Our MFG Newsletter

31 July 2017
Issue Seven
Principal's Report
Learning @MFG
What's On @ MFG
Matthew Flinders GSC
03 4243 0500
Lt Ryrie St
Geelong, Vic, 3220

Principal's Report

On the school holidays I read a number of journals about how we are using technology. I came across this graph based on the research of an Australian called Adam Alter who is a psychologist at New York University. The infographic shows the use of time by adults over a 24 hour period.

As you can see, over the past 10 years not a lot has changed. We sleep approximately seven-and-a-half to eight hours a day, we work eight-and-a-half to nine hours a day, we engage in survival activities (eating, showering, caring for the family, etc.) about three hours a day.  But our free time, the white space, is incredibly valuable and informative as to how we spend the remaining 4 to 5 hours we have left per day. This white space representing our personal time is space where we do things that make us the individuals that we are; the space where we foster personal relationships, reflect on our lives and what is meaningful to us; the space where we take time to be creative, to play and enjoy our hobbies etc. Of course, many of us get some of that from our work as well. But when I reflect on the things I will be remembered for - they are the moments that occur in my white personal space.

The second graph shows us how we have changed the use of our personal time in the past 10 years.

The red portion of the white space is the time we spend using technology during our free time, and unsurprisingly, it’s becoming an increasingly dominant part of our lives. It was in 2007 that Apple introduced the first iPhone and in 2017, just ten years later, the yellow section represents the time we now spend doing things that are not related to technology.

Like many of you, I use technology time to connect with my family and friends through phone calls, social media, skype, as well as to reflect on and learn new technological things. After seeing this graph, however, I am questioning what am I choosing to do in this technology-filled time and am asking how enriching those activities are for me? Too often I get caught up in Facebook feeds, apps like Pinterest that are designed to hook me in, the latest Netflix series that I can binge watch, and so on.

Now I do not want to withdraw from these things but rather to strike a more healthy balance.

I have introduced “stop cues” into my life, signals that remind me it's time to move on, to do something new, to do something different. In the more distant past these pauses were created for me.  I had to wait a whole week to watch the next episode of Vikings! Some of the stop cues that I have introduced include:

  • I do not have my phone with me at the dinner table (no matter where I am and who I am with).
  • I restrict myself to 2 episodes of a program at a time
  • I set my phone alarm to remind me to stopping perusing apps and social media after ½ hour.
  • I use the “do not disturb” settings on my phone so I do not get texts and emails after a certain time at night (except for emergency ones in my favourites)
  • In my house, the technology stays in the lounge room and kitchen.

My challenge now is to consider how we might introduce stop cues at school in order to create some white space, or personal time, for our students and also to encourage them to create this in their non-school time.

As author Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives”.

Staff News

We welcome the following staff:

  • Jeremy Dyson is our new Acting Assistant Principal
  • Abby Dangerfield, a past student, is now teaching Maths and Science at Years 7 and 10
  • Rebecca Docherty is teaching Maths, Science, Digital Technologies and PE
  • Melissa Walker, Margaret Macauley, Jenny Gibson, Tanya O’Toole, Marianne Scott and Jenny Eastwood are back from leave

We wish the following staff a fond farewell:

  • Simon Collier, who has been asked to work for ACARA as a Curriculum Officer for 12 months
  • Delphine Pacifique, Anne Halliburton, Karen Cousins and Leanne Goodwin who are on leave
  • Mary Connoley and Margaret Hannan, our two librarians, who have retired. We thank them for their many years of service and support to our students and staff.

Parent Opinion Survey

Our school is conducting a survey to find out what parents and carers think of our school. The Parent Opinion Survey is an annual survey offered by the Department of Education and Training that is conducted amongst a sample of randomly selected parents at each school.

It is designed to assist our school in gaining an understanding of parents’ perception of school climate, student engagement and relationships with our parent community. Our school will use the survey results to help inform and direct future school planning and improvement strategies.

A key element of our 2016-2019 strategic plan is to build relationships with parents and carers and the community to encourage greater engagement with our students and their learning

The survey results will be used to inform the specific goals we set for 2018. The data we received last in 2016 was used to inform this year’s Annual Implementation Strategies which include:

  • ACTION 1: Developing and providing parent education programs focused on learning.
  • ACTION 2 Further implementing strategies for improving relationships with parents/carers and the community to encourage greater engagement with our students and their learning.
  • ACTION 4 Continuing work on a MFG communication strategy and an agreed approach to how we communicate as a school community.
  • ACTION -5 Further developing programs in Our Living Garden to promote “earth care, people care and fair share” within the local community and City Of Geelong.

