09 August 2019
Issue Twelve

Our Values:

Respect - Integrity - Resilience

Community - Creativity - Success

McKinnon Secondary College
03 8520 9000
McKinnon Road
McKinnon, Victoria, 3204



Thursday 8 August

Year 9 Camp

Year 7 Project Rockit


Friday 9 August

Year 9 Camp

Outdoor Ed Ski Trip


Monday 12 August

Science Week

7:00pm Year 9 (2020) Information Night


Tuesday 13 August

Science Week

7:00pm New Caledonia pre-departure meeting


Wednesday 14 August

Science Week


Thursday 15 August

Science Week

Year 8 Science Challenge


Friday 16 August

Science Week


Monday 19 August

VTAC Information Night – Year 12

(parents only)


Tuesday 20 August

5:30pm Finance Sub-Committee (budget)

7:00pm Parent Night – Drugs 101


Wednesday 21 August

Kingston Intermediate Round Robin

5:00pm VCE Media Screening


Thursday 22 August

VCE Media screening


Friday 23 August

Year 12 Outdoor Ed Camp

Wednesday 28 August

Winter Concert


Thursday 29 August

Year 11 Outdoor Ed Camp (4 days)

Late Start (students arrive at 10:30am)


Monday 2 September



Tuesday 3 September

7:00pm Buildings & Grounds Sub-Committee


Wednesday 4 September

Kingston Athletics


Thursday 5 September

Year 9 Duke of Ed Practice Hike


Monday 9 September

Year 8 Survivor Roganing (3 days)


Tuesday 10 September

Year 8 Survivor Rogaining

Year 10 Outdoor Ed Bushwalk (2 days)


Wednesday 11 September

Year 8 Survivor Rogaining


Thursday 12 September

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences


Friday 13 September

Late Start (Students arrive at 9:30am)


Saturday 14 September

New Caledonia French Tour (8 days)

9:00am ELMS Selection Test


Monday 16 September

7:00pm Senior Ensembles Concert



Tuesday 17 September

6:30pm Finance Sub-Committee

7:00pm School Council


Thursday 19 September

7:00pm Year 12 Music Night


Friday 20 September

End of Term 3

2:30pm Early Finish


Tuesday 1 October

Year 12 Practice Exams


Wednesday 2 October

Year 12 Practice Exams


Thursday 3 October

Year 12 Practice Exams


Monday 7 October

Start of Term 4


Tuesday 8 October

Year 8 Medieval Day


Thursday 10 October

SMR Athletics


Monday 14 October

Year 7 & 10 Immunisations


Wednesday 16 October

Year 12 Dress-Up Day


Thursday 17 October

Year 12 – last day of classes


Friday 18 October

Year 12 Assembly

7:00pm Percussion Night





I would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the organiser, Ms Jennifer Pemberton, who worked tirelessly to make sure that our Athletics Day ran like clockwork. Staff team-work ensured the day was a great success and students participated with enthusiasm, dedication and good cheer. Many wonderful achievements were celebrated and records broken.


Thank you also to the student House Captains for their assistance, to Ms Masterson and the Interact Club for putting on a very successful sausage sizzle, and the parents who attended, assisted with the events and took lots of photos.


I was however disappointed in the lack of attendance! I need parental support for these whole school events. This was not a day off, it was a whole school carnival that we are all expected to participate in. Please do not give your son/daughter permission to not attend. Students get great joy from celebrating a great day with their friends.


I am just grateful for the wonderful students who came and shared in the celebration of team spirit.


Thank you for the joy and also the effort you put into your costumes.


Congratulations to Gilmore House on their tremendous success.


Our annual Winter Concert is to be held at the Robert Blackwood Hall on Wednesday 28 August. Rehearsals are well and truly underway. This is always an impressive occasion and a highlight on the school calendar!


I encourage parents, grandparents and friends to attend and celebrate together the showcase of musical talent of our students. Tickets are on sale via the link on the McKinnon Secondary College website:


I thank the music team for their efforts and look forward to a very successful event.


Next week McKinnon will be celebrating Science Week.  An array of activities have been organised for students, giving them great opportunities to explore engineering, robotics, biology, physics and more.


