Our MFG Newsletter

12 February 2017
Issue One
Important Dates
Principal's Report
Meet the Team
Learning @MFG
What's On @ MFG
Matthew Flinders GSC
03 4243 0500
Lt Ryrie St
Geelong, Vic, 3220

Important Dates

Parent Calendar Dates - Semester One


























Principal's Report


Hello everyone and welcome to the 2017 school year at MFG.


On our first assembly this year we had Norm Stanley and Corinna Eccles officially welcome the school community to Wathaurong Country. Norm played the didgeridoo and Corinna played the sticks and spoke about her ancestry and connection to the Wathaurong peoples.


I talked about the importance of the connections we have with the custodians of the land and that we as a school should not only respect but also seek to understand our Aboriginal peoples and their culture.

I noted that we will be sourcing the seed and planting three native trees that are used in smoking ceremonies in Victoria.

They are:

Wattle which represents the Elders of a clan.  Wattle is a really important plant for Aboriginal people. They use the whole plant - the seeds, bark, gum and wood.

Red River Gum which represents the adults of the clan. It is the most dominant tree in Australia.

Cherry Ballart Tree which represents the children of the clan. It is a parasitic tree, which means it lives off the nutrients of other trees.

Aboriginal peoples use the smoking ceremony to offer access to the land. When different groups of Aboriginal peoples met they would first have a smoking ceremony before holding any important meetings or social events. It is an important sign of respect for the visitors as well as for the local people.

As a school we would like to plant and grow these trees so that they can be used in future smoking ceremonies conducted by the local Wathaurong peoples.


At the Assembly, we also formally greeted our new students, staff and parents/carers and reminded them that our first assembly symbolises our welcome of them into our school community.


Our new community members were welcomed with these words:

“You are accepted for who you are, just as you are. You need to know that your ideas, questions and contributions to our school will be valued by everyone. This is our expectation of each other as the sisterhood at MFG – that we accept each other (we are inclusive) and look out for each other (we are supportive). In addition, we strive to have our own original ideas, pose thoughtful and intelligent questions and be creative in our thinking (we are innovative). Inclusive, supportive, innovative. “

Year 7 Parent Evening

Year 7 Information Session

Thursday, 16th February 2017

From 4:00pm - 5:00 pm 


New Year 7 parents and carers are invited to come to school to meet the other parents in your child’s Home Group and her teachers. In addition, we will show you how to access information on Compass.


Please put the date in your diary. There will be more information coming about this session.

Later Years Evening

There will be a Years 10 – 12 Parent/Carer information evening on Wednesday 22 February at 6 pm.  This evening will assist parents and carers and students to understand how to be successful in VCE.


More information will come in an email home, but please keep the date free.

Leadership 2017


Staff News

The following staff are new in 2017. We welcome them to our school community.


Jacquie Watson (Science)


Chris Collins (Maths/EAL/English)

Annie Mullen-Walsh (English & Literacy)


Rob Dunne (English/Literacy)


Helen Purnell (Mathematics/Science)

Zak Constable (ICT Technician)

Tammy Hanson (Learning Mentor)



We also welcome back staff members returning from leave:  Margot Cameron, Christine Fagan and Rose Maloney.


The following staff are on leave in term 1: Marg Macauley, Bruce Bauer, Kirsty Forsyth and Ross Kalla.


Ann Mitchell has changed roles and now assisting students in a Learning Mentor role, not in the wellbeing role. It has been wonderful to have Ann supporting some of our students and their learning in class this past week.

Year 7 and their start of school

Our Year 7s students have embraced their first few days enthusiastically. It was wonderful to see them in their new uniforms and so willing to be inclusive and supportive of each other.


Moving to Secondary school can be exciting for some; others are worried for all sorts of reasons and some students are rather laid back about the whole thing! One child may actually have all of these emotions in one day, perhaps even half an hour! Parents, too, may be feeling these emotions especially when it is your first child in Secondary school.  This is perfectly normal and I encourage you to talk about this with your child at home and over their first few weeks of school.


This parenting information site has some ideas that you might find helpful: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/secondary_school.html/context/1126

Year 12s Day 1

Day 1 for Year 12 was an ‘UBER’ day. The students established the traits they wish to promote in each other this year:

  • Unity
  • Balance
  • Encouragement
  • Resilience

They also had visits and advice from past students and from teachers regarding the rules and regulations around VCE/VCAL and how to achieve their best in 2017. Feedback from the students included: “Yeah, the day way great, it was fun!”, “It was a good way to start and to get united as a group”  and “I now know I have to put in a consistent effort all year.”

School Attendance

One focus for 2017 is student attendance. The impact of student absence affects not only that particular student, but the learning of the rest of the class and the teachers who try to help students when they return to school.

I would like to draw your attention to the following excerpt of the Attendance Policy.


