Photo: ANZAC Day Meaghan, Ben and ex student Lietenant Colonel Mike Freeman

Castlemaine Secondary College News

06 May 2017
Issue Three
Parent information
Hop, Step, Jump, Run!
World around us
What have students been up to?
Sing, Dance, Act
What is cooking at school
Wellbeing Team
Community Notices
Castlemaine Secondary College
03 5479 1111
PO Box 57
Castlemaine, Victoria, 3450

Photo: Debra Watson receives award on behalf of Cadel.


Photo: Debra Watson receives award on behalf of Cadel.

From the Principal

I’d like to begin by thanking the community of Castlemaine for making me feel so welcome. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some wonderful students, parents and staff who are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. My role is to support the school through the transition period to a new Principal and ensure that the school is in a good place for that to happen.

Since arriving at the College I’ve become much more aware of the great things that go in the school and the community and how well the College is connected to its community. Although there are challenges that have already been overcome (and there will be more in the future) the College is in a great position to grow and thrive over the next five to ten years. A new Principal will be excited about these opportunities and keen to build on the strong foundation of student achievement, excellent programs and community commitment that is evident to me.

The position of Principal is currently advertised and there is a formal process that is adhered to across the state. If you have questions about this process I would be happy to answer them. Advertisements have been placed in local and national papers and refer applicants to the DET “Recruitment Online” website (job reference number 1083487).


I’d like to congratulate everyone who was involved in the very successful Open Day held this week and especially those students that assisted as tour guides. The students were great ambassadors for the school and the large crowd that attended well exceeded our expectations. The athletic sports were held under challenging conditions at Wesley Hill but students and staff had a great day and exceptional performances from a range of students seemed the norm for the day. I was pleased to see many parents drop in to support their child and the school.

Although I will be at Castlemaine for a relatively short time I’m keen to have as many conversations as I can with parents, students and staff. Please feel free to make an appointment if there are issues you would like to discuss.

Noel Claridge

Acting Principal


Cadel Watson - Premier’s VCE Award Recipient

Castlemaine Secondary College was recently invited to attend the Premier’s VCE Awards, presented by Minister for Education James Merlino, and held at Crown Towers in Melbourne. CSC alumni Cadel Watson received the Premier’s Award for VCE English – a prestigious award which recognises and celebrates his high level of attainment. Last year Cadel received a perfect study score of 50 in English, and with an overall ATAR of 99.9, he was accepted to study Bioinformatics at Sydney University.


Due to the demanding assessment schedule of this course, Cadel was unable to accept his award in person, however his mum, Debra, was on hand to pick it up for him. Congratulations Cadel!



School Council President

BUILDINGS - I’m sure that everyone has heard by now that Castlemaine Secondary College was not successful in receiving funding in the recently released Victorian State Budget for our building program. Nonetheless, we will continue to lobby the government to fund the final two buildings of our Master Plan within their first term of government. This was a promise that Labor made to us, and Council members are keen to keep up the pressure in the hope that this promise will be a reality in next year’s budget.


WORKING BEE – Thank you to all parents who came to our working bee last weekend. We tidied up the garden beds around the Wellbeing Centre and the front of the school in preparation for our Open Morning. Some of us spent a bit of time picking up rubbish, especially on the far side of the Wellbeing building where students are using the vegetated drain as a bin. We also pulled a wheelie bin out of the dam! I’m hoping that we can work towards being a Nude Food School, but in the meantime, please encourage students to bring home their rubbish, or pack lunches with minimal packaging.

UNIFORMS – It’s getting cold, so it’s time for students to transition into their winter uniform. There are skirts, pants, two different types of jumpers and a warm jacket that they can wear. Remember that it is a departmental requirement that all students in technology labs, workshops and kitchens are wearing closed in leather shoes. The year 7 students look fantastic in their new uniforms, so let’s make sure the rest of the school adhere to the dress code.


