Subscribe to McKinnonNEWS
Issue 12, 21-Aug-2015
Year 8 Survivor Rogaining (8A, B, C, D & J)

Thursday 3 September
Kingston Division Athletics

Saturday 5 September
9:00am 2016 Elms selection test

Monday 7 September
7:00pm Year 9 2016 – Elective Information Session

Tuesday 8 September
8:50am General Assembly
Outdoor Ed Bushwalk/Adventure Camp
Year 8 Survivor Rogaining (8E, F, G, H & I)

Wednesday 9 September
6:30pm DAV Junior Debating

Thursday 10 September
Casual Dress Day
Year 11 German Hahndorf Tour
7:00pm Music Performance Year 12 Celebration Night

Friday 10 September
Year 11 German Hahndorf Tour

Saturday 11 September
Year 11 German Hahndorf Tour

Monday 14 September
Asia Week
7:00pm Finance Sub-Committee
7:30pm School Council

Tuesday 15 September
Asia Week
7:00pm Senior Concert Farewell to Year 12s

Wednesday 16 September
Asia Week
Victorian Philosothon
6:30pm DAV Junior Debating

Thursday 17 September
Asia Week
Duke of Ed Practice Hike

Friday 18 September
Asia Week
Duke of Ed Practice Hike
End of Term 3
Early Finish 2:30pm

Wednesday 30 September
Year 12 Practice Exams
Thursday 1 October
Year 12 Practice Exams
2015 Australiasian Philosothon

Friday 2 October
Year 12 Practice Exams
2015 Australiasian Philosothon

Saturday 3 October
2015 Australiasian Philosothon

Sunday 4 October
2015 Australiasian Philosothon

Monday 5 October
2015 Australiasian Philosothon
Start of Term 4
Thursday 20 August
National Science Week
Intermediate Round Robin
7:30pm Winter Concert

Friday 21 August
National Science Week
10:30pm LATE START (Students arrive)

Sunday 23 August
2:00pm Thistlelonians 50th Afternoon Tea

Monday 24 August
7:30pm Buildings & Grounds Sub-Committee

Wednesday 26 August
Year 9 Camp
6:30pm DAV Junior Debating

Thursday 27 August
Year 9 Camp
7:45pm Senior Stage Band: Victorian School Music Festival

Friday 28 August
Year 9 Camp
9:00am Year 7 Immunisations

Monday 31 August
7:00pm Music Performance Percussion Night
Tuesday 1 September
Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences

Wednesday 2 September

We eagerly await the final report from the CIS about our accreditation status.

This report and recommendation should arrive over the next few weeks.

I have reflected on this process and wholeheartedly congratulate the school community for their incredible support over two years.

Much effort has been invested to provide evidence supporting each international standard.

This process involved intensive reflection and review for our school. It also provided a detailed framework for improvement. I thank staff, students and parents who have contributed along the way but in particular, I recognise and pay tribute to the leadership group, School Council, Student Councils, Mr Simon Hughes and Mr Adrian D’Ambra.
Our VCE night was very well attended and I appreciate the wonderful feedback received.

In particular I thank Mr Noble, Mr Mest, the Learning Area Managers and their VCE teams as well as the many student helpers who came along to respond to student questions and give details of the various subjects and courses on offer.

Thorough research enables the best decision to be made by students.

It was a great success.
You wouldn’t dream of it even if you tried! Well, forecasts were bleak for days and given all the information I had, I cancelled our original day. As it turned out, it was a picture perfect day for athletics!! Lesson learnt – a forecast is just that – a prediction at best!

I apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment caused, but the rescheduled event went without a hitch.

Thank you to Ms Pemberton, Mr Bridges and the PE faculty, all the staff and of course, our amazing students for all participating so enthusiastically
and being so very, very resilient.
It was a great day and talent was indeed recognised. Records were broken and I congratulate: Genevieve O’Brien, Hunter Ennor, Sophie Highnam, Charlotte Soteriou, Will Sharp, Jason Clayton, William Ockenden, Nick Rayson and Jack Highnam.

