Wheelers News

28 June 2019
Issue Ten   respect Excellence Creativity 
Principal's Page
Assistant Principal's Page
What's Coming Up Next
Monash Tech School Program
STEM In Science
Senior School Report
Performing Arts
Community News
Wheelers Hill Secondary College
(03) 9561 5811
Raphael Drive
Wheelers Hill, Victoria, 3150

Principal's Page

Teaching and Learning is our Focus

Our College provides opportunities to our students in a number of areas from student leadership to various camps and excursions.  We are proud of our co-curricular program here at WHSC.

Our primary focus though is what is happening in the classroom.  High quality teaching and learning provides the best outcomes for all of our students.


In Semester Two, there will be a real focus on Differentiation and Student Agency.  Differentiation seeks to provide tailored instruction to meet all student needs within the classroom, whilst Student Agency refers to the level of autonomy and power that a student experiences in the learning environment.  Student Agency gives students the power to direct and take responsibility for their learning, creating independent and self-regulating learners (Department of Education Resource, 'Amplify', June, 2019).

We are wanting to see more of these pedagogical approaches across all of our classes at WHSC, and we will work with students and families to develop and implement more opportunities in these areas.

WHSC Production - Singing in the Rain : 31/7 to 2/8/19

I repeat this message about our College Production from last week's Newsletter.  With the school holidays beginning next week, our College Production will be upon us sooner than what we think:


The College Production of 'Singing in the Rain' promises to be another outstanding performance this year.  The Performing Arts Team have been working incredibly hard over recent times with rehearsals, visits to Primary Schools and production meetings being a feature of their work.  


The College Production will again be held at the Burrinja Theatre in Upwey this year from Wednesday 31/7 to Friday 2/8/19 inclusive. We again will be working with Primary Schools as part of the Production with Wheelers Hill and Waverley Meadows Primary Schools involved.


The Performing Arts Program continues to be an important part of our school and our College Community can not wait to see another first class Production in 2019. 


Tickets will be on sale next term. We hope to see as many families as possible supporting this wonderful event.

Regional Cross Country 

We had a number of students compete in the Regional Cross Country event last week (Tue 18/6) with strong performances a feature of our participation on the day.


Ashleigh Mangan of Year 10 was successful in reaching the State Final later in the year - well done Ashleigh!  Please see a more detailed report on the Regional Cross Country in this Newsletter.  We congratulate all student participants for their involvement, and we thank staff for their supervision of students on the day.  


Cycle Two Reports, 2019

Our Cycle Two Reports will be made available to students and their families today (Friday 28th of June) from 3:00pm.  We encourage students to carefully read through the feedback provided.  The school holiday period is a time for students with their families to reflect and review their learning goals as we transition into the second half of the year.  Families who may have queries concerning our Cycle Reporting are encouraged to contact the General Office.



Given the half way point in the year, it is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of Student Attendance.  The research in this area is obvious - the higher the rates of Student Attendance, the stronger the learning outcomes for students.


It is important that families continue to work with us to support high rates of Student Attendance.  Students need to be encouraged at all times to attend school.  Families are obliged to contact us immediately with any student absences.  If students are away for an extended period of time (eg chronic illness), Student Absence Plans can be used to support students and their learning.


The Department of Education (or DET) support schools in different ways to maintain and further improve Student Attendance rates.  The 'It Is Not OK To Be Away' campaign I think speaks to students and families about the importance of strong levels of school attendance. 


"Local and international research demonstrates a strong correlation between student's learning longer-term life outcomes and attendance at school and appropriate participation in education programs.

It is important that children develop habits of regular attendance from an early age, as the older a child gets the more difficult it can be to establish new habits.  Poor patterns of attendance place students at risk of not achieving their educational, social and future potential as adults.  Once learners absent themselves from school, and the initial cause of this remains undetected or unresolved, it is likely that the pattern of absence will continue and escalate through their subsequent schooling and adulthood.  Please remember that if you are experiencing difficulty in having your child attend school, discuss the matter with your child's teacher (Home Group Teacher, Year Level Coordinator, Sub School Leader, etc)" (DET, 2019).


Value of the Week - Excellence

Our Work Experience Program concluded this week with Year 10 students engaged in work placements across a range of industries.


Our staff have been busy through the week visiting a number of our students whilst engaged in their work placement.  


Our Careers Co-ordinator Voula Jakubicki has lead the way in ensuring that our students had meaningful work placements that could link to their future career aspirations.  We thank Voula for her work.


Well done to all of our students involved in the 2019 Work Experience Program.


And finally............

