NGSC Newsletter

12 May 2017
Issue Six
North Geelong Secondary College
03 5240 5800
130 Separation Street
North Geelong, Victoria, 3215


Key Dates:

MAY 15 - 18         Year 8 Camp Group 1

MAY 24                  Curriculum Day (Student Free)

MAY 23 - 26          Year 9 Camp 

JUNE 12                Queens Birthday (Public Holiday)

JUN 5-16              Yr 7-12 Exams 

JUN 16                  Assessment & Reporting Day (Student Free) 

JUNE 14                GAT Exam
JUNE 27                 Year 7 Immunisations
30 JUNE                 Last Day term 2 (Early Finish)
JUL 24 - 28            Yr 10 Careers Week
AUG 17                   Curriculum Day (Student Free)

Mr Nicholas Adamou



At this time of the year, families are making important decisions about choosing a secondary school for their child.


There’s a common misleading view that if you send your child to a private school, your child will get better results.


But the facts show that this is wrong. 


A recent review of almost 30 academic studies revealed public schools achieve similar student outcomes to Catholic and independent schools across a range of education indicators. (Cobbold, 2015)


The review showed there were no significant differences between the results of students from public, Catholic and independent schools in national and international tests and in university completion rates.


And in the first year of university, students from public schools outperform other students – they achieve higher grades in their first year of university than students from Catholic and independent schools.


For more information about the review’s findings please go to the following website:


As a leader in the public school system I believe it’s important that families know about this information because it can help inform their decision-making.


Public schools are just as good as private schools in the area that matters most – developing your child’s potential.  The review is one of many pieces of educational research showing that students from the same social background do as well in public schools as they do in Catholic or independent schools.


There are other good reasons to consider enrolling your child in a public school. They include the following:


Public schools are great value for money compared with private schools, which charge families up to $40,000 each year in tuition fees per child. Tuition at public schools is free, with families paying for books and some essential items.

Children in public schools learn to get on with a wide mixture of students from different backgrounds. These advanced social skills – cooperation, empathy, problem solving – are increasingly prized in the modern workplace. They equip students for success in life and in work.


Public schools are neighbourhood schools.  Enrolling your child in a school within walking or riding distance to home makes it easier for you to know who your child’s friends are, to make friends with other local parents and to forge closer links with your school and your community.  

High quality teaching is one of the biggest factors that influence student learning. That’s why public schools are intensifying their efforts to enhance the skills of their teachers through mentoring, peer and student feedback and other forms of professional development. 


Public schools are the backbone of our nation’s education system. They express our Australian egalitarian values. They provide opportunities for all children to succeed, no matter where they live. They give all children a fair chance to reach their potential and lead a fulfilling life.


As Principal of a public school for a number of years, I am extremely honoured and proud of my current and previous school communities. I am also proud of the outstanding achievements of public school students over the years.


We want our student to tell us what they think about our school – Attitude to Schools Survey 2017.

North Geelong SC values student voice as a means to improving student engagement, wellbeing and quality instruction and are conducting a survey to find out what your child thinks of our school. The Attitudes to School survey is an annual student survey offered by the Department of Education and Training to assist schools in gaining an understanding of students' perceptions and experience of school. Our school will use the survey results to plan programs and activities to improve your child's schooling experience.

The Department has updated the survey for 2017 to include important new measures that are known to influence student engagement and performance. All students from Year 7 to 12 will participate in the survey. Your child will complete the survey online during school hours using a purpose built secure online survey tool.  It is important to note that we are not in any way “testing” your child. Your child has the right to refuse or withdraw from the survey at any point before, during, or after completion of the survey.


Your child will be provided with a unique login to complete the survey. The student login is an assigned identifier that may be used by the Department to combine data for research purposes only. Your child’s privacy and the confidentiality of your child’s survey responses will be protected at all times. No identifiable personal data is included in the survey response file.


The survey results will be reported back to the school in term 3. No student can be identified in the results reported to schools or in any other report of the data.

This year the Attitudes to School survey will be conducted at our school over the period Monday 22 May to Friday 23 June. The survey only takes 20-30 minutes to complete and occurs during your child's class time.

