Community and Service

Blessed with the best! 

A heartfelt thanks from our P&F to the parents and families who provided help and assistance in ensuring our canteen ran smoothly at the last two Inter-Clan Athletics Carnivals.  Each day our students were treated to wonderful home baking and service with a smile from a range of happy helpers who braved the cold to assist with canteen duties.  So from the P&F Committee and all the students and staff at SCOTS PGC… thank you!

Welcome Brooke

This term, we have welcomed Mrs Brooke Philo as a new member of the SCOTS PGC staff.  Brooke has been appointed to the role of Finance Officer and will work with our Finance Office team to support the needs of our staff, students and families.

Welcome aboard, Brooke!

P & F Family Dinner

The first P & F Family dinner was a hit! Hosted last Friday evening in the Des Davey Dining Hall, following the usual Friday night dinner service for boarding students, families from across the College came together to enjoy ‘Pasta night’.  It was wonderful to see so many students dutifully show their mums, dads and extended families how the dining hall operates on a regular day, which included lining up for food, finding a table and enjoying some of the fantastic food that is on offer every day from our catering team, in particular our chef, John Rogers.

Thanks to all families who supported the evening – it was the perfect way to end a busy week!

SAVE THE DATE | SCOTS PGC – Spring Flavours 2022

Taste the magic at SCOTS PGC! Our Business students in Years 9 and 10 are coordinating an ‘Eat Street’ style event with market stalls, live entertainment and student displays.  Please mark Wednesday 7 September on your calendars.  The event will take place from 3.30 pm – 6.30 pm in and around the Assembly Hall and is bound to be a fantastic afternoon/evening for the whole family!

Stay tuned for more details!

From the Boarding Houses featured image

From the Boarding Houses

From Boys’ Boarding Mr Stewart Bailey | Head of Junior Boys’ Boarding This week, Mr Marriott and I chose a different tact when it came …


From the Boarding Houses

From Boys’ Boarding

Mr Stewart Bailey | Head of Junior Boys’ Boarding

This week, Mr Marriott and I chose a different tact when it came to collating our newsletter article.  Instead of hearing from us, we decided to hand the reins over to the boys and let them provide you with an insight into Boys’ Boarding.  Our Boarding Captain, Peter McFarland, interviewed some of our youngest members of Boys’ Boarding to learn more about them as people and what it is about boarding that they enjoy.  So here goes…

What’s something you did over the holidays?

Kelvin: I went to Sea World… storm was my favourite ride

Beau: I went on 10-day holiday skiing and travelled to Sydney and Canberra

Sijarne: I saw my family and did a lot of fishing

What’s your favourite thing about boarding?

Kelvin: I like the weekend activities and going to the Scots football matches

Beau: It’s like a big sleepover with your mates all the time.

Sijarne: Sports with the boys; footy, futsal

What has been your favourite boarding activity this year and why?

Kelvin: The games that we went to at Suncorp Stadium

Beau: I loved going to the movies and seeing ‘Uncharted’ and ‘Doctor Strange’

Sijarne: My favourite thing was going to Suncorp for Raiders vs Broncos and Reds vs Warratahs matches

What is the best thing to do after school?

Kelvin: Helping with training; footy and basketball

Beau: Eating food in the common room with the boys of an afternoon (I love noodles)

Sijarne: Footy training with the boys on a Monday and Thursdays

Funny story from boarding

Kelvin: When it rained last – sliding around in the mud playing footy with all the boys on the weekend was the best

Beau: The time when there was a kookaburra tapping on the window reflection having a fight with itself a 4 o’clock in the morning – it woke everyone up!

Sijarne: Walking back from town with Riley and it was so hot that we both started laughing from Rose City all the way back to boarding


From Girls’ Boarding

Mrs Susan Everson | Head of Girls’ Boarding

It has been a busy couple of weeks for the girls! We have found that most school days and weekends have been occupied with a number of College events and activities – all of which have been embraced by our girls with an enthusiasm that showcases the excellent young people that they are growing into.

The annual Inter-Clan Track and Field Carnival provided a day for all of our SCOTS PGC students to shine in their chosen events.  It was excellent to see our girls really give it their all and I was very proud to see some boarding girls on the podium when it came time to present the age champions and the respective runners-up awards.  Special congratulations to Mylie Caldwell (13 years Age Champion), Elyse Maidment (16 Years Age Champion) and Makybe Edwards (17 Years Runner Up) – Well done girls!  As usual, Ros (our resident photographer) was around for the carnival to snap some of our boarders in action.

