Thornbury High News

01 March 2020
Issue One

Achieving            Engaging            Connecting 

Principal's Report
Key dates
Class of 2019
Year 7
Assessment and reporting
Library, Clubs & Activities
Camps + Trips
Pathways + Careers
Developing THS
School Information
Community Hub
Thornbury High School
03 9480 4066
238 Collins Street
Thornbury, Victoria, 3071

Principal's Report

Performing Arts and Sports Centre

The architects and builders kept their promise and we have had access to this fantastic new facility very early in the school year. Our Year 12s were the first to use the auditorium for their first day assembly and soon after we were able to start holding instrumental music and PE classes in the centre. There are some minor external works still to be completed and then the Minister for Education’s office will advise the school of a time to officially open the venue.

Year 7 Centre

Work continued over the holidays on upgrading the Year 7 Centre. It is close to completion now, with external planting still to come.

Kat Theophanous visit

Local MP Kat Theophanous and her advisor recently visited the school to meet with some of our senior female Science students and Head of Science, Lisa Pieropan, as part of International Day for Women and Girls in Science.


Afterwards I met with Kat and her advisor. Kat is still pushing hard for funding for stage 2 of our Masterplan, a state-of-the-art STEAM centre, but we also understand the current economic pressures on the state government given the resources that need to be directed towards the bushfire recovery, and the impact of the coronavirus.



I hope all families had a great break over the holidays and I look forward to seeing you all at Thornbury High School events throughout the year.


Michael Keenan


Key dates


Mon 2 Mar

Y8 Incursion p5


Wed 4 - Fri 6 Mar

Y7 Camp


Fri 6 Mar

Y8 Medieval Day


Mon 9 Mar

Public Holiday 


Tue 10 Mar

'Matilda' auditions begin


Wed 11 Mar

District Swimming Carnival


Thu 12 Mar

Y7-12 Softball

Open Night 7pm


Fri 13 Mar

Y9E-H Geography Excursion

Tue 17 Mar

Y9+10 Sport


Fri 27 Mar

Last day of term, students dismissed at 1:20pm





Looking Ahead

Tue 14 Apr  First day of term
Thu 16 Apr Parent-Teacher Interviews

Fri 1 May  Athletics Carnival

Wed 6 - Fri 8 May  Visual Arts Tasmania Tour

Tue 9 Jun  Y11 Exams commence

Thu 11 Jun  Y10 Exams commence

Mon 22 - Fri 26 Jun Y9 City School, Y10 Work Experience



Term Dates 2020

Term 1: 20 Jan - 27 Mar

Term 2: 14 Apr - 26 Jun

Term 3: 14 Jul - 18 Sep

Term 4: 5 Oct - 18 Dec 



Class of 2019

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2019!

Year 12 Graduation Evening provided the perfect setting to celebrate the success of the Class of 2019. Subject and specialist achievement awards were presented to winners from across the Senior School who have excelled in so many different areas of school life in 2019. In addition, all VCE and VCAL Graduation Certificates were presented by the school Principal Michael Keenan at The Ivanhoe Centre on the 18 December 2019, in what was a fantastic evening of celebration. 


We are extremely proud of the achievements of the graduating class of 2019. They have achieved the best results for a Year 12 cohort in Thornbury High School's history. There are so many impressive statistics around this cohorts results, including the school's overall VCE median study score reaching 31 for the first time. 



We are pleased to announce that Dhilan Vallury achieved the top ATAR score of 99.2, affording him the honour and title of Dux of Thornbury High School for 2019. Also special mention for Hannah Tillermuir who achieved a perfect study score of 50 in Psychology. 


Your achievements are not just the sum of these scores, and we applaud all your efforts during your time at Thornbury High. May the different paths you take in the next chapter of your lives bring you much happiness and success.


Year 7

Welcome to Year 7, 2020

The Year 7 students of 2020 arrived at school eagerly with their families on the morning of Wednesday 29 January. All students were dressed to impress with the new Thornbury High School uniforms and overfilled school bags. It was a busy day of moving into their new lockers, meeting their subject teachers and making many new friends. The first day of Year 7 was a raging success with students showing enthusiasm in all that they did.  

