Castlemaine Secondary College News

15 December 2017
Issue Eleven
Leadership Messages
Keep Informed
2017 Learning Festival
Moving on...
What have we been upto?
Students are busy..
Castlemaine Secondary College
03 5479 1111
PO Box 57
Castlemaine, Victoria, 3450

Leadership Messages

Principal Update

As the school year draws to a close, I take this opportunity to thank our school community for its support throughout 2017. It has been an historic year for CSC as we have moved to a predominantly one campus school with almost all of our students from Years 7-12 on a single campus, which continues to be rebuilt. At the start of the year we welcomed the opening of our new Engineering Building, and as the year ends we are poised to take possession of the new Performing Arts building which has been constructed over the past 9 months.


It has also been a year of change for the leadership of our school following Mary McPherson’s resignation at the end of Term One, Noel Claridge’s tenure as Interim Acting Principal in Term Two and then my commencement during the second half of the year. I thank Mary for her valuable service to our school since her appointment in 2009, and I am also grateful to Noel for stepping in and leading our school superbly during Term Two. On a personal note, I am grateful for the valuable support I have received from the school community during my first six months as Principal.


As I write this article, our Year 12 results are only a few days away from being released and we are busy determining the many awards that will be presented at our Awards Night on Wednesday 20 December. Many of our students will receive well deserved awards and other forms of recognition for their achievements this year. For those who are not as satisfied with their results, I encourage them to persevere, set new goals for the year ahead and identify people who can support them as they continue their educational journey.


Finally, I wish all members of our school community a safe and relaxing vacation period, and I look forward to seeing everyone again at the start of 2018.

Paul Frye






School Uniform

Summer is here and the warm weather has arrived! Our school uniform protects our students from the sun; shirts with collars, long sleeve light shirts and our school hat. Our uniform is also very flexible allowing students to mix and match various elements to match the weather and their preference, including gender identity inclusive. The uniform is regularly reviewed with students and next year we see the introduction of modern, gender neutral dark blue pants.


Awards Night

Next week one of CSC’s premier events, the Awards Night, will be hosted in the Town Hall, Wednesday 20th of Dec, commencing at 7.30pm. The Awards Night celebrates student achievement and hard work across many areas in our very diverse and amazing school community.  Areas of acknowledgment include academic, and also extend well beyond to include leadership skills, values and ethics. Our very supportive and involved community sponsor many of the awards for our students, with some extending nearly 100 years in our school history. Students will receive an acknowledgement of an award in the mail prior to the night, inviting them to be part of the formal event. We look forward seeing you at the night.


Judith McLean

Assistant Principal

Exam Results...

Year 12 VCE results will be released to students on the 15th December from 7 am. Results will be emailed to the students via the email account they provided to the VCAA earlier in the year. If an email address was not provided, or if the email address is somehow invalid, then students can access their results online at A printed statement of results will also be mailed to students who have applied for courses through VTAC this year and have paid their VTAC processing fees.


Many students reconsider their tertiary course preferences after finding out their results. Students can make changes to their preferences via the VTAC portal. Many tertiary institutions provide specific advice on how to change preferences. This information is available at Students can also book an appointment with Mr Ian Cook to explore options or seek advice regarding ideas they may have with respect to possible changes of preference.


In most cases students obtain results around what they expect. However, if a student feels that they significantly underachieved and they would like to talk to someone about it then they can contact the school and be connected with the appropriate support person. 


David Watson

Leading Teacher

Keep Informed

What a year!  The fantastic campus vibe we had a taste of during Step Up week in 2016 was realised  this year with the merger of our two campuses into one at Blakeley Road…. and we tick off another part of our school redevelopment with the Music and Drama spaces currently being furnished ready for the start of 2018.


Second Hand Book and Uniform sale

A big thank you to Belinda Postill for her initiative and enthusiasm in organising the Second Hand Book and Uniform sale held on Saturday, 2 December.  If you missed out on this opportunity to buy, sell or trade books and uniforms with other CSC families, check out the Facebook page at "CSC Uniform"



Student Reports

The final reports for 2017 will be provided to students at the end of the school day on Thursday, 21 December.  Families of students who have finished school for the year are invited to collect reports from the Library from 10.30am on the same day.  Any reports not collected on this day will be available for collection when students return for their 2018 Mentor Day on Tuesday, 30 January.