Please speak to your child’s teacher if you would like more information or visit the Department of Education and Training website:

NAPLAN Testing 2017

Tuesday 9, Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 May,

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It has been an annual event for schools since 2008. All students in these year levels are expected to participate in tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy. All government and non-government education authorities have contributed to the development of NAPLAN materials.


Why do students do NAPLAN tests?

NAPLAN is the measure through which governments, education authorities, schools, teachers and parents can determine whether or not young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy. The tests provide parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests. They also provide schools, states and territories with information about how education programs are working and which areas need to be prioritised for improvement.

NAPLAN tests are one aspect of the school’s assessment and reporting process, and do not replace the extensive, ongoing assessments made by teachers about each North Geelong Secondary College student performance.


What will be tested, and how?

NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy. The content of each test is informed by the National Statements of Learning for English and Mathematics which underpin state and territory learning frameworks. Questions are multiple-choice or require a short written response.


Who runs the tests?

NAPLAN tests are conducted at schools and administered by classroom teachers, school deputies or the principal.


How can I help my child prepare for the tests?

NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are already learning through the school curriculum. Teachers will ensure students are familiar with the test formats and will provide appropriate support and guidance. If you have any questions about your child’s preparation for NAPLAN, you should make a time to speak with their teacher.


The best way you can help your child prepare for NAPLAN is to reassure your child that NAPLAN tests are just one part of their school program, and to urge them to simply do the best they can on the day. The use of services by coaching providers is not recommended.


What additional support can schools provide for students with special needs?

All students are encouraged to participate in NAPLAN tests. Students with disability may qualify for adjustments which reflect the support normally provided in the classroom. Students who have a temporary injury may also be reasonably accommodated.


A formal exemption may be granted for a student with significant intellectual disability and/or significant co-existing conditions, or who has recently arrived in Australia and came from a non-English speaking background.


The school principal and your state testing authority can provide you with more information on special provisions or the process required gaining a formal exemption.


How is NAPLAN performance measured?

NAPLAN is not a pass or fail type test. Individual student performance is shown on a national achievement scale for each test. Each test scale has ten bands and all year levels are reported on the same scale. Six bands are reported for each year level for each test. One of these bands will represent the national minimum standard for students at each year level. A result at the national minimum standard indicates that the student demonstrated the basic literacy and numeracy skills needed to participate fully in that year level. The performance of individual students can be compared to the average performance of all students in Australia.


What happens if my child is absent from school on test days?

Wherever possible, schools will organise for individual students who are absent at the time of testing to complete missed tests at another time during testing week.


Will I receive a report on my child’s performance?

A NAPLAN report will be issued by your school later in the year. The same report format is used for every student in Australia. The school will notify you when the reports are being sent home. If you do not receive a report, you should contact the school. Individual student results are strictly confidential.


How are NAPLAN test results used?

Schools use results to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching programs and to set goals in literacy and numeracy.

School systems use results to review programs and support offered to schools.

Students and parents may use individual results to discuss progress with teachers.

Teachers use results to help them better identify students who require greater challenges or additional support.

The community can see average school NAPLAN results on the My School website.


Where can I get more information?

For more information about NAPLAN:


contact your child’s school

contact your state or territory’s education authority (details available on the NAP website)

Student Accident Insurance

Parents and Guardians are reminded that the Department (DE&T) does not provide personal accident insurance for students. Parents and Guardians are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including any transport costs.


Schools generally do not have whole-of-school accident insurance; however, reasonably low cost accident insurance policies are available from commercial insurers. 

Student Appearance

All students at North Geelong SC are expected to take pride in their personal appearance. Jewellery, make-up, hair colour and style must be discreet as per the school expectations and policies. Earrings must consist only of sleepers or studs in the ears.


It is the school’s preferred position that students do not have facial piercing ie. any facial piercing other than the ears. However, for students who already have facial piercing they have the following options: (i) the facial piercings are removed during the school day, to and from school. (ii) the facial piercing is discreet and clear plastic and (iii) a band aid is applied on the piercing during the school day, including to and from school.


Under no circumstances will metal facial piercings be accepted


Therefore, new facial piercings cannot be obtained during the year due to the healing time which requires the piercing to be metal.

