Lowanna College

28 February 2020
Issue One
Principal's Report
College Updates
College Calendar
Junior School 
Middle School 
Senior School 
Community Updates
Lowanna College
(03) 5127 9200
72- 96 Newark Avenue
Newborough, Victoria, 3825

Principals Report

Welcome back to our students, families and community for 2020.

Building on our great 2019, we are well underway with a positive start to this new year. I’ll share you with an update on a few key highlights and initiatives from our first month of school, including our new literacy support program, our reimagined library, our numeracy support program, our new student leadership structure, and the mobile phone ban. Lastly, I will share some insights from our four-yearly school review, which is occurring across February and March.


Welcoming our Year 7s

We started the year welcoming our students back with a whole school assembly, with a particular welcome to our 175 new Year 7s. As anticipated, our total enrolment increased for the first time in many years, now sitting at 895, up from 860 last year. Our Year 7s engaged in our orientation program and IT ‘boot camp’, to ensure they were able to navigate timetables, lockers and new classrooms – all the things students are nervous about when they first begin high school. We now have nearly all of our Year 7s with our new, consistent school-laptop device, which they were of course very excited to be able to use, but importantly, is already making a difference to the way teachers can teach within the classroom.


Reading and Literacy

Following staff training late last year and over the break, we have launched our new literacy support program this year. We have worked closely with our local primary schools to ensure we have the most current and up to date information regarding student literacy levels, and using a best-practice approach and world-leading resources (Fountas and Pinnell), to provide intensive support for students where their reading level is below their age-recommended level. Start with our Year 7s and growing over time, we have established tools to track, monitor and ensure every child is able to become a confident and capable reader. This combined with our independent reading program in Years 7 to 9, we are working with our students to create a love of reading – this in turn will strengthen our students’ ability to learn in all areas.


Reimagining our Library

To further support students learning in reading and literacy, we have reviewed our library practice. Led by our new Library Manager, Anne Stephens, we have begun redesigning some of our library spaces, and increased our library hours – the library is now open from 8am to 4pm, including recess and lunchtime, everyday. We have already seen an increase in student borrowing, and we’re excited about the benefits this will have for our students for years to come.



Numeracy Program

Led by our new Assistant Principal, Fiona Milkins, and our new Numeracy Learning Specialist, Kirsty Speirs, we have invested significantly in supporting teachers and students to build our students’ numeracy skills. We are taking a much stronger analytical and student-driven approach – working to ensure teaching and intervention supports are targeted specifically at the needs of our students. We know our students are coming into a classroom with a range of abilities, and thus we are working hard to ensure our high achieving students are challenged, and our students who have some gaps in their learning are well supported.


While it is not every students favourite time of year, NAPLAN is an incredibly accurate tool for informing us as to our students current strengths and gaps, and have value for us beyond the once-every-two-years national process. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be using the NAPLAN tool to screen all of our students in Years 7 to 9. As the NAPLAN tool covers all areas of Mathematics, we will have a comprehensive snapshot of our whole-school priority areas, as well as being able to feedback to every individual child about their strengths and areas to grow.


New Student Leadership Structure

We believe that all students should have the opportunity to have a say and influence the decisions in their school, and that strong student leadership is at the heart of any great school. Upon reflection in 2019, we felt we did not have enough opportunity for students to engage in student leadership, so we have redesigned our student leadership structure.


Our new structure is designed so that every homegroup (eg. 7A, 7B… through to 12A, 12B) will have a nominated student leader. These leaders will come together regularly in Mini-School groups (eg. Year 7 and 8 homegroup leaders), with the Year Level Coordinators and Mini-School Leader, to share and discuss ideas, suggestions and concerns. The Homegroup leaders can then liaise back to their homegroup, so all students are involved in the conversations.


Nominations have already been sought from home groups. Where there were multiple students in a homegroup interested in this role, the class has voted. We envisage that this role will change periodically, to enable a range of students to have the opportunity to lead at this level.


Mobile Phone Ban

I would like to thank the students, our families and community for the way in which they have engaged with and supported the mobile phone ban. We have had very few instances of indiscretion where we have had to remove a phone from a student, and in almost all of those cases, families have been very supportive.


Perhaps the more important feedback is that the vast majority of our students are reporting the mobile phone ban has been a really good thing – they’re feeling more relaxed at school, and are enjoying that students are talking to each other more. Personally, I’ve noted the yard looks much busier and active – on reflection, many of our students last year would sit in quiet spaces, either outdoors or in our study centres and common rooms, on their phones. It has been great seeing students out and about in the sunshine on a daily basis. Thank you again to all of our families for your ongoing support.


