NGSC Newsletter

09 June 2017
Issue Eight
North Geelong Secondary College
03 5240 5800
130 Separation Street
North Geelong, Victoria, 3215


Key Dates

JUNE 12         Queens Birthday (Public Holiday)

JUNE 5-16     Yr 7-12 exams 

JUNE 16         Assessment & Reporting Day

                          (Student Free Day)

JUNE 14         GAT Exam

JUNE 27         Year 7 Immunisations

JUNE 30         Last Day Term 2 (Early Finish)

JULY 18          Year 11 & 12 Student/Parent/Teacher                              Interviews  4pm - 6.30pm

JULY 24-28    Yr 10 Careers Week

JULY 26           Information Night - Yr 11 2018

AUG 17           Curriculum Day (Student Free) 

Mr Nicholas Adamou


Closer to the end of the first Semester

Please note that as we move closer to the conclusion of second term and end of Semester One the following will be occurring.

  • Interim reports will be posted on line by Tuesday 13 June
  • Semester reports are currently being prepared and will be posted on line by the end of this Term
  • Teachers will be finalising reports on Friday June 16 and students are not required at school on this day.

Following the posting of semester reports, parents will have the opportunity to contact teachers on a needs basis to discuss progress and planning for the second half of the year.  Some of the parents have already met with school Key Stakeholders; Sub School Leaders, Careers Team, Year level Coordinators and Principal Class Officers in relation to planning and setting goals for Semester 2.


As we come to the end of the first semester of the 2017 academic year, I take this opportunity to celebrate with you the achievements of our students and staff. None of this can occur without the hard work and effort of the staff (teaching and non-teaching) who work diligently, plan and organise the learning & teaching that takes place on a daily basis within our vibrant college community. As I scan through the past newsletters, I can’t help being extremely proud of the personal qualities and achievements of our students this semester.


Our students have achieved outstanding curriculum results and participated in numerous extra-curricular activities. They had many opportunities to demonstrate our school values Respect, Excellence, Achievement & Diversity, within the school and the wider community, during camps, fundraising activities, sporting events, visits to and from other schools.  School and self-pride are central to everything our students undertake. 

Semester 2 begins on Tuesday 13 June

Semester 2 timetable begins on Monday 19 June. Please note that this is two weeks before the end of Term 2. This is a VCAA guideline.  

Show me how it’s done!

An interesting piece of research suggests that we learn very effectively when we have people show us how to perform a task and involve us directly in it. Anyone trying to connect the IPod or iPad to the flat screen TV set will also agree that it is often much more effective to have someone show you how to do that, than to decipher the manual yourself.


Parents/Guardians and in particular mothers, model this mode of teaching by showing their children how to do a myriad of things as they are growing up.


At our school, it is important to provide students with a range of “ways of learning” and to have outside experts, teachers and students act as mentors and role-models to help students see “how it’s done” – this is a great and powerful tool.

In particular, opportunities for younger students to see older great role models such as Year 11 and 12 students are a real feature of our school. Also the school’s partnership with Deakin University, Building on Aspiration to enhance achievement and widen future success, providing University students mentoring and role modelling some of our Year 8 students is another program that places strong emphasis on “Show me How it’s Done”.  These university students work with a selected group of Year 8 students who learn more effectively by others showing them how. NGSC school's culture and learning community mindset allow this to occur naturally and it is such an asset in developing confident, capable young adults, young adults who are ready to be useful, employable global citizens. Also the Year 12/Teacher mentoring program is in its second successful year.


Currently, our Student Leaders (School Captains & SRC) are enjoying the role of modelling to the rest of the student body through many extracurricular activities, such as; performing arts, song and dance, organising sporting events, coaching junior sporting teams, taking the lead in school environmental issues.


North Geelong Secondary College as a Learning Community - What Is a Professional Learning Community?

“Richard DuFour”

The idea of improving schools by developing professional learning communities is currently in vogue. People use this term to describe every imaginable combination of individuals with an interest in education—a grade-level teaching team, a school committee, a high school department, an entire school district, a state department of education, a national professional organization, and so on. In fact, the term has been used so ubiquitously that it is in danger of losing all meaning.


