Wantirna College Newsletter

20 September 2019
Issue Fifteen
Dates to Remember for 2019
Principal's Report
Year 12 VCE Study
VCE Study Tips
Design and Technology Week! 14 – 20 October
Page 7
Celebrating our students’ writing!  
Year 9 Camps
General Information
Wantirna College
90 Harold Street
Wantirna, Vic, 3152

Dates to Remember for 2019

Term 4

Monday 7

First day of Term 4


Tuesday 8

PoPA Committee Meeting


Friday 11

EMR Athletics


Monday 14

Year 12 Themed Dressed Day


Tuesday 15

Contemporary Band Program Showcase


Wednesday 16

Presentation Ball 2020 Information session - Year 10 students and parents 7.30pm in  Mason House

Parents Association Meeting, 7:30pm


Thursday 17

Year 7 & 10 Immunisations

VCE Dance Showcase

(Unit 2 & 4 Combined)


Monday 21

Art & Technology Showcase


Tuesday 22

Art & Technology Showcase


Thursday 24

Art & Technology Showcase


Friday 25

Art & Technology Showcase


Wednesday 30

VCAA/VCE Exams Start


Monday 11

Year 9 Camp


Tuesday 12

Music Information Night - 7.30p,m

Year 9 Camp


Wednesday 13

Year 9 Camp

Parents Association Meeting, 7:30pm


Thursday 14

Year 9 Camp

Mini Orientation Day


Friday 15

Year 9 Camp


Wednesday 20



Tuesday 26

Year 9 Drama Performances L1


Thursday 28

Year 9 Drama Performances L1


Monday 9

Year 10 Formal

Orientation Evening


Tuesday 10

Year 7 Orientation Day


Wednesday 11

Parents Association Meeting, 7:30pm


Friday 20


End of Term 4

2019 Term dates:

Term 1: 30 January  to 5 April

Term 2: 23 April to 28 June

Term 3: 15 July to 20 September

Term 4: 7 October to 20 December

2020 Term dates:

Term 1:  28 January - 27 March

Term 2:  14 April - 26 June

Term 3:  13 July - 18 September 

Term 4:  5 October - 18 December

Please note commencement dates and Curriculum days have not yet been finalised for 2020.

Principal's Report


End of Term

Like many students and staff I am looking forward to the term break after what had been an exciting, but somewhat hectic term 3. We have had everything from school productions and sister school visits to athletics carnivals and interstate camps. Two significant building projects were completed at the start of the term and a number of staff have come and gone in the last ten weeks. This time of year is also heavily influenced by planning for next year and I have been involved in countless meetings with students, staff, college council and representatives from the Department of Education discussing everything from priorities for 2020 to improvements in facilities and changes in policies. I am confident that we will make further significant improvements next year, that will position us as an even better school than we are now!


I would like to wish all our students and staff a safe and enjoyable break and I look forward to the exciting times ahead in term 4. For our Year 12s, use the break as an opportunity to get some rest, but keeping working hard and studying because the end is almost near and your final exams are only weeks away! In particular I would like to thank Gloria Chen, Poly Sofianopolous, Tina Prapas and Charlyn Arulanandum who have been working with us this year. They are finishing up this week and I would like to thank them for the commitment they have demonstrated to their students and colleagues during this time, I wish them all the best! Further, three staff venture off on long service leave at the end of this week for either all of or the majority of the term, so to John Davidson, Andrew Lewis and Michelle Lam, good luck and enjoy your break

Gala Concert

Gala Concert


On Wednesday night this week, we held our annual gala concert at the prestigious Melbourne Recital Centre in Southbank. Whilst many school concerts would be held in school halls or theatres, our students and staff deserve a venue that fits their talent and their level of commitment! This piece of feedback reflects the general feeling of those who attended on the night:


