Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter

03 August 2017
Issue Eleven
Important Dates
Principal's Message
College Matters
Sub School News
STEAM Matters
Subject Matters
Earn & Learn
Community notices
Mentone Girls' Secondary College
(03) 9581 5200
Corner Balcombe Road & Charman Road
Mentone, Victoria, 3194

Important Dates


Wednesday 2  to Friday 4 August

Year 9 Camp - City Experience 


Friday 4 August

Year 10 Course Counselling 

Year 10 Social 


Monday 7 August

Victorian School Music Festival - Symphonic Band


Tuesday 8 August

College Assembly


Friday 11 August

Year 8 Humanities Excursion


Tuesday 15 August 

Annual UNSW ICAS Maths competition

5-7pm, Year 12 (Unit 4) Parent/Teacher/Student interviews


Friday 18 August

Year 8 Round Robin


Wednesday 23 August

Year 7 Round Robin

7pm, Winter Concert


Thursday 24 August

9am, School Tour


Friday 25 August

Free Dress Day - Footy Theme


Tuesday 29 August

1.30pm - 8pm, Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews


Wednesday 30 August  to Friday 1 September 

Year 10 Camp 


Monday 11 September

9am, School Tour 

Beachside Track & Field competition


Thursday 14 to Thursday 28 September

Japan Study Tour


Wednesday 20 September

VCE Recital Evening


Thursday 21 September

College Assembly


Friday 22 September

Term 3 ends

Term 4 

Monday 9 October

Term 4 starts 


Monday 16 October

9am,  School Tour


Tuesday 24 October

Year 12 Valedictory dinner 


Wednesday 1 November

Year 12 VCE Exams commence 



Principal's Message

Dear Parents & Guardians 


It is lovely to be back at MGSC after being away overseas with the International Education Division Victoria for two weeks.  I can say that the difference in temperature was something that was difficult to adjust to – 30 degrees down to 11 degrees on my arrival at Melbourne Airport was quite a shock!  I would like to thank Bronwyn Moline for Acting as Principal during my absence as well as continuing to carry out her Assistant Principal role. 

Doanvy Roberts and I travelled with ten other government schools to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and then moved on to Bangkok in Thailand for the last four days.  We departed Melbourne in the second week of the holidays (11 July) and returned two weeks later.  We represented not only our individual schools, marketing educational opportunities for international students, but also all Victorian Government Schools. 


MGSC is truly a global community. Our students come from a range of cultural backgrounds with the students or parents originating from various geographic locations which makes us a microcosm of society.  By opening our doors to international students as well as local students we increase and build on the cultural diversity of our school community and add depth and balance to our college.


In my absence there were a range of evening and daytime events to inform parents of subject selections for the following year.  My thanks go to Deb Jarvis and her team for running sessions for Year 9 and 10 subject selection and to Sylvia Christopoulos and team for running their VCE Information session. I encourage families to be involved in the discussing the subject choices for next year.

The State Library's fellowships program is one of the most substantial in Australia. Each year, the Library offers Creative Fellowships to encourage the original and imaginative use or development of the Library's collections for new work.


This year Deb McKay, our Humanities Domain Leader, has been awarded the State Library of Victoria Centenary of WWI Fellowship. This category covers works exploring a subject related to Victorians at home and abroad during WWI and its aftermath.  Deb will be provided with an office and resources from the State Library in order to complete her research into this area.  We congratulate her and wish her well.


I include some photos from my travels so that you are able to have a glimpse into my time away.


Kind regards


Linda Brown 


College Matters

Parent Opinion Survey


Each year, the school conducts an opinion survey amongst a sample of the school community. This year, a sample of approximately 30% of parents will be randomly selected and invited to participate. Results will be used to inform and direct our future school planning and improvement.

  • The survey is conducted online by ORIMA Research and should take around 15 minutes to complete.
  • The survey will be open from Monday 7 August to Sunday 27 August 2017.
  • The survey can be completed using any device connected to the internet (including a mobile phone).
  • Should you require access to a device to complete the survey, please let the school office know.

Please be assured that all responses are completely confidential. The survey is conducted anonymously and it is important to us that parents complete the survey as honestly as possible. The comments in the final open-ended question will be provided back to the school.

More details, including the survey link, will be sent to the selected parents next week.


Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal

Assessment and Reporting

Thank you to all the parents and students who completed the online survey about our new assessment and reporting processes. We are currently reading all the responses and will make adjustments as necessary.

Below is the assessment and reporting timeline for term 3. Please note that the parent/teacher/student interviews for the Year 12 (Unit 4) students are being held earlier than the interviews for the other year levels. This is to allow teachers to give more timely feedback to the Year 12 students and parents.