The professional learning community model has now reached a critical juncture, one well known to those who have witnessed the fate of other well-intentioned school reform efforts. In this all-too-familiar cycle, initial enthusiasm gives way to confusion about the fundamental concepts driving the initiative, followed by inevitable implementation problems, the conclusion that the reform has failed to bring about the desired results, abandonment of the reform, and the launch of a new search for the next promising initiative. Another reform movement has come and gone, reinforcing the conventional education wisdom that promises, “This too shall pass.”

The movement to develop professional learning communities can avoid this cycle, but only if educators reflect critically on the concept's merits. What are the “big ideas” that represent the core principles of professional learning communities? How do these principles guide schools' efforts to sustain the professional learning community model until it becomes deeply embedded in the culture of the school?


NGSC Learning Communities ensure that:

Students Learn - The professional learning community model flows from the assumption that the core mission of formal education is not simply to ensure that students are taught but to ensure that they learn. This simple shift—from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning—has profound implications to our school community


There is a teacher Culture of Collaboration Educators who are building a professional learning community recognize that they must work together to achieve their collective purpose of learning for all. Therefore, they create structures to promote a collaborative culture. The school’s PLC (Professional Learning Communities) model lends itself to provide time and to groups of teachers to work together in a systematic process analysing and improving their classroom practice.


There is A Focus on Results (data) Professional learning communities judge their effectiveness on the basis of results/data. Working together to improve student achievement becomes the routine work of everyone in the school. Every teacher team participates in an ongoing process of identifying the current level of student achievement, establishing a goal to improve the current level, working together to achieve that goal, and providing periodic evidence of progress.



Framework for Improving Student Outcomes

The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes uses the latest research on student learning and global best-practice to assist our school community to focus our efforts on key areas that are known to have the greatest impact on school improvement.


​​​The Framework has four components: an improvement model with four state-wide priorities, six evidence-based initiatives to focus improvement efforts, performance measures aligned with the Education State targets, and a cycle for continuous improvement. It has been developed to dramatically increase the focus on student learning in schools.​​ ​​


Key education stake holders such as principals, school leaders, teachers, students, parents, regional staff and policy-makers work together to create better outcomes for our students. As an evidence-based, practical resource, the Framework helps our school community to implement its four state-wide school improvement priorities.


Whilst we welcome and encourage parents to attend the school for a wide range of reasons, it is important that all visits to the school come through our front office. Parents, guardians and visitors to the school are not to go directly to other areas of the school including different wings, classrooms or the technical support office. Our office staff welcomes will handle all parent and visitor enquiries and make the appropriate arrangements for you. Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.


Student accident insurance, ambulance cover arrangements and private property brought to schools

Parents and Guardians are reminded that the Department does not provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students.


Parents and guardians of students, who do not have student accident insurance/ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including the cost of ambulance attendance/transport and any other transport costs. 


In some circumstances, medical or other expenses will be paid by the Department where it is assessed that it is likely, in all the circumstances, that the Department is liable for negligent (careless) acts or omissions of its staff/volunteers. 


Student accident insurance/ambulance cover policies are available from some commercial insurers, and can be obtained by school councils on a whole-of-school basis, or by parents/guardians for individual students. 


Private property brought to school by students, staff or visitors is not insured and the Department does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage.


Mrs Julie Andrews, Mr Paul Dawson & Mr Bradley Headlam


The Years 7 to 11s are now in the middle of their exams, next week will see the 11 and 12s completing their exams.  All exams will be completed in the gym due to the numbers of students taking exams at NGSC. With the assistance of heaters this environment was not only warm but also provided a comfortable space for students to complete their exams and extra area for supervisors to move around and actively supervise.


The majority of the students are to be congratulated on the diligence and preparation they have shown during the exam period.  One of the most pleasing aspects of the exam period was the maturity shown by the Year 10s.  They have really stepped up and will be better prepared for exams in Year 11 and 12.


The Year 9s completed exams in Maths, English, Humanities and Science for the first time.  Again it was pleasing to see the seriousness with which the exams were taken by the Year 9 students.

