The Blackbox courtyard

Preshil - Blackhall Kalimna

21 June 2017
Issue Ten
Calendar Dates
From the Principal
Head of Campus Blackhall Kalimna
Office Oracle
The Careers Hub
Individuals & Societies
Preparing for the Future
Years 7-10 Electives
School Production 2017
Next School Tour
9817 6135
12-26 Sackville Street
Kew, Victoria, 3101

Calendar Dates

Thursday 22 June

Students commencing in Term 3

Orientation Day

8.30am - 3.20pm


Students in Ceramics elective

Raku Firing workshop

9.30am - 3.20pm

Ceramics Room


All welcome!

Winter Solstice celebration

3.30pm - 6.30pm



Friday 23 June

Years 11 & 12 students and guests

2017 School Formal

7pm - 11pm


Term ends


Preshil's Winter Holiday Program

Monday 10 July - Friday 14 July

Girls and boys from Grades 3 to 8

9am - 3pm daily

Secondary School

12 - 26 Sackville Street, Kew

Term 3

Monday 17 July

Students in School Production


2pm - 5pm

Emulation Hall, 3 Rochester Road, Canterbury


Tuesday 18 July

Term 3 commences


Wednesday 26 July

Secondary School tour

9.15am - 10.45am


Wednesday 2 August

Year 10 students

Trapper  slam poetry performance

10.45am - 3.30pm

Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne


Sunday 20 August

All welcome!

Secondary School working bee

10am - 12 noon


Tuesday 22 August

Years 8 & 11 (Literature) students

Macbeth (Bell Shakespeare production)

11am - 3pm

Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne


Thursday 24 August

Year 9 students

Macbeth (Bell Shakespeare production)

11am - 3pm

Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne


Personal Project exhibition

5pm - 7pm



Friday 25 August

Personal Project exhibition

9am - 11am



Monday 28 August

Students in Years 10, 11 & 12

Meningococcal immunisation




Thursday 31 August

(Secondary School finishes at lunchtime) 

3-way Conferences (parent/teacher/student)

1pm – 8pm


Wednesday 6 September

(Secondary School finishes at lunchtime) 

3-way Conferences (parent/teacher/student)

1pm – 8pm


Thursday 7 September

All welcome!

Annual Spring Dinner

7pm - 10pm



Monday 11 - Friday 15 September

Year 10 students

Work Experience week


Monday 11 September

All welcome!

VCE Music Night

6pm - 8pm

Music Room


Tuesday 12 September

Year 7 students





Thursday 14 - Sunday 17 September

Students in School Production

Production camp

(details to be advised)


Thursday 14 September

All welcome!

VCE Drama Night

6.30pm - 8pm

The Blackbox


Friday 15 September

Term concludes


From the Principal

Photo: Detail from the ceramic wall in the Blackhall courtyard

Ready for the break!

In writing my most recent report for School Council I was suddenly aware of just how much activity has taken place at Blackhall Kalimna during this first semester.


Students and teachers have gone camping, visited MONA in Hobart and travelled to the Northern Territory for the Year 9 Experience; they have engaged in several dozen different Electives and averaged at least one excursion each week. They have delighted us with musical performances, displays of their artwork and examples of learning at all levels.


On top of their regular teaching loads, our exceptional teachers have completed the intensive training and course preparation required for the IB Diploma Programme* verification as well as a wide range of other professional development courses.


We have hosted over a dozen school tours and welcomed around thirty new enrolments to the Secondary School.


Preshil has completed the regular VRQA audit, implemented the Safeguarding Children program, partnered with both Melbourne and Monash universities in several research projects, created a new Careers Website, adopted the Compass Analytics software and completed our offers of Scholarships for 2018.


Also undertaken have been several major and many minor improvements to our grounds and facilities.


Most importantly we have nurtured, challenged, listened to and talked with our students on a daily basis. We have worried about them, communicated with their parents, encouraged them and offered endless suggestions and opportunities for these wonderful young people to flourish and grow.


As a staff we are privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to an extraordinary School and to work in the most significant profession there is.


And after this well-earned break, we will be back next semester to do it all again.


Marilyn Smith




* Preshil is a candidate school for the IB Diploma Programme.