At VCE and VCAL we have a very strict attendance policy, part of which is included below:


Excerpt from the MFG VCE /VCAL Attendance Policy


Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College students are expected to attend ALL timetabled classes and remain at school all day. Students are not to leave the school during the day unless they have approval.


The total attendance for a Unit of Study is an important factor in determining satisfactory completion of the Unit. All VCE/VCAL Units require 50 hours of class time. The school has set an attendance requirement that means if students accumulate 10 periods of unapproved absences in a semester they will be unable to satisfactorily meet the unit requirements. This means that if unapproved absences exceed 10 for any unit, then an N (Not Satisfactory) result is the school policy.


Unapproved absences (e.g. not explained by a doctor’s certificate) may result in a disciplinary consequence as well as contributing to an unsatisfactory result.

Excessive unapproved absences of more than 5 days consecutively will be referred to the Department of Education and Training.  This may put Centrelink/Youth Allowance payments at risk.


Approved reasons for absences are:

  • Medical certificate (to be provided within 5 business days to General Office)

  • Bereavement–House Leader must be informed in writing within 5 days. 

  • School choice–anything (School activities including school sports representation) approved by the House Leader prior to absence. A Later Years (Year 10-12) Approved Absence Form must be completed.
  • Religious/Cultural Observance–One day only and House Leader to be informed in writing within 5 days.

Unapproved reasons for absences from classes are described as:

  • Illness–Parent Approval without a medical certificate

  • Parent Choice unauthorised - E.g. visiting relatives, going shopping, missed the bus,
 family matters,
religious/cultural observance (if more than one day), driving lessons/license/permit tests, extended holidays (Year 11 & 12 students), concerts, Deb Ball preparation or being a carer for a relative without appropriate documentation.
  • School Refusal/Truancy

Absences are to be explained upon return to school (approved) by a medical certificate ONLY.


It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that absences are approved. All absences are recorded as unapproved until an acceptable explanation is received. Parents will be notified by phone and/or letter when students accumulate 3 or more days of unexplained absence.


Attendance data for students and parents is available and can be monitored by staff, students and parents in real time. Parents need to log onto the system via their details that have been provided when enrolling.

Students should also make it their responsibility to seek out work missed during their absence; where an absence is known in advance students should inform their House Leader and their class teachers so that work may be obtained for the known absence.


Class teachers will contact students who accumulate 5 unapproved absences in any unit per semester.  The teacher will inform the House Leader and a meeting will be convened between the parent, student, classroom teacher and House Leader.

When a student accumulates 8 unapproved absences, the classroom teacher of the unit will again make contact with the student and parent in writing.


When the student has accumulated 10 unapproved absences the classroom teacher will contact the student and parent in writing and explain the consequence of an N result.


Where a student fails to meet the attendance requirements over a number of units, they will be required to meet with one of the Assistant Principals, their House leader where their enrolment and pathway will be reviewed.


The Principal has the option of making a discretionary decision regarding a student’s attendance, enrolment and pathway, within this process.

Medical Alerts

If you have a child with a particular medical alert, please contact the Administration Office to update any details and medicines that may be needed.


At Secondary school we set strict cut off dates for payments for excursion and camps. This is so we know if we are able to run an excursion/camp or not and then to plan for the staffing of the event.  Because teachers are teaching across year levels, this is much more complicated than in Primary School.


As a result, we adhere very strictly to the cut off dates. However, we want to also be supportive of parents/carers who may have particular circumstances that make payments by due dates challenging.  If you will have difficulty making payments please contact the Manager of  School Services, Chelsea Bright, to discuss possible support options and flexible payment arrangements before the cut-off date.  Any information about your financial circumstances, payment arrangements or status will be kept strictly confidential.


You can speak to Chelsea by calling  (03) 4243 0500 or contact her by email: [email protected].


There is also a range of support options available, including:

  • Access to State Schools' Relief Committee support (for clothing/uniforms).
  • The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF), which provides payments for eligible students to attend camps, sports and excursions.

Please contact the office for further information on eligibility and for application forms.


Please also note: If your child is absent due to illness and not at school to hand in forms and the payment, please ring the school before the cut-off date to organise alternative arrangements.

Contact Details

Your initial point of contact should always be with the Home Group teacher or classroom teacher. You can access their email addresses easily through Compass.


The Home Group teacher may inform the House Leader of a particular concern. The following people are House Leaders this year:


Lipson (Red) – Jenny Gibson   [email protected]


Freeman (Green) – Bryce Baumgarten   [email protected]


Beachley (Gold) – Julie McNamara   [email protected]


Gilmore (Blue) – Stuart Myers   [email protected]

Improved MFG Security

To keep staff and students safe as possible, we will be closing and locking areas of the school that have previously been walk-ways/through-ways/paths/doors.
Please note the following changes:

Our Myers Street Doors will be closed and students and staff will need to enter at the gates near the lights or from Fenwick Street (at all times)

  • The gate into the school from the car park on Latrobe Terrace will be locked (after 9:00 am)
  • The door near the main site Common/Staff Room will remain locked (at all times)
  • The front gate will be locked (after 9:00 am)
  • The gate near the garden will be locked (after 9:00 am)


Please note that all students in the new uniform need to wear their blazers to and from school when the advertised temperature is below 25 degrees.


