NGSC Newsletter

09 February 2018
Issue One
North Geelong Secondary College
03 5240 5800
130 Separation Street
North Geelong, Victoria, 3215


Key Dates 

16 FEB                    Whole School Assembly 

21 FEB                    Student Photo Day 

12 MARCH             Labour Day (Student Free)

15 MARCH             NGSC Information Night 

                                  (Yr 7 2019)

19 - 21 MARCH     Year 7 Camp - 7A, 7B, 7C & 7D

21 MARCH              Athletics Day (Landy Field) 

21 - 23 MARCH     Year 7 Camp - 7E, 7F & 7G

26 MARCH              Harmony Day 

27 MARCH              Parent Teacher Conferences 7-12

                                   12.00pm - 7.00pm 

29 MARCH              Last Day term 1

30 MARCH              Good Friday 

16 APRIL                  First Day Term 2


Mr Nicholas Adamou



It is with great pleasure that I welcome everyone back to the 2018 academic year.

I trust that students, parents and staff had a great holiday break and are ready for another successful year.


I extend a special welcome to our new Year 7 students and their families who joined us this year. On Monday 5, February at a welcoming parents & students iPad distribution evening I was pleased to meet and talk to many of our new Year 7 student families.


Also, special welcome to all new Year 8 to 12 students and their families to our school community.


In the last two weeks, it has been great to observe classes settled in their new Home Groups, developing a clear focus on achieving their goals and personal best for this academic year. 


To the Year 12 students, as they embark in their final year at North Geelong SC, I take this opportunity to wish them a year full of success.  I can’t promise that it will be without any challenges, however, applying themselves is the only way to succeed.  Last year’s Year 12 cohort has set a high benchmark with great outcomes; however, I believe that this year’s Year 12 students are capable of greater results, pushing the benchmark even higher.


Over the Christmas break there has been a lot of work completed on the physical environment of the school.  Painting around the school, new Junior Sub-School Office in A Wing, Refurbished Wellbeing facilities in A Wing, refurbishment of the woodwork facilities in E Wing, new undercover outdoor student areas, just to mention a few projects.

The 4.75 million dollars capital works have begun and stages of construction/refurbishment are in place. The first stage of refurbishment is Block B and the court yard between B and C wings, these works will begin at the end of February and will see the full refurbishment of the Food Technology area, including two x state of the art kitchens, a larger dining area wrapped around by an outdoor decking, complete refurbishment of the courtyard and the walk way between B and beginning of C Wings. Provisions are in place to relocate all classes from this area including the Food Technology room. It is anticipated that Stage One will be delivered to the school half way through Term 2.


We are proud of our school community and place high importance on the way we look and behave in the wider community. Our aim is to continue improving the learning and teaching environment of our students, enabling all kind of learners to reach their full potential.


Once again, welcome back to what promises to be another great year for our school community.  I look forward to meeting and working closely with as many parents/guardians as possible during the course of the year.


Wishing all the students and staff a great academic year.


Welcome to New and Returning Staff

I welcome the following staff to our College and wish them a very productive and enjoyable year. We are looking forward to working closely with our new staff to ensure the best possible learning opportunities are provided to our student body. 


New and returning staff members

  1. Mr Bradley Smallman – Leading Teacher English/Literacy Leader
  2. Mr James Parker – Senior Maths/Physics
  3. Mr Philip Walker – Senior Maths /Science
  4. Mr Joel MacDougall – Senior Maths /Chemistry
  5. Ms Lauren Edmunds – Maths and Science
  6. Ms Louise McInerney  - English /Psychology
  7. Mr Luke Sharp – Food/VCAL
  8. Mr Bennett Thomson – English/Humanities
  9. Ms Linda Castle – Japanese/EAL
  10. Ms Bridgette van der Zee – Food Technology Assistant
  11. Mrs Stephanie MacDonald (LOTE/German)
  12. Ms Jacinta Eales – Maths/Science/Biology
  13. Ms Ruth Douglas - EAL

School Zone Speed Limits 

With the new school year started on 30 January, it is an opportune time for school communities to be reminded of the importance of road safety around schools. 

