College News

06 March 2020
Issue One

Respect    Integrity    Community    Creativity    Excellence

Principal's News
7-9 Campus News
10-12 Campus News
Teaching and Learning
Student Excellence
Student Wellbeing
Sandringham College
(03) 8599 0500
11 Holloway Road
Sandringham, Victoria, 3191

Photo: 2020 Student Leader Maja Dixon

Principal's News

Photo: 2020 Student Leader Maja Dixon

Sandringham Primary School

Dear all,

Thank you for continuing to show the Sandringham College community spirit in welcoming the Sandringham Primary community so warmly. Principal Louise Neave and many families have conveyed to me just how grateful they are for our support during this very challenging time.


I’d like to share an update on interim school arrangements and plans for rebuilding Sandringham Primary.


The usual timeframe to build a school is 2-3 years, but the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) is working hard to expedite the process, with demolition and site preparation already underway.


In consultation with the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) we have been carefully considering the best medium-term solution for students, staff and families of Sandringham College, Sandringham PS and Sandringham East PS. 


While everyone involved in the current temporary arrangements has been incredibly supportive, this is not considered a suitable solution for the medium-term, given the impacts on all three schools and the separation of Sandringham Primary students across two sites.


Serious consideration was given to returning Sandringham PS to their school grounds. It has become clear, however, that having students onsite during major construction would present potential safety risks and disrupt the learning environment for students and staff.


It would severely limit the outdoor play space available to students, as the temporary facilities would take up the playing field and most of the courts. And it would delay the rebuild timeframe, as construction access would be restricted by temporary facilities and the need for additional safety precautions.


After careful consideration of this and other options, we are now planning to establish a temporary school for Sandringham Primary that will be located at the junior campus of Sandringham College (Bluff Road). The aim is for students to attend the temporary school from the beginning of Term 2, 2020, and throughout the 2020 and 2021 school years.


We believe that Bluff Road is the best option for the temporary school, because it allows:

    • all Sandringham Primary School students to be located together on one site
    • good access for drop-off and pick-up
    • relatively quick set-up in the short term
    • good learning opportunities and sense of community in the medium term.

Sandringham PS will have its own dedicated space on the northern grassed area of the campus and will have access to our specialist facilities. This will restrict our use of these playing fields, but we are fortunate to have adequate space and multi-use courts across the campus.


Though the finer details regarding school operations are still being worked through, the VSBA will work closely with both schools to make the temporary school at Bluff Road a great space for students, staff and the community.


We’ll continue to share information as it becomes available. Thank you all for your continued support and understanding as we work through these plans.


Yours sincerely


Amy Porter

College Principal

Why it's not ok to be away. 

Welcome to 2020 a year that is full of potential and opportunities for improvement and growth for all. We have had a crazy start to the year and I am immensely proud of our students, staff and community for the support that they have shown as we have welcomed Sandringham Primary School onto our grounds. 


A key focus this year is attendance. At our College 90%+ attendance required at Sandringham College for all students to pass a Unit (VCE/VCAL) or the year level yr 7-10. We encourage all students and parents to aim for 95% attendance. This means that excluding school sanctioned activities, students should miss no more than 3 days per term from school. 


Whilst it might seem to students and parents that a day off here and there does not really impact on student learning, the truth is that every day absent from school matters.


Ongoing absence not increases the likelihood of social isolation for children, it also has a direct impact on learning,  on achievement and on long term outcomes.  Current research indicates that the greater the number of absences, the larger the decline in student achievement.  Studies of chronic absenteeism (missing more than 10% of school days) show that regardless of the type, absence, has a compounding negative impact on academic performance (Gershenson et al., 2017; Gottfried, 2009; Zubrick, 2014).


Long term the impact on students is poorer results in VCAL or the VCE or in the worst cases failure to complete year 12. In the modern era, a secondary school leaving certificate is the minimum qualification required for long term success in the workforce. 




What the College can do to support students and families

At Sandringham College have a dedicated student manager for each student and a Wellbeing team to support students and families. If you are having difficulty getting your child to attend regularly and on time, please contact your child's student manager.






