Mount Eliza Secondary College  ​ 'Educated for Excellence - Prepared for Life’  

22 August 2017
Issue Five
            MESC Learning Commons
2017 MESC Production
Mount Eliza Secondary College
03 9787 6288
Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza, Victoria, 3930


Dear Parents and members of the MESC Community

In the last newsletter I talked about the work that the government is undertaking as part of their Education State initiative, and noted that the current era of education was about moving away from 'doing what we've always done' towards ensuring that whatever we do, it is based on evidence about ways of teaching and supporting learning that actually have an impact.

At Mount Eliza Secondary College we have been working in recent years to do exactly that, and a regular component of teachers' work is looking at evidence of student performance, and considering what needs to be done next to support and challenge them.

The arrival of externally assessed data such as NAPLAN is therefore eagerly awaited and whilst it is a snapshot taken over a very short period of time, it is useful as a means of looking at patterns across year levels and over time. It is also useful as it provides us with one set of data about student growth between years 7 and 9, which shows the value we have added through our efforts.

This year's data is pleasing as our students have performed higher than the state average in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation. We are slightly below that State average for Maths but have reduced the gap and shown greater improvement than the State average in the last year. We have also achieved very strong levels of high growth in Writing for students as they have moved from years 7 to 9, which reflects the focus we have had on consistent approaches to this work over the last three years.

At year 7 the data reinforces the quality of the work of the main primary schools our students transition from, and in their first six months at MESC the NAPLAN data tells us we continue to develop our many high performing students and support and extend those with challenges.

Data can sometimes be confronting, but when used to question and reflect on the way we work with our students, it allows for a level of professionalism that I believe is expected by our community.

MESC is a school where we have developed a culture that allows for the highest levels of achievement to be produced by our very capable and aspirational students, whilst personalised learning and support for those less able is available, expected and provided.

This is a picture we are proud of because it is not necessarily one that applies across other schools.




It is an expectation that Essential Educational Items are paid to support the provision of quality materials and items. ALL funds collected as Essential Education Items provide the ONLY budget to our teachers (i.e. classroom materials for our students).  Students chose subjects and families approve the choice of electives, therefore subjects have been planned and costed according to the commitments made by families. If we want to continue to give our children excellent education with relevant resources, parent contributions are imperative. School Council is aware of the financial constraints placed on families and ensure levy charges are kept to an absolute minimum. Staff are held accountable for the resources they require and undergo meticulous monitoring. If we wish to maintain our status as a school of excellence, we need to provide the best for our children.

We do not want to compromise our programs. If families do not honour there commitment it is very difficult to deliver the programs as planned. Programs then have to be altered to account for the reduction in revenue compromising what has been planned and can be delivered. Whilst we receive funds from the government to educate our children, the amount is minimal and certainly does not keep up with increasing costs.

We rely on the college community to partner with us in supporting the learning of our children so that the high standards expected of Mount Eliza Secondary College can be maintained.



Almost all information is forwarded to families by email. It is important to keep the College updated of any changes to email addresses, as well as other changes such as address and telephone numbers. Notification of changes can be done via Compass or emailed to the College at [email protected]



Parents are reminded to notify the College Absentee Office before 9:00am if their student will be absent or late for school for any reason (holidays, appointments, sick).  Parents can phone the College Absentee Office on 97886290 available 24 hours a day and leave a message.



Every year more than 20,000 animals are provided with refuge and care from the RSPCA. For my personal project I am raising donations for the RSPCA and would very much appreciate any donations of the following:- towels, blankets, flat sheets, pillow cases, face washers (please note that we can not accept any Manchester with fillings or feathers) cat poles, animal carriers or cages, bedding, pet/baby playpens/pet  food. 