The survey will be conducted online by ORIMA Research Pty Ltd and only takes 15 minutes to complete. The survey can be accessed via desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile at any convenient time within the fieldwork period from Monday 7th August to Sunday 27th August.

Approximately  30  per cent of parents will be invited to participate in this year’s survey. All responses to the survey are anonymous.

We welcome your feedback and thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey.


For further information, please speak to Ms Marianne Scott the Leader of School Services or visit: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/management/improvement/Pages/performsurveyparent.aspx



Michelle Crofts



Learning @MFG

Term 3 Parent-Teacher-Student Learning Conferences

Our Term 3 Parent-Teacher-Student Learning Conferences will be held on Tuesday 22nd August between 12pm and 7pm on the Main Campus of the College. There will be no classes in the morning. However, your child is expected to attend the Conference with you. Teachers will be having a short break between 2-2.20pm and a dinner break between 4.25-5.15pm and you will not be able to make a booking during these times. 



BOOKINGS OPEN: Tuesday 15th August at 9am

BOOKINGS CLOSE: Monday 21st August at midnight


You can make a booking using Compass – go to the Community icon (the two people) and select Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences. Students cannot book interviews using their accounts.


During the next few weeks you will be emailed a list of our teachers and the rooms they will be in on the day. There is also a handout which explains how to make a booking on Compass, a list of where teachers are located and a map of the Main Campus. These documents are in the School Documentation section on Compass– go to the folder called ‘Parent-Student-Teacher Learning Conferences’.


Please be mindful that each Learning Conference goes for 10 minutes only. If you would like to arrange a more in-depth discussion with a particular teacher, then please make another appointment with that teacher.


We look forward to seeing you at this event and discussing your child’s progress, learning and goals. Please contact me at the College on 4243 0500 or at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Attitudes to School Survey 2017

This is the annual survey offered by the DET to find out what our students think of school. It helps schools in gaining an understanding of our students’ perceptions and experience of school.  

Our preliminary results are in and about 70% of our students completed this online survey.

This year the questions are different and improved. We’ll be using our students’ responses to develop some student focus groups in Term 3 and zoom in on the areas that require some focus and improvement.


For example, our students responded, across all year levels, very positively to the prompt ‘My teachers give me feedback about my work’. This was very pleasing especially given we have had a whole school focus on feedback and improving the way we give feedback – in other words, our feedback practices.


However, our students did not respond so positively to the next prompt which was about the usefulness of that feedback. ‘The feedback that my teachers give helps me to understand how to improve’ received a less positive response. In fact, our Year 9 students who completed the survey didn’t feel that their teachers’ feedback helped them to understand how to improve.


So, we’ll form some focus groups at Year 9 (for example) and zoom in on this area and develop a clearer picture of how our students are feeling and what the kind of feedback they feel would be more useful and meaningful in terms of helping them to understand how to improve. 



While our Year 9 and 10 students were thinking about their future subject and pathway options at our annual ‘Subject and Pathways Expo’, our Year 7 and 8 students were at their creative best on Tuesday 18th July.


Angel Patri, an Italian teacher and educator, once said in 1917 that ‘Playrooms and games, animals and plants, wood and nails must take their

place side-by-side with books and words.

This was our third annual ‘Invent to Learn’ day, underpinned by two important ideas – ‘hard fun’ and collaboration. This year, we had a STEAM focus (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) and this was weaved into each challenge.Our Year 7 students had a whole day to create an educational board game for children and many students incorporated the use of LED lights and electrical circuits to have a functional buzzer as part of their game.

Our Year 8 students used the prompt below to work collaboratively with a group, and using the resources available, to create something that showed their group’s thinking about the prompt.

The future of learning and schools

Prompt: Schools and learning will be radically different in 20 years and beyond.

What do you think the future of learning and schools will look like, sound like, feel like, be like?