The Science staff have organized some great learning events.


Student leaders from Brighton SC joined our Year 12 Captains for a breakfast last week. I am always so impressed in the tremendous support, encouragement and leadership shown on these occasions.


We are indeed in good hands with these future leaders.



CONGRATULATIONS to Stefan Simic (Year 12) who has won a Bronze medal at the 2019 International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) held in Hong Kong from 30 July to 5 August. Congratulations Stefan on this wonderful award!


CONGRATULATIONS to Rose McCallum (Year 9) who has been awarded the Australian Scout Medallion. To attain the top award in each of the five Sections in Scouting reflects initiative in tackling this challenge, sustained effort over many months and years, plus self-discipline, teamwork and leadership. Congratulations Rose on this wonderful achievement!




Please ensure your child wears a proper bicycle helmet when riding to school and they take extra care when travelling the narrow streets of McKinnon. We are very worried that some students do not exercise sufficient care they should on the roads. Likewise, we ask all parents to drive and park cautiously around the College before/after school, and to be mindful of the many students riding bicycles to and from the College.  


If your child rides their bike to school, they must lock it securely to the bike racks provided behind the Hall (near the Uniform Shop). Please ensure they have a sturdy bike lock and never leave their bikes overnight at school. Please note, students must not ride scooters or skateboards to school.


An information session for current Year 8 students will be held on Monday 12 August at 7pm in the Hall. This event will go through the Year 9 course structure, as well as the process for subject selections.  An overview of the available electives has already been emailed to parents of students in Year 8. 


An information session for the parents of current Year 12 students will be held at 7:00pm on Monday 19 August in the Alan Lawrence Lecture Theatre. This evening will cover the process of applying for tertiary positions for 2020, including key dates/deadlines. Students are not required to attend (as this information will be provided directly to students at school). The VTAC application process may seem daunting to families finishing their time at secondary school, and we look forward to supporting parents to understand this process and the transition into TAFE and university studies.


A reminder that all students at McKinnon are expected to have a Chromebook purchased through our chosen supplier. With all students using a standard platform, we provide confidence for students and teachers, and ensure that technology enhances our ability to deliver an effective curriculum. Our Chromebook program is divided into two stages, with students purchasing a new device in Year 7 (Phase I), and then again in Year 10 (Phase II); as such, students have access to a reliable and up-to-date computer that facilitates online collaboration and other digital learning opportunities in all classrooms.  More information about our Chromebook program can be found on the College website.


For our current Year 9 students (entering Year 10 in 2020), their Chromebook is approaching the end of its 3-year warranty. Later this term, a new device will be available through an online portal. The new model has many updated features, including touch-screen with grey-lead stylus, Android App support, and is quicker to charge with USB Type C. Parents of these students will be emailed instructions for ordering a new Chromebook later this term.  

Thank you to all parents and students for supporting our Chromebook program.  It is an essential part of our curriculum and helps maximise both learning opportunities and outcomes.


The McKinnon Choir conducted by Ms West performing The Voice that I hear by Jim Papoulos.


Winners of the Junior Spelling Bee


Winners of the Education Perfect English Competitions


Winners of the Maths Competition


Sienna Beaves and William Zontanos present the Sports Report


Miri Iser presents the Mindfulness Photography project


Winning student team from the Year 12 Quiz Night


Sarah Quist and Matthew Dickens present on the recent Antipodeans trip to Cambodia and Laos


Cast and Crew of School Musical "Legally Blonde" were acknowledged.



Last month two teams of Year 10 Girls from McKinnon participated in the Monash University WiSE program. Each team had to learn how to use and program a micro:bit to develop and pitch an entrepreneurial idea. Of over 100 teams from all over the state, ten teams were chosen to go through to the next round. 


We congratulate Team 2 from McKinnon who have been successful in making it to the next stage. The team members include Jaime Tyzack, Julia Giantsos, Grace James and Catherine Braniska led by their teacher Ms Emily Nicholls.


These girls will now compete in the next round where the best two teams from that ten will win an immersive entrepreneurial experience to Silicon Valley, California USA!


Congratulations and good luck in the next stage.