We will have to use the ‘Pyjama Party’ theme for another carnival in the not too distant future.
Congratulations to the Manager of Instrumental Music, Mr Martin West and the Manager of Classroom Music, Ms Megan Papworth and the Music Faculty for their wonderful celebration of music held at the Robert Blackwood Hall last night.
It was indeed a spectacular event that showcased the musical talents of our staff and students.  Concerts like these allow students’ talent to be recognised and celebrated!  It also allows our exceptional music program to be shared. It is about participation and excellence and provides a benchmark for schools and  students in Victoria.

I thank many guests who were in attendance including the local member for Bentleigh, Mr Nick Staikos, School Councillors, parents, grandparents and friends, as always.
On Sunday afternoon, a group of staff and students attended the Western Bulldogs v Melbourne match to support Year 10 student Tom Little on his exciting game day experience.

Tom recently suffered a severely fractured leg which was exacerbated by a congenital medical condition which has made his bones brittle and which will cause progressive degeneration of his muscles.  After a long spell in hospital Tom recently returned to school and is using a wheelchair to get around.

Members of the PE faculty, Chris Hudd and James Bridges, recently contacted Tom's beloved Bulldogs about organising a match day experience for him. 

The Western Bulldogs, and in particular their staff member Rhiannon Clohesy, deserve public
recognition for the way they willingly invited Tom into the change rooms before and after the match, and also allowed Tom to be part of the guard of honour as the players entered the field before the match.

After the match Tom was able to mingle with players, including superstar Captain Robert "Bob" Murphy, and added more signatures to the Bulldogs jumper the PE staff had earlier presented to Tom in hospital.
Thank you to our staff members Paul King, Liam Adlington, Daniel Farthing, Greg Hoskin and Chris Hudd who attended on the day.
Representatives from the Department, Central Office, Regional Office, Mr Kan and I undertook a rigorous selection for an architect for our $9 million building project.

H2O were the successful team and their passion, dedication and commitment to our school was evident.

We have enjoyed their work since 2008 and are very pleased to be once again be in a position to be working with them to deliver state of the art facilities for future generations at McKinnon.

The project planning continues and I will keep the school community informed.
This week is National Science Week.  The Science Faculty are celebrating in a number of ways. 

During lunchtimes the students are firing rockets, learning about snake safety, making useful objects out of plastic containers, making very large bubbles, testing medieval machines, experiencing Oculus Rift and learning how to handle lizards, stick insects and snakes. 

During science classes the teachers are posing scientific problems for the students to solve.  Special incursions and workshops have also been organised for Year 8 and Year 9 students.

VCE students have competed in the National Science Olympiad examinations. Prizes for the various competitions running this week will be awarded at a future assembly.

Congratulations to the Science Learning Area Manager, Ms Sweeney and her dedicated team.

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences can now be booked using Compass.  These interviews are an excellent opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and strategies to support their academic work.  We look forward to seeing you at this important event. Students are required to attend in full school uniform.


Later in Term 3, the College will publish progress reports for every student.  Teachers in all subject areas will provide feedback in the following areas:
  • Academic Progress - the extent of the student’s understanding of the key skills and knowledge taught in the subject, a judgment based upon the student’s performance in formal assessment tasks, ungraded work submitted to the teacher, participation in class discussion, etc;
  • Attitude & Effort - the student's approach to their learning, including their behaviour in class, how hard they are working, whether they use class time effectively and whether they have sought advice/assistance from the teacher; and
  • Organisation - the student's use of their diary, whether they have revised well for assessment tasks, brought appropriate materials to class and completed homework on time.
This feedback will be provided on Compass (parents and students will be notified when this information becomes available). These progress reports will provide families with timely
knowledge about every student’s performance, and inform our conversations at Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences.
Parental consent and payment for students’ participation in College excursions can usually be processed on Compass.  The information on Compass will include a deadline for consent/payment that must be adhered to, to enable the College’s staff to finalise bookings, transport, etc.  Please contact the College if you need assistance using Compass.
At this time of year there are always viruses going around.  If your child is really ill, school is not the place to be for their own wellbeing. Some students have attended school recently when they are clearly unwell and have been sent home again. Not only is this uncomfortable for the student concerned it also spreads the illness in the school community. Please keep your child home if they are too ill to come to school.  
Twenty Year 9 and 10 students undertook a full day of PISA Testing on 11 August.  There were separate tests in the areas of numeracy, literacy, scientific knowledge and financial literacy. These tests are really important in ensuring the standard of Australian education is progressing as it should, when compared to other similar countries across the world.  At McKinnon we value the opportunity to take part in such an important international benchmarking test and thank these students for their effort and application.
Jemma Owen recently represented Victoria in the National Under 16 Girls' AFL championships.