School Speed Zones are enforced from the commencement of the school year and parents/carers are reminded to adhere to all VicRoads School Speed Zones rules.


Thank you to the City of Greater Geelong, new 40 Flashing lights have been installed on Separation Street to ensure better visibility of the school zone limit to motorists. Thank you to Ms Tonia Tigani who has initiated and led this inquiry through the council.


Also parents/guardians are reminded to take care and obey these parking signs and observe the Road Rules when picking up or dropping off students around schools. The City of Greater Geelong Parking and Information Officers monitor all supervised school crossings on a regular roster and issue infringements to drivers who stop in unsafe areas, such as “No Stopping” zones, within 20 metres of a school crossing, parallel to a yellow edge line, or if double parked, even for a moment to drop off or collect a student. Queuing to enter a pick up/drop off zone can often lead to traffic congestion with vehicles being stationary in prohibited areas. Should the pickup/drop off zone be occupied with vehicles, to avoid the possibility of receiving an infringement it is advised to drive around the block and return when legal parking is available.


Statistics show that illegal parking around schools is greatly reduced due to an Officer’s presence and Council prefers to achieve these results though education and awareness.


Designated school speed zones: Specified times (8.00 - 9.30 am and 2.30 - 4.00 pm).  


Further information in regards to VicRoads speed limits around schools can be found at: VicRoads School Speed Zones

Students and Paid employment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics keeps track of the number of students engaged in paid employment. Their most recent report on the subject shows that the number of school age students involved in paid employment continues to rise. Another interesting trend that has emerged from this report is that a growing proportion of younger students are now working on a regular basis.


The main reason students work is to obtain spending money. Very few of the jobs that they undertake have any reference to likely future fulltime sustainable employment and very few supplement family income.


There are many advantages to students that can arise from paid employment. Exposure to the world of “real work” can be an eye-opener for young people. They often take far more notice of the expectations of employers regarding punctuality, appearance and communicating with others than they ever do of the same requests made by parents or their teachers. It can also attribute to improving organisational skills and the meaning of responsibility. It can also provide them with a degree of financial literacy and independence. As Principal and a parent, I have long been an advocate of students contributing to the cost of sometimes expensive educational extra-curricular activities such as state, interstate and overseas camps or exchange visits.


There are, however, some disadvantages at times. The main concern with students undertaking paid employment is the impact that it can have on school performance. The additional income, at times can be negative, as it enables and encourages students to become engaged in a more sophisticated social lifestyle or may divert them from their school-work and other social, family or recreational activities which are essential to their development.


Like most things there is no clear-cut answer to the question. The most important thing is getting a balance between work, school-work, social, family and recreational activities.   


Casual work is most common, followed by holiday jobs, regular part-time work, and then rostered work. Obviously any work on week nights is a problem as it means students cannot complete set homework. Similarly work straight after school can prevent students meeting school commitments, which is not a good thing. Rostered work which often involves the student being called in to work at short notice can also cause problems.


Not surprisingly research has established a clear correlation between hours worked and impact on student performance. Working up to an average of 12 hours per week (providing that the work is not on a week night) had little measurable impact on academic performance of high school students. Working more than 16 hours per week, however, was directly correlated with deterioration on academic progress.


Overall, holiday jobs are no problem. Part-time or casual work limited to 12 hours per week and done at a time which does not interfere with homework, school commitments, recreation or sleep is seldom a cause of concern.  Students working 16 hours or more a week, however, inevitably suffer a deterioration in their academic performance.  Students who work at times which interfere with their other needs and commitments also suffer adverse effects to their progress.


The school supports students that are in paid employment, provided that the work they do and the hours they work per week do not interfere with the students’ academic performance. I encourage parents to communicate with the school if they have any concerns about their children having paid employment.


