From the Principal - Mark Geraets
As one of my first major projects since taking on the role of Principal last year, I have been working on introducing a new learning program called Deep Learning into the Scots classrooms.
I am passionate about the benefits it will bring to our students and staff - it will underpin all that we do in our classrooms by adding clarity and purpose to our curriculum.
We plan to run a parents’ information session and workshop called Design for Deep Learning (DDL) where we will explain the rationale behind the program and give you much greater detail.
The session will be on Tuesday, 27 April at 5.30pm, so put it in your diaries to save the date.
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. It doesn’t replace the NSW curriculum, it supports it.
The program helps school executives and senior teachers to incorporate six key learning competencies into their programs. The key competencies, known as the 6 Cs are:
Having an 'entrepreneurial eye' for economic and social opportunities, asking the right inquiry questions to generate novel ideas, and leadership to pursue those ideas and turn them into action.
Critically evaluating information and arguments, seeing patterns and connections, constructing meaningful knowledge, and applying in the real world.
Communicating effectively with a variety of styles, modes, and tools (including digital tools), tailored for a range of audiences.
Learning to deep learn, armed with the essential character traits of grit, tenacity, perseverance, and resilience; and the ability to make learning an integral part of living.
Thinking like global citizens, considering global issues based on a deep understanding of diverse values and worldviews, and with a genuine interest and ability to solve ambiguous and complex real-world problems that impact human and environmental sustainability.
Work interdependently and synergistically in teams with strong interpersonal and team-related skills including effective management of team dynamics and challenges, making substantive decisions together, and learning from and contributing to the learning of others.
I’m confident the program will enhance all areas of our teaching and learning; and encourage you to come along to learn more.
Meet the Learning Mentors
I was really pleased to see so much engagement from parents at our various Meet the Learning Mentors parent nights recently.
Learning Mentors will play a big role in your child’s life at school and they should always be the first person you contact for all information, concerns and celebrations for your child.
I love going to our swimming carnivals! They are always such happy occasions and are usually a feast of colour as students take the opportunity to dress in funky outfits in House colours.
I also like that swimming carnivals can be a serious outing for our competent and competitive swimmers, or a chance for a bit of fun and participation for the rest of the students. It’s encouraging to see students supporting each other at whatever level they are at.
We had a good number of students representing Scots at the RAS swimming competition this week - 27 junior swimmers and 47 senior swimmers - with 31 students from Years 3 - 12 who have now made it through to the Combined Independent Schools competition. There is a very clear line of progression for our talented students who progress from school to Region to State and National representation.
In other sport, we had 15 girls compete in the open age Tag Rugby competition and while we lost the first game, they played with great gusto and determination. Kinderkick got underway this week, too. Kinderkick is a program for our littlest students and focuses on their motor skills, hand-eye coordination and having fun. It’s run by the AFL development team and some of our older students help out.
Auskick, Net Set Go and Hoops, season 2, are being launched this week for Term 2. Football training starts next week for the four interschool teams in the U15 and Open categories of male and female competition. Over 70 students have signed up already.
We have now completed the current round of regional road trips where we delivered presentations to families about our Scholarship and Enrolment programs. Elsa Kilgour, Roger Barrows and I went to Leeton and Deniliquin; and Kelly McKay, Neale Poole and Sarah Rae met families in Deniliquin and Tocumwal.
We had a great turnout and it was a lot of fun to meet current and prospective families on their “home turf”. Stemming from these trips, we have an excellent pool of new students who have applied for scholarships. Scholarship testing is on Saturday, 13 March, and interviews will be conducted either that day or in the following weeks.
Year Parents and their roles
We have an amazing group of Year Parents who will be a conduit for other families in their respective year levels between home and the Head of Junior School or Senior School. The other roles of the Year Parent is to welcome new families, liaise with the Head of School on issues, concerns, ideas and resources; suggest workshop focus and arrange social events.
I’m very grateful to these people who have volunteered their time to carry out this important role: Kindergarten: Emily Dowling and Katherine Pilkington. Year 1: Emma Baird and Emily Staughton. Year 2: Heather Flynn. Year 3: Nicole Heinecke and Alice Gratton. Year 4: Julianne Toepfer and Laura Younger. Year 5: Puja Chowdhry. Year 6: Sophy Sirr. Year 7: Lisa Nicolson. Year 8: Tracey Woodhouse. Year 9: Catherine Burke and Claire Ritchie. Year 10: Jacquie Brooksby and Sonali John. Year 11: Jennifer Hodges. Year 12: Lou Newman and Anna Watson.
Students in Years 8-12 will go on camp in Week 10. Senior Leaders will be providing information soon on the App and Parent Lounge.
ALL students are expected to attend camp. Students not attending will be marked absent from school. Camps are an amazing way to learn about oneself, stretch capacity in many ways, experience new things and different places and learn things that are not possible to learn within the four walls of a classroom. They even give parents a break! 😊
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.
Teacher Expert Network (TENs)
Two of our staff were selected from a very large pool of well credentialled candidates to represent the region in writing curriculum for the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). This is part of NESA’s plan to revamp the curriculum framework over the next three years.
We are proud that Mr Agar and Ms Byrt will represent Scots, and all teachers in NSW, in this significant task.