Our MFG Newsletter

05 February 2018
Issue One 2018 
Principal's Message
From School Council
From Our Student Leaders
Important Dates
Key Information
Do you have a Health Care/Concession Card?
House News
Teaching and Learning
Matthew Flinders GSC
03 4243 0500
Lt Ryrie St
Geelong, Vic, 3220

Principal's Message

Welcome to 2018

Hello and welcome back everyone to 2018, which will no doubt prove to be another year full of challenges, learning, risk taking, mistakes and lessons learned at MFG.


Thank you to the parents and community members who attended our whole school assembly on 31 January, it was lovely to have you share the magnificent smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country from Corina a local Wathaurong representative.


Below is my welcome to speech tour community:

Good morning Invited Guests, Parents & Carers, Staff and Students

I would like to formally welcome you back to Matthew Flinders Girls, our wonderful school.


To all of your new staff, students and parents today I welcome you too and hope that today you feel welcome to our school community.

We were so fortunate this morning to have Corina representing the Wathaurong peoples, the Aboriginal people who belong to and are the custodians of the land upon which Matthew Flinders is built. Thank you for coming along this morning to support our school.


The purpose of our ceremony this morning is to pay respects to the local Wathaurong people and to be thankful about the fact that our school is on their traditional land.


It is also to symbolise the acceptance of new people (students, staff and parents/carers) into our school community and an invitation for you to embrace our school’s culture.


Know that you will be accepted for who you are, just as you are. You need to know that your ideas, questions and contributions to our school will be valued by everyone. This is our expectation of each other as a sisterhood at MFG – that we accept each other (we are inclusive) and look out for each other (we are supportive). In addition, we strive to have our own original ideas, pose thoughtful and intelligent questions and be creative in our thinking (we are innovative). Inclusive, supportive, innovative.

So welcome everyone to our school.


To our returning students I ask that you take the time to look out for our new students and staff. I know that you will help them to find their way and make them feel welcomed in our school.

In addition, today , I would like to remind you about the principles of permaculture that we are endeavouring to embrace here at MFG:  Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share.


Earth Care is about our commitment to constantly improving the way that we care for our environment. It is about being mindful of what we do. These can be little things, like using less plastic, turning lights and fans off when you are not in a room and making sure that you recycle properly.

People Care refers to the way that we treat each other. It is a commitment to being kind to each other. It is about forgiving ourselves and others. It is smiling and saying hello in the morning. It is being courteous on the stairs and in doorways. It is about how we show respect for one another.


Fair Share is the component of permaculture that reminds us that we exit in a community beyond MFG and we, as a school and as individuals, need to share what we have with others. That may be our resources or it may be our kindness.


So everyone, I wish you a wonderful year full of learning and fun. I encourage you to embrace the challenges and to persist even when your brains hurt.  Speak often with your teachers and support staff, they really care for you and want to help.


And finally, as our school motto says, keep “looking forward”:

  • stay positive
  • seek adventure
  • strive for a better tomorrow
  • and to keep learning.

Good morning and have a magnificent year of learning.

year, and together we can both help our charges to “meet life”.

Key Foci 2018

As a school we will have the following FISO foci:

Positive Climate for Learning – Intellectual engagement and self-awareness

With a focus on:

  • Improving school attendance
  • Improving how students wear our new school uniform
  • Exploring ways to raise the academic commitment of our students

Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Building practice excellence

With a particular focus on:

  • Dylan Wiliam’s Teacher Learning Communities – as a forum for trialing high impact teaching strategies (HITS) and formative assessment strategies and techniques to improve student engagement and learning and evaluate our impact on learning.

New Staff 2018

We formally welcome the followign staff to our school in 2018:

Tammy Hanson (Learning Mentor)

D’Arcy Crossely (English)

Alana Harper (Science/Maths)

Melanie McNamara (English/Hums & PE)

Imogen Brough (Voice)

Kerry Trounson (Woodwind)

Phillipa Weetman (Operation Newstart)

Nick Sack (Operation Newstart)

Ben Popovski (Maths & Science)

From School Council

School Council 

What is a school council and what does it do?

All government schools in Victoria have a school council. They are legally formed bodies that are given powers to set the key directions of a school within centrally provided guidelines. In doing this, a school council is able to directly influence the quality of education that the school provides for its students.


Who is on the school council?