Department of Education - Tips to help improve your child’s attendance

  • Talk to your child about school and how important it is. You can ask them how they feel about school, what they liked and if there are any problems.
  • Reward good behaviour and not bad behaviour. For example, if your child refuses to go to school, do not let them have access to their phones or the internet
  • Set a good example. Show them how you keep to your own commitments.
  • Encourage your child to take on hobbies that your child enjoys such as sports and clubs. This will help them develop positive relationships outside of the classroom
  • have a set time to do homework and go to bed.
  • leave all technology out of their bedroom
  • pack their school bag the night before with everything they need
  • have a set time for breakfast
  • plan to meet up with a friend so they can travel to school together.

Further information can be found on the Department of Education's website


Amy Porter

Movie Night Cancelled

Our apologies but due to the current building works re the Sandy Primary School relocation we have had to cancel our planned outdoor movie night. We have plenty of great PTF events coming up and I encourage all parents to get involved and support our school. I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming PTF events or at a PTF meeting.

7-9 Campus News

Welcome back

Welcome back to a new school year and a special welcome to the newest and youngest members of our school community, our year 7 cohort. We also welcome all new families to our college community and we look forward to getting to know you all as the year progresses. Our first week of school commenced with a special whole school assembly at the Holloway Rd campus where we celebrated our highest achievers for 2019, announced student leaders for 2019 and welcomed our year 7 cohort with a rousing round of applause. There is an old Chinese proverb that says  “A journey of thousand steps begins with a single step.” We wish all students the very best for successful and productive years ahead and hope that  they take each step forward with a growth mindset.

We had a very successful year 7 parent breakfast on the morning of February 12th, which commenced with a short presentation reiterating “who is who” at Sandringham College, information regarding attendance, Compass and year 7 Camp. This was followed by an opportunity to mingle with other parents of year 7 students and chat with staff. Any parent who was unable to attend, the presentation is available on Compass.   

Congratulations to the year 7 to 9 students who were selected to represent the voice of their cohort as student leaders for 2020. These students share leadership roles, as well as having specific areas to lead in their portfolios. We know that they will represent their student body with pride. The 7 to 9 student leaders for 2020 are:

































We also invite all students to join the SRC, where they have the opportunity to work with other students on each campus, organise school events &  fundraisers and have a voice in decision making within the college. Meetings are held regularly and are advertised on Compass.


On Thursday February 24th, our year 8 & 9 French students, supported by French teacher Miss Priaud, had a Bake Sale during lunchtime. Students brought lots of sweet treats to sell to their peers. They raised the amazing sum of $210. All proceeds will go towards supporting Sandringham Primary School in their endeavour to purchase resources lost in the recent fire. Thank you to all who baked, assisted or purchased items for this community in need.

Homework Club has now commenced for 2020. Due to the delay in commencement of the University year, some of our tutors have not been able to assist with tutoring as yet, but please bear with us whilst this is sorted out.  Students are encouraged to come to the Library after school on a Monday and Thursday from 3.00pm to 4.30pm where they will receive support completing tasks, homework and getting one-on-one help with their school work.

Of course, Sandringham College has  amazing  teachers who will go “above and beyond” to help all students to be their best. Students are encouraged to ask their teachers for help both inside and outside of the classroom, whenever needed.

We look forward to a fantastic term.


Vivienne McElwee


10-12 Campus News

Be relentless with your learning!

With a median study score of 30 in 2019, Sandringham College has again announced its intention to be an academic force to be reckoned with in the roaring 20's - 2.0.  To this end, our teachers across the entire school are working incredibly hard to continue to build on our academic momentum.  V.C.E. teachers have been working within their Professional Learning Communities and in small focus groups to dig through the data from 2019, with the goal of finding areas where we can improve and hence impact student outcomes.    The process is ongoing and is heavily influenced by our ever evolving Learning Architecture.


 Teachers have spent time early this term looking at examination exemplars as they look for that perfect answer, to that oh so esoteric section of the course.  They have poured over examiners reports, endeavouring to further understand the way that the examiners think and indeed the language that they want us to use to answer their questions, their way.  We are terming this ‘VCAA literacy’ and it is a vital part of high achieving programs.  Teachers continue to review and re-imagine the ways in which they approach both the teaching of subject based content and, perhaps more importantly, the skills that are being tested through this content knowledge. 


The teachers at Sandringham College continue to hold themselves to their own, very high expectations.  They will be demanding the same commitment to excellence from all of their students in the months to come. 


Semester 1 is such a vital time for our students at all levels but perhaps especially those in the midst of a Unit 3 & 4 subject.  Push hard at your studies now; ask as many questions as you can, seek the answers from all quarters.   Be relentless with your learning!


