Wheelers News

18 October 2019
Issue Sixteen

Respect Excellence Creativity

Principal's Page
Assistant Principal's Page
Mark Your Calendar
Senior School Report
Community News
Wheelers Hill Secondary College
(03) 9561 5811
Raphael Drive
Wheelers Hill, Victoria, 3150

Principal's Page

Welcome Back!

A very warm welcome back to our College Community for what promises to be another busy term at Wheelers Hill Secondary College.  We wish our students well with their studies as they aim 'to be the best that they can be' with everything the College has to offer.

The Official Opening of the The Bunjil Centre, 18th of October, 2019

Today (18/10) we officially opened our recently refurbished Gymnasium and Performing Arts Complex naming it The Bunjil Centre as part of a Whole School Assembly. 


The word 'Bunjil' is Aboriginal for creative / creator, and the word aligns well with one of our key values being Creativity. Furthermore, the teaching and learning in this part of the school is very much centred on a creative approach.  We have been working very closely with the Wurendjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation to establish the the name of our Centre.


Students, staff, families, Catherine Andrews (wife of our Local Member, the Premier Daniel Andrews), our federal Member of Parliament, Clare O'Neal (Member for Hotham) and other invited guests were all in attendance on the day to enjoy a real sense of occasion with the Official Opening of our Bunjil Centre. The Smoking Ceremony, Welcome to Country and some traditional Aboriginal dancing from the Djirri Djirri Dance Group, helped allow us as a College Community to be respectful of the first peoples of this land, together with recognising the importance of some elements of Indigenous customs and traditions.

The original inhabitants of the area in which our College is placed were the Bunurong tribe, which were one of four tribes that made up the Kulin Nation that lived in what was to become Melbourne and surrounding areas. Tales were told at around the time of the Gold Rush of the Bunurong holding corroborees at the junction of Ferntree Gully Road and Dandenong Roads.  The tribe gradually dispersed under the pressure of increasing European settlement (City of Monash Website, Oct., 2019).


Our Whole School Assembly allowing for the Official Opening of The Bunjil Centre was a tremendous success with our College Community making an important connection to our nation's first peoples with how we have named this important part are of our school.  


Our 2019 Year 12 Students

There was a special Year 12 Year Level Assembly last week (11/10) to welcome back and impress on our Year 12 students of the remaining days of their secondary schooling.  A number of areas were covered with students encouraged to make the most of their class time with teachers going into the end of year exams in the coming weeks.


After thirteen years of schooling, our Year 12 students may have some mixed emotions coming into these final weeks.  Whilst there may be a real sense of excitement as students think about embarking on the next phase of their lives, for some it will be a very emotional time as they reflect on their primary and secondary school education.


There will be a special Whole School Assembly on Wednesday 23rd of October to best recognise and acknowledge our Year 12 students.  With families, we will do everything we can to support our Year 12 students in the final weeks of the year.  We wish them well with their exams and we hope that they achieve the very best results for them and their future. 

Regional Athletics

The Regional Athletics were held last week (11 10 19) and our students achieved some outstanding results.  Many of our students placed in a number of events on the day with Cameron Coutts again winning the triple jump to go through to the School Sports Victoria State Championships - well done Cameron!

We congratulate all of our students for their participation and we thank staff for their guidance and support of students on the day.  


The WHSC Sports Awards, Monday 21st October

The WHSC Sports Awards will be held on Monday the 21st of October (5.00 to 7.00pm, in The Bunjil Centre).  This is the second consecutive year of the Awards with many of our students across all year levels being recognised for their wonderful achievements in Sport.  More details of the success of our WHSC Sports Awards will be shared with our College Community in the next edition of the Newsletter.

The WHSC Arts and Technology Show, 28th Oct to the 1st Nov

Please be reminded of the WHSC Arts and Technology Show commencing later this month (28/10) here at the College.  This is a wonderful opportunity to view many examples of quality student work from the Visual Arts and Technology Domains.


The WHSC Arts and Technology Show has been running now for a number of years and it is an outstanding showcase of the talents of our students in the Visual Arts and Technology Learning Domains.  Please look out for posts on Compass for further details of this important event.