Jumpers and Jazz in July is a great time of year for the whole town.  Throughout the two-week festival, some of our girls were involved in various events arranged by the College.  One of the events on the College calendar during this time was the College Art Show, which featured work from our Indigenous students.  This art was also then sold via a silent auction to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the Yalari Organisation.  What a fabulous display of talent from all our students.  I am extremely proud of all the girls who worked on art (in some cases, lots of art!) to showcase in the name of a wonderful cause.  It was great to hear that every piece of art was sold, and as a collective, the students raised a sizeable amount to donate to both the Yalari Organisation and the Indigenous Literacy Fund.

Congratulations to everyone involved, particularly Kaysan Miles, who was a driving force behind getting the show organised in conjunction with a dedicated group of College staff.

From the Co-Curricular Desk featured image

From the Co-Curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Acting Director of Co-Curricular Activities Strength and Conditioning Training  (Years 7-12) Due to increasing responsibilities for Mr Cahal Davis in other …


From the Co-Curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Acting Director of Co-Curricular Activities

Strength and Conditioning Training  (Years 7-12)

Due to increasing responsibilities for Mr Cahal Davis in other Co-Curricular areas, we have engaged the services of Mr Dean Cullen to manage the Weights room activities and programming.

Mr Cullen is an Exercise Physiologist, Strength and Conditioning Coach and possesses a Certificate 4 in Fitness. He comes from a background of rugby engagement and rehabilitation and will lead the development of individualised programming for our students. Initially, the sessions will be Monday to Friday 6.00am – 8.00am, but should demand exceed these sessions we will include Monday and Wednesday afternoon sessions.

We encourage all our students regardless of their sporting ability or inclination to consider strength training as a very important factor in combating our otherwise increasingly sedentary lifestyles and health issues in later life. Creating good habits now in their teens is the key to a lifelong participation in a healthy fitness regime.

We hope students will take up this opportunity for their personal development.

Darling Downs Cross Country Team Results

On 17-18 July,  five of our students attended the State 10- 19 years Schools Cross Country Championships at Rivermount College, Yatala.

Declyn Wren contested the U14 4000m event, Mika Repo and Hamish Swift contested the 16/17 years 6000m race, Eliana Jones backed up from 2021 to compete in the 16/17 years 4000m and Mackenzie Mayall toed the line in the 18/19 years 8000m.  All students acquitted themselves well on the challenging and very wet course in some very impressive company.

Mackenzie was the best of our participants in so much as he was the first of our Darling Downs boys’ home in the 18/19 years event after making the team as the number five runner across the line. Hamish and Eliana both made the most of their call-up as replacements to the team by beating some of their more fancied teammates.

Final placings for each were as follows…

  • Declyn Wren      106th       14/15 years      4000m
  • Hamish Swift       96th      16/17 years       6000m
  • Mika Repo      108th           16/17 years      6000m
  • Eliana Jones      97th         16/17 years       4000m
  • Mackenzie Mayall     26th    18/19 years      8000m

All had a great learning experience and thoroughly enjoyed the relay events on day 2 that offer a great opportunity to work as a real team member rather than as opponents in the same team.

Rugby Roundup!

The Super Schools Cup kicked off with a successful home ground start.

The first round saw our U13s win a tough encounter against Downlands College winning 19-7 with a late try to put it beyond doubt. Our U15s were motivated by the success of the younger lads and set about replicating their success. The game ebbed and flowed for much of the contest with the boys holding a narrow margin against the Griffins. As the second half stretched into the later stages, the boys edged away to take a hard-earned win 21-10 where the score belies the struggle of the contest.

In the main game, the Open boys played a very physical game. Downlands scored first and set the tone for an end-to-end contest that would see the defence of both teams tested time and time again. The SCOTS lads struck back early and then extended their lead with a second try. Just a few penalty kicks separated the two teams until the final minutes. With a slender 17-12 lead the boys found themselves under pressure on their own line. Although staunchly defending their line, they were unlucky with a final minute try to the Red and Blue. Downlands had a chance to pinch it but the conversion from the sideline was unsuccessful with the final score 17 –17. A fantastic contest, and a fitting opening match of the Super Schools Cup for 2022.