David Hall


Teaching and Learning

The way we teach at Sandringham

At our Parent Expo recently members of our teaching and learning team spoke to parents about the strategies we have in place to ensure every student in this school has positive learning growth. We took the time to explain our instructional model which is an evidence-based structure we use in our classrooms to ensure best teaching practice. We call this our SAEPAR Instructional Model.


At the beginning of the class we Set the Goal. It is important that students are clear about the learning intention and success criteria of the class. We then Access Prior Learning which informs the teacher about students’ readiness to learn and activates student interest. The Explicit Instruction component of the class is where the teacher models the learning. The teacher will use a range of strategies to explicitly teach the skills such as annotated worked examples, graphic organisers, questioning.  Our lessons are structured using the Gradual Release of Responsibility , meaning as the lesson progresses the students assumes more responsibility in the learning process. The lesson moves to guided instruction where the teacher supports the student- there is an understanding that ‘we do it together’.  In the next part of the lesson the focus is Practice - You do it together’, so the responsibility shifts to students working collaboratively. Most often, groups will be mixed ability so students have a chance to learn with and from each other. The final stage of the instruction involves students working independently. The teacher will establish metacognitive learning activities to encourage students to manage their learning. In the Gradual Release of Responsibility this is termed ‘You do it alone’. At all stages in the lesson the teacher is differentiating and assessing learning – Assessment for Learning Recognition and Reflection. This model leaves nothing to chance. It is evidence based and ensures that teachers are using high impact teaching strategies and empowering students to learn.


Melinda Gall




Sports Report

Term 1 2020 is a jam packed term full of sporting opportunities. The Swimming Carnival was a great success on 21st of February and the Athletics Carnival is on the 5th of March. The Senior Cricket was on 13th Feb and the Intermediate Cricket was on the 17/2. The Senior team won their first match and the Intermediates went all the way to the Final.  Max Burns and Spence McLennan were voted most valuable players. Weekly sport competition for the Year 7 students started against Beaumaris on Tuesday 25th February and the Year 8 weekly competition starts on Friday 28th February. We have three weeks of weekly competition this term plus finals if we make it. Terms two and three have 7 weeks of weekly competition.

The Sandringham College Swimming Carnival was a great success. Participation rates were high in the main pool as well as the many novelty events which were great fun. The Beach Volleyball kept going all day and the Table Tennis was also very popular. Blue House finished third on 736 points, followed by Gold on 780 and the winner was Red on 867. The outstanding performers on the day were Isabella Perry, Sophie Beros, Oscar Campbell, Makena Pellas, Dan Castle, Ben Stewart, Jack Neall, Koshi Sato, Matty Stewart, Lauren Harrop, Sienna Barkei and David Barlow. Thanks to all the staff for their wonderful support and hard work.

Important upcoming dates to put in your diaries include:
3rd March Year 7 Cricket Round Robin
5th March College Aths
12th March District Swimming
19th March Intermediate Summer Sports Round Robin – Softball, Baseball, Volleyball, Tennis
20th March Year 8 Cricket Round Robin
23rd March Senior Summer Sports Round Robin – Softball, Baseball, Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis, Futsal

That’s just Term 1.

Jim Hiotis and Stewart Crowley
Sports Coordinators


Student Excellence

Lions Club Youth of the Year Competition

On February 18th,  Kayra Meric 12S and Lucy Tomov 11F represented the College at the Lions Youth of the Year competition. This competition is designed to encourage, foster and develop leadership in young people. The students were interviewed by a panel of three judges and then took part in a public speaking competition, which required them to answer  two impromptu questions and deliver a five minute planned speech on a topic of their choice. Lucy promoted the importance of teen mental health awareness and Kayra's spoke of the need to address homelessness in Australia. Both students produced excellent speeches and spent many hours preparing for the competition. Congratulations to Kayra, who was awarded the winner of the Public Speaking section of the night! 



Student Wellbeing

 Parenting Programs 2020


Kingston Family Support Services in partnership with Better Men Australia have joined to present the PIT STOP Parenting Program for Men, at the City of Kingston.  