OPEN MORNING – There was a terrific turn out the recent Open Morning, with prospective Year 6 students from a range of primary schools coming to have a tour with their parents. Business Manager, Elissa O’Connor, has put together some very useful information packs, so pick one up from her if you would like a copy for a friend or relative who couldn’t make it to the Open Morning.


DRAMA SUPPORT GROUP – This group of parents held a sausage sizzle fundraiser in Mostyn Street last Saturday to raise extra funds to support the drama department. We were so humbled by the amount of community members, particularly old timers, who stopped by simply to give us a donation. Funds raised $700.

You may have received a text message about donating cakes for this event. When you get these messages in the future, you will know that your baked goods donations are really appreciated in helping us raise money. There is a Music Support Group fundraiser on 27th May, so any cake donations are gratefully received down on Mostyn Street at 8am.


Council members are working hard to spread the message about CSC being the School of Choice for this community. Our Communications and Profile Portfolio have developed a Communications Strategy and set of guiding principles that we hope to work with the College to implement. Spreading good news stories will help to create a positive environment around the community – sometimes good news is something we all need a little more of.


Parent information


We are once again at the time of year where our Year 7 and Year 9 students undertake their NAPLAN testing. Tuesday 9th until Thursday 11th of May will see the students undertake the five different sections of NAPLAN. From the college point of view, we use the NAPLAN testing data to measure the change in our Year 9 students achievements compared to their Year 7 results. Our focus is generally on the overall results of the year level and it provides us with a valuable data set to see where we are having an impact. As a result, it is advantageous if we can have as many of our students undertake the test as possible and that the students give the test their best effort.


National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)

David Watson

Leading Teacher

What is the difference between Moodle and SMT(Xuno)?

There are two different IT programs used by the college so I would like to take the opportunity to outline the systems currently in use. SMT(Xuno) and Moodle have been designed for different uses. These are as follows:


SMT (XUNO)  - Originally designed as an IT system to assist in the daily organization of the school, e.g. record attendance, home contact details, roll marking and messaging. SMT will continue to be used for direct communication with parents by the school (i.e. messaging about absences). This requires a login to the portal There has been some feedback from parents who are confused about the dat

Your Username and password were provided in a letter at the beginning of the year.

You can 

  • Check student attendance
  • View school calendar
  • Access student timetables
  • Message your students teachers
  • View past reports
  • Book P/S/T interviews - when scheduled


Moodle – Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS). This means it is designed to allow access to what is being taught in the classroom.

We recognized the desire from the college community to have access to what is being taught in class so that parents can work with their students to ensure they keep up to date. In response, the college has embarked on providing online access to the curriculum to parents and students anytime, anywhere.  For parents to access the information they just need to go to the following address and log in as a guest – no password is required.

You can access

  • Each of the subjects your students are undertaking
  • Tasks that are being used in class.
  • Outline of the topics that will be covered either through the topic boxes or the course outlines.

Castlemaine Secondary College Parent Teacher Support Group

We would like to remind parents that there exists a wonderful opportunity to lend a hand at school through the Parent Teacher Support Group. John Terry and Cath South, former (and soon to be again) parents of CSC students are involved in processing requests from teachers. In the past, tasks that parents have worked on have included photocopying, gardening, guest speaking or providing technical advice, and even knife-sharpening! To register your interest, please email Cath South, [email protected] and you will be included in the group email for future requests.

Hop, Step, Jump, Run!

CSC Athletics Carnival

The 2017 Castlemaine Secondary College athletics day was a great success and the levels of participation for the events was fantastic. House colours and brilliant costumes were proudly worn by many students. This year the Athletics returned to Wesley Hill Oval. VCAL student ran a successful BBQ and VET foods student ran a food truck.  The principal’s gift added to the festival feeling of the day.

While the overall results were a tight affair, congratulations go to the winning house Pennyweight!

