NGSC Newsletter

08 September 2017
Issue Thirteen
North Geelong Secondary College
03 5240 5800
130 Separation Street
North Geelong, Victoria, 3215


Mr Nicholas Adamou


Doctors in Schools Program

The $43.8 million Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) initiative is delivering on the state government’s election commitment to fund general practitioners (GPs) to attend to a number of selected Victorian government secondary schools, one day a week to provide medical advice and health care to students.


The objectives of the program are to:

  • make primary health care more accessible to students
  • provide assistance to young people to identify and address any health problems early
  • aim to reduce the pressure on working parents and community-based GPs.


The program will make a valuable contribution to achieving the Education State targets of 'happy, healthy and resilient kids' by improving ease of access to health services for young people.


North Geelong SC is one of the schools which successfully applied for the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program (one of three successful applicants in the Geelong area). The school will work together with a local general practice to enable primary health care services to be delivered on school premises.


All students will be able to access the GP, subject to providing the requisite consent for the services. The participating students and their parents/guardians/carers will not incur any out-of-pocket expenses for consultations with the GP on the school premises.


Funding for this initiative also delivered to our school community modern, fit-for-purpose examination rooms on the school grounds.


It is with great pleasure that I introduce, our own Doctor in Secondary Schools Program, Dr Bianca Forrester to the North Geelong SC community.


The program will begin in early Term 4. Dr Forrester will be introduced to our school community during a whole school assembly on September 14.

Dr Bianca Forrester

BMBBS (Hons),


GGrad Cert Adolescent Health &Wellbeing


Hi, my name is Bianca Forrester and I am an Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) specialising GP living and working in the Barwon Region. I grew up in Melbourne but moved to Geelong, with my family about 10 years ago, searching for a bit more space, a bit more ocean and a smaller community in which to raise our kids. Over the past 15 years I have been working with young people in a variety of settings, from Youth Specific GP clinics, community mental health services to specialist Sexual and Reproductive Health services.


I love working with teens because it such a dynamic time of life; a time where great ideas, opportunities and healthy behaviours can be encouraged and nurtured and when creativity and experimentation can be harnessed to support positive growth and bright futures with careful guidance and support. It is also a vulnerable period time where risk factors and risk taking behaviour can have a damaging and lasting impact, and in which problem behaviours may be established, with lifelong consequences.


I am keen to work with young people “wherever they are at”, with “whatever they bring” and I strive to create the conditions of hope and optimism, working with young people to help them develop, build and attain personal and health goals, over the short, medium and longer term. I provide a confidential service that is appropriate to the age and stage of each individual. Please feel free to get in touch with the School’s Wellbeing Team or check out the Doctors in Secondary Schools website to read our policies about confidentiality and the boundaries and limits to this right in healthcare.


The school clinic will be supported by headspace, where I have previously worked for many years.

In addition to my clinical work, I am passionate about education and Health Promotion. I educate medical students and GPs about best practice Youth health care (at Deakin University, The University of Melbourne, West Vic PHN and for the DE&T) and I am currently completing a Graduate Diploma of Adolescent Health and Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne. I also enjoyed teaching for many years as part of the Geelong Docs and Teens Health literacy program in schools and am currently examining community participation methods for planning health interventions in schools, with researchers at Deakin Uni.


When not working, I can be found hanging out with my kids (and new puppy), surfing or playing music.


I look forward to working with the students, the school community and our local health and wellbeing services, to develop a Youth Friendly service which places North Geelong Secondary’s young people at the heart and centre.

Capital Works update

North Geelong Secondary College capital works project is gathering momentum with the school refurbishment design in its final stages. It is expected that the final design will be submitted to the DET in mid-September and the tender process will begin in early October. A display of the final refurbishment design will be provided to the school community as soon as possible.


It is expected that the works on the ground will begin in early November. This will give the builders the opportunity to progress the works during the summer holidays. If parents/guardians have any queries re: Capital Works and the school refurbishment, please contact the school to speak to a Principal Class Officer.

How to Cultivate the Curiosity Classroom

“What we want to see is the child, in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child” – George Bernard Shaw, The Quintessence of G.B.S.

