Our MFG Newsletter

02 May 2017
Issue Four
Important Dates
Principal's Report
Learning @MFG
What's On @ MFG
Matthew Flinders GSC
03 4243 0500
Lt Ryrie St
Geelong, Vic, 3220

Important Dates

College Semester Dates for Parents








































Principal's Report

We are very fortunate as a school to have the support of Alisha Britten, our school’s  Koori Educational Support Officer (KESO), working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. She is working with other KESO workers and schools to implement the Murrang, which is a State Government initiative to ensure all Koorie Victorians achieve their learning aspirations from early childhood, schools and further education. You can access more information regarding the plan here: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/aboriginal/Pages/marrung.aspx

Marrung is the Wemba Wemba word for the Murray Cyp​​ress pine tree, representing branches of education and knowledge.​​

At MFG we have six students with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. Alisha will help us as a school to: Help our young Indigenous people to:

  1. Nurture their cultural heritage and feel a strong identity with their peoples
  2. Understand the importance of learning and the importance of school to provide opportunities for the future
  3. Support their families to engage with our school
  4. Foster their health, development and well-being
  5. Transition successfully into further education and employment

Alisha has brought to our attention the following plays at GPAC in May and June.



Michelle Crofts


Learning @MFG

Reunion Island Trip and Intercultural Understanding

I spent the last week of Term 1 and the school holidays with our 12 students, two parents and teachers (Mr Keast and Ms Crofts) in Mauritius and Reunion Island.

This was my second trip to this wonderful and exotic part of the world – this time with my partner Jane and two children, Daniel and Sage, along for the journey. Our sister school relationship with Sarda Garriga in St Andre has been going strong for 16 years and on my return flight home I reflected on one rich aspects of the trip relating to intercultural understanding.

One of the benefits of an opportunity like this for our students (and the adults too) is that helps to enrich and develop our own cultural capabilities. Intercultural capability enables students to learn to value their own cultures, languages and beliefs, and those of others. Our students learn about diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and differences, create connections with others and cultivate mutual respect.

One highlight relating to this was our very special visit to a mosque in Saint Denis, the capital city of Reunion Island. Mr Said, the coordinating teacher from Reunion Island, was able to create this possibility and this enabled our students to be able to respectfully walk around inside the mosque, ask questions of the imam (Islamic scholar) as well of Said who is Muslim. This moment, and the learning and thinking for our students, is closely connected to a new part of our Victorian curriculum. Intercultural Understanding – one of the new General Capabilities – is now an important part of our curriculum.

Intercultural interactions have become a part of everyday life in our increasingly multicultural and globalised world. Developing intercultural knowledge, skills and understandings is an essential part of living with others in the diverse world of the twenty-first century. The Intercultural capability curriculum assists young people to become responsible local and global citizens, equipped for living and working together in an interconnected world.

Intercultural capability enables students to learn to value their own cultures, languages and beliefs, and those of others. Students learn about diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and differences, create connections with others and cultivate mutual respect.

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians recognises the fundamental role that education plays in building a society that is ‘cohesive and culturally diverse, and that values Australia’s Indigenous cultures’. The Intercultural capability curriculum addresses this role, developing students who are active and informed citizens with an appreciation of Australia’s social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and the ability to relate to and communicate across cultures at local, regional and global levels.




Intercultural capability aims to develop knowledge, understandings and skills to enable students to:

  • demonstrate an awareness of and respect for cultural diversity within the community
  • reflect on how intercultural experiences influence attitudes, values and beliefs
  • recognise the importance of acceptance and appreciation of cultural diversity for a cohesive community.

Learning in Intercultural Capability


The Intercultural capability curriculum focuses on learning about cultural understandings and practices. Students examine, reflect on and challenge assumptions, stereotypes and prejudices and explore how intercultural experiences can influence and change attitudes and beliefs.

Students apply their learning in intercultural capability to complex questions of the globalised world. Intercultural capability fosters skills that assist students to negotiate across barriers that may arise from differences.

Intercultural capability is strongly connected to those areas of learning concerned with people and their societies, relationships and interactions, including the Personal and Social capability knowledge and skills related to empathy, openness, respect and conflict resolution.