There are three possible categories of membership:

  • A mandated elected Parent category. More than one third of the total members must be from this category. Department of Education and Training (DET) employees can be Parent members at their child’s school as long as they are not employed at the school.
  • A mandated elected DET employee category. Members of this category may make up no more than one third of the total membership of school council. The principal of the school is automatically one of these members.
  • An optional Community member category. Its members are appointed by a decision of the council because of their special skills, interests or experiences. DET employees are not eligible to be Community members.

The term of office for all members is two years. Half the members must retire each year, creating vacancies for the annual school council elections.


Why is Parent membership so important?

Parents on school councils provide important viewpoints and have valuable skills that can help shape the direction of the school.

Those parents who become active on a school council find their involvement satisfying in itself and may also find that their children feel a greater sense of belonging.


How can you become involved?

The most obvious way is to vote in the elections, which are held in Term 1 each year. However, ballots are only held if more people nominate as candidates than there are positions vacant.

In view of this, you might seriously consider

  • standing for election as a member of the school council
  • encouraging another person to stand for election.

Do I need special experience to be on school council?

No. What you do need is an interest in your child’s school and the desire to work in partnership with others to help shape the school’s future.

What do you need to do to stand for election?

The principal will issue a notice and call for nominations following the commencement of Term 1 each year. All school council elections must be completed by the end of March.

If you decide to stand for election, you can arrange for someone to nominate you as a candidate or you can nominate yourself in the Parent category.

DET employees whose child is enrolled in a school in which they are not employed are eligible to nominate as parents for the school council where their child is enrolled

Once the nomination form is completed, return it to the principal within the time stated on the notice of election. You will receive a Nomination Form Receipt in the mail following the receipt of your completed nomination.

If there are more nominations received than there are vacancies on council, a ballot will be conducted during the two weeks after the call for nominations has closed.


2018 School Council Elections

An election is to be conducted for members of the School Council of Matthew Flinders Girls.

Information about school council and school council nomination forms, are available on Compass in the section titled School Documentation/School Council/School Council Elections.

You can also email: mfgsc@edumail.vic.gov.au or phone the school on 03 4243 0500 and we can send you the information.

Nominations must be lodged by 4.00 pm on Monday, 12 February 2018.

Following the closing of nominations a list of the nominations received will be posted as a news item on Compass. If an election is required, parents/carers will be notified on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 and the ballot will close at 4.00 pm on Monday, 5 March 2018.


The terms of office, membership categories and number of positions in each membership category open for election are as follows:



If the number of nominations is less than the number of vacancies, a notice to that effect and further nominations will be called for via a Compass Notice.

Buildings Update

The tenders for the building are now complete and we are waiting for the Department of Education to select an appropriate builder.


We have moved students and staff around to clear the Embling and Administration areas for refurbishment. The key things parents and carers need to know are:

  • The Office is on Helen Fraser until further notice
  • The House Leaders are in the same offices on the Main Campus
  • The new Hub is on the Main Campus
  • The Tech Office is in the same space on the Main Campus

We anticipate building to start in March.


From Our Student Leaders

A message from Brynnie and Megan 

I would like to welcome everyone to the start of the 2018 school year and wish you all the best for the exciting year ahead. Despite the fact that school may not be everyone’s favourite place to be, particularly after having six weeks of luxurious sleep ins, numerous food comas and no responsibilities, Brynnie and I are determined to make 2018 the best school year yet!


In order to achieve this, we want to strengthen and build on leadership team within the college. We believe that by working collectively to include everyone’s opinions and ideas, that we will represent the student body to the best of our abilities. Although we can not guarantee free food every lunch time and time out of class, we will try our hardest to provide as many activities as possible. As a leadership team, we have already been hard at work and have planned many events and activities for the duration of the school year that we hope you will all enjoy, such as Harmony Day and Wellbeing week. Like Brynnie mentioned earlier, we would love to hear from you, so please to not hesitate to speak to us about any ideas or suggestions you have to improve the school community.


We have also planned to run a variety of lunchtime activities, such as such as dodge ball and mindfulness colouring to make lunchtimes more exciting, particularly for the new year sevens. We hope that this will provide the year sevens with a warm welcome to high school and help you adjust to your new schooling environment.


We would like to wish every one of you the best of luck for the school year ahead, even though it may seem daunting to think that we have to endure a whole year of school before our next lot of summer holidays. In particular, the year twelves, as it is your final year of high school. I would like to encourage you to make the most of this year as what happens now you will remember for many years to come. We hope that 2018 will be full of new and exciting changes that will benefit everyone.


Thank you for listening.