Thursday 10 August

Online interim reports for Year 12 (Unit 4) available to parents

Thursday 10 August  

Parent/Teacher/Student bookings open 3.30pm for Year 12 (Unit 4) students

Tuesday 15 August    

Year 12 (Unit 4) Parent/Teacher/Student interviews 5pm-7pm

Wednesday 23 August        

Online interim reports for Years 7-11 available to parents

Wednesday 23 August              

Parent/Teacher/Student interview bookings open 3:30pm for all students (including Year 12s who may not have been able to attend on 15 August)

Tuesday 29 August  

Years 7-11 Parent/Teacher/Student interviews 1.30–8pm (dinner break 5pm to 6pm)


If you have any questions, please contact me at the school.


Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal

International Student Program & ELC News

The new ELC students had a great time visiting the city in the first week of their commencement at our College. The purpose of the excursion was to orientate the students, giving them both a historical and cultural insight of Melbourne with an emphasis upon the impact of the Goldrush on Melbourne and its population. The students also visited many chocolate shops and had a delicious lunch at a Chinese restaurant Spicy Fish.

Last week, the International Student program hosted a welcome lunch for the new students and to welcome back Ms Brown and Ms Roberts from Vietnam and Thailand. It was wonderful to see some of the students' mothers join us and to hear the thoughtful speeches by Alia Cong, Dania Sun and Maggie Tu. Well done!


Ekaterina Xanthopoulos

ISP and ELC Manager

World Challenge

The students have been busy researching the many great attractions of Nepal and planning their itinerary for the December 2018 expedition. The students should now concentrate on raising funds for the September instalment. There should be regular monthly meetings at school where teams can discuss the progress of their fundraising and other information relating to their expedition.

The students stayed at school for three  hours learning about Nepal before planning their itinerary for their three week expedition. The range of activities they selected included trekking to the Mt Everest region, visiting Pokhara and Chitwan National Park, white water rafting, ziplining and helping a school or orphanage in various underdeveloped areas of Nepal. They are to be commended on their great teamwork and collaborative decision making.


Michael Warden

Program Coordinator

Career Expo

A very successful Career Expo was held on Tuesday 25 July. Representatives from many tertiary institutions, Victoria Police and the Defence Force were present. This gave our senior students and their parents the opportunity to ask questions and gather information to assist with their future tertiary studies.


Rebecca Poulos

Career & Pathways Manager

Sub School News

Junior School

Welcome to Alegra Weber (8A), and Alisha Harkin (7E) and Charlotte Stokes (7G)  who have all started with us this term. We hope they are able to get involved in all of the exciting activities that MGSC has to offer and that they enjoy their experience here.

It has been terrific to see so many girls playing board games at lunchtime and recess in the JLC and not using any electronic devices. Just a reminder that iPads are not allowed to be used in the yard or in the JLC at recess and lunchtimes.

Year 8s have been having many positive conversations with staff and Year 9 girls about electives for 2018.

Please remind your daughter that the sports jacket cannot be worn with the winter uniform and tracksuit pants cannot be worn under the winter uniform. Confiscated items of clothing will be held in the Junior School for two weeks.


Gayle Steinfort

Junior School Leader

Middle School

This week is very busy in the Middle School. We have our Year 9s on their City Experience this Wednesday to Friday navigating their way around the streets of Melbourne to experience a range of interesting cultural experiences. The Year 10s have Course Counselling this Friday 4 August, with their preferences due in also. The Year 10 Social is also this Friday and we are looking forward to a wonderful night where the students can interact socially at this exciting school event. As always, we expect all students to be conducting themselves in an appropriate manner to further ensure the night is an enjoyable one. Please understand that there will be staff members and security ensuring all students are safe and behaving in an appropriate way.

Year 9 students are also busy completing their subject preferences for their Year 10 program in 2018 and these are due in to their PL teacher with their Web Preferences sheet on Wednesday 9  August, period 4.

Good News

We would like to congratulation Olivia Morris of Year 10 who has been accepted into the Victorian Institute of Sport within the netball program for 2017-2018. Well done, Olivia! Your hard work has paid off!

Year 10 Camp

Camp is fast approaching. Student Managers are currently working on the accommodation options for students. All paperwork and payments should now have been finalised.


Deb Jarvis

Middle School Leader

Senior  School 

Years 10 and 11 students are concluding their investigations for the 2018 academic year. They have had opportunities to attend information sessions, access the VCE Handbook on the College’s website, consult with various subject teachers and the VCE team and finalise their choices online on the web preferences site.

We have also encouraged the students to visit the various tertiary institutions' Open Days. There is a list of when they occur outside the Careers Office and also on the Careers website. While most students consider this in their final year of school it would be very beneficial and motivating for the younger students.

Year 12 students must attend an assembly on Friday 11 August to get information about how to apply for tertiary courses in 2018.

