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When The Scots College was founded in 1893, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in New South Wales, the Right Reverend James Smith White said that its teachers would be those who had “won the highest honours in the university”, were well-acquainted with teaching boys, and viewed teaching as “a work of faith, a labour of love, and a patience of hope.” That calling to ‘higher learning’ continues to be seen every day in the inspiring work of staff across the College who every day give boys the finest preparation for life.

This week we honour the achievement of one of our long-serving staff, Preparatory School Learning Enrichment Teacher, Dr Caroline Basckin, who has just won ‘the highest honour’ in the university by being awarded her PhD from the University of New South Wales.

Dr Basckin’s doctoral dissertation was entitled Literacy instruction for students with disability: An analysis of teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and use of evidence-based practices’. In her research with Year 3 teachers across eight Sydney independent schools, Dr Basckin explored what teachers did to teach literacy to students with disabilities and how they described the basis for their practice. She was struck by the amount of evidence-based practice she observed, matched with a low level of knowledge about that evidence base. Teachers also felt ill-equipped to understand the complex needs of students, and lacking in time, to collaboratively plan for well-differentiated teaching.

She provided three recommendations to school leaders:

  • Ongoing high-quality professional development, grounded in the current academic research.
  • Develop an online database or library of evidence-based practice resources.
  • Training and support for teachers and learning support staff to develop and deliver effective co-teaching models in literacy instruction.

Dr Basckin has published several articles from her research, including as lead author on a systematic review of teacher beliefs about evidence-based practice in the prestigious International Journal of Educational Research.

Please feel free to contact Dr Basckin at [email protected] to find out more about her research findings.

We look forward to drawing on Dr Basckin’s experience and research as we continue to prepare for the John Cunningham Student Centre, bringing together all the support boys need to develop into fine young men.

Congratulations again to Dr Basckin on this significant achievement!

Dr Hugh Chilton
Director of Research and Professional Learning


Congratulations Dr Caroline Basckin.


The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.