School Review

Some in our school community may be aware – all schools must undergo a strategic review every four years. I have been involved in many of these type of reviews in my time, and always find them a very positive experience. Ours commenced last fortnight, and there has been a flurry of activity as we’ve sought feedback from a wide range of students, staff and our school council. The school review starts broadly – we obtain feedback and insights on a whole range of things people love about our school, and the things they feel we need to improve. We then analyse that feedback, and begin to identify key themes, which we then dig into further.


Our key themes so far include:

  • How can we better support students and teachers to ensure learning is targeted to student needs in classes which typically have diverse abilities.
  • How can we better ensure our student support services (including wellbeing, reengagement programs, and literacy and numeracy interventions) best meet the needs of our students.
  • How do we work collectively within the school to increase consistency in a range of areas (eg. How do we make ‘best-practice’, common-practice).


A key stakeholder group is of course parents and our community. In the coming weeks, I’ll be seeking feedback from parents and our broader community. Keep an eye out on the Compass Newsfeed and on the college Facebook page for more information. There will be an opportunity to provide feedback online, or attend a parent focus group in about a fortnight’s time.


Thank you again for your ongoing support. We hope, like us, you’re looking forward to an exciting year of growth for our college, and for each and every individual child.


Adam Hogan

College Principal



College Updates

General Office Staff

Meet our General Office staff:

Amy Jones                          Reception                    

Lisa Gray                              Reception                                

Ashlee Johnson                Assistant Business Manager                   

Angela Skinner                  Business Manager


OFFICE HOURS:               8:00am - 4:00pm

TELEPHONE:                     03 5127 9200


Parents must first present at the General Office when visiting the school or trying to make contact with their children.


Appointments with teachers can be made by telephoning the College or emailing the staff member directly via Compass.

Gippsland Water Issue

Due to the current Gippsland Water Issue, we ask that families send a bottle of water with their child/children to school. 
Whilst we have bottles of water and water stations to refill from, this will help with the demand due to the size of our school.

School Photo Catch Ups

If your child missed the first school photo day, there will be a catch-up day on Monday, March 2nd, 2020.

The Year 12 Group Photo will also be taken on this day.


Please note that due to delays with the envelopes, the photographer has extended the online payment deadline to Monday, March 16th before a $20 late fee is added.
Cash payments are accepted via the school office until Monday, March 2nd.



Swimming Carnival

Our annual swimming carnival was a great day where the rain held off and our students were able to showcase their swimming abilities.
It was great to see so much enthusiasm and support from both staff and students on the sidelines cheering our competitors on. 


The final scores were:
Blue Sharks: 862
Green Crocs: 835
Yellow Eagles: 389
Red Devils: 350


Well done to everyone who participated and was involved in the carnival, and good luck to everyone who has progressed on to the next round.

Year 7 Camp- Phillip Island

On Monday, February 10, Year 7 students and staff attended a 3-day camp at CYC in Cowes, Phillip Island.


"On an overcast morning, we boarded two coaches and were soon on our way. We stopped at San Remo for lunch where we stretched our legs and enjoyed the view of the water, local birdlife including pelicans, and the famous Phillip Island Bridge.  We arrived at camp at approximately 1:00 pm where we were greeted by the friendly CYC staff. After a quick induction to camp, we settled into our rooms and became familiar with the campgrounds. The weather was warm and humid which was great as we were able to participate in all our planned activities which included going swimming in the camp’s pool, walking to Cowes Beach and participating in beach activities before finishing with the Penguin Parade. At the Penguin Parade, the temperature dropped significantly and patience was needed as we waited for the penguins to make their way from the ocean, onto the beach, and to their burrows. It was a special sight to behold and the close encounters as we walked along the boardwalks on our way back to the coaches were very memorable and the highlight of the night.


The next day students were put into two main groups for activities. One group went to YCW Beach for a surfing lesson, the other group participated in activities at the camp which included the Giant Swing, Mechanical Climbing Wall, Archery and the Flying Fox (Zipline). The weather was again warm with little to no wind, which was perfect for our activities. After lunch, the groups swapped so everyone was able to participate in all activities. Students were very brave, encouraged each other, had lots of fun and experienced success. After dinner, students had a swim in the camp’s pool and with a lot of tired students and staff from the day’s activities, took time before bed to unwind and watched a movie together. It was a very exciting, fun-packed day!