Mobile Phone Policy, 2020

The Department of Education expects all Victorian State Schools to implement their new Mobile Phone Policy for the start of 2020.  Please read on in the Newsletter for further details concerning this Policy.

Value of the Week - Respect

We welcomed back of course those staff and students who traveled to the Northern Territory recently as part of the Central Australia trip.  Staff and students on the trip were involved from 


The feedback I have received was that our students had a wonderful time.  We thank our staff for their efforts on the Trip, particularly Megan Hodgkinson who lead the way from start to finish - well done Megan!


Importantly, I heard that service providers associated with the Trip were incredibly impressed with the conduct of our students given how polite and respectful they were throughout.  


And finally.....

We thank families in advance for working in partnership with us as a College through Term Four to achieve the very best outcomes for our students



Aaron Smith


Assistant Principal's Page

Mobile Phone Policy 2020

The new policy is a ministerial policy formally issued by the Minister for Education under section 5.2.1(2)(b) of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

The Mobile Phones Policy is now available in the School Policy and Advisory Guide and establishes that from Term 1 2020:

  • students who bring mobiles phones to school must have them switched off and securely stored during school hours
  • the school must provide secure storage for mobile phones that are brought to school.

Exceptions to the policy may be applied if certain conditions are met.

Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN)

At the end of term 3, WHSC was once again well represented at the Rotary RYPEN Camp, which was held in Mt Evelyn. RYPEN is a 2.5 day residential experience, where participants are involved in a variety of sessions, workshops and activities, which provide an opportunity for them to develop personally, challenge themselves, build friendships with like-minded people, and build life skills. It is not a coincidence that the when pronounced our program sounds like “ripen”.  In every way, this program is designed to RYPEN the lives of those who attend, and the lives of the friends and family with whom our participants interact, after RYPEN.

Participants develop awareness in areas such as:

  • leadership
  • working in a team
  • communication
  • decision making
  • building relationships

This year, 4 of our students attended this camp, 2 as participants and 2 previous participants from 2018, who returned as colour leaders.

Please read below for their reflections on this valuable experience.

Colour Leaders

The 2019 RYPEN camp was an incredible experience for the both of us, as we gained skills and knowledge in regards to leadership. Working with a team of 20 amazing leaders, it was not hard to create a memorable camp for the participants. Over the course of four months, we attended training days that focused on preparing for camp and running through all the activities we would be in charge of at camp. After all the training days, we showed up to the two-day RYPEN camp confident and excited. After being participants last year, we knew we would both have to apply to be Colour Group Leaders, in order to come back and do it all over again. We are so grateful for the opportunity to have been able return to RYPEN for 2019, and would do it again in a heartbeat. The connections we have made through RYPEN, with both participants and Rotarian's, will not be lost and we hope to be involved with Rotary again soon!  

Jess Phillips and Chloe Fleming (Year 10)


Year 9 Participants

At 1pm on Friday the 14th of September I was picked up from school and on my way to a three day camp named RYPEN. For the next three days I’d be spending every moment of my weekend with people I’d never met before, that initial thought was actually quite confronting. As soon as I arrived I was immediately thrown into the deep end with a brilliant game the leaders and mentors called “Yee haw”, I looked around and couldn’t see the three other people out of sixty five that I knew, so it was all or nothing. Throughout the camp I learned so much about so many things, I learnt what I would call “the right way to be human” because no matter who you spoke to or who was leading an activity everyone was always treated equally with respect, trust and so many more important things. This camp showed me who I really and I now feel like I know myself so much better. Across the camp I gained so many friends that I still keep in contact with today that I feel I already know on a personal level and the camp was only a month ago!

All in all RYPEN was one of the most amazing things I’ve done in life and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.

