Photo: Upstairs front verandah of Blackhall

Preshil - Blackhall Kalimna

26 April 2017
Issue Six
Calendar Dates
Next School Tour
From the Principal
Head of Campus Blackhall Kalimna
Office Oracle
IB: Diploma Programme*
Careers Corner
Elective Program 
Study Trips Abroad 2018/19
VCE Drama
Indigenous Culture
I T Support
9817 6135
12-26 Sackville Street
Kew, Victoria, 3101

Calendar Dates

Term 2

Thursday 27 April

All welcome!

Open Mic session

8am - 8.45am

The Blackbox


Secondary School Tour

9.15am - 10.45am


Sunday 30 April - Wednesday 3 May

Selected Year 9 students - Camp 1

Coastal Ambassadors program

10.30am (Sun) - 4.30pm (Wed)

Phillip Island Nature Park


Tuesday 2 May

Art Extension elective students

Dangerfork Print Company

11.10am - 12.50pm



Thursday 4 May

Year 10 students

The Age VCE & Careers Expo

10am - 3pm

Caulfield Racecourse


Friday 5 May

Years 7-12 Music students

Live Music Is Good For You festival

8am - 1.30pm

Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville


VCE Drama students

Melbourne Talam performance

12 noon - 3.30pm

MTC, Southbank


Tuesday 9 - Thursday 11 May

Years 3, 5, 7 & 9 students



Sunday 14 May - Wednesday 17 May

Selected Year 9 students - Camp 2

Coastal Ambassadors program

10.30am (Sun) - 4.30pm (Wed)

Phillip Island Nature Park


Tuesday 16 May

Year 7 Immunisation

Years 11 & 12 flu vaccine (optional)



VCE Parents

VCE Special Consideration Information Night

7pm - 8pm



Wednesday 17 May

Year 10 students (parents may attend if desired)

DP Subject Expo

3.30pm - 5pm



Thursday 18 May

All welcome!

Preshil Association AGM


Kevin Borland Hall, Arlington


Sunday 4 June - Friday 16 June

Year 9 Experience to the Northern Territory


Monday 5 June

All welcome!

Dizzy's Music Night


Dizzy's Jazz Club, Richmond


Tuesday 6 June

VCE Computing students

RMIT Big Day In

8.30am - 4pm

RMIT, Swanston Street


Monday 12 June

Queen's Birthday public holiday


Wednesday 14 June

Students studying any VCE 3/4 unit in 2017

General Achievement Test (GAT)

10am - 1.15pm


Tuesday 20 - Wednesday 21 June (NEW DATE)

VCE Art & Studio Arts students

Visit to MONA and Dark Mofo festival

12 noon (Tue) - 5.50pm (Wed) 



Thursday 22 June

Winter Solstice celebration

3.30pm - 7pm



Friday 23 June

Term ends


Next School Tour

T O M O R R OW !

Thursday 27 April 2017
at the Secondary School

9.15am to 10.45am

The Principal, Head of Campus and staff warmly invite

your friends and family to come and  learn about a Preshil

IB education and all it has to offer.

Book a tour
or personally speak to our Registrar
Nerel Ezra on 9817 6135

Enrolling Now for 2018

Some places remain available in certain year levels for this year.

2018 Year 7
Creativity & Innovation Scholarships

Applications close Friday 26 May 2017


We are seeking applications from girls and boys who do not currently attend the School and who believe that Preshil can offer them an opportunity to further their creativity and independent thinking,

in all areas of learning.


Applicants are not required to sit a scholarship examination, rather, they are asked to submit a portfolio of material that shows evidence of creative, innovative and imaginative endeavour in any field of learning and of their capacity to contribute to the Preshil community.


Please download the Application for Scholarship here along with the Application for Enrolment here

From the Principal

Preshil's Approach to the IB Provides a Progressive and Compelling Alternative to the Outdated Conformity of Mainstream Schooling

At the end of last term we held our Information Night for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme* (DP) planned for 2018. This was the first real opportunity for parents whose sons and daughters will undertake the DP at Preshil as our first cohort after authorization to become familiar with the range of subjects and pathways we will be able to offer.  


It has been inspiring to work with our DP Coordinator, Lenny Robinson-McCarthy, as she has led our teachers through a comprehensive series of workshops and arranged their training in specific subject areas. The feedback from our teachers has been resoundingly positive. From a teachers’ perspective the DP is certainly demanding, requiring high levels of commitment to ongoing professional development, collaboration and planning. They have attended training courses with professionals from across the Asia Pacific region, sharing new ideas and benefitting from a wealth of IB experience which enables them to offer our students the best possible learning opportunities available.