Preparing for 2018

Resource Lists

Orders for items on your child’s resource list can still be placed with Campion Education throughout December and January.  As the deadline for free delivery closed on Tuesday, 5 December, a delivery fee will apply.


Parent Payment Schedules 2018 & CSC Parent Payment Policy

CSC Reception (ph 5479 1111) will be open until 2.30pm on Friday, 22 December and will re-open on Wednesday, 24 January.  Staff will be available to answer general questions, provide assistance with payment of essential student learning items and setting up of payment plans, and in 2018, assist with Mentor Day bookings.


Uniform Shop opening hours

The CSC Uniform Shop last day of trading is Friday 15 Dec from 3pm to 5pm.

The shop will re-open 2018

  • 25 Jan from 1pm to 5pm,
  • 29 Jan from 9am to 12pm 
  • 30 Jan from 9am to 5pm
  • 25 Jan from 1pm to 5pm

Or order online at



Mentor Day, 2018

Tuesday, 30 January will be the first day back for students for the 2018 school year.  On this day students will meet their mentor teacher for the year, receive their timetable and a locker and have their photo taken for their ID cards.  Classes start the following day on Wednesday, 31 January.  


Mentor Day meetings

Information for the start of the school year will be mailed out to families the week of 8 January.  This letter will include instructions on how to log into Xuno to book a meeting with your child’s mentor teacher for 2018.  Xuno will open for bookings on Wednesday, 17 January and close on Monday, 29 January.


Have a safe and happy holiday.

Elissa O’Connor

Business Manager

2017 Learning Festival

Learning Festival 2017 Report

The learning festival is a week of theme-based activities designed to provide students with a daily challenge to work on cooperatively with-in their teams to encourage creative thinking and problem-solving skills. This Year’s theme was the Commonwealth Games, as it will be hosted by Australia early next year and it began with the Koorie Games Day.


This year, the Learning festival was kicked off on Monday 4th December with a day run by our local Indigenous Elders, Aunty Julie, and Aunty Kath, and some of our own Koorie students.  The Koorie Games Day started with acknowledgement of country and an introduction to the local traditional teachings and an aboriginal perspective of the Commonwealth Games. Students were then introduced briefly to the Koorie Games and were broken up into 4 mobs based on their precincts to design their head-bands, arm-bands and team chants:


After recess, and for most of the rest of the day, students participated in a round-robin of 8 different events each lead by one of our own Koorie students. These included the Koorie sports of;

  • Kai (keeping the fur ‘koala’ ball from falling)
  • Borna Jokee (paper spear throwing and dodging)
  • Munhanganing (group ‘flies’ and ‘lizards’ team chase)
  • Thurnda-Gu (pushing a roller along the ground)
  • Battendi (spear the ‘koala’ off its perch with bamboo ‘spears’)
  • Kalkadoon Kee’an (spin and throw a string ball at a target)
  • Weme (a stones and rock boule-styled game)
  • Jhal-Poon-Dar (a memory game with 10 nature)

The day ended with the School Leaders competing in bamboo ‘spear’ throwing competitions, a team chant cheering battle, and closing announcements and thanks to all involved.


The rest of the week involved a range of different daily challenges lead by pairs of learning areas;

  • Tuesday 5th Maths & Science:
    Students designed and conducted miniature sports games using potatoes
  • Wednesday 6th English & Languages:
    Students designed, played and demonstrated a new game
  • Thursday 7th The Arts & Technology:
    Students designed and constructed costumes, foods and medals
  • Friday 8th PE Health & Humanities:
    Students design flags, anthems and new demonstration sports

The final scores for the week saw the Artisans just ahead of the Engineers, followed by Wellbeing and the Performers:

Congratulations to everyone for a great Learning Festival week!


Moving on...

Photo: New Performers

Top Art!

Congratulations to  Isadora Anderson who has been short listed for TOP ARTS (an exhibition of the top VCE  Art works from across Victoria held at the Ian Potter NGV from March-July 2018).


If you see Isadora about town please congratulate her on this achievement.

