Castlemaine Secondary College News

22 September 2017
Issue Eight
Principal  Update
Get Informed....
So many things happening
School Council
What have students been up to?
Look at us...
Transition..... Exams
The Sweet Sounds
Little Shop Of Horrors 
Community Notices
Castlemaine Secondary College
03 5479 1111
PO Box 57
Castlemaine, Victoria, 3450

Principal  Update

Dear Parents

It’s been another busy and exciting time at CSC since our last newsletter. A particular highlight was our spectacular production of Little Shop of Horrors. I thank everyone involved in making our annual school musical a big success again this year. Those of you who follow our CSC Instagram account will also see evidence of a range of other exciting activities which have been taking place, including two current international trips (Japan and France) and our Year Eight Camp to Warrnambool. Again, thank you to all involved.


Our VCE students are quickly approaching the end of their school year. In the past few weeks our students have been finishing SAC tasks, undertaking a three hour practice English exam, preparing for performance exams and finalising folio work. Many of our teachers will be offering extra classes over the holidays before our Year 12 students return next term for two and half more weeks of classes and then their final exams. I urge our Year 12 students to keep working productively while also relying on their support networks (including parents, teachers and friends) to help them through the next few months.


Unfortunately, we still have too many students not complying with our school uniform requirements. After extensive consultation last year, School Council decided that CSC, like almost all other Year 7-12 schools, would adopt a school uniform for all students. This is being phased in over two years, with all students in Years 7-10 (except 10 Steiner) being required to wear school uniform this year. Next year, all students from Years 7-11 will be required to wear uniform, followed by all students from Year 7-12 schools wearing uniform in 2019. To assist students and families comply with this requirement we are taking a number of steps including:


  • Extending the opening hours of the uniform shop. From Term Four the uniform shop opening hours will be 3-5pm every Tues, Weds, Thurs and Fri.
  • Introducing different styles school pants from next year (following consultation with students).
  • Increasing financial support for families who genuinely cannot afford uniform (please contact me, Judith McLean or Karen Burton if you need to access financial support).

Finally, I thank all members of the CSC community for their support and involvement with the school this term. I wish our students a relaxing break and look forward to seeing them back at school next term.




Paul Frye


New Playspace for Victory Park

“Council is seeking community input into the design of a new playspace for Victory Park. Survey results will be used to brief the designer, with more detailed consultation planned for later in the year.


A survey is available online at the Have Your Say section of Council’s website at

Get Informed....

Spotlight on CSC Uniform + Extended Uniform Shop Opening Hours

To assist our families with uniform purchasing decisions, we now have most items up on display.  Pinned to a 7.2m long display board adjacent to the main Administration offices, this display provides an excellent opportunity to check out the current and new uniform items and prices.


In response to feedback from families regarding the pricing of CSC uniform items, CSC uniform supplier Beleza conducted research with a summary of findings available in the “Price Comparison with Schools in Close Proximity Report”.  A copy of this report is available on or you can access it here:

From next term the CSC Uniform Store will be extending opening hours to Tuesday to Friday, 3pm-5pm  or online purchasing is also available at


Payment for Camps and Excursions required 3 DAYS prior to departure

In order for staff organising camps and excursions to finalise the documentation required for the safe management of these activities, it is vital that CSC receives full payment for your child/children at least 3 days prior to the excursion or camp departure date.


Please also note that per the Department of Education Parent Payment Policy, any optional activities you would like your child/children to participate in is on a user-pays basis.


If you intend for your child/children to participate in optional activities but are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact Family Finance Manager Karen Burton on 5479 1111 or email [email protected]  Karen is very happy to arrange payment plans for optional activities in advance of the camp or excursion.

CSEF Yr 7 Uniform Package Opens

State School Relief's Camps Sports and Excursion Fund has just opened for application for 2018 for Year 7 students uniform package.


Sick child?  Call the CSC Absence Line

It has been a severe flu session this year and we have seen a notable increase in absences with students and staff.  For example, on August 8 104 students, or 1/6 of the student population was absent.


If your child is too ill to attend school, please advise us by calling the Absence Line on 5479 1150.  Your call enables administrative staff to notify teachers responsible for your child’s wellbeing, their Mentor teacher, ensures you will not receive an SMS from CSC checking on unexplained student absences, and for senior students in particular, ensures that unexplained absences do not affect your child’s assessment for the year. 


