Wheelers News

06 September 2019
Issue Fourteen respect Excellence Creativity
Principal's Page
Assistant Principal's Page
Mark Your Calendar
Performing Arts
Middle School Report
Senior School Report
Community News
Wheelers Hill Secondary College
(03) 9561 5811
Raphael Drive
Wheelers Hill, Victoria, 3150

Principal's Page

WHSC Champions!
Interschool Athletics Carnival, 27 8 19

What a result!  Wheelers Hill Secondary College is the Aggregate Champions for Interschool Athletics for 2019!  Our level of participation from our students last week (27/8) was outstanding with over 100 students representing the College in a range of Athletics events.  Due to our incredibly strong level of participation we were awarded the Aggregate Shield for 2019.  


Importantly, we produced some wonderful performances on the day allowing us to finish second overall in the points system.  This result was especially pleasing given that we were competing against some other schools on the day with higher enrolments.  Furthermore, our strong showing at the carnival allowed us to win the Interschool Athletics Intermediate Shield for achieving the highest points total across all schools for Years 9 and 10.  It is the first time in 10 years that we have win the Intermediate Shield.


We again congratulate all of our students for their involvement on the day.  We also thank our staff for their work, together with recognising the outstanding leadership of our Atheltics Team by Kerrie Lay and Sally Pryde.  Well done to all involved!

College Captains, 2020

We had a number of current Year 11 students apply for a College Captain position at WHSC in 2020.  The position of College Captain at WHSC is hugely significant with those students appointed expected to represent the College to the highest of standards.  


The calibre of the students applying for this very important position at the College was outstanding.  Applicants submitted a written application, presented to staff and students, and they sat an interview as part of the process.   We would hope to be able to announce our College Captains for 2020 as part of our next newsletter.

Parent - Teacher - Student Conferences, 4 9 19

Our Parent - Teacher - Student Conferences were successful earlier in the week.  The Conferences allowed students and their families to meet up with teaching staff to discuss progress across all learning areas.  


The Conferences provide opportunities for students to discuss their learning.  It is also an opportunity to set some learning goals for the remainder of the year.  We thank families for their time earlier in the week and we are sure that the Conferences were helpful and informative to both parents/guardians and students.

WHSC Trivia Night, 13 9 19

As per previous Newsletters, our hardworking WHSC Parents and Friends Committee have organised a 'Trivia Night' on Friday the 13th of September at the College Library.  To coincide with the date, our Library will be decorated in an eerie 'Friday the 13th' theme!


Please go to Try Booking at:   





in order to secure your ticket for this wonderful night.  Prices include Adults - $15.00; Children - $5:00.  BYO drinks and snacks for the night.  This is a no alcohol event.  Funds raised for the night will support our Performing Arts Program at the College.

Year 8 STEM Unit

The Year 8 STEM Unit began this week.  The Year 8 STEM Unit aims to further develop skills such as Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking.


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is such an important area for schools to cover with students.  The 21st Century demands that we best prepare our students for the future and we as a College are providing opportunities through STEM education to further the skills of our students in this area.


Our STEM Leader in Kim Hewlett has worked hard to provide a high quality program for our Year 8 students which will conclude by the end of the term.  We thank Kim, together with the staff and students involved in the Year 8 STEM Unit, for their efforts as part of this important program.

Principal For A Day, 3/9/19 - Professor Michael Kennedy (OAM)

We were thrilled to have Professor Michael Kennedy (OAM) as Principal For A Day (or PFAD) at WHSC earlier in the week (3/9).   Michael is a Professor of Practice and Leader of Industry Programs and Partnerships at Monash University.   Through Michael's career, he has been involved in management and leadership roles in the private sector, in a range of industries, and in the public and community sectors, as a CEO, board director and chair, and always with an involvement in education.  His doctoral research was about organisational leadership and culture.  In more recent times he has lead the Safe Student Travel  program which involves visiting secondary schools across Victoria, which is government and industry funded.  Michael also has a keen interest in sport whereby he umpired Australian Rules Football for a number of years.


