Photo: Achievement and curiousity: students perform at 'Strings, Wine and Cheese'

Northcote High School Newsletter

12 September 2017
Issue Fifteen
From the Principal
For your diary
State champions: Senior football
Achievement: Lions' Club Youth of the Year
Achievement: NAPLAN 2017
Disrespect? Not here.
Building collaboration and community at Years 7&8
Community and challenge - Year 9
Senior School hard at work
Careers News
Uniform changeover time
Engineering for social change
International voices on Art and Life
Being eSmart
Lose yourself in a good book
Sport news
Creativity at work in Year 10
Encore! A musical feast
STEM in action
Higher order
Comedy was back!
'Westgarth' at Westgarth: student filmmakers premiere film
Useful information: Child Safe standards
Green tips to save water
Terrific telescope: next viewing
Community notices
Northcote High School
9488 2300
St. Georges Rd
Northcote, Victoria, 3070

Photo: Andrew Wailes - Principal for a Day - conducts a Strings Workshop

From the Principal

Photo: Andrew Wailes - Principal for a Day - conducts a Strings Workshop

Taking opportunties and building community

Principal for a Day – Andrew Wailes

Andrew is  a Melbourne based performer, lecturer and Music Director - Chief Conductor of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra.   As Principal for a Day Andrew worked side by side with students and staff at Northcote High. Andrew began the day speaking at the Year 7 assembly around how he developed an interest in music, studies in Arts/Law and opportunities that led to a career around his love of music. Interestingly, the opportunities often grew out of happenstance and getting involved, along with a great deal of effort and hard work.


Across the day Andrew led a Senior Strings workshop, had morning tea with a group of Senior student representatives, conducted a Junior leaders' workshop with Assistant Principal Ciar Foster and had lunch with our graduate teachers.


The PFAD program highlights how important it is for leaders beyond the school to be part of the broad ranging programs and vibrant experiences available to young people at schools like Northcote High.  It’s great to be in a room hear our students and staff speak about what is important to them and what they like about school, learning, challenges and successes and what lays ahead.  Thanks Andrew for bringing your expertise and ideas to Northcote High!


Community making at NHS

Last Thursday at Thornbury Theatre we laughed as a community.  Comedy was Back and Northcote families, staff and friends filled the room with good vibes and laughter.  A huge thank you to the Events and Fundraising working for curating the event – raising $20 000+.  At Northcote High we speak about community making – which happens when we get involved.  If you missed Comedy is Back we will see you at the myriad upcoming events, celebrations or information nights; or dive into the learning partnership with your child by discussing learning progress, successes and challenges at school and beyond.  


Have your say

The Events and Fundraising Working Group of School Council are seeking to understand the current need, passion and type of involvement parents and families would like to have.


Please complete the short survey – it takes less than 10 minutes.


New Campus Master Plan

The school is working towards development a new Campus Master Plan that better caters for contemporary learning and growing student community.


Baldesso Cortese (architects) and Openwork (landscape architects) are leading this project in partnership with Northcote High and the Department of Education.


The Campus Master Plan will be complete in December and launched in February 2018.

We are seeking your support to lobby government to ensure Northcote High School has the quality learning facilities, along with interconnected social and sporting spaces, that our community deserves.


Keep your eye on the newsletter for opportunities to get involved and add your input.


Kate Morris

For your diary

Key dates 

  Please note the following events coming up:

  • Wednesday 13 September  Senior Music Tour (to 15 September)
  • Monday 18 September         Year 12 Practice Exams commence (to 22 September)
  • Monday 18 September         French and Italian trips depart
  • Friday 22 September            End of Term 3 (2pm dismissal)
  • Monday 9 October                 Start Term 4
  • Thursday 12 October            Young Leaders to China depart
  • Friday 13 October & 14 October    Drama students' play: 'Morphing'
  • Monday 16 October              Senior Music Concert
  • Wednesday 18 October       Meliora Sequamur Awards
  • Friday 20 October                  Student free day - Staff curriculum development
  • Monday 23 October              Year 12 Farewell Breakfast
  • Thursday 26 October            Year 12 Graduation

Photo: The team celebrates their victory

State champions: Senior football

Photo: The team celebrates their victory

Dedication and discipline win the day

For the first time in at least 40 years (probably longer) Northcote High School are the senior boys AFL football State Champions!


On Tuesday the 29th of August at Highgate reserve the Northcote High senior boys AFL team defeated McKinnon Secondary College 8.11 – 59 to 4.5 – 29.


The boys relished the opportunity to play on the big stage and hit the ground running. Joe Furphy opened the scoring with a great mark and an even better finish. Noah Wright set the tone for the team, leading hard, marking well and kicking truly. The first quarter was played at a furious pace and when the siren sounded Northcote had done some serious damage scoring three goals and keeping McKinnon scoreless.


The second quarter was more of an arm wrestle as both sides settled into the game. Ted Clayton was sublime in the midfield, as he had been all series and some solid defensive work by Jack Hart, Bill Clayton  and Josh Torcasio ensured that Northcote were able to absorb McKinnon’s pressure as Northcote went on to win the quarter by 2 points.


After half time the game stepped up a level and McKinnon began to get their running game going. They kicked a few goals in a row before some tough tackles and chase downs from Lachy Black, EJ Messenger Fewster slowed them down. Cal Faubel’s performance out of the backline and on the wing was crucial in the boys holding on to their lead.

McKinnon had outscored Northcote in the third quarter and heading into the last quarter seemed to have the momentum. The first few minutes of the quarter were hectic with all players putting themselves on the line. Darcy Lowrie was tireless on the half forward flank providing a lot of options for the midfielders.  Marcel Laidlaw was very important on the defensive wing, stopping  McKinnon’s ball movement. Liam Mcerlain was proving to be too much to handle for the opposition with his skill, speed and toughness and Sunny Brazier was imposing himself on the game after moving into the midfield and getting some crucial clearances. Oscar Sutcliff put his body on the line time after time from the half back line and in the middle of the ground, inspiring his teammates. As the game hung in the balance Jye Stephens took the game by the scruff of the neck and made it his own. Repeated forward pressure efforts as well as some crucial marks and inside 50’s broke the back of McKinnon backline as Xander Phokos capitalised on one of these inside 50’s and roved a pack, danced around a few players and slotted home a huge goal. From there the game was all Northcote. They piled on 3 more goals to put the result beyond doubt. The only thing left to do was to celebrate.