Fast forward a few weeks and our Year 7 students have successfully navigated a few challenges. Remembering locker combinations, navigating the many classrooms around the school and learning their teachers' names, they all managed to settle in quite seamlessly to high school life. 


Some of the highlights of the past four weeks of school have been spending lunch times in our Year 7 games room, our first year level assembly in the new auditorium, playing cricket, basketball, soccer and footy at lunch time and getting to know members of their forms groups. 


There are many more exciting times ahead for our Year 7 students including Year 7 camp in Bacchus Marsh at the renowned Lake Dewar Lodge.


We look forward to continuing to work with our Year 7s this year and watch them flourish and grow into successful and well rounded high school students. 


The Year 7 Team

Pieter Oosterloo, Ariana Magliozzi, Georgia Stavrakis


Assessment and reporting


In 2019 we undertook a review of our assessment and reporting processes.  After consultation with our community the following will be implemented in 2020:

  • Teacher written comments have been removed from all reports.

  • Year 7 - 10 compulsory assessment tasks (CATs) will continue to be reported via Compass.  Families will be given access to upcoming assessment tasks electronically and have access to teacher feedback on tasks.

  • VCE Unit 1 and 2 and intermediate VCAL outcomes and SACs will now be reported to families via Compass, allowing more up-to-date feedback on students’ progress.

  • Year 7 - 11 students will continue to receive an interim report at the end of Term 1 and 3 and summary report at the end of each semester.

  • VCE Unit 3 and 4 will continue to receive six-weekly progress reports.


Families are encouraged to communicate with their children’s teachers regarding classwork, homework and assessment tasks as needed.  Teachers typically provide feedback to students directly on to their work and families should access and discuss this with their children with a view to future improvement. 

If you have any questions about the updated assessment and reporting process, please contact me via email


Paul Mameghan

Assistant Principal



Science & STEAM 

Science and STEAM at Thornbury High School has once again started off with a bang! Many experiments have already been occurring in our classrooms and students have been enjoying activities which encompass all aspects of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). 

Our year 7 students have been eagerly learning how a science laboratory functions whilst engaging in fun inspiring activities, our year 8 students are busy learning about chemistry within our world and our year 9 students have been engaged in developing their understanding of electricity around us, through hair raising demonstrations using the Van der Graff generator. 



The Science faculty is once again calling for applications from students interested in attending the 2021 NASA tour. This will be the third time Thornbury High School has teamed up with Rosehill Secondary College and Buckley Park Secondary College to run this tour.  The tour will run from 10 April – 23 April 2021.

Contact Lisa Pieropan for more information.  

2020 STEAM Student Experiences

Across the year many extracurricular events and experiences are promoted to students wanting to expand their understanding of Science.  The following experiences may be of interest to students. Please see Ms Pieropan in the Science Office for more information.

Year 11 Psychology Excurison

This week our intrepid Year 11 Psychology classes visited Wales Street and Pender's Grove Primary Schools to play games and conduct research on early childhood cognitive development:  an awesome opportunity for younger and older students to work together and learn from each other.  A lot of fun was had all in the name of science.


Year 7 Science 

Students in year 7 recently underwent their first practical CAT in science class. They placed gummi bears in different solutions in beakers and looked at the change in volume and mass over time of the gummi bears. They had to measure the length, width, thickness and weigh the mass of the gummi bears; and then they compared these measurements before and after to investigate the change that had occurred. Students also gained experience working on their first scientific report.



Check out our fabulous Food Students!

Showcasing our Year 7s enjoying their second production for the term Stuffed Potatoes. Coming up next is Minestrone - yum!

Also our Year 9 Gourmet Travellers, who 'stepped' off the plane in Mexico with a welcome Mexican Hot Chocolate, producing their own Chilli Con Carne and Beef Chimichangas. Their first stop was experiencing the tastes of our own backyard, including Wattleseed Damper, tasting native finger limes and producing Kangaroo pies. Next stop Italy!

Recipes for all practical tasks available from your Food teachers.

Look out for what's been cooking in other subjects next newsletter.

Mrs Flint, Ms Magliozzi and Mrs Collins

Year 9 Robotics

Students have been exploring the Engineering Design Process and working in Design Teams. 