2016 Annual Report

The school’s 2016 Annual Report has been endorsed by School Council and is now available for our community to review. The report consists of data related to student learning, attendance, retention, summary of surveys and much more. We are again, very proud of the results that have been achieved in 2016 across the board.


You can access the report via our website


Mrs Julie Andrews, Mr Paul Dawson & Mr Bradley Headlam 

Assistant Principals 

Learning Field

All payments for the Learningfield program are now required to be made to the school.  If you are yet to finalise payment for Learningfield and require assistance could you please contact the school.  The school may be able organise payment plans, so that your child’s education is not hampered by their inability to access the curriculum in the class. This restriction has the potential to lead to long term gaps in their knowledge and skills.


All student absences will continue to require that the school receive parental approval of their absences.  If you are aware that your child is going to be absent could you please ring the school Absence Hotline (Phone: 5240 5899) to leave a voice message or email on and leave the following information; YOUR NAME, RELATIONSHIP TO THE STUDENT, THE STUDENT’S NAME, FORM, DURATION AND REASON FOR ABSENCE. ‘Absence Hotline’ fridge magnets are available from the General Office.

If you are unable to ring the school, please write and sign a note with the above information on the next day your child returns to school. This will help ensure that you are aware of your child’s absence and improve their attendance.  All unapproved absences will be followed up with letters home.

Absence letters have been sent home for outstanding unapproved absences and students are required to return these to their home group teacher.

Colds, Flu & Infections

It is a time of year when colds, flu and infections are at their greatest.  The spread of viruses and infection could be reduced by:

  • Washing hands thoroughly before meal times and following washer room use
  • Using tissues
  • Disposing of tissues in appropriate waste bins

If you notice that your child is unwell:

  • Keep your child at home, (Do not send your child to school)
  • Notify the school.  Work can be sent home for your child to complete until they are well enough to return to school

AIME - Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience
Year 9 and 10

Four of our Year 9/10 indigenous students have taken the opportunity to connect with the AIME - Geelong project this year. There will be five program days each with a focus on personal understanding, development and mentoring. This program is developed by the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence and run at Deakin University. AIME is well supported by key personnel who are linked in with Wathaurong Co-op and Narana. As part of the program, the students are reading the book, ‘The Mentor’,  written by the AIME program creator and CEO, Jack Manning Bancroft.   

Artwork created by participants at the first program day for 2017


The next Program day (PD#2)  for the year 9/10 group is Tuesday, May 30.

Currently we also have Indigenous students involved in:

  • Community, Culture Connections project which will be developing a walking trail of community stories around Weir Deppeler Park - Wathaurong to Diversitat
  • Wada Nyooroo cultural Art program with the Geelong Cats creating art pieces that will be displayed at Kardinia Park
  • Working with the Great Ocean Road Committee, the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Narana to decorate bollards that will be placed at the chocolaterie.

Wada Nyooroo this week

Paying for bus travel - PTV myki cards

The school has noticed that there are students pretending to tap on to the school buses using their PTV myki cards. These are being declined but due to the number of students accessing the bus and pushing on past the driver, these students are travelling on the buses without paying. This practice is unacceptable and is showing a deliberate action to cheat the system.

We ask that parents ensure that travel cards are kept topped up with enough money to pay for their child’s travel. Please discuss this behaviour with your child and explain the socially acceptable actions of having to pay for public transport and the consequences of not doing so.


This week we had over 320 year 7 and 9 students complete the four NAPLAN tests. The students are to be congratulated for their participation and attitude to the testing process. Unfortunately we will have to wait until August for the publication of results which the school will use to inform teaching and curriculum practices as well as highlight individual areas of strength and growth points.


For a number of weeks we have had the great pleasure of having the support of two of our Leading Teachers in Assistant Principal roles. They filled the big boots nicely, so thank you to Laura Smith and Stan Koullas. In addition to this, one of our very own Assistants fulfilled the Principal role far better than he filled up the car park spot! Well Done Paul Dawson!



We will be starting to contact parents next week about unexplained absences. An unexplained absence is when a student is absent without school confirmation of parental consent or explanation. We have many avenues to communicate this and includes: absence contact number ph 5240 5899, Compass app, Compass online, note via student etc. All you have to do is communicate the absence date/s and reason.