Jye Stephens was named man of the match.


One of the most impressive elements of this state champion team was the dedication, discipline and attitude of the boys. Some players only played 5 minutes in the final but had been crucial in earlier games and were responsible for getting us to the final. They did not complain, they encouraged their teammates and played their role when it was their turn. As their coach I am very proud of all the boys that were part of the squad that won all the games throughout the tournament.  They represented the school extremely well both on the field and off.  This is something that they will always have to share together.


A big thanks to Pauline Dridan and Craig Price for their support and for driving busses to the various rounds, and also to all the parents that came out to watch, cheer and bring lollies for the boys.


Josh McDonald


Photo: Candy receives her award

Achievement: Lions' Club Youth of the Year

Photo: Candy receives her award

Congratulations Candy!

This is the third year Northcote High School has entered a regional final of the Lions club ‘Youth of the Year’ competition organised by the Northcote Lions Club. Our candidate this year was Nguyen Kieu Khan Bui (Candy) who is an International student from Vietnam in Year 11.


Candy had a preliminary interview on Sunday August the 20TH where she met the three judges and was asked question about her academic achievements, her hobbies and her leadership roles at school as well as any volunteer work that she might be doing. On Wednesday September 6th she participated in the public speaking part of the competition. To the delight of her fellow students and staff Candy won both sections of the competition. Her speech on the need for traditional values in the modern world was especially well received by the Lions, Lionesses, Lion Tamer and the Judges!


This is a great competition because it gives students an opportunity to discuss with the judges their involvement in community activities as well as their academic achievements. According to the judges, these young people are the leaders of the future. To see an International student experience success in this way is a great credit to Candy and to the Lions club for giving her this opportunity. We are very proud of you Candy! There will be an opportunity for two more students to enter this competition in 2018. If you are interested please see Mr Ramsay.

Martin Ramsay and Lixia Wang

Achievement: NAPLAN 2017

Strong NAPLAN results again in 2017

All Year 7 and Year 9 parents should have either collected or have received in the mail their son or daughter’s individualised NAPLAN report and an accompanying letter. The NAPLAN tests are helpful in providing an overall snapshot of how the student body is progressing. The snapshot tells us that Northcote’s Yr 7 and Yr 9 groups over the last five years achieve (in all NAPLAN test areas of Numeracy, Reading, Writing, Spelling Grammar and Punctuation); 

- Well above the national average 

- Well above the state average 

- At consistently the expected level as demographically similar schools. 


Of particular note are the following points:

  • Consistent high level of relative growth for our Year 7 students from Year 5 across all test areas Reading, Writing, Spelling, Numeracy and Grammar and Punctuation.
  • High level of relative growth for our Year 9 students from Year 7 across the test areas of Reading, Writing and Grammar and Punctuation


Northcote High School is committed to performing consistently better than the expected level of similar schools which is why we have developed our Instructional Framework to develop our staff in the use of high impact instructional strategies and are embarking on the implementation of the Northcote Model to renew our curriculum.

Photo: Flyer for students: revised incident reporting system

Disrespect? Not here.

Photo: Flyer for students: revised incident reporting system

Highlighting Humanity and Fairness

Our focus of this month with students elevates our school values of Humanity and Fairness through the theme of respect for all.  We are highlighting this through a number of initiatives which have been developed with and for students.

Revised Incident Reporting system

We are encouraging students to call out and report behaviours and language which go against our values. Students have worked with our sub-school teams to refine this process and the communications around it. Incident Reports can be made online via Compass, on paper (report forms are available at sub-school, Student Services and general offices) or in person to a teacher.  Reporting incidents of concern sends a message that disrespect will not be tolerated, and enables our sub-school teams to follow up with appropriate consequences within our restorative practices framework.

Respect lives everywhere

At year level assemblies, through Connect sessions, Compass and myNorthcoteHigh news, we are discussing how respect lives in our language, actions and group and individual behaviours. We are encouraging students not to be 'bystanders', and if they witness disrespect towards others, to walk away, speak out or report it.  This focus encompasses the classroom, yard and community.

Respect: it starts with me

We continue to make progress on our Respectful Relationships Lead School project. By the end of this term we will have completed pilot training programs with the theme 'Respect: it starts with me' with small groups of staff and students. This training is run with the organisation Polykala. It will then roll out to all staff and groups of Year 8s in Term 4.  We will also be inviting families to join us in training sessions and workshops during Term 4. 

Photo: Year 7&8 Captains at work

Building collaboration and community at Years 7&8

Photo: Year 7&8 Captains at work

An active and engaged Junior School

With only a week or so until the end of the term, we are provided a great opportunity to reflect many of the exciting events that have presented in the Junior School over the last couple of months.


The term began dramatically as many of our Junior School students took part in the school production, ‘Guys and Dolls’. A fantastic show for the audience and a brilliant experience for the cast and crew. The annual Year 7 Public Speaking competition, debating competitions, numerous sporting events, the ski trip and more continued to keep our students engaged and active members of our community. Our recent Parent, Teacher, Student conferences provided another opportunity to discuss the impressive work happening in classrooms and to explore approaches to further support the progress of all of our students.


As we head in to Term 4, there are many exciting things to look forward to. The Meliora Sequamer Awards are a celebration of the contributions made to our school community by our students. The evening is incredibly positive as we celebrate the efforts of those who continue to make a difference to our school. The Year 7 and 8 Showcase (21st November) is another opportunity to celebrate the work of our students throughout the year, and a highlight on the Term 4 calendar. The evening provides an opportunity to hear about the impressive work taking place in classrooms, the involvement of our students in co-curricular activities and the opportunities and events to look forward to in the year to come.