Lachlan Palmer (Year 9)


On the 14th of September, Lachlan and myself attended a RYPEN camp. To be honest at first I was a bit nervous as I was going to be spending 3 days with a group of strangers, to anyone this thought can be quite daunting and nerve racking. Once we got into the camp and the activities they had planned, my nerves started to relax, I learnt and gained so much from this experience. I have met heaps of new people and made friends that I still keep in contact and hang out with. I learnt more about myself, as well as better ways to work as a team and that sometimes you just need to trust yourself. I also pushed myself out of my comfort zone a couple of times which was really hard to do but was worth it as it helped make me feel like a stronger person. I enjoyed the communication and trust activities, as well as the disco. I’m very grateful to have been a part of this fantastic experience.

Jasmine Kleinman (Year 9)


Good Luck to our Year 12s

This is the last newsletter before our Year 12s undertake their exams. Many are starting to realise that their secondary education is rapidly coming to an end and the big world awaits them. WHSC is confident that each of our Year 12s has been prepared to face whatever future challenges await them as global citizens. We wish them the best and take this opportunity to remind them to eat well, sleep plenty and study hard (Not necessarily in that order). Teachers of each subject will be available right up to the day of the exam and we encourage all of our Year 12s to take advantage of the opportunity to see them in preparation. We have no doubts that they will be the best they can be.

Reading 20 in 20

The benefits of reading are beyond question. But, did you know that by simply reading 20 minutes a day you can improve your vocabulary and writing skills dramatically.

In 2020, Year 7 students at Wheelers Hill Secondary College will read texts of their own choice for 20 minutes a day, ensuring improved writing and reading skills as they progress towards their senior education.


Uniform Update

After a recent review of the college uniform policy by school council, it has been decided that the old style, tri-colour spray jacket will not be part of the WHSC uniform in 2020. Students will be required to wear either the blue polar fleece or the blue spray jacket which have both superseded the old style spray jackets. Please ensure that between now and the start of 2020 students have access to either the polar fleece or spray jacket, both of which are available at Lowes uniform supplier at Knox.


Judy Anderson & Andrew Dixon

Assistant Principal 

Mark Your Calendar


  • Whole School Assembly - Official Opening of the Stadium
  • State Athletics


  • EMR Intermediate Boys Basketball
  • WHSC Sports Awards Presentation Evening


  • Last day of classes - Year 12


  • Year 8B & 8D Monash Tech School
  • Year 11 Career Action Plans
  • School Council


  • Year 8B & 8D Monash Tech School
  • Numeracy Year 9 peer teaching Year 7 students


  • EMR Year 7 Boy's and Girl's Basketball
  • Year 11 Lit class - Waverley Meadows


  • Year 7E Monash Tech School
  • Year 7 Girls Volleyball and Year 8 Boys Volleyball
  • Art & Technology Show Opening Evening



  • Year 7E Monash Tech School
  • Art Show
  • Year 10 Drama Suitcase Series 


  • Year 7E Monash Tech School
  • Art Show
  • Lunchtime Suitcase Series Showcase - Yr 10 Drama


  • Art Show
  • VCE Performing Arts Showcase


  • Art Show
  • Division Lawn Bowls Gala Day


Monash University Talk & Tour

On Wednesday 16th October Year 10 Futures classes attended a Talk & Tour at Monash University, Clayton Campus. This event commenced with a presentation where our students learned about university offerings, the major differences between school and the tertiary environment and what university life was like.

Monash University has four campuses and offers different ways to study. There are ‘comprehensive degrees’ which are degrees that offer great flexibility with choosing areas of specialisation that students wish to study. Some of these degrees include Arts, Business, IT and Science. They also offer ‘specialised degrees’ which are prescribed programs and they include qualifications such as Architecture, Biomedicine, Law, Pharmacy. And finally, students also have a choice of selecting to study a double degree such as Engineering/Biomedicine or Arts/ Teaching etc. Further information was provided on opportunities students have with studying/working overseas and joining the hundreds of clubs available on campus.

University student ambassadors took us around the campus and showed us the various buildings/faculties. The Clayton campus is so big that it has its own postcode, shops, ATM, medical facilities and student accommodation. On our walk, it was great to see the university in full swing with many students scattered around the campus either working together on projects, studying for upcoming exams, attending lectures or just chilling with friends during their breaks. This provided our students with a true insight of what university life would be like.