The Year 7 and 8 students will complete an exam in English and Maths.  The Year 7 to 9 S.E.A.L. classes also completed exams in five subjects and observations in the exam room indicated they were focused and engaged in the exams.  The exam process is designed to be a summative assessment of their understanding of the curriculum for the semester.  The school has scaffolded the exams to provide a step by step progression to prepare the students for the rigours of exams in their senior years of schooling. It allows the students to become more familiar with the exam environment and the strategies to prepare for these exams.


Next Wednesday will see the General Achievement Test (G.A.T.) for all students completing a Unit 3-4 VCE class.  It is a very important test that plays a role in the calculation of the student's A.T.A.R. scores at the end of the year.  It therefore very important that students endeavour to achieve as high a grade as possible.


Subject selections will occur in term 3 and will involve some big decisions to be made by Year 8, 9 and 10 students.  The school would like parents to be extensively involved in this process and assist their children in making subject choices that suit their career needs and interests.   A timeline is the process of currently being established that will assist in the organisation of a very important time for these students.  They need to make sure that their decisions are informed and they seek guidance from teachers, parents, potential employers.


The year 9 camp to Malsbury saw students challenged out of the comfort zone to experience the outdoors carrying all they needed in their backpacks. The spectacular setting was at the base of Melville’s caves and students squeezed through the gigantic rocks with their packs for a couple of days of hiking. At the end of each day they had to shed off their packs, set up tents, cook dinner in trangias and then partake in team building activities. The conduct of the students was exceptional and the most pleasing aspect was that by the end of the camp the students were using their initiative to contribute to the group activities willingly and positively and should be commended for their immersion in this camp.

Well done year 9!!


Year 10-12 Immunisations – Meningococcal

It is not too late!

Immunisation cards can still be returned to the school office up to 27 June. All cards are collected by Barwon Health Immunising Service. All Year 10-12 students must return the card even if the parent chooses ‘NO’ for this free immunisation. The scheduled date for this immunisation at NGSC is 11 September.


Most students would have had a meningococcal vaccine when they were younger (most would have received it for free some would have had to pay prior to it becoming available on the schedule). This vaccine was for the meningococcal C strain.


The vaccine on offer now covers the A, C, W, Y strains which have not been offered before (this will give them a booster of the earlier vaccine if they received it).


We encourage all parents to take this opportunity (only available until Dec 31st 2017) to protect their children against this serious disease.

Year 7 Immunisations

The second round of the scheduled Year 7 Immunisations is to be held on Tuesday 27 June. This date can also be a catch up date for the first round in the immunisation schedule for those students who were absent on the day.


The Term 2, Week 8 progress reports will be available via Compass as of next week. This is the third progress report for 2017 and at this time of the year, these reports provide an indication of improvement across the six areas : Achievement progress, Homework completion, Positive participation in learning activities, Preparation and organisation to be ready to learn, Punctuality and Respectful attitude and behaviour.

Please discuss this report with your child and if there are any concerns contact the relevant Year Level Coordinator or Sub-school Manager.


The Semester 1 Academic Report will be available at the end of the term. This report provides information about your child’s progress against the Victorian Curriculum Achievement Standards in all subjects, Learning Task assessments and attendance per subject.


Taking a stance on resilience

Mr Adam Bond

Junior Sub School Manager 


Let’s think about what we, as teachers, teach at school. We teach our subjects of specialty such as Maths, Science, Humanities etc. but is the role of the teacher just to teach such content? I don’t think that anyone can argue the significance of these subjects. They are all imperative in the development of students to ensure that they can succeed in life after school. Our subjects prepare students with the skills to transition on to further studies as well as general day to day skills to succeed in life.


My experience as both a Student Manager and Student Wellbeing Coordinator tells me that we are also responsible for working with parents and carers to provide students with the opportunity to develop life skills. A key life skill that is never too far from the forefront of a teacher’s mind is that of resilience. It is because, as teachers, we can recognise that resilience is an area that many students may require further development. The new Victorian Curriculum also recognises the development of personal skills and it contains opportunities across a variety of disciplines and cross curricular learning.


All schools offer other experiences in their programs to build each child’s capacity in a range of personal attributes. These activities include: excursions and incursions, camps, leadership roles such as SRC, performing arts, and interschool sports teams. At NGSC we also have the HPV team, debating teams, Multicultural Football squad and Annual School Production.  Resilience plays a significant role in how each child manages the ‘ups and downs’ associated with group activities and especially when they are challenged out of their comfort zone, for example, singing in front of the school at assembly, taking the midnight drive in the 24 hour HPV race, being the chairperson at a meeting or attempting a high ropes challenge on camp.