The next morning, we cleaned our rooms and packed up our belongings. After breakfast and room checks we had the opportunity to buy souvenirs from the camp’s shop. We then walked to the main street of Cowes where students got the opportunity to socialise with their new friends whilst exploring the shops in search for souvenirs and bargains. We returned to camp for lunch, packed the coaches, said our goodbyes to the lovely CYC staff and returned home, tired but with smiles on our faces.


Overall, we got a chance to meet new people, make new friends, build good relationships, share fun and memorable experiences with each other.

A big thank-you to all involved for making this camp such a success!"

Year 12 OES- European Discovery Camp

At the beginning of the week the Year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies class went on their Year 12 European Discovery Camp to Point Nepean. While on camp students explored Gunners Cottage, Fort Nepean, The Quarantine Station at Point Nepean, 1803 Collins Settlement site, Coppins Lookout in Sorrento and the Cape Schank lighthouse.  Students completed their journal while on camp and the information learnt has been linked back to their learning in the classroom. Some responses from the students: 

  • It was fun other than the rain 

  • It was good to link our learning to specific places 

  • Seeing all the historical places gave us more information and understanding of the work 

  • Seeing the timeline of Point Nepean at the quarantine station was really valuable 

  • We are lucky to live in a time of peace  

CSEF Applications

Applications are due by the last day of Term 2 (26th June, 2020).
If you require more information please contact the General Office on 5127 9200.


Breakfast Club


Physical Activity- The Way to Better Heart Health.

Here is an article from Karen Thurgood our School Nurse.


Sports Excellence Program

The Lowanna Sports Excellence students have been super busy this year. They had the opportunity to attend RSEA Park to watch St Kilda Football Club train, they enjoyed a visit from Collingwood Football Clubs' newest recruits: Matt Scharenberg, Will Kelly and Anton Tohill as well as as Collingwood AFLW stars Steph Chiocci, Katie Lynch, Machaelia Roberts and ex-student Annie Lietzau.

College Calendar


Monday March 2

School Photos - Catchup Day

Year 11 OES Phillip Island Discovery Camp


Tuesday March 3

Year 11 OES Phillip Island Discovery Camp


Wednesday March 4

Careers Guest Speaker- P5 ADF


Thursday March 5

Year 7 & 10 Immunisations


Monday March 9

Labour Day Public Holiday- No School


Tuesday March 10

Year 10 OES Canoe Program

Year 7F Digital Tech - Gippsland Tech School


Wednesday March 11

Year 7D Digital Tech - Gippsland Tech School

Fed Uni Experience Day- Outdoor Ed, Exercise & Sports Science


Thursday March 12

Year 7C Digital Tech - Gippsland Tech School


Friday March 13

Year 7B Digital Tech - Gippsland Tech School


Monday March 16

7pm- School Council Meeting


Tuesday March 17

Year 7A Digital Tech - Gippsland Tech School

Year 10 OES Canoe Program


Wednesday March 18

Year 7G Digital Tech - Gippsland Tech School

Year 10 OES Canoe Program

Careers Guest Speaker- P3 Latrobe City


Thursday March 19

Athletics Carnival


Friday March 20

Year 7E Digital Tech - Gippsland Tech School


Thursday March 26

Last Day of School Term 1- 3pm Finish

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews 5-8pm


Friday March 27

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews 9am-1pm


Monday April 13

Easter Monday- No School


Tuesday April 14

First Day of Term 2

Whole School Assembly


Monday April 20

7pm- School Council Meeting


Thursday April 30

Year 12 VCE Careers Expo- Caulfield Racecourse


Monday December 7- Friday December 11

Nationals Basketball

Junior School 

Junior School Report

Hello and welcome to the first Junior School report for 2020! 


I’d like to start by welcoming back all staff, students and parents, and extend a very special welcome to our new families. It was great to meet and welcome many of you at the Parent Welcome BBQ earlier this term. I hope 2020 will be a rewarding year filled with many wonderful opportunities for learning and growth for everyone within the Junior School community. 


I would like to congratulate everyone on a mostly smooth start to the year. I have generally been very impressed with the way that students have returned to school looking their best in school uniform, organised with appropriate materials and ready to learn. I would like to thank parents for the role they play in partnering with us to foster student success. It is great to see that parents can be relied upon to engage with us as partners in the educational journey of their child – be it through attending information evenings, reading newsletters, Compass feeds and generally staying informed and up to date with all relevant events. We also recognize the important role you play in assisting students to be organized, punctual and in full uniform. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and are greatly appreciated! 