On Compass in the new items is a copy of the uniform requirements set by School Council. We ask for your support and request that you ensure your child comes to school in the correct uniform each day.

Buildings update

At the end of last term a group of staff, parents and students met with the architects to begin discussions around the use of funding allocated by the State Government for our school. This year will be a Master Planning Year, with the aim of commencing building/refurbishment in January 2018.


As part of the rebuilding process, our Helen Fraser site was identified as a suitable location for a stadium and for outside sports facilities. This may or may not be part of the initial building works, but it will form part of the Master Plan.

Student Leaders 2017

We have a large student leadership team again this year. Here are the student leaders and their roles for 2017.



Michelle Crofts, Principal

Meet the Team



Principal - Michelle Crofts

I was asked on the holidays how I liked being the Principal of “Matthew Flinders Girls” and my response was:


I love it! The students and the staff are great. They all just get on with learning, really. The staff are dedicated, hard-working and, most of all, they want what is best for our students. As teachers we are quite blessed as we can focus on our teaching and how to keep improving what we do in the classroom.


Inevitably the second question was: “So how is it working in an all-girls school?”

My answer to this was:

It did not take long to realize how important it is for girls to have an option of an all girls’ school. I have never seen girls able to be themselves and to learn and play in such a way as they can at MFG. I love that they are able to challenge societal stereotypes and are encouraged to do so by our staff.


This is my fourth year as the Principal of Matthew Flinders Girls and I can honestly say that it keeps getting better and better. I am honoured to be the Principal of our school and very proud of the students who leave our community as strong, independent young women willing to embrace life and wanting to make a difference in the world.


This year as a school community we are focussing on expanding and consolidating the initiatives already started: refining our curriculum, encouraging greater school attendance, addressing wellbeing challenges such as anxiety, improving the literacy and numeracy levels of our students, building our House culture, celebrating the excellent work of our staff and students, improving links with parents and carers and further developing our STEAM initiatives.


Michele Crofts

Assistant Principal - Damien Toussaint

This is my fourth year at Matthew Flinders Girls and last year was a particularly memorable one for my kids (Daniel and Sage) and I as you can tell by this photo!


I live in Melbourne, play keyboards in a rock band and play hockey for Footscray Hockey Club. One of my main roles is to oversee our curriculum and its development, how we teach it and support our teachers with their endeavours to make learning engaging, challenging and relevant. This extends to overseeing how we assess what we teach and how we communicate this to students and parents and carers through our feedback and reporting. I work closely with Joy Carr and Simon Collier and we form the ‘Teaching and Learning Team’. This year all schools in Victoria will be teaching, assessing and reporting on the Victorian Curriculum and we’re particularly excited by the inclusion of the General Capabilities, like Critical and Creative thinking and Ethical understanding, which will be taught in and through the subjects we offer.


We’re also keen to improve how we use Compass, our online learning and communication platform, so that students, parents and carers feel they know what’s going on across our wonderful school and in our classrooms.


You can contact me at school or via email at [email protected]


Damien Toussaint

Assistant Principal - Fiona Taylor

Welcome back to the 2017 school year.  I am always very proud to be an Assistant Principal at Matthew Flinders Girls and have thoroughly immersed myself in the college community in this role for the past 9 years.


Personalising learning and developing curriculum for all students irrespective of their starting point is a passion of mine and area of expertise.  As an educator, I am excited in 2017 about using critical thinking and problem solving in student centered pedagogical approaches as ways to prepare students for success in their future world.

I am also excited about leading a restructured approach to deliver a safe and supportive learning environment for all our students so they can to the best of their ability achieve their goals with their learning.


Another focus with my leadership this year will be on school attendance and the habits of our community in the importance of our students attending school regularly.


Other aspects to my leadership at Matthew Flinders Girls and to our local network and state include chairing the Geelong Operation Newstart Board and being an executive board member of School Sport Victoria.


Outside of school, I enjoy keeping physically active and committed to my 5.30AM group training sessions.  I am also heavily involved in the leadership of South Barwon Football Netball Club and elite junior pathways in sport for adolescents in a range of sports.


Please do not hesitate to contact me here at the College if I can support your student in anyway at the college in 2017.


Fiona Taylor

[email protected]



Leader of Student Engagement - Jeremy Dyson

I’m Jeremy Dyson, the Leader of Student Engagement for 2017.


I have been at MFG for the past 8 years and I enjoyed working as part of this vibrant learning community. I teach Outdoor and Physical Education and love getting out and about with our students!


