Mum is my hero
My mum was the backbone of our family. My Dad was the breadwinner, but mum was the glue who held everything together and made our family of seven kids somehow work through some pretty tough times.
Mother’s Day is a good time to reflect on all that we owe our mothers. I hope our students will take a moment to be grateful for everything their mums do for them every day. It was great to celebrate mothers and welcome them to the school to enjoy complimentary coffee and donuts this morning. Thanks to everyone who turned up to share in the spirit.
I never took my mum for granted, but now that she has passed, I realise just how wise she was and how much concern and care she carried for all of us throughout our lives - even as adults.
I had a special relationship with my mum. I was the baby of seven children with a bit of gap between me and the rest of my siblings and she always said it was nice that she had the time with me, that she was too busy to have with the others.
But one of the lessons I’ve learned over time, from my own mother and from observing my wife Yvonne in her interactions with our own children, is that mothers never stop worrying about their kids, no matter their age.
I’ll never forget the look on my mum’s face when Yvonne and I decided to leave the safety and security of our little house on the beach in New Zealand to move our three children to take up a job in Bangladesh. She was absolutely horrified and distraught. It must have almost broken her heart to have us move away. Yet despite her sense of grief and concern mum fully supported our peripatetic move.
For someone like her, who grew up in Holland during the war, you simply didn’t sacrifice that sort of security for the unknown - although to a certain extent that’s exactly what my parents did in 1952 when they immigrated to an unknown New Zealand.
But perhaps it was her experience in the war that made her value security so highly. During the war in Holland, she was the eldest daughter in the home. Her brother was one of the leaders of the Dutch underground and her father and brothers were all away, so she had a lot of responsibility in the household.
She told us stories about the Germans who were camped across the road from their house for weeks watching them. Then one day they came to the door, allowed mum and her sisters to collect a spare set of underwear, then marched them across the road and blew up their house.
Fortunately, they had moved out the Jewish children, hidden in their roof spaces, just the week before.
I have recordings that I made of mum’s stories but I wish I had just three more hours with her; I could learn so much. She was so wise; she didn’t have any qualifications, but she had wisdom.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from her was the absolute importance of trust. My brother and I were larrikins - it must have driven my mother mad - but whatever mess we got ourselves into when she asked us about it we’d answer truthfully.
I learned that you have no bigger advocate than your mother; she will always have your back, but if you lose her trust, you’ve lost everything. So, just tell the truth!
Mum’s give meaning and fullness to the life of their children!
This Mother’s Day, make sure you make your mum feel special.
We warmly welcome John Hill to the Scots community as our new Director of Boarding.
John has spent most of his professional education career working in boarding across a variety of roles and models; and he joins us from his recent position as Head of House at Toowoomba Grammar School, Queensland.
John and his family have spent the better half of a decade in boarding. His son Fletcher, 7, only knows life in a boarding school having had his second birthday in a dining hall surrounded by almost 100 big ‘brothers and sisters’. He has been raised by boarders and is excited, along with his two sisters Madeleine, 13, and Charlotte, 9, to meet all the Scots boarders and getting to know them more. Both girls are relieved to be living back at a co-educational school.
John’s wife, Sheridan, also will help in boarding and take on some relief Learning Assistant work in the Junior and Senior School.
John said he and his family believed in immersing themselves in boarding life and creating a family feel. They will reside on campus, ensuring John is contactable and present throughout a boarders’ journey.
“My family and I have lived and breathed boarding for the past seven years and have absolutely loved the experience. Scots aligns well to my own family, ethos and educational values; I am looking forward to experiencing all areas of the school,” John said.
John holds a Masters in Education, majoring in Leading and Managing along with an undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Southern Queensland. He is a strong advocate for all students feeling safe and welcomed in a school environment and feels it is particularly important in a boarding context.
“Boarding should be a second home for these students; a place where they feel valued and encouraged to give back to their school,” he said.
As well as working in the boarding house, John is teaching Year 10 Mathematics and hopes to get involved in the co-curricular space later in the year.
Welcome back to Term 2. Our term commenced with the return of the ANZAC Parade and it was wonderful to see so many of our students marching on this significant day. I would like to make a special mention of our Year 9 students who marched behind the 2/23rd Banner on this day.