Head of Campus
Blackhall Kalimna

Photo: Architectural detail of the 1930s Garden School facade

Natalie Jensen

Head of Campus

Bienvenue: French exchange students

This year we have been working closely with Ms Fanny Phillips from Almost French Exchange. Preshil has embarked on a five-week reciprocal exchange which takes place in July and December 2017. Our students will stay with French families and go to schools located in Reims, Lille, Lyon and their surrounding areas.


Before our students head off  to France in December we have warmly welcomed  the following students to Preshil:

  • Aglae (host family Chiara)
  • Carl (host family Max)
  • Jeanne (host family Daisy)
  • Eugenie (host family Alex)
  • Eugenie (host family Tilda)
  • Pierre-Louis (host family Felix)
  • Margaux (host family Nikita)

School Formal / parent gathering

An exciting night is planned on Friday for the VCE School Formal. To coincide with this event for our students, VCE parent reps - Pru Barratt, Gillian Morrison, Zan Griffith and Regina Roberts - warmly invite Years 11 and 12 parents to call in for a drink (after Formal drop off at 7pm) to The Temperance Hotel, 426 Chapel Street (there is a car park on Elizabeth Street). No need to RSVP, just turn up!

Happy holidays

Have a safe, restful and happy holiday break and we look forward to seeing you in Term 3.





Office Oracle

Important changes to the way we use EpiPens:
3 seconds and not 10

EpiPen adrenaline autoinjectors with the 3 second label became available in Australia from 13 June. The devices have not changed, just the instructions on the label, which now include:

  • reduced injection time from 10 to 3 seconds – this is based on research confirming efficacy and delivery of adrenaline through the 3 second delivery.
  • removal of the massage step after the injection – this has been found to reduce the risk of tissue irritation.

EpiPens with a 10 second label do not need to be replaced unless they have been used, are just about to expire or have expired.

ALL EpiPens should now be held in place for 3 seconds, regardless of the instructions on the label. However, if they are held for 10 seconds it will not affect the way that the adrenaline works.


Winter school holiday program

We have a great range of activities on offer in our program, including Fashion & Costume Design, Ceramics, Tennis, Fencing, 3D Printing, Arduino and Kerbal. 


Monday 10 - Friday 14 July
9am to 3pm daily
@ the Secondary School
12-26 Sackville St, Kew

Suitable for girls and boys from Grades 3 to 8

Fully supervised

Cost: $70 per day

(Places are limited and preference will be given to bookings for the whole week.)


Bookings through trybooking here 

or copy and paste these details into your browser:

Holiday office hours

During the three-week winter school holidays, please note that the office will be closed the middle week, 3-7 July. If you require assistance during this time please call 9817 6135 or email [email protected]

Next newsletter

The next edition of the Secondary School newsletter will be published on Wednesday 26 July. To read previous issues or our Arlington and Alumni issues visit the iNewsletter Library here.







The Careers Hub

Photo: Image: Courtesy of Australian Mathematical Sciences but applies to any subject.

Five core principles of career or pathway success

There are five core principles that are considered to drive success in any pathway:


Have a growth mindset: continually learn and develop your skills.


Keep active​: take consistent ongoing action to develop your career - keep going, don't give up.


Know why you care​: care about and find meaning in the things you are working on - there is meaning in all work when you look for it​.


Be vulnerable: be willing to be courageous and let your vulnerability show to others - perfection is not the key to success​.


Be generous: "the most meaningful way to succeed." Give generously to others at school, your workplace or the community.


You can read more if you visit this interesting blog called 'People Flourishing'.

Discover the world of Engineering and IT for female Year 10 students

Students are invited to spend a day discovering the excitement and creativity of Engineering and Information Technology at Monash University.  Monash staff and students will be on hand to present workshops and demonstrations, practical activities and experiments.


Date:               Thursday 6 July 2017
Time:               9.45am – 3.30pm

                           (morning tea & lunch provided)
Venue:            Clayton Campus, Monash University

Register:  Discover the World of Engineering and I.T

Are you interested in Art or Music?

Consider a career as an Art Therapist: 

Art Therapists work with a client or a group of clients to help them address emotional and psychological issues through creative activities such as drawing, painting, sculpting and collage. 


Art Therapists work in any area where people require assistance with achieving a better quality of mental health; this includes psychiatric wards, prisons, rehabilitation centres and drug and alcohol units.


