stools, whiteboard desks and a range of storage solutions.  The aim is for students and teachers to be purposeful in how they use the space and the learning that it can facilitate.

Our students and teachers are excitedly exploring ways that this new furniture can be configured to support the learning occurring in the classroom in these year levels and subject areas. There will be times when you walk into these spaces and students will be engaging in a direct teaching lesson, or sitting in a configuration that fits a more traditional model of teaching based on the requirements of that learning experience.  There will then be other times where they are working in small groups, writing on whiteboard surfaces, moving around the space and sitting in different combinations to facilitate collaborative learning.  All are equally valid, as high quality, learner-centred practices.

We want all of our students to become autonomous, confident learners who can make choices about their learning and simply selecting the type of chair or stool they sit on within the room or the style of desk they work at are steps towards achieving this.



From the Junior and Middle Schools

NAPLAN 2022 Mrs Amanda Hall | Deputy Head of Junior and Middle Schools The National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is scheduled to …


From the Junior and Middle Schools


Mrs Amanda Hall | Deputy Head of Junior and Middle Schools

The National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is scheduled to be run in 2022 for all students across Australia in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.  Students in these year levels will undertake NAPLAN tests in the four domains of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy.  In 2022, SCOTS PGC College is required to transition from paper-based to completing NAPLAN online, although Year 3 students will continue to complete the writing assessment on paper.

Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will begin a program of preparation which will include participation in NAPLAN National Practice tests on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 March as well as focused preparation sessions for each year level. The practice tests consist of a Writing and omnibus (combination of Conventions of Language, Reading and Numeracy questions) test. The schedule for these practice tests is as follows;


Wednesday 23 March

National Practice Test

Thursday 24 March

National Practice Test

Year 3 Writing Test

(Paper based)

8:50 am

Omnibus Test

8:50 am

Year 5 Writing Test

10:55 am

Omnibus Test

10:55 am

Year 7 Writing Test

8:50 am

Omnibus Test

8:50 am

Year 9 Writing Test

10:55 am

Omnibus Test

10:55 am

The NAPLAN test window in 2022 runs from Tuesday 10 May through to Friday 20 May. The finalised schedule for when students will complete testing will be realised early in Term 2.

At SCOTS PGC College, we approach these days as just another day in the school year.  We prepare our students for these tests through high-quality teaching and learning programs that continually strive to enhance the literacy and numeracy skills of our students.  Students are provided with opportunities to familiarise themselves with the style of questions that may be asked and the test format they may be presented with.

More information about NAPLAN for parents and carers can be found via these links:

NAP – Parent/Carer Support

Public Demonstration Site

Information has been sent to all Parents and Carers of students in these year levels outlining arrangements for NAPLAN preparation and ways they can support their child.

Please contact Amanda Hall ( if you have any queries or would like further information about NAPLAN in 2022.


Character Builders | Year 7 Transition experience

Mrs Melissa Stephenson | Head of Years 7 and 8

Part of the Year 7 Transition program consists of students learning about themselves, getting to know others and how they can all work collaboratively both in and out of the classroom.  Last week, this important component of the program was facilitated by Character Builders. Students learnt how to collaborate within groups and participated in hands-on challenges to solve problems, motivate and encourage others.  They discovered different types of leadership and many students incorporated these key messages in their interactions with others:

stepping up, taking initiative and modelling teamwork;

stepping back and motivating others;

encouraging others to be the best they can be and finding comfort in their own discomfort.

It was especially powerful and encouraging to see students stepping up to the challenges, working positively with people who they may not normally gravitate to and giving each other their own ‘big up’ – communicating their gratitude towards their peers.

In a fun-filled day, students learnt about how their choices impact others, to listen respectfully to others and contribute positively to a team.  It was clear that this session was a highlight of the term for our Year 7 students and they will continue to embrace the skills they learnt throughout the day in years to come.



Junior and Middle School Swimming Carnival

What a wonderful day we’ve had at the Junior and Middle School Swimming Carnival! School spirit was in abundance and it was great to see all students trying their very best and cheering on their teammates from the pool deck.

Here are some highlights from the 2022 JAM Swimming Carnival.

From the Co-Curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Acting Director of Co-Curricular Activities Another jam-packed fortnight has passed.  Please read on to learn about all the wonderful things happening …


From the Co-Curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Acting Director of Co-Curricular Activities

Another jam-packed fortnight has passed.  Please read on to learn about all the wonderful things happening in the Co-Curricular and sporting space (a mega gallery can be found at the end of this article).

Arranmore After school activities

Term 2 will see us offering the following activities for Years 1-6 students. Enrolments for these activities will be forwarded to families via Microsoft Forms in the final week of the term. Please keep an eye out in your emails for details.

Role Playing Games Years 4-12,                    Cooking Club Years 3-4,

Dance Years 1-6,                                               Craft Corner Years 1-6,

Junior and Middle Choir Years 1-6,                 Arranmore Rugby Years 2-6,

Arranmore Netball Years 1-6,                          Arranmore Athletics Years 1-6

Girls and Boys Futsal

This week will see the finale of the Girls Competition. All teams are in the playoffs but the big event will be the Open Girls Final which will see our senior team face off for the title against Downlands, a team they drew 2-2 with, in the opening round of the season.

The boys roll into the final round of fixtures this week, where the U12 boys will have the bye and no game but are guaranteed a spot in the final as are the Open boys. Our two U14 teams and the U16 Team are locked in tussles that could see the U14 teams slip in or out of the top four, whilst the U16 Team could pinch a spot in the final with a good win this week.

Futsal Coaching Clinic

Saturday saw a solid roll-up of old and new students to the sport of futsal here at SCOTS PGC to participate in our annual Futsal Players Clinic.

The students engaged in a range of sessions that covered goalkeeping, attacking and defence before finishing with games across all ages.

SWQ Futsal Coaching Director Mr Chris McLeod, was on hand to guide the students through many activities alongside Mr Derek Kane and myself. Mr McLeod was impressed with the talent on offer and specifically invited our Futsal Captain Toby Callaghan to join the Highlanders U18 team on the spot to attend the Regionals later this year.

Students interested in the SWQ Highlanders Futsal Academy may contact Mr Chris McLeod on 0429 942 904 for further details.

QCIS Swimming – Wednesday 9 March

Last week the QCIS Swimming Carnival was held at Dalby under sunny skies at a beautiful venue hosted by Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

Our tiny band of 24 swimmers performed admirably despite our limited numbers due to illness and withdrawals. The team represented the College with distinction where students jumped in and took on additional events where needed. Their behaviour and conduct was of the highest order and were a pleasure to support as they went about their business.

Congratulations to our record breakers on the day in Bailey Harm – U14 50 Free, and the Open Boys Relay team of Nicholas McGahan, Bailey Harm, Paul Costello and Darcy Noller who broke their own record from last year.

The U14 Girls and the Open boys both finished 2nd with five other age groups taking out 3rd place (10yrs Girls, 14yrs Boys, 15yrs Girls, 16yrs Girls, Open Girls).  As a College, we finished 5th in the Aggregate and 4th in the Average Trophy. Our increasing numbers have brought us back to the field in the Average category but we are still performing admirably in all age groups.

Thank you to all swimmers and to Mr Kane, Mr Davis and Miss Carey for their time with the team and their work at the carnival to make the day a success.

Boys Teenage Rugby

Friday night saw the first fixtures of the year conducted at home with the U13s kicking off the season against Highfields.

The game see-sawed and was truly in the balance at 14-10 with 3 minutes to play. Highfields had pinned us in our in goal, we had gathered the ball and went to the boot to exit but the kick did not find touch and Highfields threw the ball wide. Unfortunately, our defence was too compressed and Highfields ran around the backs to score and took the contest 19-10.

The U15s took on the new club from the Lockyer Valley called ‘Valley’ and this also proved to be a competitive match. SCOTS scored first after a consistent build-up but the Valley team were not about to roll over and they pressed into our in goal on several occasions. The break saw the home side up 5-0 with the game in the balance. After the resumption, SCOTS once again applied some consistent pressure throughout and finally converted to take the score to 10-0. Once again Valley refused to lie down and continued to attack with raid after raid but they were repelled by the SCOTS lads at every attempt. The score remained 10-0 at the conclusion of proceedings giving the SCOTS boys a first-up win for the season at home which was a very pleasing start in a competition that has traditionally been a very tough one for the College and club.

Darling Downs Swimming Success

Last week we had several students participate in the Darling Downs Swimming Trials in Toowoomba and Gatton respectively. All students performed admirably and represented the College and their families with distinction.

We congratulate Ella Hutchison and Chloe Harm on their selection in the 10-12 years Darling Downs Team to contest the State Championships next week.

On top of this, we also congratulate Ellyse Kruger, Bailey Harm and Nicholas McGahan on their selection in the Darling Downs 13-19 years Swimming Team also to contest the State Championships at Chandler next week.