“I told you during the interval how fantastic the concert was and now let me say it again!  It was an absolute treat to attend this Gala Concert and I cannot speak too highly of the excellence of all the performers.  If someone had told me, on the very first day that the school started in 1980, that 40 years later I would be sitting in the Melbourne Recital Centre and listening to the students of 2019, I would not have been able to imagine it. And yet, that is exactly what happened and I am over the moon! As the person who accompanied the musicians in the early years of the school I was obviously very interested in the accompanists. They were all outstanding. Michelle Lam had a particularly busy evening and she was stunning. The world of music awaits her and she will make a big name for herself. The audience too, was very perceptive and highly appreciative. They were warm and generous with their applause but it was clear to me that some items received an even more enthusiastic  reception. Warmest congratulations to the teachers, the students are indeed fortunate to have such inspiring mentors. The program informed us that the school values qualities such as excellence, professionalism, dedication and teamwork. All this and more were there in abundance for all of us to see.”

More Exciting Building Projects

This week College Council has agreed to financially support the installation of synthetic grass on the hard-courts (under the COLA) as well as landscaping the surrounding area. The synthetic grass surface will significantly improve the playability and flexibility of use for the space as well as considerably reducing the noise generated during classes. It is anticipated that work can begin on this project within the next 6 weeks or so, and be completed before the end of term. This investment, along with the construction of the COLA and rebuild of the D block toilets is evidence of the College Council strong commitment to ensuring that our students have access to high quality facilities. There are further significant projects in the pipeline and I forward to providing more information soon

Family Statements

The recent school finance committee meeting reviewed the family statements that are generated in the department’s finance system and posted out from time to time. Unfortunately, the formatting is completely inflexible, and with our increasing use of Compass for payments and particularly with the uptake in payment plans, feedback has been that the information shown on the family statements is often unhelpful if not misleading. The finance committee therefore made the decision to cease sending out family statements. This represents a saving of more than $5000 per year, which can now be redirected toward more beneficial outcomes for our students.


Families wanting a copy of their statement at any time are welcome to contact the general office, and that can easily be mailed or emailed.


Sporting Star

Congratulations to Year 7 student Logan Bell who has made the Victorian state hockey team after a very successful SSSV tournament. Well done Logan!

Year 12 VCE Study


As we head into term 4 and the last few weeks of school for year 12 students it is important that they remember the attendance requirements for both VCE and VCAL.  Although most SACs and SATs have now been completed it is essential that students are in class, prepared and on time.


It is not okay for students to miss class to study at home whilst classes are still running. 


Teachers will be working with students around final aspects of their courses, revision and practice questions.  Students need to be in class getting feedback and support to ensure their learning is scaffolded.   Once the exam period begins students may study at home if they wish, however their teachers will be available for support and assistance during their normal timetabled classes. 


Revision Lectures

The Later Years team were very impressed with the number of students who have signed up for the revision lectures offered by the Knox Network of Secondary schools.  There are many commercial companies that offer VCE revision lectures to students over the school holiday period.  We hope that this program in addition to the revision classes run at school on the second week of the holidays are a great kick start to student's study program.



Year 12 Last Days

It is really important the the year 12 students keep focused until the very end.  It can be very tempting to begin celebrating the last of everything:  the last SAC, the last class, the last home group etc.  We have found through previous experience that this is detrimental to study and that it is important that students keep the celebration till after the exams.  We ask that parents talk to their children about the importance of staying the distance and on task until the very end.


As a result of wanting to keep students focused the key celebration of year 12 will be after the final exam.  This is the Year 12 Valedictory Dinner on Wednesday 20th November and will be held at:


The Grand

Cathies Lane,

Wantirna South,  3152


This is a great occasion where students, parents and teachers come together to celebrate the achievements of year 12 after the exams period is over.  Information regarding tickets and purchase price has been published on Compass.


Catherine Ford 

Assistant Principal 

Later Years


VCE Study Tips

Exam Study Tips for Later Years Students

At this time of the year, parents of VCE students commonly ask teachers, what their child should be doing to prepare for exams and what they can do as parents to support their child.  Over the next couple of newsletter we will be including a series of articles that offer advice in how best to support exam preparation.