Personal requirements of successful Art Therapists include:

Consider a career as a Music Therapist:

A Music Therapist is someone who provides therapeutic programs through the planned and controlled use of music to help people of all ages, including those with special needs because of social, emotional, psychiatric, physical or intellectual impairments. 


Students often study a Bachelor of Music at university and then do post-graduate studies that specialise in Music Therapy skills. Music is taught through a number of university courses, but two Victorian universities offer a dedicated Bachelor of Music and these are Music at Monash and Music at Melbourne.  Either of these two degrees can offer an opportunity for students to go on and study specialised post-graduate courses in Music Therapy.  These could be:

Making an appointment

You can find me in The Careers Hub office upstairs in Blackhall on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please use this link on the Preshil Careers website if you need to make an appointment on those days because it syncs to my calendar to avoid clashes. For other times email me at [email protected]


Download and print the Growth Mindset banner  at the top of this page:



Bronte Howell

Careers & Pathways Coordinator





Photo: RMIT BiG Day In


Andrew Belegrinos

Teacher of Software Development & Maths


The BiG Day In™ is an IT careers conference designed by students for students (both secondary school Years 9-12 and university) who are interested in careers in technology. It aims to connect students with entrepreneurs and companies who have proven 'real world' experience.


The RMIT hosted event was attended by both current and future Preshil Software Development & Computer Science students to discover more about the kinds of skills and application areas they may look to move into, as well as ways to engage industry early in their careers.
Through interactive presentations, demonstrations and competitions, tech gurus and business people alike from companies such as Microsoft, CSIRO, Adobe, IBM, Westpac and WiseTech Global discussed the different types of technology their companies worked with, how they built their careers and how students may kick-start their own. The event supported students to establish a better sense of the information technology sector as a whole and draw important connections between the classroom and specific IT industries.

UNSW ProgComp 2017


Last week Matthew Potts, Alaister O'Donnell-Young and Samuel Hoch competed in the UNSW nationwide programming competition. The UNSW ProgComp is the largest high school programming competition in Australia, with teams from every state, the ACT and NT competing. The competition presented students with questions challenging not only their programming skills but also problem-solving abilities, as an example:

The first consumer calculators provided four arithmetic operators and square root, the latter using an iteractive algorithm based on the Newton-Raphson method for finding roots of equations. To determine the square root of a positive real number k, given any approximation xi > 0 calculate


to obtain a value closer to the root. Keep applying the formula to obtain better approximations. Stop when successive approximations differ by 1e–10. Write a programme that calculates the square root of a number read from input. The initial approximation can be 1 or k, as the algorithm converges quite quickly.


This is a very challenging competition which pushes the discipline out beyond what is studied at VCE level. Well done to our students who rose to the occasion.

Individuals & Societies

Year 8 medieval diaries

Fiona Martin, Teacher of I & S


Throughout Term Two, Year 8 students have been studying the Feudal System and medieval life.

Their project was to create a character who may have lived in medieval times and research life through the eyes of this person. Peasants, knights, lords and barons all had a role to play and life was quite different at every tier of Feudal life.

As part of this study, students had the opportunity to make their own bamboo quill with Clare Coman and try their hand at some calligraphy.

Clare brought in an original medieval manuscript for the students to see and marvel at the exquisite detailed handiwork.

Students have researched and chosen a medieval recipe which they will reinterpret, cook and share at our medieval morning tea at the end of term.

A knight's tale (extract from Luca's medieval diary): 

Life is beginning to have meaning again. I have work protecting the Prince, I no longer feel the need to fight, and my days are filled. I spend more time out in the village and less at home practising and studying battle. I still practise, but I do leave my home for more reasons than just church.


I no longer pray for meaning each morning at church, I just pray for luck in my work and safety for the Prince and myself. After some thought I have realised that my old prayers were answered. I asked for meaning and God gave me meaning in protecting the Prince. My belief in God’s kindness was beginning to waiver until I was answered. I suppose I should not doubt Him as the world works by His hand. 


Preparing for the Future

Observations during my pre-service placement at Preshil

Sophie Maxwell


I have had the pleasure of spending the last month at Preshil for my teaching placement. I have taught Year 11 and Year 12 Psychology and observed a colourful range of different classes. My lasting impression is that learning is truly everywhere at Preshil and is not locked away in a restrictive curriculum or stale textbook. Instead, learning takes many creative, dynamic and active forms. For example, I’ve observed students make documentaries, build rocket ships, give TED talks (on a stage they also constructed), conduct complex scientific experiments, create models of their dream playgrounds, write short stories and engage in thought-provoking philosophical discussions.