Gerard O'Shaughnessy

Head of Junior School

Year 8 Philanthropic Project

Over the last few weeks our Year 8 students have been working tirelessly to raise both funds and awareness for Ladder. Ladder is a Collingwood based charity focused on tackling youth homelessness. There is a good chance you’ve seen some of their advertising in conjunction with the AFL Finals. Ladder work closely with AFL clubs and players to bring much needed attention to the plight of young people who are ‘doing it tough’.

Over the space of a week, our Year 8 students held a variety of events to fundraise for this worthy cause. Many students spent hours baking cakes, biscuits and other goodies in preparation for the bake sale. Other students coordinated a hot chocolate stall and others ran a talent show in the Hall. Furthermore, students ran a sporting competition and a giant Kahoot quiz in the library. A ‘guess the number of lollies in the jar’ competition saw staff and students alike engaging in the most clever strategies to reach a suitable guess, while the ‘match the teacher to the baby photo’ was met with all of the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ you’d expect to hear in a maternity wing. A number of retailers and service providers on the High Street in Northcote generously donated products and services that were used as prizes in a raffle.

The efforts and enthusiasm that went in to supporting the work of Ladder and coordinating these events was impressive. Under the guidance of Ms Keane and Mr Barrett, Year 8 Program Leaders, the Year Level Captains (Hannah and Eve) and the class captains, close to $1000 was raised.


The Philanthropic Project each year level engages with continues to build great support for many worthy causes, as well as provides additional opportunities for our students to collaborate, lead projects and build important enterprise skills.


Special thanks to the following retailers on the High Street for their support:

A Quirk of Fate

The Friendship Tree

Salon Duval

Year 8 Cybersafety

Throughout Term 3 our Year 8 students took part in workshops looking at cyber safety. Run by Paul Giddy and Jess Kelly from our Student Services team, students explored a number of strategies to keep themselves safe online. With such unprecedented access to social media and online forums, it is incredibly important that students have a clear understanding of the risks that this access brings. Paul and Jess highlighted the social, emotional and legal ramifications for posting, uploading or sharing images or statements that may cause harm or embarrassment. In addition to exploring the risks, students were also supported in exploring the appropriate ways to respond to concerns that stem from online behaviour. Revisiting cyber safety is incredibly important, many thanks to Paul and Jess for coordinating these sessions.

Some reminders

Our students should be wearing their Summer uniform on their return to school in Term 4. Some of our students have grown tremendously over the last six months, so it is worth ensuring that the uniform still fits like it should. Students will be able to take advantage of a 2 week ‘grace period’ wearing winter uniform if the weather is still particularly chilly or additional uniform items need to be sourced. During Term 4, Junior School classes will continue ‘as normal’ until the final week of school when ‘End of Year Activities’ commence. All equipment and material should continue to be taken to classes until such time.

Community and challenge - Year 9

A term of developing awareness

This term Year 9s completed different activities based around the year level them of ‘intercultural understanding’.   Early in the term all students headed out in groups to the following cultural sites or organisations:

  • Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
  • Darebin Intercultural Centre
  • Islamic Museum
  • Buddhist Temple
  • Koorie Heritage Trust

The aim of this day was to increase intercultural understanding by learning about different cultural practices and beliefs and challenging stereotypes and prejudices.

It was a fantastic day and all groups reported back to their peers during a Tutorial lesson in the afternoon.


The Philanthropic Project continues on with this theme.  All Connect groups have decided on a topic relating to intercultural understanding that they would like to raise awareness of.  The students are working in small groups to do this and there are some very creative ways to raise awareness such as: a mini movie, a music video and an art piece.


Looking ahead: challenge and courage

City School :  As part of the Year 9 English curriculum, students construct a hypothesis and use their time in the city to research, interview experts and survey the public to explore their hypothesis. In addition, students complete a team challenge in the city on day 1 and also complete sessions at the Big Issue (exploring homelessness) and SynFM (a youth radio service) on days 2 & 3.


Camp :  A group of students will be getting back to nature at Lake Dewar Lodge.  There will be mountain biking, bushwalking, stand up paddle boarding and lots more!


Courage to Care:  All year 9’s will be part of an incursion run by ‘Courage to Care’. It  is a social acceptance and ‘upstander’ education program aiming to empower individuals to stand up against prejudice and discrimination in all forms.


Jane Lange

Head of Year 9

Senior School hard at work

Crucial time for senior students 

As we move toward the final term of the year, our Senior Sub-school, in many respects, is just warming up. We have had many tangible successes throughout the school year, both in and out of the classroom. This term we have been incredibly lucky to watch our peers in the musical, both on and off stage, win a State Championship in senior years boys football, have great results in debating and Lions Youth of the Year to name a few. Next term we look forward to the Year 12 celebrations through exams to the graduation and the Year 12 formal being held at the Melbourne Aquarium. Year 11s will be undertaking the Fit 2 Drive program early in Term 4, something that we see as very important in ensuring the safety of our students on the road.


As with every year, the students are focusing their efforts on finishing up their school assessed coursework and tasks, folios and starting their revision processes in earnest. Central to their revision program is that of the Unit 3/4 practice exams beginning next week. All students undertaking their final exams in their Unit 3/4 studies will be expected to sit these practice exams. They are crucial for both students and teachers to understand where the focus for each individual student lies in the final weeks before their exams. We wish them all the best in this crucial time. To support their peers, students need to be mindful when using the school grounds around the examination centres.


We have enjoyed the pilot VCAL program this year and have relished the challenges and successes it has brought to the school. We look forward to an even bigger cohort next year and our first group of students completing their Senior Certificate in 2018. Our Year 11 VCE students will not have much time to rest before our orientation program begins for 2018.


We wish you all the best for the holidays but encourage you to keep up with the work and ensure you are ready to go for a big Term 4.


Shane Gemmola

Head of Senior School

Connect Education: holiday revision sessions

Northcote High School is committed to working with students and their families to ensure the best possible educational outcomes for our Year 11 and 12 students. During the September school holidays, we know our students will be busily preparing at home for the upcoming exam period. In addition, many teachers will be providing revision classes.