Michael was very generous with his time as part of PFAD presenting to students from across a number of year levels on topics such as Road Safety (Year 7), the Importance of Sport (Year 9), together with a presentation to our Year 12 students highlighting the importance of a focused approach moving into the end of year exam period.


Michael also spent some time as part of the day dropping in on classrooms, speaking with students and staff, and taking in a tour of the College.  We thank Michael for being a part of PFAD with our College and we hope that he enjoyed the PFAD experience.


Cultural Week, 2 to 6 9 19

Our Languages Program organised a 'Cultural Week' this week at the College.  There were many activities organised through the week for our students which culminated in a special Free Dress Day with a Cultural Theme today (6/9/19).  


We thank our Languages Learning Domain for organising Cultural Week, and we hope that it becomes a regular fixture on the WHSC Calendar for the future.

'Value of the Week' - Excellence

Our Athletics Team have demonstrated our 'Value of the Week' in Excellence - they were simply outstanding last week at the Interschool Athletics Carnival (27/8).

And Finally....

Please be reminded of our Professional Development Day on Monday 9th September.  This is a student free day.


Have a great weekend everyone










Aaron Smith


Assistant Principal's Page

The Bored Child

Interesting reports are coming out about John Marsden’s new book The Art of Growing Up. He has divided some parents when it comes to his thoughts on modern parenting and the impact it is having on children. You may agree or disagree with what he has to say but the below 7 steps he explores are significant and certainly worth having a look at.


  1. Let your kids be bored

I fear this one quite often as a parent and teacher. If they are bored, am I not doing my job properly. No! Let them be bored at home and in class. We can’t possibly entertain them every minute of the day and we are not doing them any favours if we do. They must think for themselves; they must entertain themselves and get themselves out of the boredom. In class, it won’t hurt the student to find another way around the task. Take ownership and do the task in a different way. Talk with the teacher and negotiate. We should guide our children to be solution focused.


  1. Get them back to nature


Do we really know what they are doing on their laptop and phone? Do we really know what is happening behind closed doors? Fight the good fight and get outside with your kids. Find new experiences. Get messy, get out there and have fun. Sometimes you just being there is all they need.


  1. Encourage ‘first hand experiences’ over ‘second hand ones’


Find out what they are studying in classes and build on that by going to Art galleries, Theatre, Zoos, Museums or the Court House. Engage in their learning and let them experience it first-hand. This strategy will support their learning in class and will give students an in-depth understanding of the topic.


  1. Don’t get involved in every detail


Let them fail. How else will they learn? Social media is so prevalent today that students can get themselves into trouble with the click of a button. The way we react to this is how we model how to cope with the issue. If we overreact and want to grab our pitch fork and take action, there and then, are we really setting the right example? Screaming ‘Kill the beast!’ Gaston style in Beauty and the Beast is not helpful. We fall into the Veruca Salt ‘I want it now’ category if we behave that way.


Sit down, discuss the issue, explore possible solutions, be calm and composed. They are looking at us for guidance and leadership and we have that responsibility to show them how to do it correctly.


‘I’m going to ring that school and tell them how it is?’


This not helpful. It’s toxic.


  1. Don’t shelter them from real life


This is not suggesting you should send your child off to Hogwarts to be barbequed by a dragon or killed by dark wizard with serious nasal issues. However, encouraging children to leave their comfort zone and take some risks is not only helpful, it’s actually encouraged. The ‘stress zone’ and the ‘scared zone’ are actually learning zones. Cut the cord and let them learn through trial and error.


  1. Encourage wisdom with knowledge.


It takes a long time before you realise it is better to be the tortoise than the hare. Slow and steady does indeed win the race. You can ask a child to read that story over and over again and, on the surface, they would see the value in the moral but to truly understand it, the child needs to experience and explore the message within.


Fake news is prominent in our society and we need to encourage students to turn to multiple exposures to determine if the information is true. In time they will become knowledgeable in the topic, but by encouraging critical thought, exploring other resources and different perspectives, they will become wise.