Athletics Results

  • 1st Pennyweight
  • 2nd Kaweka
  • 3rd Moonlight
  • 4th Kalimna

Age Group Champions

13 Girls Grace Alford Koole

13 Boys Hugh O’connor

14 Girls Abigail Gunter

14 Boys Eli Saunders

15 Girls Chloe Langley

15 Boys Levi Chaffey and Otis Showell-Roche

16 Girls Bridie Semmens

16 Boys Arlo Johnston

17 Girls Sidney Showell

17 Boys James Chaffey

20 Girls Taylah Satori

20 Boys Jackson Byrne

CSC Records Broken on the day!

Shahni Bassett- 20 Girls Triple Jump

Jade Richardson- 16 Girls High Jump

Brianna Pedretti- 16 Girls Shot Put

Bridie Semmens- 16 Girls 800m, 400m and 1500m

Sidney Showell- 17 Girls Shot put

Jacob Looker- 17 Boys Shot Put

Grace Koolen- Alford- 13 Girls 1500m

Jemma Finning- 15 Girls 1500m



Redevelopment continues at CSC

Families attending the Parent, Student & Teacher conferences or Open Morning this week may have noticed that CSC has resumed our redeveloped program. 


Over the holidays, building contractor AW Nicholson moved on site to commence the construction of the Performers’ Precinct.  Spaces at the eastern end of the 200 and 300 blocks, as well as the shed adjacent to the gym have been demolished to make way for the new building.


This project will be completed in December this year and includes learning areas for music and drama.  Media areas, general purpose classrooms and a staff office to be built at a later date will complete the Performers’ Precinct.


Contracted by DET to undertake this project is construction company AW Nicholson.  Having had previous experience working with Nicholson on the building of the Wellbeing Centre, we warmly welcome them back.  AW Nicholson employs local and regional sub-contractors including Castlemaine company PCE Services.


With the eastern carpark at CSC now within the fenced off construction zone, families may find parking in the main carpark more difficult.  During this period, we encourage you to park along the north side of Lawson Parade and enter the campus via the small north gate.


We are very excited to be continuing our work towards the complete redevelopment of CSC’s Blakeley Road campus and will keep the updates coming!

Elissa O’Connor

Business Manager



Family Finances Update

Family statements will be sent out shortly giving families the opportunity to check that their finances for the College are in order. For those students participating in the music program, term 2 music tuition has now been added to your account.  Payment for music tuition must be paid on a term by term basis to enable your child/ren to participate in the program, ideally within the first 2 weeks of term.

Payment plans for all fees, camps and music tuition are encouraged for families with financial difficulties, bearing in mind that if you are using payment plans for music tuition and camps the full payment is required prior the camp departing and within the first 2 weeks of each term for music tuition.  Unfortunately excursions cannot be added to payment plans and we can no longer accept excursion forms at the office without the payment attached – for those families who have a credit or CSEF funding available to use please make a small note on the excursion form advising of this.


CSEF Applications

Just a reminder for families to submit their CSEF application forms to the college by 30 June if they haven’t already done so.


Karen Burton

Family Finance Manager


World around us

Voulez-vous faire du surf avec moi?

Our fourth group of French exchange students loved the surf at Anglesea this year. They experienced some excellent weather conditions and many of them managed to get up on their boards. This was one of the excursions they participated while staying here in Castlemaine with families of CSC students. Other activities included a visit to Sovereign Hill and the Ballarat Wildlife Park. They also went to Melbourne to see the Vic market and other shopping experiences as well as up the Eureka Skydeck for fabulous views of Melbourne. Our CSC host families also gave them some wonderful experiences, both local and further afield of life in Australia. The French group also spends time in the school going to classes to see what the system of education is like here. In our French class they were happy to help by talking to many of our French students and assisting them with their French conversation. We also compared schools and there were some interesting observations about the differences between us. They noted firstly how the Australian students have a better relationship with their teachers than they do in France.

The exchange is a biennial two-way event whereby our students will travel to France in September and stay with the families of the students who come here. We have had some excellent feedback from both French and Australian parents about the program. Our students have made some great relationships while they were here and so they are really looking forward to the return visit to Arras.