Mrs Julie Andrews, Mr Paul Dawson & Br Bradley Headlam 

Welcome back

On behalf of the Assistant Principal team we welcome all students to the 2018 academic year. As well as the new Year 7 students we have quite a number of new students in other year levels.

From our perspective, everyone has started the year well; we are noticing most students with their new books and pencil cases, iPads and student planners. All of these items need to be taken to classes and relevant items taken home to complete homework. Remember to put labels and names on student belongings, including items of uniform that may be removed during the day, e.g. Jumpers and jackets. 


If you are concerned about providing your child with the correct school items please contact the wellbeing team at school.

How parents/carers can help their child with school:

Here are some ideas that might help your child to participate more fully in their learning. (Adapted from Education Today 2017, Dennis Sleigh)

  1. Adult attitudes count - even if the school experience of adults closely connected to a child was not ideal this negative attitude can be easily passed to the children if we are not careful. Schools are places that will make a real difference to the future of children. Positive and encouraging attitudes can inspire everyone.
  2. Learning parents help children learn  - any and all forms of learning that we do as adults encourages and models that learning is not just for students at school but how we live in the world. Sharing our skills or knowledge is important too: learn to make scones, learn to weld, learn a language. Learning is a lifelong pursuit.
  3. Read to/with/around your child - reading is a vital part of education and an essential aspect of daily life. As adults we demonstrate to children the value of reading in everyday examples but also as a reader of books. We read to younger children, we encourage older children to read independently and we read for ourselves. We can enhance their reading experience by discussing the content, characters and messages from the reading.
  4. Attend Parent/teacher/student conferences - these events are important in connecting with your child’s teachers and finding out more about your child’s learning successes and areas for improvement. Reading and discussing school reports with your child also demonstrates your interest in their education especially at significant times, transition to high school and as children move to senior courses requiring input about pathways.

If you would like further information about supporting your child with their learning contact a student manager or a member of the wellbeing team.

Performance Average

This year North Geelong Secondary College is implementing a Performance Average (PA) score that is based upon the learning behaviours on the Progress Report. The aim of this program is to improve your child’s learning skills and enhance their results.


Please take note that the Progress Report covers your child’s performance at school over the first 4 weeks of the school year and they will receive a Progress Report twice a term thereafter.


The areas for assessment covered by the Progress Report focus on the following learning behaviours:


1. Attendance - The student’s attendance will be assessed based upon the following description “students are able to meet the minimum NGSC 95% attendance requirement”.

“Consistently” will be assessed as anything of 95% or above

“Usually” -                 91% to 95%

“Sometimes” -           85% to 90%

“Rarely” -                   80% to 84%

“Never” -                    79% or lower

This information will be derived from the ‘In class’ percentage column, which is accessible on the Compass portal.


2. Preparation/Organisation – required materials – “The student is able to bring the required textbooks, writing materials, exercise books, electronic device that is charged for use and any other relevant materials to class”


3. Participation in class – “The student is prepared to apply themselves diligently to all set tasks, participate positively in class discussions and endeavour to attempt all tasks to the best of their ability”.


4. Respect to peers and staff – “The student is able to respectfully interact with peers and    staff in all classes. They are able to follow all instructions, interact politely with fellow class members”.


5. Homework – “The student is able to complete all set homework and catch up on any work that is missed from classes whilst absent (students must be proactive in sourcing this missed work)”.


 6. Achievement – “The student is progressing towards meeting the expected level of the relevant outcome or standard”.


You will notice on your child’s Progress Report that each learning behaviour is marked 'consistently', 'usually', 'sometimes', 'rarely' or 'never' and for each of these levels of performance a corresponding value 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 is provided.


Four (4) is the maximum PA a student can receive.  From a student and parent point of view the expectation is that every student should be aiming at receiving a PA greater than 3.5. The PA data will identify students performing well and also those in need of extra support. Students receiving a PA below 2.0 will be monitored carefully and provided with support to help them get back on track with their learning. The PA will also be used for promotion purposes. Students who receive an average PA score of 2.0 or below for the year will be in jeopardy of non-promotion.


