Scotch College (informally known as Scotch or SC), is an independent school for boys, situated in Swanbourne, Western Australia, Australia. The school is a member of the Public Schools Association (PSA) and is now a Uniting Church school, although it was founded in 1897 by the Presbyterian Church of Australia. The school has undertaken the International Baccalaureate's Primary Years and Middle Years programmes since 2003.
Scotch has a large campus in Swanbourne and an outdoor education centre in Dwellingup. The campus in Swanbourne consists of a high school for Years 8 to 12, a junior school for Pre-Primary to Grade 7, sports grounds, and boarding facilities for 140 students.
Scotch College owes its foundations to a conversation at an 1896 dinner party, where the parent of a 12-year-old boy, Mrs. Jane Alexander, wife of Hon. William Alexander, MLC, complained that there was an absence of a Presbyterian school for boys in Perth. She offered Rev. David Ross, moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Western Australia, £500 to establish Scotch College. The announcement of the college came on Monday 4 January 1897, in the form of an advertisement. The advertisement included the first location of the school, Shearer Memorial Hall, which is now the Perth Trades Hall. When founded, the school was originally named The Alexander Scotch College. The school would later shorten its name to Scotch College in 1908 for banking purposes.
In 1905, the college became a founding school of the Public Schools Association, showing it to be by that time a well-regarded independent school, and entitling it to take part in the most competitive schoolboy sporting competition in Western Australia.
During World War I, 475 boys enlisted to defend the empire as part of the Allied forces. This number represented over 50% of all Scotch alumni at the time. A roll of honour is present in Collegians House, the administration building, featuring the names of all past Scotch College students who had volunteered to fight.
In 1939, the Head Masters' Conference approached the Commonwealth Government for financial assistance due to low staff salaries, the standard of the school's science facilities and the lack of money the school possessed. When gifts of money to the school became tax-deductible in 1954 (provided donations were for the purpose of either repaying debt on buildings or helping to fund new building projects), people found they had more incentive to donate to schools. This led to Scotch, among other schools around Australia, beginning fund-raising appeals within the school community.
The Memorial Hall was opened by Sir Charles Gairdner, Governor of Western Australia at the time, on 19 October 1957, the same year as the school's Diamond Jubilee. The opening led to a further £30,000 in promised donations, although the actual amount received was below this figure. Eventually the cost of the hall led to the school having to be provided a £25,000 overdraft from the ASB Bank; this led to an increase in school fees. The total cost of the Memorial Hall was £48,864 and the appeal raised £45,700. Gordon Gooch, who has a sports pavilion at the school named after him, met the shortfall.
In 1984, Scotch acquired Moray, the school's outdoor education centre where students would be able to attend camps. This was purchased after the school had considered, for over a decade, the possibility of acquiring a site for a school camp. The Parents' Association gave support to the project and the school purchased the property through a mortgagee sale for $220,000. It was named Moray after a province in Scotland where Clan Murray originated (the Moray camp site is adjacent to the Murray River).
The Scotch College foundation was established in 1986, when Judge Robert Keall was chairman of the college. The foundation raised $1.1 million within six months to partly fund a new Physical Education Centre. Robert Keall opened the $2.25 million centre on 29 March 1988.
Over the Labour long weekend the college hosted the Golden Pride Children's Choir from Tanzania in the boarding house and on 7 March 2006, the choir performed to the Year 10s and several other classes. The Choir continued to perform at WOMADelaide and then at the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival.
A memorial service was held for the late WR Dickinson, the 5th Headmaster of Scotch College, at 3pm on 10 May 2006. A pavilion was erected on the Scotch playing fields, and the School and Pipe Band formed a guard of honour for the Dickinson family members and the funeral cortege as they arrived.
The meeting was held, with the Year 11 parents, on October 31 in the school's library, the BRC (Bunning Resource Centre).
On 23 October, the first Monday after the headlines, it was revealed by Trudi Cooper, an Edith Cowan University lecturer in youth work, that claims sexual activity and use of illicit drugs increasing in recent years are untrue. Cooper has announced that there are routine studies on sexual activity and drug usage by teens. Since the 1980s there has been no abrupt change.
Scotch awards several scholarships based on academic merit to students, but under agreed PSA rules no member schools may award sports scholarships. Entrance scholarships at Scotch are based on the results of scholarship examinations. In year 11 there is a scholarship open to sons of former alumni (P.C. Anderson Memorial Old Boy's Scholarship). To be considered boys must have several references and nominations from the staff and are required to sit an interview and submit a copy of their resume.