We have been delighted to tease out the flexibility and the robustness of the DP course, confident that we will be able to accommodate each individual student to pursue a range of different pathways, while still undertaking a course that encompasses a broad, contemporary education. Since the Information Night we have responded to feedback to fine tune our offering and our teachers are looking forward to guiding students through to their final selection.


With its strong emphasis on critical thinking, collaboration and creativity the DP is strongly aligned to Preshil’s enduring approach to learning. Our students and teachers have had four years developing the research skills and independent learning through the Middle Years Programme and are now well equipped to complete the Diploma Course or Certificate in a highly supportive environment.


We are increasingly supported in this move away from the VCE as more and more evidence comes to light of the shortsightedness of focusing so single-mindedly on courses that are rigidly designed to achieve the highest ATAR possible, to the exclusion of all else. Independent research from a wide selection of tertiary institutions, both in Australia and internationally, indicates that the DP is the best possible preparation for tertiary study and giving students the skills they will need to succeed in their post-school education. Systems that rely on a simplistic ranking of all candidates who compete against each other do not generate graduates with the skills and resilience to think laterally, invent new ideas, innovate, or dare to take risks.


Two recent articles published in The Conversation, “…companies shed degree requirements to promote merit over qualifications” and “Competition as a fetish: why universities need to escape the trap” both explore the limitations of individualistic, competitive approaches in the face of our society’s need to find innovative and creative solutions derived from creative collaborations. Both universities and employers now have the means to bypass the traditional methods of identifying the ‘best’ candidates; the IB is building on the means to bypass the ATAR sheep-race by developing digital portfolios for students to showcase their capacities and achievements directly to institutions, seeking to match students with specific courses.


It seems that overseas universities are not impressed by parochial and outdated systems of exam rankings as a measure of genuine capacity. The two cornerstones of mainstream schooling in Australia - conformity and competition - will not serve the future needs of our students or our society.

Marilyn Smith




*Preshil is a candidate school for the IB Diploma Programme.

Head of Campus
Blackhall Kalimna

Photo: Courtyard off the Arts Centre

Natalie Jensen

Head of Campus

Welcome to Term 2

Term began with a great deal of joy and wonderment. We welcomed 10 new students to the Secondary School and it's always exciting to see new faces and share their  enthusiasm  as they join the Preshil community.


We have already had a busy beginning with MYP Personal Projects well on their way, Diploma subject choices being finalised ready for the DP subject expo as well as getting ready for the VCE and Careers Expo next week.


The government mandated National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is scheduled to be administered at Preshil on 9, 10 and 11 May for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. NAPLAN tests assess some aspects of student knowledge and skills in Writing, Reading, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy.


It is compulsory for all schools to administer the tests and the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) encourages all parents to support this program. Parents are entitled to have this feedback on their child’s performance. However, parents also have the right to decide to withdraw their son or daughter from this program or sections of it if they so desire and Preshil supports this right. This is a matter for consideration by parents and carers.


If you decide to withdraw your child/children from all or parts of the NAPLAN tests you must do so in writing. Please indicate if this is your intention by emailing a request to withdraw your Years 7 or 9 child to [email protected] by Monday, 1 May. An individualised Student Withdrawal form will then be generated, to be signed and returned to Preshil.


Your signed authority to withdraw a child from the test program needs to be returned to the school by Friday 5 May. We must retain these written requests/authorities for withdrawal so that the School may fulfil its accountability responsibilities to the state and federal government authorities. All children are expected to attend school on the test days.


If you have any queries I am available to give you further information or you may contact the Year Level Coordinators. The ACARA website has information regarding the NAPLAN.


For more information about NAPLAN please visit the VCAA website at or the NAPLAN website at

Arriving on Time to School

While it is tempting to sleep in on colder days, it is very important that students attend Home Group on time each morning. If a late arrival is unavoidable please leave a message on either the Absence Line or Compass and ensure that your child signs in at the front office on arrival.

Introducing Greg McCarthy

We welcome a new staff member, Greg McCarthy, who will be heading the all important Facilities team. Greg comes to Preshil with a wealth of experience and expertise and will be working across both campuses. Please say hello and make him feel welcome. 

Great Holiday Fun

You may be interested to know that during the first week of the recent autumn break we ran a very successful School Holiday Program here at the Secondary School. We had a full house most days and offered children, both from within and outside Preshil, the opportunity to try such interesting activities as ceramics, baking, Shibori textiles, rocket science, Arduino and programming games.


The program was expertly put together and run by Bronte Howell and kept the children from Grades 3-7 totally engaged throughout the week.


Later in the term, look out for our promotion of the Winter School Holiday Program.

Office Oracle

Photo: Anzac Day 2017: lest we forget

Club Connections

We remind students that the following clubs will run again this term. Available to all year levels and catering for a range of interests, there is no cost to join in and they are a great way to meet other like-minded students.


o Book Club with Mary Ann

Tuesday lunchtimes in the Library

A book discussion group where students can meet informally and share the book they are reading, or just talk about the reading experience generally.


o Maths Club with Helen

Tuesday lunchtimes in Academy

This maths support and extension session is open to students in Years 10 and 11, and those Year 9s who would like to be challenged.


o Tinker Club with Anthony

Tuesday & Thursday lunchtimes in the Tech Room

Tinkering involves the deconstruction of old technology with the aim of creating 'new things from old'.


o Game Lab with Anthony

Wednesday lunchtimes in the Tech Room

In Game Lab we focus on building three-dimensional games using the Unity 3D program.


o After-school Tabletop Games Club

Fridays after school in the 7/8 Common Room

Until around 6pm, we play all manner of board and card games. Feel free to bring a game you want to share, or to play one of the games which are brought by others. All you need is a positive attitude and the willingness to learn. Any inquiries can be directed to Liam Routt (father of Orson and Miranda) at  [email protected] 


Students wishing to join in any of these activities need only turn up during the sessions and get involved!

Classroom Cuisine

Our online lunch provider creates and delivers (to the front office) healthy and affordable school lunches. Available through the week, except Tuesdays, you can order online up until 8.30am on the day the lunch is required.


 A TWO COURSE lunch costs $8.65 and a THREE COURSE lunch costs $10.25. You are only able to select one item from each column.


For more information, menus and details about how to order, click here to visit their website. 

Music Lessons

If your child would like to join the Instrumental Music program this term please click on our website here to access the Music Handbook which gives you all necessary details including the program’s terms and conditions. You can complete the online enrolment form here also.

Parking at Blackhall

Please be respectful of the congestion at Blackhall in the mornings and afternoons and do not use the car park unnecessarily. One parking area is designated for vehicles displaying a valid disabled parking permit and when entering the car park we ask that you observe this restriction.


There is plenty of street parking and a supervised crossing at the Preshil entrance for students to cross in safety.

Welcome Little John!

Warmest congratulations to John and Charmaine  on the safe arrival of their little son, John Frederick Francis Collins. And what a cutie he is with his perfect little face and dark fluffy hair! Proud big sister Chloe is loving helping her mum and dad settle him in at home. 

Next Newsletter

The next edition of the Secondary School newsletter will be published on Wednesday 10 May. To read previous issues or our Arlington and Alumni issues visit the iNewsletter Library here.

IB: Diploma Programme*

Progress Report

Planning and preparation for the Diploma Programme* is moving along at a fast pace thanks to the guidance, dedication and hard work of our DP Coordinator Lenny Robinson.

Near the end of last term information sessions were held for both students and parents about the different aspects of the IB programme. During these sessions handbooks with information on specific subjects were handed out so students could spend time over the autumn holidays thinking about their subject choices. Over the coming weeks they will be asked to give an indication of what subjects they would like to do so we can begin working on timetabling.

Also during the holidays four teachers went to DP workshops in Sydney and have returned brimming with new ideas about how to tackle their particular courses and with new contacts with whom to network and share information and ideas.

All DP staff have been working hard on their unit planners for first term 2018 and are beginning to establish timelines for various tasks. Policies about various issues to do with the DP are being discussed and written up. It is an exhausting but exhilarating time as it becomes more and more apparent just what a good fit the DP should be for Preshil.


*Preshil is an authorized IB World School for the Middle Years Programme and a candidate school for the IB Primary Years and Diploma Programmes. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Preshil, The Margaret Lyttle Memorial School believes is important for our students.  Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) or the Diploma Programme (DP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

Year 10 Subject Expo

Wednesday 17 May at 3.30pm - 5pm in the Library


Students will have the opportunity to learn more

about their subjects and the Diploma core through presentations and conversations with Diploma staff.


This session is intended to prepare students for the first round of

subject selections on Tuesday 23 May.


 All Year 10 students are expected to attend this event and parents are cordially invited to join us if they wish.

Careers Corner

Photo: Etching by Yr 12 student Phoebe Hunt, 2012

Careers & Pathways 

Year 10 students will have a class called Careers and Pathways later in the year. One group of Year 10s will participate during the Elective program time on Tuesdays in Term 3 and the other group will have the class at the same time in Term 4. In that class we’ll explore the possible pathways, and the ways to embark upon them, for students when they leave school. This will be very helpful for our first group of IB Diploma Programme* students as they contemplate their subject choices for the DP years and the wonderful opportunities open to them as IB graduates.

Work Experience

Year 10 is also the year most Australian students get a taste of working life through undertaking Work Experience for a week or so. We have set aside the final week of Term 3 (Monday 11 to Friday 15 September) for this, and all of our Year 10s are expected to participate. Students need to make their own arrangements for Work Experience. By directly contacting employers in their fields of interest shows confidence and initiative and would be attractive qualities to demonstrate. However, please don't hesitate to contact me if you require assistance. Work Experience Arrangement Forms can be downloaded here:

work exp form.pdf

We’re always on the lookout for Preshil community members who might be able to offer a work experience opportunity for our Year 10 students, so please contact me if that might be you!

Years 11 and 12

VCE students will get regular updates during their Forum meetings about Careers matters.


Year 11s should really begin considering their lives after school and begin the research for potential pathways. Year 12s will be expected to make at least two one-on-one appointments with me – once in Term 2, and once in Term 3 – to discuss their plans for next year and the further study application process.


In Term 3, all Year 12s should compile their preference list of between one and 12 course selections for tertiary entrance in 2018. I’ll be available for any assistance they need with this process. The best places to start are individual tertiary education providers' websites, or the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre website ( A Course Search there will be very fruitful.

The Age VCE and Careers Expo 2017

This excellent event is on from Thursday to Sunday, 4-7 May at the Caulfield Racecourse. We will be taking all of our Year 10 students along on the Thursday. The information available at the Expo and the chance to speak directly with tertiary education institutions and employers is well worth it. Any VCE student who would like to come along with us on the day should contact me directly. 


All students and their families, no matter the year level, are welcome to contact me at any time to discuss Careers and Pathways matters.  Please don’t hesitate.

Bronte Howell

[email protected]

Elective Program 

Choices for Term 2

Years 7 - 10 electives will commence next Tuesday.


Students were given an information booklet and selection form in Home Group on Monday. Selections must be completed by the due date of Friday 28 April. In fairness to all students, selections are automatically time-stamped as they come in to the office.  Students should make their choices in order of preference. All electives are allocated on a first come/first in basis, however, if they are oversubscribed preference is given to those students who have not done the elective previously.


View them on our website here:

Elective Program & Choosing Form Term 2

Art Extension with Michael

In this class students will set up their own art project from across various mediums and will focus on the following starting points: self portrait glitter paintings, bamboo-cane sculpture, stop-motion animation, murder mystery (art and narrative), group mural making or silkscreen printing project. Included will be at least one gallery and/or artist studio visit. 

Philosophy with Eliana

The Philosophy of Selfies: are selfies a healthy form of self-expression or a reflection of a self absorbed generation? The Philosophy of Donald Trump: why do people love him, why do they
hate him, and why should we care about gender neutral toilets? The Philosophy of Tumblr: should we be ‘politically correct’? Do we really need to ‘check our privilege’? Join the conversation!

Personalised Stationery with Clare

This elective will involve going to Recycle Art and sourcing materials that can be used to make personalised cards and paper. Other skills used will be heat activated stamp glitters and quilling paper to add to cards.

Arduino Programming with Karl

If you have already begun your journey with Arduino and C/C++ programming, then this course will also introduce you to ultrasonic distance measuring sensors, soil hygrometer/humidity detection, electronic compass modules, LCD displays, LED alpha numeric displays, motor control and interface digital sensors using I2C and SPI. Newcomers will develop their skills to sense the physical world and, using connected sensors (light and temperature), turn on LEDs to create interactive lighting displays, control motors, generate different sounds, use breadboards and learn simple soldering.

Fashion Illustration & Sustainable Design with Jennie

Please note new students welcome and classes will be structured accordingly! Continuing students can now prototype their design from last term which will also include learning about sustainable design and designers. There will be an opportunity for everyone to visit Hunter Gatherer and also an op shop to source materials to create a prototype of their design. This is a very visual, practical introduction to fashion illustration and textiles. Students will learn about the design process, how to get inspiration from
research to mood board, how to draw the industry standard fashion figure and create a design that represents them. You will also have the opportunity to submit your designs to the Wool4Schools competition.

Ceramics with Skye

Ever wanted to design and make your own dinner set, or perhaps your own designer jewellery? Maybe you wish to create your own fantastical
creature from clay? In this elective you will learn a range of ceramic-making techniques, such as hand building, wheel throwing, slip casting and glazing  and work on a project of your choice.

Theatresports with Adam

Students will participate in a variety of improvisation games to assist in developing their Drama skills. Each class is structured similar to a Whose Line is it Anyway show. A sample list of activities would be Film Styles, Fixed Emotions, House Party and Mission Improbable. The list of options is endless, maybe even come up with a few of your own. No experience necessary.

Auslan with Chris

Think you’re not a good language learner? Think again. Come and learn the basics of Australian Sign Language, Auslan. A range of deaf native and ‘Magic Hands’ teachers will teach you how to converse in everyday Auslan, including how to introduce yourself and other kinds of magic. Learn a visual language!

Kerbal Space Program with Eli and Riley

In this elective students will be guided  on a journey of space exploration with the help of the wonderful simulation/game Kerbal Space Program. Students will design the ships, plan the missions and pilot their creations out of the atmosphere with the final goal of recreating one of the finest moments in humanity’s history: the
manned moon landing. Throughout the elective, we will also briefly touch on the fascinating history of space flight. This elective is designed for people who have little to no experience with Kerbal Space Program, but we’ll be setting up some extra challenges for more experienced players if they would like to join in.

Kitchen Garden with John and Sarah

This term’s elective will focus again on ethical eating or 'eating green'. Not only will students source nutritious and delicious ‘green’ recipes, they will also cook up delicious food each week and take care of the kitchen garden crops.

Meditation: Body/Mind Work with Fiona

This is a yoga, pilates and tai-chi inspired program. No experience is necessary. It is essential that students bring a blanket and yoga mat and wear comfortable gym clothes (no jeans, jumpers or tight clothing). Fiona offers a challenging, strengthening and uplifting
choreographed program that will leave students feeling strong and relaxed.

Tennis with Bill

These classes are for all ages and skill levels and are delivered in a relaxed and encouraging environment, making it easy for students to enjoy their tennis as they learn the various disciplines of the game. Getting to know each student’s strengths and weaknesses means progress can be made every lesson. 

Study Trips Abroad 2018/19

Calling for Expressions of Interest

The possibility exists for students in Years 8 - 11 in 2018 to undertake a study trip abroad.


Staff are starting the conversation of a STEM trip to the USA and Music trips to China or Italy. As an indication of your interest we ask that families complete the survey here by Monday 15 May. Once we ascertain the level of interest we will flesh out the details regarding dates, itinerary and costs.



Cost: approximately $7500

Including visits to:

o  Orlando Science Center

o  Walt Disney World

o  Florida Aquarium

o  Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

o  Skeletons: Animals Unveiled at the Museum of Osteology

o  iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving

o  Kennedy Space Center




Cost: approximately $5000

Including visits to:

o  Beijing – workshop with and concert in an international school, The Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City

o  Great Wall of China

o  Xi'an – workshop with and concert at a local school, Terra-cotta Army (Warriors and Horses)

o  Shanghai – shopping, Maglev Train




Cost: approximately $6000

Including visits to:

o  Rome – workshop with and concert in an international school, Colosseum, Roman Forum, St Peter’s Basilica, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona

o  Sienna – Piazza del Campo

o  Florence - workshop with and concert at a local school, Accademia Gallery, Ancient Musical Instruments Museum, Ponte Vecchio

o  Pisa – Leaning Tower of Pisa, Piazza dei Miracoli

o  Venice – workshop and concert at Conservatory of Music, Grand Canal, Saint Mark's Basilica, Burano, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Museum of Musical Instruments



VCE Drama

Theatre Visit 

by Kate Ellis

VCE Drama teacher


On the night of Wednesday 19 April, Year 12 Drama students and I met at La Mama theatre in Carlton to see the play Parasites  by Ninna Tersman.


Centred around two teenagers 'amidst the unrelentingly damaging confines of an asylum seeker processing centre', the play showcases some of the non-naturalistic conventions and techniques Drama students at the VCE level study.


The production was followed by a Q & A with the director and actress, which was incredibly valuable given that this play is on the prescribed VCAA playlist for 2017, meaning that Year 12 Drama students will answer questions on the production in the end-of-year exam.





The Joy of Creating

by Skye Gallagher

Teacher of Design


Last term students thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with a range of ceramic-making techniques, such as hand building, wheel throwing, slip casting and glazing.


Working on their own individual project, we had some exquisite results. Ed (Year 10) focused particularly on wheel throwing and experimental glazing and created this vibrant tumbler.


This term we will be focusing on firing and glazing techniques such as Raku, an ancient Japanese firing technique, and smoke firing, a burnished low temperature process. The results of both processes are earthy, unpredictable and beautiful.


Bella (Year 10) mastering the wheel.


Zoe (Year 8) painting her piece ready for firing.


The class working on their glazes and surface decoration.


I am again offering ceramics classes this term through the Elective Program. No experience necessary, just bring your imagination, learn the techniques and take pleasure in creating something unique.








Indigenous Culture

Photo: Mural on The Cottage wall painted by indigenous student Jeremy Falla, 1993

Workshop with Celebrated Author, Performer and Poet Boori Monty Pryor

by John Collins

Year 9 Coordinator


On Thursday 20 April, Boori visited to speak with our Year 9 students about his journey as an author, the importance of storytelling in culture and indigenous issues in regards to the students’ impending visit to the Top End in early June. Boori was the inaugural Australian Children's  Laureate (a role he shared with Alison Lester) during 2012-13.

During the workshop Boori shared stories from his life in a manner that engaged students and had them all laughing. He asked students about their expectations for the upcoming  two-week Year 9 Experience  to the Northern Territory and then used their responses to generate further discussion and opportunities for stories.

Time flew and soon enough it was the end of the school day. A lucky few stayed behind to hear more stories and learn a traditional mosquito dance from Palm Island. Students were dancing around the Library to the sounds of the didgeridoo and  boomerangs used as clap sticks, swatting imaginary mosquitoes with gum leaves. Not your average Thursday afternoon - but a thoroughly enjoyable one for all of us.


Several of Boori's books are on the shelves in the Library if students would like to continue with his storytelling.




I T Support

Adam Simon is an integral member of the Preshil team. As IT support, he has helped set up Preshil's current computer network and generally acts as a troubleshooter, sorting out computer issues that arise from day to day.


In recent years the School has undergone a considerable change in the way we plan, organise and access work and in the way we communicate with students, parents and each other. These positive changes would not have been possible without the various network and software systems, such as Compass, that have been installed, monitored and fine-tuned by Adam.

The IT desk is located in the Library where Adam can monitor systems and help students and staff with queries. He has a gentle rapport with the students, many of whom clearly enjoy talking about 'all things IT' from computer programming to various computer games.


Adam is very accomplished across a wide range of subjects and we have been lucky to have him offer several classes in our Elective Program, including Theatresports, Rocket Science, Debating, Basketball, (electronic) Keyboard Skills and Minions Computer Science. Due to popular demand Adam is running the Theatresports elective again this term.


Preshil’s inaugural School Holiday Program last  year was seamlessly undertaken by Adam with a week of Rocket Science using the Kerbal Space Program; his participation continued in the recent Autumn Holiday Program and his classes were a big hit with the students who attended.





Photo: The beauty of the season


Welcome back to a new term. Recently I found this article and thought it may assist both students and parents here at Preshil, by giving some helpful wellbeing strategies. I think we may all need some advice from time to time on slowing down and having that elusive work/life balance.


If you have any queries regarding your child’s needs while at school, please contact the office to arrange an appointment. As always, I am happy to speak with any student, parent or specialist during the term.

Clare Coman

Wellbeing Coordinator




Article courtesy of  the American Psychological Association


[Often] ads make it look so easy to be a teen — everyone seems to be laughing, hanging out with friends, wearing exactly the right clothes. But if you’re a young adult, you know that life can be pretty tough sometimes. You may face problems ranging from being bullied to the death of a friend or parent. Why is it that sometimes people can go through really rough times and still bounce back? The difference is that those who bounce back are using the skills of resilience.


The good news is that resilience isn’t something you’re born with or not — the skills of resilience can be learned. Resilience — the ability to adapt well in the face of hard times; disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes or fires; tragedy; threats; or even high stress — is what makes some people seem like they’ve 'got bounce' while others don’t.


What are some tips that can help you learn to be resilient? As you use these tips, keep in mind that each person’s journey along the road to resilience will be different — what works for you may not work for your friends.


1. Get Together

Talk with your friends and, yes, even with your parents. Understand that your parents may have more life experience than you do, even if it seems they never were your age. They may be afraid for you if you’re going through really tough times and it may be harder for them to talk about it than it is for you! Don’t be afraid to express your opinion, even if your parent or friend takes the opposite view. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Get connected to your community, whether it’s as part of a church group or a high school group.


2. Cut Yourself Some Slack

When something bad happens in your life, the stresses of whatever you’re going through may heighten daily stresses. Your emotions might already be all over the map because of hormones and physical changes; the uncertainty during a tragedy or trauma can make these shifts seem more extreme. Be prepared for this and go a little easy on yourself, and on your friends.


3. Create a Hassle-Free Zone

Make your room or apartment a “hassle-free zone” – not that you keep everyone out, but home should be a haven free from stress and anxieties. But understand that your parents and siblings may have their own stresses if something serious has just happened in your life and may want to spend a little more time than usual with you.


4. Stick to the Program

Spending time in high school or on a college campus means more choices; so let home be your constant. During a time of major stress, map out a routine and stick to it. You may be doing all kinds of new things, but don’t forget the routines that give you comfort, whether it’s the things you do before class, going out to lunch, or have a nightly phone call with a friend.


5. Take Care of Yourself

Be sure to take care of yourself – physically, mentally and spiritually. And get sleep. If you don’t, you may be more grouchy and nervous at a time when you have to stay sharp. There’s a lot going on, and it’s going to be tough to face if you’re falling asleep on your feet.


6. Take Control

Even in the midst of tragedy, you can move toward goals one small step at a time. During a really hard time, just getting out of bed and going to school may be all you can handle, but even accomplishing that can help. Bad times make us feel out of control – grab some of that control back by taking decisive action.


7. Express Yourself

Tragedy can bring up a bunch of conflicting emotions, but sometimes, it’s just too hard to talk to someone about what you’re feeling. If talking isn’t working, do something else to capture your emotions like start a journal, or create art.


8. Help Somebody

Nothing gets your mind off your own problems like solving someone else's. Try volunteering in your community or at your school, cleaning up around the house or apartment, or helping a friend with his or her homework.


9. Put Things in Perspective

The very thing that has you stressed out may be all anyone is talking about now. But eventually, things change and bad times end. If you’re worried about whether you’ve got what it takes to get through this, think back on a time when you faced up to your fears, whether it was asking someone on a date or applying for a job. Learn some relaxation techniques, whether it’s thinking of a particular song in times of stress, or just taking a deep breath to calm down. Think about the important things that have stayed the same, even while the outside world is changing. When you talk about bad times, make sure you talk about good times as well.


10. Turn it Off

You want to stay informed – you may even have homework that requires you to watch the news. But sometimes, the news, with its focus on the sensational, can add to the feeling that nothing is going right. Try to limit the amount of news you take in, whether it’s from television, newspapers or magazines, or the Internet. Watching a news report once informs you; watching it over and over again just adds to the stress and contributes no new knowledge.


You can learn resilience. But just because you learn resilience doesn’t mean you won’t feel stressed or anxious. You might have times when you aren’t happy – and that’s okay. Resilience is a journey, and each person will take his or her own time along the way. You may benefit from some of the resilience tips above, while some of your friends may benefit from others. The skills of resilience you learn during really bad times will be useful even after the bad times end, and they are good skills to have every day. Resilience can help you be one of the people who’ve 'got bounce'.

Daniel Quin, Psychologist

Daniel joins us each Wednesday from Engage 1 On 1 Psychology. Appointments can be made with him after a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) is in place. Medicare covers the full cost of these appointments.


"When working with children and adolescents I draw on my experience as a psychologist, teacher and parent to first establish a positive relationship. Once I have established a relationship I work with the young person to understand their experience of school, family and beyond, with the intention of working collaboratively to set goals for positive change."  


If you’d like to speak with Daniel directly, his number is 0434 953 403. For Engage 1 On 1 Psychology click here.