It has been a busy start to the term including the swimming sports, school photos and the Year 7 Camp to Phillip Island. Congratulations to all those students who represented themselves, their House and the College well at our first major whole-school event – our annual swimming sports. It was great to see all students involved – whether it be directly in events or supporting on the sidelines. I have heard great reports from students and staff alike about their time at camp. I would like to thank Mr Stokes and Mr Trewin for their organization of a successful camp as well as all those staff members who attended. I hope many long-lasting friendships were started on camp and that all students now feel a strong sense of belonging to the Lowanna College community. 


A reminder that students must not have their phones on them from first bell until last bell (including recess and lunchtime). This is government policy and we are already seeing the benefits in terms of improved concentration in class and better interactions with peers. If you have an urgent need to contact your child over the course of the school day please call the General Office on 5127 9200 and we can pass the message along. Thank you in advance for your support. 


At both Year 7 and Year 8 Assemblies I have spoken about the importance of respect for creating and maintaining the type of community we can all be proud to be members of. I have spoken with students about three levels of respect they need to be mindful of – respect for themselves, respect for others and respect for Lowanna College. A lack of respect by individuals within the community undermines our efforts at teaching and learning. When respect becomes the norm, teaching and learning are powerfully impacted because the teacher is inspired and empowered, able to use every available minute for quality teaching. We understand there will be times when students disagree with each other and with their teachers and I have emphasized that respect doesn’t mean we need to agree with everything and everyone but that we respect differences and use appropriate avenues to express this. We want to empower our students to behave respectfully so they can grow into mature adults ready for a world where respect is crucial in order to hold jobs, complete qualifications and have meaningful relationships. 


Finally, I would like to remind you of the key Junior School staff for 2020 who are here to help, support and guide as required. If you need to contact anyone this can be done either through Compass or calling the General Office.

Nicole Taylor- Junior School Leader

Hannah Keegan- Year 7 Coordinator

Peter Stokes- Year 8 Coordinator

Anna Hirchfield- Student Support Officer

Tammie Percivall- Junior School Administration


Nicole Taylor 

Junior School Leader 

Middle School 

Middle School Report


Welcome to 2020 on behalf of the Middle School team.


As we welcome the Year 9 students to the Middle School for the first time, we also wish the Year 10 students a warm welcome back.


I will be leading the Middle School again this year while being supported by a team consisting of Kerrie Logan (Year 10 Coordinator), Phil Berends (Year 9 Coordinator), Andrea Coad (Middle School Office Manager) and Ross Magnuson (Middle School Support Officer).


There will be a number of exciting events happening throughout the year for our students, these include the Middle School Camp to the Gold Coast later in the year, as well as Work Experience and the Debutante Balls for our year 10 students. We are currently taking students' names for expressions of interest for the Camp and Debutante Balls, confirmation of places will be announced soon. Both these events have conditions to attend such as 90% attendance, G.P.A’s must be at least 2.0 and no negative behaviour chronicles.


We have some interesting guest speakers coming to address our year 10 students during their Wednesday study periods. These study periods have supervising teachers and are compulsory. If students are absent, it will affect their attendance.


At the end of Term 2, Year 10 will be sitting their first series of exams. These exams will make up part of their assessment for the first semester, it would be beneficial to start talking to their teachers regarding these.


The first G.P.A scores have come out this week, I urge all parents and students to have a look at them, please contact the relevant teacher to discuss concerns.


We look forward to a happy and productive year in Middle School.


Darren Mitchell

Middle School Manager


Senior School 

Senior School Report


We have had a fantastic start in the Senior School from all of our students and the new Senior Team, which is great to see. As we are heading into the final stages of the schooling journey this positive feel amongst the students is brilliant. Our new School Captains; Ashlyn Levy, Blake Dyson, Cordelia Reynolds, and Kate Wheildon have been great in leading by example both in class and around the school. 


Our new Year 12 cohort are making a very positive start to the year, with hard work being put in both at school and at home building towards great rewards at the end of the year. Shelby Wulffers, our Year 12 student support staff member, has been busy meeting with many of our students, providing support and setting goals with them. We look forward to this continuing. With this in mind, it is critical that Year 12 VCE students understand the importance of study periods. For a student to succeed, doing enough work to pass does not cut it. You need to push, and the study periods are a vital part of this.


