Our School Newsletter

25 November 2016
Issue Ten
Important Dates
Principal's Report
Learning @MFG
What's On @ MFG
 
Matthew Flinders GSC
03 4243 0500
Lt Ryrie St
Geelong, Vic, 3220
AU

Important Dates

Friday November 25, 2016

Year 8 – 12 Early Commencement Program (ECP) continues

World Challenge expedition continues

Unit 1 and 3 Studio Arts students to VCE Art Expo at Deakin University

Unit 1 and 3 VCD students to Geelong Arts’ Precinct

Saturday November 26, 2016

World Challenge expedition continues

Sweethearts @ Queenscliff Music Festival

Sunday November 27, 2016

World Challenge expedition continues

Monday November 28, 2016

World Challenge expedition continues

Year 8 – 12 Early Commencement Program (ECP) continues

Tuesday November 29, 2016

World Challenge expedition continues

Year 8 – 12 Early Commencement Program (ECP) continues

Selected students to Victorian Garden Awards

Wednesday November 30, 2016

World Challenge expedition continues

Year 8 – 12 Early Commencement Program (ECP) continues

Unit 1 and 3 VCD students to Geelong Arts’ Precinct

Thursday December 1, 2016

World Challenge expedition continues

Year 8 – 12 Early Commencement Program (ECP) continues

2017 Year 7 Homegroup interviews

Selected students to Peer Support luncheon

Sweethearts @ Cherry Bar

Friday December 2, 2016

World Challenge expedition continues

Year 8 – 12 Early Commencement Program (ECP) continues; last day of program for 2017 Year 11 and 12 students

2017 Year 7 Homegroup interviews

Buildings and Grounds meeting

Principal's Report

Principal’s Report

In her concession speech after the US Presidential election, Hillary Clinton commented, “And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”  This one sentence encapsulates for me the reason why our school is so important.

When people ask me, “Why Matthew Flinders Girls – why an all girls’ school?”  I always reply that I can’t speak for other girls’ schools, but certainly at Matthew Flinders Girls our students know they have the freedom to “be themselves” without having to try to impress anyone. I also add that our staff members strive to encourage our girls to know that they are indeed “valuable and powerful” and that they are “deserving of every opportunity” we can give them in the world “to pursue and achieve [their] dreams’.

 

Student News

Congratulations to Brynnie Rafe who won first prize ($500 for her and $500 for our school!) at the La Trobe Young Writers’ Awards – for her story ‘All The Way Up’.  Her story is attached to this newsletter.

http://www.latrobe.edu.au/outreach/assc-outreach/humanities/english-and-literature/young-writers-awards/winning-entries-2016

To end their secondary schooling, our Year 12 students had a formal assembly on Monday 17 October, followed by a day of celebration on Tuesday 18 October. They had a terrific day dressing up, dancing and travelling down memory lane. They decorated the Open Area with bras and a sign saying, “Thanks for your support”; the bras have now been donated to a worthy cause! We thank the Year 12 students and our staff for a safe, creative and fun day.

Our Year 12 students have completed their VCE exams now and are looking forward to their Valedictory Dinner.

 

Celebration/Awards Evening

This year our Celebration/Awards Evening will be held at The Pier in Geelong on 14 December from 6:30 pm for a 7:00 pm start.  (We normally hold it at Deakin University’s Costa Hall, however, they did not have an available booking at the right time this year).  This year we will have our Art Exhibition and Music Concert performances the same evening as part of a whole school end of year celebration. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come along. There will be more information about this evening in emails and on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Matthew-Flinders-Girls-Secondary-College-1493827064239613/

 

Architects

We have now selected the architects who will work with us to develop a Master Plan which utilises the 7.8 million dollars made available to us from the State Government. Our architects are the award-winning group Baldasso Cortese: http://www.bcarch.net/

At the moment the architects are conducting a site analysis and testing of the buildings. Most of 2017 will be spent consulting with the school community, developing a Master Plan and selecting a builder.

 

Office Relocation in 2017

In 2017 the General Office and first aid room on the Main Campus will move to the buildings near the garden that face onto Fenwick Street. We will set up a small short term parking area for parents and carers who would like to access the General Office. The General Office on Helen Fraser will be closed, so all parents/carers will need to use the Fenwick Street Office for administration, to collect sick children or to meet teaching staff. This is just a temporary move but one that should help parents/carers and the community access the General Office area more easily.