I had the great pleasure of accompanying our Middle Years Captains – Jacqui, Molly and Annie – to the Geelong School’s ANZAC service on Friday 21st April. We were one of many schools from across the region to lay a wreath and reflect on the idea that it’s 102 years ago that our brave ANZAC soldiers landed at Gallipoli. The 25th of April marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.


It was a moving service and we remembered the sacrifice of those who fought in the First World War, and all other wars, so that we can enjoy freedom. We also remembered those who were left behind – the strong women who supported their families and communities while their husbands and brothers were fighting at war.



Last year we started exploring, with our teachers, some specific teaching and learning strategies and techniques for learning vocabulary. One of the ingredients to academic success, quality learning and providing our students with a literacy foundation that enables them to engage with a world of language is developing our students’ understanding of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary. The table below defines these Tiers with examples.

One technique is using the Frayer Model – an organiser that helps students to analyse and think more deeply about a word. I’m currently teaching the Larry Watson’s novel ‘Montana 1948’, and I’ve been using this strategy with the Tier 3 words – like ‘corruption’, which is one of the novel’s central themes. My board scribbles (messy I know!) capture my students’ thinking about this word.





Recently we had 25 primary school students sit the University of New South Wale’s General Achievement Test on a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. This test is used by all SEALP schools in Victoria to identify potential students for the Selective Entry Accelerated Learning Program.


Thanks to Mr Simon Collier (SEALP Leader) for his organisation of the days and the testing.


Attention Year 7 & 9 Parents – NAPLAN is back in May this year.


The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests will be conducted on Tuesday 9th May through to Thursday 11th May for all students in Years 7 and 9. The NAPLAN tests will cover the areas of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (grammar, spelling, punctuation) and Numeracy (non-calculator & calculator tests).

Later in the year you will receive your child’s individual report outlining how she performed in each test area.


For more information about the tests, please visit the VCAA website at www.vcaa.vic.edu.au or the NAPLAN website at www.naplan.edu.au.


If you wish to withdraw your child from the NAPLAN 2016 send a letter requesting this addressed to Mrs Robyn Cameron before the 25th of April and a Student Withdrawal Form will be sent home for completion.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the College and speak to Mrs Robyn Cameron or me.


Damien Toussaint, Assistant Principal, Learning and Teaching


What's On @ MFG

Indonesian News - The King of Fruits

It’s that time of year again, when intrepid Year 9 Indonesian students bravely try durian. It is a big, spikey and smelly fruit that smells like hell but tastes like heaven. This is what they thought of the experience…

  • It wasn't that bad. However that's probably because the smell was weakened by sitting in the fridge for a year – Grace
  • It looks like the insides of a lung - Zoe
  • I thought it was going to taste bad because it looked like something dead. It was actually pretty good, it was like an over ripened mango - Talia
  • It tasted fine, it smelt alright, I've had this before. I'm Asian so i grew up eating these things - Kim
  • It tasted like off mangoes and garlic. Gross – Paige
  • Durian tastes like off banana mixed with mango, it's weird textured. It smells better then it tastes – Abi


Humanities Comes Alive!

The new Victorian Curriculum includes four general capabilities, two of which are Intercultural Capability and Ethical Capability.  So much of what our students study in Humanities incorporates these capabilities and is at the heart of our learning programs!


Our students are continually encouraged to:

  • write their own research questions to use as a framework for their learning
  • critically evaluate the reliability of online resources
  • appreciate the rich diversity of cultures around the world
  • identify the challenges and benefits of living in a culturally diverse society
  • look at issues and problems from multiple perspectives
  • form opinions based on the principles of fairness and justice


Year 7 mainstream students have been investigating different Countries of the World and deepening their appreciation of the vibrant and interesting cultures around the world.  Over the next few weeks they will be displaying their work and inviting other classes to come along to their exhibitions to see what they have learned.  At 7A’s recent exhibition, visitors to the classroom had the opportunity to learn about a vast array of countries including Chile, Brazil, Japan and China.

Studies in Humanities aim to broaden our students’ view of the world and focus on the fact that we have a global responsibility to look after and value each other.  Some simple ways to encourage this thinking at home could be:


  • playing the Countries of the World quiz on jetpunk: 



In this challenging and addictive quiz you are given 15 minutes to enter the names of every country of the world.