Week 2 saw the boys from Mary Mackillop and Highfields State College venture to windy Warwick on a cold winter’s evening. The welcome soon warmed up with the U13s playing with extreme confidence after their first-up win. The boys skipped away early but the visitors dug in and battled it out in the trenches for much of the middle 30 minutes of the match. Fortunately, the great start was the foundation of a fantastic finish with the young Lions putting Mary Mackillop / Highfields to the sword finishing up 31-12 winners and remaining undefeated after 2 rounds.

The U15s faced a more determined foe that made life difficult for the lads. Missing their Darling Downs Representatives George Handley and Ryan Bohm the boys took some time to adjust to the new formation which saw the Mary Mackillop / Highfields boys skip away to a handy lead. The team regathered their composure to make a good fist of the contest but the end result of 26-17 to the visitors had been set up early in the match.

Unfortunately, the Open boys took a forfeit win when the Mary Mackillop / Highfields team could not field a squad due to illness and COVID.  We wish them a speedy recovery but take the win and look forward to seeing Captain Peter McFarland return to the paddock after an injury sustained on tour late last term. The return of Jesse Bohm, Queensland Schoolboy Representative, from the National Schoolboys Championship will give some drive in the engine room. With Peter back on the track, Scott Taat will get some room to move I am sure and will certainly be looking to put his teammates through gaps in the defence with his adept passes at just the right moment.

Round 3 will see the boys travel to Gatton where they will all take on the Faith Lutheran side that has themselves come off a tough first-up club season in the Downs Rugby Teenage competition. We wish all teams the very best down the range on Wednesday night.

Our final home games will be at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on Briggs Oval against St Mary’s College, this will be our last match prior to the finals series and as always looms as a cracking contest.

Inter Clan Athletics Championships 2023

Over the course of Weeks 2 and 3, we held our Inter-Clan Championships for the 13-19 years age groups followed by the 9-12 years age groups. These events unfortunately needed to be held offsite due to the flood recovery continuing on Briggs Oval. We thank Warwick Christian College for making their oval available for the events to be contested.

In what was quite the logistical event, we managed to complete all necessary events across the 3 days and at the same time implement new recording and timing systems. When implementing new systems there are always bound to be some teething problems and this was the case unfortunately when generating some of our age champion results. As such, please find attached the final results from our carnivals for Age and Clan Champions. I apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.

  • 9 years Girls  |  Sophie Benz 1st  & Isabelle Pettiford 2nd
  • 9 years Boys |  Harrison Holden 1st Andrew Amos, Spencer Hoffman 2nd
  • 10 years Girls  |  Matilda Hawtin 1st & Ivy Stirling 2nd
  • 10 years Boys  |  Austin Judd 1st & Kahn Hippi, Treshawne Achari2nd
  • 11 years Girls  |  Sophia Pettiford 1st & Naomi Ratcliffe 2nd
  • 11 years Boys  |  Cooper Keogh 1st & Connor Hoffman 2nd
  • 12 years Girls  |  Chloe Harm 1st & Bethany Moore-Kirkland 2nd
  • 12 years Boys  |  Oliver Miller 1st & Harrison Grayson, Matthew Smith 2nd
  • 13 years Girls  |  Mylie Caldwell 1st & Charlize Andrew 2nd 
  • 13 years Boys   |  Innes Nowlan 1st & Charlie Montgomery 2nd
  • 14 years Girls  |  Elliza Moore-Kirkland 1st & Ellyse Kruger 2nd
  • 14 years Boys  |  Bailey Harm 1st & Murphy Benson 2nd
  • 15 years Girls  |  Briana Groves 1st & Phoebe Sellick 2nd
  • 15 years Boys  |  Nelson Madua 1st & Lachlan Twedell 2nd
  • 16 years Girls  |  Elyse Maidment 1st & Jessica Angus 2nd
  • 16 years Boys  |  Benjamin Carey 1st & Darcy Noller 2nd
  • 17 years Girls  |  Alexandra Rickert 1st & Makybe Edwards 2nd
  • 17 years Boys  |  Mika Repo 1st & Daniel Hughes 2nd
  • 18/19 years Girls  |  Niamh Fender 1st & Olivia Lack 2nd
  • 18/19 years Boys  |  Mackenzie Mayall 1st & Tom Denny 2nd