Success criteria:

We will be successful if we can:

  • Work together as a team and involve each team member in all parts of the design process
  • Use each stage of the design process
  • Document and make our thinking visible using our ‘Make, Create and Invent’ workbook
  • Be smart and thoughtful about how we use the available resources
  • Incorporate the use of LED lights

Year 8 Task:

Create something that represents your group’s thinking about the prompt – the future of learning and schools.

Your group can use the available resources, including LED lights, to create your representation. Your creation will be shared with students across the school and at an assembly.

First you’ll need to decide think about what the future of learning and schools might look like. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What will schools stop doing and start doing in the future?
  • In what ways will classrooms be different?
  • How will mobile technologies continue to change learning and teaching?
  • What impact will Virtual Reality have on learning and schools?
  • What will the role of teachers be in the future?
  • What do you think will be the next big thing in education?


Subject Selection and Pathways Process 2017

This the Pathways and Subject selection process for students has begun and runs for 5 weeks. At the end of last term all students participated in an assembly to outline the subject selection process. Each student has a booklet which further details the process and timeline for them. Please encourage your child to show you their booklet and have a conversation with them about their subject selection and pathway options and choices.  

This year we are introducing Year 10 Pathways Mentoring Interviews in Term 3 starting on Tuesday 25th July. This will replace the annual Later Years Information Night for Parents/Carers. These interviews will involve interviews for all Year 10 Students and their parents over two days with a team of Pathways mentors. 


All subject selections are due in by 9th August.

Interview with Carol Dweck

Inspired early on in her life by how different people treat the challenges they face, Carol Dweck has devoted her career to mining for deep insights that help improve our understanding of intelligence. She rose to prominence in 2006 when her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success garnered critical acclaim. Here’s an interview with Dweck at EduTECH in June, following her presentation entitled Growth Mindset - Culture and Strategy. Here, she shares her insights.



Change for Music, Arts and Technology at Year 7 in 2018 & 2019

In 2016 with the introduction of the Victorian Curriculum our School’s Curriculum Committee agreed that we would expose our students to the breadth of curriculum to expose them to a range of subjects. Then in years 9 & 10 we would aim to provide our students with more choice. It was agreed that the school would move to the following model in 2017: 2 units of Arts and 2 units of Technology in 2017 – all different subjects to gain breadth (choice to be up to the Learning Areas).


Due to interim changes and to ensure students were not missing out on different subjects in 2017 we ran with this model:

This year, as a result of not doing music in year 7, there was in impact on the Instrumental Music Program. After discussion between Technology and The Arts Learning Areas the following proposal was presented to and ratified by our Leadership Team. The following structures will run in 2018 and 2019.



Damien Toussaint, Assistant Principal, Learning and Teaching


What's On @ MFG

MFG Pathways & Subject Selections 2017 - 2018

There is a lot of thinking and chatting happening at the moment amongst the students, families and teachers of MFG about choosing electives for next year. One of the first steps has been for each student in year 9 to 11 to complete a Career Action PlanThe following is a snapshot of this process for each year level from 8 to 11.


Our year 8 students have been completing forms with their preferences for electives in 2018 and should return them to Mrs Carr on HFC by August 9th.

Our year 9 students have also been completing forms with their preferences for subjects for 2018 and should return them to Mrs Carr on HFC by August 9th.

Our SEALP 9L students have had individual interviews with Mrs Wright and Mr Toussaint to discuss their plans for the Later Years and preferences for 2018 and completed forms should be returned to Mrs Carr on HFC by August 9th.  

Our year 10 students and their families had individual interviews with a Pathway Mentor on Tuesday July 25th to help guide their choices for 2018.

Year 10 students interested in VCAL as a pathway have further interviews on August 1st and 2nd, which need to be booked by parents through Compass. Please be aware that consideration for the VCAL must include this interview. Students need to complete their preferences for subjects in 2018 and return them to Mrs Wright by August 9th.


Any student in 9L or Year 10 who missed the interviews will need to reschedule an interview with Mrs Wright, before submitting preferences. This can be done by simply calling MFG or emailing Mrs Wright directly on [email protected].


Our year 11 students have had the opportunity to speak with Mrs Wright to confirm their plans for 2018 and are to return their preferences for 2018 to her by August 9th.



If you have mislaid your booklet (which includes the selection sheet) distributed at the end of term 2, please go to

Compass>Community (2 person icon)>School Documentation>Pathways>Subject Selection 2017-2018> and choose the appropriate year level.



