Staying Connected, Literally

Kyle Thompson | Principal

I read a while back that a school in Victoria, a primary school, had banned the hug.

In reflecting on that notion my initial reaction was: how extraordinary! A place that cares for students has banned a way in which care, concern, and even praise and connection can occur. This again caused me to reflect on my own practices, at home and at work, in regards to the kids I engage with. In an environment that is becoming increasingly ‘virtual’ surely we need to continue to value real interactions?

Connection and connecting with our boys and girls is vital in ensuring we are able to teach them effectively. Some years ago, I attended a presentation by Clarke Wight and part of his presentation talked about the importance of touch in the context of connection, belonging and communicating. Even when writing about this ‘touch’ or ‘connection’, I find myself constantly reflecting on how the words might be portrayed. That in itself saddens me a great deal. Schools in general, and indeed all of society, have all too often been swept up in the realm of political correctness or fear of persecution. Sometimes justifiably and sometimes at the expense of some very powerful and good behaviours that help our world to be a better place.

We should discuss with our boys and girls the importance of a good handshake and strong eye contact and the fact that when we do these things it is much more than more than just a greeting. Often this is our first chance to connect and communicate with someone. It is also a way of showing appreciation, congratulations and reconnection with old friends. That extended moment, regardless of context, is very powerful and important to many of our relationships.

When one considers the ‘high five’ or the fist or elbow bump it is easy to say these are suitable substitutions. Really? Without denigrating these gestures – they have their place too, especially in our current climate, I would argue that they are just not the same as a meaningful handshake, a hand on the shoulder, or even dare I say it, a hug at an appropriate time.

As a man and as an educator, one of the highlights I draw upon in this context was reuniting with an ex-student of mine, Dane Gagai (even if he is a Queenslander!) at the end of a Year 12 Formal at a previous school at the Sofitel. He was staying there with his team. Apart from the amazing conversation we had, this experienced and tough rugby league player and old boy of that school hugged me and another staff member. An amazing gesture and more meaningful than words. Worth considering I think…

Now I am not advocating a hug fest begins at SCOTS PGC. Not at all. However, I believe we must ensure we are not the generation that creates a generation unable to connect in this very special way, especially as we continue to work through the physical restrictions our current environment places on us. It’s a reminder to me,and hopefully others, to go home tonight and hug my wife and daughters. I think in doing that it would say far more than ‘Hi, I’m home.’ And it’s a reminder that a handshake, a hug or a pat on the back and are very powerful tools in developing young men and women and staying connected and human in a time where that is not always easy.

Careers’ Night Success featured image

Careers’ Night Success

Richard Dobrenov | Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School On Monday night the recently postponed Careers’ Evening took place in the WALEC library.  Fourteen …

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Careers’ Night Success

Richard Dobrenov | Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School

On Monday night the recently postponed Careers’ Evening took place in the WALEC library.  Fourteen past students and four parents presented to a large audience of Year 11&12 students and their parents.

The main purpose of the night was to provide students with an understanding of what certain professions actually do, and how the night’s presenters reached this stage of their professional lives.  Similarly, the opportunity to both connect and reconnect with the school was another important factor.  Professions represented included Journalism, International Relations, Education, Nursing, Agronomy, Engineering both Structural and Agricultural, Butchery, Construction, Veterinary Science and Physiotherapy, amongst others.

Repeatedly the key message from the speakers was, ‘That it is ok, if you don’t know what you want to do when school finishes’ and ‘That if you don’t achieve your main goal, secondary goals are just as valuable in moving you along the journey.’  Unfortunately, the current educational system which imposes prerequisite subjects in senior, as an aspect of qualification to a higher degree course, places unwarranted pressure on our students in Year 10 and their future planning.  Whilst the mantra has always been to select subjects you enjoy and are good at, these prerequisites still need to be met, if the goal is entry to university.  Again, many of the presenters took some time to find what they were truly passionate about, but what they did keep doing, was learning, evolving and moving forward.

The subject of school based apprenticeships was another topic introduced during the night.  One of the presenters obtained a School based apprenticeship in Year 12 where he remained with the same employer for a number of years, whilst another felt that only honing his skills once a week was somewhat disadvantageous, when compared to other apprentices who were working regularly.  Again the major theme to emerge on the night was ‘Choose the path that best suits you’ and ‘As long as you are continually learning, you’re moving down the pathway towards your goal.’

So much of the night’s success rests with the College Foundation and the Past Students’ Association, and I pay particular attention to Mrs Sarah Henry for her connection with and coordination of the speakers.  In schools such as ours, connecting to who we are, and celebrating this as past and present students is an important feature of our community.  We are SCOTS PGC College, a school with over 100 years of history, which has throughout this time, been an important pillar of the Warwick community and beyond.   Given the success of the night, planning is already underway for next year’s session.