The week-long tournament was held in Geelong during the July school holidays and Jemma was instrumental for the VICs, playing through the midfield and forward line. 

She had her best game against the ACT when the VICs won by 42 points and she kicked 3 goals. Congratulations, Jemma, on a wonderful tournament.

Merryn Walker
A school can be compared to a well-oiled machine. All staff work together to keep its wheels turning. Much is said about the impact that teachers have on students achieving successful outcomes. Similarly the principal relies on an expert team of administrative staff to manage a school's business affairs with clockwork precision. 

I visit Lee Xanthoudakis and Blake Seufert in the Central Administration area to shine a spotlight on the contribution they both make to the day to day operation of such a large establishment. 

From various backgrounds they bring unique skills to their important roles. They are vital cogs in the McKinnon machine, tucked away behind the scenes, quietly making things happen with their 'can do' attitude. They're not teacher trained. They don't have face to face classroom contact with the students. However their friendly faces are familiar to everyone in the school community - internal and external members. 
At our first meeting I'm struck by Lee's warm, friendly and calm personality. There's an appealing air of confidence towards her official position and she seems very content with her life in general.

Conversation flows easily between us. I discover we are from the same generation...we share the same Christian name...even the same spelling. But the comparison ends there folks! Lee, the Finance Manager, is responsible for big bucks. She's a wiz with figures ending in six zeros. Lee, the columnist, breaks out into a sweat just looking at the buttons on a calculator. I admire her financial skills. She'd be horrified with mine.

In 1989 Lee commenced working in the school Library in a Part Time Administrative role. Whilst she enjoyed the extra pocket money, the real motivation for taking the job was most likely the social interaction and stimulation that a mum of three youngsters might seek. 

Moving over to the General Office, her flair for figures was recognised. The result of that move? Mrs X, get thee to the Bursar's office!
(She was a natural as she managed the financial side of her husband's business for years. They had a tobacco farm in Mt. Beauty for 10 years, early in their married life).  

There have been many changes at school under Lee's watch. The school population has doubled in size with 200+ staff and 2000 students. During her twelve years in the role Lee has also attended regular seminars to keep across the constant changes and updates to official policies.

For Lee's department it's a case of "dot your i's and cross your t's". Her team strictly adheres to the official rules and regulations regarding the school's finances and any new initiatives must be approved by the School Council. 

A school the size of McKinnon Secondary College can look forward to an annual visit from the Department of Education auditors who scrutinise all financial records. All revenue, expenses, every tax invoice, every receipt are examined, accounted for, and balanced exactly to the last decimal point.

It's a forensic process. All financial records must be spot on. Lee's personal benchmark is for the annual audits to be completed successfully - it's her measure of her department's success. Year after year they pass with flying colours and she's quick to praise her "excellent staff", a team of four colleagues. 

The buck stops with Lee. She can handle it. Her personal philosophy is "Do It Right and Do Your Best" (now that would be an appropriate slogan for her car's bumper sticker...).

At the Victorian Association of Business Managers' meetings Lee enjoys the opportunity to network and compare notes with other Business Managers from primary and secondary schools across the State. 

Lee has a very serious role - a very responsible one. Whilst she is definitely responsible, she's certainly not serious! 

Actually when I probe behind the school persona I uncover quite a surprise package. She's a woman with a diverse range of interests including genealogy, gardening, playing poker, looking after her son's cats, a love of music and recently she spent eight weeks in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland travelling with her sister. 

Lee is a competent poker player. She looks forward to her bi-monthly card games with her gal pals. They formed the group when their children were babies.

Daughter Elena is an opera singer based in London. Son Jason, a musician, lives in Sydney. Together they perform in a group called "Trio
Kroma". Lee learnt to play the piano in her teenage years. Hmm.... perhaps the children have inherited the musical gene from their mother? I offer her my compliments but poker faced she shakes her head and sets me straight: "My brother-in-law in Greece plays the bouzouki, a Greek string instrument played with a plectrum. He takes all the credit for their musical talent!" She's had this conversation before. 