I wish students and families all the very best for the up and coming holiday period.  We look forward to another productive Semester of learning after the holiday break encouraging all of our students 'To Be The Best That They Can Be'










Aaron Smith


Assistant Principal's Page

Work Submission Policy

As part of our core work in supporting student outcomes, we have recently reviewed our current practices. All students have the ability to succeed, although sometimes they may require additional support to achieve their best. As a college we are committed to doing everything we can to support student learning so that students can continue to build upon their skills and knowledge to support their ongoing journey as learners. As a means to providing the optimum conditions for this to occur, the college, in partnership with school council, has decided to implement a process for students who fail to submit their work by the due date. The objective of this process is not intended to be punitive, but rather a measure to further support students complete outstanding work, to enable the learning process to continue via teacher feedback and skill building. Experience tells us that students who fail to submit work are unable to build their capacity for more rigorous challenges and in essence this puts them behind and at a significant disadvantage in terms of their ongoing learning and skill development.  

Please refer to the attached Work Submission Policy for your reference. Work submission sessions will be held after school two times per week. As a learning community that places a high degree of importance on academic and personal growth, we are confident that as parents you will be happy to support this initiative to ensure your child has the very best opportunity to further their learning whilst at Wheeler's Hill Secondary College. 



Please be reminded that we have high expectations in relation to the wearing if the college uniform. All students are expected to wear the correct uniform moving into term 3. We request parent support in this matter as we try to encourage our students to present themselves in an appropriate manner in keeping with the College uniform policy. Please ensure that any additional or replacement items of uniform are purchased over the term break so that everyone can be attired correctly from day one of term 3. Please also be mindful of correct fitting uniform as many of our students experience growth spurts which impact on the length and fit of uniform items. Students who fail to wear correct school uniform will face graduated consequences in line with the uniform policy. Please refer to the college website for a copy of the uniform policy.

Leave of absence for Term 3- Judy Anderson.

For those families who may not be aware, I will be away from the College for most of term 3. For the first 3 weeks of term 3 I will be on long service leave and upon my return I will be at Dandenong High School as an Intern Principal until the last few weeks of term 3. As I place a high value on life long learning, at the start of 2019 I embarked upon a Graduate Certificate of Principal Preparation through Monash University and facilitated via Bastow.  The course to date has been extremely rewarding as I have been able to  take a balcony view and reflect upon my own leadership journey, my experience of past and present leaders, while taking in recent research on various aspects of contemporary educational leadership. These experiences have provided me with the opportunity to further construct my own understandings of who I am as a leader and the authenticity I bring to my role as an educational leader. I am an advocate of life long learning and I am looking forward to spending time in a very different setting so that I can come back to my role at WHSC and share any new leanings that may further support the work of our college.

I wish all our students, families and staff, a safe and relaxing break. All the best for term 3!

Bon Voyage!

What's Coming Up Next


  • Last Day of Term
  • Year 10 Work Experience
  • Year 11 Formal


  • Start of Term 3


  • Afternoon Tea (Yr 12 Students and Parents) 


  • Production Camp


  • Production Camp
  • State Cross-Country


  • Production Camp


Don’t get triggered, Life’s Lit!
Let’s get back to the basics
Low-stakes is where it’s at.

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.

Albus Dumbledore

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Writing and reading are essential for our ability to communicate and connect with others. At Wheelers Hill Secondary we encourage our students to work on their writing via low and high-stakes activities. This year in English from Year 7 - 9 we have used a Class Reader’s Notebook to motivate students and uncover their inner love for reading and writing.


At secondary school there is an expectation for students to write and create masterpieces for their final assessment each term. But how is this creating a love and appreciation for writing?


The freedom to write about what they enjoy is the best way to spark a student’s enthusiasm. Removing the pressure of marking and assessing work also creates a sense of comfort and brings back the delight students once experienced when writing as a child. We call this low-stakes writing, and throughout the semester we have taken our English students on a journey to reinvigorate their minds and feel confident in their writing ability.


This will continue through a student’s high school journey through middle years and senior years at Wheelers Hill, and we hope to see students discussing and sharing their work with each other.


Claire Hanley

Literacy Learning Specialist


Numeracy in Maths

This is Asha Lal's third year as a teacher at Wheelers Hill Secondary College. This year she is teaching a Build Year 8 Maths group. Students had prior knowledge of finding the area of 2D shapes and in this lesson. Her focus for this lesson was for students to learn how to find the area of composite shapes. At the start of each lesson, the teaching and learning model at Wheelers Hill Secondary College is for all teachers to write the lesson intentions and success criteria on the board. The students in Asha’s class are asked to write this in their log books for the students to refer back to later.

Asha then uses some of the High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) on Explicit teaching and Worked Examples to demonstrate to students what they need to do and how to do it. Asha also provides worked examples to students and details each step carefully to solve the problems.