Merryn Walker




Following on from our article in the previous newsletter, which highlighted changes to VCE Computing, Units 1 & 2, this article looks at changes to Units 3 & 4.


On successful completion of Units 1 & 2 of Applied Computing, students have a choice of study. We offer two courses at Units 3 & 4. Data Analytics and Software Development.


Data Analytics Units 3 & 4 - This course was previously Informatics. Course structure is the same, but each Area of Study has been updated to reflect inevitable changes in IT.


Unit 3, AOS1 - Data Analytics - This follows on from Unit 1, AOS1. Using more sophisticated software, students extract data from large data sets, manipulate the data in spreadsheets and databases before creating Infographics or dynamic data visualisations.

Unit 3, AOS2 - This is Part 1 of the student’s SAT (School Assessed Task), a fancy name for a project which will continue into the next AOS. Students propose their own Research Question before gathering data and designing a solution.


Unit 4, AOS1 - Part 2 of the SAT where students develop their designs into an Infographic or a dynamic data visualisation. Testing and evaluation is the final part of this AOS.


Unit 4, AOS2 - Cybersecurity - A key skill in today’s job market, students learn about keeping data and information secure in a networked environment. Legal and ethical issues are explored in this topic.


Software Development Units 3 & 4 - No name changes here and no changes to the structure of the course.


Unit 3, AOS1 - Programming - Students will use Visual Basic to learn more advanced skills in file handling, arrays, searching and sorting. 


Unit 3, AOS2 - Part 1 of the SAT, students find a client in the real world to develop a software solution for. Students analyse the current system before designing a solution.


Unit 4, AOS2 - Part 2 of the SAT, students develop their solution in Visual Basic, test and evaluate their solution.

Unit 4, AOS2 - Cybersecurity - Students focus on the security risks to data during the software development process and the security issues around how software is used. Encryption and other strategies are examined.



In both courses, Unit 3, AOS1 and Unit 4, AOS2 are SACs, which are worth 10% of the student’s final Study Score. Unit 3, AOS2 and Unit 4, AOS1 form the SAT, which is worth 30% of the final Study Score. Final examinations are worth 50%.


Pathways - We encourage students to complete Units 1 & 2 before enrolling in either of the Unit 3/4 courses, however, high achieving students currently in Year 10, may select a Unit 3/4 course for study in their Year 11, without having completed Units 1 & 2.


Students in Year 11 who have completed Units 1 & 2 may study either, or both Software Development and Data Analytics in Year 12.


For more information, contact Mr Munro.


It is so encouraging to see how many students are taking part in this years’ challenge. The challenges are released at 8 am each Monday morning and it was amazing to see that by the second week, some really keen students had already started this before school began! At the moment, leading the way in the Beginners challenge are Evia Gallo and Helen Chen from Year 7. Both these students finished the first week in record time and had already started Week 2 before coming to school. Leading the way at Intermediate level is Michael Yang closely followed by Kevin Yu, both of Year 10.


Shirley Munro

ICT Teacher 



The Melbourne International Film Festival offers Melbournians a wide range of international and local films from 1 - 18 August 2019.


Movies are bringing languages and learning to life. Our Year 9 and 10 German students will be attending a student screening at the festival next week. 


Please check out the program on or download the MIFF App and enjoy a movie with your family!

Language Perfect World Championship

27 August to 3 September 2019  


The Education Perfect Languages Championship is a 7-day online event celebrating learning and achievement in Languages. With approximately 200,000 participants each year, this is a great opportunity to inspire your students' language learning while they compete on a global scale. 


We are looking forward to participating again in this annual event, engaging the entire McKinnon community. This competition will be open to all students and staff at McKinnon. Please support us in becoming Word Champions again this year! 

Great prizes to be won!


The Association of German Teachers provides ongoing support to teachers and students of German in Victoria. Please check out the following information, which was also provided to students at school. 



Australian Universities have partnerships with universities all around the world and collaborate in research and exchange programs for students. The opportunity to study and work in another country increases with the study of languages. Great opportunities such as paid internships and exchange programs for university students are offered. RMIT has shared the following information with teachers to promote amongst students and to encourage them to continue the study of German:


German being the second most used language in science should be considered for the future! 