The second challenge was to design and construct a robotic gate that both stops a ball and whacks it back up the hill as far as possible. Olivia and Scarlett took out this challenge, maintaining their winning streak from challenge one.











Library, Clubs & Activities

Library News

The year has kicked off to a busy start for the library, which has loaned 1293 books so far this school year. Year 7 students in particular have been excited to receive library bags and borrow for the first time from our collection of over 22 000 books.


Library staff collaborate with year 7, 8 & 9 English teachers to facilitate the Wide Reading Program. Library staff promote new and recommended books to build excitement about reading and engage students. THS Library staff have a strong knowledge of young adult literature and are experts at matching students with books that suit their interests and reading level. In Wide Reading classes, the librarians provide individualised help to students by assisting them to find books that interest them.

Working Parts Gallery

Our wonderful Working Parts Gallery participants attended their first excursion to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art this week. The group spent the afternoon engaging with ACCA's current exhibition, 'Feedback Loops' They were fortunate enough to be given a tour of this immersive and interactive exhibition by Curator Miriam Kelly. We can't wait to see what our students create in response to this incredible exhibition! 


Green Team: Students Declare

On the afternoon of Friday 14th of February, eight Thornbury High students from the Green Team attended the Students Declare workshop in the city as part of the Sustainable Living Festival. The aim of this workshop was to discuss the urgent need for schools across the state to declare a national climate emergency.


THS students showed fantastic leadership and team work as they worked with each other as well as students from other schools. They workshopped and brainstormed ideas for how we can be better address the climate emergency and what we as a school community could be doing to respond and adapt to the future. They plan to use what they learnt, take it back to the rest of the Green Team and hopefully enact some of their ideas this year. Stay tuned!


Odd Spot

These Year 7 students were spotted making excellent use of the Technology Workshop deck - a banquet complete with home-baking!


Camps + Trips

Co-curricular opportunities

Each year our students travel around Australia and the world on camps and trips.  From year level camps to Lake Dewar, Phillip Island and Surfers Paradise to curriculum camps like the Year 8 music camp and the Outdoor Education Lorne hike.  Our cross-year level experiences include a Visual Arts trip to Tasmania, a Science trip to NASA in the USA and trips to Italy, China, Vietnam, Central Australia and Cairns.


In 2020 we had planned to visit China again, but due to the recent health situation we have had to delay the trip until 2021.  As an alternative we will be travelling to Vietnam to explore this amazing country’s history, culture and burgeoning economy.  We are establishing a sister school relationship with a high school in Hanoi and plan to visit during our trip. I will send more information about the trip to Vietnam soon.


Upcoming trips:

  • Vietnam 2020
  • China 2021
  • Central Australia 2021
  • NASA 2021
  • Italy 2022
  • Cairns 2023

The full schedule of all camps and trips can be found here.

Year 9 Camp - Phillip Island

One hundred lucky Year 9 students traded half a week of school for three days and two nights at the Phillip Island Adventure Resort. Leaving their loved ones (including their mobile phones) behind, the students boarded buses for the two hour trip down to the Island, stopping en route at San Remo for just long enough to huddle under a gazebo while the skies opened up.
Despite some indifferent weather across the three days, the students threw themselves into all kinds of activities like surfing, canoeing and raft- building. On Wednesday night, they rugged up for an evening trip to the famous Penguin Parade. After an exciting first night and a full day of activities, many of them barely had the energy to chew their dinner on Thursday and teachers got some much needed rest!
Well done to the supervising staff and all of the students for their great behaviour and enthusiasm.

Tim Polwarth, on behalf of the Year 9 Team.



Congratulations to both the Year 7 and 8 Boys Cricket teams that won their respective Darebin Division competitions during week 3 of Term 1!

Both events were played on warm days, with the teams playing some outstanding cricket. They also played with great encouragement and spirit, representing the school with distinction.

Our two teams have now progressed through to the North Metro Regional stage which will be played early in Term 4.



