Friday 29 July - Saturday 30 July • Senior School Production The Drowsy Chaperone (Book here) Monday 1 August - Tuesday 2 August • Junior School 3-Way Conferences Thursday 4 August • Year 11 2023 Information Evening Monday 22 August - Friday 26 August • Book Week Monday 22 August - Friday 2 September • Year 11 & 12 Exams Friday 2 September • Father's Day Brekkie (more details to come) Tuesday 20 September - Thursday 22 September • Henty Field Days Thursday 22 September • Year 12 Final Chapel (Families welcome) Friday 23 September • Year 12 Final Assembly (Families welcome) Friday 23 September • Term 3 ends Saturday 24 September - Sunday 25 September • Scots Equestrian Interschool Challenge
Our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IBPYP) has been in the spotlight this week while we undergo a rigorous evaluation visit carried out by the International organisation. We are assessed every few years to ensure we are maintaining the high standard demanded for re-registration.
The philosophy of the IB PYP is one of enquiry-based learning and it is now complemented by Design for Deep Learning - a framework for deeper learning and essential skills, introduced at Scots last year throughout the Senior School.
Traditionally, the NSW curriculum is very skills and content based. At Scots, we uphold the NSW curriculum but we believe there is more to education than the memorisation of facts and figures. We see inquiry and concept based learning as essential in the learning journey.
We want our students - from Preschoolers to Year 12 - to be inquiring learners. They still have to answer specific questions but they have latitude in the way they handle the questions. It’s not a case where their education is simply fed to them and they have to learn it in a specific way.
The results of this enquiry-based learning is really evident in the up-coming Year 6 exhibition. You can see the students are really engaged through taking risks, communicating, thinking critically and creatively, working collaboratively and asking deep questions.
I remember when I was 16, I wanted to buy a cheap car and put it in the backyard so I could tinker with it, but Mum and Dad wouldn’t let me. Looking back, I reckon I would have learned much more about how it worked and how to fix it through my investment and ownership of a $200 car! It’s this sense of purpose and engagement that we want to foster in our students.
Inquiry and concept based learning doesn’t lend itself to everything but where it does and for those students who become really engaged, it has potential to influence them dramatically. They will be our future leaders; the thinkers and innovators in our society.
Parents can join in this exciting journey of learning with their children through asking questions, challenging thought and encouraging investigation.
We are very lucky to have Megan Dickins leading the roll-out of DDL in her new role this year as Head of Pedagogy. You can read more about Megan and her new role later in the newsletter.
From Head of Senior School • Kelly McKay
At the assembly this week I spoke about this term being a term that consists of many ‘final events’ for our Year 12 students and is the final term for our Year 11 students. While for some of these events there will be sadness, there also is the excitement of the many opportunities ahead. Throughout this term there will be Parent Information Evenings that will focus on preparing students for their next year of schooling. This begins with our Year 11 2023 evening this coming Thursday in the Chapel Hall. I look forward to seeing all of the current Year 10 students and their families on this night.
All families were emailed their child/ren’s reports on Friday last week. If this has not come through can you please contact the front office and they will alert Student Services. You will notice there have been some changes to these reports. Our student reflections and approaches to learning are now more in line with our Teaching and Learning Model – Design for Deep Learning. You also will notice that semester subjects do not have a comment. Our comments are focused on improvement in the written report. For any information regarding achievement and further comments, these can be found on Scotty. A Senior School Parents Workshop to look at our new app and Scotty will be held on Tuesday 9 August @ 7.00pm (more info to come).
The focus this week has been very much on our production The Drowsy Chaperone. I would like to congratulate all of the students involved in the performance and wish them well for their performances tonight and tomorrow.
For our Stage 5 Information Evening this year we have explored options that will enable Boarding families to attend. This will occur at 2.20pm on Friday, 2 September in Chapel Hall. All current Year 8 and 9 students will attend and we hope as many parents as possible can join us. On this evening the subject selection process will be outlined and staff will be present to assist in explaining various offerings for 2023.
From Head of Junior School • Matthew Boundy
Life@Scots - PYP Evaluation ‘Virtual’ Visit - a celebration of learning at Scots
As one of the leading educational organisations in the world, the International Baccalaureate offers all IB schools the opportunity for reflection, analysis and strategic planning through the evaluation process. This process is a five year journey where schools must prepare evidence against the 77 standards and practices. This week, the Junior School had a ‘virtual’ visit from Sharon Bailey and Michael Bowman, two experienced IB leaders who spent three days interviewing staff, students and parents, as well as visits to classrooms to help the school evaluate our programme. As an appreciative inquiry, the process focuses on identifying strengths and areas for improvement with the finding shared to the whole school community.