Byrnnie Rafe and Megan Kaiser, School Captains 


Important Dates

Term Dates

Term 1            Tuesday 30 January - Thursday 29 March

Term 2            Monday 16 April - Friday 29 June

Term 3            Monday 16 July - Friday 21 September

Term 4            Monday 8 October - Thursday 20 Decemebr

Swimming Carnival

Our Swimming Carnival is on Tuesday 13th Feb 2018. Parents, carers and family members are welcome at our carnival.


Students are expected at school at the start of the day to have their period 1 roles marked before walking down to Kardinia Pool. They will be returning back to school for presentations and will be dismissed at 3.11pm. 


The house captains have decided to make the dress up theme ‘When I grow up’. If students intend to dress up then we would recommend wearing bathers under their costume so that they can compete and earn points for their house. They should also try to match costumes to their house colour. Body paint, streamers, coloured zinc, and balloons are not permitted by the pool staff.


We hope all students attend this wonderful sporting event even if their intentions are not to swim. Trials are conducted in the morning with the main carnival beginning around 12pm. 

Year 7 Parent & Carer Welcome Session

We hope that adjusting to life at MFG for your daughter(s), and for yourselves, is going well and the start to a new school year at a new school has been a smooth one.

On Thursday February 15th, between 4 and 5 pm we invite you to a Welcome to MFG session which will be held in your daughter's home group room. The main aims of this session are:

  • for you to meet the teachers of the class
  • for you to meet other parents and carers
  • to outline a few essential steps in how to use Compass
  • to have time for general questions and chat

You can conform your attendance on Facebook here.

Later Years Parent & Student Evening: 'Thriving in the Later Years'

You  are invited to an information session, 'Thriving in the Later Years'. It will take place on Wednesday 28th February, from 6.00pm – 7.30pm in the Multi-Purpose Room on the Main site.

The main aims of this session are:

  • For parents and students to be well informed about the basics of VCE and VCAL
  • To hear from past students and parents about their experiences
  • To understand our expectations relating to the Later Years of school
  • To receive some advice and suggestions about how to thrive and meet challenges successfully
  • To ask questions and meet some key staff who will be involved with your daughter in the Later Years


This session would be more useful for Yr. 10 students and families who are currently doing a VCE subject, but everyone is welcome – especially if you want to get a sense of what next year will be like.

Tea and coffee and light snacks will be provided. We hope that you will be able to come along and look forward to seeing you then.


You can conform your attendance on Facebook  here.

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences will be held on Tuesday 6h March between 12pm and 7pm on the Main Campus of the College. There will be no classes in the morning and your child is expected to attend the Conference with you. Teachers will be having a short break between 2 and 2.15pm and a dinner break between 4.30 to 5.15pm so please do not bookings during these times. Information about this event will be posted through Compass and emailed to parents during the next couple of weeks.

If you have tried to log into the Compass portal and are having difficulty please contact our ICT Technicians – Zak and Emily - at school on 4243 0500. New parents and carers will receive information about Compass soon at the Year 7 Parent Welcome Session.

Key Information

School Canteen

We are happy to announce 'H&H' as the new managers of our school canteen on Helen Fraser site. They follow the healthy eating guide and our school healthy eating policy. 

Coming soon:

- An on-line ordering system

- Eftpos facilities


Thank you for being so supportive of our uniform policy. Our students all look magnificent in their new uniforms.

The uniform shop apparently does not have the new sports polo and soft shell jacket with the new logo. It is perfectly acceptable to purchase these as long as they are the new uniform. Many students still have parts of their uniform with the old logo.

The Rugby Jumper that the uniform shop made up was not the right shape and the colours were not quite right. We have provided them with feedback and will continue to work with them. Our apologies that this is not ready yet, but we did not want to have a rugby jumper made that the students would definitely not like.

There is one set of pants already in the uniform shop and another is being developed by the school. Our apologies again as we were under the impression these would be in place by now.
In the meantime, the students can wear their blazer or school jumper and wear shorts or plain navy pants until they are available at the uniform shop.


Please be mindful of the following:

  • School Blazers are to be worn unless the advertised temperature is 25 or above.
  • School blazers are worn for formal assemblies and school photo day.
    • School Photos – 7&8 February
    • Whole School Assembly Term 1– 20 March 2018
  • Boots are not part of the school uniform
  • Hair colour is to be natural.

School Fees

Thank you to everyone that has contacted the office to arrange payment for school fees. 


If you would have any questions or would like to discuss a payment plan please contact Chelsea Bright, Manager of School Services.