Attendance in VCE classes of less than 80% equates to risk of not receiving a ‘satisfactory’ completion.  If you have concerns relating to your child’s extended absence, please contact their Mentor teacher as soon as possible.


Thank you for taking a moment to save the Absence Line number in your phone: 5479 1150.


Moved house, changed phone numbers?….Please update your details

If any of your contact details have changed since January this year, please call us on 5479 1111 or email [email protected]


Elissa O'Connor

Business Manager

Family discussion around Safer Student Pathways at CSC

With the addition of our year 10 to 12 students to the Blakeley Road campus, vehicle and pedestrian traffic has increased both on and around the campus.


Ensuring the safety of our students is of paramount importance at Castlemaine Secondary College. 


Bus Turnaround

The bus turnaround is for buses only during school hours.  This enables safe pick up and drop off of CSC students by Castlemaine Bus Lines.  Students are not permitted to step onto the tarmac from the curbside until all the buses are parked and the bus door is open to admit students.


In a whole school assembly last week, students were reminded of this safety requirement due to concerns raised by both CSC staff members and Castlemaine Bus Lines.


Safer Student Walking Zones

In order to prevent accidents, students are required to walk around the car park using the cement walkways (pathways in green) rather than walk through the car park (pathways in red).  To reduce the number of cars in the car park, we also request that parents and carers do not use this car park to drop off or collect students. 


The diagram below shows the safer location on Lawson Parade available to drop off and collect students.

Please take the time to talk about this important safety measures with your child or children. 


Thank you for your help in ensuring the safety of your children and our students.


Assistant Principal

Term 3 has been a huge term, with the start of our substantive principal, Mr Paul Frye the highlight. Some of the other highlights, in our CSC calendar, include; many camps and excursions, our SRC participating in amazing experiences such as QandA on ABC TV, many professional music events from our students in the CSC music program, led b

y Kristen Borema, and the school production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ with Darren Lowe as director and Kirsten as music director.


Currently, CSC has two international school exchange programs running; Yr10 and Yr11 French students in France, and another group of CSC students in Japan. Visit our CSC Instagram site ( for highlights!


Next term, seven Yr 9 students have won a placement with the very highly sort after Alpine School. For nine weeks, our CSC students will live and work with other Yr 9 students from around Victoria at the Snowy River Campus. They will participate in a comprehensive leadership program that will support them in developing a community project to share with Castlemaine on their return. For further details about Alpine School please check out this link;


Currently, all Yr10 students have been invited to apply for the Melbourne University scholarship. The scholarship is known as the Kwong Lee Dow and has been won by past CSC students in Yr10. Please visit this website for further information and the application forms;

Focus on..

I would also like to take this opportunity to update families on CSC processes, procedures and high expectation we have for our great students. This term we’ve started to focus on ‘Out of Class’ pass, ‘Mobile Phones in Classrooms’, ‘Bus Turnaround’ protocols and ‘Parent Drop Off’ zones.


‘Out of Class’ pass

At CSC we are aware that there are very important reasons why students may need to briefly leave class during a lesson. To support student safety, we’ve formalised the pass system. Students can request a pass card from their classroom teacher which then indicates to other teachers they have permission if they are queried.


Mobile Phones

Currently, CSC is reviewing our student Mobile Phone policy with the intent to fully implement next term. All teachers and staff at CSC have the high expectation that students use their phone in a courteous manner. We expect students to; leave their phone in their locker or turn it off in class, students are not to use their phone in the toilets or any other place that can cause embarrassment towards others and not to use their phone to bully or harass anyone. Students bring mobile phones to school at their own risk, CSC isn’t responsible for the theft, loss or damage of mobile phones. In extremely rare situations, if a student has been found using their phone to break the law, the police will be notified. CSC staff ask families to support their children in the ‘reasonable use’ of mobile phones at school and ask that you don’t sms or call students during classtime also. If you need to contact your child in an emergency, please call the main school number, 54791111


Judith McLean

Assistant Principal

So many things happening

FLO Cooking

Senior FLO (Flexible Learning Options) students have completed a very successful term, working in the Etty Street kitchen! Highlights include providing 200 purple cupcakes for 'Wear it Purple' day and working with the students from Guildford Primary School;  teaching the young children how to cook breakfast, and assisting them to prepare a range of cakes and slices for their cake stall at the Guildford Banjo Jamboree. Congratulations to Shana, Ben and Shaun on their great work this term!