 

Michelle Crofts

Principal

Learning @MFG

The Victorian Curriculum (VC)

http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/

Next year all schools officially implement the Victorian Curriculum. Our teachers have been busy using the Victorian Curriculum to develop units of learning for 2016 and 2017 that reflect the Victorian Curriculum priorities and achievement standards.

The General Capabilities feature a new direction for learning with the introduction of Ethical Understanding and Intercultural Understanding. Our Curriculum Committee is currently unpacking these capabilities, auditing where we are already teaching them and looking for possibilities for new directions and ways of teaching the understandings, skills and knowledge related to these areas.

Early Commencement Program (ECP)

In 2013, we introduced an ‘Early Commencement Program’ for all students in Years 7 to 11.  An Early Commencement Program means that students will move into the next year level for the final two to three weeks of classes in Term 4, 2016.  For example, our current Year 7 classes will move into their Year 8 classes and start the Year 8 learning program.

Prior to 2013, the ECP was only for students commencing a VCE subject. This year the ECP will run for three weeks for students moving into Years 8, 9, 10 and 2 weeks for students moving into Years 11 and 12.

The reasons for having a 2-3 week ECP include:

  • To improve learning outcomes for VCE students and go beyond an ‘introduction’ to VCE
  • Provide engaging, purposeful and meaningful learning programs and transition for Middle Years students until the end of the school year
  • To provide a learning program that addresses the ‘wind-down’ usually associated with the end of the school year
  • To provide equal value to the Middle and Later Years Programs in terms of student preparation, transition and staffing.

The ECP gives every student an opportunity to make a smooth transition into the next level of learning. This includes the completion of at least one main assessment task which gives each student an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding, knowledge and skills developed during the ECP. The feedback we collected from the students in 2015 about their ECP experiences was very positive and students generally felt it was a worthwhile and beneficial program. In 2017 we will be moving towards a 2 week ECP for all students.

On Monday 21st November 2016 our students will start the Early Commencement Program (ECP) where they will begin their learning for the 2017 school year. The students will be in their 2017 classes with their 2017 teachers (as best as we can ensure).  For the students moving into Years 11 and 12, their ECP ends on Friday 2nd December.  The ECP ends for the students moving into Years 8, 9 and 10 on Thursday 8th December. This will be followed by an Activities Day for students in Years 8, 9 and 10 on Friday 9th December.

A list of the ECP ‘Units’ and the main assessment task for each subject and year level has been communicated to all families and students.

Magazine 2016

Our College Magazine is a colourful snapshot of life and learning at MFG.

This year’s College Magazine will be printed during the summer holidays and available for students, staff and parents in the first week of Term 1, 2017.  Below is a sneak preview (cover and back cover only). The cover artwork was created by our students during MADD Day.

 

Emergency Management

We are required to complete a number of Emergency Management drills each year. During Term 4, we will be conducting an off-site evacuation.

Our off-site evacuation location is Johnstone Park.

Our College’s Emergency Management Plan (Community Version) is available on Compass/School Documentation/Emergency Management.

We will communicate with our school community after the drill is complete.

Year 10 exams

Our Year 10 students have just completed their first formal exams this semester.

These exams ran alongside the Unit 2 exams and were followed by an opportunity for our Year 10 students to reflect on their exam experience in class.

One of the main focuses of the Year 10 exam experience is to build their capacity as ‘assessors’ – that is, use the exam reflection time to encourage them to assess their exam, analyse their performance (eg errors they made) and reflect on areas for improvement.

We will be asking our Year 10 students for some feedback about their exam experiences. Many thanks to our parents and carers who supported their children with their preparation for the exams.

Brynnie Rafe wins Young Writers’ Award

I had the pleasure of attending the final of the La Trobe Young Writers’ Awards a few weeks ago. Brynnie Rafe won first prize ($500 for her and $500 for our school) – for her story ‘All The Way Up’.

http://www.latrobe.edu.au/outreach/assc-outreach/humanities/english-and-literature/young-writers-awards/winning-entries-2016

Thanks to Ms Kerry Haddon for advertising the Award in the newsletter – that’s how Brynnie found out about it.  Her winning story will be published in our 2016 College Magazine.

TAASS/SEAL Accreditation – Selected Accelerated Learning Program

TAASS/SEAL Accreditation – Selected Accelerated Learning Program

We have maintained our accreditation for another four years as a SEAL school, as part of The Academy of Accredited SEAL Schools (TAASS).  