Each activity or opportunity can be about being faced with new and challenging experiences, or consolidating understating and strategies that assist student in understanding themselves and the world around them.


Being ready for some experiences isn’t formed in the weeks leading up to the activity. It’s in years of education, a life’s exposure to challenges and problem solving. These skills can’t be taught by an Xbox or PlayStation in the confines of four walls. Encourage your children to talk through challenges and expose them to experiences that will challenge them without breaking them!


Resilience isn't about being an impenetrable fortress, it’s about being able to identify challenges, working through ways (as it may take more than one!) to overcome these challenges and then being able to put them behind you and move forward.


This is why the car windshield is always bigger than a rear-view mirror.


Next article: The challenges we face within the digital world.



Year 10 Preparation for 2018: Senior Years Expo.

Wednesday 26th July 6pm in the Language Centre.

Information will be provided on VCE, VCAL, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and School Based Apprenticeships. There will be subject displays and staff to consult about pathways.


All parents/carers and students are expected to attend in preparation for course planning.

9/10 News 

Mr Simon Scoullar

Middle Sub School Manager 


Currently the middle school is sitting their exams as we near the end of Semester One. Exams are a great way for students to gauge their progress and to inform teachers. Students are aware of their Semester Two subjects and it is always an exciting transitional time.


A big thank you to the year nines who attempted The Melville Caves Hike. Approximately forty year nines hiked for four days and three nights through the northern central Victorian plains. Students challenged themselves, carrying everything they needed and working together to complete the hike.


Careers week will be the second week of term three. This week is a great opportunity for year tens to really think about their desired pathway, get insight into subjects and the VCE/VCAL pathway we offer here at North Geelong Secondary College. Students are exposed to a number of informative sessions designed to equip students with the knowledge to make an informed choice. 


With the cooler weather please remember the College’s dress code. Hooded jumpers are not to be worn under the uniform and notes always need to be brought to school if there is a uniform issue. Can Parents please call The College for absences also.


Senior Sub School News

Ms Sarah Bridges

Senior Sub School Mananger


It is great to see so many young adults at school, in correct uniform, applying themselves to their studies and being a positive role model for the Junior and Middle school students at North Geelong Secondary College.


It is a busy time of the year with exams, end of unit assessment tasks, programs and activities. Students are encouraged to manage their time effectively, seek assistance from teachers and look after their eating and sleeping patterns.

Year 12 Graduation

The survey has been posted and is available for students to complete. It is important that we have accurate numbers and requirements. Please complete the survey by 16th June.

Year 11 Jackets

Any student wanting to upload a design for the 2018 jacket need to do so by 16th June. Votes will take place the following week and then pricing and orders will follow.

New Staffing Arrangements

Congratulations and good luck to Mr Smallman who has obtained a Leading Teacher Position at Wyndham Central College.  We welcome Ms McGrath to the senior team who will be joining the team as Year 12 Coordinator.


If you have any concerns regarding your student please contact the relevant YLC.



Ms Fran Forsyth

Sport Manager 


Congratulations to the following students who have qualified for the Western Metro Region Championships at Brimbank Park Keilor on Thursday 22nd June.  

7C       Jack Warelow              13 Yr Boys

10C    Sarah Kirby                    16 Yr Girls

11F    Cooper Ludlow             17-20 Yr Boys

11F     Vincenzo Francois       17-20 Yr Boys  



Results of the Barwon/Bellarine Cross Country at Eastern Park on Monday 29th May.

13 Yr Boys                  Jack Warelow         2nd

                                        Patrick Segar          21st

                                         Brock Bohal           52nd 

15 Yr Boys                    Sebastian Milla      31st

16 Yr Boys                    Sarah Kirby              16th

16 Yr Boys                     Paul Hassan            30th

17-20 Yr Boys               Cooper Ludlow      6th

                                           Vince Francois        14th


Paper Flowers Project Reflection

Lauren showed us how to make exquisite paper flowers. It took some time in the first morning.