Student Wellbeing Team

Student Wellbeing Coordinator (SWC)

Peggy Oberthier

School Psychologist (Tue-Thu)

Rebekah Oppenheim

School Nurse (Mon, Fri) 

Jess Manzie 

Wellbeing procedures

If you have concerns for your child’s mental health the first step is to have a discussion with your child and see what they would like to do. You are always welcome to discuss concerns with the Year Level team or SWC (9458 6174). If they are reluctant to seek help we suggest you make an appointment with your GP to flag the concerns with them and discuss options. If your child is not sure if there is a problem but would like to discuss some issues and possible pathways for support then they are encouraged to email to make an appointment.


Some students prefer to speak to a trusted teacher or their year level team and then a referral can be made to the Wellbeing Team. The student can then expect an email to organise a time to debrief the issues.


Some students need to access student wellbeing services during the day if they are feeling distressed. The student can ask a teacher or coordinator to get permission to leave class. If this is the case every effort is made to help the student return to class as quickly as possible.

Referral Pathways

Thornbury High School works alongside a range of services to support out students. There are various options to suit the individual needs of each student.


External Counsellor / Psychologist

>  often through Headspace or Your Community Health

>  obtain a Mental Health Care Plan through a GP and seek appointments externally. 


We encourage all families to work with the school if there are external providers helping the student with school based issues.  Parents/carers are encouraged to provide documentation from their psychologist/social worker/OT with any relevant information that may assist their child with their mental health concerns. This could be a safety plan, warning signs/triggers and or strategies to cope when anxious, angry, sad or overwhelmed. This information is always treated with confidentiality and care and helps the student feel supported in a consistent manner.


Headspace Clinicians - enhanced mental health care in schools

>  a joint initiative between the Department of Education and Headspace

>  two psychologists available for appointments on a Monday onsite at THS (currently no waiting period).

> the Student Wellbeing Coordinator will meet with the student first, call  parents/guardians to discuss, provide the consent form and schedule the appointment.


School-based Psychologist: Rebekah Oppenheim

> Rebekah is available for appointments from Tues-Thursday for students who do not fit the Headspace EHMS criteria.

> The SWC  will meet with the student first, talk to parents/carers, provide the consent form and book the appointment with Rebekah.




All students referred to Headspace and Rebekah will be required to get consent from parents/carers. If a student is 16 years and over they can sign their own consent form. The consent form will be provided by the SWC.

Consent is not required if they seek casual, debriefing or referral sessions with Peggy Oberthier, SWC.


Year 12

Psycho-educational program outlining strategies to deal with the demands of year 12 student running Wednesday afternoons in term 1.


Headspace in Schools program

Monday lunchtime for senior students


Rainbow Lounge

Every Friday lunchtime. 






If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact the Wellbeing Team on 9458 6174.

Pathways + Careers

Year 10 Work Experience

22 June - 26 June, 2020


Work Experience is compulsory for all Year 10 students at THS. Work experience is an opportunity for students to: 

>  develop employability skills

>  explore possible career options

>  understand employer expectations

>  increase their self-understanding, maturity, independence and self-confidence.

Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn – not to undertake activities which require extensive training or expertise.


Students are expected to find their own work experience placement and should now be contacting prospective employers to ask if they take work experience students.  Work experience should be about trying new opportunities and the Morrisby Report is a great resource to assist students in choosing an area of work they may be interested in.  Students can reach out to local businesses as well as their own networks e.g. family friends, friends’ parents and family dentist etc (a work experience supervisor should not be a close family member).  Once a student has confirmed their placement, they need to complete the Work Experience Arrangement Form.

If you have any queries please contact Jill Krew

Careers information

University Clinical Aptitude Test 

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is an admissions test used by the UCAT ANZ Consortium of universities in Australia and New Zealand for their medical, dental, and clinical science degree programs.  Universities requiring the UCAT are listed at this link - Universities requiring the UCAT.  Students intending to apply for courses requiring the UCAT at any of these universities are reminded that they will need to book a test
Bookings will open on 2 March 2020 
and close 11 May 2020 at 11.59pm AEST.  The testing dates will be within the month of July 2020.