The Victorian Government also provides secondary students with a Victorian Baccalaureate if they include a language in their VCE course. English, Maths Methods and a Science are the additional prerequisites. Please find more information about the Victorian Baccalaureate in the following link:


Please contact the af on 9525 3463 or email at


Andrea Fowler

Head of Languages



 Year 8 ELMS Mathematics students explored the topic of measurement. Students delved into the fascinating world of volume and surface area of three dimensional shapes. 


Members of the ELMS student body were challenged to determine how to make two different cylinders, using the same sheet of paper, and then asked to decide if those cylinders would have the same volume or if they would be different. Most of the class believed the cylinders would have the same volume. 


As everyone knows, the only way to test a theory is with popcorn. So, out came the popcorn kernels to work out which cylinder could hold more (and thus have a greater volume), and the answer is not what you think! 

We also calculated the surface area of three dimensional Angry Bird figures and discovered the importance of accuracy in taking measurements. 


I really enjoyed the activities we did as they were fun and interactive but still educational. The results from the popcorn activity were very surprising as the two cylinders made from the same size paper didn’t have the same volume. It was also very fun working in groups and performing the experiment.”
Yael Greenberg 


“Today’s lesson was a fun hands-on activity that let us apply our knowledge into a practical task. The ideas were fun and it involved a lot of problem solving that was a fun challenge.” 

Julien Le Quiniat


Ms Lauren Mauger

Year 8 ELMS Teacher



Next week (12 – 16 August) we celebrate National Science Week at McKinnon.


National Science Week is an annual celebration of science and technology in Australia and provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists to the world of knowledge. This year’s theme is Destination Moon, allowing us to discover past missions to the Moon and space programs that have solved some of the seemingly unsolvable problems - and current and future space programs, operations and missions. To celebrate, we are running a number of activities, both in class and outside of class during lunch break.


Please keep an eye on the Compass News Feed for further information about these events. 


Science Faculty


During their classes, the Year 12 Biology students have been learning about genetic engineering and the technologies that scientists use. Last week all 115 Year 12 Biology students completed a bacterial transformation using the genetic techniques that they have been learning about.  Through the incursion they were able to isolate a fluorescent green gene from a jellyfish and put it in a bacteria in a process called transformation.  The students had to wait at least 24 hours while the bacteria was incubated to see if they were successful.  We had a great rate of success with most students finding they were able to get their bacteria to glow green.

I would like to thank all the helpers that came along to assist our Year 12s such as past Biology students: Myles Kelemen, Jean-Luc Karavendzas and Will Hardy. We also heartfully thank phD students Anthony Xuan, Athanasios Koulis and Izabela Todorovski from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre who gave up their time to help our students.


Emily Nicholls

Science Teacher



On Thursday 1 August, McKinnon staff and students were dressed in their ‘M’ inspired outfits all ready for the McKinnon’s Annual Athletics Carnival. It was a chilly start to the day, but this didn’t stop students getting into the spirit of the carnival and competing in many events. 


There was much excitement on the track as students competed in hotly contended track and field events, with the closing event of the day being the house captains and staff relay. The staff put up a valiant effort only to be pipped at the post by the students!


In 4th place with 1808 points were Monash

In 3rd place with 2060 points were Chisholm

In 2nd place with 2101 points were Flynn

In 1st place with 3392 points were Gilmore


Well done to all staff and students for their efforts on the day. 


Jennifer Pemberton

Athletics Co-ordinator


The Senior Boys played in the SMR Finals on Friday 26 July. They had two pool games against Berwick and Melbourne High School which were tough encounters.

The boys pulled away in each game to win through to the Final against Elizabeth Murdoch. The boys played their best netball in the Final and won 16 - 24 to advance to the State Finals to be played in September.


Tim Blackwood



On Wednesday 24 July the Senior Boys Soccer team travelled down to Kingston Heath for a chance to go to the State Finals. Having come from two goals down in the Kingston Division Final in May against Parkdale and then won in a penalty shootout, I was hoping that with private health premiums the way they are that there would be considerably less drama. I was confident that the team would play well; such is their character and skill. This group as I told them have already shown resilience, character and spirit but it is all about seizing the moment. To dare when appropriate and to dig in when needed. All of the above was shown at Kingston Heath.