Students were then given problems on the board for them to apply their learning by completing these questions in their Workbook. Asha went around to help students individually. After some time, Asha choose students to share the answers they had calculated. Asha choose different students to come up to the board and complete their working on the board. There is a sense of pride by the students in sharing their knowledge to the class.

Lachlan Azzopardi has volunteered to come to the board and share his understanding with the class.

George Grivas is checking his answer with the teaching and showing his working to the class. 

Raam Waup is also keen to share her knowledge. 


Asha also encourages her students to help each other as peer teaching is another powerful tool to use in the classroom to improve student learning.

The students above from left to right (Koby White, Olivia Robinette and Sofia Escoto Carranza) work together to help each other in solving one of the composite shapes. 

We thank Asha for sharing her lesson on Composite Shapes and allowing us into the class to see the ways that Asha engages her students to achieve their full potential in Maths. 



Michelle Galli

Numeracy Learning Specialist


Monash Tech School Program

Monash Tech School Program

Two groups of Year 7 (7A & 7B) completed a 3 day program at Monash Tech School this week. The program ‘Superhumans’, aims to provide students with a solid understanding of the key concepts relating to materials science and engineering. This program is designed to affirm the objectives of the Victorian Curriculum. The ‘Superhumans’ unit asks students to design either smart clothing, implants, wearables or bionic devices. Students had access to rapid prototyping equipment such as laser cutters, various types of 3D printers, and more to complete their projects.


Big DAY In – ICT careers

A group of students attended RMIT and heard leading speakers from a wide variety of organisations, all talking about the future of technology & how students can get involved in shaping the future. They were be able to visit exhibitor stands to learn about where a career in IT can take them. Here are thoughts of two students who went along.

Big Day in Melbourne recount by Luke Henry 9D

On the 19th of June, some year 9, 10 and 11 students attended the ACS ‘Big Day in Melbourne’ presentations. The presentations had representatives from several companies and organizations. These companies and organizations included Microsoft, Defence Force Recruiting, Adobe, Westpac, Wisetech Global, RACQ, Agilent technologies. Each of the representatives talked about the tech related careers of the company’s they work for. They also talked about how future jobs are going to be over taken by robots and how tech skills can be important to adapt to different careers and jobs that may be made in the future. In-between presentations, we had breaks and during those breaks, we could talk to the representatives about their jobs and other career paths in more detail. There were a couple pieces of technology which people could try out and see how they worked. 1 included VR setup and another 1 included live animating which could track your facial movements and appear on a puppet. The day was interesting as it gave us more information about technologies and careers from people with lots of experience.

Emily’s response to the big day in Melbourne by Emily Clement 9D

The moment I entered the doors to big day in Melbourne I was in awe. We first had an introduction on what things we would be learning and how everything in the building had some cone connection to IT technology. After the introduction, we listened to a speakers talk for a little while, then we went and had a look around and learn about all the different technology and its functions. Overall it was a great learning experience for me and I am glad I got to go because, now I have more knowledge on technology. I also liked all the free merchandise I was given!

Kim Hewlett

Stem Leading Specialist

STEM In Science

STEM in Science.

Astronomy and Earth Science is a relatively new Year 9 elective, only in its second year. As such, the course is still evolving and this year we have introduced space exploration into the unit. Students have been looking at different bodies in our solar system and the ways we have expanded our knowledge of them through robotic probes and landers. They are also learning how to build and program simple robots using Lego Mindstorm. They will then use the skills they learn to undertake some specific missions in the Space Challenge task simulating activities required of landers on a Martian exploration. Elon Musk eat your heart out.



Students have also written stories visualising themselves running or undertaking missions to other planets based upon their research and a good dose of imagination. What follows is the work of Maryam Asad who teamed with Laura Saldutto to research Pluto.

To the edge of the Solar System!

A few years ago, our New Horizons Mission space probe accomplished the historic flyby of Pluto, the last of the major bodies in our solar system for us to visit. With years of detailed planning it was finally late 2006, and our mission was launched. It required as long as 14 years of funding, hard work and a lot of persistence to make this mission come to life. I was a part of the team that collected and recorded the data given by the spacecraft from Pluto.


We were working the entire nine years as that spacecraft crossed the solar system. Not only planning the Pluto flyby but also training everyone, working on malfunction procedures and backups while also navigating the spacecraft to get the Jupiter flyby right.