  1. Understand when it is your issue, not your child’s


Open lines of communication are crucial in the home. In The Wonder Years, every time Norma asked her husband Jack Arnold how his day was, and his response would invariably be a grunt, followed by:


‘Work’s work.’


How was the traffic?


‘Traffic’s traffic.’


Her happy, energetic grin fell, as her husband refused to engage.


It is hard to get anything detailed out of our children after a day at school, but we need to find out what is happening so we can intervene at the right time. We need to ask the right questions at the right time. We need to ask ourselves is this a teenager hurdle or is this a hurdle where they need my assistance?


Some of these steps may have been appealing and some may have been provocative and disconcerting. You have the ability to disregard the above or take some on board. My only tip is that if you are feeling uncomfortable with some of the steps, read over Step 4 again and follow the directions within.

Thank you

It has been a pleasure working as an Acting Assistant Principal at WHSC for the last two terms. It has been an AMAZING experience. I was very fortunate to work with a strong and dynamic Principal team. Aaron, Judy and Andrew have been a wonderful support and have always been there when I have needed help. My gosh, I now truly appreciate what it is like to be in their position. They do a phenomenal job and I am grateful for the opportunity to work along side them and learn from them.


I would like to give a shout out to the Middle School, Senior School and Wellbeing team. I have worked closely with them in my role and I am in awe of their work ethic and dedication to supporting all students at WHSC.


Thank you to the community for your support of that 'new crazy lady at the school with the coloured hair'. I will now focus on my Literacy Learning Specialist role and look forward to going back to my classes who I love and miss dearly.


Claire Hanley

Tapping on and off with MYKI

A reminder to all students that the buses that pick them up in the morning and drop them off in the afternoon are part of the broader Public Transport Victoria (PTV) network and require the tapping on and off of MYKI when they are being used.


PTV inspectors have been randomly attending the pick up zones on Raphael and Phoenix Drives and talking to  students about this. PTV has the authority to issue on the spot fines to students not complying and have warned that they will do so in the future.


Please ensure that you have a charged MYKI card and use it when boarding the bus.

Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences - 4th September

Thanks to all the families that attended the College's P/T/S Conferences on Wednesday (4th September). As always, it was a wonderful opportunity to share insights about our students to ensure that they can be the best that they can be.


Some statistics of the evening:

* There were 1709 individual bookings for the evening.

* On average, families made appointments to see 3 teachers (with many families having 5 or 6)

* The busiest times of the evening were from 1 - 2.15, 4 - 5.30 and 6.30 - 7.20


On a personal note...

Claire Hanley has been the Acting Assistant Principal (Can you ever really be acting as an Assistant Principal?) for the last two terms. She has radiated enthusiasm and humour and brought her individual (some might say quirky) style to the role. I will miss working with her in this role and wish her all the best.


Claire Hanley and Andrew Dixon

Assistant Principals

Mark Your Calendar


  • Free Dress Day - Bring your Culture to School
  • Year 8 STEM unit
  • Payment due - Charlie and Chocolate Factory
  • VicRoads Presentation - Yr 10


  • Student Free


  • GTAC
  • Instrumental Music Concert
  • Maria Montessori Observation
  • Year 8 STEM unit


  • Year 7/8 Inter-school Sport
  • Big Issue - Yr 9 Urban Connections
  • Carrington PS - Drama Performance
  • 'Ace Your Exams' - Year 12
  • Year 8 STEM unit


  • Year 8 STEM unit
  • Extended HG - Student Recognition



  • Trivia Night 7pm-9pm


  • Year 9C & 9D Monash Tech School
  • Year 8 Medieval Day - Yr 7


  • Year 9C & 9D Monash Tech School
  • Year 12 Dress Up Day - "Primary School"


  • Year 9C & 9D Monash Tech School
  • Northern Territory 
  • NADRASCA - Volunteering
  • Year 12 Theatre Studies (Monologue Showcase)


  • Northern Territory 
  • Year 7 Immunisation #2


  • Northern Territory 
  • WHSC Fun Run 2019


2019 NAPLAN Results

Year 7 & 9 2019 NAPLAN (National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy) reports are based on the assessment tests undertaken in May this year have arrived in the College and will be posted home in the coming days. These individual student reports are supplied by VCAA and contain confidential information about your child's results. Please note replacement copies will not be available at a later date, as the College does not retain copies of the individual student reports; for this reason you are asked to store this information carefully for future reference.

