Step Up | Step Back | Encourage

Ms Amy Woodgate | Head of Junior and Middle Schools

These were the three guiding principles presented to our new Year 7 cohort at the beginning of their ‘Character Builders’ day during their Transition Program last week.  The facilitators from ‘Character Builders’ encouraged each of our students to challenge themselves to do each of these things throughout the day and moving forward as a Year 7 cohort.

Stepping Up is about challenging and perhaps pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to lead, speak up, and take a risk.  For some students, and adults, this comes easily.  They are comfortable to take charge in a group situation, be the spokesperson in an activity, organise a game in the playground or come forward to address a concern.  However, for some, their perception is that this ‘is not me’, and will never be.  The ‘Character Builders’ leaders provided our students with opportunities throughout the day to ‘step up’, supporting students to recognise this in others and know that they are capable of ‘stepping up’ in a variety of ways, even if they didn’t initially think they could.

Stepping Back is being inclusive, recognising the strengths and ability of others and taking the opportunity to step back from what may be your ‘usual’ role and allowing and inviting others to ‘step up’.  It is having an understanding of time and place and knowing how to best utilise your own strengths as well as the strengths of others to ensure the collective group is successful.

Stepping Up and Stepping Back are both more powerful when it occurs within a culture of encouragement.  Encouraging others seems like quite a small thing to do but making sure this encouragement is authentic and meaningful is the challenge.  Encouraging others can be as simple as a genuine smile, an enthusiastic ‘keep it up’ or more specific recognition through the acknowledgement of someone else’s strengths and emotions in a situation.

Our Year 7 students embodied these three principles throughout their ‘Character Builders’ day as they encountered a range of team and individual activities that required them to work in various groups, face challenges and push through even if they may not initially be confident to complete a task or take on a role.  The ‘Character Builders’ facilitators modelled language and behaviours that have seen our Year 7 group connect with one another and begin to build a positive peer culture that will be the foundation for their future years at the College.

Another highlight of the day was the session exploring the art of conversation through conversation circles.  The students were introduced to the terms ‘thick questions’ and ‘thin questions’, with the idea being that a ‘thick question’ is open and allows the person you are conversing with to share more deeply about themselves, their experiences, their feelings or ideas.  ‘Thin questions’ are more closed, often a yes/no response or a simple statement of fact.

We may think that our young people love a good chat but when beginning the conversation circles process, the art of conversation at a deeper lever was initially quite difficult.  For two minutes at a time, they attempted to ask ‘thick questions’ of their partner.  After getting through dates of birth, how many pets or what sports they play, the conversation became a little more stilted.  As the students moved through partners, however, the noise level and animation of the group slowly increased.  Students became more comfortable, they began to share more openly and they inched towards developing deeper connections with one another.  They stepped up, stepped back and encouraged one another.

The messages from the ‘Character Builders’ day are not just restricted to our Year 7 group.  They are equally relevant to all in our Junior, Middle and Senior Schools.  At SCOTS PGC, the culture of encouragement and support is embedded across the College.  We see it in the classrooms, on the playground, in the Dining Hall, on the stage or out at a sporting fixture.  Our boys and girls, irrespective of whether they have an official leadership badge or not, are invited to step up each and every day in whatever avenue they are pursuing.  As our College vision states, we exist to ‘inspire our boys and girls to be their best’ and always aim higher, perhaps asking some ‘thick questions’ along the way.

 

 

 

 

Leading The Way featured image

Leading The Way

Holly Naughten | College Prefect Last Thursday, the College Prefects and Captains headed off on the annual Leadership Camp in Brisbane. We arrived at our …

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Leading The Way

Holly Naughten | College Prefect

Last Thursday, the College Prefects and Captains headed off on the annual Leadership Camp in Brisbane. We arrived at our accommodation on Thursday afternoon and prepared to travel to Indooroopilly for some dinner and a night of shopping.