In my role this year, I will be working closely with the wonderful house leaders at the college, Julie McNamara (Beachley), Bryce Baumgarten (Freeman), Stuart Myers (Gilmore) and Jenny Gibson (Lipson), to ensure students are getting the most out of their school experience.


One of our big goals for 2017 is to ensure that student attendance is improved so that educational opportunities for our students can be maximised.  


If you have any questions, ideas or thoughts feel free to call the school or email me: [email protected]


Leader of Safe & Supportive Culture - Kellie Walker

My name is Kellie Walker and I am so excited to be the Safe and Supportive Learning Team Leader at Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College.


I would like to introduce you to our multidisciplinary team...

Robyn Cameron - Program for Students with Disabilities Leader


Amanda Patterson - School Nurse


Jenny Eastwood - Pastoral Care


Sian Pritchard (Pritchard Consulting) - Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Psychiatry/Drug and Alcohol


Rob Dunne - Classroom Teacher, Wellbeing and Literacy Support


Alanna Johnson - Speech Pathologist


Kerry Buckland - Learning Mentor


Ashlea O'Keefe - Learning Mentor


Colleen Rowe - Learning Mentor


Tammy Hanson - Learning Mentor


Jo Masek - Learning Mentor


Ann Mitchell - Learning Mentor and Manager of Support Services


We are located in the ‘Old Building’ in the new Safe and Supportive Learning Hub, where we will be working together closely, to ensure the learning and social and emotional needs of all of our students are met with care and the utmost respect. 


Carl Rogers’ ‘Unconditional Positive Regard’ theory underpins all interactions with our students.  Our team embodies this theory by consistently treating students kindly, genuinely, respectfully and with complete acceptance.  We recognise that learning and wellbeing go hand in hand and look forward to supporting our students and teaching colleagues in 2017.


Working in a multi-disciplinary way, our team will strive to ensure that all of our students at Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College feel that they belong, have robust and trusting relationships, experience success both with their learning in the classroom context, and socially and emotionally and that they see the connection between how their competence grows with the effort they put in and the support they receive.


We are looking forward to working with our students, colleagues, parents and carers and wider community to deliver on the school’s Key Improvement Strategies for our team. 


Please feel free to contact myself, or any member of our team at any time. 

[email protected]


Kellie Walker and the Safe and Supportive Learning Team


Leader of Student, Staff & Parent / Carer Learning - Joy Carr

Hello to all families of MFG students. I hope that everyone has coped with their first week of school which has meant finding uniforms, buying new stationery and being creative with packing lunch boxes.


I would like to introduce myself as one of the members of the MFG Leadership Team this year. My name is Joy Carr and am the Leader of Student, Staff and Parent/Carer Learning, which is abbreviated to PLC Leader. One of the foci of this role is to continue to build strong connections between the key players of the MFG community.

Keeping communication channels open between parents/carers and the staff of MFG is essential. To kick start this communication in term one, we invite all parents/carers of year 7 students to a Welcome Session on Thursday February 16th between 4 and 5pm. This will be a great opportunity to meet one another and for families to learn how to use our online learning platform called Compass. This is an efficient medium for communication as we try to navigate our busy daily lives.

Lots of communication will come your way through newsletters, social media, emails, Compass, hard copy information letters, phone calls, interviews and personal chats. Please embrace these opportunities to be informed and to inform us, so that we can all be an effective team in progressing your child’s learning.  


If you have any questions, ideas or thoughts feel free to call the school or email me: [email protected]

Leader of STEAM Initiatives (Maths & Science LAL) - Joanne Toone

Welcome back everyone.  My name is Jo Toone and I am very proud to be the Leader of STEAM initiatives at Matthew Flinders Girls.


STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths and my role is to build on, and develop further, the fantastic learning we already have occurring at MFG in these areas.  STEAM is about solving practical problems that requires a range of knowledge from different subject areas.


I will be working very closely with the Math and Science teaching teams as well as with Arts and Technology teachers.  We all want to make learning more fun and engaging while providing our students opportunities to use content knowledge and skills in ways that are practical and applicable to the real work, just like they would if they were out in the workforce. We need critical thinkers, problem solvers and creative minds.


I am especially looking forward to leading the development of a band new STEAM program.   What this might look like and how it might work are all still up in the air!


If you have any ideas, thoughts or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the school or email me. [email protected]

Leader of Curriculum Initiatives and Effective Teaching in Every Classroom (Technology LAL & SEALP) - Simon Collier 


My Name is Simon Collier and my roles this year include:  

  • Leader of Curriculum Initiatives and Effective Teaching in Every Classroom

  • Leader of the Technology Learning Area

  • SEALP (Select Entry Accelerated Learning Program) Leader

I am looking forward to working with our staff and students as a collaborative team this year to ensure that the School’s Strategic Plan (SSP) is fully implemented.  