This article is based on an article by Henrietta Cook that ran in the Herald Sun last year titled "VCE exams:  Debunking the Myths of Study."


Myth 1:  Highlighters are Magic

We've all been there.  You want to remember something important on a page so you highlight it.  We hope that the bright colour will help it stick in our memory, or when we re read the page we will be drawn back to that phrase and will be able to remember it.  Unfortunately this strategy is ineffective for both rote and in depth learning.


In order the remember something for an extended period of time we need to decode it and make meaning from it.  Some strategies to decode information and thus embed in in our memory include:

  • Writing the phrase in your own words (not using synonyms)
  • Developing your own examples
  • Linking it to other information you already know and,
  • Manipulating the information into another form such as a diagram.

Myth 2:  Rereading improves your results

Rereading textbooks is time consuming and inefficient.  As with highlighting it does not assist you to consolidate your knowledge but merely triggers short term memory.  As with highlighting to effectively consolidate new knowledge you need to decode it and manipulate it.  Strategies such as those previously listed are useful as are:

  • Answering practice questions and using the text book to check your answers.
  • Creating flashcards and using those flashcards with study partner.
  • Cross referencing and comparing answers in different text to look for similarities and differences.
  • Writing notes in your own words (not using synonyms)
  • Handwriting note instead of typing

Myth 3:  Focus on one skill for a long time

In school you may study the same subject for 90 minutes at a time.  However you may have noticed that when you are learning something new teachers change the activities in class regularly.  This happens because we have an optimum period of time for study.  Research has shown that humans can focus well on one thing for about 45 minutes at a time.  As a result the recommendation is that you should take a short break every 45 minutes and then change tasks if you wish to be getting the most out of your study.


Psychology students will have learned about the effects of mass practice vs spaced practice. Spaced Practice is studying for short intervals over a longer period of time.  Massed practice is cramming.  We know from research that cramming is less effective than spaced practice.


Myth 4:  Students should go to bed early

This sounds like common sense, except that what we now know about the adolescent brain tells us that teenagers biologically prefer to stay up later and can be quite productive in terms of learning after 10:00pm.  The trick is to balance this natural preference and the demands of a society that say we should all be functioning well by 9:00am.


Myth 5:  Only study in a designated study space

It's great to have a study space that is well resourced and organised where you can study without interruption.  Research now tells us that studying in different spaces can increase our productivity and improve our memory.  Like everything in life it is about balance, but don't miss those opportunities to study that would be otherwise wasted time, such as on public transport or on a dinner break at work.


Myth 6:  Last minute study is useless

Last minute study is useless if you didn't learn it in place.  No-one can afford to waste class time and then try to teach themselves the course before the exam.


We also know that massed practice (cramming) is not as effective as spaced practice, however if you have learned the material in class them massed practice will still assist you in consolidating learning.  It is also useful for those who are well prepared as quickly reviewing your notes and materials can give you the confidence you need to tackle the exam.


Myth 7:  Tailor studying to your learning style

About 10 years ago everyone was talking about how important it was to know your learning style. Some people were told to create colourful maps of their learning because they were 'visual learners' whilst others were recommended to recite or record their notes because they were auditory learners.  Although these strategies work they do not work because you have a particular learning style.  They work because they require you to decode and manipulate information. 


Research has never managed to show that the learning style theory impacts on how we learn.


Myth 8:  Multi tasking makes you more productive  

The human brain is designed to focus on one thing at a time.  Although we can multi task, doing so dramatically decreases our efficiency when it comes to learning and retaining information.  Psychologists have long demonstrated in studies on learning and memory that distractions slow the rate of learning and impact on the quality.


Some students will tell you they learn better when listening to music.  Unfortunately, although they might prefer listening to music, it reduces the efficiency of the learning.


Turning off social media, not listening to music, focusing on one subject or task at a time and studying in a quiet space without distractions are all good advice.