Year 11 students have also made a very fine start in their Senior School journey. Norman Trewin, continuing his role as VCE Co-ordinator, has been working closely with all Year 11s to assist with any concerns, and generally making the year start as smoothly as possible. The move to Senior School can be quite a jump for some students, and we are keen to continue to assist, through home groups and study periods, wherever we can.


Sarah Giessler has moved into the role of VCAL Manager for 2020. This role is focused on further developing our VCAL program to best cater to the needs of our VCAL students. It is vital that VCAL students are actively looking for work placement if they haven’t already. This is the perfect opportunity to gain experience in workplaces, making connections and trying out different industries to see what suits them. If assistance is required, our careers team are more than happy to help point any students in the right direction.


A reminder for all students that if they are going to be absent, medical certificates must be supplied, or early notice given if possible. We provide time after school on Mondays and Wednesdays, if required, to complete catch up SACs if a student is away or for resit purposes, but to meet regulations, if a student has not provided a medical certificate, this could well be to just receive a pass and not a graded result.


All the best, and keep up the great work to all our Lowanna Senior Students.




Justin Rea

Senior School Manager


Careers Report

Check out our Careers Website!

Students can access the website, maximising resources, and other important Career information. Our school community can also access this site, enabling parents to have conversations with their children about Careers and Pathways. This is a great tool which provides students with careers events, VCE & VCAL information, post school options, TAFE and countless other resources to support their transition from school to employment or further education.


Please follow the linkbelow or access through the Lowanna College website under ‘Careers’



Careers Guest Speaker

Wednesday kicked off our first Careers Guest Speaker for 2020 and our Years 10,11 and 12 students loved it!


Danny Anderson- Emergency Management Coordinator from Ambulance Victoria came to speak to the students about careers and pathways into the various opportunities in the Ambulance Service. Danny also spoke about his journey which started at the former Moe High School. Danny’s advice to students was ‘take every opportunity you are given’ and ‘be passionate about what you do’. Great advice for our student body given the incredible career Danny has had so far. Did you know that Danny coordinated the recent evacuations from the East Gippsland fires while working collectively with the Australian Defence Force and other emergency services?  Ask your child about the amazing photos and stories he shared.

Danny will be coming back to speak with individual students about paramedicine later in the year.


Thank you, Danny, for sharing your journey with the students.

Our next Careers Guest Speaker is the Australian Defence Force on Wednesday 4th March @2pm.


Year 10 Work Experience

Work Experience for Semester 1 group is from 11th May – 15th May. Students in the following classes, 10HUM11, 10HUM51, & 10HUM61 will participate. The remaining classes will undertake work experience in Semester 2. It is an expectation that all Year 10 students participate in this program. Information has been sent home via Compass to parents/guardians. Students have received this information and discussed the process during class time. Students are required to source their own work experience placement. Doing this provides students with a great opportunity to develop their communication skills, initiative and ‘real world’ experiences. Please see attached documents and encourage your child to be working on finding a work experience placement.


VCE & Careers Expo

All year 12’s will attend a VCE & Careers Expo on Thursday 30th April. This is wonderful opportunity for our students to attend Australia’s biggest Careers expo. Parents please ensure you look at the excursion in Compass to provide permission to attend. There will be over 150 exhibitors and 30 seminars for students to access. Please visit their website to see the list of exhibitors and seminars;


Community Updates

Saver Plus


Outdoor Cinema Night


Latrobe Street Games- Skate Club

Latrobe Streetgames’ Skate Club is a place where your kids can learn skate and scooter skills from professional VSA qualified coaches, right here in the Latrobe Valley.

Skate Club Is a sporting program with a difference, no bells, whistles, or uniforms. We don’t focus on winning the next competition, just personal progression and having fun.

Latrobe Streetgames Skate Club is a structured and supervised skateboard and scooter coaching session run by our VSA qualified coaches. We provide a supportive learning environment with a social focus.

Irrespective of gender, we deliver fun, active, and games-based sessions, targeting balance, agility, coordination and technique. We aim to build the confidence of each individual and help them acquire new skills and techniques.

All ages welcome. All equipment & safety gear is available at each lesson (you’re also welcome to bring your own). All our coaches hold current working with children and police checks. You can book at www.latrobestreetgames.com.au/skateclub




Student Exchange 


Relationships Australia




Teen Boxing


Lowanna College
Better Heart Health.pdf
WE Form Semester 1 2020.pdf
WE Travel Form Semester 1 2020.pdf
Work Experience Parent Letter.pdf