From the Principal, Mark Geraets
Welcome to our first newsletter of the 2021 school year.
It’s been wonderful to see so many happy, smiling faces every morning and I extend a warm welcome to the 120 new students who joined us for the start of term. It has been wonderful hearing the many holiday stories from students, young and old, and watching them greet their friends and teachers with such excitement after the break.
Our teachers are experienced in helping students settle into school life but sometimes, students find the transition to Junior School or Senior School a little challenging. If you are looking for a little extra guidance, please speak to your child’s teacher/Learning Mentor, to me, or have a look at this article on navigating the first days at school.
HSC - Class of 2020
As we begin the new year, it is fitting to congratulate our Class of 2020. Our HSC students achieved some wonderful results amid a year of pandemic like no other in living memory. Nearly 40% of our students were included on the prestigious NSW Distinguished Achievers list; they scored a total of 26 Band 6 and 100 Band 5 results, 16% of the cohort achieved ATARS 90+ and four students recorded scores above 95 in individual subjects.
The Scots School Albury ATAR Medal winner Luke Marsh earned an ATAR of 97.65, narrowly missing All Rounder status. Luke led the way on the Distinguished Achievers list and other students to be recognised were Alex Freire, Claire Stanley, Sigrid Bahr, Sarah Collie, Tabitha Cross, Maddison Geddes, Freya Giles, Olivia Hearn, Kate Kingsell, Claudia Kirwan, Ziggy Lamond, Desna Ramjee, Sophie Standish, Will Tomkins, Shelby Vincent, Thomas White and Jake Wright. Congratulations all.
Agricultural Learning Space
Over the holidays, our Agricultural Learning Space started to take shape with the help of many volunteers from our amazing community. The site was levelled, market garden beds and irrigation was installed and the Luff Pavilion was transformed into a multi-purpose learning space. The chickens are on their way and the plant production areas are marked out so Stage 1 is almost complete. We wish to express sincere thanks to all who have pitched in to get the project off the ground, particularly Michael Butko and the team from JC Butko Engineering, Bede Hutchinson from Hutchinson Civil, Will O’Neill from O’Neill Earthworks & Landscaping. Andrew Baxter and the crew from Baxters Concrete, AP Delaney & Co, Richard Harrington from The Rock Yard and Sam Pincott from Holbrook Paddock Eggs. These wonderful people have given tremendous amounts of support, time and resources to our project. Thank you!
As we welcome 120 new students including an additional 20 boarders, we also welcome new staff members. Kelly McKay has joined us from Wesley College in Melbourne as our Head of Senior School and I’m looking forward to working alongside her this year. Kelly has some wonderful experience in regional and city schools and will be a huge asset at Scots.
Please make sure you embrace these additional new staff members into our community: Ella Arnetz (PDHPE/Science), Rebecca Bosch (Reception), Melanie Davies (PDHPE), James Dawson (Maths), Madeline McLean (Junior School), Peter Schneider (HSIE), Shirley Slade (D&T), Emily Spargo (Pre-school), Shontell Toohey (English) and Jenny Zielinski (Junior School), Priya Gray (Teacher assistant)
In addition to new staff, we are happy to announce new positions. Thomas Hartshorn is our new Learning Area Leader for the Investigating Department (Science, Math, Ag., PDHPE), Brad Murphy is the Coordinator for the new Technology and Innovation Co-Curricular stream, and Georgie Parker is our new PYP coordinator.
And, there will be some staff you won't see this term, either due to maternity leave or long service leave. They include Emma Carter, maternity leave, Semester 1; Karlen McDonald, maternity leave, Alison Mitchell, long service leave, Term 1; Sarah Spiteri, extended leave and Belinda Cottrell, long service leave, Term 1.
Our Fide et Literis scholarships are open for new and existing students, which means I’m going on a bit of a regional road trip next week to spread the word. Meeting current and prospective families is always one of my favourite parts of the scholarship process. Scholarships are offered to exceptional students in academics, sport, performing arts and boarding; and our information sessions will kick off at the School next Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. We then embark on a road trip of regional visits, starting with Leeton next Thursday at 4pm before Griffith the same day at 7pm. We head to Deniliquin on Wednesday 17 February and Tocumwal on Wednesday 24 February. Keep an eye out in your local newspapers and on social media for ways to register for your nearest event. I encourage you to share this information among your friends and consider attending one of the information sessions yourself.
Fortnight of activity
Now that the school app is being used much more operationally this term, our newsletters will move to fortnightly on the Friday of even numbered school weeks. If you haven’t downloaded the app, can I suggest you do so as not to miss out on anything. Click here for instructions on how to download the app and personalise your notifications.
As always, the start of the school year runs on a hectic schedule and the next two weeks are no different. We have our Junior School parents welcome on Monday, Year 12 parent teacher interviews the following Monday, both our junior and senior swimming carnivals in that week, our regional visits and our Learning Mentor parent evening on 18 February. Please keep a close eye on the calendar.