First up we played Gleneagles. We were a little scrappy but created some chances but unfortunately could not take them. Gleneagles started well but we eventually got better but the match ended in a 0-0 draw. It meant we had to win our next game. With a slight change in structure, we were much more in control of the game. We scored and then had a penalty given against us. The penalty slammed into the post and went over the by line. We then scored another 2 before the half to be up 3-0. We conceded a goal late but still triumphed 3-1 which gave us a fighting chance. The conceded goal meant that our opponents in the last game, Dandenong only had to draw to go through to the Zone Final.  The cards were stacked against us when 30 seconds prior to the game, I was told that rather than 15 minute halves our game would be shortened to 12 minutes halves. We needed to win and in a 12 minute display of blistering power and skill, McKinnon scored twice in the first half to run out 2-0 winners and go through to the Zone Final.

In the Zone Final we played Nossal who had surprisingly beaten Narre Warren South 1-0 in their last game to win their pool. Nossal had the benefit of a 40 minute break before the final, we had about 11 minutes. However in sport momentum is everything and within the first minute we scored. We scored again shortly after and again as McKinnon ran riot eventually running out 5-0 winners. I won’t name who played well or scored goals as I believe it is about a team. The 16 playing team members all shone when given a chance to shine. The non-playing members who may have missed out on selection due to injury rallied behind the team, putting their personal disappointment on missing the 16 player cut to support their team.


I am so proud of this team. They are amazing soccer players but they are better people. They can take onboard messages and apply them but they also back each other and work hard for each other. In my opinion, you don’t judge a team when things are easy but you judge them when things are difficult. This team seemed to get better when things get tougher and just find ways to win, representing themselves and the school so very well.


They deserve to be in the State Finals and who knows what will happen there but this team will get one more day in the sun, one more day to show anyone who ventures down to Darebin that this team is a good team and has some great people there.


Playing Squad members


Matthew Main, Sam De’ath, Tom Johnston, Billy Zontanos, Stefan Simic (Captain), Mannie Psarakis, Liam O’Brien (Vice Captain), Oliver Lopez, Ishan Malakar, Cian Ford, Oscar Yuen, Liston Diaz, Sam Ghobrial, Levi Scholz, Nick Liolios and Marcus Sarra. 


Jonathan Jhoomum



The wave of commitment and excitement that took our Senior Boys Football to the State Final in 2017 appears to be back in town with the 2019 boys performing superbly at the SMR Finals on Tuesday 23 July. 


The backline, consisting of a core of Old McKinnon players, are starting to show the fruits of regularly playing together on the weekends, and were rock solid all day conceding only a handful of goals.

The side was lead wonderfully all-day by our inspirational skipper Xavier Verdnik, the versatile Jacob Gray, and the explosive Kya Austin, however it was a terrific team effort in the Grand Final that saw us see off the highly fancied Frankston High School.


The boys are now preparing for a state Quarter Final against Galen College from Wangaratta in a couple of weeks’ time.


Chris Hudd and Kirby McConnon



On Wednesday 31 August, the Year 7 Boys Soccer Team travelled to Kingston Heath to battle it out to see if they could go through to the State Finals. The team came out of the Year 7 Tuesday Sport class in Term 2 where they went undefeated and did not concede a goal throughout Kingston Division. It was a beautiful day, no sign of the hurricane gale that previous visits to Kingston Heath has made it tough for the beautiful game to prosper. 


First up the boys played Gleneagles, a tough assignment and a growing force in the region. Having survived the opening minutes with Gleneagles in the ascendancy, McKinnon settled in to play football. However, an innocuous ball forward caused chaos with the bouncing ball causing a penalty for handball as Gleneagles celebrated their luck. Thirty seconds later their celebrations went sour as keeper Josh Stevens got a hand to a well struck penalty and tapped it onto the crossbar with the ball bouncing harmlessly away. Two minutes later McKinnon celebrated as from a corner, Daniel Yakovlev nodded a bouncing ball over the line to make it 1-0 to McKinnon.


Soon the half time whistle blew and McKinnon were one to the good. In the second half, Gleneagles and McKinnon both attacked early. It was from a Gleneagles corner that was well cleared by the McKinnon defence that an absolute rocket was struck well over 30 metres to make it 1-1. There was nothing that Josh Stevens who was in goal could do. Soon Gleneagles would score the winner with another well-taken shot this time from inside the box. There would still be time for McKinnon to hit the crossbar direct from a corner and spurn some well created and clear chances with the Gleneagles goal leading a charmed life. The whistle blew and McKinnon had lost their first game 2-1. I felt we deserved a point as such was the quality of chances created but it was not to be.


Defeat in the first game meant that McKinnon faced a must win game against Albert Park. With a slight tweak in the formation to allow Terry Tsakiridis to get on the ball more, McKinnon played with carefree abandon with our midfield of Dion Hontzogloy, Luke Sagiadelis and captain Campbell Henderson dominating. Campbell scored a beautiful left footed chip as McKinnon went to the break one up. Terry then scored a delightful chip over the keeper, a just reward for his excellent attacking play. Daniel Yakovlev scored another goal to make it 3-0. With the game seemingly over and some key substitutions made to freshen legs for the third game, Albert Park scored. Then they scored again late to mean McKinnon ran out a somewhat nervy 3-2 winner in a game that was not as close as the scoreline suggested. 


Our third game was against Dandenong. McKinnon had to win and they had to hope that Albert Park could upset Gleneagles in the final game for McKinnon to progress to the SMR Final. A little nervous in their play but still creating some chances, McKinnon went to the half time break with both teams scoreless. Daniel Yakovlev soon changed that scoring a quick fire brace after being introduced just before half time. Caolan McLaughlin also scored with his first touch coming on as a substitute late. McKinnon had triumphed 3-0 but would not progress as Gleneagles would win their last game and go onto win the Final.


I feel that the boys played football to an excellent standard. They created chances, moved the ball exceptionally at times and competed very well. They won two games out of the three and with some luck it may have been three. Whilst Gleneagles played very well winning their four games, the McKinnon Boys too played exceptional football. We look forward to hopefully getting the opportunity to atone this year’s result in future years. This team are a great bunch of young men, a joy to coach, polite and respectful. A special thanks to all the parents who came down and supported the team. Also a special thanks to Baptiste Mazuel of Year 9 who in the last week assisted in a training session and on the day as an assistant coach, running a few warm ups. 


Congratulations to all the boys who played in the team in the Kingston Division but especially those who represented the school at Southern Metropolitan Region:


Tristan Clatworthy, Jack Carrafa, Vincent Dinh, Campbell Henderson (Captain), Dion Hontzogloy (Vice Captain), Tyne Lee, Ben Mason, Caolan McLaughlin, Josh Podolsky, Luke Sagiadelis, Ethan Sellyn, Josh Stevens, Terry Tsakiridis, Delfin Tsalasi, Andrew Wiraatmadja and Daniel Yakovlev. 


(A very proud coach) 

Jonathan Jhoomun



 We have had another busy fortnight in the Music Department. All ensembles are rehearsing intensely to ensure that they are at an incredible standard for the upcoming Winter Concert on Wednesday 28 August. Students are reminded to keep an eye on the Newsfeed on Compass and on their schedule to ensure that they make all rehearsals to make the night an absolute success.


This concert is a showcase of the work that the students in the core ensembles have been undertaking over the past eight months. Tickets are on sale directly through this link

or through Monash University booking office as of Monday 5 August. Students who are performing do not require a ticket.


Prices: Adults $20, Concession $15, Family (2 Adults/2 Children) $60, and Group of 6 $81


Congratulations to the Choir who performed at the General Assembly on Monday 29 July. Thank you to Ms West for her organisation of the choir and to William Xiang (Year 11) who accompanied the group.

Congratulations to all the students who were involved in the second Vocal Night on Tuesday 30 July as it was a great success. The work that has been undertaken by the students was evident in the very high level performances given. Each item demonstrated a strong sense of artistry and technical development. Well done! Thank you to Mrs Deb James and her assistant Matthew James, for their organisation of the supper at interval that was fundraising for the Mount Gambier trip in 2020. Thank you to Mr Nick Xanthoudakis and his audio/visual team who helped produce a fantastic night. Finally, thank you to Ms Blanka West for her ongoing development of the vocal students at McKinnon and her organisation of these nights.  