Design and Technology Week! 14 – 20 October

Design and Technology Week! 14th – 20st October

To celebrate Design and Technology week we are running a whole school design competition. You will have the opportunity to design a classroom at Wantirna College and the lucky winner may get their idea built.

See attachment for:

  • List of prizes and House points to be won
  • Template for design
  • Resources

Deadline for entries: Wednesday 16th October 2019
How to submit my design:

Winners announced by Mr Murphy at the end of Week 2 term 4.  



Type your title here

The ‘VCE Art & Technology Creative Showcase’ is back again for 2019 and you are all formally invited to attend. 
We are so excited to celebrate this year’s applicants and the hard work they have put into their artworks. 
The showcase will be running on the following dates in the school theatre foyer.
Monday 21st of October; 3:30 - 7pm

  • Tuesday 22nd of October; 3:30 - 7pm
  • Wednesday 23rd of October; 3:30 – 7pm
  • Thursday 24th of October; 7 - 9pm (Celebration Evening – food and drinks will be provided)

The theatre foyer will also be open during lunchtime for students to come and have a look. 
The celebration evening will also include ‘class choice' and 'people’s choice' awards and prizes for the students involved, so come along and vote for your favourite artworks from each subject. 
RSVP by the 18th of October via the TryBooking link; 
We hope to see you there with your friends and families, celebrating and supporting these students and their amazing achievements.

Celebrating our students’ writing!

We love to start our classes with writing. Below is an excerpt from a student in Year 9, Chloe Holloway. In her writer’s notebook, Chloe responded to the image below. We hope you enjoy her writing as much as we do.


This was her favourite place… I sat down on a slippery rock nearby me, inhaling the warm summer air and staring at the gorgeous waterfall that flowed ahead of me. I had visions of when we were children, the way she’d always push me into the water and the stories she would tell about the place. The sun was slowly going down and the noises of crickets could be heard in the distance and below. She told me about how she had this feeling that dinosaurs used to come here and when she was swimming around near the bottom of the fountain, she found fossils. I pictured her gliding through the shallow parts of the water and coming up to tell me she found something. If only my good friend had been here to see how the place looked now, and the wild beauty of it. I stood up and chose to take a better look around.  My breathing slowed as the imagery of palm trees seeped into my view when I spun around in awe. I looked up to the sky, that had darkened without me knowing. The specks of silver stars shone through the darkening sky and the crickets became louder and louder. Cool summer air started to pierce my tanned skin. As I hugged myself from the chill, I heard the calming water fall unconsciously into the rest… night fell and the air became cooler and cooler.


Chloe Holloway, 9F

Year 9 Camps

Year 9 Camp Selections

Early next term students will begin to receive information about the range of camps that are available to our year 9 students.  This is a core part of our program which is designed to challenge students to go outside their comfort zone and experience some of the wonderful wilderness areas in Victoria.  Camp week is Monday November 11 to Friday November 15.  Students will be asked to nominate their preferences.  Although we aim to please everyone places on some camps are limited to 20 students so we require more than one preference.

Camps are:

  • Rock Climbing and Hiking at Mount Arapiles 
  • Horse Riding with Buckle Up Bushrides in Merijig
  • White Water Rafting on the Snowy River
  • Canoeing on the Murray River
  • All of the above activities at Karoondah in Gelatipy

This is a great opportunity for students to make new friendships, to develop some new skills and to test out their leadership.

Students who do not attend camp will be required to attend school for the week.  They will be undertaking a school based program.




Career News


Mr Phil Newnham

Careers Counsellor

General Information

General Office

Office Hours:                  8:00am - 4:00pm

Telephone:                      9801 9700


Parents should always make contact with the General Office first when visiting the school or trying to make contact with their children.  Appointments with teachers must be made via telephone or email them directly.


All visitors to the College must sign into and out of the College using the Compass Kiosc in the General Office.