As was already mentioned, reporting a child’s absence has many options including avenues via Compass. This has been discussed regularly and yet there are still quite a few parents not interacting with this at this stage. To support this process parents will be contacted in the next month to address this so that parents can start to utilise Compass online or the Compass app for the following:

  • Attendance information and communication
  • Newsletters
  • Progress Reports
  • Semester reports
  • Student work
  • Booking parent teacher interviews

Once organised you will find that there is a greater connection to the school information and this will increase with the release of various Compass modules throughout the year. Should you still need to login to Compass please feel free to contact Brad Headlam to arrange login instructions and details.


Please note that you will be able to access your child’s Progress Reports from 15th May. These can only be accessed via Compass. (Compass can be accessed via the College website/parent portal). These provide an insight into the progress being made in the classroom as your child works towards various class task goals. It outlines their work habits and progress towards achievement. The page will present three sections. The middle section is a graph and the bottom section summarises the progress. It is in the bottom section that a print out of the report can be gained. You will see on the right hand side “EXPORT PDF”. This enables parents to print a copy. (At this stage it cannot be viewed or printed from the top section.)


In recent times we replaced the lengthy written end of semester reports with regular progress reports, improved classroom and online feedback, and an end of semester report highlighting the student performance against the Victorian Curriculum standards.This continues this year but the report will look different. It should also be noted that Victorian schools have moved away from  AusVELS to the Victorian Curriculum. This means we will not be able to use previous scores to measure growth -hence there will be only one dot on the report for this year’s achievements. (This information will be clarified when the Semester Reports are completed later this term). Again these reports will be presented on Compass and therefore a login is required.


Whilst not directly involved in classroom activities we all have opportunities to participate in Classroom Observations. This is one of the many formalised programs to improve our teaching and learning. I have had great pleasure in observing several staff in the classroom as a part of our staff review. The interactions between staff and students are fantastic to see as an observer. The positive relationships between students in order to gain a greater understanding is applaudable. It is also enjoyable to see the dedication they show towards understanding the subject specific literacy. I look forward to seeing the progress made at the end of semester/year.


Exams are coming up at the end of this term. I encourage all parents to ensure their child has all required equipment now before they get into the exams. The support of this for the NAPLAN tests was excellent - so thank you to parents. Please note that all required exam equipment is required for all classroom activities as well


In the last two weeks of this term we will be changing to the Semester 2 timetable. This has the greatest impact for the middle school as their electives will be changing. The student electives will be posted in the next few weeks to remind students of their selections. We always aim to provide the courses for the students however, in the event there are insufficient numbers in some classes we will need to review and then reallocate students to classes. This will be communicated to students and parents.


Mr Adam Bond

Junior Sub School Manager 

Within most schools, there is always many things going on. We have athletics carnivals, major testing schedules, assessments and reporting, a variety of different meetings (both staff and student), assemblies, excursions, day to day lessons just to name a few that come to mind.


With such a variety there is always one common factor that connects everything that occurs in a school development. We aim to develop children into adults, and it is during the crucial years of secondary schooling that this occurs. Personally, I always identify two areas of development, the first being academic development and the second personal development with neither being any more important than the other.

Academic development is nurtured through different areas such as transferring knowledge, encouraging students to become independent learners, ensuring students remain motivated and acknowledging success to encourage further success.


Personal development can be much broader, and not always learnt through positive experiences. Teachers (student managers in particular) make decisions in response to student behaviours on a daily basis. When serious, these decisions are made through consultation with other relevant staff members taking a variety of different factors into consideration. These factors include such things as safety concerns and the impact on others educational opportunities. We need to consider what is in the best interests of the student and others impacted on including other students, school staff and others within our community. We endeavour to gather as much information as possible before making such decisions and the outcome is not always agreed upon by the student and sometimes parent. Positive outcomes don’t always present themselves in the foreground.

Where is this heading? I will use the game of Australian Rules Football as a symbolic representation. You take your son or daughter down to play on one of those cold Sunday mornings, this takes commitment, dedication and coffee. Everyone connected with the team wants the same thing, to develop players and to win (let’s be honest!). As the siren sounds for halftime the game is in the balance and could go either way, but then something happens that can ultimately impact on the result of the game.