Her three offspring attended McKinnon Secondary College and youngest son Nick is now on staff working as an Audio Visual Technician. Nick likes his music but doesn't play an instrument. "Computers got the better of him!" explains his Mum.

Several years ago Lee received the staff "Pineapple Award". A parody on the school's Thistle emblem it is presented annually to the staff member "who does the most stupid thing (Lee's own words) during the year". She chuckles: "When we were over in the old building, the admin staff were huddled around the tea station engrossed in conversation. I leaned against the wall accidentally putting pressure on the switch that operated the school bell. I set off an early bell causing pandemonium in all classrooms. I didn't realise until the Assistant Principal frantically raced into the tea room thinking she'd catch the culprit red-handed. But it was a senior staff member so no detention was required!"

After 12 years as 'Finance Manager Extraordinaire' Lee retires at the end of this year. Currently training her successor she's busy planning for life beyond the school gates. She intends to become an expert card sharp; resume her Scottish dancing classes; return custody of Jason's two cats and take off with her husband in their caravan; explore more of her beloved Australian bush off the beaten track and become a volunteer at Karkarook Park in Moorabbin. Lee likes to walk, mainly for exercise. "Given the opportunity I love to walk in the bush, I find it very calming - must be my country upbringing - but I will go for miles, or is that kilometres?"

I dare say when Lee gives up work every Club in the district will be on her door step asking her to be their next Treasurer. 

Whatever "Life After Work" brings for Lee I have no doubt she'll give it her best shot and I'm sure all of her efforts will live up to that imaginary bumper sticker...she'll do her best and she'll do it right!

Look out for another superstar staff member's profile next issue....
On Saturday 8 August, our four Spanish visitors from our sister school in Cuenca, Spain, returned home after a three week experience at McKinnon and in Australia. Students and staff were involved in our school program and they visited many sights in Victoria with their host families. They made it even to Sydney for a day!
We celebrated the success of this program at a dinner with host families and staff closely involved in this program.

I would like to thank again all participants for their immeasurable contribution they have made and we are looking forward to planning further curriculum collaboration and a tour to Spain in the future.
On Thursday 6 August, over 200 students from Year 8 to 12 participated in the annual Cuckoo excursion, one of our traditional and most popular excursions for more than 25 years. Students and supervising teachers indulged in the great variety of German cuisine, a buffet not only with ´Schnitzel, Bratwurst and Sauerkraut`
but many more traditional German delicacies as well as the enormous buffet of German desserts put a smile on everyone´s face. Many students tried ´new food´, something they had never tasted before.
The following entertainment program, music from Germany and around the world, typical ´Jodeln´, ´Schunkeln´ and a dance off allowed us to lose some of the consumed calories.

Thank you to the participating staff for supporting this annual event and to Mr Nutting for organising this excursion. A big thank you also, to all students who were highly praised for their excellent behaviour by the Cuckoo staff.  

Andrea Fowler
Head of Languages
On Monday 10 August, the Year 12 French class headed to the Melbourne International Film Festival to see a French film with subtitles
called “Being 14”.
Set in the inner-suburb of Paris, the film follows three girls attending middle school. The director’s intention is to show the challenges that 14-year-old girls face as they grow up nowadays, from relationships with boys, managing their online presence and dealing with their families.

This film showed some interesting insights into the everyday life of French teenagers and the differences with Australia.  Students were engaged by this story as it depicted the lives of people who are nearly the same age as them. These similarities and differences sparked many remarks in class the next day and led to some interesting discussions.

Pierrick Hubert
French Teacher
The first Depth Study of the Year 8 History course focuses on Medieval Europe.  So far this term we have explored a range of topics, such as the fall of the Roman Empire, the spread of Christianity, the introduction of feudalism, and the impact of the Viking and Anglo-Saxon migrations on Europe.  It is, however, difficult to contextualise the significance of these events when Australia is so far removed (in time and space) from this part of the world. Fortunately, the visiting teachers from our sister-school in Cuenca generously offered to give us some insight into the history of Medieval Spain.  As a result, Mr Jesus Checa and Mrs Marta Pena gave a presentation to all Year 8 History students about the history of Medieval Cuenca.
Located in the central part of Spain, Cuenca became a strategically important fortress during the Muslim conquest in the 8th century as the Islamic Empire rapidly expanded.  Jesus and Marta delivered an engaging account of how the Spanish King Alfonso recaptured Cuenca in the 11th century by disguising his soldiers as sheep and gaining entrance to the fortress through a rear gate used by shepherds.  To celebrate his victory, King Alfonso awarded bulls to the people of Cuenca, a tradition
that continues to this day, with recreations taking place each year during the Saint Matthew's’ Day Festival.    