Yasmine Murray












August 24 - Shrek Evening Performance # 1 Banksia Hall MESC

August 25 - Shrek Evening Performance # 2 Banksia Hall MESC

August 28 - Yr 10,11 & 12 Meningococcal Immunisations

September 4 - Athletics Sports

September 4 - Progress Report 6 Published

September 15 - Year 10 Formal

September 23 to Oct 8 - School Holidays

October 23 - Progress Report 7 Published

November  7 - Melbourne Cup Public Holiday






Three and a half years ago, an excited group of year 7’s and 8’s sat down with their parents for the first World Challenge Information Night. The trip proposed was a month in Tanzania, a country on the east coast of Africa with a life expectancy of 65 years and GDP of $47 billion USD. The parent’s murmured ‘Tanzania! For nearly a month! Without us! Climbing mountains! $7300 each! To raise all by themselves!’ And indeed we did, in the very long three and half year lead up, we each worked, saved and fundraised to reach the $7300 target.
 As the name indicates, World Challenge most definitely was a challenge. We gained a whole new perspective on the expression ‘Having ants in your pants’ after having discovering an infestation of fire ants in our tent at four in the morning. These experiences (and the lack of hot showers), although challenging, further built our resilience, empathy toward each other and gratitude for the safety of home.
Whilst on the trip we students were responsible for budgeting, transport, food, accommodation, health and first aid, and navigation. We planned our itinerary in advance, a few days to travel, a day to get back on our feet when we arrived, an eye opening three day acclimatisation trek through Masaai villages, a challenging four day trek up Mount Meru, a week or so volunteering at the beautiful Nkweshoo primary school, then onto a safari and the sunny beaches of the Swahili coast.
A highlight of the trip, was climbing Mount Meru (4500m). We rose at midnight, had a quick brief with our guides and ate eating popcorn and ginger biscuits (a popular combination in Tanzania) before beginning the long summit at 1am. We walked for hours, guided by flickering head torches, climbing above the cloud line. In places, it was difficult to determine where the stars began and the city lights ended. Tremendous efforts were made by all, students were commended on the encouragement, and support (and in cases bribes!) they offered each other, ‘Take one more step, and another…come on, take this step and you don’t have to sleep in the middle of the tent.’ And step by step we reached the summit. As if the physical achievement of conquering the mountain wasn’t enough, Meru also demonstrated to us the extraordinarily valuable life lesson, even when you think you can’t keep going, you can, and you can go much, much further than you think you ever will.
 When we arrived back at base camp, we were all looking forward to a long sleep, then discovered we had to go all the way back to base camp one…another four hours of trekking. Joy! So we packed our packs, re-donned our thermals, battled headaches and sore legs, put our boots back on, and kept trooping, all the time reflecting and talking of last night’s summit.
Another highlight of the trip was the rewarding time we spent at Nwkeshoo Primary School. Over the next few days we got to know the students through assisting in classrooms, working in the school vegetable garden, teaching English, and (of course) through AFL. We also contributed toward the community by providing the necessary resources and labour to concrete classroom floors and build a verandah. This involved a lot of moving stones and giants concrete slabs (that seemed to weigh more than Mount Kilimanjaro itself) from the pile to the building site, as well as learning new skills such as concrete mixing and plastering. After project we enjoyed our time on safari, where we saw the big 5 (yay!) and a monkey stole Henry's lunch. Then off on a ten hour bus ride, (made better by the bizarre Tanzanian soap opera playing) and to the tourist postcard worthy Swahili coast.
 By the conclusion of the trip we each developed our leadership, organisation and communication skills (not to mention having a hell of a lot of fun, laughs, practical jokes, puns and impromptu singalongs). World Challenge gave us the opportunity to see for ourselves the true impacts of poverty on an individual and a community, and gave us new perspective on how fortunate we are in Australia, but also how money doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness. We met some amazing people, and discovered new sides to ourselves
 Now nearly a month later, we are  home with our families (and freezing Melbourne weather) bringing souvenirs, suntans, photos, a plethora of in jokes, and a month’s worth of incredible life lessons and memories.









Thanks to a very generous  donation  from a member of the community that wishes to remain  anonymous  and supplier  Geoff King of Crafted Cabinets  our Hands on Learning students now have an amazing new kitchen in the hut.  The hands on students will continue to tile and finish the ongoing work to the hut but there is a new sense of ownership in and around the hut.  