Finally I would like to thank the following teachers for attending this event to support this student experience – Khairi Razaai, Peter Stone, Max Ellis, Mark Tatton, Sarah Subity.



VET Success Stories!

WorldSkills Competition

Wheelers Hill Secondary College would like to congratulate two of its students who have been selected by their TAFE to compete in the Regional WorldSkills Australia competition program on Friday 18th October. Students are provided with a brief and then compete against other students in producing a piece of work which is then judged. Both John Morris and Blake Teunissen (Year 10) who are currently undertaking a VET Certificate II in Building & Construction (Carpentry) at Holmesglen TAFE have been chosen based on their successful performance in their VET program. Winners will then progress to the National WorldSkills competition. We wish the boys all the best!

Mullum VET Cluster Awards

We would like to congratulate James Fillingham, Year 10, for being nominated and winning the VET Award for his current studies in VET Certificate III Sport & Recreation. Hard work and dedication has paid off. Well done James!

Voula Jakubicki

Careers Coordinator


Writer’s Notebook

“Keeping a writer’s notebook is a powerful way for students to explore possible writing ideas that emerge from their memory of past experiences, their dreams, their fantasies, and their wonderings.”


Robb, Laura (2012) Practical Units for Teaching Middle School Writers.


A writer’s notebook is a tool my students use to record the things they notice, observe, and think about.  Each recording is called an ‘entry’.  The entries can be any variety of ideas and we write for 10 minutes - building writing stamina. The most common ideas are:

  • memories
  • observations of the things happening around them
  • descriptions of people and places important in their lives
  • opinions
  • wonderings
  • wishes
  • family stories, hobbies and other passions

This is low stakes writing without the pressure of judgement from others or assessment by teacher, but for the enjoyment of expressing their own thoughts and creative ideas. Writing about something that actually ‘sparks joy’. Embracing their inner Marie Kondo and decluttering the academic mess by sorting through that mayhem to find that topic/idea/issue/genre/thought and take it on adventure through their writing.

In his article Becoming a Lifelong Writer, Carl Anderson references Donald Graves’ work in A Fresh Look at Writing. Graves believes a writer who initiates writing is someone who understands that the written word has the power to do things in the world; that writing is a way to achieve important purposes. They might write to make sense of life’s experiences. Or to teach others about their passions. Or to correct an injustice.


A writer who initiates writing understands that it is an act of communication and subsequently writes for real audiences. They write a eulogy for their father to help family and friends celebrate their father’s life. They write emails to members of their congregation to let them know about upcoming gatherings. They write to the President of the United States, urging him to reconsider his position on an issue.


Above all, a writer who initiates writing is someone who finds writing meaningful. They may or may not love to write – I can’t say that I love to write – but they find satisfaction in discovering new meaning as they articulate and communicate their thoughts to others.


As a teacher and Literacy Specialist I believe in the Writer’s Notebook. I believe our students deserve the right and freedom to write on topics that interest them. For Student Agency, enjoyment and sparking joy.


Watch this space. Low stakes writing and the Writer’s Notebook will become a part of Wheelers Hill Secondary College’s culture.

Take a look at the Year 7 English class and some of their work in the Writer’s Notebook. Make up your own mind on what you see. I did that annoying ‘teacher thing’ where I stood behind them with my phone and took a photo of their work while they were writing. Before you question me, I took my phone from the phone box to do so. I did the right thing. It was in the phone box. But I needed these photos for your visual pleasure while you read this article. I’m caring like that.




Claire Hanley

Learning Specialist - Literacy


Numeracy in Science

In Year 7 Mathematics, students are currently looking at data and different ways to summarise, classify and graph data. Students in Year 7 Mathematics have been looking at Pie Graphs, Histograms, Frequency tables, classification of Numerical and Categorical variables and finding the summary statistics of the data (mean, median, mode). The students have been collecting data from the class to complete these Numeracy activities. This links closely to Year 7 Science where the students are using Numeracy to make a Dichotomous Key as a way of classifying the Mr Men characters. Science also collects data from experiments and other sources and also uses similar summary and graphing techniques to display the data. 