The presentation linked very well with many aspects of our subject and as such was valuable to the Year 8 History students.  Topics such as the spread of religions (e.g. Islam and Christianity), Medieval warfare and the Crusades can all be better understood by considering the experiences of Cuenca. Moreover, this event certainly strengthened ties with McKinnon’s sister-school, with our Spanish guests showing the extent to which the people of Cuenca both preserve and celebrate their own history.  

Richard Long
Curriculum Coordinator
This year's NCSS Challenge has commenced where students spend five weeks with an online system both learning to code in Python as well as being Challenged with set programming problems that need to be solved each week. Students have four levels from which to choose: Newbies, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The Year 10 Information Systems class and the Year 9 Coding class are enrolled, but also several individuals have joined us. We are in the throes of week three and the challenge finishes at 9:00pm on 6 September. We wish all our participants the stamina and focus (not to mention downright hard work) to complete this challenge.
The Year 9 Code class have started the new semester looking at a topic called Algorithms, where they develop a plan of detailed steps to solve a problem.

The assessment task was to develop an algorithm to construct a vegemite sandwich using instructions which displayed sequence, selection and looping. Once finished, the students got the chance to test out their algorithms by physically making a sandwich from bread, spread and vegemite, following their written algorithms.
Some of the students were even brave enough to eat their creations at the end.

Diana Hatch
ICT Learning Area Manager

The 2015 Athletics carnival finally took place on Friday 14 August. It was a great morning of Athletics with ten new records being met, and the Year 12 boys losing at tug of war to the girls!

New records being set at the carnival were: Genevieve O’Brien in the 1500m, Hunter Ennor in the 400m, Sophie Highnam in the 800m & 1500m, Charlotte Soteriou in the Triple Jump, Will Sharp in the 400m, Jason Clayton in the 1500m, Will Ockenden in the 1500m, Nick Rayson in the 400m and Jack Highnam in the 1500m.
These students along with another 120 athletes have qualified to represent the school at the Kingston Division Athletics Championships on 3 September 2015.

There was great commitment from all participants in all houses and the race for the House Cup was hotly contended. The winner will be announced at the next General Assembly.

Jennifer Pemberton
Athletics Co-ordinator
From 24-26 July, 55 students representing six teams from McKinnon participated in the All Schools Victorian Volleyball Championships.

The event was a success for all teams both on and off the court. McKinnon finished the overall tournament as the 11th ranked volleyball school in Victoria. This ranking is two places higher than the Squads 2014 campaign. All teams played in high spirit and with great sportsmanship. A special mention goes out to the Open Girls Team who went from not winning a game in 2014 to just missing out on a Bronze Medal this year.
The highlight of the event was the community that is continuing to develop within the squad. This was the first Victorian Volleyball All Schools Championships that McKinnon students returned from professional volleyball contracts to help the teams at the event. Current professional volleyball players Linford Bennett (Sodertelge Volleyball Club, Sweden)
and Darcy Taig (Ohio State University Volleyball) were great role models for the squad over the three day event.

The event wouldn't have been possible without the staff and parent support from Kellie Dickson, Ray Braniska, Chris Hudd, Liam Adlington, Barb Roney, Michael Skalova, Pip Andrieux, Paul King and Kirby McConnon.

Phillip DeSalvo
It was Bob Dylan who sang with gusto that ‘the answer my friend is blowing in the wind’.  He must have been at Kingston Heath on 30 July when the Senior Boys Soccer team attempted to make the leap from Southern Zone and reach the State Finals. The wind was almost like a ‘Hurricane’ that day but it was the valiant warriors of McKinnon who emerged triumphant in a thrilling finish via a penalty shootout victory to take another step forward and rewrite the annals of McKinnon’s soccer history. That step is a spot in the State Finals as the Southern Zone Representative on Tuesday 1 September. We cannot wait……..
The team played three games and did not concede a goal. In the aforementioned blustery conditions, the first game was against Patterson River and McKinnon won 1 nil with Theo Papageorgiou scoring the winner against the wind. We created a few chances but were unable to put more in the onion bag but it gave us a platform to build on.