Pit Stop Program has been created by men for men. The program assists men to get a better handle on fathering, by utilising effective strategies that help raise happy and healthy children.  Below is a sample of the information that the program provides fathers:

  • Strategies on how to develop a healthy  parenting style
  • Improve family communication and closeness
  • Understand the ages and stages of childhood development and how to support children through these stressful stages
  • How to appropriately discipline children
  • Provide evidence on why Dads matter in the lives of their children
  • Balance life, work and family, and
  • Motivate Dads to be committed, confident, capable and caring, when parenting.

Pit Stop has something for every Dad, regardless of the ages of their children. The program has been designed for executive Dads, separated Dads, single Dads, teenage Dads, step Dads, grand Dads, first time Dads, Dads of infants, young children, primary schoolers, high schoolers, Dads from all cultures and same sex Dads.

REGISTRATION ESSENTIAL: Call 9581 4860 or email

LOCATION: Westall Community Hub, Fairbank Room

                      35 Fairbank Rd, Clayton South.

DATES: April 21st, 28th, May 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, June 2nd, 9th 2020.

TIME: 7-9pm.


The new, free, Strengthening and Raising Healthy Family Program will be delivered by the Kingston Family Support Services and will run consecutively for 10 weeks at the Westall Community Hub. 


The purpose of the program is to provide parents with support and education to raise healthy children and families. The weekly sessions will assist parents to undertake positive parenting through mutual respect, assist in developing an understanding of the ages and stages of child development, learn positive strategies and boundaries that will yield better outcomes in their child/ren’s behaviour. The program will also assist to understand the importance of play and its impact on their child/ren’s emotional, cognitive and social development. 


The program is structured to train and educate parents in the implementation of strategies and techniques, that will enable them to understand these crucial stages in their child/ren’s development, increase their community resource awareness and service utilisation.

The program will provide parents with information that they can utilise and empower them with confidence to raise healthy child/ren and families. 

REGISTRATION ESSENTIAL: Call 9581 4860 or email

LOCATION: Westall Community Hub, Fairbank Room

                      35 Fairbank Rd, Clayton South.

DATES: 10 week course, every Thursday from 10am - 12pm - 16th April until 18th June 2020.




Students: Check for a response!

It is quite common for students to use the Compass Email Teacher functionality when they want to ask their class teacher a question about their subject. When a teacher responds to an email sent through Compass, replies are delivered to the student's school email address. Therefore, it's important that students check their school email for a response by the teacher, as it may ask for more information or provide an adequate response to their question.

Aaron Brown

eLearning 7-9


COMPASS Tips for Parents

Adding a Note/Approval

Parents can add approvals using the Action Button next to their student's name from the Compass home page. This allows them to add an 
approval and select the date range for the approval.


Clicking on the "Add Attendance Note" option will open the Note/Approval Editor screen. Parents can select a category, add notes and also select a date range for the approval. Once these details are entered, click on the "Save" button and this information will be recorded against the student's attendance approvals tab on their profile.


Peter Hatigan

eLearning 10-12






Year 7 Digital Technology

As you may know, this year marks the introduction of the Digital Technologies program at Year 7. I am privileged to be able to teach this program to our new Year 7 students. When designing this program, I had a few objectives in mind:


(1) Create an engaging program that will promote the learning area of Digital Technologies and encourage students to engage with Digital Technologies in the future.


(2) Develop student capacity in key 21st century skills e.g. collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving etc.


So far this year, Year 7 students have explored the idea of requirements and why understanding and following requirements is critical for successful outcomes, particularly when designing a product or solution.


Students have been working in collaborative groups to plan, design and then create a prototype solution to various LEGO challenges. Students were timed throughout each of the challenges with the key objective being the design of a solution that meets the specified requirements.


Next, we'll be looking at algorithms and then engaging with a larger Minecraft-based project where students will work in groups to analyse, design, develop and then evaluate a solution based on requirements and considerations.


Some photos of the sessions are below for your viewing.


Aaron Brown

7-9 Minecraft Club

As part of the Digital Technologies program, Minecraft Education Edition was introduced to students at Year 8 last year, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. An expression of interest was held for students to join a planned Minecraft Club on the Bluff Road 7-9 Campus and the response to this was similar. A total of 26 students put their name down over a 5 day period which shows there are keen Minecraft players across the junior cohorts.


On the 19th of February, we held our first Minecraft Club session which was fully occupied within 10 minutes. While we had 26 fill in the form, we had an additional 5-10 students come along who wanted to join, making the interest quite significant. Students could choose to either play on their own or create a private world where they could play with their friends at school.