Mr Patience is proudly displaying Bri Chandler’s Dichotomous Key.


Michelle Galli

Numeracy Learning Specialist

Senior School Report


The year is rapidly coming to a close for our Year 12 students. Next Tuesday (22nd October) is their final day of classes, with the Farewell Assembly being held during Period 2 on Wednesday 23rd . The VCAA examinations begin on Wednesday 30th October with English.

Many of our students took the opportunity to attend the trial examinations that were held during the first week of the September holidays, receiving valuable feedback from their teachers or the external markers. They now need to take note of the advice and feedback given and work towards achieving their best.

We wish all of our Year 12 students the best of luck for the upcoming examinations.



Published on Youth Central (http://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au)

Before the exam

Here are some basic pre-exam tips to help you minimise stress and maximise effective study.

1. Don't cram

Studying the night before an exam causes the level of stress in the body to increase. Unfortunately, this stress does not decrease when you go to sleep. The best way to reduce anxiety is by taking the night before an exam off to relax: watch TV, talk to a friend, read a novel.

If you are one of those people who become anxious because of not studying the night before an exam, then simply review the main points of your subject earlier in the day and leave the night free for other things.

Note that it is assumed that you have already done some study leading up to the night before your exam.

2. Avoid stressful people

Stress is contagious, so resist the urge to have a study session with your apprehensive friends before an exam, especially if they are complaining about all the work that they have left to do and pulling their hair out.

Their stress will only add to your stress and make you doubt yourself, even if you know that you will be fine.

3. Eat well

Good nutrition is a leading factor in a student's academic achievement. A well-balanced diet can help transform a nutritionally imbalanced student into a healthy and dynamic one.

In addition, of course, having breakfast before an exam is a must for a student who wants to focus and be most efficient during their exam.

4. Watch your caffeine intake

Nothing drives up your stress level faster than not being able to fall asleep the night before an exam, so avoid beverages like coffee, or high energy

drinks like V or Mother unless they are decaffeinated.

5. Avoid hangovers

Do your best to avoid alcohol the night before your exam because a bad hangover is the very worst thing to be suffering from in an exam room.

6. Prepare to be prepared

Before going to bed the night before an exam, make sure to collect everything that you will need for the exam - this could include:

  • Pens
  • Sharpened pencils
  • Ruler
  • Eraser
  • Calculator
  • Your lucky shirt
  • Water bottle
  • Tissues
  • A watch

Double (and even triple) check the time of your exam and location. Allow plenty of time for problems like lack of fuel and traffic on the way, making sure to arrive with time to spare so that you go into your exam calmly rather than in a frantic rush sweating.

7. Zzzz

Staying up all night before an exam is the worst thing one can do. You reach a point where your productivity eventually declines, so sleeping is a must to have a refreshed mind the next morning.

Regular sleep is the best ways to control exam stress. Students who follow a regular sleeping pattern have been shown to perform much better than students who stay up late.

Also, don't forget to set your alarm clock the night before!


During the exam

Okay, so you've done everything you can to get prepared in the lead-up to your exam, but how do you avoid stress on the day of the exam itself?

8. Focus

As you work on your exam, focus only on the exam and not on what other students are doing. There will always be students in the same exam room as you whose aim is to annoy and distract others and not to concentrate on the exam they barely started.

If you are the kind of student who taps their pencils, clicks their pens or makes sounds with their mouths due to exam anxiety, be considerate as it may be really distracting to others. Don't do to others what you wouldn't want to be done to yourself.

9. Start strategically

Begin your exam by skimming through the questions quickly and note down any initial thoughts or related memorised facts beside each question. You don't always have to start at the

beginning if you know another question better. Start with the questions you know best. This will boost your confidence and get you off to a good start.

Don't forget to spend more time on heavier weighted questions.






After the exam

Finally, it's over! You've worked hard and done your best and now it's time to put the exam out of your mind entirely. Remember - the things that you do after an exam are just as important for dealing with stress as the things you do before and during.