Congratulations to all the students and staff involved in the Brass Night on Wednesday 31 July. The students performed exceptionally well to a packed house, demonstrating their ongoing development of their technique and stage presence. Thank you to Mr Andrew Albanis and to past student Anthony Hantzopoulos who assisted with the evening. Congratulations to our fabulous brass teachers Ms Tracy Videon and Mr Dmitry Serebrianik for their development of the students, and the development of the Brass Night.


Congratulations to Ms Bertsa and Mr Van Langenberg who began the concert series for Term 3 on Friday 19 July.  It was an amazing opening.

Congratulations to all the brass students who performed on Friday 2 August. A great way to end a chilly week. Thank you to Ms Tracy Videon and Mr Dmitry Serebrianik for their development of the students.


Please note these dates in your diary for the term for upcoming Performance Opportunities for Term 3:

  • Ovenden Band at VSMF - Tuesday 20 August
  • Symphonic Wind at VSMF - Wednesday 21 August
  • WINTER CONCERT - Wednesday 28 August
  • Orchestra at Royal South Street - Saturday 31 August
  • Big Band Bash - Friday 13 September
  • Spring Soiree - Monday 16 September
  • Year 12 Music Performance Celebration Night - Thursday 19 September

In preparation for the many performances that will be taking place over the semester, all music students are reminded that they need to keep their attendance up at the core ensemble rehearsals. Being a part of these ensembles helps develop group skills, aural work, sight-reading, widens their experience and musical style and often involves performing for community groups, other schools and functions within the school community. 


Rehearsals are held as follows:

  • Symphonic Wind - Monday afterschool 3:30 - 5pm
  • Keenan Strings - Thursday before school 7:45am
  • Orchestra - Thursday afterschool 3:30 - 5pm
  • McKinnon Choir - Thursday lunch time 
  • Ovenden band - Friday before school 7:45am

We look forward to seeing all students at their respective ensemble rehearsal.


Megan Papworth

Head of Music



 Book Week takes place between the 17-23 August and the theme this year is “Reading is my Secret Power”. The week kicks off with the announcement of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards on Friday 16 August.  In the category of “Book of the Year: Older Readers” the short list is as follows:


Between Us – Clare Atkins

From the award-winning author of Nona & Me comes a stunning new novel about two teenagers separated by cultural differences, their parents’ expectations and twenty kilometres of barbed-wire fence.


Small Spaces – Sarah Epstein


Tash Carmody has been traumatised since childhood, when she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival. At the time nobody believed Tash, and she has since come to accept that Sparrow wasn't real. Now fifteen and mute, Mallory's never spoken about the week she went missing. As disturbing memories resurface, Tash starts to see Sparrow again. And she realises Mallory is the key to unlocking the truth about a dark secret connecting them. Does Sparrow exist after all? Or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?


Lenny’s book of everything – Karen Foxlee


Lenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won't stop growing - and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their mother, they have food and a roof over their heads, but not much else. The bright spot every week is the arrival of the latest issue of the Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia. Through the encyclopedia, Lenny and Davey experience the wonders of the world - beetles, birds, quasars, quartz - and dream about a life of freedom and adventure. But as Davey's health deteriorates, Lenny realises that some wonders can't be named.


Changing gear – Scot Gardner


Merrick Hilton's done a runner. His folks think he's studying, but the real world has been calling for years and he can't ignore it any longer. A postie bike, a bedroll and a big sky - that's all he needs. But there's no telling how he'll handle the rough stuff, let alone roadkill, stolen oranges and unexpected romance. And in the real world nothing goes entirely as planned. Thankfully Victor - the old bloke he meets on the road - knows a thing or two about broken bike chains. And broken hearts.


Bogan Mondrian – Steven Herrick


'There are worse things than school.'

Luke sleepwalks through his days wagging school, swimming at the reservoir and eating takeaway pizza.

That is until Charlotte shows up.

Rumour is she got expelled from her city school and her family moved to the Blue Mountains for a fresh start. 