All students from Year 10 to 12 are encouraged to have an appointment with Ms Rebecca Poulos the Career and Pathways Manager to help them in the planning for 2018.

As the Year 12 students enter the final weeks of their academic year the VCE Centre is being reorganised. There is one chair per table making the entire space a quiet study place.


Sylvia Christopoulos

Senior School Leader

STEAM Matters


We were invited to enter students in the 2017 Maths Challenge for Young Australians competition. This was held over the latter part of Term 1 and saw interested Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students completing a range of problems individually and in groups.  The resulting student work was assessed and certificates have been awarded at the following levels: High Distinction, Distinction, Credit and Participation.

Results for MGSC were as follows:

High Distinction  Hedy Shi (Year 7)

Distinction Jessica Marquis (Year 8)

Credits  Samantha Hooper (Year 8), April Thomas (Year 8), Kelly Tran (Year 8)

Congratulations to these students and to the others who participated in this important competition. Student work and certificates will be distributed when received over the coming weeks. The above named students will have their awards presented at the College Assembly in early November. Well done girls!

2017 ICAS Maths Competition Update

All Year 7 and 8 students and nominated Year 9 and 10 students will be sitting the ICAS Maths competition during Period 2 on Tuesday 15 August.  Papers are set at each year level, comprising 35 multiple choice and five free response questions over a 60 minute testing period.  All students will receive a certificate and an individual student report indicating which questions they answered correctly and their score compared with the rest of the students tested. These tests are also an excellent preparation for national tests and the student report is useful for highlighting student strengths and weaknesses. The certificates and individual student reports are also suitable for including in portfolios and should be available mid October.


Maths Domain Team

Maths Makes a Real Difference


ICAS Science Results

All Year 7 and 8 students completed the Science ICAS competition on 30 May. Those students whose achievements were outstanding were rewarded with Certificates of Merit, Credit, and Distinction.  Congratulations to Amy Ayers (7C) , Keziah Sansom-Gower (7F) and Tilde Verhoeven (7F) who achieved Distinctions. Achievement certificates and performance letters have been distributed to students. ICAS Science assesses students’ skills in the key scientific areas of:

  • Observing and measuring – noting and measuring features of items and phenomena
  • Interpreting data – interpreting diagrams, tables and graphs
  • Applying data – including inferring, predicting and concluding 
  • Investigating – experimental design, use of controls and notion of ‘fair test’
  • Higher-order skills – including reasoning and problem solving

Across Australia some schools only enter their top achieving students, whereas MGSC enters their entire Year 7 and Year 8 cohort. Therefore, comparison data (indicated by the grey band in the performance letter) does not give an accurate indication of your daughter’s performance compared to the rest of Australia.


Louise Rieniets

Science Domain Leader


Australian Brain Bee Challenge

On Wednesday  19 July, nine Year 10 students went into the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health to compete in the state final of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge. The Brain Bee is a global competition and event which aims to promote neuroscience through encouraging Year 10 students to study the science of the brain. The Brain Bee quiz was based on information provided from the text 'Brain Facts', which was a rather heavy read as it was set at university level. Our day out also included tours of The Florey's labs, a trip to the DAX Museum, a visit to the Anatomy Museum, free food and insightful lectures!  A big congratulations to Dessy Turk, Casey Boswell, Katie Barnshaw and Ayannah Blazek who came second in the group competition, and Katie Barnshaw who placed fourth in the singles competition. Although the finals were scary (speaking on stage was very nerve wracking), the students all pulled through, and should be very proud! A big thank you to Ms Louise Rieniets and Ms Melanie Erwin for supporting us on our journey!


Katie Barnshaw, Year 10


Unit 3 & 4 Biology Excursion

On Tuesday 25 July, the Unit 3 & 4 Biology students travelled to Melbourne University Parkville to undertake a practical laboratory session in preparation for two Unit 4 SACs. With this area of study focusing on genetics, specifically gene cloning and the techniques involved, students performed gel electrophoresis on samples of DNA that had a foreign gene inserted. The results of this technique could then be studied to determine the different lengths of the DNA samples.

We also examined the effect of natural selection in Drosophila melanogaster (vinegar fly). Looking at several generations of this species, the first generation of which carried a gene preventing wing growth, students were able to determine the effect of this deformity on the survival of flies expressing this trait.

We were very fortunate to have access to this laboratory, and talk with current university students about their passions and studies.

A massive thank you to Ms Rieniets and Ms Egan for organising the excursion, and best of luck to all the Biology students for their upcoming SACs.


Jess Ryan, Year 11


Subject Matters


In August there will be a creative writing competition launched called Time Travelling Tales which will involve imagining one is in the Jane Austen era and writing about an experience or day spent during that period. This is to commemorate the two hundred year anniversary of Austen's death. It will be for Junior and Middle School students and there will be prizes. Later this term we prepare for the public speaking competition for Years 7 to 10.