Term 2 Sports – Expressions of Interest

Please see notices for Expressions of Interest for Basketball and Hockey for our Years 7-12 students. Hockey players are to send their EOIs to Mr Bradbury ( and basketballers to Mrs Michelle Brown at –

Southern Downs, Border District and Darling Downs Trial success

Over the past fortnight, the following students have been selected in Southern Downs, Border District and Darling Downs Teams…

Southern Downs

Basketball – William Grayson, Treschawne Achari, Ben March, Oliver Miller

Netball – Hannah Bourke, Chloe Harm, Bethany Moore-Kirkland, Naomi Ratcliffe

Football – Cooper Keogh, Macey Mitchell

Hockey – Hamish Bayley

Rugby League – Will Grayson, Harry Grayson, Cooper Locke, Colby Miller

Touch – Bethany Mooer-Kirkland, Chloe Harm, Colby Miller, Matthew Smith, Cooper Locke


Border District

Cricket – Mackenzie Mayall, Lachlan Woods, Jack Ragh, Jesse Bohm, Will Bryant, Percy Kruger, Rory Farrell, Samuel Bourke, Seth Esson, Tanner Henley, Matthew Howard

Netball – Bridget Hardy

Touch – Charlie Bergemann, Eleanor McFarland, Elliza Moore-Kirkland, Nelson Madua, Erin Keogh, Peter McFarland, Kaysan Miles,

Rugby League – Murphy Benson, George Handley, Nelson Madua, and Ryan Bohm

Basketball – Briana Groves, Phoebe Bryant, Sarah Morris, Martina Marshall and Lachlan Groves, Erin Keogh

Football – Mika Repo, Amira Duffy, Claire Eckersley


Darling Downs

Rugby League – U15: Ryan Bohm, Nelson Madua


Annual Inter-Clan Swimming Carnivals

This week we completed both our Senior and Junior Inter-Clan Swimming Carnivals at the WIRAC Swimming Pool. Good numbers across all events kept us hopping both days, but great support from parents and staff ensured we got through all events in a timely manner.

Thank you to all staff and parent helpers for their assistance in making the two carnivals successful. There are too many individuals who made significant contributions to the event but please be assured it was a team effort and I thank all aspects of our staff for their contribution to the events.

The results of the carnivals were as follows:

Girls Age Champions

9 years – Eliza Geraghty 1st

10 years – Ella Hutchison 1st, Millie Petersen 2nd

11 years – Abigail Geraghty 1st, Evie Sakrewski 2nd

12 years – Hannah Bourke 1st, Dashielle Caslick 2nd

13 years – Bridie Hutchison 1st, Bonnie Petersen 2nd

14 years – Ellyse Kruger 1st, Elliza Moore-Kirkland 2nd

15 years – Claire Eckersley 1st, Phoebe Sellick 2nd

16 years – Niamh Ryan 1st, Krystal Petersen 2nd

17/18 years – Abigail Skaines 1st, Ruby Noller 2nd

Boys Age Champions

10 years – Wade Reid 1st, Hunter Miller 2nd

11 years – William Grayson 1st, Charles McCosker 2nd

12 years – Colby Miller 1st, Matthew Smith 2nd

13 years – William Peters 1st, Douglas Lawlor 2nd

14 years – Bailey Harm 1st, Murphy Benson 2nd

15 years – Samuel Bourke 1st, William Spriggs 2nd

16 years – Darcy Noller 1st, Percy Kruger 2nd

17/18 years – Nicholas McGahan 1st, River Taylor 2nd

Junior and Middle School Aggregate Results – Cameron

Senior Aggregate Results – Mackay


The College Equestrian team saddled up for the Fairholme Interschool event over the weekend at Pittsworth.  The two day event covered dressage and showjumping and our students enjoyed the weekend of competition which produced some excellent results.


Elementary 3A & B

  • Jess Angus 1st (both tests)

Novice 2A & B

  • Sophie Poole – 2A – 5th, 2B 6th 6th Overall

Prelim 1A & B

  • Hanaka Parker 1A 3rd, 1B 4th, 3rd Overall

Showjumping – A2

Secondary 50cm:

  • Scarlett Hart 4th
  • Ivy Westley 2nd

Secondary 70cm

  • Hannah Lawlor 4th
  • Mac Sanderson 19th

Secondary 80cm

  • Hanaka Parker 6th

Secondary 90cm

  • Sophie Poole 2nd
  • Phoebe Sellick 5th
  • Jess Angus 14th
  • Gabby Sellick 20th

Secondary 100cm

  • Tom Brasch 1st
  • April Davies 8th

Secondary 110cm

  • Jess Angus 1st
  • Tom Brasch (Elim, great dismount though!)