Caroline Cook, Foods Teacher, Etty Street Camps

Students in technology, foods and the award for tidiest locker



Soar Adventures recently travelled to Central Australia with 14 students from Castlemaine Secondary College.  Students were able to engage in a variety of activities that promoted cultural exchange with the local indigenous culture. Activities included painting alongside indigenous artists, hearing the stories of local people, visiting a Central Australian school and helping out the Salvo’s with their Breakfast Program. Of course a major highlight was visiting Uluru and completing the walk around the rock. Students came away from the camp with a greater and more respectful understanding of the strengths and difficulties of the indigenous people living in Central Australia.


Book Club Donation

Last Monday Castlemaine Secondary College Library had the honour of a visit from Lisa Chesters. Lisa is the Federal Member of Parliament for the electorate of Bendigo and was at CSC to present a cheque for $500 to our Library Book Clubs. In speaking prior to the handover, Lisa demonstrated a passionate commitment to properly funded State Education in general and emphasised the importance of Libraries and reading in schools.   Lisa was generous with her time and showed real enthusiasm for the idea of Book Clubs and a genuine warmth in interacting with our students.

The Library has three lunchtime Book Clubs, one senior and two open ages. We have two Book Club excursions to Melbourne. A book buying day, where the $500 will be put to good use. We also attend the Melbourne Writers Festival held at Federation Square.  

This year the Book Clubs are participating in the International Association of School Librarianship Bookmark Exchange Project. This project involves matched schools making homemade bookmarks to exchange with each other during October. It is a simple, fun way of sharing the pleasure and delights of books and libraries worldwide. Our matched school is Ekonomska škola Braća Radić - Economics School Braće Radić in Đakovo Croatia.

CSC student achieves success at the World Mountain Bike Riding Championships


Jasper Albrecht recently competed at the Junior World Mountain Bike Riding Championships in Cairns. Jasper finished in the top 50 riders and his team won the Gold Medal. Jasper achieved his success due to extended hard work and training and he is to be congratulated for his amazing effort.

Attached is a photo of a post race interview with Paul van der Ploeg who is one of Australia's mountain biking legends



School Council

Drama Support Group

The Drama Support Group recently had some fundraising activities – one was a cake stall and sausage sizzle down Mostyn Street at which we raised just over $700. The second was selling food at the production of Little Shop of Horrors. Again, we raised just over $700.


This money will be used by the Drama team at CSC to add value to the program, and to buy items that fall outside of their budget. As the new drama room is currently being built, some of the fundraising may be used to buy items to ‘custom fit’ the rooms to our liking.


We’d like to thank Jenny Penrose and Tamsin Byrne for all their baking to support the fundraising, as well as Toggs Castlemaine, who most generously supplied tea and coffee at the Little Shop of Horrors performances.




Music Support Group

This group of volunteers helped to fundraise at the strings workshop at Buda, and then the Spring Recital, which was held later that day. We raised $650 for the music program. Look out later in the year when we will be having two more fundraisers: 4th November is a sausage sizzle and cake stall down Mostyn Street, and 17th November is our giant raffle and benefit gig at the Bridge Hotel.

Building and Grounds Sub-Committee

This sub-group of Council runs regular (maybe a bit irregular…) working bees at the school to help beautify and maintain the grounds. We have been tackling weeds for the last couple of years.


Thanks to the Department of Land Water Environment and Planning (DELWP), the gorse and blackberry infestations along the side of the road heading up to the front of the school have been treated. We will continue to treat the blackberry inside the school grounds, which results in a bonfire. Come along and help out on Sunday 15th October, 9.30am.


Beth Mellick

Council President

What have students been up to?

Term 3 Outdoor Education News:-

Term 3 has provided many opportunities for students to engage in Outdoor Experience. The year 12 VET Outdoor Recreation class started with a Bike Education teaching program with Campbell’s Creek Primary School. Over three sessions students were taught some bike safety tips, road rules as well as some bike skills. We wish to thank Sophie and her grade 6 class for their fantastic participation. At the start of August we had the annual whole school Mt Buller Ski Day. This was a fantastic day for beginners and advanced skiers, it was also great to see Year 12’s working with Year 7’s outside of the college environment, well done on the positive participation!