Cruickshank Trophy – Senior Girls 1500m – Zara Kruger

Dorothy Hamilton Trophy – Senior Girls Sprint – Makybe Edwards

Gail Imhoff Trophy – Senior Girls Field Events Champion – Millie Groves

Mutch Trophy – Girls Interclan Champions – Leslie

Phil Doyle Trophy – Senior Boys 1500m – Benjamin Carey

Crombie Trophy – Senior Boys Sprint Champion – Tom Denny

Bruce Pyke Trophy – Senior Boys Field Events Champion – Darcy Noller

Scott Rundle Cup – Boys Interclan Champions – Cameron

Godfrey Watson Memorial Trophy – Senior Boys and Girls Distance Trophy – Eliana Jones and Benjamin Carey (to be presented at final assembly)

Staff Shield – (13-19 years) Inter Clan Champions – Leslie

Junior and Middle School (9-12yrs) Interclan Champions – Cameron

From this event and our other events available we will select all qualifiers for the Darling Downs and Southern Downs events coming up soon.


Campdrafting Training Day

Our Campdraft Training Days are gaining momentum and support from the wider community and from our own students. From all accounts, once again, the day was highly successful as a learning experience, and this is due to the hard work and generosity of several people.

It is my great pleasure to thank the list of SCOTS PGC and Community people below for the tremendous work and generous donations of cattle and time to make the day a true extension of the outdoor classroom that is SCOTS PGC.

Event Organisers:

Without these dedicated humans, this event would not be possible at all and they bring deep passion and drive for this event to be a genuine learning activity.

  • Rachel Bruyn – Our Equestrian Centre Co-ordinator
  • Adam & Jodie Worboys
  • Cheryl Paganin
  • Kal Bruyn

Cattle (Cattle Donors / Hay Supply / Backyards / Transport)

These wonderful people have given most generously to allow our students and those of the wider community to practice their craft with quality beasts and brought to and from the venue in their spare time.

  • Damien McMahon
  • Darren & Jenny Rafton
  • Pat Lunney
  • Wayne Roche
  • Glen Sorenson
  • Noel Veal
  • Haydn & Kerri Lamb
  • George & Fuhrmann
  • Cameron Mulcahy
  • Glenn Muller
  • Mick Weier
  • Geoff Taylor

These experienced campdrafters with their wealth of knowledge have been the very definition of educators and we thank them for their very precious time, knowledge and patience that they have shared with our students.

  • Joe Maher
  • Glen Holmes
  • Boyd Holden
  • Donna Buchanan
  • Terry & Geraldine Dwan
  • Dave Dwan
  • Dane & Katie Bateman
  • Inga Connolly
  • Tanya Bellingham
  • Glenn Evans
  • Lynnette Dollard


Keeping everyone fed we offer our thanks to the following parents for their time and contributions to the event.

  • Jo Sellick
  • Karen Usher
  • Mel Cooper
  • Deb Bischoff
  • Jo Frankcom

If we have missed anyone, I deeply apologise. We wanted to acknowledge those who have made significant contributions to these training days and in preparation for our Youth Draft.

With regards to the SCOTS Youth Draft, this will now be held on the weekend of the 12-13 November when we will have the Warwick Showgrounds facility at our disposal. All enquiries for this event can be sent to Mrs Rachel Bruyn at the Equestrian Centre – [email protected]

 Border District Athletics

Last week, the Senior students came together in a short time as our 13-19 years Athletics Team to contest the Border District Athletics Championships.  The team fought hard during the day, and with a few competitors out with illness, it was very pleasing to see our team jump in and fill spaces where needed.

The following students proved too good for their competitors and were named Age Champions for their efforts.

  • Elliza Moore-Kirkland – U14
  • Bailey Harm – U14
  • Adam McDonald – U15
  • Mackenzie Mayall – Open

In the overall category awards, the team won the Boys Aggregate trophy and also took out the Average Trophy against our smaller and larger rivals where we scored more points per head of population than any other school. In the Girls Aggregate, Warwick SHS were triumphant and in the overall Aggregate standings, SCOTS finished second behind Warwick SHS, with Assumption rounding out the top 3.

Congratulations to all students who participated wholeheartedly for the College and filled places when needed. A big thank you to Mr Saxon Charles, Mr Louw Wiid and Mr Nicholas Spence for their contributions to the day.

QCIS Athletics Carnival

In what was a quick turnaround from our own carnivals we were able to put together a strong team to contest the QCIS Athletics Carnival at Downlands on Monday 1 August.