Prior to the official review documentation being shared in September, a brief summary was provided by the evaluation team. Commendations included:
Alignment of the schools mission and strategic goals with IB vision
Committment to high-quality learning environment
Excellent student support, whether social emotional, physical or academic
Well resourced school, including physical spaces and technology
Inclusive community with respectful relationships between all its members
Individual needs of all students met
Extensive co-curricular program
Student-initiated goal setting and development of the Learner Profiles
Thorough understanding of the review process, including reflection using the self-study tool and development plans for future school improvement.
Feedback also was given to enhance the programme, including:
Greater opportunities to celebrate international mindedness
Creating better alignment of teaching and learning programs across the Junior and Senior schools
More collaboration between classroom and specialist teachers for planning and design of units of inquiry
Continued focus on teacher development and networking within the IB.
The success of this review is a huge pat on the back for all our teaching staff and school leaders. Both evaluators attributed the success of the school in navigating challenging times to the positive growth mindset and respect within our community, a message that came through all interviews. A special thanks to our Primary Years Programme Coordinator, Miss Georgie Parker, who has led the school through this process with her signature flair, colour and positivity. We look forward to continuing the ongoing process of school improvement under her guidance and that of the IB.
We look forward to inviting parents and guardians on site on Monday and Tuesday of Week 3 for our student-led 3-way Conferences. This mid-year check-in is a great opportunity to celebrate growth and learning goals for Semester 2. We encourage families to visit our specialist classrooms too, with teachers available to discuss student learning and answer any questions you may have with regards to these programs.
The Resilience Project - student survey This week students will be completing the Resilience Project Student Survey, a tool that provides teachers and the school with important insights into student wellbeing. This research-based tool gives the school the ability to accurately and efficiently measure vital data within school cohorts, provide clear visual and written reports on student resilience, mental health and wellbeing and evidence-based strategies to help school leaders respond in a proven, scientific and practical way. We look forward to sharing some of the insights from the survey with you later this term.
Project+ is a portal for parents incorporated into the Resilience Project initiative. The link below supports the community learning event held earlier in the year regarding cybersafety initiatives and hints to manage this within the home environment.
Parent/Carer Support(click this link) Families will learn about Mindfulness as well as gain some insight into devices, online safety and the use of family tech agreements from the eSafety Commissioner.
Eisteddfod Competition On Monday 25 July, students who participate in our co-curricular dance program were given the opportunity to compete in the local Dance Eisteddfod. The months of practise finally paid off, as the students performed on the big stage and did themselves and the school proud. We thank MTC Dance Company for their continued support of our dancers and to Mrs Shelley Byrt and Mrs Stacey Cooper for organising everything behind the scenes.
From Director of Preschool • Belinda Crothers
Our Preschool is a busy place of learning. Nearly 100 years ago Frederic Fröbel opened the first Kindergarten and here we are in 2022, continuing to foster learning in the years before formal education in many of the ways he did at the time.
We value the learning through resources such as wooden blocks, art and music. We value outdoor play and the rights of children to learn through play not academic focus. And our Pre-schoolers are thriving because of this. We are watching confidence blossom and capable learners develop life-long dispositions for learning.
In a week where we were able to be part of the evaluation process of our IB Primary Years Programme, we can see these dispositions as Learner Profiles. The child who checks in on a peer; who is upset as a caring learner. The child sharing news with the class about an exciting family events as a communicator. The child who asks questions about where the water is coming from in the tank for our sandpit. These are all real, authentic examples from this week alone. We think Fröbel would approve of Scots Preschool!
Though it's not just Fröbel from whom we draw our teaching methods. Our teachers proudly have a classroom guided by theorists from around the world. From Nicholsons Loose Parts theory to the Reggio Approach to our learning environment we are utilising theories and current research to ensure that our preschool offers the very best practice your child deserves.
So the child this week who used the pebbles and carpet squares to add to their blocks for a city and the child who carefully used paint from glass paint pots were all using theory as a base for their learning. The teacher who recognised the children who would benefit from acting out “Wombat Stew” as kinasethetic learners according to Gardner or using routines such as meal times to embed natural learning of subjects such as maths in counting out items in a lunchbox from a Steiner base.
If you ever have a question about why we do what we do or what your child is learning at preschool, please ask your child’s teacher. We love sharing what we know about learning and development, and to advocate for the rights of the child to play. Scots Preschool is open to your family as a place of excellence. It is where your child is valued for who they are right now and for who they are becoming (with our gentle guidance).