Year 10 Steiner Outdoor and Environmental Studies class this year joined the Year 11 Outdoor Recreation class for a 2 night snow camping and Skiing experience at Mt Stirling and Mt Buller. Students learnt about the Alpine Environment at Mt Stirling as well as the skills of camping in the snow and learning to Ski or Board. Why the weather was a bit trying on the first day, we enjoyed a clear, blue and sunny day on the last day which proved a great way to finish the experience.

The Year 12 Outdoor and Environmental Studies class combined with the Year 12 VET Outdoor Recreation class on a 3 – day ski tour at Mt Hotham. Students enjoyed learning to ski/board in some of the best snow conditions since 1992! Students also learnt about sustainability in the resort and received a talk from one of the mountain staff about working in the resort industry.  This trip was enjoyed by all students and will sadly be their last camp with CSC. I hope that they can continue their outdoor endeavors beyond CSC and well into their lives ahead.

Thanks to all the staff, students and parents for your ongoing support in our programs!


Cole Waters

Outdoor Education Teacher



Our students on exchange in Paris

The start of the French exchange included a visit to the Arc de Triomphe by  our French students and staff.  Here we see from the left: Holly Slattery, Kari Russell, Roselin Parsons, Rachel West, Rachael Howlett, Ebony Turtle-Reynolds. In the background, we see non other than the Eiffel Tower which was the destination of the next night’s activities!

More shots in the next issue.


Mittagundi Camp

Four weeks ago a group of 16 year 9 students travelled to Mittagundi in Glenvalley, Victoria. While at Mittagundi we experienced many different, things like; skiing, hiking, camping, farming, cooking and living without electricity for 7 days. It was an amazing experience and we would recommend it to everyone.

By Tilly, Judy and Oaty

Asha Amor, Scarlet Boyack, Tilly Donkin, Dylan Glen, Elsie Hall, Sonny Henderson, Greta Kennedy, Callan Loosmore, Minka Peters, Jude McMullan-Jones, Rosie Northwood, Niamh O’Connor-Smith, Asha Richardson, Mani Cai Russell, Ottis Showell-Roche, Xander Simms

Look at us.

The Ballarat Foto Biennale / David LaChapelle Photography excursion

The Ballarat Foto Biennale / David LaChapelle Photography excursion


The Ballarat Foto Biennale / David LaChapelle Photography excursion took place on Wednesday the 13th of September. Jenny Larson drove the minibus to Ballarat and dropped us outside the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Once off the bus were greeted by the delightful cold Ballarat weather, so we quickly headed inside the gallery and went straight to the David LaChapelle exhibition. First, we had time to view David LaChapelles works. Most of the photographs were quite large prints and covered a variety of themes. Then Mr Theobald spoke about David LaChapelle’s working process and unpacked meanings behind some of the key works. As a group, we then went to the Foto Biennale headquarters and looked and the exhibitions in this space. This work was quite different to LaChapelle’s work. We were then split into smaller groups of students and were given time to investigate highlights of the Biennale at various locations around Ballarat. One of the favourites amongst students was the Selfie Exhibition, which contained a Selfie booth. After a fun and interest day we returned to the minibus and drove back to Castleamine.



Intermediate Basketball Report


On Monday 28th August the 9/10 Girls basketball team headed to Bendigo to play in the Sandhurst division against eight other Bendigo schools.

The first game the girls were up against Weeroona Secondary College having a strong win 54-2.

The second game having another win to Crusoe College was a close game only winning by one goal.

Game three playing Catholic College Bendigo, the girls went down 14-30 against a strong CCB side. The girls never gave up or dropped their heads.

Game four was the final game before finals the girls had another win over Eaglehawk Secondary College 21-19, leaving them in second place overall in their pool.

It was then off to the finals where the girls came up against a very Strong BSE team going down by 15 points, then putting them out of finals.

All in all it ws a great day out with all the girls having a red hot crack. Chloe Langley always being an option, Rachael Stubbings with her speed, Bridie Semmens and Brianna Pedretti with their excellent team work and Tarni Williams and Bonnie McGubbin accurate shooting and never give up attitude.

Special mention to Rachelle McLean for going along to help with scoring and encouragement for the team. 