From Girls Boarding featured image

From Girls Boarding

Susan Everson | Head of Girls Boarding Welcome back to all boarding students, we welcome 4 new students to the boarding house. bringing our total …

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From Girls Boarding

Martina Marshall at the Junior and Middle School Athletics Carnival on Thursday

Susan Everson | Head of Girls Boarding

Welcome back to all boarding students, we welcome 4 new students to the boarding house. bringing our total number of boarders

Felicity Hodges and Kaysan Miles during their visit to the Glennie Heights Kindy

to 55. There are exciting times with lots of building works in the progress a new 3-bedroom dorm,  and prep spaces being upgraded.

The township of Warwick has been abuzz with the Jumpers and Jazz festival and the girls are involved in the community festivities. The Term 3 boarder activity list will be out later in the week and is going to be packed full of great activities, such as Tambourine Mountain High tops challenge, the EKKA, and Cloud 9 just to name a few.

Year 12’s have a very busy academic term and are settling in well to their study demands. We are happy to be able to offer our girls new staff on during prep to assist them with their study demands as well as Seniors being offered extra academic assistance on Tuesday and Thursday nights over at our Oxenham campus.

From Hawkins House featured image

From Hawkins House

David Marriott | Head of Senior Boys Boarding It has been a smooth transition back into Hawkins House for our 41 Senior Boy Boarders as …

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From Hawkins House

David Marriott | Head of Senior Boys Boarding

It has been a smooth transition back into Hawkins House for our 41 Senior Boy Boarders as Term 3 began with plenty of activity on travel day. I have been particularly impressed by our Year 12 students as they move quickly into many pieces of assessment. Importantly, now that the familiar school routines are back in place, all the boys are continuing to strengthen their positive friendships, smile regularly, and work well.  These characteristics will be important for the semester ahead, with our three values of Respect, Tenacity and Spirit being at the forefront of all we do together in Senior Boys Boarding.

There are many co-curricular activities happening over the coming weeks. The start of the Super Schools Cup, our inter-school rugby completion, will see a large amount of boys participating. I wish them well for the season ahead. In addition, we have boys involved in cattle and sheep club and others in the Rock Band and the STEM club who have created the excellent lights and music displays as a part of the Jumpers n’ Jazz festival. Well done to all involved.

Our Senior Boys’ boarders have many exciting weekend activities planned for the term. These include movie nights, the SCOTS PGC Campdraft, trips to Mt Tambourine and the Ekka, as well as the popular Toowoomba Shopping trip and Cloud 9 activity. The middle of the term will also see another Adopt a Boarder weekend, so please look to support this activity where possible.

From Cunningham House featured image

From Cunningham House

Stewart Bailey | Head of Junior Boys Boarding Hello and welcome back to Term 3! Last week was an exceptionally busy one for us here …

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From Cunningham House

Stewart Bailey | Head of Junior Boys Boarding

Hello and welcome back to Term 3! Last week was an exceptionally busy one for us here in boarding. To begin with, there’s always a degree of excitement upon returning to boarding as the boys catch up with all their mates and settle back into the routines of College life. Many boys were busy during the holiday, either hard at work on their respective properties, spending some quality time with their families or following their various sporting interests. It is always great to hear of the success enjoyed by so many.

A big “thank you” to all the parents who have diligently named all their son’s clothing for the beginning of the boarding term.  Your efforts make the laundry process run more smoothly and ensure that the boys receive their clothes back promptly.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to be vigilant with the naming of your son’s clothes and ask that you please name any new clothing bought throughout the rest of the year.

This term promises to be just as busy as the last, and I look forward to catching up with you all over the course of the next few weeks. As always, please don’t hesitate to call if you would like to discuss any issue or concern.

Finally, in closing, I’d like to share an insightful passage that was sent to me from a Basketball Mentor and Teacher friend of mine for over 35 years. The message is written in the context of sport: basketball, naturally for me. However, there are some very profound ‘life lessons’ to be taken from it as well – not only for you as parents, and for the boys, but for myself and our boarding staff as we work together and alongside you all in encouraging the endeavours and pursuits of these amazing boys (sporting or otherwise).

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, to receive it.

 

If you give a kid a basketball, they will want a hoop to go with it.

Then, they will probably spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with them, even though you may want to sit on the couch and watch tv. They will insist. And their insistence will win.

And when a kid gets a jersey, they will need shorts and socks and shoes to go with it. And a TEAM….

And then life as you know it will end.

There will be no more lazy weekends watching tv. You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible. Every spare minute of your time will be spent taking your child to practice for a game.

And your house will be a mess. And your car will be dirty. All because you gave a kid a basketball.

Your weekends will be spent freezing or burning to death on a chair. And their weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends and learning new skills and having fun.

And you will be there the day they make their first goal, first foul, and their first 3 pointer. And they will make you SO proud. The other mums & dads will congratulate you. But you feel weird saying thank you because it’s not you with the ball on the court. It’s everything them. They did this.

And right before your eyes, your little child will be transformed from the baby who spun around with their hand on the ball making their first goal (because they love attention). Because they love attention still.

When you give a kid a basketball, you give them more than just a ball. You give them a sport, and talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about the life, room to grow as a person where they can push their limits, and bravery, and courage and LIFE, and memories. And they will have ALL of these things, simply because you gave a kid a basketball.

Because you gave a kid a basketball, you too will develop new/lifelong friendships, developed solely from the same passion for the game and love of your team. You will cheer together.  Because you gave a kid a basketball.