  • completing a few rounds of freerice:



Correct answers go towards filling bowls of rice, which then become a real donation to people in need.


  • Becoming a Kiva partner:



Kiva Microfunds is a non-profit micro-financing organisation that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries. Kiva's mission is “to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.”


Robyn Myers

Humanities Learning Area Leader

Back from Mauritius and Reunion Island!

On Sunday, March 26 at 5.20 in the morning a group of intrepid travellers set off from Geelong to discover two exotic islands in the Indian Ocean. It was an early start to a very long day that would end about 24 hours later in a luxury hotel right on the beach.


In Mauritius, for the adventurous staff, students and family members (20 in total!) on the trip, there were visits to restaurants, local markets and super markets as well as special visits to a Hindu temple, a museum about the sugar industry and a tea plantation to learn about the culture of the island. The visit to the Hindu temple allowed the members of MFG to learn more about the religion and its principles, learning about the millions of gods that make up the religion as well as the sacred number being 33. The three short days in Mauritius were followed by a short plane ride, less than an hour to Reunion Island to meet our host families, commencing the home stay. The next day we toured our host school, Lycée Sarda Garriga, met the principal and some staff briefly before a hike down to the crater of a volcano. The weekend was spent with our host families, following them around to become immersed in the differences of our habits, followed by a week of adventures.


We started the week off by visiting Salazie, where we saw traditional Creole houses and La Maison Folio. On Tuesday we spent the morning at school before leaving to stay overnight before our hike. The next day, we woke up early to hike to the Trou de Fer lookout and had a breathtaking view of the canyon and waterfall. Our bus was late but it was the perfect time to have lunch and reflect on the beautiful lushness we had been walking through! We returned to school and tired as we were, we had the netball match against the students of the high school. The next day was the civic reception; we were received by a mayor’s representative. There was an exchange of gifts and we sang Australian songs. We spent the rest of the day in the capital Saint-Denis, shopping and sight seeing which included the mosque. On Friday we went on a dolphin safari, which was so much fun, before spending the full weekend with our host families. On Sunday, we had our ‘farewell party’ where we ate, danced and ate. On Monday we spent the morning at school, and in the afternoon we visited a vanilla factory/museum. Tuesday was our last day and we spent more time at school before heading to the airport.


We were all sad to leave after an incredible 18 days that we will never forget.

Abbey McGeady, Amy Lavelle

Regional Swimming Carnival

On Tuesday 28th March 30 girls from Intermediate and Senior VCAL spent the day down at Kardina Swimming Pool to help time keep for the Primary School Western Regional swimming carnival.


During the day we went back and forth timing each heat, writing down their best times. We sat in groups of three using Digital Dolphin timers. The Digital Dolphin timers are a high tech timer that automatically starts when the starting beep signal sounds. When the swimmers hit the end of their lane we push in the black button to stop the timers.  It then transmits the three times that we have taken to a specialised computer, which figures out the mean of the swimmer’s time. After the swimmer finished their race, as a group we would compare the three times and take the best time to record on the sheets given to us.


The officials were extremely lovely helping us to learn to use the digital timers, giving us cold water and even bringing around some lollies for us. It was a really good day and we all enjoyed seeing how proud the kids were of themselves and how supportive they are of each other.


A couple days later on Thursday 30th March, 15 of us went back down to Kardina Swimming Pool but this time to help with the Secondary School Western Regional swimming carnival. It was similar in the technical side of the day with the Dolphin timers and how the day is run, but unlike the primary school, which only had 50-meter events, the secondary level had 50, 100, 200, and 400-meter events in all different strokes.


It was amazing to be able to watch these secondary students swim and show off their skills. I can see some of them going to the Olympics if they continue to swim they way they are.


Both these days were great as it gave us an opportunity to build upon different work related skills such as our teamwork, communication and technology skills. Working on these skills enabled us to complete a reflection and use it in our SAC for Industry and Enterprise.


All in all, it was a great opportunity to be involved in such an event. The organisers of the event were very happy with our assistance and would like us to return to help again next year.


By Serena Gravett

Senior VCAL

UNIT 3 PE Visit BioLab!