On Friday, we headed into the CBD to tackle some escape rooms at Escape Manor. There was a lot of laughs and the occasional scream as the three teams raced to put together clues to escape before the timer ran out. Each team was successful in completing their assigned tasks and everyone escaped. That afternoon we had our first session with Mr Dobrenov where we brainstormed what we wanted to achieve as a group in 2021 and developed our promise for the year. The day concluded with dinner and a movie at Southbank.

Saturday was full of workshops and coming together as a team to learn about leadership and how we want to lead the College this year. Our first session was with past student, Ben Barber. It was a very eye opening experience as Ben spoke to us about his experiences being a leader in the military; as well as what leadership means to us and how we can create change in the school. The second session of the day was with Mr Dobrenov, where we discussed and decided on our theme for 2021. The final session of the day was with Rev Willie. As a group, we were presented with the task of transporting a handball around the room and to the end point with our only method of moving the ball being pool noodles. After several failed attempts, we were able to find a solution to help us reach the end of the course. For the remainder of the session, we discovered more about ourselves as leaders and the importance of taking time out to just relax. That evening we walked back across the river to Southbank for what was definitely a highlight of the camp: Shrek the Musical!

This camp brought us all closer as a leadership group and we left with memories that I’m sure we will never forget. It was a great experience for all and we are looking forward to the year ahead as we strive to make our mark on the school.

Stimulating STEM featured image

Stimulating STEM

Ms Angela Brittain | Head of STEM To kick the Term off, our Year 7 STEM class is working towards a Sideshow Alley game.  Our …

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Stimulating STEM

Ms Angela Brittain | Head of STEM

To kick the Term off, our Year 7 STEM class is working towards a Sideshow Alley game.  Our first project on the journey to creating this game involved investigating and learning the machinations of hydraulics which helped the students in the process of constructing a hydraulic box.   From all observations, we can safely say the students had a great time building components and assembling their boxes.  Everyone is looking forward to the future challenges.

Year 8 STEM competed in a trebuchet challenge. The first round of construction didn’t produce a great firing range from our creations.  However, all students eagerly contributed to making improvements to reimagine their original designs. Redesign and enhancements made for much better results and some very unique trebuchets!

The latest from the Equestrian Centre featured image

The latest from the Equestrian Centre

Mrs Cheryl Paganin | Equestrian Co-curricular It may only be Week 3 but equestrian activities are in full swing. Congratulations to all our riders who …

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The latest from the Equestrian Centre

Mrs Cheryl Paganin | Equestrian Co-curricular

It may only be Week 3 but equestrian activities are in full swing.

Congratulations to all our riders who competed at the Allora Show last weekend, with many taking home class wins and placings.  This weekend we have riders heading to Clifton Show, best of luck to all of you who attend.  Also, this weekend, one of our newest members, April Davies, is heading to Fig Tree Pocket to compete in the Interschool Show Jumping & Dressage competition.  Good luck April!

At the Centre this week all morning and afternoon supervised riding sessions have been well attended, with our popular Saturday morning sessions up and running as well.  Thank-you to our resident Instructors for giving up their Saturday mornings to make this happen.

In addition, our first visit from Specialist Dressage Instructor Hilary McGregor-Potter is on Wednesday.  Hilary will be coming once a fortnight from now on, so all those who are interested in attending please contact Cheryl Paganin (cheryl.paganin@scotspgc.com.au).

Next week David Finch will return to SCOTS PGC, providing outstanding specialist Show Jumping lessons, once a fortnight on a Thursday.  All those who are interested in participating in these lessons contact Cheryl Paganin (cheryl.paganin@scotspgc.com.au) to secure a spot.

Finally, thanks to all who came along to our Equestrian Centre annual Meet & Greet afternoon tea.  It was great to see some new faces… Welcome!

 

An Arty Outing featured image

An Arty Outing

Ms Kaylee Berriman | Art Teacher On Monday 9 February, our Visual Art students from Years 9-12 embarked on an excursion to Brisbane City. The …

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An Arty Outing

Ms Kaylee Berriman | Art Teacher

On Monday 9 February, our Visual Art students from Years 9-12 embarked on an excursion to Brisbane City. The students visited The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the Queensland Art Gallery.