Jane MacDonald

French Exchange Co-ordinator

Host Families for Japanese Students 2 -6 August 2017

We are again fortunate to have a group of students from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan visit our College this year.

To enable this to run smoothly, we are looking for students and families to host these students whilst here.


This is a truly rewarding and worthwhile experience.  Primarily we are looking for families of year 7 to 9 students, but any year level would be more than welcome. The  application forms are available from the reception office for anyone that is interested.


If you would like more information or have any queries please contact Lyn Ellery on 5479 1111.  Thank you.


Lyn Ellery 

Japanese Exchange Co-ordinator

'Make Your Own App' Excursion

On Friday the 21st the CSC VCE Computing and Software Development classes took an excursion to La Trobe University. There they learnt about the fundamental basics of programming a mobile application using MIT App Inventor. This is a cloud-based visual programming language with an Android emulator for rapid development. Thanks to La Trobe for hosting this event. The class was able to learn the inner working of the mobile apps which we use every day, from Snapchat to Safari. During the excursion, the class was taught about functions, variables, arguments, expressions and statements, the five necessary cornerstones to every software program.


We also had time to explore the La Trobe campus including their library and some of the services available to students on campus. Despite the very wet weather, we all had a great day.

Fletch, Year 10


Photo: Victorian Government’s Youth Summit at the MCG

What have students been up to?

Photo: Victorian Government’s Youth Summit at the MCG

Year 10 Work Experience Program 2017


This is a reminder that the Year 10 Work Experience Program for 2016 is scheduled to take place during the week 24th to the 28th of July this year. This is the 2nd week of Term 3.

A major component of the program is for students to be active participants in the organising of their placement. It is also recognised that many students need support in finding their placements. To access this support I need them to come and make contact with me as soon as possible.

Once a placement is obtained I will prepare the relevant documentation for signing. For the preparation of the documentation I need the following information:

  • Business Name;
  • Business Address;
  • Business Contact person – both First and Surname;
  • Business Phone contact;
  • Business email (if available).

Year 10 students undertaking a VET program this year are strongly recommended to combine their VET placement and Work Experience in the same placement.

Mr Cook

MIPS/Work Experience Co-ordinator,

Castlemaine Secondary College.


Thank you to all the students who represented the school at the Castlemaine service. The rain held off to allow everyone to pay their respects to those who have served and continue to serve protect our right to freedom. School Captains Meaghan & Ben were amongst the guest speakers and former student Lieutenant Colonel Mike Freeman gave a personal account on his service career. 


SRC Update

The SRC has been very busy! The second last day of term saw the SRC raise $1,350 for the World’s Greatest Shave with Ms McPherson dying her hair and Mr Samuel shaving off his beard. As part of the lunchtime activities, the Hall family kindly donated their time and expertise in setting up a bouncy castle and the SRC held a sausage sizzle with live music.


Delegates from the SRC attended the Victorian Government’s Youth Summit at the MCG. The summit gave young people aged 12 to 25 from across the state the opportunity to discuss the issues and ideas that matter to them.


Highlights from the summit were discussions around Employment opportunities for young people and mental health support in all schools.



Sing, Dance, Act

Music Support Group

The Music Support Group will be running a sausage sizzle/cake stall on Saturday 27th May outside the newsagent on Mostyn Street. All monies raised will be used for music  students to assist in funding piano tuning, instrument repairs and purchasing sheet music. Please help the Music Support Group by baking a glorious cake for the cause. Cakes/slices/jams/plants etc can be dropped off from 7:30am on the day. 

Thanks so much for your continued support of our wonderful music program.

Kirsten Boerema
Music Coordinator


Rebecca's Dancing Success

Rebecca Parsons of year 11 was awarded $2000 from the Dominique Segan Emerging Artist Mentorship for 2017 during the Castlemaine State Festival.


This provides her with $2000 to  further her dance education and Rebecca is still considering  how she will use this money. Well Done!


Festival Opening Night


What is cooking at school

Dear parent and students,


With the whirlwind of setting up the new canteen in our combined campus, it was a very busy first term for The Growing Abundance Canteen team.