On Wednesday 19th April, the Unit 3 PE class spent the day collecting data to assist them in understanding how our bodies react to the stresses imposed on them by physical activity. We completed two programs, the first of which was “Eye in the Sky.” This program allowed us to all wear GPS devices and HR monitors while playing a game of netball that was carefully watched by a crew of classmates busy recording data about our skills and errors on their ipads. The second program was “Metabolic Madness” which helped us understand how we use oxygen to fuel movement. Vanessa Marsh completed a VO2max test on an exercise bike and she managed to achieve one of the highest VO2 max result for a female student tested at the facility. The rest of us measured our blood pressure, core temperature, lung volumes and heart rates before enjoying a “live feed” of Vanessa’s heart rate, ventilation and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels unroll on a screen in front of us as she completed her Gold Standard test.


BioLab has two “Batak” systems from the UK. They measure athlete reaction time and were a lot of fun and a real challenge for our students. Brittney Murray-Rowe managed to top-score for the class but she had a few other students jostling for number one position on the leader-board!


We had a great day and will be able to apply what we learned during the visit to our coursework as the year progresses.

Ben Lehmann

Unit 3 & 4 PE teacher

The World's Greatest Shave at MFG

On the last day of Term 1 several of our students and one staff member shaved their heads to raise funds for The Leukaemia Foundation.


The current total raised is: $2,498! Well done to all the brave shavers and a big thank you to Lexi from Yankee Sweetheart Hair Salon for doing the shaving!




Ms Mullen-Walsh and The Community Leaders


The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club will commence week 4 of this term! Our first day will Tuesday 9th at 8.15am!


If students have not had breakfast that morning they should pop over to the HF campus and enjoy some breaky from Born & Bread Bakery for free! No strings attached, just come along with a smile for our volunteers!


It is very important to have something to eat before starting the school day. Your brain and body needs fuel to learn properly!

If any parents would like to volunteer to help one Tuesday morning, please contact Ms Mullen-Walsh or Ms Walker at the college.


See you there!


Ms Mullen-Walsh, Ms Walker and the Breakfast Club team



Attention Year 7 & 9 Parents - NAPLAN is here!

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests will be conducted on Tuesday 9th May through to Thursday 11th May for all students in Years 7 and 9. The NAPLAN tests will cover the areas of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (grammar, spelling, punctuation) and Numeracy (non-calculator & calculator tests).


Later in the year you will receive your child’s individual report outlining how they performed in each test area.


For more information about the tests, please visit the VCAA website at www.vcaa.vic.edu.au or the NAPLAN website at www.naplan.edu.au.


If you wish to withdraw your daughter from the NAPLAN 2017 send a letter requesting this addressed to Mrs Robyn Cameron before the 29th of April and a Student Withdrawal Form will be sent home for completion.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the College and speak to Mrs Robyn Cameron.

Introducing Qkr


Tournament of the Minds 2017

About Tournament of Minds


Tournament of Minds is a problem solving program for teams of students. They are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines:

  • Science Technology
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Language Literature

Tournament of Minds is an opportunity for students with a passion for learning and problem solving to demonstrate their skills and talents in an exciting, vibrant and public way.

Tournament of Minds has been one of the fastest growing national inter-school programs to challenge the youth of Australia and is now expanding internationally.


Our Aim


Tournament's aim is to enhance the potential of our youth by developing diverse skills, enterprise, time management, and the discipline to work collaboratively within a challenging and competitive environment.


Encouraging Teamwork


Teams are required to work together on a Long Term Challenge for six weeks without assistance from teachers, parents or peers. They are encouraged to explore possibilities and experiment with ideas as they endeavour to produce their best possible solution. Students present the product of their ideas - their challenge solution - to a panel of judges and an audience on Tournament Day. They have ten minutes in which to present and must do so within a 3 metre by 3 metre performance area.

The teams must also participate in an unseen Spontaneous Challenge on Tournament Day. This challenge requires rapid interchange of ideas, the ability to think creatively and well developed group cooperation skills.




If you are in Yr 7, 8 or 9 and are interested in being a part of a MFG Tournament of Minds team this year, please see Mrs Toone or email her. [email protected]

Southern Cross Cultural Exchange


Our MFG Newsletter
Matthew Flinders Qkr.pdf