It must be noted that the PA is a reporting mechanism where students' levels of effort and application to their studies are measured irrespective of their level of academic ability. The implementation of PA will provide a framework whereby teachers, families and students can work together to promote positive learning habits and behaviours.


Access to the Progress Reports will be available on the Parent Portal in one month’s time. Please contact the school if you have forgotten your login details. An instructional login letter will be sent to parents who have yet to login to Compass. If you have any further questions about the new Performance Average please contact your child’s Year Level Coordinator.


Please note that a letter containing the details about the Performance Average will be mailed home soon.


With the transition into a new timetable and a variety of building upgrades going on it is vital that students access their Compass dashboard on a daily basis. As a reminder students can access Compass for the following:


  • Timetables
  • Room changes
  • Announcements
  • Calendars
  • Progress reports
  • Assessment data
  • Learning task feedback
  • Surveys to inform teaching


Parents are also able to access similar details about their children.


This year a number of parents have contacted the school to correct their child’s timetables or electives. This was fantastic and enabled us to quickly address the situation. Thank you to parents for this kind of support.


All students in Year 7 have received the immunisation card and a letter explaining consent to transfer data to Barwon Health. These cards need to be returned immediately. Barwon Health will collect the cards from school on 13 February. The dates for Year 7 immunisation in 2018 are 24 April and 20 November. All cards must be completed and returned even if your child will not be having their immunisations at school.


The Year 10 immunisation cards for Meningococcal vaccine will be distributed soon. There is a consent letter that will be distributed at that time. The date for this vaccine is 24 July.


For more information about the immunisation programs go to

School Photographs


Arthur Reed Photos will be here on 21-02-2018

Orders can be placed online at alternatively return your completed

order envelope back to school on photo day

Remember there is a range of extra products available ONLINE ONLY


A range of payment options are available online, including ZipPay, so you can order now

and pay later!


Order envelopes for portraits and family photographs will be distributed next week.


Mr Adam Bond 

Junior Sub School Manager 


Welcome all parents and carers to the 2018 schooling year, I hope that all students had an eventful and safe break. After the first two weeks, students are really starting to settle in and get their heads around the structured routine we call secondary schooling! At present we are in the process of choosing our Student Representative Council, so keep an eye out for the forms coming home that allows students to apply for such positions.


Before we know it, the Year 7 camp will be here, so please ensure that you have returned the relevant forms and payments to the main office. If you are a parent of a Year 7 student, please ensure that your child is not spending copious amounts of their time using their iPads (if they have just had this exciting new device placed in front of them!). Parent login details will be provided very shortly for you to access Compass so that you can keep up to date with what is going on for your child and the school. I look forward to providing you with informative articles throughout the year.


One student's account of her start to NGSC;

“Our first week at the school has been an amazing experience. We have learned all sorts of new things like how to light a Bunsen burner and where the ‘D Block’ is. I’m really looking forward to camp and debating in EASE. I don’t know about some of the other students, but coming from a small primary school this place is HUGE! The subjects all seem really interesting and it feels weird using a timetable to find out what room to go to, but I think I’ll get used to it! I think this high school is the best.” - Elsie Perrett 7C


Mr Simon Scoullar

Middle Sub School Manager 


Welcome to 2018. Goes quickly doesn’t it? Can I firstly say thank you for taking the time to read the Newsletter, keeping yourself informed and abreast of whats happening in and around North Geelong.


The Middle Sub School has a reputation of engagement and growth. It is the time when students shed the Junior School and begin their journey towards life after school through specific middle school programs, tailored time tables and electives. As a Middle Sub School we relish the opportunity for growth and engagement. Below we have Jo Taylor who works closely with both year nine and ten students in a largely pastoral role.


Alessandra Friedrich the Year Nine Assistant Coordinator and Aaron Milsome our very experienced Year Nine Coordinator.