Written by  Rachelle McLean

Intermediate Boys Basketball

With the start off the day looking bad, with only five players on the team, the boys were optimistic about the day.  With our first game against Girton it was close from start to finish, as Castlemaine won 25 to 23.  The second game against Crusoe was a tight contest again but the final score showed Castlemaine going down in this one.  In the third game against Weeroona was all too easy for Castlemaine as they did their business on both ends of the court, offensively and defensively. CSC dominated the game and the final score.  The last game vs. the infamous BSE, showed to be too much for the Castlemaine boys as they were undermanned and ended up going down by 11.  Fortunately the boys made it too the semifinal where they played Eagle hawk, the boys played with only four players as one of the boys reached his foul limit before the half.  While at first a close game, Eagle hawk pulled away, as the referees seemed to be against the Castlemaine boys.  They ended up going down by 8 points.  All together the boys played very well together with only five and were all proud of their efforts.  Sammy Banko was the coach of the team and shared his basketball knowledge with the group.   

Transition..... Exams

Transition Update

Year 7 enrolments for 2018 are looking very positive, indeed! We are planning for five Year 7 classes, and families are currently completing their enrolment paperwork. Thanks to Kath Coff at Castlemaine District Community Health and her amazing work in writing grant applications, this year we are very pleased to be able to offer families support with the enrolment process. Please contact CSC reception if you, or someone you know, might benefit from some guidance while completing their enrolment paperwork.


Year 6 students will continue their transitions into the CSC community though a number of events and programs in Term 4. Our ‘Making the Leap’ program will continue on Wednesday 17 October and Friday 17 November. This program is designed to support students who are a little nervous about starting secondary school, or who have additional needs. It gives them a chance to gradually develop their familiarity with the environment and people at CSC. The statewide Orientation Day will take place on Tuesday 12 December. We are very excited to welcome our new CSC students, helping them to get to know their mentor teacher and to learn about how secondary school works, and we have lots of fun, practical activities planned for the day.


Another Year 7 Parent Information evening will also occur during Term 4. The focus of this event will be some of the ‘nitty gritty’ details such as uniform, Year 7 camp and computer devices. We are hoping to show off some of our current Year 7 students in a uniform parade -- an exciting addition to the night!


Finally our Year 7 and Year 8 students are heading off to La Trobe University in Bendigo to take part in a Pathways and Aspiration program on Friday 13 October. We are very fortunate to be included in the La Trobe School Partnerships Program, which subsidises our students to participate in a range of incursions, excursions and workshops that are designed to open their eyes to whole host of career and further education opportunities. Past feedback about this program from students has been very positive and indicates that is a highly effective approach to building students’  aspirations and educational engagement.


Make sure you keep an eye on the CSC Instagram for photos of our students in action!

Kate Young

Transitions Leader


For students undertaking Year 12 subjects, the Term 3 break can be unsettling. The learning component of their courses is finally complete, and most will want to relax and spend a significant amount of time not thinking about school at all. But then there are the exams, and for many, several SACs as well. . .

The reality is that in order to achieve to their potential in the exams, students will need to use the upcoming break wisely. This will mean spending significant time relaxing and significant time revising. Many students develop a ‘study plan’ for the break which includes rest periods as needed. Some revision strategies commonly used are:

  • Prepare and regularly review summary notes
  • Participate in commercial exam revision lectures
  • Join online subject-specific student forums
  • Review all learning activities set throughout the year
  • Undertake practice exam questions, initially organised by topic
  • Develop a routine for how to start and finish each study session
  • Work with one or more ‘study buddies’
  • Eat healthily and ensure plenty of sleep
  • Set goals for each subject and break them into smaller goals that can be achieved within specific study sessions
  • Don’t spend too much time tackling a particular problem. If it is not budging, make a note and seek help from the teacher or any other suitable source
  • Spend some time with friends and family so that a study/life balance is maintained
  • Complete all Designated Learning Activities as soon as possible so that the ‘decks are clear’ for exam preparation

There are many other strategies beyond these and if you would like to know more then feel free to contact the relevant Mentor or subject teacher.


To support students with their exam preparation a number of teachers have volunteered to lead exam revision sessions for their subjects. A copy of the revision schedule is below. Students are welcome to use these and to do so they just need to turn up with the relevant equipment and be prepared to participate.


The Wellbeing staff at the College are also available to support students with any Wellbeing issues, such as anxiety, that might arise as the exams draw closer. In addition to this they also run workshops during Thursday lunchtimes (during Terms 3 & 4) in the Calm Learning Space. These are designed to help students develop relaxation and focussing techniques.