Please contact either Mr Armstrong (English Leader), and/or Mr Lam (Mathematics Leader) at the College if you have any queries about your Child's results.

Performing Arts

Dance Workshop - Panta Rei Danseteater

This term we welcomed international dance company, Panta Rei Danseteater in our theatre, as they hosted an action packed dance workshop for our dedicated Performing Arts Students. 

Panta Rei Dansateater are a contemporary dance company from Oslo, Norway and specialise in highly stylised, physical and symbolic styles of dance. Their visit to our college is thanks to Monash University's Academy of Performing Arts - a wonderful new partnership for our college! 


Genelle Lentini

Performing Arts Leader



RoboCup Junior Competition 2019

“In the 21st century, it is essential that our cultures evolve in order to cater for new technologies. This is not a problem to be solved by one country or just a few engineers. All concerned people throughout the world must work on its on-going solution. By taking a fresh look at robots as an educational and entertaining medium, it is hoped that RoboCup Junior Australia will contribute to the development of 21st century society.”


Robocupjunior.org.au. (2019). Home | RoboCup Junior Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.robocupjunior.org.au/ [Accessed 5 Sep. 2019].


On Friday 30th August, a team of 5 Year 9 students (Rebecca Davidson, Jacob Ornsby, Emily Clements, Haydee Wilke and Harmony Potter) attended the RoboCup Junior Victorian State Competition with 61 other ‘Rescue’ teams from various secondary colleges around Melbourne at the Melbourne Showgrounds. They were able to compete 5 rounds in the competition with their LEGO Mindstorms robot and program. I’d like to thank them all for their participation and hard work during Term 3.


During school we worked, day and night on our robot, making sure that we were ready for RoboCup, and we were ready. All the hard work we put in, paid off, RoboCup was so much fun, watching other student’s robots and watching our robot go was the best thing! I’m sure we’ll do it again next year as it was amazing working in a team to solve problems. (Emily Clement 9D)

Year 8 STEM unit – Abandon or Adapt

All Year 8 students are currently completing a STEM unit - Abandon or Adapt. The two-week program started on Monday 3rd September. This Project based unit exposes students to the 21st century skills required to be successful citizens of the future. Students use their collaboration and problem-solving skills in order to solve a real-world issue. This week, students worked in teams, performed research and designed prototypes of their solutions. They will complete building prototypes and present their solutions next week. We look forward to their innovative solution presentations.

Kim Hewlett

STEM Learning Specialist


Numeracy in Food Technology

Students in Unit 1 and 2 Food Technology were making layered biscuit cakes when I entered the classroom. Mrs Sharpe was teaching the students to use their numeracy skills to weigh and measure all the ingredients accurately. Often the students had to work out which tools they would use for the different measurements. For example, if they wanted 400g of flour, then they had to work out which different cup sizes they could combine to give this weight. It was great to see and hear the explicit use of Numeracy in this class. It was also good to see the step by step instructions students were required to follow for their layered biscuit cakes. 


A copy of the layered biscuit cake receipe can be found here for any budding cooks that would like to try these at home!

Some of the final products can be shown below. As you can see they look absolutely scrumptious!



Michelle Galli

Numeracy Learning Specialist


Career Tools

Voula Jakubicki


Middle School Report

Middle School News

As Parent/Teacher/Student conferences are completed for the year, I would like to say thank-you to all the families that attended the night or others who have contacted the school to get progress on their child's schooling. Even though student's may be at the stage where they might think it quite embarrassing to be seen near their parents, they still quietly appreciate the support you show, even though you may hear about areas that they may need to work on. If you could not make the evening, please call the teachers as they do care for your child and their achievements.