Learning is what we humans do best. We learn throughout our lives by wondering and exploring, experiencing and playing. North Geelong SC is about harnessing that ineffable drive in learners; the drive to know, understand, and engage in the world and its ideas.


The philosopher Cicero defined curiosity as a love of knowledge without the lure of profit, in other words, an intrinsic passion to know. Aristotle claimed that the desire to know is among the deepest human urges, and Francis Crick, the Noble Prize-winning scientist who discovered the DNA structure, was often described as childlike in his curiosity.


Curiosity has been hailed as the major impetus behind cognitive development, education, and scientific discovery. It is the drive that brings learners to knowledge. Curiosity is about being aware and open, checking things out, experimenting, and interacting within one’s surroundings. In our classrooms, on a daily basis, our teachers endeavour to gain the unique opportunity of being able to mine students’ deepest held wonder, making their attention natural and effortless, and allowing them to fully engage with their learning. Creating the conditions for curiosity and tailoring programs to student individual needs allow us to achieve more authentic motivation from both teachers and students, leading to deeper learning.


Latest researched based programs are offered to our students, creating learning communities that enable curiosity amongst likeminded teenagers to engage in their own learning. Programs such as: SEAL, wide VCE program, VCAL mainstream and EAL VCAL programs, Excellence in Sports (Soccer), Year 9 program ‘Hands On”, Foundation VCAL for Year 10 students, ACE, STAR, STEM, Performing Arts and aa array of extracurricular programs enable our students to feed their curiosity and, gain skills that will support them in their future pathways.


Television, like most things, is neither a good nor bad thing providing it is watched in moderation. Research suggests that two hours per day is the maximum amount of television a school age child should watch. Any more than 10 to 14 hours of viewing per week has a measurable negative impact on a child's academic performance.


Television can provide an educational and entertainment benefit to children; however research has clearly shown that excessive television watching makes children less sensitive to pain and suffering of others, more aggressive towards others, and less active.


Many researchers believe that there is a definite link between the emerging problem of childhood obesity and excessive TV watching. Watching television is a sedentary activity.

Children who watch television for more than two hours a day are more likely to have an unhealthy diet, are less likely to eat fruit and less likely to participate in physical activity.

They are also more likely to snack on foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt.


Homework, studying and performing at school also suffer from excessive television watching, as stated above. In particular for our senior students, who are 6 weeks away from their final VCE exams, it is paramount that they restrict their TV viewing. Studying and organising their time effectively, and including physical exercise is the essence for success at the final exams.


So what are some of the steps that parents can take to limit the negative impact of excessive TV viewing? Here are some useful tips for parents/guardians:

  • Limit the number of viewing hours. Approximately, an ‘allowance’ of 10 to 12 hours of television viewing per week. Give the child the option as to how to allocate those hours per week, however they cannot be ‘banked’, that is, carried over to other weeks. This restriction on supply tends to make children more discerning in their viewing habits
  • Limit the programs your children watch. As an adult you are in a position to make judgments that some programs are simply inappropriate for children of a particular age. Parents are wise to be guided by the classification of programs suggested in the TV Guide
  • Do not permit television watching during meals. Make this a time when families can discuss the events of the day and matters of common interest, such as friendships, school related topics and other
  • Be a good role model. Don't watch television yourself simply because you don't feel like doing anything else. Also make a point of never leaving the television on for long periods of time

With younger children in particular;

  • Watch programs with them
  • Offer alternatives to television. Keep a supply of inexpensive fun things to occupy your children such as craft materials, model kits, origami paper, board games and puzzle books. Having such a supply on hand means you'll always have a reply to the retort that, "there is nothing to do."
  • Consider having a number of TV-free days in each week when the television simply isn't turned on
  • Do not allow children to have a television set in their own bedroom. Where there is a television in the child's room parents cannot exercise any supervision over what is watched or when
  • If a particular program is important to your child, but conflicts with other important things such as meal times, family social occasions or homework, record the program so that it can be watched at a time that best fits in with the family routine
  • Avoid morning television before children go to school. Early morning viewing has an effect on the rest of their day and creates time pressures that are simply not necessary.

Many of the criticisms which apply to excessive watching of television also apply to excessive video game playing. The same general principles should apply in determining how long children spend on these activities.