Overall Results:

Secondary Champions – April Davies, Tom Brasch, Jess Angus and Hannah Lawlor

Secondary Training 50cm

  • Ivy Westley – 2nd
  • Scarlett Hart – 4th

Secondary 70cm

  • Hannah Lawlor – 2nd
  • Mac Sanderson – 14th

Secondary 80cm

  • Hanaka Parker – 8th
  • April Davies – 13th

Secondary 90cm

  • Phoebe Sellick – 4th
  • Jess Angus – 7th
  • Sophie Poole – 14th
  • Gabby Sellick 17th

Secondary 100cm

  • Tom Brasch – 1st
  • April Davies – 2nd

Secondary 110cm

  • Jess Angus – 1st
  • Tom Brasch – 6th

Congratulations on these wonderful results and best of luck for the upcoming events at the Warwick Show.

Upcoming Trials

Please see below events in which we have students attending

  • Darling Downs Sports:
    • 13-16 years Football, Basketball | March 17
    • 13-19 years Hockey | March 17
    • 17-18 years Rugby Union | March 17
    • 10-12 years Touch | March 17
  • Saturday Cricket Fixtures – Finish this Saturday 19 March
  • Thursday Futsal Fixtures – Finals
  • Friday Boys Rugby Fixtures
  • College Inter-Clan Cross Country – March 30 (weather permitting)


From our Boarding Houses

From Boys’ Boarding  Mr Stewart Bailey | Head of Junior Boys’ Boarding There are moments in life when you feel such immense pride and joy …


From our Boarding Houses

From Boys’ Boarding 

Mr Stewart Bailey | Head of Junior Boys’ Boarding

There are moments in life when you feel such immense pride and joy that words can hardly capture the emotion.  The outstanding and kind behaviours displayed by the boys this past week have left me almost speechless and this newsletter will reflect just how proud Mr Marriott and I are of your sons. This was no more evident than at Rugby on Friday night when I had the pleasure of watching the Under 13s play, but more importantly, it’s what I witnessed off the field that impressed me. Our older boarders, many of whom were in fact in this very team a few short years ago, were there to watch the game – they showed patience and maturity in their approach toward ‘coaching’ and supporting this young team.  To watch them protect, guide, encourage and rally behind our younger boys was truly heart-warming.  Then to marvel at the sign of a true country school when the seniors acted as ‘water boys’, loping out onto the rugby pitch in jeans, button-up shirts and trucker caps.

This has been just one of the moments I wanted to share.

This past week I have witnessed the selfless behaviour and maturity of boys beyond their years.  I have watched boys help one another in times of need and have seen such a brotherly love shown that it’s hard to express in words the pride I am feeling.  I have also noticed that the boys are beginning to comprehend the importance of mature negotiation.  This was especially reflected within a discussion I had with the Year 5 and 7 boys this week.  They had valid discussion points and spoke in a calm and mature manner.  They were receptive to listening to each other and respectful of the final decision of authority on the relevant subject; regardless of whether they agreed with the decision or not.  This truly shows that your young boys are growing up into fine young men.  It has been a proud week from a Housemaster’s point of view and I look forward to being part of further moments when your sons continue to display and develop these characteristics.

Mr Marriott and I, along with all the Boys’ Boarding staff, look forward to working with the boys, their teachers and with you – their parents and carers – to ensure that the Boys’ Boarding experience is as enjoyable and rewarding as it can be. Please feel free to contact us should you wish to discuss these or any other matters pertaining to your son’s social, emotional or academic welfare in the Boys’ Boarding community.


Most boys are now submitting their own leave request applications and I would ask that if your son is planning on going on leave, you approve his request through the Reach program. As we quickly come to the end of term our leave system becomes even more important. This function of Reach creates transparency and accuracy in the leave process, ensuring that both parents and staff are aware of where, when, and with whom the boys are staying. If you still find you are having trouble logging in to Reach, please do not hesitate to contact either me for Junior Boarding or Mr David Marriott for Senior Boarding.

From Girls’ Boarding

Mrs Susan Everson | Head of Girls’ Boarding

Over the past week, I’ve been reflecting on the speed at which the term has gone by and the busy schedules our girls are involved in.

It’s amazing to be a part of the many talents and hobbies the girls are interested in which adds to the depth of conversation and the foundation of friendships and community within the boarding house.

The variety of interests range from futsal, rugby and cricket to the performing arts of drama, choir and creative arts.  Our girls display an amazing tapestry of skills and talents, that SCOTS PGC boarding is blessed to support and encourage – we take great interest in each individual boarder’s journey.

I’d like to personally congratulate our girl boarders and the SCOTS PGC Equestrian team on their amazing efforts on the weekend at Pittsworth. I was lucky enough to drive out there on Sunday and watch some of our girls ride. I personally understand the commitment that these girls independently make each day –  congratulations on all your efforts.