And we know that on days like today, where I literally stopped, smiled and thought “Yep, I’ve got the best job in the world!” that we are getting it right.
From Director of Boarding • John Hill
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home." Edith Stillwell
It was wonderful to welcome the boarders back to Scots after the winter break. I hope everyone managed to get some relaxing time with friends and family and have returned with a renewed vigour for the term ahead.
I would like to publicly thank those staff who worked tirelessly over the break to keep our boarding operation running as smoothly as it does! Thanks to the maintenance team, cleaning and kitchen staff and the administration team for all the work that, so often, goes unnoticed behind the scenes.
Term Three is an exciting term for boarding with a few events this week and another next week. On Wednesday, we celebrated with a special Christmas in July dinner for all boarders, and last night, a number of boarders went to watch their peers in the school performance of The Drowsy Chaperone.
From next Friday, 5 August, we will be trialling Friday morning BBQ breakfasts every second week. The boarders are really looking forward to this!
Further to this, I have also sourced a small firepit for the boarding precinct, we are hoping to get this going on the weekend so those boarders who are in can toast some marshmallows and chat around the fire. We are also exploring the option to purchase some fishing rods and lures to take some boarders to the weir on a weekend to chase some Murray Cod.
About Head of Pedagogy • Megan Dickins
Overseeing the method and practice of teaching at Scots, including the rollout of Design for Deep Learning and leading teacher growth, is our new Head of Pedagogy Megan Dickins.
Megan has been at Scots as a parent since 2017 and joined as a teacher in 2020 after 10 years as a Deputy Principal and acting Principal. She is excited by the work she is doing in DDL, teacher coaching and developing whole school learner attributes for reporting.
Designing for Deep Learning is a learning concept that has the potential to lift engagement at school and to foster capabilities that enrich the lives of our students. It hones in on the skills of Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Citizenship, Character and Communication - which are referred to as the six Cs of Deep Learning.
DDL integrates academic skills with personal and social capabilities and gives priorities to those capabilities and dispositions that support whole-school learning and living. It doesn’t replace the NSW curriculum, it supports and enhances it. The program helps school executives and senior teachers to incorporate the six key learning competencies into their programs.
It works by tapping into individual student’s interests and passions, so students feel they have input into their learning and are part of the process. It replaces a model where students are told what to learn, how to learn and when to learn.
“Our world needs proactive and informed agents of change,” Megan said. “The six Cs are the skill sets each student needs to achieve and excel in so they can flourish in today’s world.”
Megan also will be coaching teachers through improving practice, staying abreast of current trends and implications for the classroom. And, she will assist in managing professional learning and meeting regulations.
She has ample experience in staff management in her earlier Deputy Principal role, where she held a key role in staff appraisal covering development of professional growth plans and the managing of budgets school wide. She introduced a coaching program that aimed at achieving excellent educational outcomes for students and led the curriculum development for the school from scope and sequences to the use of daily planners.
Welcome to new staff
Lynette Casey: Lynette joins Scots as Personal Assistant to Principal Mark Geraets and administrative assistant to Head of Senior School Kelly McKay. Lynette has a background as a Personal Assistant and Legal Assistant here and in Sydney. She worked for Mills Oakley in Sydney, one of Australia’s top 10 largest law firms, then joined Kell Moore Lawyers & Conveyancers when she and her family moved for a tree-change to Albury about five years ago.
Lynette is married to Scots teacher assistant Drew Casey and together they have two children, Annabelle, 9, and Flynn, 7.
Dana Watson: Dana will be the new face on reception, working part-time alongside Robyn Smith. Dana was born in Wollongong but grew up in Culcairn before moving to Sydney where she worked as a Medical Scientist in large public hospitals for 10 years. She and husband Cade moved back to the Albury region after the birth of their first child in 2014 and still run a small business franchise in the area. They have two children, Edward, 8 and Daisy, 5.
Head of Junior School recruitment process The recruitment process for our new Head of Junior School is being overseen by Total HRM. The position has been advertised widely and shortlisting will occur over the next month with an appointment expected sometime in September.
The Drowsy Chaperone
Our 2022 Showcase Production of The Drowsy Chaperone is on again tonight at 7.30pm, tomorrow for a matinee performance at 1pm and the closing performance at 7.30pm tomorrow night. Our senior school students have been working tirelessly with Mr Lucy and our music team to put together this wonderful performance and have already performed at our community matinee on Wednesday and for Opening Night last night. You still have a chance to book your tickets here: BOOK TICKETS.