I am pleased to offer a space for students at lunchtime to come together across several year levels with a common interest. It is hoped that this club will promote interaction and collaboration between students and perhaps even develop and build further friendships now and into the future.


I look forward to the continued success of Minecraft Club and seeing some of the creations I know our talented students can create.

Aaron Brown


The Careers Department is up and running for 2020!

All students at the Holloway Rd Campus have the option of signing up for a careers interview to ask for pathways, work related and tertiary information.  Some of the areas that will specifically be covered during the year relate to Career direction, Tertiary courses, Open Days and VTAC and SEAS applications.

Year 12 students have been asked to complete an eform to allow the Careers Department to allocate each student to a small group session on the basis of their interest areas.

Year 10 students are busy completing OHS certificates and organising a work experience placement. Work experience runs in the week of June 22nd to June 26th. Any assistance parents can give in helping students organise a placement would be greatly appreciated.

On March the 18th Year 9 students will be completing the Morrisby Report in preparation for their career interview in Term Two. Parents are more than welcome to attend the interview. More information will be sent out closer to the interview date.
There are some exciting activities planned Years 7 and 8 that will begin later in the semester.

Tax File Number (TFN)

Any student will need a Tax File Number if he/she starts work (part-time and full-time) and all students planning on a tertiary education require one when they start.

Importantly, current Year 12 students are reminded that they cannot enrol in a CSP (Commonwealth Support Place) course at University without a Tax File Number, so it is worthwhile getting an application submitted early!

Students must apply for a TFN online and have their identity verified through an interview at a participating Australia Post Office.  To apply and also to find out about participating Post Offices, visit TFN Application.


BOB STEWART - Mentone Store
93 Balcombe Road, Mentone VIC 3194
T: 03 9036 7367 |


Bob Stewart Uniform Shop – Mentone has arranged four Appointment days to fit your child for their winter uniform.

 Appointment days are:

Saturday 28th March         12:30PM - 4:00PM

Saturday 4th April             12:30PM  - 4:00PM

Wednesday 8th April          4.30PM  - 7:00PM

Tuesday 14th April             4:30PM - 7:00PM


To avoid lengthy queues please call the Mentone Bob Stewart Uniform Shop on 9036 7367 to arrange an appointment.

It takes approximately 15 minutes to fit your child with their uniform and complete the purchase. If you come in on an OPEN TRADING day, you could expect to wait for a considerable time.

Become a Homestay family

Welcome an international student into your home and experience the rewards of caring for a young person while learning about another culture.

Homestay is a unique opportunity for our international students as they develop lasting friendships with their 'Australian family' and experience Australian culture at a grass-roots level.  

Our students come from all around the world - Europe, Asia and South America. Some are here for a shorter stay of 1 or 2 terms, while others come for 1, 2 or 3 years.

Homestay hosts provide students with their own bedroom, all meals, care and support, and receive a weekly payment. 

To find out more, contact :

Michelle Hunder - Homestay Coordinator                 Tel:  8599 0521

inSportz Sandringham


SDNA Allabilities Netball


Bayside Canteens Menu



Year 7 and 9 Drama

Year 7 Drama

It has been a vibrant start in Year 7 Drama! We have enjoyed getting to know each other through drama activities and workshops. Students are working hard to develop ideas for their mime assessment task; collaborating in groups to create clear characters and narrative that will show their budding mime skills! There has been a lot of laughing and creativity, I can’t wait to see the final product!


Year 9 Drama

The year 9 drama class are excited to be participating in ‘The Drama Victoria Theatre Festival’, a performance-making festival for Year 9 and 10 students from schools across metropolitan and regional Victoria. The Festival focuses on the creative development of young theatre makers by giving them an opportunity to explore ideas with their peers, learning new ways of approaching performance, learning about first nation perspectives and expanding their creative engagement, through drama, with the community around them.

They have participated in a creative workshop day at Peninsula Grammar uniting with students from 3 other schools, working collaboratively with each other, led by the Festival artistic director to creatively investigate and explore artworks and issues related to First Nations histories and future, addressing the ATSI cross curricular priority.


We now have the exciting task of devising a performance work inspired by a range of creative stimulus material. These performances will be shown in cluster groups across the state in late May, uniting students from different schools to share their devised work with each other and their wider community.


