Mr Mark Richards | Director of Learning and Innovation.

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is bitterest.” – Confucius

As the artic blast sweeps in from the south, the nights draw on and the frost sparkles in the morning light, it is a time of reflection at SCOTS PGC College.  Feedback and reflection are an essential part of the learning process, not just in schools, but for every lifelong learner.  Without constructive criticism, it is very difficult to identify areas for improvement.  For a learning community it is a vital cog; being able to use feedback proactively and being tenacious enough to keep going, despite setbacks, enabling us to work towards academic and personal excellence.

This reminds me of my favourite inventor and engineer, Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb.  Edison placed great importance on reflection, seeing each failure as an opportunity to learn something new about the problem and about himself.  This was the key to his success and eventual breakthrough.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Self-reflection is a humbling process as often we are our greatest critic.  However, it is essential to find why you think, say and do certain things.  This informs and inspires us to better ourselves.  There would be no iPhone if Steve Jobs had not been able to reflect and improve himself after he was fired as CEO of Apple.  No moon landing for Apollo 11 if the NASA engineers had not reflected and improved on the Apollo missions 1 through 10.  Large companies like Google and Microsoft devote whole divisions tasked with asking one question, “how can we improve?”

Here at SCOTS PGC College, we see this reflection and self-improvement as a core skill and after every assessment item, there is an opportunity for students to gain feedback from their teachers and reflect on their own learning.  Students are encouraged to set goals for the future and to make improvements for next time.  It is in this self-reflection that the most powerful learning happens and resilience is developed.  This is especially important to remember when students receive their end of semester reports over the holidays and attend Parent-Teacher and SET Plan interviews at the start of next term.  Every time we receive feedback it is a learning opportunity.

 “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

Finally, let me take this opportunity to update you on a few things over the coming months.  Firstly, the Travel Day at the beginning of Term 3, will encompass Parent-Teacher interviews and Year 10 SET Plan interviews. This is an opportunity for the students to reflect on where they are at and plan for Year 11.

As part of our own reflective practice and drive to improve, we will also be sending out a subject review survey for Year 11 and 12 subjects.  The aim is to gain feedback about our community’s thoughts on our current suite of offerings and if there is anything we need to add.  If you have any questions about anything to do with the curriculum at SCOTS, please do not hesitate to get in contact.  I hope everyone has a restful and happy holiday.