Our Second game was against Elwood who had a number of skilful players in their team. McKinnon created many chances with Matej Cubic rattling the crossbar from 25 yards but our pressure paid off with a goal scored by Daniel Rockman after our incessant pressure paying off and we won 1 nil.

Having won our two games, we progressed to the Southern Zone Final against Hampton Park. It was a final of epic proportions but even though it finished nil all at the end of extra time, McKinnon did have the best of the play but Hampton did create some dangerous opportunities going forward. After regulation time and extra time it was still a stalemate and so on to the dreaded penalty shootout. It was a dreadful heartbreaking way to decide such a contest for two spirited teams but a winner was needed…..Cue ensuing drama.

McKinnon missed their first penalty and Hampton Park scored theirs. McKinnon scored from their second with Tom Lo Casto beating the keeper and Hampton missed their second, the crossbar probably still shaking from the shot which promised to cross the line on the rebound but did not and McKinnon were alive. McKinnon calmly dispatched their next one with Matej displaying a calmness that belies his years. Chris Kaev the McKinnon keeper with sheer presence must have caused the Hampton player to miss the target as that is
what happened next to send McKinnon one up. Resultant goals were traded with our striker Daniel Rockman dispatching, leaving Chris Kaev our keeper to step up to slot the winning penalty.  That is what might have happened but the script had a few more twists yet……………..

Chris had his penalty saved by their keeper and then in a show of mental fortitude, Chris made a massive save to deny Hampton after he had missed what should have been the winner. Up stepped Harry Huo who had been telling me during their Final that he was very confident and if it got to penalties wanted to take one. Cometh the moment cometh the man and Harry calmly dispatched the ball to the keepers left and madness ensued as we celebrated winning the Final and going to State.

I want to congratulate the whole squad on their efforts so far and hopefully we can go one better at State Finals. All the boys have been training once a week since April and are a magnificent team who play the game in the right spirit. Enjoy the moment men but State Finals don’t come around that often so let’s go and give it a shake on 1 September.

Congratulations to the Squad:

Max Griffin, Daniel Rockman, Tony Kim, Calvin Loh, Tom Lo Casto, Theo Papageorgiou, Matej Cubic, John Villanueva, Rahul Thimmareddy (C), Aristotle Otis, Ashwin  Jayaprakash, Chris Kaev (GK), Harry Huo, Con Georgiadis, Harry Amner, Duc Minh Hoang  and Jiawei Thing.

Jonathan Jhoomun   
A very proud Coach
After weeks of training afterschool, McKinnon students set out on Tuesday 4 August for the State Netball and Hockey Centre to compete in the Netball Victoria All Schools Championships. With our two Intermediate teams (one male and one female team) we were set for a chilly day outside!! Thankfully the weather held off and both teams had early wins on the outside courts. They both continued their great form until the girls met Firbank who were just too strong!

The girls won five games and lost two games and were placed third for the day. The boy’s team combined well all day and came out with four out of four wins and a ticket to the State Finals on Tuesday 8 September.

A terrific feat considering it is not a common sport for many of the players.

The Intermediate B team also competed during the same week in the Southern Metropolitan Finals. The girls won all three games convincingly on the day to take out the title. Thanks to all the coaches involved for taking time out to train and coach these girls on the day.

Tim Blackwood

A spectacular night of entertainment was provided by our very talented students at Robert Blackwood Hall last night.  The standard of music was exceptional and we wish to thank all the family, friends and staff who attended. The students were amazing and the music teachers could not be prouder.