We now have all our equipment and are settled in and so it is a good time to say hello to you all and introduce ourselves to those who are new to the school community.


Who are we?


We are The Growing Abundance Project, a non profit organisation that champions local food. We are committed to providing nutritious food to our community while supporting our local growers and economy.

Our canteen staff are all local parents with kids who have attended CSC in the past, present and a few who will be attending in the future. We are truly invested in this school and the success of it’s students.


It is an absolute pleasure to feed the kids of Castlemaine Secondary College. They are a diverse bunch! We started the first term with a limited kitchen but a bounty of local fruit. Plum muffins were a huge hit. As we move into crumble weather, the apples, pears and even quinces are in constant use.

The school’s little garden has provided us with tomatoes for salads, toasties, BLTs and pastas. We have even snuck a little school-grown kale into the coleslaw, salads, pizzas and fried rice!

We are very excited about the CSC Sustainability Group which was formed last term by a group of passionate parents, students and staff. They have already set to work on a larger school garden plot. We can’t wait to use more herbs and vegetables grown right here in the school. The Growing Abundance Project has always strived to cut down on food and packaging waste. It is great to see a sustainability policy being implemented in the school that could help us achieve zero waste.


Our current menu is now available on the school website. As we move into Autumn and Winter it will be changing again. We will soon have an ATM machine in the canteen and are exploring the idea of online ordering for lunch orders.


Feedback and suggestions for how we can serve the students and staff of CSC is always welcome. Please drop us a line at [email protected]

We could not do what we do without our wonderful community volunteers. It is a great way to be involved in our school. If you would like to volunteer a few hours in the canteen, please email us at

[email protected]

Year 12 VET Kitchen Operations

Students ran the Konjo Mama Food Van at the school Athletics Day, providing hot, nutritious food for the athletes and spectators. Creamy pumpkin soup, a choice of meat or vegetarian lasagne, chilli beans with rice and spicy lentils were all on the menu and sold well! Freshly baked muffins were pulled out of the oven at regular intervals and coffee and hot chocolate sold like …. well, "hot cakes"!  Fun was had by all and the Year 12 students completed another successful assessment for their VET/VCE course.


Caroline Cook, VET Kitchen Operations Teacher

Wellbeing Team

Talking about 13 Reasons Why

Many will have heard in recent days about the recently released Netflix show, ‘13 Reasons Why’. The show is the story of a girl who suicides, leaving tapes for her classmates which place the blame on them.

Youth mental health and suicide prevention services worldwide, including Mental Health First Aid Australia, have expressed concerns about the show, especially the graphic nature of some of the scenes. Dr Claire Kelly says, "Telling young people they shouldn’t watch it may reinforce the idea that suicide shouldn’t be discussed. Instead, it’s important for the adults around them to be ready to talk to them about the content, and about what they should do if they or one of their friends needs help."


MHFA Australia has created two documents to help with this that can be accessed here:

Taken from MHFA website.


Calm Learning Space Update

The CLS has been a hive of activity this last few weeks with our fantastic volunteer mentors working with students to develop their literacy and numeracy skills. We have also been exploring some social emotional education, including the BRAVE program, along with some other resiliency based work, and some arts based therapeutic work for our more kinaesthetic learners.

Respectful Relationships in Schools Program

We just received notification that Castlemaine Secondary College has become a Partner School in the implementation of the Department of Education (DET) Respectful Relationships Program.

The Victorian Government is investing $21.8 million to deliver Respectful Relationships and as part of this, initiative Victorian schools will be supported to review their practices and policies, and model respectful relationships and gender equality across the whole school community.

Respectful Relationships Program is about tackling family violence through education; about becoming a member of society and succeeding in life and knowing how to build respectful relationships When young people build positive relationships with their teachers and peers they feel safer and happier at school, are more resilient and have positive social attitudes. The school’s involvement will commence later I the year.

