Fairhills Forum

13 October 2017
Issue Eight
Principal's Report
Important Dates
From the Office...
Diversity Week
From the Library...
Community Page
Fairhills High School
03 9758 5022
330 Scoresby Road
Knoxfield, Victoria, 3180

Principal's Report

Principal's Report

Dear Parents, Students & Staff


The year rushes on and term four has arrived bringing with it some warmer weather, and our Year 12 students busily preparing for their upcoming exams. Theatre Studies, Dance and Language students have already begun their performance and oral exams and the written exams begin with English on the 1st November. During the September holiday break our Year 12 subject teachers ran exam revision and preparation sessions over three days. Our fantastic Year 12 Coordinator, Ms La Leggia, continues to support and guide the students through their final weeks of the VCE. We would like to thank her for her ongoing work supporting our senior students and look forward to celebrating their achievements with their families at our Valedictory Dinner on Wednesday 25th October.


It is important to acknowledge a number of major programs and events that occurred during the end of Term 3. We continue our very important cultural exchange programs with a visit from two staff (Iris Orth and Till Butzinger) and ten students from our sister school in Germany, Integrierte Gesamtschule Ernst Bloch. They were a positive, friendly group who enjoyed their visit to Fairhills and their experiences of Australia. This visit would not have been possible without the enormous effort to arrange the exchange, support the visitors and find host families, carried out by Ms Karolina Clouston (German Teacher). We are very grateful for her hard work, and also for the support given by our host families.


We also appreciate the work of Ms Winstone (Head of Languages), who gave up her holidays to take four of our students to Japan. The KSKK organisation runs a fantastic program which allows these students to experience Japanese culture, visit interesting sites, go to a Japanese school and stay with a host family. The four students were a credit to our school, made new friends and had an amazing time.


On top of the work Ms Sarah Power put into the wonderful musical production last term, she continues to develop the skills of our Theatre Studies and Dance students. They were able to present their skills and show off what they have learnt by performing various dance routines and theatre monologues in a Show Case Evening on Thursday 14th September. It was a very enjoyable night for those of us in the audience, and a credit to the performance skills of the Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 students.


We were pleased to support Livingstone Primary School by providing coaches from our Basketball Academy students to help guide the Grade 3 and 4 students through the Hoop Time Primary School Competition. Mr Andrew Potter (Head of Basketball Academy) recognised a wonderful learning opportunity for his senior students and they gained valuable lessons about coaching younger students.


One of the major events each year on the Fairhills calendar, Diversity Week, occurred again towards the end of term 3. Under the direction of Paul Graham (Student Wellbeing Coordinator) and Mirza Skelic (Student Voice Leader) a large team of students and staff worked together to run a whole series of activities for our school community. In order to recognise and support the wide variety of talents our students have they ran a talent show at lunchtime, the Physical Education staff helped run activities for the students to help improve our understanding of people with disabilities.  We had an expo for students in order to link them into community support organisations, the Languages staff and our international student group helped organised an amazing international food lunch and the Arts staff helped run activities around tolerance and acceptance of all members of our community. A big thankyou to all those involved; the week was extremely positive and a wonderful example of the Fairhills students and staff working together.     



Paul Donaldson

Associate Principal


Important Dates

Term 4 2017


Fri 13th October

-Thailand Trivia Night


Thurs 19th October

- Y7 Immunisations


Wed 25th October

- Valedictory Dinner (Year 12)


Thurs 26th October

- Y12 Breakfast


Wed 1st November

- Y12 English Exam


Mon 6th November

Professional Learning Day for staff
(students not required at school)


Tuesday 7th November

Melbourne Cup Day holiday


Sat 25th Nov - Sat 9th Dec

Thailand Trip


Mon 27th November

VCE Start (Y11 2018)


Tuesday 12th December

Orientation Day


Thursday 14th December

Awards Night - Knox Council





From the Office...

General Office

Office hours:    8.15am to 4.30pm

Telephone:      9758 5022

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

Office Personnel

Who will be able to help you in term 4? 