The day was a cool overcast one at Downlands, but the wind and rain held off long enough for us to be able to complete all events in good time. In the race for the Age Group pennants, the College brought home four pennants with the following Age Groups Teams scoring the win.

  • 13 years Boys – Charlie Montgomery, Henry McMillan, Innes Nowlan, LAchlan Groves and Baxter Twidale
  • 14 years Girls – Elliza Moore-Kirkland, Ellyse Kruger, Amira Duffy, and Sarah Morris
  • 14 years Boys – Lachlan Nolan, Bailey Harm, Murphy Benson, Tanner Henley, Declyn Wren and Cody Muller
  • 16 years Boys – Harry Mayall, Darcy Noller, Hamish Swift and Toby Usher – Special mention to Darcy and Harry who ran, jumped and threw in nearly every event. Hamish covered the distance events and Toby taking second in the High Jump helped them to secure the win for the College.

All our teams did their best and our youngest competitors had a great introduction to what is the biggest one-day carnival on the Darling Downs outside of the regional championships themselves.

We thank all competitors and our staff for their support of the day. These events don’t just happen overnight and many hours of selection, planning and set-up go into the successful execution of the day.

Finally, we thank our hosts Downlands College who took up the hosting duties when we were unable to prepare our fields in time for the event after the flood recovery. We hope to be able to host the event ourselves in 2023 and look forward to fielding the strongest possible team on home soil.

SCOTS 7s 2023

With regards to the SCOTS 7s scheduled for Friday 2 September, I have made the difficult decision to cancel for 2022. This decision has been made based on several mitigating circumstances including flood recovery, fence damage, access to fields by our heavy machinery and sheer logistics in the face of limited time available. I understand that this may be a very disappointing one for many but it has been made in the health and safety interests of all parties.

Arranmore Activities Term 3

These activities kicked off Week 3 of Term 3 and continue for 7 weeks (weather permitting)

  • Golf – Tuesdays at Warwick Golf Club (limited places)
  • Cooking Club (Yeasr 5-6) – Tuesdays in the Prep Kitchen (limited places)
  • Craft Club – Tuesday afternoons in the Senior School Art Room
  • Basketball – Wednesday afternoons at John Muir or WALEC
  • Dance – Wednesday afternoons at Chapel Hall or WALEC
  • Cricket – Thursday afternoons at Buss Oval

Upcoming Trials

  • Southern Downs 1500m events | Wednesday 3 August
  • Southern Downs Athletics Carnival | Monday 8 August
  • Southern Downs 10-12 years Girls and Boys Cricket Trials | Friday 5 August
  • DD School Girls Rugby 7s (U13, U15, Open – commencing Friday 29 July)
  • Super Schools Cup Boys Rugby (U13, U15, Open) – commencing Wednesday 20 July
  • Warwick All Schools Athletics – Tuesday 9 August (Pre-Event) and Wednesday 10 August (Main Carnival Day)
  • Warwick Interschool Netball (U13, Junior and Open) – commencing Thursday 11 August (please note the change)
From the Junior & Middle Schools featured image

From the Junior & Middle Schools

Exploring the Past in Year 1 Sharyn Bomford | Year 1 Class Teacher Year 1 is applying a play-based approach to our History unit ‘Past …


From the Junior & Middle Schools

Exploring the Past in Year 1

Sharyn Bomford | Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 1 is applying a play-based approach to our History unit ‘Past and Present’ this semester. Play-based learning provides opportunities for children to actively and imaginatively engage with people, objects and the environment. Symbolic representation is a critical aspect to the dramatic play type we are engaging in.

The unit of work is addressing the key inquiry questions:

  • How can we show that the present is different from or similar to the past?
  • How has family and school life changed or remained the same over time?

The children have built an olden day house in the classroom. The first room we are exploring is the dining room. They have looked at photographs from the past, looking for clues at what pieces of furniture were present in the room. The two key pieces of furniture they showed interest in was the dining table and fireplace. After researching images from the past online, they then discussed objects and materials they had access to at home and in Junior School to begin constructing the play space.

In building and when playing in the space, our young learners may be organising, constructing, manipulating, pretending, exploring, investigating, creating, interacting, imagining, negotiating and making sense of their world. It promotes the holistic development (physical, social, emotional, cognitive and creative) of the children and also supports a broad range of literacy and numeracy skills.