The students are inspired to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world’s oldest continuous living culture. Drama enables students to explore our history, diversity and inclusion in meaningful and empathetic ways; keep an eye out for updates as we work on this exciting project.


Fiona Bechtold


Adelaide Theatre Trip - Teacher perspective!

On Thursday 27th Feb, 32 intrepid Year 11 and 12 students and 3 Performing Arts teachers embarked on the Adelaide Theatre Trip. Everyone was excited for 3 full days and nights of theatrical viewing.  The purpose of the trip was to enable students to view and critique a wide range of theatre styles in difference performance venues around the city.


Day 1

Arriving at the airport, there was a general buzz of excitement and our short flight to Adelaide was a jovial one.

Once there, we checked into our accommodation and, after grabbing some lunch, we headed to our first show. We set up the expectation of critical and rich discussion post-show during snacks in the gardens nearby. We took full advantage of the glorious weather and beautiful park scape to grab our first full group photo.    


Some exploration of Gluttony and the Garden of Unearthly Delights provided students an insight into the festival culture and then we capped the evening off with a joint piece from Belvoir Theatre and State Theatre SA, concluding the evening with evaluative discussions on ways theatre can comment on societal issues, how it has the capacity to shock, entertain, move or provide audiences.  


Day 2

Friday started in a relaxed fashion with breakfast and some much-needed study time. The teaching staff were incredibly impressed with the way the students had brought their study materials and were able to focus in on their homework so diligently. 


We then managed to fit in SEVEN shows/experiences which the students will detail in their reflections.  


A busy but wonderful day. 

Day 3

Saturday started with breakfast, more study and a wander around the Adelaide Markets. We then headed to the Giant Sing Along, where  Adelaide citizens were awestruck by the dulcet tones of Sandringham students' voices. (The microphones had autotune functionality!)


In the afternoon we headed to Art Festival Centre for two shows, The Doctor and Dimanche - two highly contrasting pieces. Our pizza delivery arrived and we all enjoyed this, along with each others company, in the Festival Centre gardens with a view over the river. 


After this, we had planned to attend the free Adelaide Festival 60th Anniversary Concert in Elder Park but nobody had foreseen just how popular this would be, with the event at capacity and people turned away at the gates. We thought the students would be incredibly disappointed but, as it turned out, they were fairly tired and happy enough to head back to the accommodation for more in-depth discussions about the shows...Perhaps the promise to stop at a mini-mart for sweet treats also softened the blow!


Day 4

Awake early, organised and ready to head back to Melbourne, students were tired but in great spirits after such a brilliant weekend. Sitting on the plane ready for take-off, we must have jinxed ourselves talking about how EASY the weekend had been, as we then experienced the joys and reality of travel...technical issues on our plane. We would be jumping back on a different plane to Melbourne... but not for several hours and we'd go via Canberra first! 


A teachable moment 

Always striving to find the life lesson, we talked with the students explaining the delays and the new plan of action, and as a cohort we all decided we would handle the setback with grace and calmness and  kindness. Students were fed and many took the chance to do homework, get a little nap in, or just listen to music and talk about the weekend. Three Year 12 students - Archie Beaumont, Bailey Bliss and Declan Farr - shrewdly observed that we were all in need of some light entertainment and so they crafted an improvised piece of theatre - a highlight reel of sorts, of the Adelaide Trip thus far. Their demonstration of comic timing and exceptional storytelling skills had everyone in laughter, including the teaching staff.  


Overall we had an incredibly valuable trip and I'm so thrilled to report that our students were courteous and kind at all times.  I'd like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the work of Tim Clifton (Music Teacher) and Prue Slingsby (Dance and Visual Art Teacher) for their unwavering support and brilliant care of our students, for their incredible patience and exceptional organisation, for giving up their weekend, and also for utilising their expert knowledge to help students make cross-curricular connections to Dance, Art and Music.


A big thank you also to the patient parents during our delays and for enabling students to attend this trip.  We are so lucky to  be able to offer students these opportunities. The Adelaide Trip is open to all students undertaking VCE Theatre Studies Unit 1/2 and Unit 3/4 and is run every two - three years. 

