Northcote High School Newsletter

19 April 2016
Issue FIVE
What's Coming Up Summary
Coming Up -Literary Talkfest  - "Save the Date"
Coming Up - 2017 Music China trip
Coming Up - Art & Design Trip USA 2017
Coming Up - Night Sky Viewing 
Coming Up - Aths Carnival 21 April
Coming Up - Open Day & Yr 7 2017 - ACE Testing
Coming Up - Yr 8 Resilience Project
Coming up - NAPLAN 
Coming Up -Ecology Expedition to East Timor
Coming up - 90th Events
Report on Year 7 Camp 2016
Report on "Helping Hands" Exhibition
Report on the Politics tour to Europe
Reports on Middle School Leadership 
Report - VCE Top Designs
Report on Internationalising Education
Community Update
Pathways and Careers
What they are doing now
Northcote High School
9488 2300
St. Georges Rd
Northcote, Victoria, 3070

What's Coming Up Summary

Summary of upcoming events

Mon April 18 - Languages Week

Wed April 20 - Yr 7 ACE Program 2017, applications close 

Thurs April 21 - Yr 7-9 Athletics Carnival


Thurs April 21 - 5.30 GCC. Info Session East Timor Sciences Field Trip 2017. For Yr 9 &10 parents and students (see full page article)

Mon April 25 - ANZAC Day Public Holiday

Wed April 27 - Open Morning 9-12 noon for Year 7 of 2017. Info sessions at 9 am, 10 am, and repeated at 7 pm at night

Thurs April 28 - USA Art/Design Tour 2017 Info Evening 6 pm (see full page article)

Thurs April 28 - Night Sky Viewing 7.30pm (see full page article)

Sat April 30 - ACE Testing for Yr 7


Mon May 2 - GPA available

Mon May 2 - Yr 10 Maths Pathways Information Night 6.30 pm

Thurs May 5 - Literary Talk Fest, 7.30 pm (see next page)

Thurs May 5 - Resilience Forum for parents, 7.00 pm


Thurs May 5 - Generations in Jazz Music event 


Tues May 10 - Thurs May 12 - NAPLAN testing for Yrs 7 & 9 (see full page article)


Tues May 10 - NCAT Open Day (see Pathways & Careers page)


Thurs May 12 - Guided Book Club for parents, 7.30 pm  (see Community Update page for details)

Friday May 20 - IDAHOT Day


Mon May 30 - Yr 9 English Exam

Thurs June 2 - Yr 9 Maths Exam


Thurs June 9 - 2016 Yr 11 Social.
More Info soon!

Thurs August 4 - Comedy night  @  Thornbury Theatre
More info soon! 

Coming Up -Literary Talkfest  - "Save the Date"

Photo: Scene from our 2015 Literary festival

Thursday 05 May 

SAVE the DATE Literary Talkfest- Clare Wright, Christos Tsiolkas, Ruth Clare, Emily Bitto and Steven Carroll - BOOK NOW 


Coming Up - 2017 Music China trip

China Music Trip 2017


The Music faculty are arranging a Music performance trip for end of Term 1, 2017 for students at appx AMEB Grade 4 + level. If you are a musician and interested see Mr Brogan, Ms Kelly-Cleve or Mr Murphy. School Captain Lily Chalmers, who travelled while in Year 8, still describes the visit to our sister school Huaibei No1 High School as the most profound experience she has ever had at school.

2013 Music Students are shown above in Tienamen Square, and below at Xian.
Above: Jacqui and Mira admire  our sister school's version of "Ripples"



Coming Up - Art & Design Trip USA 2017












Coming Up - Night Sky Viewing 

Photo: Photo courtesy Ms Kun Qian



Our terrific telescope (courtesy of the Telescopes in Schools program) will be set up in the courtyard near D13 on

  • Thursday 28 April 7.00pm to 8.00pm*

Students, teachers and families all welcome.

For more information please see Ms Hutchens.