There has been a re-distribution of roles in the office:

Penny Niven is our Business Manager.

Julia Newnham is our receptionist / front office lady.

If you need to talk to someone about your student’s attendance / absence – Sharon Cocks is the lady to help you.

Michelle Hodson is the go-to person with finance questions, while Barbara Dwyer can help with student selections. 

Irene Smith is Office Manager and will help wherever needed.

Carol Charles is being seconded to Eastern Ranges School as their Business Manager for term 4 – congratulations Carol!  We look forward to having you back at Fairhills in 2018.

Finance Information

With the end of the year approaching quickly we ask that you finalise all outstanding financial commitments as soon as possible.  Statements showing only outstanding amounts will be emailed on Monday, 16th October.


2018 Year 12 students have been fitted for their Graduation Rugby tops – the cost is $80 and should be paid to the school office by Friday, 20th October (using B.Pay, Eftpos, cheque or cash).

2018 Year 10 students will have received notification via Compass about upgrading their Notebooks for the final 3 years of their schooling at Fairhills – please return the form indicating whether or not you intend purchasing a new Notebook.


Remember to update your contact details with the office IF you change phone numbers/address/place of employment.  We MAY need to contact you in the case of an emergency.  If you make alterations to your details on COMPASS you should also email the school on [email protected] with the same information.

Student Absences 
9758 5022

Parents are requested to phone the school before 9.00am  if your child will be absent or late due to illness or for any other reason & leave a message after the prompt. Please leave a message outlining the reason for the absence and if known the length of time your child will be away from school. The absence line is operational 24hrs a day, 7 days a week for your convenience.


Parents are encouraged to mark absences on Compass.


If a student arrives at school late they should report to their classroom teacher.

If a student is required to leave school early for any reason they should bring a note from their parent/guardian or record the absence on Compass.

Important - Asthma

If your student has a medical alert for ASTHMA  the school MUST be supplied with an updated Management Plan every 12 months.


Many of our students, recorded as having asthma,  DO NOT have current plans.

Please download the form from :

www.asthma.org.au and have it completed and signed by a practising Medical Practitioner & return it to school.


Japan Study Trip

On 22nd September the beginning of a big adventure began for Tom, Nathan, Paul and Riley accompanied with Ms Winstone on the school's Japan Study Trip.


The first day in Japan and we hit the ground running. We were kitted out in kimono rentals and walked the streets of Asakusa before going to an okonomiyaki restaurant and cooking our own food. One day and we are already like locals!


After, in Paul's words doing more in one day in Tokyo than he would in two weeks, we moved to our new accommodation NYC (not New York City but National Youth Centre). By now the students are eating with chopsticks like pros, and enjoyed playing at NHK Hall and shopping in Harajuku. We also walked through Meiji Jingu, a shrine which is centuries old.


The Japan Study Trippers went to Kamakura to see the Big Buddha



The Japan Study Group had an opportunity to sightsee Tokyo with students from Meiji High School. Firstly, they introduced themselves in Japanese and English, which was great practise for all students. They then went to the National Diet Building, which is not the Losing Weight Building, but the National Parliament. They then met a high ranking politician who is the chairman of KSKK, the organisation we run our exchange through. It was a great honour. They then went to the Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park and went through a virtual reality simulation of how they might survive an earthquake. Their accompanying teacher is proud to announce she gained a score of 100%, so the students are in safe hands!


The Japan Study Trip students spent 2 days at Meiji High School attending classes, and experiencing their first home stay. There was a definite buzz on the way back to our accommodation in Tokyo about differences in school and home life.


The next adventure for the Japan Study Trippers was a day's experience at Seiritsu High School. We went to English class and introduced ourselves, and learned about kanji for colours, and kanji constructed in the Meiji era to write English words. Two of us won a kanji Bingo game. Go Nathan and sensei! 'We attended maths class, and worked out maths according to shapes. We went to a science class and made Halloween candles and slime, and then had the honour of attending a tea ceremony, and even learned how to make tea. We had an awesome day, and made lots of new friends.