My focus is to lead our transition to the Victorian Curriculum and the development of an exciting and challenging curriculum at MFG for all students.  Across the college staff will focus on designing learning programs that will have a focus on learning capabilities with feedback that provides students with advice for improvement and success. Our first stage in this process is to document and map the school curriculum at a whole school level, grade/year level, curriculum level and unit/task level.


I look forward to sharing this work with students and parents throughout the year and will be seeking feedback and input as we equip our students for their future.  


 If you have any questions, ideas or thoughts feel free to call the school or email me: [email protected]






Learning @MFG

Making your children’s thinking ‘visible’: A few tips for Parents and Carers

  1. Develop a growth mindset.

A belief that intelligence and the ability to grow and develop over time - as opposed to something that is fixed and set - encourages greater risk taking, collaboration, enjoyment of challenge, long-term development, and continuous achievement in all types of learning endeavours (Carol Dweck, 2006). Develop a growth mindset in your child by focusing your praise on process, learning, and effort (You really worked hard on this and have learned a lot. You did a great job of developing a plan and following it through. You’ve really developed as a musician.), as opposed to ability (You’re so clever. Look how smart you are; you did that so fast. You’ve got a lot of talent).


You can support this change in mindset through the language we use. Here are some possible options to replace the fixed mindset:

2. Challenge but don’t rescue.


We learn a lot from making mistakes, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, and taking risks to try new things. Regularly encountering challenges, mistakes, and failure builds a growth mindset and develops intellectual resilience. When your child encounters difficulties, don’t jump in to solve the problem and rescue her. Instead, ask questions that will help her to think through the problem, identify, and choose a course of action for moving forward.


3. What questions did you ask today?


Our questions drive us as learners. When Isidor I.Rabi won the Nobel Prize in physics, he was asked, ''Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer or businessman, like the other immigrant kids in your neighborhood?'' He replied, ''My mother made me a scientist without ever intending it. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: 'So? Did you learn anything today?' But not my mother. She always asked me a different question. 'Izzy,' she would say, 'did you ask a good question today?' That difference - asking good questions - made me become a scientist!''


© Ron Ritchhart, 2012


When your daughter gets home from school, ask her ‘What good questions did you ask today?’        


I shared this article with some new parents at the end of 2016. It’s a very interesting read about that got me thinking about the other kinds of questions parents and carers can ask their children each day after school…




Term 1 2017 Student-Parent-Teacher Learning Conferences

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences will be held on Tuesday 7h March between 12pm and 7pm on the Main Campus of the College. There will be no classes in the morning and your child is expected to attend the Conference with you.


Teachers will be having a short break between 2 and 2.15pm and a dinner break between 4.30 to 5.15pm so please do not bookings during these times. Information about this event will be posted through Compass and emailed to parents during the next couple of weeks.


There will be an information session about how to make a booking using Compass in the Multi-Purpose Room on the Main Campus on Monday February 27th between 5.30pm and 6.30pm in the Multipurpose Room. This session is especially aimed at parents of new Year 7 students but it will also give other parents an opportunity to ask specific questions relating to Compass and cover other topics likes how to view interim/progress reports and Learning Tasks, how to approve a student absence and some other features of Compass.


If you have tried to log into the Compass portal and are having difficulty please contact our ICT Technicians at school on 4243 0500. New parents and carers will receive information about Compass soon.  


Compass: Push Notifications on phone


Compass now offers an additional communication method to email, print and SMS. Push Notifications allow you to send communications to iPhones, iPads and Android devices, with the Compass App installed.


Please note that only individuals who have installed the iOS or Android “Compass School Manager” native application and who have allowed notifications will receive these Push Notifications. If you would like to receive push notifications to your mobile device, please download the app and allow notifications.


Android users can download the app on Google Play and iPhone and iPad users can download the app from the App Store.

Digital Technologies and Coding at MFG

The new Victorian curriculum which is being implemented in government and Catholic schools this year, including Matthew Flinders Girls, includes a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.


One of the new learning areas, Digital Technologies, focuses on developing students’ computational skills and their thought processes in order to unravel problems, and then design and generate digital solutions.


We are proud that we have been offering an exciting Digital Technologies as an elective for two years now. In 2017, all of our Year 7 students will learn about Digital Technologies and our Year 9 students can study it as an elective.


The Labor Government is investing $125 million to create 10 Tech Schools (one in Geelong at the Gordon) which will provide a shared campus for students from neighbouring secondary schools in Geelong and the Bellarine to access leading edge technology and resources for STEM subjects.




The Victorian Curriculum and the General Capabilities





This year all schools officially implement the Victorian Curriculum. Our teachers have been using the Victorian Curriculum during 2016 to develop units of learning and learning experiences 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 are currently unpacking these capabilities, auditing where we are already teaching these and looking for possibilities for new directions and ways of teaching the understandings, skills and knowledge related to these areas.