In Year Ten we have Liz Fagan assisting Sherryn Martin as Year Ten Coordinator. 


The one thing I really want to stress to all students and parents is the importance of coming to class prepared with an electronic device and attendance. Quite simply if you’re not in class you’re not learning. I know life can get in the way, however we need to really question what is a legitimate reason for being away. The last photo is Lisa our Attendance Officer and Sub School Assistant. Please contact Lisa if your child is absent.

Ms Jo Taylor

Ms Alessandra Friedrich 

Mr Aaron Milsome

Ms Liz Fagan

Mrs Sherryn Martin

Lisa - Attendance Officer 


Ms Sarah Bridges 

Senior Sub School Manager


Welcome to the 2018 academic year.  I trust that all our senior students will participate in all the learning opportunities presented to them throughout the year. It has been a very positive start and students are settling well in to the routine of classes and study.


The senior student management team consists of the following staff:


Year 11: Ms. Perin and Mr. Lawless

Year 12: Ms McGrath and Mr Cowan-Clarke

VCAL: Ms Scott and Mr. Hosie

VCE: Ms Bridges and Mr. Dawson


Please contact the relevant staff member if you wish to discuss your child.


Students need to ensure that they have joined the relevant google classrooms so that they receive important information. This includes a year 12, year 11 and VCE classroom.


Students are reminded to ensure they are attending their School Based Apprenticeships and VET. This is an integral part of the program and students are unable to attain an Intermediate or Senior Certificate without a VET.


Unit 3 and 4 Students

Special Examination Arrangements: Students are eligible for special examination arrangements if there is a diagnosed medical condition including health impairment, physical disability, mental health condition, hearing or vision impairment, language disorder, specific learning disorder. This applies to the sitting of VCE exams and not to the VTAC applications (students will be advised of this later in the year). Please see Ms Bridges if you think you are eligible.

Homework/SAC Catch Up Session

SAC and Homework Catch Up Sessions: Thursday's after school. 3.15pm-5pm. Silent Study Room: Library

Students need to be up to date with all their work so they do not fall behind and feel overwhelmed. To avoid being at risk and not meeting the Performance Average students will be placed in the homework catch up sessions where needed.
These sessions are available to provide support for students and a teacher will be there to offer assistance. 
Staff will be referring students who have not completed set homework or have missed a SAC (provided they have a medical certificate).

Students will be given 48 hour’s notice and parents will be notified.

Year 12 Report 

Mrs Glenda McGrath

Year 12 Coordinator 

Welcome back to all students for their final year of secondary school. This is a big year for all of you: students, parents and carers. We are all looking forward to the Year 12 Warrnambool Camp this week where everyone will get a chance to plan for the year ahead and how to make the most of it. It can be quite stressful and hopefully the students will go away with some strategies to get the best possible outcomes for their future pathways.


The students have had a great start to the year. They have their diaries and look amazing in their new year 12 jumpers. It is important that students are constantly checking electronic mail for any school news and important information. All students must ensure that they have joined the ‘Year 12 2018’ Google Classroom that has been set up for them.


I want to take this opportunity to let all parents, carers and students know that they are welcome to contact me at any time with any issues surrounding school life. You can call the front office or email me. The school phone number is 52405800 and my email address is:



Vera Dudas

Multicultural Community Liaison Officer 


Welcome back to the new school year.  I trust you all had a restful festive season and are refreshed and recharged to start the busy and exciting year that is upon us.  


The Multicultural Committee will commence the year with its first meeting on Monday 19th February at lunch time (12:45pm) in the Discussion Room. 

Pako Festa is being held on Saturday 24th February and as every year we will be taking part in this multicultural festival to celebrate NGSC’s diverse multicultural community.  We invite parents and friends to attend the Multicultural Committee meeting or contact us at the school if you would like to take part in the Pako Festa.  The Multicultural Committee greatly values input from NGSC parents and the wider school community. 