Last Thursday was the first day for the breakfast club, our VCAL students put on a fabulous breakfast and at one point there were about 30 students in the hut, music playing lots of chatting and lots of food for anyone that pops in on a Thursday morning.  Students from Year 7 to 12  are  all welcome.

On Thursday the 3rd of August, the senior VCAL class held the very first Breakfast Club.  We decided to create a breakfast club because we researched statistics about students, and one statistic that caught our eye was that 3 in 5 students go to school hungry, unprepared for the day of learning ahead. When we saw that, we definitely wanted to help bring that number down.

As a class, we all helped each other write proposals, meet with the school Principal; Mrs Pollard ask school families and call local businesses for donations. Every week we have a crate of apples from Second Bite and four 8 litre tubs of bread and pastries from Banjo’s Bakery donated. Parents from the school have also helped out by donating a wide variety of cereals, butter, Milo, paper plates and cups, milk and eggs.

Our first breakfast club was a huge success!!! We honestly thought around 10 students maximum would turn up, but we were wrong. Over 30 hungry students turned up and ate all of the food!

As a VCAL team, we have a rotating group roster of who will run the breakfast club each week. The people rostered on our first day set the bar high for the next group.

Come on down every Thursday at the Hands On Learning kitchen from 7:45 am – 8:30am for a very nice breakfast. Did I mention that ITS FREE!!

We would like to thank the following:

  • The Bromage family
  • The Irvine family
  • The Coffey family
  • The Taylor-Williams family
  • The Saunders family
  • Second Bite
  • Banjos Bakery

See you this Thursday!


Sophia Beardmore – Senior VCAL




On Sunday the 25th of June, our VET Music Industry students were lucky enough to attend a sound check for Australian Hip Hop Band, Bliss n Eso.

The sound and touring teams from Illusive Presents were extremely generous in talking our students through the ropes of touring a major band, allowing them to see the equipment and ask questions about touring different sized venues.

The band then played an extended sound check to allow students to hear a few more tracks and listen to the sound adjustments that need to be made.

This was followed by photos and autographs and an industry pep talk from the band themselves. They even allowed the students up on stage to have a play on some of their equipment and instruments.

It was a truly special experience for such a high regarded Australian band to give our students so much of their time and encouragement, one that students have been talking about ever since.




The start of term 3 has again seen some fantastic performances on the sporting fields. Abbey Brady produced a sensational 12th place at the recent VSSSA State cross country in some very tough conditions. This is demonstration of Abbey's continual improvement and efforts training. Well done Abbey.

Our Senior Boys Table Tennis team represented our school very strongly at the recent SMR Finals held at Dandenong table tennis centre.

Our year 8 Girls Hockey team, a newly formed and enthusiastic group, performed sensationally for their first ever outing, winning the SPD Division. This will see them compete in November at the SMR finals. Great result girls!

Well done to all students and staff who compete and represent our school with distinction.

Reminder: It is vital that consent and payment for sports days is done 2 days prior to the team going out. Failure to do so has implications on a range of levels and unfortunately your child will not be permitted to go.


Key Dates:          

August 31            Year 7 Sport

September 4      MESC Whole school Athletics Carnival at Ballam Park

September 10    SPD Athletics at Ballam Park.




MESC Learning Commons

Year 7 & 8 Literary Festival

On Thursday 21st September we are hosting a whole day Literary Festival for our Year 7 & 8 students.  

The event is being run in conjunction with Ford Street Publishers and we will have 12 authors/illustrators joining us for the day.  Students will be involved in 3 workshops with authors of their choice, which will enable to them to gain an insight into how these authors and illustrators work to produce their best selling children's titles.  Illustrator Marc McBride (Deltora Quest series) will be giving a painting demonstration and author Isobelle Carmody will be with us to launch her new title The Ice Maze on the day.