During their camp week they completed a number of activities that explored Scots connection to this Battalion and they are to be commended on the approach they took to investigating Albury Grammar School’s participation in various conflicts and their role in the beginnings of the 2/23rd Battalion. They marched proudly behind the banner last Monday. Once again, our Pipe Band impressed all in attendance.
Year 12 reports have been emailed and we look forward to seeing parents and students at the Parent Teacher Evening on Monday. It is hard to believe we have passed the halfway mark of their final year at secondary school.
Year 11 students have been asked to form an organising committee for the Year 11 Formal. I have received a wonderful response so plans for this evening in Term 3 will begin in earnest in the coming weeks. Many thanks to the students who are keen to assist in the planning for what should be a very enjoyable evening.
Congratulations to all students who participated in the Cross Country yesterday and especially to those students who have progressed to the next level.
Rehearsals are well underway for our Senior Production of The Drowsy Chaperone. Many thanks to the Performing Arts team for all their time and effort in ensuring this production comes together.
I have spoken to a number of students this week about keeping their shirts tucked in throughout the day. I will be reiterating this at our assembly next week. We do pride ourselves on our uniform and I am sure anyone that was present on ANZAC Day would agree, when worn appropriately it is the finest in our region.
We have NAPLAN testing next week. All families should have received a letter from Mr Cowan regarding this with details around which tests are running on each day. We have run two trials sessions with Year 7 & 9 students and both groups have been impressive with their approach. These tests will take place in March next year so that schools and families will have earlier access to results.
Congratulations to students who have been awarded Merit Certificates in recent weeks:
Oliver Baitch – Independent Learner in English
Emma Delbridge – Positive Learner in English
Liam Nicolson – Respectful Learner in English
Daniel Steer – Independent Learner in English
Madeleine Steer – Independent Learner in English
Life@Scots - Experiential Learning
At the simplest level, experiential learning can be defined as learning by doing. Some define it as developing personal understanding, knowledge, skills and attitudes through the analysis of, and reflection on, activity. As a PYP school that focuses heavily on student-centred learning and reflective practices, experiential learning at Scots offers students the opportunity to challenge themselves, set personal goals and engage in tasks beyond the classroom.
After two years confined by COVID restrictions, the Junior School is looking to reinvent the way we engage our students with the world around them through experiential learning. Whether through camps, excursions or specific co-curricular offerings, we are keen to ensure that learning is not just defined by the four walls of the classroom.
A dedicated team of staff have formed a committee to conduct an inquiry into:
Recent camps and excursions across the school have highlighted the huge value in challenging student’s skills and knowledge beyond the classroom and we look forward to seeking community feedback in the months ahead.
“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out”
John Francis “Jack” Buck (American Sportscaster)
Boarding school is never a dull place with every day different from those previous. I am continually impressed with students’ ability to adapt and overcome, and this can be seen every day in a boarding environment. I started Term Two as the new Director of Boarding here at Scots to a welcome from wonderful staff and students that immediately made me feel comfortable and welcome.
For this term, my focus is on meeting the students and parents, getting to know the systems and looking for ways to innovate within the current boarding setup. I am excited to be working alongside an experienced team of MODs led by Elsa and Tom.
Two initiatives that I am starting immediately are the Boarder Representative Group (BRG) and the Boarder Food Committee (BFC). These groups will provide the students with a forum to celebrate successes, raise issues and have mature discussions with me around the operational side of boarding at Scots.
I look forward to meeting more parents and families as the term progresses.
Initial Concept Plans for Junior School
We are very excited to share with you some initial concept plans for the new Junior School. After preliminary consultations with architects, the school has worked to utilise current available space as well as buildings that will support the learning of students from 3 year-old Pre-School, right through to Year 6.
These initial concept drawings enable the school to apply for Government funding that will compliment the investment made by the school. As the application and planning process continues, there will be opportunities for community input and consultation. This is a huge step forward for the Junior School and one that comes on the back of amazing community support, enrolment growth and the ongoing support and dedication of our Scots staff.
Senior Study Centre
We are excited to share updated concept plans for the Senior Study Centre (SSC), which will be built on the edge of the Wilson Oval later this year.