Following from our successful program last year, we have once again partnered with Connect Education to assist our students in their final year of secondary schooling. Connect empowers high school students to aim higher, and harnesses the brightest high school graduates to engage current students with cutting-edge learning products. Connect will be providing revision and exam-focused lectures that are subject specific and provide resources to support our students.


Connect Education will offer revision lectures from Tuesday 3rd October to Friday 6th October at Northcote High School.  The following subjects will be offered in 2017:







Further Maths

English Language


Specialist Maths




Studio Art

Phys. Ed.

Bus. Management



Connect Education focuses on crafting interactive sessions and the Northcote sessions will be tailored to our students’ needs. Each revision session will focus on:

• Critical content from study designs, such as commonly tested and challenging topics.

• Exam strategy, guiding students through how to tackle questions on the exam.

• Study strategy, which is incorporated into the presentation of each topic.



Notes have been designed with the exam in mind. Each student will receive a copy of a notes booklet for each subject, covering material for the entire course, and will also focus on how students can best prepare for the exam. This will include guides for common questions and other useful revision and study tips for the exams.



Connect Education is a private organisation and as such there are associated costs for each session.
All sessions will be $36 per student, which incorporates a significant discount on their main lecture pricing.



All sessions will be run at Northcote High School. The partnership has been developed to allow Northcote students ease of access to an external exam preparation program.



All bookings will be made via the school Compass Portal. Bookings must be completed by Friday 15th September. Resources will be collected at the beginning of each lecture.

Photo: Visit the Careers page on myNorthcoteHigh

Careers News

Photo: Visit the Careers page on myNorthcoteHigh

VTAC Registration closes September 28


The VTAC countdown is on. Registrations close on September 28, and SEAS applications close on October 10.  Students have been given a checklist to ensure they are on track to have various tasks completed on time. Spare copies can be downloaded below.

See the photo and attachment below for key dates, and remember to check the VTAC website for additional dates relevant to your specific situation. A number of courses have very early closing dates, and will not be available for selection after those dates. These include, but are not limited to, design-related courses or those which require auditions, interviews or additional selection tasks to be completed.

In order to demystify this process for families, additional resources have also been posted at the links below:

For VTAC generally:

For SEAS information:

For scholarship information:

To double check everything and learn more at specific uni websites:

VTAC scholarships

All students submitting a VTAC application are encouraged to fill out the scholarship application before October 13.


VTAC Webinar- For the general Community and Parents

  • Location: Online
  • 13 September 2017
  • 7:00pm-8:00pm

In conjunction with the CEAV, VTAC is hosting a webinar for students, parents, and the general community which provides a complete overview of the VTAC application process including preferences, SEAS, scholarships, offers, and the ATAR. The session is interactive, and participants can ask questions throughout using a keyboard or microphone.

The webinar will run from 7pm-8pm  on Wednesday 13 September.


To register for this webinar, students/parents can email and they will receive a confirmation in reply with a link to access the webinar.


Work Experience: Year 10 forms now overdue

Work Experience is a valuable part of the Year 10 experience and helps to inform student choices and pathways as they move through to VCE and tertiary study. Year 10 Work Experience arrangement forms are now overdue: please your child returns these to their tutor as soon as possible.

Important information for aspiring teachers

Students wishing to study teaching degrees in 2018 will need to sit the CASPer test.


CASPer is an online test, the results of which are forwarded to VTAC. This is a prerequisite for any degree that prepares you for registration as a teacher.

There are set dates on which the test can be taken.

Students in Year 12 will need to sit the CASPer test before December if they want their results to be processed in time for Round 1 offers.


Some of the available dates are coming up in the holidays.

Information and sample questions available via this link:

Early Entry Offer Program - Victoria University

Victoria Uni has launched a new Early Entry Offer Program this year for students who have demonstrated leadership or have experienced disadvantage.

To summarise a few of the benefits of the EEOP, successful applicants will:

  • Receive an early conditional offer for their chosen VU course, prior to exams
  • Benefit from adjusted ATAR entry requirements
  • Still be able to benefit from other VU special admission programs


Applications for this program must be made directly via Vic Uni’s website, as well as applying for courses via VTAC. EEOP applications must be completed by October 13, so if you are thinking of entering Vic Uni preferences at any stage, consider applying for EEOP.

RMIT Interview Skills Workshops for VCE Students

Now in its sixth year, Ready Set Design is a series of three workshops for students in Years 11 and 12 where they can learn about careers and tertiary programs in design, develop their folio, and practice their interview and presentation skills.


Registrations are now open for workshop 3 (Interview Bytes), which will be held on Monday 25 September at RMIT’s City campus.


The Interview Bytes workshop will give students the opportunity to hear from a panel of RMIT design tutors and current students about what to expect during a program interview. The panel will share their experience as interviewers and interviewees, and discuss the kinds of questions students may be asked, as well as some techniques for presenting their folio to the interview panel.


Attending students will have the opportunity to ask questions and to speak with students and teaching staff across a range of RMIT design programs.


To register their attendance, students must visit our event page, select the workshop they wish to attend, and provide their details. Students aged under 18 years of age will also need to return a consent form signed by their parent or carer.


NHS students are eligible to receive an ATAR boost, or assistance in the folio/interview process, if they have remembered to tick Category 1 in the SEAS section of their VTAC application. This must be done by October 10.


La Trobe Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship

NHS students are also eligible to apply for the La Trobe Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship. This generous scholarship provides one student with automatic admission to La Trobe’s Hallmark Program for high-achieving students, which brings with it many benefits such as personalised academic coaching and mentoring, additional leadership opportunities and exclusive access to special elective and research subjects designed to develop leadership, communication and teamwork skills. Recipients receive $6,000 per year for the duration of their undergraduate degree for up to four years, and are guaranteed a study abroad scholarship to the value of $1,500. Application forms can be obtained from Kylie Witt and must be submitted to her by October 10.