Anne Gamble

English Domain Leader



Music Camp

The Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Stage Band, Jazz Band and Choir spent three days in July working hard at the annual Music Camp in Mt Evelyn. The students demonstrated a huge amount of progress, with the ensembles working towards a range of different event. The Symphonic Band and Concert Band were working towards the Victorian School Music Festival. The Stage Band and Jazz Band were working towards a performance at Dizzy’s Jazz Club on 12 September. All of the ensembles were also working towards our annual Winter Concert on 23 August which features all of our college ensembles. There was also a massed item of ‘Colours of the Wind’ which featured all of the students on music camp.

In addition to the music, students took part in a Games Night of Minute To Win It style games and a Talent Night. Students also got to take part in Crate Climb, Flying Fox, Candle Making, Low Ropes Course, Reptile House, Archery, Fuse Beads and Games Room. The music camp was highly productive, which will hold all of the ensembles in good stead for their upcoming performances.

Victorian Schools Music Festival – Concert Band

The Concert Band performed at the Hawthorn Arts Centre as part of the Victorian Schools Music Festival. The Festival sees a range of different schools present musical performances for each other. Each ensemble is adjudicated and receives an on stage workshop with a guest clinician. This year that clinician was Dr Caroline Beatty, who is the Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Our band received a silver award, which is testament to all of the hard work they have put in in recent times. Our Symphonic Band will be performing at the same event next week.


Tim Veevers

Director of Performing Arts


Cross Country 

The MGSC Under 15 and 17-20 age group teams competed at the State Cross Country in Bundoora on Thursday 20 July. With a huge downpour of rain just before the U15 event, the course was extremely muddy with many competitors having a tumble on a few particular segments of the course. Both of our teams finished in second spot with a silver medal.

Congratulations to Millie Belleville, Kisarna Berntsen, Maddie Atkinson, Daisy Walker, Teiki Waata, Emily McCarthy, Emilie Templin, Sarah Mathews, Tash Belleville and Katie Marquis on their achievements in this year’s Cross Country season. We wish Millie Belleville the best with her upcoming Cross Country National events, and Emily McCarthy (Year 12) all the best for her future running career in half-marathons and marathons beyond MGSC. Good luck!


Anthony Bruhn

Carnivals Coordinator


AFL Football

This week the Year 7 and 8s (Juniors) and Year 9 & 10s (Intermediates) played in the Southern Metropolitan Region AFL football finals  in Langwarrin. They were representing the Beachside Zone which they won earlier in the year. Both teams played Gleneagles in their first round and they won convincingly. In the second round the Juniors lost against Mornington. The Intermediates won against Mornington by one point in a nail biting finish. This win earnt the team a position into the grand final against Bentleigh who were a formidable team, but we stood our ground well. Bentleigh, who were slightly taller and stronger, got the better of us taking out the competition, going to state finals.

We are very proud of our girls who played not only with skill and determination but with honourable play. They were great ambassadors for our school.


Philip Hull

Interschool Sport Coordinator


Two teams represented MGSC in a recent Intermediate Futsal competition . 

There were two teams.  The Pool A were Kisarna Berntsen,  Amy Coward, Jessica Gibson, Jacqueline Lemieux, Megan Tedstone, and Teiki Waata.  The Pool B team were Joanna Angeletos,  Hailey Bartholomew,  Manaal El-Jari, Lucy Menihane-Pegg, Eleni Tolios and Emma Weatherley. 

Both teams did exceptionally well in their pool, competing against each other in the Final, with the A team being teh winner. 

The twelve students were wonderful ambassadors for our College, displaying  our values of resilience, respect and personal best. It was an absolute privilege and pleasure to accompany them.


Carol Duggan

Assistant Principal 

More school sport 

Visit the MGSC Sport Website

Earn & Learn

Earn and Learn 

It's that time of year again!  MGSC is collecting the Woolworth 'Earn & Learn'  stickers. They will go towards additional resources for the school and students.  There is no need to put them on a sheet. Bring in your stickers as they come and place them in the box near the General Officer. Every sticker helps! The promotion runs until 19 September. 

Thank you for your support. 


Community notices

Family Links workshops

Heartlinks at Family Life is running workshops locally in the next few weeks to support families.  Positive Parenting after Separation is good for parents finding co-parenting challenging.  Suitable for parents and carers of children of all ages.  

Communicating with your Adolescent is aimed at parents keen to improve communication with their pre-teens and teens.  Suitable for parents and carers of children 10-17 years old.  

For more information go to the  website. 


Resilience conference for parents 

For more information about this one day conference featuring many experts including Dr Michael Carr-Greg visit the conference website.

Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter