Northcote High School Newsletter

21 June 2016
Issue NINE
What's Coming Up Summary
Principal's report
Coming up - Course Counselling
New Senior Subjects 2017
Coming up - "Bring It On"
Our Sister School
Coming up - 90 th Events
Coming up - Yr 9 Community Project
Report on our Music Concerts
Report Day in the life Comp
Report - Yr 7 Fun day
Curriculum Report - Project Refresh
Community News
Pathways and Careers
Working for the UN
Northcote High School
9488 2300
St. Georges Rd
Northcote, Victoria, 3070

What's Coming Up Summary

Summary of upcoming events

Thurs 23 June - VCE Solstice Celebration

Frid 24 June - Last day Term 2 - 2 pm dismissal


Term 3

Mon 11 July - First day Term 3

Thurs 14 July - Production Bring It On rehearsal all day

Mon 18 July - Production Bring It On rehearsal all day


Tues 19 July - Production Bring It On Matinee*


Wed 20 July - VCE 2017 Information evening


Thurs 21 July - Yr 7 Immunisation

Thurs 21 July - Production Bring It On *

Frid 22 July - Production Bring It On*

Sat 23 JulyProduction Bring It On*


Mon 25 July - Public Speaking , Yr 7 & Parents Library


Tues 26 July - Yr 12 Information Session, P.5 


Wed 27th July -Year 9-10 Information Evening 


Wed 27 July -  Production Bring It On Matinee*

Thurs 28 July -  Production Bring It On *


Friday 29 July -  Production Bring It On *


Sat 30 JulyProduction Bring It On*


*Bring It On Bookings -



Term 4 Great Victorian Bike Ride

Expression of interest for the 2016 Great Victorian Bike Ride. The ride starts in Halls Gap down through the Great Ocean Road and finishing in Geelong. All students who are interested in going on this year’s ride please come to G2 at the Start of Lunch on Thursday the 23rd of June. If you would like additional information please contact Mr Sullivan, Mr Slingsby or by visiting:
















Coming up for parents


Term 3 - Exploring what matters "Action for Happiness" Course for parents.  An 8 week course


Thurs August 4 - Comedy night  @  Thornbury Theatre


Principal's report

Inaccuracies in an Age newspaper article



On Monday 20 June 2016 The Age online reported misleading information in regard to Northcote High program planning and the allocation of resources.  The report stated that Northcote High School has "saved" $100,000 by operating a daily program (57 min periods x 5 and 11 min Tutorials - 4 x p/wk) and that teachers are teaching an extra period.


The Age reporter Henrietta Cook inaccurately wrote: "It is understood this has saved the school up to $100,000 a year in teaching costs, with many staff now required to teach an extra period a week."


a.      Northcote High School expends all money allocated by government on resourcing the program for students, there is no "saved" money.

b.      All teachers in Victoria teach a maximum of 20 hours face-to-face. This is no different at Northcote High.

No teacher is required to teach an extra period per week and all teachers work within the Victorian Government School Agreement 2013.


We will continue to work together as a community (parents, staff and student) to ensure NHS continues to be an excellent and highly regarded neighbourhood school. 


VCAL in 2017

Northcote High School will be offering two senior certificate courses from 2017. VCAL is new at NHS but is studied by 15,000 students across the state. VCAL provides competency based assessment (rather than moderated exams) and pathways into work and further study.


Current year 10 students will be able to apply for strictly limited places in a 2017 VCAL program where students will study a blend of VCE, VET and VCAL units to complete their senior certification. More information can be found in this short summary.


Wearing a helmet....

A number of students have been noticed not wearing helmets on their way to or from school. In fact, a surprising number of students do not seem to own a helmet in the first place!

It's mandatory to wear a bike helmet in Victoria,  so please ensure your child is not compromised at law by not having one, or not wearing one, while cycling to or from school. The Royal College of Surgeons is convinced of the value of wearing helmets and their efficacy in preventing head injuries. 

Memorial for Magnus

The Memorial service for our colleague Magnus Beugelaar was a moving and celebratory event. The Olver Hall was filled to capacity with family, friends and students past a present. Particular thanks to David Norman and Kevin Hoole who Magnus' children asked to speak at the memorial, you both spoke beautifully and from the heart. I have attached the order of service for those who were unable to collect one.


The following are the words spoken by the celebrant at the opening of the memorial:


Magnus was a teacher of Art at Northcote High for 32 years. He was particularly passionate about VCE Studio Art and acted as a VCAA examiner, curriculum designer and lead practitioner. The VCAA even instituted a special rule they jokingly call "the Magnus rule" to ensure an NHS student who deserved a perfect score of 50 received it.


With many student teachers over the years Magnus has had an impact on Studio Art teachers around the State. And we add to that the literally thousands of children Magnus taught Art to over the years and we have the picture of a person who has profoundly influenced his community and the arts community more broadly.


It is as a result of this that the School, Magnus' School, has offered as part of the upcoming building works to name the studio art room as the "Magnus Beugelaar Studio Art Room" in memory of Magnus' commitment over many years. This is an offer in memory of Magnus that his family gratefully accepts and they look forward to being present at the opening of the new Art and Design hub when the building is complete. 


It is indeed a measure of the man that, as The Hon. Richard Wynne told the memorial, Magnus has donated his house in perpetuity to be a refuge for women escaping family violence.


Vale Magnus.

Welcome to new staff

Mr David Ponsford (Science and maths – Science Staffroom)

Mr Brendan Pye (Art/Design – B Staffroom)

Mr Harley Hefford (Drama English – C Staffroom)

Ms Alana Smith (Humanities)

Appointments to  positions for Term 3 and Semester 2.

Assistant Principal - Mr Josh McDonald - Students / Staff (Replacing Mr Sean Butler Term 3)

Leading Teacher - Mr Peter Murphy - Assessment & Reporting, Education Technology (Term 3)

POL – VCAL - Mr Paul-Micah Sullivan - (Semester 2)

POL – Library - Ms Jennifer Tripp - (Semester 2)


Bring it on!
- Production Rehearsals


This week sees intense work in terms of pulling the 2016 show together.  Students have brilliantly managed their various practice groups under the Directorship of Ms Jackie Brogan and Ms Elisha Tepmlin (Music Director) with Mr Jonathan Templin (Producer) managing all things organisational.  This week students continue rehearsals, costume production (thank you Ms Johanna Healy and students) and refining of choreography, plus set production, lighting and sound et al.  Thank you to all our creative and energetic students.


Brave Faces & last day of Term


Our amazing Brave Faces event  will occur on the last day of term, periods 4& 5 in the Gym. Years 7-10 students will attend.

Rohan Hamit is the key organiser with a number of surprises in store!  

LAST DAY SCHEDULE:  5 shortened periods finishing at 2:00 pm.

Coming up - Course Counselling

Year 10 – 11 (2017) Course Counselling Info


Families of Year 10 students please see attached documents below for: 

- Key Course Counselling dates coming up in Term 3 & 4

- Key Contacts regarding Course Counselling

- An invitation to a Year 11 2017 Information Evening on Wednesday 20th July

(Click to open these)

Year 9 – 10 (2017) Course Counselling Info


Families of Year 9 students please see attached documents below for: 

- Key Course Counselling dates coming up in Term 3 & 4

- Key Contacts regarding Course Counselling

- An invitation to a Year 10 2017 Information Evening on Wednesday 27th July

(Click to open these)

Enquiries Ms Airle Tudhope, Middle Years Coordinator.

New Senior Subjects 2017

3 New Subjects

In 2017, Northcote High School will be offering three new subjects for senior years students.

Unit 1 & 2 Ancient History
In Ancient History students explore Ancient Mesopotamia and investigate the creation of city-states and empires. They also study Ancient Egypt. Students learn the importance of primary sources (the material record and written sources) to historical inquiry about the origins of civilisation.

Unit 1 & 2 Economics
Economics is the study of how individuals and societies use resources to satisfy needs. Students learn about the basis for economic decisions, their impact and basic economic principles and concepts.

VET Business
The aim of VET Business is to provide participants with the knowledge and skill development to enhance their employment prospects within the Business Administration field. This course is highly valued in industry and includes a structured workplace learning component.

Further information about these subjects will be released shortly in our course handbook.

Ms Kerrin Diamond

Coming up - "Bring It On"

2016 NHS Production

It's fast approaching! This year, the students will be performing Bring It On, the musical. This show is by the composer and lyricist , Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also wrote the recent Tony-Award winning smash Hamilton. The production entails cheering, singing, rapping, dancing and more. All the students involved have been working hard for the last few months. Tickets will go on sale through (Click to follow the link)on Friday, June 24 . Be sure to buy your tickets quickly to avoid missing out! The show opens on July 21.


Please direct any ticketing questions to Mr Jonathan Templin, at [email protected]

Our Sister School

Photo: Yr 8 student Mietta flies a kite at Beijing's Bird's Nest -2011

Homestay hosts still needed

for the annual visit by our sister school, Huaibei No 1 High School, for about one week in August.  We still require 4 girls to be hosted.  If you think you can assist, or want more information, please contact Mr Murphy 9488 2342 or via email: [email protected]

Developments with our Sister School 

Northcote High School has had a sister school relationship with Huaibei No1 High School for 17 years. Over that time, over 700 students and perhaps as many as 120 staff  have been on exchange visits between the two schools. It appears that the relationship is now the oldest between a Chinese and Australian school - at least, we cannot find one that is older. Huaibei is our window into Chinese society, a key partner in supporting language development here and increasingly a partner in curriculum exchange and developing our staff.

The strength of our relationship is the commitment by both school communities to working in partnership. Begining in 1999. student exchanges have become an annual feature of the relationship. Next year, 30 NHS music students and five staff will travel to China including an extended stay in Huaibei. In September, 20 students from Huaibei will visit us. However, the two schools have also developed other strategies to work together - teachers from both schools have been on extended placement to teach at each school. On occasion, Huaibei students have come to NHS to study. In 2006, Wang Jing, a Huaibei student, became the first International student elected in a government school as School Captain.


Next month, NHS and Huaibei No1 HS will sign an agreement to deliver the VCE, in collaboration, at one of Huaibei's campuses. It is a significant undertaking by staff in both schools, and again another first - we are the first Government school in Australia to do this.

Go fly a kite!

For a teacher, one of the most exciting things to observe can be a young person's personal growth while travelling internationally. How could I forget Mietta McKinnon-Mintzis of Yr 8 on her first overseas trip, using her Chinese language skills to purchase a kite from a hideous Mickey Mouse vendor, while on a visit to the Beijing Olympic Bird's Nest. She later bartered to purchase a Policeman's hat, which she wore in Huaibei and for 8 days straight. She and her friends joyful experience in Huaibei and China illustrated to me that there is a direct and very powerful connection between the effort we have all made (parents, students and staff) to build and support our sister school relationship, and the development of our young Australians.

Mr Nick Murphy

Principal Ma writes

First of all, on behalf of Huaibei No. 1 High School, I would like to express our sincere greetings to all the staff and students at Northcote High School.


We have furthered our cooperation regarding the joint VCE program through your visit to our school in March and Assistant Principal Nick Murphy's visit in May. From our meetings in China, we not only discussed and exchanged ideas about our partnership and cooperation agreement, but also achieved positive results in relation to student enrolment. We are confident that cooperation and partnership between our schools will continue to advance.


In order to develop and strengthen the friendship and cooperation between our two schools, this year we plan to send a delegation including 4 staff and 19 students, to visit Northcote High School. We plan to visit Northcote High School in mid-August and stay in Australia for 12 days.


Thank you for your kindest invitation. We look forward to receiving your music visiting group to our school in March next year.


Yours Sincerely, 


Principal Ma Ying

Huaibei No. 1 High School

Anhui Province, PRC

08 June 2016

Coming up - 90 th Events

Back to Arvo - 21 June


Back to Soiree - 9 Sept


Coming up - Yr 9 Community Project




We are six year 9 students that had the opportunity to go to The School for Student Leaders in the Victorian Alps. As part of our experience, we had to come up with a Community Learning Project.  

We plan to build four big garden beds and a chicken coop as well as a number of fruit trees. The chickens will help give the students a strong sense of responsibility and will produce eggs that will be used in Food Tech classes and will be sold in our future urban farmers market.  



The proposed location is at the back of the C block facing Merri Park.



We need any students, teachers or parents who are interested in gardening or even just helping out in the school community!



We want to create a space where the school community can come together and also help promote and teach people about sustainability. We also want to potentially hold markets where the whole school and outside community can get involved and socialise. 


If you are interested or would like to know more, please email [email protected] or [email protected] 



Report on our Music Concerts

Semester 1 Concerts

Last week, Northcote High School ran two fantastic music concerts at the Clocktower in Moonee Ponds—one of the few venues large enough for our school’s music program. Strings and Vocal one night, followed by the Bands the following night! Congratulations to all 310 + students who performed, and to all our parents and staff who contribute, collectively,  to supporting Music at our school.



Coming up in Music

Big Band Boogie
Thursday 18 August, NHS Hall, 7 pm (Tickets on sale Term 3 -

Strings Wine and Cheese
Tuesday 23 August, NHS Hall, 7 pm

Annual Music Quiz Night
Friday 2 September, NHS Hall, 7.30 (Tickets on sale Term 3 -

Report Day in the life Comp

Katie Pham 

has won the ‘A Day in the Life’ International Student video competition.


Congratulations to International Student Katie Pham for winning the ‘A Day in the Life’ International Student video competition, which was run by the Department of Education. She will have the opportunity to work with a Professional Video Editor for one day to create a lasting video of her Victorian study experience. Her video clips will be used in the Department of Education website to market the International Student Program.


Katie has been an excellent International Student at Northcote High School. Her leadership and creativity has shined through her three years study at NHS. She is a great role model as a global citizen.


Report - Yr 7 Fun day

The annual Year 7 Fun Day

was Tuesday the 7th of June. Every class had a day out going to a place of their choice. Some classes went ice-skating, to the movies, Latitude, or Laser Tag and everyone had lunch together. 7A went to Bounce. In the morning 7A all met at the gym and at 9:00 walked to Merri station to catch the train to Flinders Street Station. From Flinders Street we hopped on a train to Tooronga. After getting off the train we all started walking excitedly towards Bounce. Did we say 'towards'? Because we meant we walked the wrong way for 5 minutes, but it felt like 5 hours as we walked back. When we got there we had to wait a bit because we were early despite our slight setback. Although it gave us plenty of time to eat a snack and get ready for bouncing. We all had a lot of fun but it was clear that the best parts were: the obstacle course, free jumping and flipping. Fortunately for us, we got a game of class dodgeball in the last 5 minutes, which was brilliant. Once the session was over, we were all sad because we wanted to keep trampolining, but we couldn't so we headed back to the train station (going the right way this time) to go to Melbourne Central for lunch. We happily spent the next hour roaming the food court in search of good food. Which we found, eventually. Once all our stomachs were full of junk food, we bounced (did you see what we did there!) out of there and onto the train home. We spent the next half hour standing on a very crowded train. When we got back to school we were immediately dismissed to go home. It was a very fun and exciting day. We all had a great time!


By Tahlia and Yuvani, from 7A



Curriculum Report - Project Refresh

Progress Report


This year, curriculum leaders at the school are reviewing the ways we deliver programs at Northcote, and the manner in which we prepare our students to meet the future. We are preparing a Master Plan for curriculum provision in response to changes occurring around us.


Since we last reported on this project, we have been engaged in preliminary consulting with our community. Our teachers and education support staff, students, and parents offer an amazing amount of experience and expertise, and have helped us to identify a range of possible approaches to organising our curriculum provision between Years 7 and 10. We have already set up a working party which is preparing for the introduction of VCAL in 2017.

We have established that we want

  • more personalised pathways for students
  • a ‘learning to learn’ program
  • the mastery learning of core academic knowledge and skills before and beside inquiry or problem based learning
  • solid and substantive subjects with adequate time allocation
  • the development of the ‘human’ skills in our students

Achieving these things may require significant change to the way we organise the learning at Northcote High School. One change we have been investigating is that of vertical organisation of the curriculum. This would increase student choice by allowing year levels to share subjects, and create opportunities for students to move ahead or consolidate learning in selected subjects. It would also facilitate the introduction of Problem Based Learning in some subjects at each level.


Making sure that all our learners are engaged is critical, as they enter a world of work where highly skilled workers will be in greater demand than ever. (See Ross Gittins via the link below).


Ms Pru Morris

Community News

Action for Happiness



Hearts in Mind


Volunteers Needed


Can you spare an hour each week to visit a newly arrived refugee or migrant in the home and help them learn English and settle in Australia?  We have isolated people in the Whittlesea, Darebin and Hume areas who are waiting for help. Northern AMEP is currently seeking volunteers. Free training and support provided. If you are interested in being part of our team, contact Rebecca on 9269 1085 or email [email protected].


Rebecca Wray
NAMEP Home Tutor Scheme Officer

Pathways and Careers

Important dates for Year 12 students:






If you have contributed to the wider community in any of the following ways over a number of years, you may be eligible to apply for some of the Early Entry Schemes offered by unis.


•        Volunteering or involvement with religious or cultural groups

•        Ongoing community service

•        School leadership

•        Social justice, charity fund-raising

•        Sustained involvement in sport or performing arts


Early Entry Schemes offer a variety of benefits, such as a reduced ATAR requirement, mentoring, special seminars and more. You can find more information via these links:


La Trobe Aspire Program:

ACU Early Achievers’ Program:


In addition, ACU has two faculty-based early entry schemes. Students who are studying Legal Studies and/or Business related subjects will find these interesting:

Passion for Business:

Passion for Law & Commerce:

Open Day Calendar

Download the attached calendar, and start planning your weekends in Term 3. Uni Open Days are suitable for students of all year levels – the earlier you start your research, the better informed you will be by Year 12.

Work Experience Guidelines 2016


Year 10 students have started to organise their work experience placements. An outline of the procedure is attached here for your information.


Events & Workshops




Women in Engineering

La Trobe’s Women in Engineering event consists of a number of exciting workshops designed to allow female students in Years 11 and 12 to experience engineering in an interactive and fun way.

The event includes hands-on workshops combining both fashion and health with engineering and a range of female engineering guest speakers that will give future students an insight into what an engineering career involves and the opportunities available to them.
Date: Tuesday 12 July 9.30am - 3pm

Location: La Trobe Uni, Melbourne Campus
Register: Contact Bianca van Meeuwen, [email protected]  or 03 9479 2678


When: July 5


Morning tea & lunch provided

Where: Law School, Melbourne Uni

Cost:   $20



When: June 30


 Lunch provided
Where: Monash Uni, Clayton

Register: or ring 9903 2288



Good for employment, good for your own skills development!

When : Wednesday 6th & Thursday 7th July

9.00am – 5.00pm.

Where: Learn to Swim Victoria,

116 Cape Street Heidelberg
Cost  $320 

Download the flyer here, and see Ms Witt for more info.

Intro to Folio Preparation

Free, one-day course:

Monday July 4,

9.00am – 4.00pm

Kangan Richmond

Ring Maria 9425 5763


Fashion Camp

Kangan Richmond

June 29 – July 1

10.00am – 4.00pm



Monash University Computer Games Boot Camp (CGBC)

The Computer Games Boot Camp (CGBC) is a hands-on, interactive event for students between Year 9 and Year 12 offering presentations, workshops, course information and insights into IT career paths.

Tuesday 5 July - Thursday 7 July, 2016

9.00am – 6.00pm each day for three days

Monash Clayton campus

Free entry but you must register:


Uni Experience Days

More intimate than Open Days, Experience Days are run at most of the unis. Live life as a uni student for the day – registrations are essential – this link to the ACU event needs to be copied and pasted:


La Trobe also runs an Experience Day on each campus:



Working for the UN

Photo: Chloe O'Brien in Cambodia with the United Nations Assistance for the Khmer Rouge Tribunals

Chloe O'Brien's story


We briefly reported on Chloe O'Brien's work for the UN last term. She has written the following herself.

I graduated from Northcote High School in 2010 and commenced a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts at La Trobe University in 2011, graduating in 2015. During my time at university I majored in French language in Arts and took a definite interest in both Australian and international politics, and international law and criminal law. During my degree, I volunteered as a paralegal at Fitzroy Legal Service and did other experience at a Barrister’s Chambers as a Legal Research Assistant. During my final year of studies, I decided I was interested in pursuing a career in international law, particularly in the field related to international criminal law and human rights so I applied to work for the United Nations Assistance for the Khmer Rouge Tribunals (UNAKRT), based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The ECCC (Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia, also known as the ‘Tribunal’) is itself somewhat unique insofar as it’s a hybrid tribunal, with both national (Cambodia) and international (the United Nations) contributing to its establishment and running. The international side, UNAKRT, which I work for, is a technical assistance project which was the result of international diplomatic agreements, designed to implement to agreement between the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia concerning the prosecution of crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea (more commonly known as the Khmer Rouge), which lasted from April 1975-January 1979.


There are many offices and roles at the Tribunal, including the Defence, Civil Parties, the Victims Support Section, Trial Chambers, the Investigating Office, the Public Affairs Section, and the office which I work for, the Office of the Co-Prosecutor (OCP). I am currently 3 months into my 6 month internship at the Tribunal. My role as a legal intern in the OCP involves aiding the lead lawyers in prosecuting the current case against the two most senior surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge, and in the pre-trial preparation for on-going cases. This includes being present in court fortnightly for the current case to listen to the witness and write a summary of the daily proceedings. My other major role consists of working within a team of interns and lawyers to on the pre-trial preparation for the other cases, working on multiple tasks such as factual and legal analysis, information processing and management, and legal research. My time here so far has been invaluable in terms of the learning experience, and getting to work with such a diverse range of international and national staff. I am looking forward to the following 3 months and hope to pursue a further career in international criminal law in the future.

None of my NHS legal friends are looking towards anything corporate law-firmy. NHS breeds humanitarians.

Chloe O'Brien

Northcote High School Newsletter
OPEN DAYS 2016.pdf
Work Experience Guidelines 2016.pdf
Austswim flyer - July 2016.pdf
Austswim flyer - July 2016.pdf
What is VCAL.pdf
Information Evening - Letter Invitation to Year 10-11 Families.docx
Year 10-11 2017 - Course Counselling Dates and Contacts.docx
Year 9-10 2017 - Course Counselling Dates and Contacts.docx
Information Evening - Letter Invitation to Year 9-10 Families.docx