A fantastic experience to visit Tokyo Disneyland


We said sayonara to Tokyo and moved to Mobara for 6 days of home stay. We met our host families and the students introduced themselves in Japanese, sang the national anthem, and gave a lesson about Australian animals.

After our first night enjoying homestay, we spent a day at Ootaki High School. The students experienced classes with school buddies, and at the end of the day we went to calligraphy club and learned how to write our favourite words and names in kanji.



The Japan Study Trippers went to Hagiwara Elementary School where they joined Grade 2 for an English lesson. We played games together to help the children learn English. We also had the honour of watching the marching band practise. We then went to a local nursing home where the students introduced themselves in Japanese, and then explained about Australian animals to the old people.  Here are the students at something called 'tabehoodai' which is an 'all you can eat' restaurant. Let's just say they got their 90 minutes' worth!


The Japan Study Trippers attended Chosei High School. They participated in a Maths lesson where they learned how to do maths the traditional Japanese way. They also learned how to play the koto, a traditional musical instrument. They helped out in an English class, and learned how to make tea at a tea ceremony. They then went to Ootaki Castle where they had the chance to dress up in samurai and kimono wear.



For the experience at Mobara High School we attended home room, and then an English communication class in which we played games to help the Japanese students learn English. We then had Maths class, and calligraphy class. It was sports day at the school in the afternoon, and we were proud to be a announced as special guests. We participated in the relay and then basketball. After that we had the honour of joining the tea ceremony club



Our last full day in Japan we travelled to zou no kuni which is an animal park. We saw elephants, and Nathan even bought a plush toy from an elephant who took his money and then gave him his goods. Sensei fed an elephant. We then had ramen for lunch, and went up a mountain in a cable car to Mount Nokogiri Nihonji Temple. The day ended with dinner with our host families and a farewell ceremony. This was tinged with sadness, but brightened with good memories.



And so our trip comes to an end - arriving back in Melbourne on Saturday 7th October.


Jessica Winstone

Languages Coordinator

Diversity Week

Divsersity Week @ Fairhills

On Monday 4th September Fairhills High School celebrated Individuality Day

What is Individuality day? Individuality day is about recognizing and celebrating that we are all unique in different ways. Individuality day is aimed to promote all the many great personalities, characters, strength and talents that we have at Fairhills HS.

Fairhills HS hosted a free dress day and it was so great to see students and teachers dress up in their outfits.

We hosted a Talent quest at lunchtime, which was a huge success. We had some awesome band performances, as well as individual performers, showing off their amazing talents. Congratulations to those who won the competition and a huge thanks to everyone who participated and all those who helped out on the day.  


Tuesday 5th September Fairhills HS celebrated Disability awareness

Disability day at Fairhills HS is about recognizing and spreading awareness of the different mental and physical disabilities that are common in our community. Fairhills HS students hosted a number of games at lunchtime in the Gym. Students got to participate in a blind obstacle course, a group Hula Hoop contest and other exciting games. A huge thank you to all the student leaders who organised and ran the event.  


Fairhills HS hosted a slide the pool competition to raise funds for motor neuron disease. While it may have been a bit of a wet day for some, it was also lots of fun. Well done to Mr Donaldson and Ms Bishop for joining in and the students who participated.


Wednesday 6th September Fairhills HS hosted its first ever expo

A number of different groups and services from the community came out to talk to students about the services that they offer. The purpose of the Expo was to try to link students to their local community. We had the following groups/organisations present who all organised different fun activities for our students at Fairhills HS and gave out lots of lollies and promotions;

Knox Youth Services


Bayswater Indoor Soccer

Emerge Youth Group


Knox Leisure Works

Knox Softball


Chess club



A big thanks to our Year 9 year level leader Troy Ayling, for introducing the Expo at the Assembly. Well done to all the other students and teachers who helped out on this fun day.