Year 7

This week we were very fortunate to have Professor Michael Kennedy speak with the Year 7's about Road Safety in regards to Public Transport. As we are aware, our students may need  to catch public transport without their parents. If the students have not had the opportunity in their earlier years, expectations, rules and safety need to be taught. Information of what to do when you get off the bus to when to give others your seat were spoken about with many stories of students and behaviors entwined to show the seriousness of using public transport. Even the act of throwing something out of the window becomes a missile when it leaves their hands. Hopefully the students took something away to consider and think about.


Year 8

This week the Year 8 students have begun the STEM project titled Adapt or Abandon Earth. It gives the opportunity for students to learn skills in research, think about areas that are of concern and come up with a prototype. The students have not had their normal English, Maths, Science and Humanities classes but have been busy working with others. We are all looking forward to seeing the students thoughts on this area.

Year 9

Professor Michael Kennedy and his son, Michael, spoke with the Year 9's on Tuesday of this week and spoke about how sport can help us to be happy. It was made very clear that we may not be the best in sport but it was the team connection, challenging oneself, or even volunteering at clubs that is important and can make us happy. As the Year 9's enter the Senior years the compulsory PE subject stops, which means students may need to consider other avenues where they can move, connect and be happy. 


Mrs Melissa Robinson

Middle School Leader

Senior School Report

Senior School Update

Year 12

With only 2 weeks left of this term, Year 12 students are completing SACs and preparing for the end of year VCE exams. As part of this preparation, Elevate Education will be running sessions on how to “ace your exams” and reach the “finishing line” on Wednesday 11th September. The sessions will run in the VCE Centre from 12:00pm until 2:30 pm. All Year 12 students who are intending to sit the exams are expected to attend.


Trial Examinations

This year the College will be holding the Unit 3/4 Trial Examinations during the first week of the September holidays, i.e. 23rd – 27th September. This means that valuable class time can still be used up to the end of the term, and it allows for comprehensive feedback to be given to students at the start of term 4.

Research suggests that these examinations are important preparation for the “real thing”. We would, therefore, expect that all students who are completing Unit 3/4 Studies would attend these trial examinations, take them seriously and use them as solid preparation for the VCAA examinations that begin with English on Wednesday, 30th October.


Exams/Assessment Wellbeing

Build Positive Engagement through self-discipline to stay focused on upcoming exams and/or assessments.

Every exam or assessment is an opportunity to strive, thrive and flourish. To shine you need to adjust your priorities leading up to the exam period.

Social life

  • reduce parties and social activities
  • reduce time spent texting and on social media.                    


  • exercise for at least an hour daily                                                     
  • it clears the mind, and creates positive emotions
  • increases oxygen intake; benefits the brain.     








  • 8-10 hours sleep a day will rest both your brain/eyes
  • turn off your phone at 9:00 pm.


  • eat healthy foods to provide brain energy                              
  • avoid excessive caffeine, junk food, sugar and fats
  • drink around 2 litres of water daily.







Travel Time

  • listen to study recordings on your phone
  • plan what you will focus on when you arrive home.


  • timetable and begin your final revision 8 weeks before the exams
  • last minute cramming and late night studying; little return for effort.

(adapted from The Learning Curve Planner)


Mrs. J. Riddoch

Senior School Leader


Community News

Second-Hand Uniform Shop

  • Thursday 19th September

WHSC Trivia Night

Tickets are now available for the Trivia Night which is being hosted by the WHSC Parents and Friends Committee on 13 September at the College Library (commencing at 7:00pm).  All funds raised will support our Performing Arts Program so do come along and have a great evening while supporting a worthy cause.  Purchase your tickets at: https://www.trybooking.com/BEUSG

Wheelers Hill SC Membership Offer!


Wheelers News