The Gordon Gooch Entrance Scholarship can be sat by any boy entering Year 8. The John A. Gooch Scholarship is similar to the Gordon Gooch Entrance Scholarship, but participation is only open to boys entering the senior school via the junior school.
Students in Years 9 and 10 have the option of choosing which technology and arts classes they take for either the year or semester. There are two art classes; 2D and 3D art. The former comprises drawing and painting; the latter, pottery and other sculpture art. Drama is another class identified as an art by the MYP, and students learn many techniques, including improvisation and comedy. Music is also an art class and students can create their own music on computer programs like Super Duper Music Looper.
For technology classes there are several options. In metal work, boys will build many different metallic objects, including cricket stumps. Wood work has boys making objects out of wood. In recent years boys have made tiny CO2 powered dragsters. The 'understanding technology' class is popular, as students create electronics and dancing robots. In recent years, the technology department has talked about wanting students to create a solar powered car. The main reason this has not been undertaken is because of cost. Information Systems and 3D modelling are two different subjects. Boys are taught in the computer lab and use the computers to create architectural designs and databases.
In Year 10, students have the option of doing media studies and/or business and enterprise. Media studies has boys create their own movie and critically analyse feature films in the form of essays. In business and enterprise, students will create their own share portfolio on the Australian Stock Exchange website. This is an imaginary game however and no real money is involved.
In Years 9 and 10, boys do a personal project, as part of their MYP education. This starts midway through Year 9 and finishes a year later, midway through Year 10. However, parents and boys have been very critical of the personal project as boys are required to hold meetings discussing their progress during class time. They are also critical of the fact that only the essay at the end of the project is marked, not the project itself.
Every two years, the school has a tour to France for French language students in Years 11 and 12. These tours run for around two weeks and allow boys to stay with a French family, giving them the chance to experience native French.
Scotch students have been consistently gaining high marks in their TEE exams. This was continued in 2004 with two students awarded General Exhibitions as well as three boys receiving Certificates of Distinction. A further eleven boys were awarded Certificates of Excellence. A total of ten Scotch boys were given Tertiary Entrance Ranks (TERs) of 99 or above and 29 boys received TERs of 95 or above.
In 2005, a Scotch graduate received the Beazley Medal, which is awarded to the top student in the state, for his TEE results. As in 2004, two students were awarded General Exhibitions. Subject Exhibitions were awarded to three students for 5 overall subjects. Eleven boys received Certificates of Excellence and six boys were awarded Certificates of Distinction for eleven subjects overall. A total of nine TERs above 99 were received while 30 boys received a TER of 95 or higher.
On weekends boarders will often do a variety of activities that staff arrange. They also use the nearby Indian Ocean as well as Challenge Stadium and Subiaco Oval. Boarders in Years 10, 11 and 12 will also participate in sport on a Saturday morning.
A boarding tradition at Scotch is walking the entire Bibbulmun Track. Boys walk sections of the track each year. This is not a compulsory event, however. In 2005, the Year 12 boarders gave a presentation about the walk. The Archbishop of Perth was present and gave a memorable speech.
The Cadets also use Moray for a weekend camp. The cadets do activities designed to improve self confidence like the rock wall or the leap of faith were cadets jump from a telephone pole and try and grab a plastic wire. They are suspended from falling using a wire. One night over the weekend the cadets do a "night stalker" game where the senior cadets try and prevent the junior cadets from reaching a certain point. The seniors use torches to try and identify cadets.
The House Tutor and Heads of House work as a team to monitor the academic and personal progress of each student in the House Tutorial Group and House. Generally, the House Tutor is the first and main point of contact between the parent and the School. For more serious issues a Head of House is usually contacted.
Students are either put in a randomly selected house or into the house of any alumni they are related to. Houses compete against each other in sports such as inter-house athletics and academic contests like debating. Students march to assembly on Friday mornings in their house and are marked on their performance by the cadets.
The house that wins the most points over all inter-house competitions is awarded the staff trophy. This includes the larger inter-house events like athletics, cross-country and swimming as well as some smaller competitions like lightning chess and indoor soccer.