We made the flowers for table arrangement for the teachers’ quiz night. We followed the plan and worked in pairs or in groups. We had 2 or 3 people in each group. In this way we could develop our Teamwork skills, Problem Solving, Planning and Organising, Initiative and Communication skills.


We felt very proud of ourselves that we had done an excellent job and also the teachers said that the arrangements were very professional. We hope you like our photos.


Bike Ed 

During this term EAL VCAL students have been helping out with Bike Education classes at Hendy St and Herne Hill Primary Schools. They attended as a group first of all, accompanied by Ms Elkin. After that, small groups attended and had to make their own way to the school. This activity formed part of a Personal Development Skills unit and was used as a means of developing independence and confidence in speaking in front of others. Developing teamwork skills was also another benefit from the activity. Students had to plan a presentation and deliver it to the primary school students. They will also be involved in conducting a Bike Challenge later in June.



Gift Card and Tag Making workshop

Card making allows kids to show their creative flair while having crafting fun! All these cards are easy and use basic materials. They range from simple print, fold and cut cards to pop-up cards, from thank you cards, birthday cards to Christmas cards.


Pick a piece of paper and have some fun! By the end of this workshop students will have learned paper crafting techniques and will be able to make greeting cards that are truly appreciated by those receiving them. There's no time like the present, so get started now!


Student Wellbeing is happy to run these workshops with all equipment and provide students with material to suit individual skill levels, learning styles. All students are welcome without any booking at the library Wednesday’s lunchtime.


Planning for a safe and supportive school.

Student Action Plan.

Start by creating a plan that works for you and your situation. This student action plan is an opportunity for you – either on your own or with your parents and teachers – to develop a strategy to change what’s happening to you or someone else. It’s your chance to make a difference.

The plan includes three steps:

  • Step 1: Describe the bullying that’s happening. Include dates, location, who is involved, and details of the behaviour.
  • Step 2: Describe what you would like done about it. Think about how the situation could be stopped or prevented.
  • Step 3: What steps can you take to make that happen? Include who could help, what they can do, and what you can do.

Remember, if you are being bullied, it is not your fault and it is never your responsibility to make it stop. However, it is important that you take action and learning to advocate for yourself is important! By thinking through a plan you will have a voice in the solution.

If you have any other interests in this area you can read more:


Tina Doyle, Georgie Hunter & Sefideh Agahzaman 

Student Wellbeing Team 

Refugee Week

Refugee Week is coming up on June 19th to 23rd and as part of our celebrations we are holding a whole school assembly on Monday 19th June at 11am. All parents and friends are welcome to attend. We are delighted to have guest speaker and slam poet Abe Nouk attending and running a workshop for select English classes to follow. Abe is a refugee himself who has used creative writing and poetry to share his story.


On Wednesday 21st June at 1.30pm there is a short Parents and Friends Association meeting followed by an afternoon tea hosted by the year 9 EAL transition class who will serve us while talking about their journeys. Please see attached flyer for more information.


Friday 23rd of June the year 9 students will view a performance from Western Edge following with the theme ‘With Courage Let Us All Combine’. Taken from the second verse of the national anthem, the theme celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home.


Multicultural Festival

While Multicultural Festival isn’t until Friday October 27th, we are now taking expressions of interest for stallholder and volunteers, please email Emily Dowling on for more information.

Community Culture and Connection Project

Selected students from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and Aboriginal background have been taking part in this project. They put in an application and were selected by a panel made up of people from North Geelong Secondary College, Northern Bay College, Wathaurong Cooperative, Diversitat and the City of Greater Geelong.


The CALD students have been mentored by Dani Salvo to create a bust made from clay, which has been painted and fired. The busts will be ‘connected’ with a mosaic pathway. The Aboriginal students have been engaged with the local area and will be creating some rock paintings.


The overall aim of the project is to create a ‘History of Country’ walk around the Deppler Lake, Wathaurong and Diversitat areas, connecting the ‘old’ inhabitants with the ‘new’ arrivals. Students will be exposed to various artistic techniques and will then be responsible for planning the installations to be in the area. The aim is to have students connect with the area and to be proud of what they have done. The project has been made possible with a grant from the Department of Justice and hard work from the people at the City of Greater Geelong.




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