Thursday 7th September was the celebration of Culture at Fairhills HS

We are lucky at Fairhills as we reside in a multicultural area. People in Knox come from over 130 different countries and just in the city of Knox, over 30% of people were born overseas. To celebrate culture, Fairhills HS hosted its annual international food festival. We had many students and staff come along to enjoy this yearly tradition. A big thanks to Ms Maghami and all the students who helped make all the yummy food.


Friday 8th September Fairhills HS celebrated gender and sexuality

There were lots of fun activities at lunchtime, including Tie Dye T – Shirts and Face painting.

A huge Fairhills HS banner was designed and decorated by our students.

We also had Kate Arnott present from Knox City Council making rainbow badges.

A big thanks to Ms Muratore and the student leaders for making this day fun.


(Special thanks to our Well- being Coordinator Paul Graham and Student Voice Leader Mirza Skelic for making all this happen and all the staff and students who were involved and helped out )


Y11 Chemistry Excursion

On Thursday September 21st the year 11 Chemistry class spent the day at Latrobe University to experience Chemistry in the University Laboratory complete with high end equipment not found in a High School.


We spent the day analysing water supplies using Spectroscopy, Atomic Absorption and UV/HPLC techniques to determine the level of contaminants in the moat water at Latrobe University.  Some of these contaminants include heavy metals and organic compounds usually found in a petrol station, not at all suitable for human use.


The information from this day is important as part of Unit 2 Chemistry and will help students that go on to study Units 3 and 4 Chemistry.  Our students really enjoyed the day, even the extensive Public Transport required to get us all there and the beautiful weather.  The University experience was a real eye-opener – many students have set their sights for Tertiary studies as they discovered the joy of the University Chemistry Lab.  Thanks for your efforts on the day to all of you, especially being on time at Boronia station for our extremely early start.

Ms. Grunberg

Year 11 Chemistry Teacher

Science Competition

Some Fairhills  students  participated in the UNSW International Science Competitions.

Congratulations to the following students who received these awards:


Blake Brammall – Year 7 - (High distinction)

Leo Allain – Year 7 - (Distinction)

Aaron Alderson – Year 7 - (Credit)

Jacob Carey – Year 7 - (Credit)

Brendan Farmer – Year 7 - (Credit)

Charisma Thomas – Year 7 - (Credit)

Rituraj Kangle – Year 8 - (Credit)

Levi Waters – Year 8 - (Credit)

Matthew Chong – Year 11 - (Distinction)

Year 9 Science

Year 9 Students have been investigating different types of current and future technologies as part of their Science coursework this semester. From Solar Panels to Smart Watches to Robots, the advance of technology and human achievement is marking us toward a different future. The Year 9 students from Ms. Oliver and Mr. MacLean’s classes have researched long through the term and have created some excellent assignments, including; Stories about our Robotic Future, board games about computer games and fully functional moving robots! Pictured below is a Solar Powered house created by Riley Olsen, and a Tornado Diorama depicting the changing weather conditions of the future by Luke Osborne.

Ben MacLean

Science Teacher




Parenting Ideas

By Michael Grose


Parents have two things in common. Firstly, every parent experiences some challenges or difficulties at some point raising kids. Whether it’s managing challenging behaviour, keeping a child’s chin up when life doesn’t go their way or helping a young person handle the ups and downs of adolescence – every parent must deal with challenges along the way.

Secondly, all parents want their children to thrive and flourish. That means we need to love our kids confidently, rather than protect, pamper and problem-solve for our kids.


Here are fifteen parenting ideas to help your kids thrive and in doing so, may reduce the number of parenting challenges you experience along the way.


15 ways to love your child confidently: 


1.  When kids can, let them do

The independence mindset that we promote here at Parenting Ideas means that parents look for as many opportunities as possible to develop self-sufficiency in children. When kids can get themselves out of bed in the morning we allow them to do so. When a toddler can clear her plate and spoon away we encourage her do so. When a teenager can catch a train into the city we allow him to do so, even though we may uncomfortable about letting go. Self-esteem and confidence is built by kids gaining mastery over their world and doing the little things that we as adults so often do for them.