Mrs Julie Andrews, Mr Paul Dawson & Mr Bradley Headlam

Going to school every day is the single most important part of your teenager’s education. Students learn new things at school every day – missing school puts them behind.

Why it’s important

We all want our students to get a great education, and the building blocks for a great education begin with students coming to school each and every day.


Students develop good habits by going to school everyday – habits that are necessary to succeed after school, whether in the workplace or in further study.


Missing school can have a big impact on students academically and socially. It can affect their test results, including VCE, and, just as importantly, it can affect their relationships with other students, and lead to social isolation.


There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a student misses puts them behind, and can affect their educational outcomes.

Getting in early

It’s never too late to improve attendance – going to school more often can lead to better outcomes. Even at Year 9, when attendance rates for all students are lowest, going to school more often can make a big difference. Every day counts.

Schools are there to help – if you’re having attendance issues with your teenager, speak to your school about ways to address those issues.

What we can do

The main reasons for absence are:

Sickness – There are always times when students need to miss school, such as when they’re ill. It’s vital that they’re only away on the days they are genuinely sick, and setting good sleep patterns, eating well and exercising regularly can make a big difference.

“Day off” – Think twice before letting your teenager have a “day off” as they could fall behind their classmates – every day counts.

Truancy – This is when students choose not to go to school without their parent’s permission. There can be many reasons for truancy; the best way to address this is for schools and parents to work together.


Each missed day is associated with falling behind in subject topics and assessment tasks, and lead to fewer subject choices and may impact on achievement in years 11 and 12.


While all absences are bad for academic performance, unexcused absences are a much stronger indicator of lower reading and maths achievement.


If for any reason your teenager must miss school, there are things you can do with your school to ensure they don’t fall behind:

·     Speak with your home room teacher or year level coordinator and find out what work your teenager needs to do to keep up.

·     Develop an absence learning plan with your teacher and ensure your teenager  completes the plan.


Remember, every day counts. If your teenager must miss school, speak with your home room teacher or year level coordinator as early as possible.


Openly communicating with your teenager's school about all absences is a good way to prevent attendance issues being escalated to a School Attendance Officer. A School Attendance Officer is a Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Regional Director who has authority to follow up attendance issues.

If after this, your teenager continues to miss school, the Department can issue you with an Infringement Notice.


If you’re having attendance issues with your teenager, please let your year level coordinator, principal or other relevant staff member know so you can work together to get your teenager to school every day.

Further information

For more information and resources to help address attendance issues, visit:

The Koorie Education Workforce can provide a range of supports for Koorie students and families on attendance and other school issues.

Koorie Engagement Support Officers in particular can play a key role in assisting you to work with your teenager’s school to resolve any issues that might be impacting on their school attendance and can also connect you and your teenager to other support services if needed.

To get in contact with a Koorie Education Coordinator, or the Koorie Engagement Support Officer attached to NGSC, contact one of the Assistant Principals. 


(taken from the Parent Fact Sheet about Secondary School Attendance, DET)

Final Weeks for the Year 12s

The VCE students are in the process of finishing their courses this term and will spend the first three weeks of term 4 revising their course work.  Their holidays will be taken up with exam classes during week one.  The exams will be held under the VCAA end of year exam conditions with an external assessor conducting these exams.   It is compulsory for all VCE students to attend these exams.  Whilst it is important that they do spend some time resting it is imperative that they are preparing for the end of year exams as they will be only five weeks away.  They have to remember that there will be thousands of other students completing the same subjects as them and they have to endeavour to get better results than them.  The VCAL students will stay at school for a little longer as they finalise their coursework ensuring that they satisfy all of their outcomes.  They will then be interviewed on their year's’ work by a panel of three members.


The 2018 Year 11 and 12 Students will receive their booklists early in Term four and will need to return them as quickly as possible.   The reasoning for the early return is so that students can receive their books in early November ready for the beginning of the Year 11 and 12 Orientation classes during November.  If students are going to start their senior schooling on the right foot then it is vitally important that they have all of the materials including their text books.  Their 2018 schooling will begin the first day of Orientation week.


Year 7 to 10 students will receive their booklists later in Term 4 ready for distribution early next year.