At GoMA students viewed the current exhibition, THE MOTORCYCLE which featured 100 of the most ground-breaking motorcycle designs which shaped the modern motorbike of today. In this exhibition students had the opportunity to design their own motorcycle at a technology hub and drive a motorcycle in a simulation.

We walked to Southbank to enjoy our lunch where we held onto our food to protect it from the very confident ibis, who thought our lunch was theirs to share. When we arrived back to the Queensland Art Gallery, students had time for a quick look around and a visit to gift shop.

Library Lover featured image

Library Lover

Mrs Christine Peterson | Head of Library Services In 2013 Neil Gaiman wrote, “It’s important for people to tell you what side they are on …

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Library Lover

Mrs Christine Peterson | Head of Library Services

In 2013 Neil Gaiman wrote, “It’s important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members’ interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I’m going to tell you that libraries are important. I’m going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I’m going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.”

So from that I guess I need also to declare that I, like Neil, am passionate about reading and the need to read for pleasure.  Fiction or literary non-fiction opens our minds to a range of ideas that can educate and challenge us at the same time.  Recently I was researching how the use of fiction can enhance a student’s engagement in all subjects.  The particular focus I had was the use of historical fiction and its use in teaching History to students.  You may wonder how or what historical fiction can possibly teach us about history, but it is fiction that allows the reader to connect with the characters and events. Historical fiction is based in fact, usually an event or part of a person’s life, yet it is much more, it is for the most part, a version of history from either a female or child’s perspective rather than that of the scholar.  Fiction helps us to build empathy for a character, to feel, to love, to hate.  Fiction is personal.

Through this year I will visit other genres and why they are important but there is one thing that I would like in February, (which happens to be Library Lover’s Month), and that is that every child is reading something for pleasure. Reading reduces stress, increases imagination and creativity and helps to develop empathy.  Reading a book to children promotes brain development and imagination, develops language and emotions, and strengthens relationships.

Key Dates featured image

Key Dates

There are a number of key events that are occurring over the coming weeks.  Here is an overview of what’s on in Week 4 (commencing …

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Key Dates

There are a number of key events that are occurring over the coming weeks.  Here is an overview of what’s on in Week 4 (commencing Monday 15 February)

Monday 15 February

  • P & F Meeting | 6pm | Archive Centre

Wednesday 17 February

  • Year 10 Career Avenues Testing

Thursday 18 February

  • Warwick All Schools Swimming Carnival | 4pm | WIRAC

Friday 12 February

  • Senior School Academic Assembly | 11:50am | Assembly Hall
From the Co-curricular Desk featured image

From the Co-curricular Desk

Header Image: Border District Age Champions Mr Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-Curricular Activities We’ve had yet another busy week across the campus which …

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From the Co-curricular Desk

Header Image: Border District Age Champions

Mr Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-Curricular Activities

We’ve had yet another busy week across the campus which has seen many of students and staff headed off in multiple directions to participate and compete in various competitions and activities. Here’s a summary of what has taken place so far.

 

Queensland Triathlon Championships

We wish Shona and Ewan McFarland all the best at the Queensland School Sport Triathlon Championships that are being held at Hervey Bay this weekend. Shona and Ewan are representing the College via the Darling Downs Regional Team. We look forward to hearing of their results in the coming days.

 

U15 Queensland Hockey Trials

This weekend will see Krystal Petersen and Samuel Bourke attend the Hockey Queensland Under 15 State Trials in Brisbane. We wish both students the very best as they battle it out for spots in the Queensland Under 15 Teams to contest the National Championships later in the year.

 

Border District Touch and Cricket Trials

Several Students attended the Border District Touch and Cricket Trials last week and the following were successful in gaining selection to represent Border District at their respective Darling Downs Trials.

Touch: Darcy Brennan (Open), Benjamin Carey (U15)

Cricket: Adrien Mayfield, Mackenzie Mayall, Lachlan Woods (Open), Rory Farrell, Samuel Bourke, Seth Esson, Percy Kruger, Joshua Millard

We congratulate all on their achievements and wish them well at the next level.