2.  Develop a growth mindset

This generation shouldn’t grow up like past generations thinking that their natural abilities set the tone for the pattern for the rest of our lives. If you think that you’ll never be good at maths/writing/sport/whatever, then you have a fixed mindset. We now know that talent and smarts aren’t fixed- they evolve over time with practice and effort. There’s a lot parents can do to develop a growth mindset in kids. Start by linking your child’s success with effort rather than linking it to natural ability. You want your child to grow up believing that hard work and strategy have as much to with their success in any area as their natural ability.

3.  Encourage them to play

Adults are very fond of organising environments for kids to enable learning and maximise their development. Kids’ lives are full of organised after school activities including sports practice, music practice and swimming lessons. There’s not much time for mucking around these days. Self-initiated play, particularly when it occurs outside is great for kids’ confidence. Left to their own devices kids often take risks that would make adults shudder, if only they knew about them. But it’s through risks such as climbing trees, building cubbies and navigating their neighbourhood that kids learn to extend themselves and develop skills that they didn’t know they had.

4.  Give them some tough stuff to do

Life in the twenty-first century is comfortable for most us. We’ve eradicated most of the hardship from life so that most kids in developed countries like Australia wake up on a winter morning with a full stomach, a warm house and the prospect of being driven to school. Nothing builds confidence like a deep appreciation for what you have and an understanding that you can put up with some hardship and discomfort so consider ways you can disrupt deep comfort levels. Maybe they have to do some chores (make their lunch/their bed/feed a younger sibling) in the morning; maybe they should walk to school; maybe they can do without morning tea if they leave it at home. Maybe…… I’m sure you can think of your own ideas to help them feel familiar with discomfort.

5.  Make sure they do something that someone else relies on

So what does your child do that someone else relies on? Does he feed the dog? Empty the dishwasher? Help his sibling with homework? Assuming responsibility builds kids’ confidence. We often give responsibility to kids who we know can carry out the responsibilities without a hitch, not the kids who really need it as they sometimes struggle and won’t do it right.

6.  Give them psychological space

Sometimes we know too much about our children’s lives. Most times we know if they had breakfast, who their friends are and how their day went at school. All this knowing may keep us in the loop with our kids, but it can also be suffocating for some children. Children benefit when they have some space from their parents’ attention and best intentions. Space gives them the chance to solve their problems in their own way and develop their own resourcefulness, which is a fantastic confidence-builder at any age.

7.  Ask them to help you

Nothing displays faith in a child’s abilities like a genuine request for help. Next time you’re about to embark on an activity (cooking, washing the car, loading the washing machine) ask a child to give you a hand. Even better, give the total job to your child if it’s practical and timely to do so. Now that’s what I call a show of faith!

8.  Let them teach you something

When was the last time you asked your child to teach you how to do something? Kids who see themselves as strugglers can get a boost in confidence when they teach their parents how to do something that they are good at.

9.  Encourage your child to be a generalist

The years before adolescence have traditionally been seen as a period when children explore various activities and develop a variety of interests. Essentially it’s the time to be a generalist. Specialisation best happens from around fourteen years of age when young people start to define their identity (‘I’m into music!’ ‘I’m a sports nut!’) by the activities they pursue. Children now seem to specialise at a much younger age, which can limit the options available to them later on. Encourage your child to try a variety of different activities to build a broad base of competencies and interests that will serve him well in the teenage years.

10.  Problem solve together

While kids need a chance to resolve some of their every day problems – such as managing pesky siblings, dealing with strict teachers and sharing a workspace at school with peers they don’t like- by themselves, they can also benefit from sitting down with a parent and working their way through problems together. All the aforementioned problems (and many more besides) could be workshopped so that kids get the benefit of your wisdom, without you solving their problems for them.

