Scotch News

Message from The Principal

3rd August, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Following yesterday’s Stage 4 lockdown announcement by the Victorian Government, I write to inform that, from, and including, Wednesday, 5th August, and until otherwise directed, all teaching and learning from Prep to Year 12 will be conducted in remote format. Tuesday, 4th August will be a Pupil Free day, with time allocated to boys for the collection of books and other items from their lockers.

I would further note:

  • In the remote environment, lessons will follow the normal timetable and be delivered through either the Conference or Zoom facility within the School’s Learning Management System (Canvas).
  • The boarding houses will be closed; further relevant information will be communicated to boarding families.
  • Onsite operations will be restricted to those which are essential and the School campus will be closed to all but essential School staff.
  • The School will remain open, for daytime (8.30am – 5pm) supervision, to boys whose families feel are made vulnerable as a consequence of these restrictions and boys whose families are ‘permitted’ such access by the state governments guidelines. Such boys will study online under teacher supervision while observing those protocols that have been in place in recent weeks, including social distancing, the wearing of masks, morning temperature checks and hygiene routines. Notice of such need, and whether it is ongoing or for specified duration, should be provided, at the soonest opportunity, to your son’s Head of School (Ms Stalker - Middle School boys; Mr Rayner - Upper School boys). For such communication regarding Junior School boys, please e-mail the Junior School office.
  • Staff will be contactable via e-mail. Routine academic matters should be raised with your son’s teachers, whilst more sensitive pastoral or academic care issues should be addressed with his Form Teacher (Middle School boys), Head of House (Upper School boys), or Deputy Head of Junior School (Junior School boys). The School Psychologists will be accessible to all boys.
  • Wherever possible, lessons will be recorded and made available to boys for further access. Boys’ online attendance, contributions during scheduled lessons and submission of work will be monitored carefully.
  • As in the previous periods of remote learning, boys should be encouraged to maintain a schedule that replicates the routines and rhythms of the School day, including making time for breaks between periods, time for recess and lunch, and undertaking regular physical activity in keeping with the Stage 4 restrictions.
  • The School will continue to monitor government directives and advice from the Department of Health and Human Services.

We are acutely aware of the challenges again being faced by boys, parents and staff. Further surveys for these three groups will be distributed at the end of next week. The School continues to explore what more it can do to support boys and families while learning continues in a remote environment, and all related resources will be posted on the Keeping Scotch Connected, the Directory of Resources for Remote Learning and Scotch Streams platforms of the website.

Monitoring and supporting boys’ wellbeing will be of utmost importance and the three platforms noted above will continue to carry relevant resources for boys and families.

More information, and useful links to support boys’ wellbeing, including a direct e-mail contact for the School Psychologists, can be found under Health Services within the boys’ section of the School’s website at: Relevant advice can also be found of the Department of Health and Human Services website

Should your son or an immediate family member be diagnosed with COVID-19 the School should be informed as a matter of urgency. Such information should be provided to Vice Principal, Mr Robert McLaren (Senior School boys), or Head of Junior School, Mr Jon Abbott (Junior School boys).

The School continues to monitor the directives of relevant external agencies and I will write again should there be significant change in guidance. In these times of physical separation, I encourage you and your sons to maintain your connection to the Scotch community via Keeping Scotch Connected, the Directory of Resources for Remote Learning and Scotch Streams.

There is no doubt these are challenging times, unprecedented in our lifetime. At Scotch, locally and abroad we have seen communities rallying together to face the consequences of this pandemic and care for each other. Scotch is blessed with a remarkable community that is strong, resourceful and compassionate. Such qualities have served Scotch well over the years, and, with the test now upon us, the School is committed to seeing them flourish in support of the boys, their families and the broader community.

I send good wishes to you and those whom you love, thank you for your continued support of your School and look forward to when we can again gather together at Scotch.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Batty


Previous correspondence from the Principal on this issue is available through this link.