Then one day, many years from today…. they will be in their room and a basketball will roll out from an old dusty bag underneath their bed. And they will pick it up and realize instantly that when you gave that kid a basketball, you also gave them a childhood that they would never forget. And then they will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything YOU gave up along the way….was worth it!

All because you gave a kid a basketball 🏀️ …….

 

 

 

Captains Corner | Equestrian

The 2021 Hygain Interschool QLD State Championships Combined Training and Eventing The Scots PGC Equestrian Team has settled right back in and had some great …

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Captains Corner | Equestrian

The 2021 Hygain Interschool QLD State Championships Combined Training and Eventing

The Scots PGC Equestrian Team has settled right back in and had some great success at their first event back for the term, both individually and as a team, at the 2021 Hygain Interschool QLD State Championships Combined Training and Eventing, held at Morgan Park over the weekend.  Although, the conditions were trying the team represented the school proudly. Thank you to everyone for helping out wherever you could and making this event run as smoothly as possible.  Results are as follows:

 

Combined Training

60cm Class – Natasha Paganin: 17th

80cm Class –   Hanaka Parker: 2nd    Sophie Poole: 19th  Gabby Sellick: 20th

1* Class – Felicity Sellick- 10th

 

Eventing

EvA60cm-       Phoebe Sellick: 4th     Hanaka Parker: 5th

EvA80cm-       Jess Angus: 6th       Gabby Sellick: 12th        Felicity Sellick: 13th

 

Team Wins

QLD Secondary Combined Training Team 2021 –  6th Place

Hanaka Parker, Gabby Sellick, Natasha Paganin and Sophie Poole.

QLD Secondary Eventing Team 2021 –  2nd Place

Hanaka Parker, Pheobe Sellick, Jess Angus and Gabby Sellick

 

Equestrian Pilates

Last Thursday 14 of our equestrian team members had their very first Pilates session with Rhiannon Thomas.  It was a huge success. Everyone had a great time and although we know Rhiannon took it easy on us, we are looking forward to it once again. So look out for your fellow equestrian team this Thursday, you may see us hobbling around the grounds. All team members are welcome to join these sessions every Thursday at 7 am at the gym.

 

SCOTS PGC Highschool Campdraft

As you all know by now the College will be holding a Highschool Campdraft at the Warwick Showgrounds 31st July – 1st August 2021.  The Program is out on the ACA and Nominate Event Calendars for further details, however, nominations have now closed.  We are extremely pleased to have over 150 nominations and 98 riders in attendance in Junior, Juvenile and Associate draft categories.

We would like to thank our SCOTS community and their friends and family for their outstanding support of our draft.  There are many people to thank, but if we can start this week with our cattle donors.  Anybody involved in drafting will realise how difficult it can be to source cattle and freight but we have been overwhelmed with the community support in this regard.  First of all, we would like to thank Mr Adam Worboys for all his hard work in this area and the following cattle donors:

Pat McMahon

Brian Bourke

Maugan Benn

Kevin and Dianne Ryan

Scott Christensen

David Brown

 

Home bake – Any home bake would be greatly appreciated for our draft canteen and in support of all our workers behind the scenes.  Home bake may be left at the Front Office or Equestrian Centre on Friday 30th July. Thank you for your support.

 

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Jump Rope for Heart

Brooke Dwan | Junior HPE Teacher Week 2 – Jump Rope for Heart  I am pleased to see many of our Junior School students have …

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Jump Rope for Heart

Brooke Dwan | Junior HPE Teacher

Week 2 – Jump Rope for Heart 

I am pleased to see many of our Junior School students have registered for the Jump Rope for heart program.  As a school we have already raised $900 and logged a total of 5 hours of skipping.  That’s amazing.  Keep up the good work.

Each week I will share a weekly skipping challenge on SCOTS Connect. This week I challenge students to master the ‘Skier’. Watch this video and see if you can master this fun skipping trick”.  Parents, feel free to have a go with your kids!

It is not too late to register.  Create your own secure Jump Rope for Heart webpage at jumprope.org.au/parents. By signing up online, you and your child can:

  • Easily raise funds online
  • Track skipping skills progress and earn virtual badges along the way
  • Post updates to your page so family and friends can follow their progress
  • Access additional skipping resources

Updates will be posted throughout the term on SCOTS Connect.

Ponytail Project is Back Again! featured image

Ponytail Project is Back Again!

Charlotte Jarvis | Year 12 Student We’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of our previous senior year girls and #ROCKTHECHOP for Cancer Council’s Ponytail …

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Ponytail Project is Back Again!

Charlotte Jarvis | Year 12 Student

We’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of our previous senior year girls and #ROCKTHECHOP for Cancer Council’s Ponytail Project. 

We’ve created this team because we are inspired by the works of Cancer Council Queensland and we want to make a difference for those enduring the long battles that cancer brings, their resilient and supportive families, and in the advancement of global medical research.

Please help us help them by using the ‘Give Now’ button and sharing our page. The more people that know about the Ponytail Project 2021, the greater the impact.

Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!