But when Luke's invited to her house, he discovers there's a lot more going on than meets the eye. 


The art of taxidermy – Sharon Kernot


Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands - Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does. And her mother? Lottie's mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her. The Art of Taxidermyis a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all. 


There has been a change to the way the library manages book reservations. Previously students could only place reservations on items that were currently out on loan. Students can now place reservations on available items.

It’s easy!

Access the library catalogue via the school website.

Search for your item and click on the reserve button.


An email is generated when the book is available for collection at the library.


Once you have finished with your book please return it to the library so that others can enjoy it too. Students should receive email reminders about their overdue books. 


Janene Watson

Resource Centre Manager



A new term, a new semester and a new NAME.


The Knitting Club has changed its name to Yarn and Thread. This better reflects the variety of crafts being pursued by our members.


Knitting is still a strong component and recently there has been a focus on completing purple beanies for the Beanies not Meanies drive.


#beaniesnotmeanies is part of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and hopes to increase awareness of the impact bullying has on children and young people by rallying together and knitting purple hats to wear, starting on the National Day of Action Against Bullying on March 15, through until the beginning of winter (but you can still knit right through the cooler months!). With 1 in 4 students experiencing bullying, it’s important to show support to those who are affected and to remind them that we’re all in this together.


Donated beanies go inside the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s Buddy Bags. These are backpacks filled with basic, essential items for the thousands of children in emergency accommodation. The beanies become a gift to children going through one of the worst times of their lives.

At least a couple of our members are trying their hand at knitting little animal blankies for young children.

Cross-stitch has really taken off lately, with a few students completing the starter Rosebud pattern. Some students have progressed to larger patterns and one student is even designing her own characters to be portrayed in cross-stitch.

Crocheting is still the focus for a few students and can be used to easily create some great character toys such as the puffy owls and amigurumi animals.

Yarn and Thread is held every Monday lunchtime in the MERC. Why not come and see what YOU can create using yarn or thread.


Diana Hatch

Yarn and Thread Co-ordinator



Office hours are:                        8:15am - 4:30pm

Telephone:                                                8520 9000


Parents should always make contact with the General Office first when visiting the school or trying to make contact with their children.


Appointments with teachers must be made via telephone or email them directly.



Student absences should be reported to the school before 9:00am. Please email the Attendance Officers Alison Pollock/Joanne Robinson ( or telephone 8520 9050 on the day of the absence by 9:00am. 


A note on the day of return to the General Office is required for absences where no parent contact has been possible.



In order to minimise disruption to class and maximise learning opportunities for our students, we would like to remind you of the school policy regarding late arrival to school. Students are expected to be at school at 8:30am. A locker bell rings at 8:35am and class begins punctually at 8:50am. If your child is late for any reason, please notify the school by phone 8520 9050, email or by writing a note in the student's diary explaining the reason. 


If no explanation has been received students are given a pass to class and an after school detention for the following day.


Please ensure that if your child is leaving early or arriving late for any reason that a note needs to be written in the diary so that the teachers are aware too.


If your student needs to leave school early for any reason, please write a note in their diary explaining the reason. Teachers will not allow any student to leave their class unless there is authorisation.


We appreciate your support in this. If you have any questions please call Alison/Joanne on 8520 9050.


Families are now able to order and purchase uniforms online. Ordered items can be collected from the Uniform Shop. Please allow three working days for pick-up. Please click on the attached link to order uniforms:

Phone/Fax No:  9578 2151



For years 10 - 12 only there are a limited number of old style track pants and old style kea jackets being sold at reduced prices.

Track pants $21.00

Jackets          $42.00

Only available for purchase from the shop.



Tuesdays                                      8:15am - 12 noon

Fridays                                        12:30pm - 4:00pm

1st Saturday every month    9:30am - 12 noon


Please ensure all school clothes, books and personal property are clearly labelled with the student’s name. Many items are not returned to their rightful owners because they are not labelled correctly or clearly.


USBs should include a folder with the student’s name and form to assist in returning it to the correct person. If you have lost anything see Mrs Plate in the Sick Bay during recess, lunch or end of day.



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Rose McCallum
Pitsa Binnion
Michael Kan
Richard Long
Lachlan Noble