Victorian Virtual Learning Network (VVLN) 2017

The 2017 Victorian Virtual Learning Network community is made up of 8 subject teachers;11 different VCE units; 46 schools around Victoria; 190 students studying at least one VCE subject with the VVLN. We have had a number of our students studying through the VVLN since 2015. This community enables our students to study some subjects online, with a dedicated teacher who they communicate with through Skype, that we do not offer at MFG or where class sizes are too small to enable a class to run.


Our involvement with the Victorian Virtual Learning Network continues into 2017 with a group of our students studying VCE Units through the VVLN.

  • Unit 1-2 Physics = 4 students
  • Unit 3-4 Physics = 4 students
  • Unit 1-2 Spec Maths = 1 student
  • Unit 3-4 Spec = 2 students
  • Unit 3-4 Legal Studies = 4 students
  • Unit 1-2 Maths Methods = 1 student
  • Unit 3-4 Maths Methods = 1 student

Emma, one of our VVLN students, is also part of the VVLN’s promotional material!

Thinking Routines: a special kind of classroom routine

Teachers use different kinds of routines in their classrooms to guide and structure the learning for their students. Classroom routines tend to be explicit and goal-driven in nature. Their adoption usually represents a deliberate choice on the part of the teacher. Rather than emerging over time, classroom routines are more likely to be designed and taught overtly.

Thinking routines are simple structures, for example a set of questions or a short sequence of steps, that can be used across various year levels and subjects/content. What makes them routines is that they get used over and over again in the classroom so that they become part of the fabric of classroom' culture. The routines become the ways in which students go about the process of learning.


What makes these routines work to promote the development of a students’ thinking and the classroom culture are that each routine:

  • Is goal oriented in that it targets specific types of thinking
  • Gets used over and over again in the classroom
  • Consists of only a few steps
  • Is easy to learn and teach
  • Is easy to support when students are engaged in the routine
  • Can be used across a variety of context
  • Can be used by the group or by the individual

At that beginning of each of my Year 11 English classes, the start of the lesson involves the ‘daily edit’ – the ‘Why routine’. This involves me writing a sentence on the board that contains some spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. The students spend the first minutes of the class, in pairs, editing the sentence and then I randomly ask my students for their edits.


What’s important about this routine is that it through my active questioning, it teaches the students a simple routine about providing answers and explanation. I convey to them how they need to talk about this particular task as well as my expectations for them. When I ask students for their edits, I begin to take a very slight pause, allowing students to jump in with their reasons on their own. Often students respond readily, but when I sense the justifications are not forthcoming, I prompt the student, “Why is that?”


As the weeks progress, more and more students take on the “why?” routine themselves.



Damien Toussaint, Assistant Principal, Learning and Teaching


What's On @ MFG

Year 10 French Breakfast

In December 2016 the Year 10 French class sampled an array of French culinary delicacies at an end-of-year French breakfast. Students spoke French and enjoyed croissants, baguettes, brioches, French jams and spreads, pâté and a host of different French cheeses before being surprised with snails in garlic butter! Miam miam!


Arthur Reed Art Acquisition Recipient - Chloe Durran 

Other Winners:


2016 Principal Art Award Acquisition recipient​ - Chloe Collins

Niesha Hunter @ Earthwatch Student Challenge in SA

At the end of last year Niesha joined high school students from around Australia to participate in an Earthwatch Student Challenge, Ecosystems of the Murray River, in South Australia.  Niesha participated in scientific fieldwork which has motivated and inspired her to become an environmental leader and appreciate the ecological issues facing the planet.  Her fieldwork methods included pitfall traps, zoological surveys and remote cameras.


“From the 11th until the 17th of December I participated in the Earthwatch Student Challenge in South Australia. We got to set up and check traps, where we then collect data and helped scientists analyse the annual variation and trends in small mammals and reptiles. We also got to catch and analyse bats and assess tree health.  My favourite part of the whole experience was meeting like-minded people from all across Australia and getting to meet such amazing scientists. I would definitely recommend taking any opportunities you are given because you can learn so much!”


World Challenge - December 2016 - Cambodia & Vietnam

On behalf of the whole team (22 students and 2 staff)…


Megan Kaiser


Vietnam and Cambodia was a life changing experience!

We were privileged enough to travel through the beautiful temples of Angkor Wat, visit local communities, trek through a variety of terrain and immerse ourselves in new cultural environments. A major highlight of our expedition was volunteering at a Children’s Village in Cambodia. We were there for a total of five days, where we provided manual labour assistance and taught English to both the students and parents. Being able to play and interact with children was both inspiring and heartwarming.

Overall, having the opportunity to experience and engage in an exciting cultural environment was absolutely incredible.


Cait Reynolds


World Challenge.

Sounds pretty self explanatory, right?


World Challenge to me was more than the challenge itself. It was growth, leadership, support and love. It contained all sorts of amazing views, everything from sunsets over our campsites that would blow your mind, to laying back in the middle of the jungle, staring at all the stars in the sky that would just make us think to ourselves "how lucky are we".