School Holiday activities

William Angliss Workshops

William Angliss Institute will be conducting workshops for secondary school students in the upcoming September school holidays. Each day will include a hands-on activity in one of our specialist areas, a campus tour, catered lunch and a course information session. The program is recommended for students in Year 9 - 12.

Students can now register for the following workshops:
-Hospitality Day: Monday 25 September
-Tourism and Travel Day: Wednesday 27 September
-Cookery Day: Thursday 28 September

Register Now

For more information please visit


JMC Academy

This September, JMC Academy Melbourne will offer 6 various Workshops based on Animation, Audio Engineering & Sound Production, Contemporary Music & Performance, Entertainment Business Management, Film & Television and Game Design.

Wednesday 13th September 2017
Tickets are $30 and include a light snack. Places are limited and can only be purchased online. 

Find out more

Students can use the code 'MAKEIT25' to get 25% off the Workshop ticket price.
*Discount code will expire on August 31st at 5:00pm.

AUSTSWIM COURSE -  Training and employment opportunity for keen swimmers


Own Journey - personal development opportunity


Photo: Summer uniform

Uniform changeover time

Photo: Summer uniform

Term 4 = Summer Uniform

Term 4 marks the changeover to summer uniform, which means that students are expected to wear either the grey shorts/pants and short-sleeved purple shirt, or the summer dress. The school jumper and spray jacket can be worn with both options. Students are not permitted to wear visible t-shirts under their shirts.

There is a two-week changeover period at the start of Term 4 to accommodate unpredictable weather and to give families time to purchase additional items if necessary. Please use the holiday period to check that your child has not outgrown their uniform!

Photo: Year 10 Environmental Engineering at work

Engineering for social change

Photo: Year 10 Environmental Engineering at work

Year 10 tackle energy 

The Year 10 Environmental Engineering class were lucky enough to have an incursion with the organisation Engineers Without Borders (EWB), who promote engineering for social value. They held a workshop with the students tackling real life problems in our world about electricity generation and learning about Engineering pathways in the future.


Photo: Speakers at the International Student Public Speaking Competition

International voices on Art and Life

Photo: Speakers at the International Student Public Speaking Competition

International Student Public Speaking Competition

This year the competition was held on Tuesday the 22nd of August and involved 10 schools. These included; Bendigo Secondary College, Doncaster Secondary College, Firbank Grammar, Melbourne Girls College, Mount Clear College, Northcote High School, Reservoir High School, Strathmore Secondary College Thornbury High School and Viewbank College.


Our judges this year were Karen Money (principal of Melbourne Girls' College), Kate Morris (principal of Northcote High School) and Lea Volpe (acting principal of Reservoir High School). 


This is the third year of the competition and the topic was ‘Art is Essential to Life’. There was a wide range of responses to the topic including discussion of rice terraces, the Japanese tea ceremony, vegemite, quotes from Pablo Picasso and stories about Vietnamese poetry. The students demonstrated great courage speaking in a second language in front of an audience including a large number of Year 10 International students.


All students received a certificate of participation for representing their schools. The judges selected the following speakers for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place:

 1st Tien Bui Reservoir High School

2nd Ngoc Nhat Minh Dong Melbourne Girls College

3rd  Yuzuka Funasaka Firbank Grammar

All the speakers did a great job and we were privileged to have Connie Clark from the International Education Department  in the audience.

Martin Ramsay and Lixia Wang

Being eSmart

eSmart Safety tips of the week

Last week was eSmart Week. Year 8s completed workshops around cyber safety and privacy, and these messages were shared with all students.



Photo: Holiday reading highlights

Lose yourself in a good book

Photo: Holiday reading highlights

Grab your holiday reading now!

Losing yourself in a book is great relaxation, so come down to the library and pick up some holiday reading.  We’ve added over 150 brand new books this term - there is something for everyone and we’re happy to help with suggestions.  From Superheroes to big data via the AFL Women’s - here are some of our top picks to get you started:


  • Poetry from Australian literary giant Thea Astley and Harry Baker - mathematician, slam poet and you-tube sensation.
  • Young adult realism from Claire Zorn whose One would think the deep was this year’s Children’s book council; Pip Harry’s Because of you, inspired by her volunteer work with a homeless shelter; and New York Times #1 bestseller The hate u give by Angie Thomas centring on race, privilege and the killings of unarmed black people at the hands of the police.  
  • Journey to the outer limits of the mathematical universe with Beyond Infinity by Eugenia Cheng; or find out why everybody lies on the internet with Seth Stephens-Dadowitz and what this can reveal about human civilization and society.
  • Superhero adventures for comic book fans: The rise of renegade X by Chelsea M Campbell and Wonder Woman warbringer by Leigh Bardugo from the DC Icons series.
  • Re-live the excitement of the inaugural AFLW season with the Women’s footy Almanac, or check out Dane Swan’s autobiography, it is September after all.

All loans are extended by 2 weeks to cover the holiday period. You can browse the catalogue and reserve items at any time- just log in with your compass ID and password at

Happy reading!

Photo: Senior boys' football team on their way to victory

Sport news

Photo: Senior boys' football team on their way to victory

A fantastic term of sport

Congratulations on a fantastic term of sport. Thank you to all staff, student and parent volunteers that have coached and accompanied our teams to their events over the past 8 weeks. I look forward to seeing more sporting performance as we progress into Regional and State Finals early in term 4.

Have a great break, train hard!


Senior Boys Football – State Champions

Congratulations to our Senior Boys Football team who became the State Champions after defeating McKinnon Secondary College in the State Grand Final.  Against the odds, our boys moved through all of the rounds in the lead up, defeating many of the very successful sporting schools along the way.  Well done Mr McDonald who coached the boys to Victory.  This will be a lifetime memory for the boys and should be celebrated accordingly.  A big thank you to Deb Black (Lachie’s mum) for allowing us to use her superb match photos. See the match report and photos separately in this newsletter.