Before the coaching staff are to address the players at the huddle they can not agree with a game plan and player positioning. The players quickly become aware of the disagreement and without an understanding or agreement being reached the siren bellows in the foreground and players are ushered back onto the field with heads full of mixed messages. The player's confusion is now enhanced and they are not sure of their position or role.

Has the likelihood of success been impaired by the coaches not coming to an understanding? Of course it has. Is it likely that many players will not make appropriate decisions because of their lack of understanding?


We as teachers, parents and guardians are all coaches for our one team. We need to ensure that we have trust and understanding of different perspectives and conduct ourselves in a manner that is consistent and modelling appropriate behaviours for our children.  We send one message so that each day when they walk out onto that field they know how to make choices that will ultimately lead to success because a couple of losses throughout the season doesn’t mean you can not win the grand final.


Ms Sarah Bridges 

Senior Sub School Manager 

Congratulations to those students who received an “Application and Attitude” award at the last whole school assembly.


Students have continued to apply themselves to their learning and participation in excursion and camps. We have heard some interesting stories from students who enjoyed these activities, even in the cold weather!


Legal Studies students are going to visit a prison as part of their studies in Criminal Law and some VCAL classes are making table centres for the upcoming Breakfast Club fundraiser. VCAL students are also participating in activities to promote Reconciliation Week.




Winter uniform can now be worn. Please ensure your uniform is in accordance with the guidelines.


Parents and students are reminded to access Compass every day for updates and upcoming progress reports.



Ms Fran Forsyth

Sports Manager 


After being washed out in term 1 it was pleasing to get suitable weather for our Athletic Sports on Tuesday 2nd May. Many students competed enthusiastically for their team throughout the day and some outstanding performances were given.

I thank teachers again for their assistance running the event. Also a thank-you to the Student Teachers and VET students who helped on the day.


Overall Results

AQUA              727 points

including participation points 51       

SILVER           700                                                                 including participation points 63                   

PURPLE          475                                                                 including participation points 36

ORANGE         326                                                                 including participation points 42       


New Records

Patrick Sager             13 Boys Triple Jump 10.29m and 400m 1:06 min

Roan Towne              13 Boys Long Jump 4.81m   

Tara Robinson           12-15 Girls 800m Walk 4:23 min   

Bryce Lang                 12-20 Boys 3000m 9:35 min

Emily Bliss                 12-20 Girls 3000m 12:17 min


Age Champions


12-13              Patrick Sager

14                    Tyler Edwards

15                    Ben Grigsby  

16                    Jeremy Hogan

17                    Cooper Ludlow

18-20              Nelson Nelson



12-13              Equal Olivia Mathisen &

                          Darcy Szakiel

14                     Tara Robinson

15                     Naw Pyaw Yeh Htoo

16                     Sarah Kirby

17                     Daisy Sanders

18-20               Moo K’phru Say


Mrs Vera Dudas

Multicultural Liaison Officer

Multicultural Committee News

The next Multicultural meeting will be held on Monday  22nd May at lunch time (12:45 pm) in the Discussion Room.

We will be have a guest speaker and more updates on our upcoming Multicultural Events !


This will be Committee’s  fourth and  final meeting for this term two!

CSEF Applications 

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eli​gible students to attend camps, sports and excursions. Parents or​ legal guardians are required to submit a CSEF application form to the school.


Schools will be able to accept and process applications up until June 30; after this date NO application will be accepted. 


Host Families and Exchange Students

A number of Exchange Students from Italy, France Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden and Finland are hoping to come here this July and August because they wish to study here for a term, a semester or even two (which would mean they would be with the family who chooses them over Christmas and the summer holidays) with  a family that would like to experience the differences and similarities of having an extra boy or girl aged 15-17 stay with them while they enjoy the experience and feel it is worthwhile.

I’m hoping that’s you and your family, so if you’d like to give it a try for a length of time, can afford an extra member of your family at mealtimes and have a spare bed, share room or own, please call Klaus Schumann on 0472 771 785 or 0397584279. (There is no payment involved as these are exchange students). Look forward to hearing from you.


Yours sincerely,

Klaus Schumann

SCCE Community Coordinator


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