In line with the Government’s commitment to compulsory attendance, the College is required to ensure all absences are recorded pursuant to DET guidelines. It is the responsibility of a student’s parent/guardian to explain why their child is absent/late. This can be done using the parent portal on Compass, by written note, by phone call to the General Office or by face-to-face conversation with a staff member.  Given the convenience and security the Compass portal offers for this important part of college life, this is the preferred method.


The General Office team will continue to be available for assistance on all attendance and Compass matters, and in every instance, any student arriving late or leaving early must report to the General Office to be signed in or out.


If your child has missed a SAC or been away for more than a couple of days, then they will be required to supply a doctor's certificate.

Arriving Late to School

Students are expected to be at school at 8.40am. Locker Bell rings at 8.44am and Home Group commences 8:54am.  If you are aware your child will be late to school, parental approval should be submitted in the Compass portal, or by notifying the General Office.


Students arriving late (after the first roll is marked) must report to the General Office to be signed in. Where a parent approval hasn’t been submitted on Compass prior, the absence will be shown as an unexplained absence until an approval is submitted. Should a written note from a parent be provided with the student when they arrive, it will be entered in Compass.


To promote the importance of being punctual to class, students arriving late to any other class will be recorded as late. Whilst late arrivals do not show on the Compass dashboard, they are displayed on the ‘unexplained’ tab under Attendance. The Compass system does not provide a sensible ‘reason’ for this scenario, however until a more appropriate option is made available, parents wanting to acknowledge/clear the unexplained late arrivals may do so by using the ‘Parent Choice’ reason, assuming no other reason is suitable.

Early Departure from School

If a student has an appointment and needs to leave early, parents should enter an approval in Compass and select the appropriate reason from the list of options stipulated by DET. The approval appears on the class roll to alert the classroom teacher, and the student will be excused from class at the designated time. Students should then attend the General Office to be signed out. If a parent provides a written note on the day, this should be taken to the General Office before school or at recess, and it will be entered into Compass. Students will not be permitted to leave class without an approval entered in Compass.


If you need to collect your child unexpectedly, please contact the General Office.

Uniform Shop

Uniform Shop is open on MONDAYS and THURSDAYS from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, and the first Saturday of the Term from 1 - 4pm. Prices and additional trading hours can be found on the Compass portal under school documentation.


Direct Phone:  9881 7168

Library Hours

Monday to Thursday:

8:15am to 4:30



8:15am to 3.30pm

Lost Property

Lost Uniforms are taken to the Maintenance Office, which is located near Health Centre.  There is a double draw finling cabniet on the right just inside the door.  If you have lost any valuables, ie: phone, watch, etc... they are usually handed in to the main office.

Car Parking

Parents are advised that the main car park on Harold Street is not a drop off or pick up point for students.  The car park is very busy and very tight at peak times.  It is not a safe place for students and waiting cars create congestion for people entering or leaving the car park.


The best drop off and pick up points for the school are:

  • The designated drop off and pick up zone on Harold Street in front of the Home Economics rooms
  • Georgian Gardens (street opposite school crossing on Harold Street)
  • Amesbury Avenue (fenceline along the bottom oval)
  • Templeton Street (South of the roundabout)
  • Saxon Street (off Harold Street)

College Vision

Wantirna College is committed to educating our students to be inquiring learners with high levels of literacy and numeracy, prepared to be global, ethical citizens in the 21st Century, capable of showing resilience and flexibility of thinking, willing to show initiative and take on challenges throughout their lives.

Wantirna College


Kevin Murphy


Assistant Principals:

Catherine Ford, Andrew Lewis and Shane Kruger


College Council President:

Dr Joanne Challinor-Rogers


Sub School:

Dina Mingos (Later Years)

Darren Hoogkamer (Middle Years)


College Captains:


Tahlia UMI




Parents Association President:

Pam Wade


Parents of Performing Arts Chairperson

Stuart Broadley

Wantirna College Newsletter
Career News Issue 13.pdf
Career News #14 Friday 13th September 2019.pdf