The SSC will be a versatile, multi-purpose building primarily for senior students to use for private study and collaborative work. It will have informal collaborative study spaces, individual quiet spaces and areas for students to relax and mingle together, such as a tea and coffee area, informal lunch spaces and an outdoor deck. The design will ensure that it can be converted to an exam space, seating up to 120 students, or used for large group information sessions for students or parents.
The entire construction industry has been impacted by material supply and price-rise issues plus delays due to COVID-19 pressure on the workforce and we have not been immune to that. But we are pressing ahead with our plans and getting much closer to turning the first sod on the site where the Pipe Band room currently sits.
Celebrating 50 wonderful years of Scots in the Albury Community.
6.30pm-11.30pm • Saturday 18 June 2022
Enjoy some birthday cake, a four course meal and three hour drinks package all inclusive.
An evening of great entertainment and a trip down memory lane. On the Couch interviews with past Scots Principals, guest MC Ian Cover from the Coodabeen Champions and performances from Scots Alumni, current students and Sons of Motherless Goats playing music to dance the night away!
Principal Mark Geraets invites you to the 50 Years of Scots & Founding Schools Alumni Reunion.
5.30-7.30pm • Friday 20 May 2022
$30 including Canapes and Drink on Arrival
A wonderful chance to catch up with old school friends and meet other past students in a relaxed environment.
Celebrate the School's rich history and reminisce over memorabilia, school magazines and historic photos. Scots 50 Years merchandise will be available to purchase on the night.
Remember the days of the old schoolyard
We used to laugh a lot, oh don't you?
Remember the days of the old schoolyard
When we had imaginings and we had
All kinds of things and we laughed
And needed love, yes, I do
Oh and I remember you
(The Old School Yard - Cat Stevens)
Enjoy a drink on arrival and canapes as part of your ticket price. Further drinks at bar prices.
The Atura welcomes you to stay on for dinner - bookings encouraged.
This section celebrates the achievements of our students, inside and outside school. Parents are encouraged to forward brief details and a photograph to email@example.com for inclusion in the newsletter.
Sarah Wicks and Sasha Toepfer returned from a successful outing at the Pony Club NSW One Day Event State Championships at the weekend.
Sarah was Reserve Champion in the Under 11years Advanced Combined Training (dressage and showjumping).
And, Sasha (13) came seventh in the 10 and under 17 years D grade one day event, involving dressage, showjumping and crosscountry.
Our official school photographs will be taken next Thursday. Forms went home with students last week. If you haven't received them, check with your child or your child's teacher.
Students should be neatly dressed in their full winter uniform and normal school rules will apply regarding hair and makeup. Junior School girls are asked to please wear tights if wearing the pinafore.
Family photos will be taken at recess and lunch but it is the responsibility of students to organise themselves for these photos.
The Languages Department is thrilled to welcome Hiroto Ida – or Hiro Sensei - into its midst. Hiro is the first Japanese teaching assistant to join Scots since Covid. This is Hiro’s first trip overseas and he will be with us for the rest of the year.
He is a keen sportsman, especially in the field of snowboarding and basketball, and looks forward to joining our team of basketball coaches. Hiro has already achieved much in his 23 years, including becoming a qualified teacher and a parasailing instructor. He has already worked in 15 different part-time jobs taking him all over Japan.
Hiro enjoyed the Nail Can Hill Run on the weekend and is so excited to be able to share all that is wonderful about our Aussie culture and beautiful rural lifestyle here in this region. We hope he makes many great memories during his time with us in 2022.
Hiro is living on campus, but please feel free to invite him to enjoy a weekend home-stay experience.
Year 7 four-day STEM Experience.
In the last week of Term 1, Year 7 students undertook four days of a STEM-based experience. On one of the days, they went on excursions to three facilities: the Albury Water Treatment Plant, the Wastewater (Sewage) Treatment Plant and Wonga Wetlands.
At the first venue, students were shown how our potable water is obtained, treated and distributed to Albury residents. They were specifically shown how the huge filters are constructed, using layers of pebbles, coarse sand and fine sand - a structure students would build for themselves over the following days. Students then went to the Wastewater Treatment Plant to see how our wastewater is treated; and then Wonga Wetlands. The excursions were not only a worthy learning experience, but they had a greater purpose in preparing students for the laboratory-based Science and Engineering tasks that were to follow.