Congratulations to William Hardy who got through to the second round of the Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Awards (Round 2 on 4 October). On the same weekend he came 3rd in the Open Brass and Woodwind section of the Manningham Eisteddfod. This follows his success in the Ringwood Eisteddfod on 20 June where he came 1st in the 16 and under brass and woodwind section, and 3rd in the open brass and woodwind section.
Congratulations to the very talented Year 12 boys (George Inglis, Shaun Samulenok, Luca Soprano and David Yarrow) who competed in the State Final of the Battle of the Bands and achieved first
place for Original Compositions.  We are exceedingly proud of the boys and the work that they have put in.  Thank you also to their mentor Mr Daniel Farthing for taking them to and from these events.
Congratulations to Alexia Samiotis and her performance in the Preliminaries of the Leslie Barklamb Scholarship held at Methodist Ladies College on Sunday 16 August.  Alexia played exceptionally well in a group that was of an exceedingly high standard, receiving excellent comments from the adjudicators. Well done! 
Senior Stage Band is holding an Information Night for the planned Cuba trip at 6:30pm on Wednesday 2 September in the Auditorium.  This is open to all parents and students who are part of this ensemble.
Please note these dates in your diary for the term for upcoming Performance Opportunities for Term 3:
  • String Quartet Thistlelonian’s 50th Reunion, Class of 1964, School Hall, Sunday 23 August;
  • Senior Stage Band performing in the Victorian School Music Festival of Bands at “The Deakin Edge”, Thursday 27 August;
  • Orchestra performing at Royal South Street Ballarat, Saturday 29 August;
  • Percussion Night – Monday 31 August;
  • Saxophone Ensemble and Clarinet Choir performing at Royal South Street Ballarat, Tuesday 1 September;
  • VCE (Unit 4) Music Performance Celebration – Thursday 10 September;
  • Senior Concert, Farewell to the Year 12 Students – Tuesday 15 September. 
In preparation for the many performances that will be taking place over the semester, students are reminded that they need to keep their attendance up at the core ensemble rehearsals.  All music students, instrumentalist and elective, are required to be in one of the main ensembles that are held at the school.  Being a part of these ensembles helps develop group skills, aural work, sight reading, widens their experience and musical style and often involves performing for community groups, other schools and functions within the school community.  Rehearsals are held as follows:
  • Symphonic Wind – Monday afterschool 3:30 – 5pm
  • Keenan Strings – Thursday before school 7:45am
  • Orchestra – Thursday afterschool 3:30 – 5pm
  • McKinnon Choir – Thursday lunch time
  • Ovenden Band – Friday before school 7:45am
We look forward to seeing all students at their respective ensemble rehearsal.  With the large number of external events, we ask that all students ensure that they have their instruments clearly labelled. 

Megan Papworth
Head of Music - Classroom
The CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) celebrates its 70th Anniversary in 2015.  The Book Week theme this year is ‘Books light up our world’.

Book Week lasts from Saturday 22 August until Friday 28 August.  
To view the short listed books please click on the following link:

At McKinnon we will be celebrating Book Week with visiting authors giving talks to Year 7 and Year 8 students. 

On Friday 22 August the Year 7s will hear James Phelan talk.  James writes thriller style novels for adolescents.  Click on the following link for a youtube trailer of his latest novel:

On Thursday 28 August the Year 8 students will hear a talk by Mandy Ord.  Mandy is a Melbourne based comic artist and illustrator.  Her stories have appeared in a broad range of local and international literary journals, newspapers, books and anthologies. In 2008, her first graphic novel Rooftops was published by Finlay Lloyd. Her second book of comic stories published by Allen & Unwin in August 2011, Sensitive Creatures was selected as a White Raven at the 2012 Bologna Book Fair.  Mandy has spoken at school before and her talks have always been well received by students

Most of the books on the short list are available for loan in the library. I would, however, like to draw attention to a book in the information category.  “An A-Z of convicts in Van Diemans land” gives a fascinating view of Tasmanian history.  I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Australian history.

Russell Absalom
Resource Centre Manager 
McKinnon Secondary College is an Access Asia School and have an emphasis on Asia in the curriculum to prepare our students for their future in a truly globalised society.  We celebrate our 20th Asia Week during the last week of third term with activities, decorations, costumes and food all contributing to a wonderful atmosphere anticipated by students and staff alike.

We are seeking support from families, community members and local businesses to help make our Asia Week celebrations successful.  Support such as presenting or volunteering with workshops, or providing goods which can be used for student prizes or raffles would be useful.