CSEF Applications


School Photo Day


Doctors In Schools Program

Ms Tina Doyle

Student Wellbeing 

Parents are invited to participate in an evaluation of the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program.


Through the Doctors in Secondary Schools program Dr Bianca Forrester provides a GP service to NGSC students every Wednesday during school terms, she is supported by a practice nurse, Faith Field.


North Geelong Secondary College is fortunate to be participating in the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program.


Parents of NGSC students are being invited, via email and Compass, to take part in an online evaluation survey of the program. We encourage parents to participate in the survey to share their perspectives.


If you do not have access to the internet or need support to access the survey please contact Sef in Student Wellbeing.


Welcome to our Secondary School Nurse

We are excited to introduce our Secondary School Nurse, Merryl Arnold.


Merryl will work with the Student Wellbeing team to support students. Merryl will also co-facilitate health classes by arrangement and provide up-to-date health information relevant to our student population.

Healthy Happenings

Hello, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Merryl Arnold and I am the new Secondary School Nurse at North Geelong Secondary College. My office is in the Wellbeing area. I work at the school four days every fortnight. Wednesday/Thursday/Friday and following Thursday. My main role is Health promotion. Within this role I will be involved in some classroom activities, some small group activities and individual student consultations as required. You may also see some articles in the newsletter regarding health and wellbeing.

Merryl Arnold

Adolescent Health Nurse

It’s time to be sunsmart

The sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the best natural source of vitamin D. However, too much UV exposure from the sun, is a major cause of sunburn, premature ageing, eye damage and skin damage leading to skin cancer. It's important to take a balanced approach to UV exposure to help with vitamin D levels while minimizing your risk of skin cancer by using a combination of sun protection methods.


Skin cancer kills nearly 2,000 Australians each year – more than the national road toll – and two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.


From September to April

In Victoria from September to April, UV reaches damaging levels of 3 and above; increasing the risk of skin cancer.  and use a combination of the five SunSmart steps when protection is required:

  1. Slip on sun-protective clothing.
  2. Slop on SPF30 or higher broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outdoors and re-apply every two hours. 
  3. Slap on a broad-brimmed hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
  4. Seek shade.
  5. Slide on sunglasses: make sure they meet Australian Standards.

During this time of year, most people will only need a few minutes of mid-morning or mid-afternoon sun exposure to help with vitamin D.

Cancer Council Victoria

Merryl Arnold

Adolescent Health Nurse


Japanese Summer Festival

Welcome to the new school year.


On Sunday February 25th at Federation Square in Melbourne, the 8th Japanese Summer Festival will be held. There will be performances of Taiko drumming, martial arts, and dance performances on stage and a variety of activities. There will be a raffle with some great prizes, and a prize for best dressed in Yukata/Kimono or Cosplay.

Kumamon, the Kumamoto Prefecture Mascot and Japan’s favourite bear will be making a special guest appearance.

There will also be a great range of Japanese foods and cultural activities to enjoy. Some costs may apply for food and some games. There will be free Origami classes throughout the day.


Event details

Name:  Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival 2018

Date:          Sunday 25 February 2018         (11.30am– 5.30 pm)    Admission: FREE

Venue:      Federation Square – Corner of Swanston & Flinders Streets, Melbourne

(Melway: 2F, 4F)


More detailed information can be accessed at: 





Saturday Feb 24th

Come and join the parade, walk along Pakington Street celebrating cultural diversity. Throughout its history North Geelong Secondary College has boasted a proud tradition of cultural diversity, which it celebrates throughout the year. In 2018, students and staff at the college are from all inhabited continents of the world with over 60 nationalities represented. It has a broad inclusive curriculum that respects, celebrates and values this diversity. North Geelong Secondary College has a long relationship with the Pako Fest dating back to its inception.


Last year we took out the prize for best school entrant, let’s defend our title with even more students dancing, chanting and singing their way down the street. More information will be posted closer to the date. Family and friends are welcome to join the celebration.

Regional Parenting Service Calendar of Parent programs for Term 1 - 2018



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