*Weather permitting. If it is a cloudy evening we will reschedule
Ms Carolyn Hutchens

Coming Up - Aths Carnival 21 April

2016 Sports Carnival 21 April


Our second Community Sports Carnival event for the year will be held on Thursday 21 April at the Collingwood Athletics Centre. The carnival is a compulsory event for all students in years 7-9 and an opportunity to celebrate our school, our sporting traditions and the sporting achievements of our students. There will be many competitive track and field events as well as novelty events to accommodate all students, in addition, there will be  face painting and fancy dress competitions where prizes are up for grabs .

Please ensure that payment and consent is completed via compass or the general office by 11am on Wednesday 20 April 2016. If your child is unable to attend due to illness please use Compass to register the absence or provide the general office with a medical certificate.

Ms Sarah Blanchard Sport Coordinator
The following attachment has the full program:


Coming Up - Open Day & Yr 7 2017 - ACE Testing

Open Morning 2016

Wednesday April 27 is our very popular Open Morning. Student led tours run from 9 am to 12 noon, with information sessions at 9.00 am and 10.00 am in the Hall, repeated at 7.00 pm at night.

There is no need to book for this event, families register on arrival.
There are demonstration lessons, music performances and coffee available. Invite your friends, if you have a younger child this is a good occasion to bring them along.


ACE Program testing 2017- register now!

Testing for the 2017 Yr 7 ACE Program will take place on Saturday April 30. Application forms are on our website or available from the General Office, but these must be returned by COB  Wednesday April 20 (tomorrow)

Further information is on our website - please note this.

Coming Up - Yr 8 Resilience Project

29 April and 5 May

NHS has again been able to secure student and parent workshops with Hugh van Cuylenburg and Martin Heppell from The Resilience Project for 2016.


The Resilience Project is an organisation aimed at helping students understand and use evidence based, practical strategies to build resilience and improve mental health in young people.


A staggering 1 in 4 adolescents currently has a mental illness and less that 65%  of young people seek help or support for this. At Northcote High School we recognise that our role as educators goes beyond the delivery of traditional curriculum. We believe that for our students to succeed they must be he equipped with resources and strategies to protect their mental wellbeing.


Our Year 8 students will be taking part in two workshops run by The Resilience Project.  Session one will take place on Friday 29th April and session two will take place on Friday the 6th May.


Parents / Carers of Year 8 students are invited to attend a forum at school run by The Resilience Project on Thursday 5 May at 7pm. These sessions have been well received in the past and we would strongly encourage all of those who are able to attend to do so. Being able to further support our students to build their resilience based on the guidance of highly regarded experts is ideal.


There is a cost involved in providing these workshops / forums.  A payment through Compass of $14.00  by Wednesday 20th April is required. Please note this cost covers both student sessions and entry to the parent’s / carers forum. Should you have any difficulties in making this payment, or would like further information on The Resilience Project, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


For more information:


Mr Gerard O'Shaughnessy, Head of Junior School

Coming up - NAPLAN 

10, 11 & 12 May 2016

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 everyday part of the school calendar since 2008.

The tests will be held at school from 10 to 12 May 2016.

NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling and numeracy. The assessments are undertaken nationwide, every year.

NAPLAN is made up of tests in the four areas (or ‘domains’) of:

  • reading
  • writing
  • language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation)
  • numeracy.

All students in years 7 and 9 are expected to sit the NAPLAN tests.

However, there are some instances where students may be exempted from one or more of the NAPLAN tests or marked absent (for the purpose of the tests) or withdrawn from the tests. The National protocols for test administration provide the framework for understanding student participation.



Exemptions may be granted for students with a language background other than English or for students with a disability. In both cases, Northcote High School will discuss the proposed exemption with the student's parent/carer and gain their permission prior to the testing period.



NAPLAN tests are a routine part of the school calendar. However students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent/carer if there are religious beliefs or philosophical objections to testing. This is a matter for consideration by individual parents/carers in consultation with their child’s school.

If this is relevant to your child’s situation then please contact your child’s Year Level Program Leader and the school will send you the appropriate paper work.