Do you have a Health Care/Concession Card?


The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eligible students to attend activities like: school camps or trips; swimming and school-organised sport programs; outdoor education programs; excursions and incursions.


If you haven't already done so please complete the application form and return to the main office along with your health care card. A copy of the application form can be found here  or we have copies available at the office.

2018 Year 7 Uniform Pack for CSEF recipients

In 2018 every Year 7 government school student who is a recipient of CSEF automatically qualifies to receive a uniform pack that is provided through State Schools' Relief.

Parents who have already purchased their child's uniform for 2018 can still apply for a CSEF Year 7 Uniform Pack in 2018.

Applications are available at the office.

Applications for the Year 7 CSEF Uniform Pack close at the end of Term 1, 2018.

House News

Meet the House Leaders for 2018

House Leaders play an important role caring for our students. You can contact your child's Home Group teacher or House Leader for any wellbeing concerns.

Lipson - Jenny Gibson

Working with young people inspires me. I love being a House Leader because it enables me to engage with our students and families on many levels. I am here to support our students with their learning and their wellbeing, and am a little competitive when it comes to House competitions! 



Gilmore House, the blue house, the best house, is named after Mary Gilmore. I am excited to be the Gilmore Leader again this year. Gilmore House consists of an amazing group of teachers and students that promote what it means to be a successive member of the MFG Community. 

As Leader I will aid my House members to achieve their individual goals - from feeling accepted and welcome as a new student to achieving the highest score in a study. Like Mary Gilmore, my passions are in English, Humanities and providing opportunities for people to experience success and acceptance.



Ten years ago I commenced at MFG as the Year 8 Student Manager. Fast forward to 2018, I now have three children of my own, worked part time for a few years in the class room and while also managing the VCAL program and now I find myself back in the role of student management and wellbeing (and still managing the VCAL program). I am very excited to take on the Beachley House Leader role and look forward to getting to know the Beachley students over the coming months.



My name is Bryce Baumgarten and I am the Freeman House leader. I am a Drama teacher and have a passion for the Arts and food. Before I was a teacher, I was a professional performer mainly doing Musical Theatre and working in Children’s Entertainment. I am also a bit of a Geek! I love computer games, reading fantasy novels and watching anime. As a teacher, I love what I do and I always want to see you grow. I firmly believe that effort = reward and I will always encourage you to work as hard as you can, so you can gain success. I hope we can all aim high and make MFGSC a vibrant, supportive, inclusive and innovative place to be.


Teaching and Learning

Making your children’s thinking ‘visible’: A few tips for Parents and Carers

1. Develop a growth mindset.

A belief that intelligence and the ability to grow and develop over time - as opposed to something that is fixed and set - encourages greater risk taking, collaboration, enjoyment of challenge, long-term development, and continuous achievement in all types of learning endeavours (Carol Dweck, 2006). Develop a growth mindset in your child by focusing your praise on process, learning, and effort (You really worked hard on this and have learned a lot. You did a great job of developing a plan and following it through. You’ve really developed as a musician.), as opposed to ability (You’re so clever. Look how smart you are; you did that so fast. You’ve got a lot of talent).


You can support this change in mindset through the language we use. Here are some possible options to replace the fixed mindset:

Instead of…

Try thinking…

It’s good enough

Is this really my best work?

This is too hard

This may take some time…

I don’t understand this yet

I made a mistake

Mistakes help me learn

I just can’t do this

I am going to train my brain


2. What questions did you ask today?

Our questions drive us as learners. When Isidor I.Rabi won the Nobel Prize in physics, he was asked, ''Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer or businessman, like the other immigrant kids in your neighborhood?'' He replied, ''My mother made me a scientist without ever intending it. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: 'So? Did you learn anything today?' But not my mother. She always asked me a different question. 'Izzy,' she would say, 'did you ask a good question today?' That difference - asking good questions - made me become a scientist!'' © Ron Ritchhart, 2012


When your daughter gets home from school, ask her ‘What good questions did you ask today?’        


I share this article with new parents every year. It’s a very interesting read about that got me thinking about the other kinds of questions parents and carers can ask their children each day after school…


MFG Curriculum

We have redesigned our Curriculum maps which will appear on the new website. Many thanks to Paula Hurley (a parent of a new Year 7 students) for all of her work and thinking relating to the redesign of our subject offerings. I have included just the Year 7 one in this newsletter.