Sarah Blanchard

Head of Sport

Basketball teams progress

Intermediate teams' success

On Thursday 31st August we had 4 teams compete in the Intermediate Divisional Basketball Competition.  Both girls’ teams finished at the top of their pool and had to play against eachother in the final. Northcote A defeated Northcote B.  Northcote A will now move through to the Regional Finals at Coburg on October 19.

Sophie Tayton

PE Department


Basketball Match Report

On the 31st of August 2017, the Year 9/10 Boys Northcote High School basketball team participated in the interschool sports competition against Thornbury, Reservoir and William Ruthven. The competition consisted of a round robin format where there were two different pools, sadly the two Northcote teams did not get to play each other!  The Northcote A’s won both of their games and made it to the final. The Northcote B’s had a really close 2nd game, managing to win by one point by hitting a free throw with 7 seconds left in the game against William Ruthven. However, they unluckily lost in their 3rd game to Thornbury A meaning they didn’t make the finals. The finals were a very intense and close game where Northcote managed to go up by 12 points but Thornbury managed to fight back in the second half. We were able to tie the game in the last seconds in regular time but unfortunately lost in overtime by 2 points to a buzzer beater. It was a very disappointing result after a hard fought day but in the end everyone enjoyed the day!

Written by Thomas Straube, Max Ramsay and Ben Walden


Yr 8s blitz Divisional and District Competition

On Tuesday Northcote High sent two boys teams to the Divisional carnival at Coburg Basketball Stadium. The boys played in a round robin against Thornbury High, Reservoir High, William Ruthven College and EPIC. Our second team narrowly missed out on the finals after a 2 point loss against Thornbury A.


The Grand Final saw Northcote A revenge the B team loss by thrashing Thornbury 91 to 18, seeing them progress to the next stage on the 25th of October. Go Northcote!

Cathy Lester

PE Department



The Year 8 girls put together two formidable teams for the District Basketball Finals. The Northcote girls quickly made themselves known with each team winning their first games by over 40 points, with Ella Hart’s drives to the basket proving un-guardable and Laura Stafford stacking on 20 points with her deadly jump shot and unstoppable lay-ups. As the day wore on, it looked like there would be no stopping NHS, until Thornbury managed to inch ahead in double over-time to beat one of our teams. However their glory was short-lived, with the second Northcote team having little difficulty defeating the Thornbury girls to claim the district title and a place at the regional finals.

David MacIndoe


Yr 7 Basketball

Congratulations to all of our Yr 7 Basketball Teams who showed great team spirit throughout the Divisional Competition.  Both boys' teams finished on top of their respective pools, which meant we had a Northcote vs Northcote Final.  Northcote A defeated Northcote B. Northcote A will move through to the Regionals on October 26.

In the girls' competition the final was played off between Northcote A and William Ruthven.  Northcote A were outright winners and will now move through to the Regionals on October 26th.

Thank you to our wonderful student coaches Rinchen Dorjee, Rory Stevens, Emma Stafford and Katrina Gustafsson.

Ben Orphin and Jack O’Shea

PE Department

Yr 7&8 Table Tennis

We had two Yr 8 Boys table tennis teams compete in the Divisional competition on Tuesday September 5th.  The day had a slightly shaky start by being sent to the wrong stadium, thankfully Mr Neal was able to think on his feet and swiftly directed the boys back onto the tram and managed to get them to Reservoir High School on time.  With this misinformed mix up behind them, both teams managed to move through the competition easily to end up playing each other in the final where Northcote A defeated Northcote B.  Mr Neal reported back to me that the boys should be commended for the good behaviour and great sportsmanship throughout the day.   The A team now moves through to compete in the Regional Finals at Coburg Table Tennis Stadium on October 25. 

Congratulations to our Yr 7 Boys Table Tennis team who easily moved through the Divisional Competition to win all of their matches and become overall winners on the day. The will now move through to the Regional Competition which is to be held at Coburg Table Tennis Club on October 26.


Congratulations boys and thank you to Mr Neal.

Regional Athletics

On Wednesday 6th September we had a team of 48 students compete in the Regional Athletics Meet at Meadowglen. The weather was not at its best, but this did not dampen the spirits of all of our competitors. Congratulations to all of our students who not only tried their absolute best but also spent the day encouraging and supporting their team mates.  A big thank you to Helen Shortell, (Grace and Mikaila Young’s mum) who volunteered her time to be the official walking judge.


We secured many first, second and third places and finished 6th out of 48 schools on the points table. Grace Young, Douglas Buckeridge and Marlon Bargh secured a place in the State Athletics Finals, to be held at the Lakeside Athletics Track on October 23.

Sport and cultural tour of China

Northcote High School have an excellent reputation for giving our students superb learning opportunities outside of the classroom with co-curricular clubs, teams and a range of other curriculum linked trips. With the above in mind we are offering an exciting opportunity to take your child on a 13 day Sport/Culture Tour of China. I held a meeting on Tuesday 12th Sept at lunchtime to discuss the trip further with those interested. Should your child be interested and missed the meeting there will be a second meeting taking place on Friday 15th Sept at lunchtime in the GMR.

In the meantime you are able to access more information including a full itinerary by going to the following link: (Password: September2018).


Next events

Fri 15 September:  Year 7 Girls State Soccer

Tues 19 September: Senior Boys State Basketball

Photo: Year 10 VCD at the zoo

Creativity at work in Year 10

Photo: Year 10 VCD at the zoo

Creative Collaboration 

As part of the creative collaborative environment in the newly constructed C Block two of the year ten art classes have used each other’s work to gain a greater understanding and provide more context with their  exploration of technique. Mr Drinan’s class was able to present their work which focused on the water colour artist John Wolesley who used scientific and geographical observations of the environment as part his practice.

Mr Rush’s class was able to present their work which focused on the master printmaker Jim Dine and his use of alternative printmaking techniques and symbolism within common everyday objects.  This enabled those students presenting, to reflect upon what they had done themselves and put their work into a clearer context. Those who were observing were able to gain inspiration and clarity with the requirements of the task and a greater understanding of the techniques used.