Over the coming weeks, we have many girls who are representing the College at Equestrian and Cattle Club among many other activities and we wish them all the best of luck.

This weekend, many of the boarders will be able to support their fellow boarders at the local Warwick Show.  Friday is a public holiday and Friday night boarders will all join to enjoy the festivities of the local show.

If there are any interests or hobbies that the girls would like to pursue, please contact the Boarding House to see if there is a way we can help build on their interests.

Our SCOTS Community

Connecting with our Old Collegians… College Foundation Manager Sarah Henry and Past Student Association Officer Kate Coleman headed off to the Sunshine Coast last week …


Our SCOTS Community

Connecting with our Old Collegians…

College Foundation Manager Sarah Henry and Past Student Association Officer Kate Coleman headed off to the Sunshine Coast last week to reconnect with some of our older SCOTS and PGC Collegians.

As many of you may know, SCOTS PGC College was originally two separate schools – The Scots College (an all boys school) and The Presbyterian Girls College (PGC).  The two schools operated independently up until their amalgamation in 1970 when they formed SCOTS PGC College.  As a College with a rich history that spans over 100 years, we have educated in excess of 12,000 students over time.  Many of our collegians still have strong ties to the College and enjoy catching up with classmates from their time to reminisce about their experiences and the time they spent at either Oxenham or Locke Streets.

Our visit to the Nicholsons last week was a heartwarming experience for all involved.  Peter Nicholson and his wife, Alison have a long association with the College.  Alison Nicholson (nee DeConlay) was the granddaughter of BT DeConlay – one of the College’s founding fathers.  Alison attended PGC in the late 1940s where she met her high school sweetheart – a Scots boy, Mr Peter Nicholson. They married and have lived a wonderful life together.  Kate and Sarah spent the afternoon with the Nicholsons looking over photos, sharing stories and talking all things SCOTS PGC.  We were very honoured to receive a special gift from Alison and Peter – an original set of ‘Miss Thistle’ yearbooks which belonged to the late BT DeConlay.  These beautifully leather-bound books will take pride of place in our College Archive Centre, so they can be enjoyed by many generations to come.







Flood Relief thank you

We were overwhelmed with the support received from our College community in the way of donations for our Flood Appeal.  We have received numerous items from across (and beyond) the College which will go towards helping flood victims in northern NSW and southeast QLD.

We are still in the process of packaging up the items for transport but anticipate that goods will be dispatched this week.

Thank you for your generous support!

From our Student Leaders

As a leadership group, we were all very excited to take part in last Friday’s Leadership Induction ceremony.  Ordinarily, this ceremony usually takes place on …


From our Student Leaders

As a leadership group, we were all very excited to take part in last Friday’s Leadership Induction ceremony.  Ordinarily, this ceremony usually takes place on the first day of the new school year.  However, with the disruptions and delays we’ve experienced so far in 2022, last Friday’s ceremony was the first opportunity to come together with family and friends to mark this special occasion.

In true SCOTS PGC form, the day was aptly captured through a camera lens and we now have a video and lots of photos as a special memento to remember the day.

Full video of our Captain’s speeches will also be shared via SCOTS Connect for students who weren’t able to be present at the ceremony – please keep an eye on the notices.

From the Senior School

New lockers on the block If you’ve been on campus in the last couple of weeks, you may have seen that we recently installed brand …


From the Senior School

New lockers on the block

If you’ve been on campus in the last couple of weeks, you may have seen that we recently installed brand new lockers for our Year 12 students.

The new lockers are hit with the students and feature compartments large enough to store a school bag, books and hanging space for the College blazer.  We think they look pretty trendy too!


‘H’ is for Hospitality and Health and Physical Education…

An update from our Senior School classrooms:


Our Cert I and II Hospitality students are learning the ropes when it comes to making fabulous coffees. Barista training is just one of the modules in the Hospitality course, which is run on-site through our training facilitator, Aurora.

This is one of our favourite learning modules because our students are able to learn the practical elements of becoming a barista and our staff reap the benefits in taste testing great coffee.




This term, Year 8 students have experienced being inclusive and working as a team in their Health and Physical Education lessons. They have been set a number of challenges and tasks to complete in a set time.  They have also played games whilst experiencing an impairment,  (for example vision impairment), so they can appreciate the difficulties that some people face. Students also had to work as a team to cross an imaginary river with a number of items of equipment without touching the floor at all with their feet.

At the completion of this unit, students have focused on developing their skills in golf. This started with a coaching session at Warwick Golf Club.  It was great to see students embracing the sport and paying particular attention to technique.