Teacher Learning Communities - Formative Asssessment



This year all of our teachers will be participating in a ‘Teacher Learning Community’ (TLC). This is to enhance our collective focus on student learning and enhance our teacher collaboration. Each TLC group will focus on Formative Assessment, which is best defined below:

Our teachers will be zooming in on the strategies below and the specific techniques related to formative assessment – one of the strongest influences on improving and enhancing student learning and engagement. Our teachers’ focus is best represented by this diagram:


Our work in this area stems from the research and work of Dylan Wiliam, an international authority on assessment and teaching. Each of our teachers received a copy of one of Wiliam’s books and are using this to guide their own individual focus and learning.

I particularly like this quotation from Wiliam, which I discussed with my VCE English class this week to develop a culture in my classroom where mistakes are embraced and not feared:

Ultimately, we would want students to resent work that does not challenge them, because they would understand that easy work doesn’t help them improve. In the best classrooms, students would not mind making mistakes, because mistakes are evidence that the work they are doing is hard enough to make them smarter.

I look forward to sharing our progress with you and the difference that it’s making to our students’ learning.

Victorian Virtual Learning Network (VVLN) 2018


The 2018 Victorian Virtual Learning Network community is made up of 8 subject teachers;11 different VCE units; 46 schools around Victoria; 190 students studying at least one VCE subject with the VVLN.

We have had a number of our students studying through the VVLN since 2015. This community enables our students to study some subjects online, with a dedicated teacher who they communicate with through Skype, that we do not offer at MFG or where class sizes are too small to enable a class to run or where there are significant clashes on a student’s timetable.

Our involvement with the Victorian Virtual Learning Network continues into 2018 with a group of our students studying VCE Units through the VVLN including Units 1-4 Physics, Units 1-4 Specialist Maths and Units 1-4 Maths Methods.


Mr Damien Toussaint, Assistant Principal




Our College Day

Home Group      8:55 am    –    9:07 am

Period 1                9:07 am    –    9:55 am

Period 2                9:55 am    –    10:43 am

Recess                   10:43 am  –    11:08 am

Period 3                11:08 am  –    11:56 am

Period 4                11:56 am  –    12:44 pm

Lunch                    12:44 pm  –    1:35 pm

Period 5                1:35 pm    –    2:23 pm

Period 6                2:23 pm    –    3:11 pm

Why it is not OK to be away

Our MFG attendance policy is attached. Did you know that missing one day a fortnight is the same as missing 4 whole weeks of school a year. From prep to Year 12 that adds up to 1.5 years of school.

The main reasons for absence are:

Sickness – There are always times when students need to miss school, such as when they’re ill. Please ensure they’re only away on the days they are genuinely sick but, if they are sick, it is better that they are at home and not infecting their friends at school. Setting good sleep patterns, eating well and exercising regularly can make a big difference.

Family holidays - It's important that holidays are planned during school holidays where possible, and not during the term.

“Day off” – Please think twice before letting your teenager have a “day off” as they could fall behind their classmates – every day counts. A “catch up day” does not help, but rather makes “catching up” even harder. If you allow a “day off” then the next time it will be even harder to say no. Try to find other ways to have “down time” or to catch up.

Truancy – This is when students choose not to go to school without their parent’s permission or skip out of school during the day. There can be many reasons for truancy; the best way to address this is for us to work together to have a united approach to support your child to come to school.

School refusal - School refusing children experience significant emotional distress not only when going to school but also at the thought of going to school; they may be absent from school for weeks or even months at a time. School refusal differs from truancy as children generally stay home with the knowledge of the parents and despite their best efforts to encourage their child to go to school. See: My child or teenager has anxiety . In such cases it is also vital for us to work together to support your child.

Leaving school during the day

The office is now located on Helen Fraser Campus and if there is a requirement for your daughter to be collected, you will need to notify the office well in advance via telephone or on Compass.


Any students leaving the school during the day must do so via the office.  



Compass offers an additional communication method to email, print and SMS. Push Notifications allow you to send communications to iPhones, iPads and Android devices, with the Compass App installed.

Please note that only individuals who have installed the iOS or Android “Compass School Manager” native application and who have allowed notifications will receive these Push Notifications.

If you would like to receive push notifications to your mobile device, please download the app and allow notifications.

Android users can download the app on Google Play and iPhone and iPad users can download the app from the App Store.


We are transitioning Ipads out of our school BYOD program. If you are purchasing a new device please do not buy an Ipad. For all current students who have an iPad our ICT Team will continue to support that device. However if you are planning to purchase a new device for your child please purchase either a laptop or windows tablet only.






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