Jerome Rush  & Barry Drinan

Visual Arts Faculty

City Explorers

There is no doubt that the Year 10 Digital Photography students are most engaged by doing.  On Wednesday 20th of August the class went on a city excursion to practice their skills in using the schools great digital SLR cameras. They also explored and refined their understanding of compositional conventions within the urban environment. Thankfully it was a great day as the rain held off and cameras clicked.

The tour began along Flinders Street and the contrasting architecture of old in St.Pauls Cathedral and the new dynamic shapes within Federation Square. We explored the street art and lane ways beginning with Hosier Lane followed by China Town, State Library and finally Royal Arcade. There is always so much to capture in these walks and doing them again independently is encouraged as each new day brings its own new light and happenings. This photo I believe captures the enthusiasm of this group even at the end of the day of lots of walking. Stay tuned for the edited results!

Paula Andreovski

Visual Arts Faculty

In the zoo

On a wet and stormy Wednesday, Miss Martin’s incredibly talented Year 10 VCD class pulled their raincoats on and headed to the Royal Melbourne Zoo for a day of observational drawing activities. 

The students explored the Zoo in groups, took photos of various animals and drew from direct observation and the shots they had taken. The butterfly enclosure was very popular and a safe haven from the freezing winds. Students sat in the sun and the lovely insects fluttered about and landed on arms and heads -  to everyone's amazement.

Drawing moving creatures was quite challenging but overall, a great day was had by all and we ended up with some fantastic drawings to complement our classroom learning!

Christine Martin

Visual Arts Faculty

Photo: Strings, Wine and Cheese evening

Encore! A musical feast

Photo: Strings, Wine and Cheese evening

A busy time for our skillful musicians

It’s been a busy and exciting few weeks for Northcote High School musicians.


Big Band Boogie was an evening of jazz and big band music from our Stage Bands. The night also included a set from year 12 students Theo Carbo, Callum McKinnon-Mintzis, Joshua Torcasio and Saro Blaikie with special guest drummer, Darren Farrugia.


Strings, Wine and Cheese highlighted the talents of our three Strings ensembles and Chamber Orchestra. VCE Music students, KJ Rotunno and James Rex performed music from their end of year program. Special guest musicians Sarah Busuttil and Silas Palmer entertained the audience with upbeat and energetic gypsy and folk music.

Our ensembles have also participated in a range of competitions over the past few weeks.


Highlights include:

Senior Stage Band- gold award Essentially Ellington Competition

Symphonic Band- silver award Victorian Schools Music Festival

Trombone quartet- 3rd place Royal South Street Competitions

Concert Band- bronze award Victorian Schools Music Festival

Junior Choir- bronze award Victorian Schools Music Festival

Intermediate Strings- fourth place Royal South Street Competitions


Well done to all our talented musicians.


Jackie Brogan

Head of Music

Front page news: Sister Act

As we highlighted in the last newsletter, sisters KJ and Patrizia Rotunno are among the Northcote students performing in the State Schools' Spectacular. They were featured recently on the front page of the Northcote Leader: here's a photo in case you missed it!


STEM in action

Women in STEM@ RMIT

 Students from NHS recently spent a day exploring technology, science and engineering at RMIT University. See their experiences here:

Invitation: Design and engineering on the move: the present & future of the automotive industry

Northcote High School would like to invite you all to a special evening as part of Design and Technology Week.


Get inside industry insight from two speakers into what is happening now and in the future of the Automotive industry in Australia.


Learn about what transport will look like in the future and what the study and career opportunities for you are in this rapidly evolving sector, especially in research and development. 


You will also find out more about the progressive approach to Design and Technology education at Northcote High School.





Peter Murphy and Rohan Bevan, Northcote High School / DATTA Vic / DATTA Australia

Greg Maratos, Society of Automotive Engineers – Australasia

Marc Johnson, Senior Designer, Ford Asian Pacific, Lecturer in Mobility Design at Monash University


There will also be representatives from several major universities in Victoria


Tuesday 17th October

6pm - 8pm

Northcote High School Design Hub

Free: register via

Light refreshments will be provided.

Photo: Kiarash Nikoo: Outstanding Award Prize

Higher order

Photo: Kiarash Nikoo: Outstanding Award Prize

Maths Competition success

Year 11 student Kiarash Nikoo has won an Outstanding Award prize in the University of Melbourne Mathematics Competition. This is a very challenging three-hour test on problem solving and mathematical proofs.


Northcote High School has also had great success in the Australian Mathematics Competition. Zara Baglioni, Matthew Santoro and Patrick Kingham of Year 7 have all achieved a High Distinction, placing them in the top 1% of students who participated.


Over 180 students from Years 7 to 11 sat the competition and 58 students achieved a Distinction, placing them in the top 20%.


Congratulations to all and a big thank you to Nathan Clisby of Melbourne University who has been working on higher order problem solving with a group of our senior Mathematics students.


Michael Waiser

Head of Mathematics

Photo: George McEncroe in action

Comedy was back!

Photo: George McEncroe in action

A fabulous community night

We enjoyed a fabulous night of community making last Thursday at Thornbury Theatre - 400 families, friends and staff joined in the good times at the Comedy Night, embracing the laughs and the brilliant line up. Dave O’Neil knew his audience so well, lampooning 'Northcote-speak'; Damian Callinan was a fantastic MC and 'Wine Bluff' - he and Paul Calleja yet again crowned a Northcote parent 'wine wanker' of the night. George McEnroe had us in stitches with her tales of parenting; Jodie J Hill's sharp observations drew plenty of laughs; as did Claire Hooper's dry wit and dark humour. Dilruk Jayasinha exploded cultural myths with great hilarity; and Tripod closed the night in true style with their witty songs and banter.


Parents, friends and staff alike had plenty of fun and raised over $20,000 for developing Northcote High ‘spaces’ internal and external...



A big thank you to the Events and Fundraising Committee for their hard work on a brilliant event, plus Kate Challis, Katie Marshall and Jocelyn Hill.  Huge appreciation also to the very generous parents and community members who donated prizes to our raffle and silent auction (our winners were thrilled) and to all who attended and made the event special.