For Year 8 and 9 Students in winter, they also have Middle School house games, in which a house can participate in three out of the four possible choices of Hockey, Football, Soccer and Touch Rugby, this usually takes place in weeks where there are byes in the Public Schools Association (PSA) sports competition. Due to the large size of Keys House, for MS games they are separated into Keys 1 and Keys 2, in order for everyone to compete.
In 2004, Scotch won two premierships for PSA competition, in hockey (co-Premiers) and in surfing. 2005 was an unsuccessful year for the college in PSA sport winning only the hockey competition. The school managed three runner-up positions however in cricket, rugby union and tennis.
Sport is compulsory for all students in the high school; teams usually train twice a week. Matches are held on a Thursday for the junior school, Friday for Years 8 and 9, and Saturday for Years 10 to 12.
Occasionally, tours are arranged for sports teams. Recent tours included the Australian rules football team visiting Melbourne, and a hockey tour of South Africa. The most recent tour was the rugby union tour of France in April 2006. Athletics, cross country and swimming are all major inter-house games and almost every student competes.
Street dance is another extracurricular activity being offered at Scotch. It is an urban-based dance program in which students choreograph dance routines and perform them in concerts. The school regularly competes at the annual ACHPER dance festival, and has performed well in this festival in recent years, leading to an invitation to participate in the more prestigious ACHPER Gala Night.
Scotch has two poetry prizes awarded each year; the Raven Senior Poetry Prize for Years 11 and 12 and the Raven Junior Poetry Prize for Years 8, 9 and 10. The winning piece along with several other pieces of student poetry and art are published in the annual school publication, The Reporter. Raven prize winners are presented an awarded on speech night. There are also two annual prose prizes; the Raven Senior Prose Prize and the Raven Junior Prose Prize. Like the poetry prizes, the winning pieces are published in The Reporter and the writer presented with an award on speech night.
In recent years there have been several pipe band and music tours. In April 2006, the pipe band toured the United States. The band played in the Virginia International Tattoo in that period It was be the pipe band's fourth international tour and its second time participating in an International Tattoo of that magnitude. The first was the Nova Scotia Tattoo in 2000.
All students in the senior school are eligible to play in the school's bands. The school's music bands are the Dixieland Band (Horns and Brass), String Orchestra, Big Band 1 (guitar, drums, brass), Big Band 2 (guitar, drums, brass), Big Band 3 (guitar, drums, brass), Middle School Concert Band (Years 6 to 10), Chamber Strings, Concert Band (brass and drums), Wind Ensemble (with Presbyterian Ladies' College), Vocal Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble.
The school offers several music scholarships for students in Years 7 or 8. These scholarships are in Voice, Cello, Trumpet, Violin and Trombone.
The school song is God of Our Fathers which is to the tune of Highland Cathedral. The song is sung at the first and last assembly each term and the music is performed by two pipers and a snare drummer from the pipeband, along with a small brass support band.
In summer, a khaki collared short-sleeved shirt is worn with light green shorts, house tie, green Scotch socks and black lace-up shoes. On the left breast pocket, above the school badge, a house braid is worn. In the junior school a Scotch coloured braid is worn whilst in Years 8 to 11 the braid is their house colour; Year 12 students wear both braids.
In winter a white long-sleeved collared shirt is worn, along with house tie, black belt, grey trousers, grey socks, black lace up shoes and a maroon blazer. Year 12s wear a striped blazer. A grey Scotch jumper may be worn over the shirt in both summer and winter uniforms.
In October 2005, students voted on a whether to keep the summer uniform or to change it. The results of this election have not yet been released. One of questions on the ballot was if students wanted to wear ties. It is believed many students said no to wearing ties.
The school may have fund raising "free dress" days where boys may wear what they choose to school if they donate $2 to a designated charity. Some free dress days have included "pretty in pink" and "football Friday" themes, with competitions at lunch break for best dress.
Senior School students have two ties - a house tie and a school tie. On most days, students will wear the house tie. On special occasions, such as speech night the school tie is worn. House ties contain their respective house tartans.
Students may also earn a colours tie or an honours tie. Colours ties are awarded to students who perform in an extra-curriculum activity such as making a firsts team. An honours ties are rare and are only awarded when a student performs very well in that sport and gives some voluntary service to the sport. The academic equal to an honours tie is an academic tie which is awarded to students who earn 5 academic excellence awards, with at least two being in year 11 or 12. These three ties may only be worn on a Friday.