If you are able to assist in any way, please contact Mrs Rekha Nayyar at school.  Any contribution would be acknowledged through this newsletter.

Mrs Rekha Nayyar
Access Asia Coordinator

According to the Raising Children website, which was created in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Social Services, sleep is important for the following reasons:
  • maintaining a healthy body;
  • ‘cleaning up’ the brain;
  • helping the immune system;
  • improving energy levels, learning and concentration.
During the early adolescent years (12-15) approximately 9½ hours of sleep are required per night.  The quantity and quality of sleep are equally important.

Routine, sleep environment and good health and nutrition are necessary considerations to ensure that sleep is optimal.

The following link will provide further information for this health issue.

Susan Wilken
Community Health Liaison
Health Learning Area Manager
At the end of each year, there are usually a small number of vacancies that arise in our Year 8 to 10 ELMS classes. In order to fill these vacancies in the fairest and most equitable manner, we will offer the opportunity to sit for an ELMS selection test to the students that have achieved the highest overall grades for Maths and Science in their Semester 1 Learning Tasks and Assessments. These students will be approached later this term and given a package of bridging Maths exercises to complete before they sit the selection test at school early in Term 4. A position in the 2016 ELMS class will then be offered to students in rank order of their performance in the selection test. The number of vacancies available in the ELMS program at each Year Level will be determined early in Term 4. Parents, Students and Teachers are not required to make nominations or requests to enter the ELMS program. The selection process will be based on the objective evidence of the student’s achievements in their reports.

Please contact Mr McLeod if you have any questions concerning our ELMS program.

Les McLeod
Head of Junior School and 
Manager of ELMS Program
Office hours are:   8:15am - 4:30pm
Telephone:             8520 9000

Parents should always make contact with the General Office first when visiting the school or trying to make contact with their children.

Appointments with teachers must be made via telephone or email them directly.

Student absences should be reported to the school before 9:00am. Please email the Attendance Officer Alison Pollock or telephone 8520 9050 on the day of the absence by 9:00am. 

A note on the day of return to the General Office is required for absences where no parent contact has been possible. Proformas for absence explanations can be downloaded from our website (

In order to minimise disruption to class and
maximise learning opportunities for our students, we would like to remind you of the school policy regarding late arrival to school. Students are expected to be at school at 8:30am.  A locker bell rings at 8:35am and class begins punctually at 8:50am. If your child is late for any reason, please notify the school by phone 8520 9050, email or by writing a note in the student's diary explaining the reason. 

If no explanation has been received:
  • students in Years 7 - 10 are withdrawn from class and given an after school detention for the following day;
  • students in Years 11 and 12 are given a pass to class and an after school detention for the following day.
We appreciate your support in this. If you have any questions please call Alison on 8520 9050.
Families are now able to order and purchase uniforms online.  Ordered items can be collected
from the Uniform Shop.  Please allow three working days for pick-up.  Please click on the attached link to order uniforms:

Phone/Fax No:  9578 2151
Tuesdays                                       8:15am - 12 noon
Fridays                                           12:30pm - 4:00pm
1st Saturday every month      9:30am - 12 noon

Cheques must be payable to Fashion Clubwear.
Please ensure all school clothes, books and personal property are clearly labelled with the student’s name.  Many items are not returned to their rightful owners because they are not labelled correctly or clearly.

USBs should include a folder with the student’s name and form to assist in returning it to the correct person.  If you have lost anything see Mrs Plate in the Sick Bay during recess, lunch or end of day.
Including local advertisements
Glen Eira Youth Services will be hosting a Parent Information Night with guest speaker Troy Jones called ‘Moving Beyond the Grunt: Tricky Conversations with Boys’ from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.  This is a FREE event but bookings are essential.  Book now by contacting Youth Services on 9524 3676.  Please refer to the attached link for further information.

Presented by Diana and Nikolai Faizouline from Hampton Hives on Tuesday 29 September 2015, 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Glen Eira Town Hall – Theatrette, Corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield. 

How to make your home energy efficient.  Presented by Alternative Technology Association’s, Michael O’Connell on Tuesday 8 September 2015, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Carnegie Library – Boyd Room, 7 Shepparson Avenue, Carnegie

Bookings are essential.  RSVP education officer on 9524 3333, email or book online at


Please click on the attached link for further information