Ms Samantha Ladson

Year 7 Coordinator 

Term Three is a busy time and it is often one of the most challenging Terms of the year, for a range of reasons. One reason can often be the cold weather. I would like to remind both students and parents/carers that even though it is cold, non-NGSC  tracksuit pants or leggings are not permitted (even with a note) and we ask that students bring a change of clothes for PE if for any reason they are unable to wear their normal PE uniform.


This week, the school nurse has begun working with year 7 students in order to build resilience and strengthen respectful relationships. Students are being asked to consider their own strengths and weaknesses in coping, stress and emotional literacy, amongst other things. With R U OK Day also coming up on the 13th of September, now is as good a time as any for students to be mindful of their own behaviour and how things that they might do or say can impact on those around them. Respect at NGSC needs to be shown to not only staff in the classrooms, but to their peers as well, at all times. Myself and my year level coordinators are working closely with the support of the Wellbeing Team we have here at the college, to try and facilitate more respectful relationships amongst the students. Our ‘Green Machine’ initiative introduced by Mr Quinn has also allowed us to acknowledge some of the positive efforts and examples of students demonstrating the values of our college, so congratulations to the students who have received awards recently. Keep up the great work!  

Mr Steven Quinn

Year 8 Assistant Coordinator 


The year 8 home group challenge has been a continued success so far this semester with recent activities including AFL and Ultimate Frisbee. We also had a longest throw challenge for Frisbee with Will Cumper taking the honours with a big 40 metre throw.


We will be winding up the term with Hockey in week 9 then a student vs teachers game in week 10.


SRC members will be attending a rock-climbing leadership trip on Monday 11th September. Permission slips have been handed out so if anyone missed it please see Mr Clark as soon as possible.


Year 8 SRC members will be running a Great Shave fundraiser which will be running in the last week of term. Lots of fun will be had so keep your eyes and ears open for more information coming soon.


Last week the school production ran over three nights and the performances were incredible. The theme was ‘Here, There, Everywhere’. A congratulations goes out to all the year 8 students who were involved in making the night the entertaining experience it was.


Mr Simon Scoullar

Middle Sub School Manager 

Parent Teacher Interviews

Please book your Parent/Teacher interviews via Compass for Tuesday the 12th of September. If you are having difficulties with this contact the Middle Sub School. 


Engaging and Involvement with your child's education is invaluable. With the upcoming parent teacher interviews here is some interesting ready for parents:

Benefits for the Children

Children tend to achieve more, regardless of ethnic or racial background, socioeconomic status, or parents' education level.


Children generally achieve better grades, test scores, and attendance.


Children consistently complete their homework.

Children have better self-esteem, are more self-disciplined, and show higher aspirations and motivation toward school.


Children's positive attitude about school often results in improved behavior in school and less suspension for disciplinary reasons.


Fewer children are being placed in special education and remedial classes.


Children from diverse cultural backgrounds tend to do better when parents and professionals work together to bridge the gap between the culture at home and the culture in school.


Junior high and high school students whose parents remain involved usually make better transitions and are less likely to drop out of school.

Benefits for the Parents

Parents increase their interaction and discussion with their children and are more responsive and sensitive to their children's social, emotional, and intellectual developmental needs.


Parents are more confident in their parenting and decision-making skills.


As parents gain more knowledge of child development, there is more use of affection and positive reinforcement and less punishment on their children.


Parents have a better understanding of the teacher's job and school curriculum.


When parents are aware of what their children are learning, they are more likely to help when they are requested by teachers to become more involved in their children's learning activities at home.


Parents' perceptions of the school are improved and there are stronger ties and commitment to the school.


Parents are more aware of, and become more active regarding, policies that affect their children's education when parents are requested by school to be part of the decision-making team.

Benefits for the Educators

When schools have a high percentage of involved parents in and out of schools, teachers and principals are more likely to experience higher morale.


Teachers and principals often earn greater respect for their profession from the parents.


Consistent parent involvement leads to improved communication and relations between parents, teachers, and administrators.


Teachers and principals acquire a better understanding of families' cultures and diversity, and they form deeper respect for parents' abilities and time.


Teachers and principals report an increase in job satisfaction.