10. Spoil yourself

Reward yourself as soon as the exam is over. If you do not have any other commitments, go out and do something like seeing a movie with a friend. If you have other exams to study for, it's better to postpone for a larger treat. Nevertheless, thirty minutes for a coffee with a friend or a quick swim in the pool will definitely give you the boost needed for the next exam.

Good Luck!

Mrs. J. Riddoch

Senior School Leader


Northern Territory Tour

The Northern Territory Tour for 2019 was a huge success. 44 students and 6 staff embarked on a 13-day tour through Australia's Red Center, before reaching their final destination Darwin. Year 10 and 11 students who attended the tour took part in a range of activities including guided tours of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, completing the Kings Canyon rim walk, visiting the School of the Air and Royal Flying Doctors service, interacting with reptiles at Rex's Reptiles in Alice Springs, spotting crocodiles at Kakadu National Park and swimming at Litchfield National Park to escape the heat. We thank all Year 10 and 11 students who attended the tour, and hope they gained a life-long experience in Australia's Red Center.


Mulgrave Country Club Scholarship

On Monday 14th October Emily Fitzpatrick, from Year 11, was awarded the Mulgrave Country Club Scholarship for 2020, as she has demonstrated leadership and citizenship both within and outside of Wheelers Hill Secondary College. We congratulate Emily on receiving this Scholarship. 

Ms M. Hodgkinson

Year 11 Coordinator



Community News

Second-Hand Uniform Shop

Term 4

  • 10th October
  • 28th October
  • 14th November
  • 25th November
  • 12th December


As informed via SMS to all parents at the College, payment information for Essential Educational items, Optional Extras and Voluntary Contributions have now been uploaded and can be accessed on Compass at https://whsc-vic.compass.education via the Course Confirmation tab on the main screen.  This portal also contains agreements, policies and other important information that require your attention so do ensure you log in via Google Chrome with your user name and password to address these items. 

Copies of all supporting documentation are available on the Community Tab – School Documentation – Course Confirmation 2020.  Should you wish to set up an alternative payment plan, have other payment preferences or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Business Manager at the College and ensure you have confirmed some arrangements before the end of Term 4, 2019.


When budgets are set, we aim to provide the best environment and resources for our students.  We set our levies at a minimum knowing that families have a lot of commitments but we really do rely on the revenue to allow us to provide the breadth of programmes and resources we have here at Wheelers Hill Secondary College.  We need your ongoing support to maintain and develop our school and students.  Please make every effort to support this critical component of our whole school funding.

The Victorian Road Runners - Special Event, 'Jells Park Fun Run' - Sunday 20th October, 2019

Our students have been invited to the Victorian Road Runners 'Jells Park Fun Run this coming Sunday, 20th of October (8:30am) to run (or walk) in our 5km Fun Run at Jells Park on Sunday, the 20th of October.


The Victorian Road Runners have a permit with Parks Victoria to stage the event, they have the required Public Liability insurance, provide water for runners together with refreshments after the run.  Students wishing to participate only need to advise that they are from Wheelers Hill Secondary, and they will not pay registration.


It sounds like a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors whilst engaging in a bit of fitness at the same time!  We wish any of students who will be participating all the very best on the day.

Kara O'Gorman

11th October, 2019



Wheelers Hill Secondary College

2-28 Raphael Drive




Dear Sir/Madam,




Kara has been performing at a National level in her Artistic Roller Skating since 2015. She attended her 5th Nationals Event this year in July. She trains 4 times a week for 2.5 hours each training session.

Kara was selected to be a part of the Australian Team this year and she attended her first Oceania event over the school holidays in October 2019.

She was selected to represent Australia in 2 events. She performed in Cadet Solo Dance and Cadet Figures.

She had an excellent result competing against the best skaters in Australia and New Zealand.

Cadet Solo Dance – Gold medal

Cadet figures - Silver medal

This has been a dream for hers to compete at this level since she first started skating. Her next goal now is to go to Worlds in a few years’ time.



Sondra O’Gorman



Monash Mini Maker Faire


Wheelers News