Scots hosted its second International SpaceCRAFT Exploration Challenge for a great turnout of 28 students, including 19 from Scots, during the recent school holidays. The Scots students, plus nine from other Albury schools, joined a total of 150 students from Australia, the USA, the UK and Bangladesh in the challenge which is run by former NASA Astronaut, Dr Gregory Chamitoff.
During the week, students worked in teams to complete different steps in their mission design and also had the chance to listen to space industry experts including former astronauts, pilots, habitat architects and robot engineers.
As part of a mission team, students designed spacecraft, navigated to another planet, landed their vehicle, built a planetary habitat, and explored a new planet to find resources in order to sustain human life!
Students learned by doing lessons on each component of the mission and then creating with the concepts they acquired by using an online virtual reality platform called SpaceCRAFT. SpaceCRAFT provided a high fidelity simulation of the universe, including real planetary data from NASA/JPL and correct physics for models of space and planetary environments.
The event also made the news, with an article in The Border Mail and a spot on Prime 7 News. See the links below to read and watch.
All students from years 4 to 10 did very well and should be proud of their accomplishments. Participating students will be presented with certificates of participation and prizes for those who achieved them.
There were three categories of teams, High School, Middle School and Elementary School.
Some highlights from the challenge included the following awards:
First Place: Team Hello There - Sevastien Tecksingani, Gabriella Tecknsingani, Benjamin Shiao, Zara Everitt. Second Place: Team HDW - Don Cuming, Emanuel Xiberras, Henry Zhao, William Zhao. Runner-up for Best Planet: Ammar Syed (who won first place in this category last year). Runner-up best mission patch: Team Hello There.
Well done to all students who participated.
- Mr Murphy, Head of Technology & Innovation (Co-curricular)
Success for Pipers
A quartet of Scots Albury pipers enjoyed a very successful day out last week at the Victorian Solo Piping Championships held at Melbourne's Presbyterian Ladies College. Pipe Sergeant Jonny Coe, Neve Harris, Pipe Major Liam Nicolson and former Scots Pipe Major Dylan Forge all put forward some impressive musical performances and were rewarded for their efforts.
Congratulations to the Scots team on their incredible results:
Neve Harris 3rd novice March 3rd novice Piobaireachd
Jonathan Coe 1st Novice March 1st Novice Strathspey & Reel
Liam Nicolson 1st C Grade March 3rd C Grade Strathspey & Reel 1st C Grade Hornpipe & Jig Australian Bronze medal for Piobaireachd C Grade Victorian champion
Good luck to the drummers who have their chance to shine at competition this weekend.
From the Library
We have some beautiful artwork on display in the library. The pottery was influenced by ANISARI and created by Year 7. We also have a wonderful display of portraits painted by the Stage 5 Visual Arts class. These are called “Prized Portraits” and are based on the Archibald Prize.
Book Week is nearly upon us, 20-26 August. The theme this year is “Dreaming with Eyes Open”. We have a lot of special activities planned, including dressing up as a character from a book, excursions to the Albury City Library, book competitions and more. Start planning your costume.
The Book Fair has also been booked for 29 August–12 September. This will be a great opportunity to purchase some fabulous books here at school. I will send more information out about this in the coming weeks.
- Ms Alley McGhee
Girls Night In • Friday 5 August
Come along to our Girls Night In next Friday for a great night of activities including a talent show, trivia and karaoke! Come dressed in your favourite PJs to go in the running for Best Dressed. To attend, you must complete the sign-up on Parent Lounge. A $5 fee will contribute towards a pizza dinner for everyone. Please bring along a donation (sanitary or period products) for the sanitary drive to help women in need.
5.00pm-9.00pm in the Chapel Hall
This event is for students in Years 7-12 only.
Year 11 2023 Information Evening • Thursday 4 August
Join us next Thursday for our Year 11 2023 Information Evening for parents and students. The evening will include an introduction to the HSC and the Senior Pastoral Care Program and the release of the 2023 subject lines. Tea and coffee will be provided. Due to the rise of COVID-19 in our community, we strongly encourage guests to wear a mask throughout the evening while indoors.
6.00pm in the Chapel Hall.
Archive team vacancy
Are you interested in history? Think you might have the skills of an amateur detective and can spare a few hours on a weekly basis? The Archive Team is looking for you.
If you are interested please contact Noelle Oke, the school’s Honorary Archivist. For further information please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Or leave a message at the school reception on 02 6022 0000 and Noelle will call you back.