The exam period can be quite stressful. However, if students set realistic goals for what they would like to achieve and develop and stick to a balanced study plan, then they are likely to achieve a result that will allow them to access tertiary courses, or other programs, that are of interest to them.


If you have any questions about the exam period or you have something that you wish to discuss please do not hesitate to contact the College.

​but the exams are looming.

David Watson


Year 12 Hoodies 2018 

Following a process which involved the Year 11 Precinct Leaders the 2018 Hoodie is very close to being finalised.

Students will soon receive instructions about how to place their order using an on-line system which will require the use of a credit or debit card.

The cost of the Hoodie is $76 plus a small card fee. Students will have had an opportunity to try on sample sizes prior to placing their order.

Faye Cordy

The Sweet Sounds

Spring Recital 2017

This year's Spring Recital was terrific. Due to the Art Gallery closing, the Music Support Group decided to try a new venue and we performed in the Anglican Church Hall. We kicked the evening off with a cracking performance by the Stage Band led by Michael Timcke. Following the Stage Band, the Unit 2 and 4 Music Performance and Music Investigation students performed pieces from their end of year programs. This included group and solo works in a wide variety of styles from classical and contemporary singing, jazz bands, disco beats, movie theme tunes on piano, viola repertoire, woodwind and violin ensemble to duet singing. The hall was packed to the rafters and once again the Music Support Group laid on a sumptuous spread on for us all to enjoy at interval. The Spring Recital is a wonderful platform for our students to play to the Castlemaine Community. The students performed very well and a lovely evening was enjoyed by all.




Drama performances

All members of the school community are invited to some VCE Drama performances in the first few weeks of term four.


Year 12 Drama – Solo performance , Dress rehearsal , 5pm , Tuesday October 10.

A dress rehearsal for the students assessment in Bendigo during week two .


Year 11 Drama “ The Arrival’, Tuesday November 14, 6 30 pm.


A group devised ensemble performance, exploring a range of styles in a theatre performance which uses Shaun Tan’s , ‘The Arrival’, personal and family experiences to examine the history of Australian Immigration.

Not to be missed!


Darren Lowe- Drama Teacher

Musician of the Year

Calling all performers who would like to be in the 2017 Musician of the Year Competition.  Please see Kirsten Boerema in the Music Centre for more details.


A solo performance presented on Wednesday 1st November at 7.00 p.m. at the Blakeley Road Music Centre of CSC. Two contrasting pieces must be presented with a time limit of not more than 10 minutes.


The winner will have their name placed on an honour roll and receive a medal on the night.  Two distinguished performers will also be awarded medals.  The Musician of the Year will be presented with a cheque for $150 at the Awards Night, and $100 each for two distinguished performers.


Kirsten Boerema
Music Coordinator

Strings Extravaganza

About 20 string students from CSC and 15 string students from Monash University combined for a day's workshop at Buda on Sunday Sept 10th. Together we created a grand string orchestra with awesome tone across the whole range of strings.


Lisa Grosman, lecturer in viola at Monash, helped the orchestra find its voice in Cinema Paradiso, a classic movie theme, with Dante Michielin playing a piano solo. We played Russian music by Rimsky-Korsakov and European folk dances. Monash students presented a viola trio and a violin duet, both played with skill and expression.


As a special treat, the Fidelio String Quartet came from Melbourne and played a short powerful Beethoven quartet that had the audience on the edge of their seats, demonstrating Beethoven's fiery explosive side.


CSC music teachers Libby Anderson on cello and Tom Foster on bass joined with me to make the day a success. Many thanks to Judith McLean, Geoff Ross, Rose Demaria and Beth Mellick for all their help.


Frances Gall

Strings Teacher

Castlemaine Children's Literature Festival Opening

Would you like to sing with the Castlemaine Children's Choir at the Castlemaine Children's Literature Festival Opening?

The Castlemaine Children's choir will sing at the opening of the Castlemaine Children's Literature Festival held on Monday 25th September (school holidays) from 10.30-11am at Castlemaine library. 

The Children's choir welcomes any children aged 7 and above to join in the event. To prepare for the opening there'll be a one off rehearsal this Saturday 23rd of September from 10.30-11.30am at Castlemaine Senior Citizens Hall (next door to the library and Phee Broadway theatre). 

It's free to participate and no musical experience is necessary. 

Keen children will join in with the current members of the choir to perform three easy to learn songs.


