Building our future | Honouring our past

Mr Kyle Thompson | Principal

Every day at SCOTS PGC College I am cognisant of our 105 years of history, as well as where we are currently as a school community. At the same time as noting these aspects, it is also important to look up and forward as to what the future holds and needs. This involves considering the current and future needs of our learners, the needs of our staff and staffing needs, to ensure we continue to consolidate what is important as well as develop new and future focused offerings that equip our students for their futures, even if we cannot be 100% sure what that might be.

The first two weeks of term have seen us address, celebrate, and communicate on all of these important aspects that make up our school’s past, present and future.

A highlight of week one was our Masterplan Launch. More specifically, it was a night where the College was able to articulate where we were some 6 years ago, where we are now, and what our focus will be on to further enhance our school in the short and medium term. It has been quite a journey to get to this point and now we reset and to some extent begin the next chapter of this journey that never ends.

The College is currently, arguably, in the strongest place in its history. We have just over 500 students with a strategic target of maintaining the number of streams (fancy word for classes) at their current level to maintain our smallish size yet be able to offer the variety of programs and subjects that we are known for. Our academic results have, over the last 4 years been the strongest in the College’s history, our Co-Curricular program has been revitalised to include some 25 activities, some of which are uniquely SCOTS PGC, and we remain committed to our academic pathways including VET, pure academics or blended. Our developing partnerships with Southern Cross University, the University of Queensland (Gatton) and the agriculture industry in general are testimony to this.

Our relationships with our community, supplementary to the above continue to develop and remain an important part of our strategy for the College. Our partnership with the Warwick Community Kindergarten and other early learning centres, the Warwick Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, and industry specialists are all developing.

Last Thursday many staff parents and students came together to recognise this and to hear about our plans for the immediate future. We were able to proudly speak about our historical precinct, its importance to our history and our intention to bring this back as the ‘front of house’ for SCOTS PGC. This process has begun, albeit slowly, as we have refurbished and relocated finance and IT to this area and commenced an historical gallery style walkway with some wonderful prints of our past.

Our largest endeavour to be embarked upon was the redevelopment of our Middle School, involving the building of General Learning Areas, Covered Outdoor Learning Areas, and specialist rooms for Science, STEM, and Agriculture Technology-based learning. The College currently has a grant application with the Block Grant Authority, our development application is about to be submitted to Council and a tendering process undertaken next term. Our timeline for Ms Woodgate to dig her first hole is the end of this year or, most likely early 2024. This is an example of us looking to the future and ensuring our classrooms are fit for purpose in an ever-changing educational landscape.

I thank all those staff, parents, and community members for their attendance at the masterplan launch and we look forward to keeping everyone informed as this exciting project progresses.

Having written about our present and our future, it would be remiss of me not to mention the College’s ANZAC Service. I know it will be referenced throughout the newsletter by others. However, the reverence of our service, our students’ commitment to honouring our past fallen and their willingness to attend and be part of this ceremony speak volumes to their character. Many staff work tirelessly to ensure the Service is seamless, again showing a willingness to go over and above. It was a morning where one could not help but feel great humility and pride in being part of this special community. I again thank all those who attended and supported this important College event.

It is also worth celebrating the College’s involvement in the town services. Our Pipes and Drums were everywhere, and individuals played in a variety of services from dawn and throughout the day. The College had approximately 250 students march in the parade. Again, a great reflection on our students and the SCOTS PGC community. I say often that Warwick is important to SCOTS and SCOTS is important to Warwick, just as honouring our past is important when planning for our future.

Lest we forget