We have a selection of their titles in our own Library collection and students will also have an opportunity to purchase their own copies (and have them signed) on the day.  Parents are also welcome come in (between 3.00-3.30pm) to the Learning Commons where the book sales will be held.


The Library Monitor Team has produced a poster for each presenter and these have been on display in the Learning commons window.  We will also endeavour to have each author/illustrator sign these.


Authors and Illustrators attending on the day are -

Paul Collins (author - The Warlock's Child series and Harry Kruize, Born to Lose) - organiser and owner of Ford Street Publishing

Meredith Costain (Dance Academy and the Year in Girl Hell series) - emcee for the day

Isobelle Carmody (author - Obernewtyn Chronicles and Legend Song series) - also launching her new title The Ice Maze

Judith Rossell (author/illustrator - Withering-by-Sea and Bogtrotter picture story)

George Ivanoff (author - You Choose series and Gamers trilogy)

Andrew Plant (author/illustrator - The Poppy and Spark)

Justin D'Ath (Lost World Circus series and Extreme Adventures)

Claire Saxby (author - Meet the ANZACS and Big Red Kangaroo)

Tony Thompson (author - Summer of Monsters and Shakespeare: The Most Famous Man in London)

Marc McBride (author/illustrator - Deltora Quest and The Warlock's Child)

Sherryl Clark (author - One Perfect Pirouette and Sixth Grade Style Queen)

Adam Wallace (author -  Pete McGee series and Rhymes with Sketching)



Ripple Magazine 2017

Ripple is our annual school magazine and all students have an opportunity to purchase their own copy - please contact the Admin Office if you have not already ordered your copy, cost is $14 each.

Ripple contains a summary of the year at MESC - photos and articles about school events (sports carnivals, year level photos, Year 12 quotes, IDEEA Lab, Year 10 Formal, year level camps, etc.).  It's a great memento for every student to have and look back at in future years.

We are holding a competition to design the cover of this year's copy - look out for the posters and/or see Mrs Swannell (Librarian) for details.  Previous issues from the past 41 years can also be viewed in the Library.

The 2017 Ripple Committee helping to put this edition together are

Lucaya Rich, Liam Hoyne, Kiana Shillington and Jocelyn Loukes.  If you would like to join us then please meet in the Library on Thursday lunchtimes.


2017 MESC Production

Shrek Jr. the Musical

Performances will be held in Banksia Hall on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th August.  Tickets can be purchased via TryBooking
Adult ticket–$18.00
Child/Student ticket–$12.00

Seats are not allocated and the doors will open at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start.  Refreshments will be available for purchase with funds going towards our HPV Team.


"Shrek Jr" is on the way!
by Abbey Bradley, Year 7

In these precious weeks leading up to our six performances we have been rehearsing and perfecting every scene, movement and line. With an excited cast of roughly fifty and the sets being beautifully painted, we can assure you that this will be a performance to remember. There are lots of giggles and fun during rehearsals.Our cast is now a close family where each of us supports one another and enjoys everyone’s company.


I’ve asked some of the cast about their feelings towards the performances and these were some of their responses: “ I’m thrilled but nervous”, Can’t wait!” and numerous other positive comments! These school productions do connect people and you get to experience new friendships with not only students, but teachers and parents. Our rehearsals buzz constantly with excitement and a flurry of sparkly costumes! Production isn’t just about performing or if you can play the lead role but the love, laughter and companionship amongst everyone involved. I now see a cast member in the yard and I smile, wave and even stop to chat with them. I encourage all people to join a production!


Tickets are on sale, lots have been sold but it would be wonderful if more people come to support this brilliant performance that we have all worked so hard to create. We perform for the joy of smiling faces in the audience and the congratulations from happy parents, grandparents and family! Our continual work has been going since the end of February and we still put 101 per cent into every practice.


We perform in Banksia hall on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of August. If you can make it then get your tickets now and come support “Shrek Jr 2017.”





Mount Eliza Secondary College  ​ 'Educated for Excellence - Prepared for Life’