Further info:



Coming Up -Ecology Expedition to East Timor

Info Session Yr 9 &10 parents and students-Thurs 21 April 

 5:00pm in the GCC . 

An opportunity for current Yr9 & 10 students to participate in two weeks of field research in East Timor in June 2017. The project is run by Operation Wallecea and aims to give students the opportunity to have firsthand experience in estimating population sizes, identification of different species and assessing the health of ecosystems.

If you or your child is interested in hearing more about this opportunity please see Ms Rolls in the GCC for an invitation letter or email at [email protected]
More information can be found at:


Coming up - 90th Events

Back to Arvo - 21 June


Back to Soiree - 9 Sept


Report on Year 7 Camp 2016

Ms Farrant's Photo Essay!

Words to come in our next edition!

Report on "Helping Hands" Exhibition

Photo: Dave Bryan (R), Ron Shoebridge (L) help Dave Riik. Vietnam, 1966. Photo Courtesy Shrine of Remembrance & ABC News.

Helping Hands

A new photographic exhibition has opened at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne called 1966: The year that changed the world, reflecting the Vietnam war 50 years on.

It features an iconic image, Helping Hands, which shows former NHS student Dave 'Stretch' Bryan and Ron 'Shoey' Shoebridge, of the C Company 5th Battalion assisting  a wounded Dave Riik. The young men were part of the first Australian soldiers to be conscripted to the war. (courtesy ABC News - click here to follow the link)

Dave Bryan's own story of being conscripted into the Army and serving in Vietnam can be found here. Dave's own son Harrison studied at NHS until 2013, and Dave has been a regular visitor to the school, often visiting the plaque in the foyer that remembers his friend and another former NHS  student, Les Farren, who was killed in action just before his 21st birthday. 


Report on the Politics tour to Europe

An initial report


More on this tour will be written by students, but despite the terrible events that occurred while we were in Brussels on the 22 March, the whole trip did not become defined by that tragedy, instead it gave a greater focus and clarity to the political world that the students had organized to study.  Brussels was and probably remains the favourite city for many students, not just because of its beauty (as jaws literally dropped the morning the students wandered into the Grand Place just hours after landing), but also because of the many people from the EU, an NGO and the Australian embassy who were among the first people we met on the tour, including ex-NHS student, David Ross, who coincidently was working as an intern at the EU Parliament and met with us, the day we visited.   


We all learned so much about the nature of global politics in an intentional and also unexpected ways, that it continues to take time to process all that we experienced and learned while travelling to be documented.  The students were able to engage in intelligent and critical conversations with people from so many organisations, including the International Criminal Court, a range of people at Shell’s global headquarters in the Hague, through to a very frank discussion of Australia’s role in promoting human rights in the Asia-Pacific region with a representative of the German foreign office.  Many students have now got clear ideas for future study and careers mapped out from the many meetings we had.


The energy of the group to be out on our feet, at times for 12 hours straight, reflected the enthusiasm in which they sought to soak up the experience of visiting so many cities and people in such a short space of time.  Among all the interesting discussions with organisations, there was some time for fun, a major highlight being the highly complex escape room games which the students played in Berlin.


Except for the group photos the other photography connected with this piece was taken by one of the students, Henry Owen, who captured some strong images from our time away.


Paul Gilby and Megan Jeffery


Reports on Middle School Leadership 

Young Changemakers Program 


On 22 March, a large group of Northcote High Year 10 students and teachers attended the Young Changemakers Program Introductory Session. Both Bendigo Bank and the Inner North Community had decided to help sponsor this program for the second year running. Representatives from both organisations attended to talk with us about the program. The Inner North Community even gave us some delicious morning tea! We engaged in some open discussion about what we valued and thought could be improved in the community, as well as the meaning of philanthropy. We were told what we would be doing over the course of this program and what the process of applying for grants would be like. We chose which organisations we wished to research that we would present at the next meeting. Overall it was a very engaging but educational afternoon, and something I would definitely recommend if you ever get the opportunity.