Preshil students seem to thrive in this enriching learning environment. They seem like they have a close attachment to the unique and homely surrounds and seem very proud of their School. It was a breath of fresh air to see Preshil students rise to learning challenges and delight in the process of learning, rather than just fixating on marks and assessment. This has been in quite stark contrast to students I’ve taught in other schools, who seemed consumed by their next exam or their ATAR score. It has been truly inspiring to see Preshil students unravel complex concepts, embodying creativity and critical thinking beyond their years. 


I’ve loved my interactions with Preshil students and have particularly noticed how caring and community-minded they are. They are proud of their school community and grateful for their teachers. Indeed, most classes I observed concluded with students thanking their teacher for the class; a small but meaningful gesture which is a rarity in other secondary schools I’ve worked in! Preshil students also seem genuinely engaged in social justice. I was particularly heartened by the thought-provoking discussions I had with Years 11 and 12 about complex social issues like mental illness. I was quite blown away by Year 7 students’ protest songs about domestic violence and misogyny (songs which they composed and topics they chose themselves). We really can be confident about the next generation of problem-solvers and critical thinkers.


"It has been truly inspiring to see Preshil students unravel complex concepts, embodying creativity and critical thinking beyond their years." 

Finally, I’ve been very inspired by the staff at Preshil. Their collaborative approach creates an upbeat and supportive school climate. Their diversity in backgrounds and disciplines also makes Preshil an exciting workplace - and very useful for the lunchtime quiz! Preshil teachers seem like lifelong learners and model curiosity to their students. They have unconditional positive regard for their students and care deeply about their social and emotional development, as well as their learning. They made me feel very welcome during my placement and I have learnt so much from their progressive pedagogy. I’d particularly like to thank VictorToufas, who has been a wonderful mentor. He has shared many pearls of wisdom and been exceptionally generous with his time, help and advice. Overall, my teaching placement at Preshil has been a real highlight of my master’s degree. I feel very lucky to have had this insight into such a nurturing, creative and academically enriching school environment.


Photo: Eastern barred bandicoot

The study of bandicoot survival

Victor Toufas, Year 11 Biology Teacher


Eastern Barred Bandicoot: a small, nocturnal marsupial. It rests in a shallow, grass-lined nest during the day and comes out to forage at night on a variety of invertebrates, such as worms, grubs and beetles. It is a solitary animal and has a short gestation period, with young born after just 12 days of pregnancy. Once widespread across the grasslands and grassy woodlands of western Victoria, extending into the south-east corner of South Australia, due to the combination of predators such as introduced foxes and habitat loss, it is now listed as extinct in the wild.

Year 11 Biology students visited the Werribee Open Range Zoo on Tuesday 13 June to complement their study of the relationships between organisms and their environment, in particular, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and the Volcanic Plain Grasslands.


We kicked off the morning with a visit to the Bandicoot Hideout, where students met Lenny the bandicoot. We considered factors that are key to effectively managing this species for breeding and release by making observations and developing an understanding of the adaptations they have for survival and the interactions with their grassland environment.

Following this, students visited the bandicoot release site. During this part of the program, they applied key science skills and understandings in a release site by collecting data that can be analysed to make correlations between trapping success rates and the characteristics of habitats that Eastern Barred Bandicoots interact with. This data will be accumulated and shared online to help to build an important picture of bandicoot interaction with a site over time.

During the latter part of the day, students went on a safari tour, which is always a highlight. All the animals were out and about soaking up some winter sunshine. All in all, a most informative day.


Check out the great experiences available at

Werribee Open Range Zoo


It's a wrap!

Year 7:

This term Year 7 Drama students spent five weeks learning about the nature of an ensemble, about listening and about improvisation through Theatresports. The second half of the term’s focus has been directed towards building their own Drama game. Standby Drama teachers - you may very well find games like Spotlight, Corporate Assassin  and Break  in your next Drama games book!


Year 8:

Banksy and Frida Kahlo have featured in this term’s work. We have used artworks by each of these artists as stimulus material to create original performances. We have researched the artists themselves but also spent time with the paintings, gathering meaning through symbol, character, imagery, colour and the feelings these works conjure within each of us in response to the artist’s choices.


