Scotch’s strong traditions and beliefs provide the confidence, and fuel the drive, to progress and improve.
The factors which contribute to the making of a great school are rich and varied, so it is right that we take time to pause, ask targeted questions, and consider how we will ensure this one-off journey through the school years delivers opportunities, experiences and outcomes which resonate throughout a lifetime.
First, we need to consider the school we are, have been, and will become, and then the roads along which we will travel.
Scotch College exists for educational purposes in connection with the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. In our Memorandum and Articles of Association is the requirement for the College to provide for its students:
… an education of a humane, scientific and general nature consistent with the teachings of Christianity’ and ‘to encourage each student to achieve the highest standard of which he is capable in all his activities, and the full development of the personality and sense of responsibility of each student and respect for others, and capacity to work with them so as to promote the development of Christian ideals of citizenship, personal character and a spirit of reverence in the entire life and work of the College.’
…to deliver an education which, secure in the traditions of our past and our Christian belief, opens boys’ minds to the rich diversity of the world in which they live and challenges them to question and explore everything they find, with integrity, humour and compassion. And to do this in an exciting, intimate environment which nurtures self-expression and self-worth while promoting the uniqueness of each boy’s journey.’
But what of our future; what can we say about how the Scotch of today will develop to support the generations of boys to come? Well, we can define statements of strategic intent and the paths we will travel to ensure they are realised.
From experience and research we know the importance that feedback, interactions and relationships have in developing interests and improving outcomes. We will promote and inculcate these into the culture of Scotch through:
Principal Tom Batty with Heads of House and Heads of Year for 2011.
Back row: Tom Batty, George Patouras (Littlejohn), Gary Peckham (Morrison), Tony Glover (Head of Year 7/8), John Prior (Head of Year 7/8), Tim Byrnes (Davidson), Alice Cook (Forbes), Stephen Pallot (Monash). Front row: Warwick Hall (Eggleston), Katrina Stalker (Selby Smith), Tim Rayner (Bond), Pauline Westmore (Lawson), David Brown (Gilray), Geoff Wemyss (Field), Steve De Domenico (Fleming).
With these issues in mind, and after an extensive review process, from the start of the 2011 academic year we will be running our pastoral care from Year 9 to Year 12 on a house-based system rather than the current year level approach.
As with learning, pastoral care and the wellbeing it engenders has its roots in interactions: interactions between staff and individual boys; interactions between staff and groups of boys; interactions between boys and others in positions of care; and interactions between the boys themselves. These interactions determine the nature of the relationships formed, which in turn determine the degree of empathy and learning engendered.
In moving from a year level to a house-based structure, the Head of Year will be replaced by a Head of House, who will hold the primary responsibility for around 80 boys in four House Tutor groups across Years 9, 10, 11 and 12.
In the current arrangement a Head of Year caters for the needs of some 240 boys. Heads of House will see boys through the journey from adolescence to adulthood and, in having only 20 new boys (and families) each year, soon establish the relationships of depth and belonging we seek to nurture. The Head of House will become the first point of contact for both boys and parents, and the person charged with managing all matters concerned with boys’ wellbeing, including their course of study and academic progress.
For many years, governments, perhaps understandably given the need for re-election, have focused on the skills students should acquire (primarily in support of the short-term economy) by the time they leave secondary education. Precious little thought has been given to what we actually want from our education system in terms of individuality, independence of thought, creativity and community building; those factors which are, I would contend, at the heart of – and ultimately the strength of – western democracy.
At Scotch, our strong traditions and beliefs provide the confidence, and fuel the drive, to progress and improve. They give clarity about the things we deem important for our boys and the communities they will be part of, enrich and serve. GS
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)