From our Principal - Mark Geraets
It was a great privilege and extremely humbling to be inducted as Principal of Scots last week.
I am grateful for all the kind words, congratulations and best wishes that Yvonne and I have received not only at the induction ceremony but since we arrived here in Albury. I am appreciative of the way the Scots community has opened its arms to welcome us and made us feel at home.
We have recently bought a house here in Albury and it will be our first time in 18 years that we are not living in rental accommodation. We are both a little surprised how much that means to us and how much we now truly feel connected to Albury.
The induction was a very special evening where we celebrated our past and looked with excitement and positivity toward the future. And I’m grateful I was able to share it not only with my beautiful daughters and wife, but a big contingent of the Scots family, too.
I must say a huge thank you to Scott Nicholson for his organisation; to the musicians, catering, cleaning community, alumni, students, teachers and all staff. You have made a real difference in my life.
You probably heard from your son or daughter that students and staff took part in a lockdown and evacuation drill last week.
The drill was done in an orderly manner and carried out successfully. Around 12.30pm, we sounded the alarm which is the signal for students and staff to follow the lockdown procedure by closing windows and blinds, locking doors and moving to a safe space in their classroom such as under their desks.
When the lockdown was over, we sounded the siren continuously to signal to students and staff that they should move to a designated evacuation point where they are checked off against student and class lists. It helped us highlight key areas to address in an effort to ensure we are safe and prepared. We will hold a follow-up drill early next term.
Students in Years 8-12 will go on camp in the last week of term, Week 10. All students are expected to attend unless unable to and this is given in writing to Senior Leaders. Camps are a hugely valuable part of learning where we experience new challenges, learn about ourselves, others and what community is all about.
Year 8 will be going to Cape Otway, Year 9 to the Grampians, Year 10 will go scuba diving and bushwalking near Merimbula, Year 11 will be at Anglesea and Year 12 will head to Melbourne for university visits.
Scots has been involved in a new initiative to promote career opportunities through partnerships in our local community. We secured a $5000 grant to connect with a range of industries and to forge relationships with our local businesses and tertiary institutions and registered training organisations. As part of a Riverina hub with two other schools, we secured a further $15,000 grant to be used in a collaborative way to promote pathways and develop regional partnerships with industry leaders.
Our first initiative will be a two-day careers event for all students of Year 10 in May. Students will attend Charles Sturt University in Wagga in the morning and can choose from three focus areas in the afternoon:
- Primary Industry Centre at TAFE plus two local renewable energy businesses
- Rural Health career options
- AgriTech career options
The other full day will be held in Albury where students will spend the morning at the National Environment Centre and select from a range of afternoon activities, that may include: horticulture, waste and water management, town planning, library/museum, logistics and traineeships/apprenticeships available through Albury City Council.
Would you like to offer assistance to our program? You can be involved by: Hosting industry site visits, supporting our work experience program, speaking to our students via Zoom or in person, hosting skill development workshops, mentoring coaching our teachers or students or hosting immersion sessions. If you believe you have something to offer, please email email@example.com
We have a strong list of candidates for our Fide et Literis scholarships and all have now completed the examination and are progressing through the interview phase. We will be offering scholarships shortly and I’m very excited by the high calibre of applicants.
Scots will benefit from exceptional students in sport, performing arts and academics, as well as a number of good students who will be assets in our boarding community.
A seminar to outline the exciting and powerful learning framework around the Deep Learning program will be conducted for parents in Term 2.
The parents’ information session and workshop called Design for Deep Learning (DDL) will give us an opportunity to explain the rationale behind the program. Designing for Deep Learning integrates academic skills with personal and social capabilities and gives priorities to those capabilities and dispositions that support whole-school learning and living.
The session will be on Tuesday, 27 April at 5.30pm, so put it in your diaries to save the date.
We have a wealth of talent among our sports people here at Scots. Yesterday, our swimmers felt the pressure of a big event meet at the CIS competition at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. They all swam incredibly well in what can be an overwhelming environment. I will share results and photos in the next newsletter.
Two of our talented athlete program scholarship holders have been performing well in their respective sports recently.
Maeve Connell,14, played her first basketball game for the Lady Bandits Youth Team last week in Wodonga against a team from Melbourne. She is one of the youngest players in the squad and managed to get court time for most of the second half. Maeve has been training with the squad for the past three weeks, on top of her commitments to the Bushrangers, the North East Country team. She will compete for the Bushrangers tonight in Melbourne.
In athletics, Xy Beale recently won three gold medals at the Canberra State Championships and is now in the final month of preparations for the Australian Track and Field Championships in Sydney which start on April 12. Xy won gold in the Hammer, Discus and Shot Under-16 events in Canberra, setting an all-comers record in Shot. Her discus distance qualified her to represent Victoria in Open competition as well as her age group category. She is playing South Coast Rugby this weekend and then she has a much needed week off before the Australian titles.
I send condolences on behalf of the whole school community to Bek Bosch and her children, including Lachie in our boarding house, on the passing of her husband and the boys’ father, Tony earlier this week.
Two weeks to go!
This term has rushed by and we now have only two weeks to go before Easter and the end of term. We are encouraging all our students to make sure they finish the term strongly and do not ease up before the holidays. Of course, we have our camps in the last week so that will definitely be a change of pace for many.
The Big Vegie Crunch
Our junior school students yesterday joined the Healthy Kids Association and other NSW primary school students in a record attempt for the highest number of children eating vegetables simultaneously. The record of more than 50,000 students was set in 2018. The aim was to promote healthy eating and to get kids excited about vegetables!
Our Junior School students were eager to take on the challenge and were certainly excited about their vegies yesterday. Students brought their own vegetables to crunch on or enjoyed some straight from our Kitchen Garden.
Some of the produce from the Kitchen Garden is from their own gardening work, it’s wonderful to see them testing their produce and even trying some new flavours. We had beans, carrots, capsicum, radishes, parsnips, zucchini and plenty more. We will let you know whether we helped break the record in due course.
Year 7 student experience
We had the first of three Year 7 student experience days today. Year 6 students from our Junior School and from other schools in the region had a chance to explore the many opportunities on offer at Scots through this co-curricular themed day.
We will hold another in May and a further one in September. In this way, Year 6 students enjoy a relatively seamless transition to senior school.
We have recently run a number of tours in the Junior School for parents considering Scots for Kindergarten 2022. It has been good to see some of our Pre-School parents along with a good number of parents whose children are at other pre-schools on the Border.
Current families are guaranteed a place in Kindergarten 2022 if they have completed the enrolment process by the end of March. If you have a child who will start in Kindergarten next year, please be in touch with our enrolments officer, Robyn Smith, to ensure you don’t miss out.
Year 12 fundraiser
Our Year 12 colourful sock day and bake sale was popular with all students yesterday. I’ve never seen so many different colours and patterns of socks in the one place! Well done to our Year 12s, who raised $530 from the day.
You will soon receive an email about the opportunity to sponsor our Musical Production of Matilda. Rehearsals and preparations have been challenging with the constantly changing government restrictions, but the cast and crew are determined to deliver an amazing show.
Sponsorship packages will include tickets, an advertisement in the program, souvenir programs and recognition in our social media.
Tickets for general admission will go on sale in Term 2 and we hope many of our community will come and see the show.