As some of you may be aware, we have trialled a new process this year where we have replaced the Later Years Information Evening with one-on-one interviews for year 10 students and their families. To determine the success of this change we ask that all year 10 students respond to a Survey Monkey and parent/carers of a year 10 student also respond to a separate Survey Monkey, to provide us with valuable feedback. These surveys will be released through Compass with a notification email.


We thank everyone for their role in thinking about the future of our students through Career Action Plans and engaging in conversations both at home and at school to gather information to make informed decisions.


With thanks, Joy Carr and Freda Wright



STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and maths.


At MFG, STEAM follows an engineering design process to ask questions and solve problems.  Our staff integrates this style of learning within the curriculum to provide challenging learning environments which maximises individual potential and ensures all students are well equipped to meet the challenges in the 21st century. 

This info graphic highlights the importance of STEM skills for our students in the future; skills that include critical thinking, innovation, problem-solving and effective communication.


STEAM WEEK  (14th – 20th Aug)

We are running a series of STEAM themed activities and challenges in class as well as during lunchtime.  Our STEAM themed whole school assembly (p.5 Tuesday 15th Aug) will be a highlight of the week with a number of guest speakers, including the famous NAO Robot.  We welcome all our MFG community to attend this assembly

Ms Jo Toone - STEAM Initiatives Leader

Senior Girls Basketball- Geelong Champions

The weather was cold – but basketball got the girls warmed up!!! On what was one of the coldest day’s this winter, the senior girls got off to a flyer winning the day overall and advancing to Werribee on Monday 31st  July to compete against the Western Metropolitans best!


Suitably led by Brittney Murray-Rowe and Vanessa Marsh (Co Captains), the girls boxed their way into a commanding position early in the day into the division final winning their first two games 45 – 2 & 34 – 12 respectively.


There was some fantastic ball being played throughout the day and our Year 11 star student/basketball extraordinaire Georgia Van De Ven showed the competition how to get it done, dominating the boards and providing the strength under the ring at both ends.


While there were some standout performances by the girls – today proved yet again, that a champion team will always beat a team full of champions.


Bring on WMR finals in Werribee!


Mr. Lehmann

Year 8 Cycle On

Our Year 8 students were involved in a three week Cycle On program at school to develop and improve their riding and road awareness skills.

As a celebration for being involved and completing this program they participated in a full day called MIND.BODY.PEDAL.


Students got to work in new groups to collaborate with other students about what it means to be a healthy person. They had four different sessions that included being physically active and going for a pedal, mentally healthy which was taken by Headspace and discussed students strengths and barriers they face as adolescents, a healthy body taken by The Body Shop that looked at how to look after your skin and a bike maintenance session to ensure all students have the skills to change a tube and complete maintenance on their bike. 


It was a fun filled, healthy day for all students.



Year 11 Outdoor and Environmental Studies

Our Outdoor Ed students have all successfully passed Unit 1 and the course requirements. They did a fantastic job at applying their knowledge and understanding of the curriculum content to their Otways hiking experience.


Their camp was a 3 day adventure through the Otways, starting at Cape Otway lighthouse and concluding at Johanna beach. Students gained a great insight into the Indigenous and European interactions with the environment through researched oral presentations and fact sheets. 

The trip finished with a visit to The Otway Fly Treetop walk where students learnt about specific flora and fauna in the rainforest environment and threats to these species. 


All students showed great engagement, resilience and cooperation to lead and achieve success on the camp together.




Year 10 Education & Challenge in the Outdoors.

Semester 1 students learnt many new skills and knowledge.

They were challenged many times and showed great resilience, determination and persistence to overcome all the hurdles they faced. 

Most rate their greatest achievement as finishing the hiking and surfing camp that involved two days of walking, a total of 20km, camping overnight and a 2 hour surf lesson to finish it off. 

Their greatest learning occurred on the 2 day sailing experience, where they learnt to successfully crew and skipper an Envy boat at the Victorian Sailing School. An awesome achievement by all involved.

Other activities they participated in were orienteering, canoeing, bike riding, snorkelling, a visit to surf world museum, bone seed weeding and stand up paddle boarding.







Indonesian Festival


What is the impact of your child's absences from school?

Consistent school attendance has the biggest impact on your child's future success. Have you ever wondered exactly what impact your child's absences will have on their education?

The table below clearly shows the importance of regular school attendance...


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