Students who are preparing for entry into any of these courses are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the format of the test at
 UCAT Test Format  and the practice tests and preparation material provided at UCAT Preparation

Find out more at UCAT


Tax File Number (TFN)

Any student will need at tax file number if he/she starts work (part-time and full-time) and all students planning on a tertiary education require one when they start.
Importantly, current Year 12 students are reminded that they cannot enrol in a CSP (Commonwealth Support Place) course at university without a Tax File Number, so it is worthwhile getting an application submitted early.
Students must apply for a TFN online and have their identity verified through an interview at a participating Australia Post office. 

To apply and also to find out about participating Post Offices, visit TFN Application

La Trobe Uni Experience

Friday 3 April

Year 10, 11 and 12 students and their parents are invited to get hands-on experience and discover what being a uni student is really like.

You’ll attend workshops, lectures, seminars and meet the academics who’ll be teaching your course. Chat with current students and get the inside scoop on Life at La Trobe and what to expect when you study at La Trobe.

Please contact Jill Krew in the Pathways Office if you are interested or would like help to register.

Developing THS

A message from the THS Redevelopment Group

The THS Redevelopment Group continues to liaise with local MP Kat Theophanous regarding the next stage of the Thornbury High masterplan, including a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) Centre.


To see the ideas for these next stages of work and view the flyover of the new Performing Arts and Sports Centre, visit the THS Redevelopment Group website.


You can also follow us on:

  Facebook: THS Redevelopment Project

  Twitter: @THSredevelopment

  Instagram: @thsredevelopment


School Information

General Office

General Office hours: Mon-Fri,  8:30am-4:30pm

Phone: 9480 4066 ext 7


Parents should always make contact with the General Office first when visiting the school or trying to make contact with their children. Appointments with teachers must be made via telephone or email.

Uniform Shop

Academy Uniforms has a uniform shop on site at Thornbury High School in Room 47.

Hours:    Mon 1-4pm ,  Wed 1-2pm



Sustainable School Shop

Second-hand textbooks and uniform can be purchased and sold online through the Sustainable School Shop website



Student absences should be reported to the school before 8:50am, either through Compass, or by contacting one of our attendance officers:

Y7-10 Carol Marsh   Ph: 9458 6125   email

Y11+12 Jennifer Hartley   Ph: 9458 6135  email


Staff Contacts

Principal - Michael Keenan

Assistant Principals:

Teaching & Learning - Paul Mameghan

Student Wellbeing & Engagement - Ryan Millar

Operations - Tayatea Mackenzie


Head of Year 7 - Pieter Oosterloo

Head of Year 8 - Ann Vassos

Head of Year 9 - Tim Polwarth

Head of Year 10 - Matt Lowe

Head of Year 11+12 - Tom Ding


Head of English - Robin Garden

Head of Mathematics - Diana Walder

Head of Humanities - Rick Manning

Head of Science - Lisa Pieropan

Head of Performing Arts - Emma  McCulloch

Head of Visual Art - Sheraz Salama

Head of Languages - Max Tosi

Head of Health & PE - Saleem Nasser

Head of Technologies - Cameron Baird

Head of Professional Learning - Cara Martin

EAL/ELC Coordinator - Renata Tirabassi

VCAL/VET Coordinator - Maria Ioannidis

Student Leadership Coordinator - Bec Perkin


Privacy information for parents and carers

During the ordinary course of your child’s attendance at our school, school staff will collect your child’s personal and health information when necessary to educate your child, or to support your child’s social and emotional wellbeing or health.

Read our Secondary School Enrolment Privacy Collection Statement here.

Camps, Sports & Excursion Fund (CSEF) 2020

The Camps, Sports & Excursion Fund [CSEF] assists families with the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities for their child/ren. 

Full details can be found here

Applications close 27 March 2020.



Parents and carers are reminded that the school does not provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students. We strongly encourage all parents/carers to have up-to-date ambulance cover. Parents/carers of students who do not have student accident insurance/ambulance cover are responsible for paying the cost of any medical expenses such as ambulance costs if their child is injured or requires an ambulance at school, or whilst participating in a school activity. Parents/carers can purchase insurance policies from commercial insurers.

The Department’s Student Medical Expenses Policy is available here.

Community Hub


Thornbury High News
CSEF 2020 Year 7 Uniform Package SSR application form.pdf
CSEF 2020 Year 7 Uniform Package SSR application form.pdf