Year 10:

Are we ever really alone on stage? This is the question we have been asking this term in Year 10 Drama through the study and performance of monologues. Students chose from a variety of monologues and employed some of the skills learned in last term’s unit on Truth  (for instance, employing beats) whilst engaging new skills such as blocking a piece symbolically in space. It’s not an easy thing to stand on your own on stage and it has been so wonderful to see the class support their ensemble throughout the process. Alone? Perhaps not…


Year 12:

Hermione Granger, The Pilgrim from 1978’s television show Monkey  and Christopher Guest mocumentary Best in Show  have what in common? They all, along with seven other pieces of stimulus material, feature on this year’s Drama Solo Performance Examination.



Year 12 Drama students have begun the selection process and research phase for their major work for the year. VCE Drama students are required to pick from one of ten character stimuli and follow the playmaking skills to script and perform a seven minute non-naturalistic solo performance. So far we have a Hermione and one Pilgrim!


by Kate Ellis,Years 7, 8, 10, 12 Drama


Year 9: Conventions and structure, archetypes and punch lines by Fiona Martin, Year 9 Drama 


Year 9 Drama students have been having a most enjoyable time and collaborating to develop two very different short pieces that sprang from the same source. After studying character development, story structures and archetypes in a number of intensives and workshops, students became more proficient in and comfortable with physical caricature, pantomime technique and comic timing.

Armed with a toolbox of relevant theatrical skills to dip into, students were given a choice of projects. One group chose to use American situation comedy conventions to develop their piece and the other group chose to re-interpret a classic fairy tale and utilise our common knowledge of its structure to branch into plot twists and character surprises. One piece is a reworking of Cinderella, which uses a light-hearted, non-biased approach to explore love and what constitutes ‘happily ever after’. Our other group has written a sitcom set at Preshil - and a hint at the plot - Chris has lost his bike and he suspects someone has stolen it…who?



Years 7-10 Electives

Electives round up

We have come to the end of another full term of activities. Each term our Elective program allows students to make some choices about their learning and

  • explore a diversity of experiences and approaches
  • engage with tasks that interest them and develop a positive attitude to learning
  • plan what they will do by setting short-term goals
  • locate resources required for the task
  • develop a sense of personal responsibility and accountability
  • communicate and work with their teachers and peers
  • ask questions.

Many students have said that they have found their passion for future study and employment through subjects they have been able to experience and explore through the Elective program.


If you (or someone you know) are able to run an elective please email me [email protected]

SEEK: attempt or desire to obtain or achieve something.


EXCEL: be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject.


EXPERIENCE: skill or knowledge that you gain by doing something.


DREAM: an idea or a vision that is created in your imagination.




Bronte Howell


Prep to Year 10 Elective and Holiday Programs









School Production 2017

When Dashiel Reznor, an arrogant and egocentric murder mystery novelist, arrives at the Bygone Days Artists Retreat he is ready for some rest, relaxation and relief...from both his writer’s block and his girlfriend. Upon arrival, however, he discovers his room is occupied by a penniless opera singer named Anna Maria, who refuses to leave. The other guests are a colourful group of artists: the poet laureate of Wyoming, interpretive dancers and a woman who thinks she is the last princess of the Romanovs.


When Anna Maria appears to have been tossed out of a window, Detective Binnix is convinced of Dashiel’s guilt. It isn’t long after that Binnix suffers a similar fate as Anna Maria, and Dashiel was the only one upstairs with the detective. How can he prove his innocence when everyone is so quick to leap to conclusions? It’s unreal! 



With an unexpected twist, not everything is as it seems in this delightful mystery, and the audience will keep guessing until the very 'gotcha' ending!


Don't miss this funny and smart play, packed full of mystery, laughs and surprises.
Wednesday 8 November at 1pm and 7pm

Thursday 9 November
at 7pm
Emulation Hall
3 Rochester Road


Tickets go on sale early next term through trybooking.



Next School Tour

Secondary School
Wednesday 26 July 2017
9.15am to 10.45am


The Principal, Head of Campus and staff warmly invite you to visit our Secondary School and learn about a Preshil IB education and all it has to offer.

3 easy ways to book

Confirm your place on the tour by:

  • booking online here
  • phoning our Registrar, Nerel Ezra, on 9817 6135 
  • emailing [email protected] 

We are enrolling now for 2018 & 2019.


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