Students performed their laboratory-based project, working in small groups to design a filter. Following the design thinking process and scientific method, they engineered a filter to treat water from the school dam. Students had to follow the scientific method to design and build three iterations of their filter with a focus on one chosen independent variable. The filter was made from three 1.25 litre plastic bottles and layers of pebbles, coarse sand and fine sand in each bottle to filter the water. Some groups chose to measure the effect of changing the layer order on the effectiveness of water filtering, other groups chose changing the relative thicknesses of the layers or taking out one layer at a time. The quality of water was measured before and after the filtering including turbidity, salinity, and particulate mass. As part of the measuring process students had to use basic mathematics to determine water volume and to ensure a fair test; by controlling the mass or volume of each material for example. Students then chose their best filter and had to then present it live, via Microsoft Teams, to two Engineers!
Before presenting to the engineers, they did so to Year 2 students which then helped them reflect and improve their presentations further. The groups also had to design a website showcasing their research and results as part of the process.
One of the engineers was Richard Rodd, who runs his own engineering business and is an Albury local with significant experience in water and dam engineering. The other engineer was Amanda Tobias, currently based in Sydney, and an expert in water filtration and flood management. They watched the students present and based the success of their presentations on: their explanation of how the filter worked; evidence of filter effectiveness; and explanation of why the one they presented was the best one.
All students should be proud of their engagement in the task and all groups produced working filters. I’d like to thank all the staff involved for their excellent assistance.
Year 7 also had the opportunity to design and race cars using the ‘STEM Tower’. Students built a car, using corflute, electric motors and other materials, to race against each other. It was an engaging activity that was very much enjoyed.
- Brad Murphy, Head of Technology & Innovation
Scots hosted two Astronomers from ANU/Mt Stromlo on Thursday 24 March. They were Dr Brad Tucker, who amongst other thing is leading programs using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite to understand why and how stars blow up, and Peter Swanton, an Indigenous Research Associate who is researching Dark Sky Parks for their cultural and scientific significance.
They spent the day speaking to Year 5, 7 and Stage 6 Physics, before running a viewing night. As part of the visit the school was gifted a high-quality telescope, too! Students enjoyed the presentations and all their many questions were answered with great explanation. Of the four presentations given during the day and evening, not one of them was the same!
We are very excited to announce that we are supporting the new Albury Wodonga Tennis League. The goal of this league is to create the opportunity for local juniors to have more competitive matches aligned with the Tennis Australia Competitive Play Pathway. All matches will be linked to the Universal Tennis Rating.
The first league is scheduled to start on Friday 13 May and will run for seven weeks concluding on Friday 24 June. Matches will start at 4.30pm and should be completed by 7pm. Players are invited to arrive early to have a warm up. Matches will be played at Albury Tennis Club, St Pats Tennis Club and Wodonga Tennis Club. Players rotate venues each week.
Match Format: Best of two sets, with a third set super-tiebreak. Sets are first to four games. Every week players get two matches against players with similar UTR levels. All players from each age group accumulate points from the first six weeks. The League Championships will be in Week 7.
– 2 points for a match win
– 1 point per set win
– 1 point per match
The cost for the 7-week league is $80. All entries and payments will be completed online and through the UTR platform.
This program is open to players in Years 5-12. You can secure your spot by filling out the registration form on the AWTL website HERE .
Entries must be in by Sunday 8 May.
After entries have closed, draws will be posted on the website which will have information about where you are playing and who you are playing each round. You can find answers to FAQs here.
For more information, contact Brock Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have some beautiful new books that arrived in the library last week. All of these are listed in the Premier’s Reading Challenge, which is currently underway. There is a huge selection of books on display in the library foyer plus information on how to enter. Please join in!
We also had two books donated to the school on Anzac Day. Harder Than Football by Barbara Cullen, and Mud and Blood by Pat Share. The latter is recount of the story of our own 2nd 23rd battalion. Both books are now on the shelf to borrow.
Chess resumed last Friday and it was great to have a small contingent of Junior School players over to join us.
The Senior School Chess team will have its first interschool match against Border Christian College on 20 May. Team members will be notified as soon as possible after selections.
A small group of Junior students have also been using the library well at recess and lunch. There is a creative writing group and games group.
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