It was an amazing experience, and I am sure any one of us lucky girls would gladly take part again if given the chance. We would like to thank everyone who helped support us through the 18 months of preparation. Thank you.


Reunion Island - My Exchange Experience

Sarah with some Sarda Garriga friends


My time in Reunion was incredible, an experience I will never forget. Although I was only there for a little less than two months I made so many new friends and so many unforgettable memories. I loved going to school especially because its so different to Matthew Flinders and just talking to new people, everyone was so lovely and being patient with me when I didn’t quite understand something which was very nice of them.  


My host family was just sensational, always helping me with my French, taking me all over the island, going shopping, to the movies and just being so sweet and caring. I consider them to be my second family. I cannot thank them enough.


During my stay I visited all kinds of stunning places like le Maïdo, le Bassin Bleu, Cascade Niagara (4 times), phenomenal restaurants (best food ever!) and Salazie is just breathtaking, I wish I had mountain ranges like that near me.


I am so thankful for staff of Sarda Garriga especially Monsieur Saïd who also kindly organised an interview with a journalist on my last day, Madame Cailleret, and Madame Pascalis for helping me with my French and making me feel more than welcome and as well as all the staff and teachers at Matthew Flinders, especially Monsieur Keast and Ms Crofts for making this all possible.


I would highly recommend going to Reunion for an exchange. I had the most amazing time and I really hope I am able to go back some time in the future


Welcome to Senior VCAL!

By Isla Connelly 12F


The Senior VCAL team are already busy with our first project of the new year. I’ve talked to Ms Kylie Howarth (Senior VCAL Literacy teacher) about what's happening in the classroom as well as what the MFG community should look out for in 2017.


What kind of things will Senior VCAL be doing this year?


Term one is centred around our participation in Relay For Life. This will be going across the term with lots of fundraising opportunities for students to participate in, helping to raise money for a great cause.  Over the next week or so, groups from our class will be going to home rooms to talk about some research we have completed around cancer and to explain a bit more about what Relay for Life is.  Our major fundraiser for this will be our huge bake sale on the 20th of March.


Term two will be focused on a school community project with more details to come. Towards the end of the term we will begin plans for our annual Pop-Up Market, which will be held in Term three on Parent Teacher interview day.


Given that people tend to say that VCAL is the easy option, what is your response to that?


VCAL is an alternative program for year 11 and 12 students who wish to head straight into the workforce instead of a tertiary education. It’s about gaining practical skills and experiences that prepare students to succeed in the workplace. It is definitely not the ‘easy option’, it is an alternate pathway to completing senior secondary school.


What can the rest of the MFG community look out for from our class?


There will be plenty of opportunities for the rest of the school to show their support this year, with fundraising activities and our bake sale for Relay for Life in term one to our pop- up market in term three.


Over the next few weeks all of our class will begin to head out to SBAs, VET programs and work placements on Wednesdays 1pm to 5pm and Friday's 9am to 5pm. We have students doing a variety of courses such as Childcare and Patisserie. Many students had to go out and organise their work placements themselves, which has been quite a challenge for some.


We would appreciate every single bit of support from the MFG community and we look forward to a great year.


Bake sale: 30th March


Relay for life: 1st - 2nd April (First weekend of the holidays)


Pop- Up Market: 22nd August (Parent-Teacher Interviews)

Year 7 ALP


A Rose By Any Other Name …….


The Year 7 Accelerated Learners have been investigating the history, development and use of the compass rose in our unit on Mapping.


Here are some interesting fun facts that they discovered:

  • North, south, east and west are known as CARDINAL POINTS
  • The main points in between these are ORDINAL POINTS
  • It is called a compass rose because of the ornate embellishments that often appear on the compass
  • A good way to remember where the points are located is to use the following mnemonic – Never Eat Soggy Weetbix
  • There are 32 points on a standard compass, so there actually is more than

The students then went out into the yard armed with colorful pieces of chalk and created their own compass roses along the footpath running north to south near Latrobe Terrace.


MFG Swimming Carnival Tuesday 14th Feb 2017.

Students are expected at school at the start of the day to have their period 1 rolls marked before walking down to Kardinia Pool. They will be returning back to school for presentations and will be dismissed at 3.11pm.


Being that it is Valentines Day the house captains have decided to make the dress up theme ‘Love is in the air’.

If students intend to dress up then we would recommend wearing bathers under their costume so that they can compete and earn points for their house. They should also try to match costumes to their house colour.


Students have been warned that body paint, streamers, coloured zinc, and balloons are not permitted.


We hope all students attend this wonderful sporting event even if their intentions are not to swim.

Trials are conducted in the morning with the main carnival beginning around 12pm. Best of luck to all competitors on the day.


Mr Lehmann.

Leader of Sport.