More information can be found at


Doctor in the School- Youth Clinic

The Youth Clinic commenced Thursday the 4th of May with several of our students taking up the opportunity to meet with Dr Richard Mayes in an easily accessible and confidential environment.  Richard or Dr Louisa Hope will return every second Thursday and will be available to ensure all our students receive the health support, advice and treatment they need to reach their full potential.

During the next week a hard copy of the consent fact sheet (also available on CSC Moodle) will be sent out to all parents/carers. Our students will also receive a fact sheet regarding the clinic and information on how to access the clinic within the next week.

For more information, Mo odle Link, or contact the school.


Understanding Cyberbullying

Wednesday 26 April 2017

A free upcoming workshop in Castlemaine aims to help parents and carers better understand what they can do to keep young people safe online.

The two-hour workshop explains how young people are using social media and technology, along with steps to take if you are concerned about child cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is the use of technology to bully a person or group with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically. Cyberbullying can occur in many ways including abusive texts and emails, hurtful messages, images or videos, or nasty online gossip. 

“The workshop is a fantastic opportunity to improve your knowledge of the fast paced technology our young people are using,” said Melissa Fowler, Youth Development Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“It includes tips on how we can help young people to navigate safely online, and ways to discuss these topics with children and teenagers,” said Ms Fowler.

“We know from speaking with young people that mental health, wellbeing and bullying are important issues in our shire.

“If you want to learn more about online usage or if you are concerned about cyberbullying please come along to this free workshop.”

Event details

When: 6.00pm to 8.00pm on Thursday 18 May 
Where: Council Chambers, Civic Centre, corner of Lyttleton and Lloyd Streets, Castlemaine
RSVP: To Melissa Fowler on [email protected] or 5471 1826 by Friday 12 May.

The workshop is coordinated by Mount Alexander Shire Council as part of their commitment to supporting community members of all ages. It is delivered by an eSafety expert from the Office of Children’s eSafety Commissioner.


Diversity Group

The Diversity Group has been holding a zine making workshop to put together a zine for publication later in the year. They are also busily planning for IDAHOT (17th May).


Year 10 Engagement Day

On Wednesday 10 May we are excited to be running our Year 10 Engagement Day. Students at this year level will rotate through presenters who will address topics that include becoming a driver, mental health, careers and relationships. It should prove to be an interesting and thought-provoking day. More information will be sent out to parents of Year 10 students.

Lunchtime Activities




Good news!  Our library now subscribes to the following World Book Web products.

  • World Book Student—forms the foundation of an expansive reference database that includes over 40,000 encyclopedia and reference articles, plus thousands of links to outside web sites selected by World Book editors and contributors.  It also includes an extensive Dictionary and Atlas plus audios, visuals and animations.
  • World Book Advanced—tailored for the needs of older students, it includes encyclopedic content, integrates primary and secondary source databases plus more than 5,500 e-books in a single search. Over 700 e-books can be downloaded to e-readers and iPads, and there are a wealth of research tools that allow students to customise and save their work.


Our World Book subscription allows us to give you and your family access to this valuable reference source on your home computers 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.


We hope that your whole family will use the World Book sites often to help with homework, special projects, at-home learning and information seeking.


To access the World Book Web, follow these simple steps:

1.  Go to the World Book web site:

2.  Type in the following user Login ID:  castlemainesc

3.  Password:  castlemainesc


Please remember that login and password information is for students and their families only, and extending this information to people who do not live within the school district could result in loss of at-home access for our students.




The school is indeed fortunate to have local author Ellie Marney agree to participate in our Writer in Residence program. Ellie is the author of the mystery/thriller Every series (Every Breath, Every Word, and Every Move), and will be at the school on May 25th, 26th and 29th. She will be working with a number of classes from year 7 to 12 as well as running an intensive writing workshop for students wishing to develop their creative writing skills. Any interested students are encouraged to contact Ms McDonald in the library for more information.



Community Notices


Castlemaine Secondary College News
TGAP Canteen price list -Autumn 2017.pdf