Rowan Stewart-Smith Yr 10


Students in this program have been allocated four local organisations to research in order to present back to the group at our next session on Monday 18 April. In the next session students will reduce this list down to the three organisations they believe are making the biggest impact in their areas of passion.  They will then ask these organisations to apply for a grant of up to $15,000. Once completed, students will read the grant applications, prepare questions, visit each of the organisations and decide how the $15,000 will be distributed amongst the three organisations.

This is a fantastic opportunity to be in partnership with the Inner North Community Foundation and Bendigo Bank.  We  would also like to acknowledge these students for offering to be involved in the program.

Ms Airlie Tudhope

Newstart for Yr 10

Last term I took part in a re-engagement program called Newstart.  It’s a course designed to assist students to re-focus on their strengths, schoolwork, and future goals. The course consists of a number of activities, various camps and community experiences. The commitment required was three days a week off school campus over 6 weeks.


One of my favourite experiences that I undertook whilst on this course was caving. Caving is a very mentally and physically challenging endeavour, we were lowered into a cave and had to make it from point A to point B without leaving your group behind and occasionally leading the group, the cave was very tight and small and dark, and it took a while to get out. The most enjoyable camp was the Goulburn River expedition camp, where we rode along 38kms of the Victorian Rail Trail.


Overall it was an eye opening and very satisfying experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Personally I gained a lot from the experience, in particular, good leadership skills and an opportunity to reflect on my choices for the future.

Jack Murray, Yr 10

Cystic Fibrosis Victoria (CFV) Young Leadership Camp 2016

CFV hosted their annual young leadership camp for 2016 and 3 students from Northcote High School had the wonderful opportunity of attending the weekend long camp in term 1.


At the camp, we were asked the question ‘What makes a good leader?’ We were able to establish this through various activities focusing on what the types of qualities and values a good leader needs to uphold. In doing this were able to answer with: ‘A good leader must be emotionally mature, display assertiveness, have self-confidence and self-awareness, display skills which involve building relationships and be a hard worker to get the job done.


Once we had established what makes a good leader, we all created an individual mission statement. This was a crucial step in being able to recognise how we as individuals would be able to take all this knowledge we had learnt and apply it to our daily lives.


During the camp, several guest speakers visited and spoke to us about their thoughts and opinions on good leaders, how leadership is applied in their personal life and the importance of being individuals with different ideas and how we can all become leaders through this.


Not only did we learn about leadership qualities, we also learnt all about Cystic Fibrosis as a disease and how it affects millions of people across the globe. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a disease that affects your lungs making it hard for you to breathe. People who have CF get it when both of their parents carry the CF gene. 80% of parents who have children with CF were unaware that they were carriers of the gene.


All in all, the camp was an amazing experience for those who attended, we learnt so much and were able to take a lot back from the experience as it was great learning about essential leadership qualities and cystic fibrosis. I want to personally thank the CFV staff members who made it all happen.

Patrick Greene 10D

Darebin Youth Summit

Josephine Murphy and Rowan Stewart-Smith at the Darebin Youth Summit where students from across the Local Government Area discussed issues of importance for young people in the local area.


Report - VCE Top Designs

Great news from the Design faculty! 

Two of our students from last year were selected for the prestigious Top Designs exhibition at Melbourne Museum for their work in VCE Product Design and Technology.


Albert Rex was also awarded an independent prize from the exhibition sponsors, Deans Art, for his research and development work in his portfolio. Albert’s client was the City of Melbourne, Industrial Design department and he developed an innovative and creative Wi-Fi hub casing that can be installed throughout the city on the corners of buildings or lamp posts. Albert is now studying Industrial Design at RMIT, so we expect great things from him in the future!


Zac Berra also designed and produced a very innovative solution for surgeons who need to transport their surgical instruments in a safe and hygienic way. His aluminium and 3D printed instrument case holds each item separately and through an internal UV light it kills all bacteria ensuring the equipment is constantly sterilized and ready for use. Zac is currently training with the Navy and also has a deferred placement for engineering at RMIT.


These products are great examples of the type of the complex challenges our students are tackling in Product Design and Technology. The exhibition will run until Sunday 10 July – go check it out!