The Academy of Accredited SEAL Schools (TAASS) is a collective of like-minded schools that strongly value Gifted Education in Victorian Government secondary schools. SEAL Academy schools offer engaging accelerated programs for their groups of gifted and talented students. They meet regularly to share and learn from each others' experiences of their gifted education programs. SEAL Academy schools offer their teaching staff an extensive professional development program in Gifted Education, and, through their networks, are able to source outstanding educators for their programs.

What is SEAL?

Victorian Government secondary schools have been operating specific programs at authorised schools for gifted students since 1980. These have been known as Select Entry Accelerated Learning (SEAL) schools. The Academy of Accredited SEAL Schools (TAASS) has been established to maintain this tradition to enable groups of like-minded students to develop academically, socially and emotionally.

Why accreditation?

The Department of Education in Victoria ceased accreditation of SEAL schools in 2014. Since then, the SEAL Academy has implemented its own accreditation scheme. SEAL Academy schools seek accreditation every three years by undergoing a thorough review process undertaken by independent educators. This ensures that parents and students can have confidence that SEAL Academy schools provide quality and leading edge programs to their group of gifted students.

Remembrance Day Service, November 11

We reflected on those Australians who have died in war at a whole school assembly on November 11.  Our Middle Years’ Captains organised the service and Martina Kirillidis (Yr 11) played a moving rendition of ‘The Last Post’ and ‘The Rouse’ as part of the service.

I read an excerpt from Paul Keating’s 1993 speech and encouraged our students to reflect on his message:

“But, in honouring our war dead, as we always have and as we do today, we declare that this is not true.

The Unknown Soldier honours the memory of all those men and women who laid down their lives for Australia.

His tomb is a reminder of what we have lost in war and what we have gained.

We have lost more than 100,000 lives, and with them all their love of this country and all their hope and energy.

We have gained a legend: a story of bravery and sacrifice and, with it, a deeper faith in ourselves and our democracy, and a deeper understanding of what it means to be Australian.

It is not too much to hope, therefore, that this Unknown Australian Soldier might continue to serve his country - he might enshrine a nation's love of peace and remind us that in the sacrifice of the men and women whose names are recorded here there is faith enough for all of us.”

http://theconversation.com/australias-unknown-soldier-a-powerful-symbol-of-loss-and-faith-39685

 

Damien Toussaint, Assistant Principal, Learning and Teaching

What's On @ MFG

Year 8 Softball Team

Huge congratulations to the Year 8 softball team who fought hard to finish runners up at the Western Metropolitan Region finals on a sunny Friday 4th November.

 

They were outclassed by Sunbury, but remained competitive and valiant in defeat. They can still boast about their success, as they are the 2016 Geelong Champions and are looking forward to having another crack at the WMR competition next year. 

 

Co-coaches Carr and Lehmann

 

Model United Nations Hub Day at Deakin University.

On Wednesday November 2nd the Year 8 students from ALP Humanities participated in a model United Nations hub day with other SEALP students from Belmont High School. The purpose of the day was to bring students together to discuss the issue of health and nutrition and vote on the draft resolution for the proposed strategies to end world hunger and achieve global food security by 2030.

 

In the lead up to the event, the students learned about the history, objectives and current millennium development goals of the United Nations and were required to prepare a position paper on ‘health and nutrition’ of the UN member state they were representing.

 

They had been somewhat anxious in the build up to the day, not knowing what to expect, however, their fears and doubts were soon cast aside after they delivered their position papers with conviction and were able to walk away with renewed confidence.

 

It was fantastic to see so many of our students being thoughtful and active participants during the discussion of the draft resolution. They were articulate and mature with their line of questioning and responses to other students’ questions. At times the discussion became controversial, but our students maintained their composure and continued to deliver compelling arguments and stand up for what they believe in.

 

Event organiser and leader of SEALP at Belmont High School, Mark Dooley, commented on the calibre and compassion of our students and how passionate they had been throughout the entire day.

 

On the bus back home, the students were abuzz and were expressing how much they had enjoyed themselves. The day was successful in that it provided the students with a positive and meaningful learning experience and a strong sense of accomplishment overall.

 

It was a pleasure to see such empowered and captivating young women representing MFG and I can only hope the event will take place in following years.

 

Ms Leticia Nguyen

 

MFG at Geelong Show

Our talented members of the performance group ‘Syncopated Seasons’ recently played at the Geelong Show.  They delighted crowds and represented our school with pride.

 

Well done to all members of the group and to their wonderful teacher,

 

 

Ms Cheryl Durongpisitkul.