Benefits for the School

Schools that actively involve parents and the community tend to establish better reputations in the community.


Schools also experience better community support.


School programs that encourage and involve parents usually do better and have higher quality programs than programs that do not involve parents.


Ms Sarah Bridges

Senior Sub School Manager 

Feedback on a student’s progress is essential. As we approach the completion of our Senior Years Programs and students are busily preparing to finish meeting outcomes and sit final exams it is imperative that they receive teacher feedback to improve their outcomes. All students must attend parent teacher interviews on Tuesday 12th September. Bookings are now open on Compass.


Please note: VCE Unit 3 and 4 classes will still run on this day and students must attend.

Year 11

Subject Selections for 2018 were finalised this week. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the school on 52405800 and speak to a member of the Senior Sub School staff.


2018 Year 12 Rugby Jumpers. Cost is $80 and is to be paid for by Monday 23rd October. No late orders will be placed.


Camp notices are now due back for the 2018 camp. All students are required to attend.

Year 12

Graduation tickets are still available to purchase. Please pay for the tickets by the end of term 3. We are looking forward to a great night of celebration with students, families and staff.

VCE News

Students in Units 3 and 4 have been given a letter that outlines support NGSC is providing in the lead up to VCAA exams. It is also available on line – on VCE google classroom. One of the supports includes on-site lectures from Connect Education, that will provide in-depth revision in each subject from a qualified presenter who has recently completed VCE. These revision sessions are at no cost to the student as the College is meeting all expenses.


Practice exams will be held during the school break and are compulsory. Timetable is available on VCE google classroom or a hard copy at the Senior Sub School office is available.


Students have received VCAA exam timetables and updated personal information sheets to check/update to ensure correct delivery of exam results and ATAR score.


VTAC applications are open. Students are reminded to complete to ensure a place at TAFE or Uni.  Please seek help from the careers team if you need additional support.


Students are reminded that attendance at VET is compulsory and an Intermediate and Senior Certificate is not achievable without a VET. Students are continuing to work hard to meet outcomes and we look forward to discussing with each student their success this year via interviews and programs.


Thank you for continuing to support our senior students.


Hoddle Waddle 

Students in Ms Hannon and Ms Elkin’s Numeracy class took to the streets of Melbourne on Monday for the Hoddle Waddle. This was an Amazing Race format of adventure where teams had to follow clues and written directions to make their way to various Melbourne attractions and buildings. Each of the five teams had different places to visit, using the free City Circle tram route. We all started off at the State Library of Victoria and some groups travelled clockwise while the others went anti-clockwise. Students had to photograph themselves at their locations.


On returning to school students are working in their groups to prepare a presentation to show the class the places they visited and some information about these attractions.


All students had an enjoyable day, despite the bitterly cold weather and strong winds, and were able to follow directions to (mostly) get to the correct destinations.

On the Train

Waiting for the City Circle Tram

At the Windsor

Waiting for High Tea 

Lunch at the Library

Woolies Earn and Learn

Keep collecting your stickers and place them in the box at your local supermarket or at school. Stick them on a sheet and remember to put your name on it if you want to be eligible for the prize for the most sheets completed. Ms Elkin’s VCAL class has been busy placing the stickers on to the sheets and want to be kept really busy after September 19th when the promotion ends.



Students in Ms Elkin’s VCAL class have transformed the patch in front of the gym. They dug it over, mixed in some mushroom mulch and planted some shrubs and ground covers. In the coming weeks they will sow some seeds to add some colour and then cover the area with bark mulch to keep the moisture in. They have also put bark mulch on other garden beds around the school. These tasks have formed part of their Work Related Skills, where they have looked at hazards and risks and ensured they worked together as a team and in a safe manner.



The class has also been making dioramas depicting hazards and risks in various situations. Rooms chosen to illustrate different hazards and risks ranged from kitchens through bedrooms to a garage. One group even did a wedding stage! They prepared a statement outlining their hazards and presented their diorama to the class.



Chess Tournament 

Chess has been held in the library during lunch on Thursdays for the past 2 terms.