The children were grateful and very excited by the crockery, china teapot, cutlery and a very special dining chair, all dropped in by Mrs Malone, Mrs Thompson, Mrs Michelle Brown, our families and me. Every so often, I hear my grandparent’s cutlery set clatter and clang as the children set the table for a meal. The table settings can be very elaborate at times as they discuss the different pieces in the set. You hear the china plates and cups chime as the children gently navigate the pouring of tea into teacups. There is rich language within their conversations as they encourage our ESL student to engage in conversation. Dressing up for Sunday lunch in costumes from our musical department and listening to how the children negotiate roles within the family has been a wonderful experience for me to witness as they navigate through their complex world of play.

The play space creates other opportunities for teachable moments that are initiated by the childrens’ interests and exploration. Our big fireplace sparked a moment of play of baking bread. Three of our students engaged in a conversation about making and baking bread within their play. This small moment of time lead to a morning of baking bread in our Junior School kitchen under Mrs Stephenson and her Year 7 class’ direction. Learning through a play-based approach that connects us with others has sparked a wonderful opportunity for our Year 1 children to learn outside of their classroom walls and form relationships with our wider school community

Mrs Hall helped us connect with the Queensland Museum to loan artefact kits throughout the semester to add to our play space as we change and explore different rooms. We are planning to move from the formal dining room to the kitchen and then turn the house into an olden day school room over the semester.

Year 4 Assembly

The Year 4 students and Mr Campbell hosted our first Junior School Assembly for Semester 2.  The students shared some of what they have been learning with us.  We heard about their Geography unit exploring Africa and saw some of the advertising posters they have created to persuade and inform.

The assembly was also full of performances, with a highlight being the group singing a favourite French song that Mr Blake has taught them and the audience joining in.  I think we all agreed that booking a trip to Paris should be on our ‘To Do’ list.  Year 4 concluded their assembly by sharing some fabulously corny jokes.

It was a lovely way to end the week.

From the Senior School featured image

From the Senior School

Hospitality helpers out and about at Jumpers & Jazz Over the past two weekends of the Jumpers & Jazz in July Festival, our wonderful Certificate …


From the Senior School

Hospitality helpers out and about at Jumpers & Jazz

Over the past two weekends of the Jumpers & Jazz in July Festival, our wonderful Certificate II in Hospitality students were given a fantastic opportunity to gain some real-life, hands-on experience.

On Saturday 23 July, four of our students assisted with the food and beverage service at the “Shaken to the Soul” Concert at St Mary’s Hall.

The next weekend, the ‘Local Flavours Long Lunch’ in Leslie Park took place, where six of our students assisted with setting and clearing tables, service of the four-course lunch and the distributing of the complimentary beverage to guests upon arrival.

The Jumpers and Jazz committee could not speak highly enough of our students, they were professional, hardworking and a credit to themselves and the College.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Jumpers and Jazz festival in the years to come.

Samantha shines at Queensland Training Awards

The Queensland Training Awards Darling Downs South West Regional Finals were held in Dalby on Friday night.

Past student, Samantha McKechnie, is to be congratulated for her success as being named as a Top 3 finalist, amongst a very strong field of nominees, in the Vocational Student of the Year category for outstanding achievement by a student who has recently completed a VET qualification in Queensland.

Samantha completed a Certificate III in Business School Based Traineeship during Years 11 and 12 at Catalyst Accounting & Tax as well as a Diploma of Business to extend her skills and knowledge.

Samantha was also named School Based Trainee of the Year and Aurora Training Institute Vocational Student of the Year at the College’s 2021 Speech Day awards.

It is a wonderful achievement, and we are very proud of Samantha.


SAVE THE DATE | SCOTS PGC – Spring Flavours 2022

Taste the magic at SCOTS PGC! Our Business students in Years 9 and 10 are coordinating an ‘Eat Street’ style event with market stalls, live entertainment and student displays.  Please mark Wednesday 7 September on your calendars.  The event will take place from 3.30 pm – 6.30 pm in and around the Assembly Hall and is bound to be a fantastic afternoon/evening for the whole family!

Stay tuned for more details!

Cinematic experiences at SCOTS PGC

On Friday 22 July, Drama students from Years 9-11 had the privilege of working with Academy Award winner, Greg Huglin and his wife, Andrea, from the Noosa Film Academy. The students were taken through a full day of filming and editing where they were challenged to use their improvisational skills to create a short film using minimal prompts titled, ‘The Choice’.