Geelong Girls Footy

Geelong Amateurs Football & Netball Club have girls footy teams starting this year. If you are interested in playing footy they have an U12s, U15s and U19s team. If you want to give it a go THURSDAY 16th February everyone is welcome at Queens Park (150 Queens Park Road, Highton)!

Modewarre Football Club Youth Girls 2017


Australian Rules Football is the fastest growing sport for girls and women in Australia. Girls are able to participate from Auskick right through into open age competitions. In fact there are a number of former Modewarre girls who are playing in senior women’s football teams, including the newly formed State Women’s competition. There are Regional, State and National competitions in girls’ football that your daughter could be involved in. Your child could be playing for an AFL team in a competition aligned to these clubs in a few years time!

Football is an amazing sport for girls.


Modewarre Youth Girls formed 7 years ago with their home club being Modewarre Football Club at Moriac.

The girls train twice a week focusing on skills, fitness and game strategies. Modewarre Youth girls have played in the Grand final for the past four seasons.


Players must attend at least one training session per week or be training with a registered football club if distance is an issue. Training starts in February on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 – 6.30pm.

Games are played on Sunday mornings from April to August with a final series and grand final.


We are now recruiting for season 2016.

No football experience is necessary, just a positive attitude and a desire to play football. Your daughter will have access to top level coaching and mentoring at a family oriented, supportive club.


If you are interested in playing or require more information, please contact Julie McNamara (Level 2 AFL coach):

[email protected]



Check out this information:



**Transport to training from Geelong can be arranged for Wednesday sessions


Moolap Tennis - Interested in giving tennis a try?


New Nurse Practitioner - Sian Pritchard

As part of Matthew Flinders Girls’ whole school approach to student support, we are pleased to advise you of a new service available to our students.


As of the 15th February we will have a nurse practitioner that attends on a Wednesday.  A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse educated to a Masters degree level and authorised to function autonomously and collaboratively in an advanced and extended clinical role.  She is independent to our school yet uses our facilities, minimising travel time and time out of class.


Ms Sian Pritchard has extensive experience working with people who experience serious mental illness and or drug/alcohol issues.  Her passion is working with youth and she has an impressive history working in a senior position at Barwon Health JIGSAW Youth Mental Health Team for a number of years.  Sian also has experience working with people experiencing eating disorders.


In accordance with Nurse Practitioner extensions to practice, Sian is able to:


  • Work in partnership with your GP or Specialist e.g. Psychiatrist
  • Conduct advanced mental health assessments leading to diagnosis and treatment planning
  • Refer to specialists
  • Prescribe and monitor medications
  • Order and evaluate diagnostic investigations
  • Issue medical certificates


A fee for students is $75 after the initial session, which is bulk billed.  A rebate of $49.80 will be returned after lodging with Medicare.   Sometimes Sian will also will be able to source funding to cover the cost.  For example with support to access a mental health plan.


If this is a service that you believe might benefit your child, please feel free to contact Jenny Eastwood or Kellie Walker in the Safe and Supportive Learning Hub.

Conveyance Allowance Reminder - Proof of Purchase

Familes that have applied for Conveyance Allowance must do the following to make a claim:

  • Purchase a yearly or half yearly travel pass
  • Complete a Conveyance Allowance Application Form
  • Give a photocopy of receipt for yearly or half yearly travel pass; or
  • Bring the student’s pass to the office to be photocopied as proof of purchase


If you do not present this information to the office we are unable to claim your conveyance.


If you have any question regarding this information please feel free to contact Leanne Goodwin – Bus Coordinator on 4243 0504.

Important Changes For Students Using Public Transport

  • From 1 January 2017, we renamed the Victorian Public Transport Concession Card (VPTCC) to PTV School Student ID
  • From 30 January 2017, we increased the age limit for a Child myki concession to 18 years.

The application process and purpose of the ID haven’t changed.  You can download the form at ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/fares/concession/students or call 1800 800 007 to place an order.


As you’re aware, we can’t accept school issued student ID cards for travel in public transport.  This is because many ID cards issued by schools have varying information and no expiry date.


Child myki


From 30 January 2017, the child age range will change to 5 to 18 years inclusive.

This means students can use a Child myki until they’re 18, up from 16.  If a student has a Concession myki they can continue to use this, it gives them the same concession fare as a Child myki.


When in school uniform students won’t be asked proof of age.  However, when not in school uniform, 17 and 18 year olds may be asked to verify their eligibility to travel on a Child myki.


Authorised Officers will accept the following proof of age IDs:

Myki Registration


We strongly recommend that students register their myki online at ptv.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 800 007.  These are the benefits:

  • The myki’s balance is protected if it’s reported lost or stolen.  If a myki isn’t registered, students can’t recover the remaining value of their card.
  • Students can manage their myki online and set Auto Top Up.

For more information on student concessions and passes go to ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/fares/concession/students

Our MFG Newsletter
Parent Calendar 2017 Sem 1.pdf