With ten days to go before the flyby and New Horizons approaching Pluto at 1.2 million kilometers a day, on Sunday afternoon July 4th we called from APL Mission Control Centre. The call was to say that MOC had suddenly lost contact with New Horizons. The spacecraft literally while talking to us and just went dizzy and went offline and that's never supposed to happen ever to any spacecraft. There you are, approaching Pluto, getting ready for the fly by, your one and only chance to observe Pluto up close and your spacecraft computer crashes. It turns out our main computer had been overloaded and the backup computer saw that it was in trouble and it shut down the main computer which is what it was supposed to do and took over control. When we re-established contact, we found out that the main computer shutdown meant that it had erased all of the flyby plans that had been carefully put up as a series of files over a period of months. There were now only three days remaining before the July 7th deadline when the core program sequence had to work flawlessly to start and operate the flyby instructions automatically controlling spacecraft movement, imaging sequences, data collection and its transmission back to us on Earth as New Horizons raced through the Pluto-Charon system. We immediately called our team back together and for the next three days, no one left, people were sleeping on desks, sleeping on the floor and eating out of candy machines.


After those three days, we got our first picture ever of Pluto! Excitement was in the air and the joy of seeing that the team had worked so hard and succeed is something I will never forget. The picture revealed a lot about what the surface, about the size of the United States, was like. Straight away, we were able to see flowing glaciers, avalanches snowing atmosphere, volcanoes and five fascinating moons. There were so many scientific discoveries which proved how complicated such a small planet can be. After all those years of waiting, we now suddenly had discoveries raining down on us and we could finally start to observe the atmosphere, surface and structure of Pluto which also helped us figure out the weather conditions and potential for life.


It was recorded that the Pluto’s atmosphere was 90% nitrogen with minor amounts of methane and carbon monoxide which had vaporized from the surface. The weather was extremely cold resulting in potential glaciers and craters. Because it was so cold, water turns to ice, telling us 

that there was a very little chance that there could be life. However, there was strong evidence of liquid water ocean that can be an abode for life inside Pluto.


Over just a year ago, we knew almost nothing about Pluto, it was just a little ice ball far away in space. But now, after this mission, Pluto became alive to us in various ways.

It was alive geologically and atmospherically with terrains on its surface that are a million square kilometers. Speaking of its surface, Ices like methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen frost cover the surface and when it is close to the sun its surface ices sublimate and rise to temporarily form a thin atmosphere. It becomes much colder when it is travelling away from the sun.


We learnt many things about this complex and mysterious world and will keep discovering it in even more detail. We are learning that this little planet that is complicated now was even more complicated in the past. I think our next step to exploration should be to go back with another orbiter and really stay and explore in detail. Overall, with some unexpected occurrences, the mission went well and we are all incredibly happy and excited and even more proud to have been a part of this experience and even more so to be able to have pieced together all of the data to make public about this otherwise mystery planet.



By: Maryam (Student)


Paul McGlynn

Leading Teacher

Senior School Report


Information Evenings

During week 3 and week 4, Wheelers Hill Secondary College will be holding Information Evenings for students entering and moving through the Senior School in 2020.



On Thursday 1st August, the Information Evening is for current Year 9 students and their parents. The evening will be held in the library between 6:30 and 7:15pm



On Thursday 8th August, the Information Evening is for all parents of students entering Years 11 and 12 in 2020.

The evening will consist of two sessions:


Session 1 (6:30 – 7.00pm) for current Year 11 students and their parents will be held in the  library.


Session 2 (7.15 – 8.00pm) for current Year 10 students and their parents will be held in the same venue.


From 6.00 – 7:30 pm in L1 and L2 there will be a display by Domain Areas of the VCE subjects that will be offered in 2020. Staff members will also be available to answer questions and give information and advice.


These evenings will be an important opportunity for parents and students to learn about and discuss course options for next year.


Selection Process

This year, the student selections for Year 10 and Year 12 in 2020 will be completed online. At the Information Evenings, students will receive a letter outlining the procedure to follow with a unique password to use.


Year 11 2020

Current Year 10 students will be making their selections for 2020 during the individual interviews that will take place on Friday 16th August. Each student will be given a time to meet with one of the subject advisors. Parents are encouraged to attend the meeting with their son/daughter. No Year 10 classes will be running on this day.


Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Judith Riddoch

Senior School Leader

Performing Arts

Production Rehearsals coming to a close... 

As rehearsals wrap up, the curtains are about to rise at Burrinja Cultural Centre! Our college production of Singin in the Rain will open on the 31st of July!

Tickets will be on sale first week of Term 3 - we are so excited to share this  ambitious Hollywood classic with the whole community! Here is a sneak peek of some of our rehearsals so far! 


Waverley Meadows Primary - Production Partners!

We asked the hard questions, they provided the adorable answers! Waverley Meadows will be joining us on stage for both Opening and Closing night at the production! 

Genelle Lentini

Performing Arts Leader

Community News

Copic Marker Workshop


Wheelers Hill Entertainment Book


Monash Uni Water Polo



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Wheelers News
Work Submission Policy WHSC - School Council.pdf