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“You have to be afraid first to be brave.” Transition Lions (4 year old) student

Fundamental to every boy’s learning journey at The Scots College Early Learning Centre (ELC), is the desire to nurture their understanding of courage. Courage instils curiosity, and the willingness to explore, as a child engages with the world.

To truly understand courage and know when to apply it, boys must first learn what it means.

 This year at the ELC, boys engaged in experiential learning through a lens of a Reggio Emilia educational project. To set the scene in how to explore the concept of courage, the boys aged three to six engaged in adventures at local parks and bays.

Each week the boys and teachers came together to share and discuss ideas, provoking each other’s thinking about courage. Initially, ideas of being brave, confident, resilient and ‘doing something you have never done before’, formed their experiences at their places of adventure. The activities they tried and tested confirmed, or refined, their theories about courage.

The boys combined their delight in adventure with an experience of courage – climbing trees and long flights of stairs, jumping off high rocks, visiting dark caves, seeing spiders and crossing a wobbly bridge – creating real-world connections. The boys’ verbal and visual reflections of their experiences highlighted a common description when explaining courage, they identified a sense of fear:

“You might be scared first, then you do it to get brave and you won’t be scared anymore. It might look scary but then you feel like you can be brave.” Kindergarten student

 This theory was tested in various everyday situations, so that the boys could develop an understanding of the opposing concepts of fear and bravery. Being scared is natural. It is the body’s and brain’s way of protecting us. Acknowledging one’s feelings is one of the first steps in actually moving from being scared to being brave.

In a year of continual change, imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ELC boys learnt that courage is a very important character quality. With support from their teachers and families, the boys navigated the changes brought about by the pandemic with confidence, resilience, kindness and bravery.

To learn more about The Scots College Early Learning Centre, register for an information morning –

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.