11.  Encourage assertion

Kids generally resolve relationship problems with friends and siblings in three ways – through accommodation, aggression or assertion. Accommodating the needs a friend or sibling is admirable but some kids give way too much because they don’t know how to stand up for themselves. Some children will use aggression and other high power ways to get their own way. Encourage your child to be assertive and ask for what they want rather than give way all the time or be aggressive. Assertiveness is as much about strong body language as it is about the words they use. So encourage them to practise standing up straight, using a strong voice and making eye contact when they say to a sibling or friend, “No. I don’t want you to borrow that.”

12.  Help them see beyond the label

A child who defines himself as being stupid because he struggles academically benefits from parents who lovingly point out that there is more to a life than schoolwork. Help him see the strengths that they has in other areas of life such as making friends; success at leisure activities and the personal qualities that he or she displays such as loyalty, patience and persistence. Help children see past labels that they can place on themselves.

13.  Cue confidence not anxiety

Recently I heard a parent say to her primary school-aged child prior to going on a class excursion, “You’re not going to be anxious are you?” If the child wasn’t anxious already she was likely to be after her mother planted the idea in her head. Children generally take their cues about how they should see events from their parents so we need to be very careful about what we say to children particularly when they go into new or unfamiliar activities. Better to cue a child to be courageous with a statement such as “Now’s the time be brave.” Hmm! Now that’s a thought!

14.  Turn the volume down on the News

There’s no doubt we live in a fearful world that reduces children’s propensity to take the sensible risks that they need to develop. The media with its twenty-four-hour news cycle has a lot to answer for. Consider how much News your children are exposed to via television and radio particularly in the pre-school and early primary school years. Kids at these ages are faulty processors of information and can be adversely influenced by News events that occur across the world. Fear defeats confidence and inflates anxiety and tension.

15.  Help your child rationalise, rather than exaggerate their worries

Children and teenagers can easily jump to conclusions and catastrophise (“I’m hopeless!”), blaming themselves when they experience difficulties. Help your child work through their difficulties so they can rationalise and find solutions. Challenge their self-talk and help them see that a situation probably isn’t as bad as they are making out. By calling out their propensity to catastrophise you may not be making yourself popular, however you’ll be teaching a valuable lesson in staying calm rather than letting their emotions get the better of them.

Building children’s resilience and confidence is a basic parenting task. It always has been and always will be. Some kids need more of a focus on resilience and confidence-building than others. Best to take your cues from your kids and look for strategies that stretch them rather than restrict them or keep them dependent on you.

School Focused Youth Service information


Knox City Council Information for Parents


From the Library...

Come into the Library to borrow these new books from your favourite Series

Maybe – Bk 6 (Once ) – Morris Gleitzman

The next story about Felix and Zelda takes place in 1945, following directly on from the story told in Soon.  With Europe in ruins, Felix is offered the opportunity to move to Australia.  This intense story of life after the Holocaust will move readers of all ages.

Resurrection – Bk 10 (Skulduggery Pleasant) – Derek Landy

The Skeleton Detective is coming back to life again!  Skulduggery and Valkyrie team up with the characters from the first 9 books as well a number of new characters including Omen Darkly.  This series capably combines the genres of horror, comedy, mystery and fantasy.


Rebellion – Bk 4 (The 100) – Kass Morgan

Centuries after nuclear war has destroyed the planet, humanity struggles to rebuild. The teens, once branded juvenile delinquents, are now leaders amongst their people but suddenly, a new threat looms on the horizon. In this fourth installment, Clarke, Bellamy, Wells and Glass are pushed to the limits as they fight to protect their people and to survive.     This series has now been turned into a popular TV show currently airing on Netflix


Double Down – Bk 11 (Diary of A Wimpy Kid) – Jeff Kinney

The pressure’s really piling up on Greg Heffley.   His Mum thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his “creative side.”   As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle. When Greg discovers a bag of gummy worms, it sparks an idea.   Can he get his Mum off his back by making a movie and will he become rich and famous in the process? Or will doubling down on this plan just double Greg’s troubles?


Chess Club - every Tuesday at lunchtime in the library – come and meet some new friends and challenge yourself!

Community Page

Melbourne Metro Naming Competition


Fairhills Forum