On 22 August I was privileged enough to escort some of our players to the Victoria Secondary School Geelong Zonal Chess Tournament. We were represented by Holden, Josh, Elvis, Louis, Vincent and Roth. There were students from other private and public secondary schools and 58 students in total. The completion was fierce; the pressure of a timed tournament was something that our students had not experienced before. We did our best and bested some of the top players, but were unsuccessful in making it to the state finals. This was a fantastic learning experience that we will take to the next tournament that we are heading to this month.


All of our students were exceptional ambassadors for our school and made me proud as a teacher to see them conduct themselves in such a respectful manner. The future of chess is looking good.

Any student who wishes to come along for a game of chess is welcome to join us on Thursdays at lunch in the library for a game, coaching or even to challenge a teacher.

Mr Luke Scott 

Tuesday Yoga Group

On Tuesday 5th September, we held our first Yoga lunchtime session. We had 7 students attend this session. The aims of the Yoga sessions are to assist students and staff to become present, centred and grounded. Yoga sessions will be occurring each week.


What:    Yoga

When:  Every Tuesday Lunchtime

Where: E7

Who:     Everyone is welcome!


Miss Liz Hannon (Teacher) and Faith Field (secondary school nurse)



As Term Three has progressed at a rapid pace, a lot of productive work has been accomplished with only two weeks left and still  much yet to do.  At the next Multicultural Committee meeting we will have an interesting guest speaker from the Community Network informing us on the latest projects relating to Youth work.


The Multicultural Committee is still seeking ideas and suggestions for  the upcoming  Multicultural Festival (27th October) for the Festival’s opening assembly ceremony.  In particular we are looking for local talent, vibrant and exciting guest speakers and musical acts to fit in with this year’s theme: "The Music of The World”.  We are very keen to hear from you on with suggestions or ideas, so feel free to contact us (Multicultural Committee Members) or call in to our next meeting.  The Multicultural Committee values your input into to the NGSC school community.


The next Multicultural Committee Meeting (last meeting for this term) will be held on Monday 18th, September at lunch time (12:45pm) in the Discussion Room.

Vera Dudas

Multicultural Community Liaison Officer 

Multicultural Festival

On behalf of the community of North Geelong Secondary College, we wish to invite you to join us to celebrate our Multicultural Festival on Friday, 27 October 2017.


We would be delighted if you are able to join us anytime between 10:30am and 5:00pm. We will begin the celebration with an opening ceremony in the gym at 10:30am. From 12:00noon the festival will begin with many activities and stalls throughout the day.  The festival is open to the wider community including parents, friends, local primary schools and businesses.


We are looking forward to celebrating with you our diverse and harmonious multicultural school community. We are also looking for stall holders, if you wish to apply or require any further information please contact: or (03) 5240 5800.



What is R U OK? Day and why do we celebrate it at NGSC?


R U OK?'s vision is a world where we're all connected.


The R U OK? mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.


R U OK?’s goals are to: 

1. Boost our confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life's ups and downs

2. Nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others

3. Strengthen our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us

4. Be relevant, strong and dynamic


At NGSC we want to share the R U OK? Day message with everyone because we are a very diverse school and want to make sure that all students and staff feel supported and connected at school.


What have we done at school so far this year?

The Year 7 classes have been making posters and doing activities which have encouraged them to ask the question R U OK? The Year 10 Health classes have also been doing research projects on R U OK? Day in their classes.


What’s happening on the day?

The 7 year students have organised a casual clothes day where students can wear yellow to school on the day. The donations will go to Kids Under Cover, which support homeless youth. Students will be able to have henna art done by other students. Music will be playing next to the canteen.


When are we celebrating R U OK? Day:        Wednesday 13th September 2017

Please come along and have fun at our R U OK? Day event by joining in with all the activities that will be on offer.

Sef Agahzaman (youth worker) and Faith Field (secondary school nurse)





Athletics Chilwell is currently welcoming new athletes to join the club for the upcoming 2017/18 track and field season.


Competition is held on Saturday afternoons at Landy Field, commencing on Saturday 7th October 2017 until March 2018.  Senior athletes aged from under 14 to Veterans are welcome to participate.


Coaching is available in all disciplines, eg. Sprints, middle/long distance running, throws and jumps.


For further information, please contact Mary McDonald on 5229 3920 or email:




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