Devising their own storyline, the students split into groups to collaborate and create a series of scenes to add to the production, which was directed by Greg and produced by Andrea. The students were then guided through an editing process to finalise their short film using Greg and Andrea’s cinematography experience.

The day was filled with lots of learning, laughter, and re-takes! We would like to thank Greg and Andrea for their time and for coming to share their brilliant expertise with us. Please enjoy our final short film:

The Power of Empathy as a Foundation for a Positive Community featured image

The Power of Empathy as a Foundation for a Positive Community

Ms Amy Woodgate | Head of Junior and Middle Schools ‘Learning to stand in someone else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace …


The Power of Empathy as a Foundation for a Positive Community

Ms Amy Woodgate | Head of Junior and Middle Schools

‘Learning to stand in someone else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins.  And it’s up to you to make that happen.  Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.’

Barack Obama

The word ‘empathy’ is used often but it is important to unpack what it actually means.  An empathetic response involves both thinking and feeling.  To be empathetic, we must be able to notice the feelings of someone else and also have genuine care for them.  Empathy is the foundation for developing a strong positive community of respect, tolerance and compassion.  It goes beyond just feeling sorry for someone else or having sympathy for their situation, it extends to having a true understanding of the perspectives of others and using this knowledge to guide our actions.

As described by ‘The Resilience Project’ author Hugh Van Cuylenburg, empathy is putting ourselves in the shoes of others to feel and see as they do.  If you haven’t already done so, I thoroughly recommend exploring The Resilience Project work that Hugh and his team are doing.  His first book titled ‘The Resilience Project – Finding happiness through gratitude, empathy and mindfulness’, the follow up book titled ‘Let Go’ and his podcast ‘The Imperfects’ are all incredibly insightful, engaging and thought-provoking and worth a read or listen for both adults and adolescents.  Hugh and the team from The Resilience Project have the mission of teaching positive mental health strategies to help people become happier.  Through Hugh’s experiences and those of the team he works with, they recognise that mental health is a significant issue in our society and seek to do all that they can to provide adults and young people with tools and strategies to build resilience and happiness.  As described by Hugh through his storytelling, practicing Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness (GEM) can be simple in practice but incredibly powerful for our own happiness and wellbeing.

Not only does showing empathy and doing something kind help others, it also helps us through the release of oxytocin in our brain and the increase this can bring to our own self-esteem, confidence and positivity.  Empathy leads to helping behaviours that can benefit social relationships.  Empathising with others also helps us learn to regulate our own emotions.

It is a skill that we can learn and strengthen through intentional practices such as:

  • Listening to people without interrupting
  • Paying attention to body language and other non-verbal cues
  • Trying to understand the perspective of others even if you don’t agree with them
  • Imagining ourselves in someone else’s situation
  • Identifying any biases that we may have and how they affect our interactions with others
  • Engaging in new experiences or interacting with different groups to expand our own understanding of the world and gain an insight into how others may be thinking or feeling in a different situation

Although seemingly simple, building empathy does take attention and commitment.  Studies have shown that when young people have empathy, they display increased class engagement, higher academic achievement, better communication skills, positive social behaviours and productive relationships.  (‘How to Build Empathy and Strengthen Your School Community’)

Developing empathy in young people comes from the dedicated actions of the adults of influence surrounding them.  As key figures in the lives of our young people, we can demonstrate and model empathetic responses and provide opportunities for our children to have care and compassion for all in their community, opening their eyes and their ears to those around them and then taking appropriate actions.  Quite often, it is the step to action that takes courage for our young people.  They may recognise and feel concern for someone else but may not have the confidence or knowledge of how to genuinely assist the other person or group.  We can model, encourage and guide these empathetic responses and actions in our homes, neighborhoods and school community.

In our SCOTS Engage program with Year 8, we have begun by exploring the concept of empathy and developing our understanding of why this is important to us as leaders of the Middle School but also as engaged members of our College and wider community.  We also discussed, using Brene Brown’s work, the difference between empathy and sympathy and what actions and words do demonstrate empathy and what do not.  The students have shared their ideas with each other and will also share more widely through Tutor Groups and displays around the College, with some of the posters they have created below.

Aligning with our College values of Authenticity and Respect, instilling in our students an understanding of what it means to be truly empathetic can ensure our boys and girls are compassionate members of their community who genuinely care for the wellbeing of others whilst enhancing their own happiness and resilience.  It would seem that the old adage of ‘walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is a simple yet incredibly powerful way of being.