Year 12 Graduation

On the 28th November we celebrated our year 12's graduation. More than 250 guests dined the night away on a very warn night at the Town Hall. Students arrived in style thanks to our community partner Castlemaine Hot Rods supplying some wonderful vehicles.



Graduation Evening Year 10 Steiner Class 2017

“Our highest endeavour must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.”             Rudolf Steiner

On Wednesday the 29th of November we held a Graduation evening for the Year 10 Steiner Class in the Music Centre at Etty St. Parents provided a beautiful selection of food and the room was festooned with fairy lights and candles. The formal part of the evening included valedictory addresses from Jett Archer and Ella Robinson that were heartfelt and powerful and made us cry; as well as words of wisdom and encouragement from Jane Sanderson, Jane Dimsey, Cole Waters and Ken Killeen. Graduands were presented with three words describing their personal qualities.




The following is an extract from Ken’s address.

This evening marks an ending. We look back on the last two years and it seems like a long time ago that we took you as children to Adelaide and now you stand before us so much more grown up. The last two years have also flown by, and it reminds me of the paradox that life is both very long and at the same time quite short and very precious. What we know and what we do with our lives is so very important but who you are as a person is much more important.  If you remember anything about this address I want you to remember this. Who you are, is how you will be measured in the long run. Who you are is the essential foundation for what you do.


And we want you also to do good things, out of yourself we want you to impart purpose and direction to your lives. We want you to be happy, but beware of pursuing happiness for its own sake. Know that there will inevitably be times when you are not happy, times when you will experience sadness and suffering. A purposeful life will see you through such times. You all indeed have a purpose. Well may you each ask yourself what your individual purpose is, but you don’t need to be overly concerned. Pursue the things you are good at and enjoy, allow fate and coincidence and synchronicity to unfold; and know that anything you do can be purposeful if it serves the needs of others and adds value in every possible direction. A purposeful life is also an optimistic life as you look forward to the exciting possibilities of the future.


Enjoy also the present, these are precious times. Be grateful for what life is currently providing including the love and support of friends and family and the educational opportunities before you. VCE will have its challenges but make the most of them. This graduation is an ending and a beginning. You are embarking on the next stage of life, do so with enthusiasm, know that effort is rewarded, seek the support of others when you need it and balance out your study with rest and recreation with your friends; and don’t be in too much of a hurry.


Those of us who know you think you are an extraordinary group of people. You are resilient, optimistic and very often unselfish. I look at you with hope. The future is in good hands. Seek the possibilities, cultivate your imaginations and take responsibility. Wonder at beauty, stand guard over truth and look up to the noble so that you will have a life with purpose and direction.


What have we been upto?

Farming Camp 13th-17th November

On Monday the 13th November the year 9 Steiner class set off for a week of fun and work in the Otways. Every year the year 9 class goes on a Farming camp, to apply what we have learned in our Biodynamics work with Ken Killeen. We visit farms, work where needed and celebrate the end of a big year. We were all looking forward to spending time amongst big lush trees and seeing the sea.

We set off bright and early on Monday morning, stopping at Colac to stock up on food and do some op-shopping. By the time we arrived at our camp site and set up tents, we were all very hot and ran to the pool. After a dip the first food group made dinner; all of us were divided into groups and needed to prepare a lunch and a dinner for everyone else.

On Tuesday we visited a Biodynamic dairy farm. The farmer showed us around his property; we ‘met’ his cows and he answered lots of questions about applying Biodynamics to a farm. He was interesting and kind. He changed his farm from a traditional dairy farm, and stopped using pesticides and began to use Biodynamic formulas after his father died of cancer. His milk is sold with organic milks all over Australia. It was interesting to hear about the ideas we had been discussing in class applied to the real world. We ate lots of grapefruits from his tree, drank lemonade and then went back to the pool.A huge storm came through that afternoon, so we had to secure our tents.

We visited the Otway Fly on Wednesday, and walked amongst the most beautiful trees, including the tallest flowering plant in the world. We had lunch at Triplet Falls went for a walk to the waterfall. As it was still very warm we went to Johanna beach, where most of the boys perfected their backflips. A huge storm came through that afternoon, so we had to secure our tents. That night we had a trivia night, which got quite heated but was lots of fun.