'Westgarth' at Westgarth: student filmmakers premiere film

Congratulations Ollie and Oliver

World Premiere: 7:00pm, Tuesday 12 September 2017
Westgarth Cinema, High St, Westgarth

The first surprise in the gritty new black comedy Westgarth is that there is neither a hipster
nor a slow-drip Southern Columbian single bean short black in sight.

In fact this Westgarth - filmed on location in Westgarth but set in the fictional town of
Westgarth - is peopled with thugs and hit men, and rather than being a ‘foodie’s paradise’,
food comes off a clear second best in this Westgarth (it is not a film for those who enjoy their
steak and onions).

The second surprise is that Westgarth is the first feature-length film by two young filmmakers
Oliver Bailey and Oliver Crawford-Smith, Year 12 and 11 students.  The
pair have been making films together since they were nine years old, and already their short
films have been shown and been awarded prizes in festivals and competitions including
Tropfest Jr (in three consecutive years), New York New Filmmakers Festival, London Short
Pole Film Festival, St Kilda Film Festival, Sunshine Short Film Festival and the Adelaide
International Youth Film Festival.

Frank Simmons is a hapless young hit man under the watchful eye of Marvin, an old hand at
the game. Things go horribly wrong when Frank not only hits the wrong target, but the wrong
target turns out to be the son of the notorious Big Bob, who doesn’t take the loss of his son
lightly. In what follows, a finger becomes separated from an old woman’s hand, a McDonald’s
milkshake becomes ‘separated’, and the film ends with a shoot up worthy of Tarantino.
This black comedy pays homage to the films that these young filmmakers grew up watching
together and features a cast of professional and amateur actors as well as an evocative
Melbourne soundtrack with music by Saskwatch, Paul Kelly, and others.
Westgarth is receiving its premiere screening at the Westgarth Cinema, High St Westgarth, on
Tuesday 12 September, in a special event that will see the launch of the careers of two
promising young filmmakers who we are likely to see a lot more from in years to come.


Westgarth trailers:

Useful information: Child Safe standards

NHS Child Safe Code of Conduct

Northcote High School has a Child Safe Code of Conduct which applies to all staff, volunteers, council members and parents and outlines the principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children. The school actively works to protect children, empower them, and provide a safe and inclusive learning environment. The Northcote High School policy can be found on our website:

Green tips to save water

Sustainability tip of the fortnight

We hope you have been enjoying our fortnightly sustainability tips, brought to you our student environmental group: The Green Team.  They are committed to enhancing the sustainability of the Northcote High School community, and to spreading awareness of the simple actions that can help to preserve our planet. Here is the third in the series.

Saving water around the home

There are so many simple ways to reduce water consumption around your home, which will benefit both the environment and save you money. Installing water tanks to reuse grey water is the best way to save on water, but other easy and cheap options include:

  1. Take shorter showers and use water-efficient shower heads
  2. Make sure you turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
  3. Ensure you have dual-flush toilets installed
  4. Use white goods with high water efficiency ratings
  5. Fill your sink to wash dishes rather than letting the tap run, or only scrape food off dishes before putting them into a dishwasher
  6. Check pipes/taps for leaks often, and fix any issues quickly
  7. Only water the garden when it really needs it, and ideally reuse water use in the bathroom/kitchen for this purpose (e.g. keep a bucket in the sink to save the water that runs while waiting for the water to turn hot)
  8. Sweep paths and drives rather than hosing them down whenever possible
  9. Wash cars and bikes in the yard if possible so the water runoff going into the garden not down the drain.


Using all of these tips in your house could easily halve your overall water consumption.


For more information see:

Photo: Half moon through our telescope

Terrific telescope: next viewing

Photo: Half moon through our telescope

See the night sky

Our terrific telescope will be set up in the courtyard near D13 on

  • Tuesday 10th October from 7.45pm to 9.00pm*

Students, teachers and families all welcome.

Bring your cameras, phones and ipads to take some of your own photos of the Moon!

For more information please see Ms Hutchens.


*Weather permitting. If it is a cloudy evening we will reschedule.

Community notices

Notification of works on Merri Creek bike path

City West Water are currently undertaking a large water main renewal in Rushall Reserve, North Fitzroy.

To complete the works we will be closing a section of the Merri Creek Trail between Holden Street and the Koonda Lat Bridge. Please see the attached for further details.


Merri Creek Trail reconstruction works


Graduation dinner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 12 students and families



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Social Netball


Schoool holiday music program

A Northcote parent runs a school holiday music program in Brunswick called "Girls Rock! Melbourne", aimed at encouraging girls and female-identifying 10-17 year olds to learn, play and perform music.


The program offers full-scholarship places, as well as reduced and full-fee places and our next week long program is in the September school holidays. See attached flyer for more information.


Come n

Want to try something new this Summer?


The Fitzroy Baseball Club are hosting their Annual Come n Try Day on Saturday 9 September, giving kids (big & small) the chance to try baseball and/or t-ball for the first time. 



The day is completely free and all equipment for new players will be provided.


For more information or to ask questions, visit their Facebook event via

Come 'n'

Holy Trinity Cricket Club are now recruiting for girls aged 10-18. See attached flyer for details.


Cricket for boys and girls

Register now for the 2017/18 Cricket season with Clifton Hill Cricket Club. Seeking players of all ages. See flyer attached.


Opportunity: WEP student exchange

Are you interested in an overseas exchange, or hosting an exchange student? See attached flyer for details or visit


Northcote High School Newsletter
Key dates 2017.pdf
Webinar Link VTAC for Parents and the Community.pdf
VTAC CHECKLIST_Sep 1, 2017.pdf
SNAP flyer.pdf
Own Journey - Careers Network.docx
GRM-SEPT-A4-FLYER (2) (1) (1).pdf
Come and try cricket PDF (1).pdf
Play cricket with CHCC teen.pdf
NoW_MerriCreekTrail_Reconstruction_A4_Final (3).pdf
NHS Summer uniform.pdf