Children need to be able to attend both the rehearsal and the opening (see times listed above, on Saturday 23rd and next Monday 25th).

Please book in with Tim Watson (choir leader) before the day by emailing [email protected] or by phoning or texting Tim Watson on 0423 747 731

Little Shop Of Horrors 

Little Shop Of Horrors – School Production 2017


A big thank you to all students, staff and parents who have helped to make this year’s show such spectacular success. Always one of the highlights of mine and many others school year, it has been a pleasure to watch the students work together in such a productive and collaborative way to produce such a wonderful show.

A big thanks to the Drama Support Group for help in a variety of ways.

Thanks to all those who attended  the show and supported us in a variety of ways.


To  all involved, enjoy a very hard earned break.

Thanks all

Darren Lowe- Director






Diversity Group Update

Wear It Purple Day

On the 25th Of August students of the Diversity Group held celebrations for Wear It Purple Day across the school. Principal Paul Frye cut the purple ribbon on the opening of our two, single cubicle, un-gendered toilets. Lawson Hall was alive with students dancing (in a ‘Just Dance’ dance off), having their nails done, eating purple cupcakes and  posing in the photo booth. Safe Schools also visited on the day to interview some of our staff and students and capture the days festivities. A huge thank you to students Brock Munn, Shana Morrison, Shaun Scoble and Ben McDonald for cooking up the delicious BBQ.


Engaging in Democratic Processes

The Diversity Group has been actively engaging in promoting the human rights of LGBTIQ people by formulating a question asking for the rainbow flag to be raised by council for the duration of the marriage equality postal survey. This question was asked at a recent Mount Alexander Shire Council Meeting on behalf of the Diversity Group and was received positively by the large crowd in attendance. The Diversity Group has been heartened by the recent visible displays of support for marriage equality throughout the Castlemaine community.


Shera Blaise

Guidance Counsellor 


R U OK?Day is a national day of action dedicated to encouraging all Australians to ask family, friends and colleagues ‘Are you OK?‘  The day is held on the second Thursday of September (10 September in 2015).

R U OK?Day is designed to target the whole population, to help all people understand the role they can play in supporting those grappling with a problem, big or small. Most people don’t openly share their feelings, particularly if they are struggling. The best thing we can all do is regularly talk to the people we care about. Schools are often the hub of a community. As well as touching base with our colleagues, staff in schools often have a connection with members of the extended school community.

It is natural for people who are feeling anxious or overwhelmed to also feel isolated and lonely. As well as assisting people to see they are not alone, encouraging people to check on family, friends and colleagues has many benefits.

Discussing a problem out loud can help them feel less overwhelmed. Asking for another person’s perspective about a problem can also help identify potential solutions. It’s ok to say “I’m not ok” and it’s ok to ask for help.

The following 4 step process is recommended:-

1 Ask R U OK? - start a general conversation, preferably somewhere private.

Ask open ended questions -

‘What’s been happening? How are you going?’

‘I’ve noticed that...What’s going on for you at the moment?’

‘You don’t seem like yourself and I’m wondering are you OK?’

2 Listen without judgement - guide the conversation with caring questions and give them time to reply - ‘How has that made you feel? How long have you felt this way? Have you talked to anyone about this?’

Don’t rush to solve problems for them.

Help them understand that solutions are available when they are ready to start exploring these.

3 Encourage action - summarise the issues and ask them what they plan to do - ‘What do you think might help your situation?’

Encourage them to take one step, such as see their doctor.

4 Follow up - Put a note in your diary to touch base or call them in one week. Ask if they’ve managed to take that first step and see someone. If they didn’t find this experience helpful, urge them to try a different professional because there is someone out there who can help them.

Dealing with denial? If they deny the problem, don’t criticise them. Acknowledge they’re not ready to talk. ‘I understand that you don’t want to talk about it but call me when you’re ready to discuss it.’

Say that you are still concerned about changes in their behaviour and you care about them. Ask if you can enquire again next week if there’s no improvement.


R U OK?                                                                       

R U OK? is an independent, not-for-profit organisation committed to providing focus and leadership on suicide prevention by empowering Australians to have open and honest conversations and stay connected with people in their lives.

The national day of action aims to increase public awareness and understanding about the link between connection, community, wellbeing and suicide prevention.  Programs are designed to provide ongoing education and information about ways to support each other through life’s ups and downs.

[email protected]

Alli Williams

School Nurse



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