Thursday was a favourite day for many of us. Despite some of us getting VERY wet overnight (and needing to sleep in cars) we were happy that the weather had changed, and set off for Otway Herb Farm. This is also a Biodynamic farm, sitting high up in the hills. It is the most magic place- the morning was misty and cool and we sat in the owners beautiful hand-made house drinking tea and doing assorted jobs for her, for example stripping lavender and packing herbal tea into paper bags to sell. Most importantly we also made some 500, an organic fertiliser. This needs to be stirred for one hour by hand, so we took turns. It was lovely sitting in the wooden house, with views over the valley, listening to students play the guitar and harp amongst the scent of lavender. After the 500 was made, we flicked it onto the garden, to be absorbed during the afternoon. That night we had dinner at Steph’s house- she is a committed Biodynamic user, who previously owned a protea farm. Her new house in Apollo Bay was where we made and ate dinner, followed by a music night, where students performed solo and group acts. It was one of the most memorable days we have experienced this year.

We left Friday after taking down our tents and cleaning up the campsite and kitchen. This camp was excellent. We bonded as a class and learned lots about Biodynamics. The people we met were so friendly and knowledgeable, and were happy to share their experiences and wisdom. An amazing camp!

The Year 9 Steiner class.

Give Peace a Chance

Tuesday 31st October

Not even the weather could dampen our spirits. The music was loud, the herbal tea was warm, the docile pounding of the drums echoed in our ears, and strangely, the kale we nibbled was quite addictive. What was so important about Tuesday 31st of October you ask? Peace day.


In 1970, when the Vietnam War was being fought, the first Australian peace Moratorium came about in the streets of Melbourne and other capital cities. Hordes of peaceful protesters (including our dear friend and famous librarian, Russel Mooney) marched their way through the streets before the climax was reached, in the mass sit down of over 160,000 people.


In the spirit of peace, we re-enacted our very own peace day, which included many peaceful activities, such as sing-a-longs, yoga, 70s dress up, and finally a peaceful sit-down activity in a Year 10 classroom.

The experience was exhilarating, eye opening and characteristic of the peaceful movements being conducted in the 1970’s.


Holly Showell-Roche & Ben Marney

Students are busy..

Toot, toot: all aboard!

VCAL is very excited to announce an amazing project for 2018 that is a partnership between VCAL, FLO, Nalderun Project, Harcourt Lions Club and The Victorian Miniature Railway.

In a nutshell, the Victorian Miniature Railway club have a dream. They have purchased 64 acres of land high on a hill in Harcourt, just up behind the general store, and plan to build 2.4 kms of 7.25 ml gauge rail track and have the facility open to the public on weekends by the end of 2018.

Miniature Railway Clubs are made up of volunteer enthusiasts whose hobby is to give up their time, tinker with stuff, and play trains.

The VMR club has 22 members who live all around Victoria and come to Harcourt on their weekends to work on the project. Every second week, club members will travel to Central Victoria on a Thursday night to work with Castlemaine students in a variety of different ways.

The project was developed by Grant-Victor Gordon and behalf of Harcourt Lions Club as a means to create interesting educational opportunities for VCAL, FLO and Nalderun students of The Mount Alexander Shire and has a range of community partners supporting various aspects of the project.

On Friday 1st December, as part of The Step-Up Program, 2018 VCAL students visited the site and were given a background briefing by Colin Mierisch, whose son Andrew is the driving force behind the project.

Colin himself is a very interesting fellow. He has been involved in miniature trains for over 40 years, has a range of engineering skills and qualifications, and in his spare time is into clocks and watches.

The project will combine VCAL outcomes in Personal Development, Work Related Skills and Numeracy and will give students access to mentors with diverse engineering and hands-on skills.

Apart from physically constructing the 2.4 km of track, plans are afoot to build a 1:3 scale model station based on the design of Maryborough Station, car parking areas and public amenity. Once the project is open to the public, the trains will run on weekends and school holidays.

VCAL students were impressed by the concept and we look forward to fleshing things out further for 2018.

Exciting times ahead.


Castlemaine Secondary College News