Laura Washington




Last week, many students from the VCE theatre studies class packed our clothes  -and our enthusiasm for theatre - and went off to the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Throughout our three days in Adelaide we saw a variety of shows and installations, including:

  • a lightshow that told traditional Aboriginal stories
  • an interesting (to say the least!) show about the hardships a dance troupe has to overcome as they navigate adolescence
  • a recontextualised performance of the Greek tragedy Orpheus and the underworld 
  • a play about the special day for an Italian family, when Hitler visits Rome.

We saw shows that made many of us cry with ‘The Doctor’, and ones, like ‘Dimanche’ that made us laugh for the rest of the day. We also experienced other forms of performing arts, such as a dance battle which captivated its audience from start to finish, a dance showcase from university students which expressed current issues in todays world, a circus piece which made us gasp aloud as performers dangled from the chandelier


Although we discussed our point of views and critiques for the shows afterwards, often to polarising degrees, both the Unit 1,2 and 3,4 students were able to bond together over the trip. 

On the final day, it was as if Fringe Festival didn’t want us to leave and delayed our trip back to Melbourne by eight hours. It didn’t bother us as we were entertained with UNO, magic markers and a pretty accurate improv play about our trip so far. 

And as we get back into school work, all of the students involved would like to thank Laura, Prue and Tim for looking after us and making sure we were always full for the entire trip.    


Declan Farr

Student Leader,  Year 12




We arrived in Adelaide, without knowing what to expect, except shows and a fun filled experience. We were greeted with an array of performances from contemporary dance to visual light installations. Between our shock, enjoyment and sometimes lethargic interpretations of the shows, they were all consistent with exploring a relevant and profound theme and using thoughtful design principles.


Over the three days of shows we all rapidly increased our step count and extended our friendships, as we walked around the city to get to the different venues where the 11 performances were located. After each performance many discussions and debriefs were had between pairs and the combined Unit 1/2 and 3/4 classes, which raised many ideas of themes, conventions of styles and design elements.


On the first day we walked through Yabarra, which utilised complex soundscapes, haze and lighting installations to direct our attention to where the story was occurring, whilst developing a solemn atmosphere. We also saw a satirical  piece that explored young adolescents in a competitive dance school through contrasting colour palette, set materials and speaker placement. That developed an immersive experience that effectively shocked the audience, causing us to question the ambition and self discovery of youth.


The second day was our busiest day as we fitted in studying and 5 shows. We started with a Cambodian/Darwin hiphop Dance battle, that used an arena style stage (the audience stood around the performance in a circle) as the two dancers cleverly incorporated comedy and acting into their performance. The costumes were of a modern day context but the insightful choices of venue, lighting and soundscape developed an industrial feel that mixed electronics with groove to create an infectious rhythm. The next show was another dance that showcased 6 contemporary pieces, exploring issues in todays society, the costumes helped convey intentions along with the composed sound. After a lunch break we headed over to the internal festival fringe venues to see a circus performance, which played with Commedia D’elle Arte in conventions of design and acting.


The next performance, Eurydice, was a recontextualised ancient greek story that was delivered through spoken word and song, they effectively used rhythm to capture all of our attention. They used a traverse stage (seating either side of the stage) for an intimate performance in a rose garden, while making all of the changes whilst performing on stage. The following show was in an Italian WW2 context, delivered in English by two Mexican actors, they used poor theatre conventions with inspiring methods of drawing set pieces and props on a black wall with chalk and realising different characters through their voice and physicality. This inspired all of us to see how effective such simplistic concepts can be.


Our final show that night was produced by the same people who were in the previous ancient greek show, in this performance they merged a music gig with theatre to create an interactive audience-actor relationship. It provoked all of us to think about how one can create atmosphere and vibe whilst maintaining an understandable story. After this long day we all went back to our youth hostel, very tired and ready to sleep!


On our final day of the festival we saw two shows and participated in a giant singalong which everyone very enthusiastically joined in, except for a few silent teachers... Our first show for the day, was our most political and realistic style that left everyone contemplating and moved. The shows design was very simple and sterile with a live drummer suspended above the set, which emphasised the themes explored. The final show for our trip was something that none of us had seen before, object theatre. It explored the effects of climate change across the world without any words, just object manipulation, puppetry and actors physicality.


Thank you to the teachers involved, Laura, Tim and Prue, for organising, keeping us fed and having many debriefs with us (despite many deflective questions) and thank you to our peers who helped make this experience.


Lalli Kirby
Student Leader, Year 12

College News
2020 student leaders