Mr Peter Murphy


Report on Internationalising Education

Photo: farewell Beijing National D ay School

Orchestra Tour China 2017

All students in the NHS orchestra or other ensembles, playing at AMEB 4 and above are invited to  our March 2017 tour of China. See Ms Brogan or Ms Kelly-Cleve for details (Further information in the full page article)


VCE in China

Ms Morris, Mr Murphy and Ms Shao briefly visited our Chinese sister school last week to discuss providing the VCE there.

This project is the culmination of 17 years of sister school relationship, which first manifested itself in student language immersion, then grew to culltural, music and teacher exchange placements. The provision of VCE in Huaibei, alongside the Chinese National curriculum, will commence in September 2016, with the support of NHS teachers.


Community Update

Guided Book Club

for all parents 
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
 Enjoy reading and talking about a thought-provoking novel from the 3/4 VCE English list
 Meet other parents navigating the secondary years
 Your host is Rose Lucas - writer and experienced tertiary teacher of literature
 Library, Northcote High School 12 May 7.30-9.00 pm
 $25 per session


Changes to Parking in St Georges Rd


As of start of Term 2,  after 2.30 pm on weekdays, there will be a clearway in St George's Rd between the Gym gates and Sumner Avenue. This change is in response to 18 months of dialogue and planning with Vic Roads and Darebin Council to ensure pedestrian safety is prioritised. This change will be trialed for 1 year.

1 day Art workshop with Deb Taylor


Pathways and Careers

Important dates for Year 12 students:


Students will hear a lot more about VTAC this year, and for those who wish to pursue tertiary studies in Victoria, it is essential that they attend all Daily Connect sessions, as much of the information will be delivered via tutors, who can then support students through the application process.

These VTAC key dates need to go into your calendars:

* Monday 1 August - Applications open for courses, SEAS, and Scholarships

* Thursday, 29 September - Timely course applications close (NB this has changed due to the pre-AFL-Final Long Weekend!)

* Tuesday 4 October - SEAS (Special Access Entry Schemes) applications close

* Friday 14 October - Scholarship applications close

Monday 12 December - VCE Results and ATAR released

Wednesday 18 January - Round 1 undergraduate offers available

Is this You?

If you are a former student, parent, or community member, and would like to help our young people with their career development, we’d love to hear from you.

We would welcome:

  • Hearing personal career stories – either for the newsletter or in person at the school.
  • Help with work experience placements.
  • Sharing other skills or knowledge related to the working world.

Please contact Kylie Witt, our Careers Practitioner.

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


Whilst all the tertiary institutions run open days later in the year, many of them also run special activities in the holidays. These shorter activities are often more targeted, and there are fewer visitors, so you can get more individualised information. We will promote them at school, but you should make a habit of actively looking for them as well.

A couple of examples are listed below:

  • Experience La Trobe – Starting March 31 – sign up at
  • Meet Melbourne – events, seminars, holiday programs, starting in March – go to  and sign up for their newsletters.
  • Inside Monash Seminar Series – starting March 9 – information on all study areas, spread out through the year. March offerings include Business & Economics, Science, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – more info at
  • RMIT – runs workshops throughout the year – follow this link to see what kind of events take place, bearing in mind that some of them are during school hours -
  • VCE Careers Expo – May 5-8 - a massive big event at Caulfield Racecourse, with displays and seminars. You can download a program below. This is a good place to get lots of information in one hit, after which you can narrow down your search.


NCAT Open Day 10 May


What they are doing now

Chloe O'Brien - Volunteering for the UN in Cambodia!

Chloe O'Brien, who graduated from NHS four years ago, is currently into her 3rd month working as a legal volunteer at the UN in Cambodia.  

Northcote High School Newsletter
Guided Book Club FlyerA4 Death of a Salesman NHS 160321(2).pdf
Athletics newsletter info for students and families 2016.docx
Work Experience Guidelines 2016.pdf
VCE 2016 Seminar Program and Exhibitor List Br.pdf