 

Darling Downs and Border District Trials

There are several different trials coming up for Border District, Southern Downs, and Darling Downs Teams in a wide variety of sports. Please see notices in SCOTS Connect for details.

 

Senior Inter-Clan Swimming Results

Last Wednesday our Senior School gathered at the WIRAC for our annual Senior Swimming Carnival.

The day provided near perfect conditions for swimming events and many fine performances were recorded.

In the race for Age Championship honours the following placings were achieved.

Girls

13 years – Ellyse Kruger 1st, Hanna Eising 2nd

14 years – Connie-Anne Sue Tin 1st, Phoebe Sellick 2nd

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

16 years – Ruby Noller 1st, Lily Robson 2nd

Open – Shona McFarland 1st, Rachel Caton 2nd

 

Boys

13 years – Bailey Harm 1st, James Bourke 2nd

14 years – Samuel Bourke 1st, Nicholas Edmed 2nd

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

16 years – Paul Costello 1st, River Taylor 2nd

Open – William Gilmore 1st, Nicholas McGahan 2nd

In the Clan Championship events, Leslie returned to the winners circle in a very convincing way!

Robyn McLellan Cup | Girls Relays – Leslie

Wallace Kieseker Cup | Boys Relays – Leslie

Deane-Butcher Cup | Champion Girl Clan – Leslie

Buss Cup | Champion Boy Clan – Mackay

The Graham Family Trophy | Champion Clan – Leslie

 

Darling Downs U19 Cricket Trials

This week Mackenzie Mayall and Lachlan Woods attended the Darling Downs Under 19 Cricket Trials at Toowoomba Grammar School as representatives of the Border District Schools. The boys put on a good show but as some of the younger and less experienced participants, they were up against stiff opposition. The boys utilised the day as a valuable learning experience that has left them both hungry to return next year. Unfortunately, Adrien Mayfield was unable to attend due to injury.

Border District Swimming

Earlier this week the Senior Swim Team attended the Border District Swimming Carnival where the squad cleaned up claiming all major team trophies.

Several age Championships and runner-up honours were achieved as listed below.

Open Boys – William Gilmore 1st, Nicholas McGahan 2nd

Open Girls – Shona McFarland 1st

16 years Boys – Paul Costello 1st, River Taylor 2nd

15 years Boys – Darcy Noller 2nd

13 years Boys – Bailey Harm 1st

We also congratulate Bailey Harm on his record breaking performances at the carnival. Our next Carnival will be the Warwick All Schools event next Thursday 18 February where our 12 years Swimmers will join the team to defend our trophies from 2020.

Congratulations to all team members and thank you to our attending staff in Mr Savovski, Mr Davis and Miss Carey for making the day a smooth and successful one for our students.

 

Arranmore Sport Activities

These developmental activities commenced this week in Hockey and Gymnastics with good numbers availing themselves of the broad offerings. Tennis commences next Thursday to round out the third activity on offer for our Year 1-6 Students.

 

Cattle and Sheep Club Activities

Last week the Allora Show proved very successful for our students with a number of ribbons awarded across the weekend in the following events:

 

Cattle Club

  • 15-25 Years Junior Judging – 1st Grace McIlroy (now qualifies for Darling Downs)
  • 12-15 Years Junior Judging – 1st Mackenzie Taylor, 3rd Georgia Mulcahy
  • 16-20 Month Angus Bull – Winner: SCOTS PGC “Quantity”
  • Champion Angus Bull – Winner: SCOTS PGC “Quantity”
  • 16-20 Month Heifer – Winner: SCOTS PGC “Quantum”

 

Sheep Club

SCOTS PGC took out the prize for the Best Breeders Group in the Interbreed competition. Congratulations to all of our students who competed in the Junior Judging – Maggie Myer achieved a first place and Abby Brown a second.  Well done!

This weekend the action continues with the Cattle Club on the road to Glen Innes. Here’s hoping the successful start to the Show circuit continues for our intrepid agricultural students.