Oak News

23 August 2019
Issue Five
Important Dates
Principal's Report
Assistant Principals' Report
Director of Students
Director of Community Engagement
South Oakleigh College
(03) 9579 2322
Bakers Road
Oakleigh South, Victoria, 3167

Important Dates

Dates to Remember











Aladdin School Production

Aladdin School Production

Aladdin School Production

Monash Division Athletics Carnival

Year 10 Immunisations

Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences 12:00-7:00pm













Wellfest Week

Year 12 2020 Course Counselling

Spring Music Concert

SOC's Got Talent

Year 12 Trial Exams

Last Day Term 3 - 2:30pm dismissal


Term 4 begins

Year 9 Camp

Year 7 Immunisations

Year 12 Celebration Day

Year 12 Graduation Dinner





Principal's Report

How to Be a Better Student 

Ever wondered why you just can't seem to reach your full academic potential? It's likely that your brain isn't the cause but, rather, your lifestyle.

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 8, 2018



The following steps outline simple changes you can make so you'll be on your way to becoming the student you've always wanted to be.



This is common sense – if you go to class regularly you will become more successful in your studies and are more likely to perform well on exams. Every class missed is a class to be made up.


2. Participation

Going to class is one thing but paying attention and participating in class is another. Actively listen in class and ask questions!  If you’re not comfortable asking during class, wait and ask your teacher after the lesson. But if you’ve got a question, it’s likely that other students have the same question also.


3. Develop note-taking skills

Have you ever gone back to your notes when it’s time to study for the exam to find they are illegible or difficult to understand? 

Listening and actively taking notes during class not only ensures the recording of accurate information but also reinforces the information through note taking. Additionally, it's helpful to revise your notes at home in the evening and either rewrite them or outline key information while it's still fresh in your mind.  Then, at exam time, you'll find it's much easier to utilize your notes and retain clear information.


4. Set goals

Goals, both short and long-term, are a great way to measure success. If you don’t have goals, you have nothing concrete to achieve or strive for in your subjects.


If you set goals it’s easier to stay motivated and to measure your success against them.


But make sure your goals are realistic! While you should challenge yourself, you shouldn't set yourself up for failure either.


Remember, you can always set higher goals once you've achieved your first set.


5. Adopt and stick to a study schedule

Scheduling is vital to maintain a healthy learning balance and to keeping up-to-date with your subjects.


6. Stay well-rested

If you’re awake and alert, you’re certainly more likely to absorb information given in class.

Think of it as an equation: Awake + Alertness = A’s.


7. Take advantage of school and educator resources

As well as attending class there are a variety of resources available. All teachers are happy to provide assistance outside of timetabled lessons. Homework club is every Monday and Wednesday afternoon when staff are available to support students in all their subjects.


Using school resources for setting goals and creating positive study habits will contribute to success. Such resources include utilizing the school library, career and wellbeing services.


8. Healthy study techniques for proper exam preparation

Study techniques considered healthy include balance, time-management and avoiding all-night study cram sessions. Information is easier to absorb when reviewed in increments, rather than procrastinating until the last minute.


9. Extracurricular activities

It’s important to develop other interests and to participate in extracurricular activities.


In addition to community sports and hobby clubs, South Oakleigh offers a plethora of programs:

  • Book club
  • Senior Science club
  • Calligraphy club
  • Running club
  • Fusion
  • Greek dancing club
  • Production club
  • International students’ homework club
  • Breakfast club
  • Environment club
  • Media production group
  • Mosaics club

Extracurricular activities increase a student’s overall school experience, contribute to the learning process, and aid in maintaining a balanced lifestyle.


10. Study buddies

Collaborating with other students is a great way to learn - as long as you choose students who will stay on task with you.


Students who form study groups with one another often understand more through learning by teaching. When students explain concepts to one another they learn and absorb the information more easily.

Inversely, students that need clarification on areas of study are able to ask peers.


11. Take on a manageable course load

When considering subjects for next year, make sure you take on a well-balanced course load that you can  handle successfully.  

                                                                                                                                                       Ms Helen Koziaris                       

Assistant Principals' Report

Learning Technology program

In 2020 the College will enter the final phase of implementation of our Learning Technology program, with all students from Years 7-12 using a Learning Technology Device.

Our 1:1 Learning Technology Program is designed to prepare our students for successful 21st Century careers.

The program will promote:

• Anytime, anywhere collaborative learning

• In-depth critical thinking

• Immediate, effective and timely feedback

• Real world problem solving

• Using ICT effectively for learning.


To ensure delivery by the end of Term 4, Year 9 2019 families are asked to place their order for devices through the College with a deposit of $300 by September 13.  The College provides flexible payment options which families can explore by contacting our Business Manager, Ms Cara Ludbrook (ludbrook.cara.c@edumail.vic.gov.au).


Devices purchased through the college will be fully supported and are inclusive of a three-year warranty and onsite repair by the supplier. Families who have already purchased a device via our current Portal will continue to be supported.

The Right Device for Learning

Much consideration has been made in recommending a stylus enabled device to ensure students are able to access the use of a digital pen for learning. Research shows that when students have the opportunity to think freely, hand write, and annotate when note taking (through the use of a digital pen over a keyboard) cognitive overload is reduced, deeper connections between key concepts are drawn, and more ideas generated.

Source: Professor Sharon Oviatt ‘The Future of Educational Interfaces’


For any questions regarding our 1:1 Learning Technologies Program, and to learn more about the advantages of purchasing a device through the College, please contact our Learning Technologies Coordinator, Mr Lony Hem. (hem.lony.l@edumail.vic.gov.au).

Year 10 Curriculum 2020

In 2020 the College will implement an enhanced Year 10 Curriculum designed to provide students with a greater range of subjects and the opportunity to personalise their course. 


All students will continue to complete studies in the following:

Year 10 English/EAL/Advanced English

•Year 10 Maths or Maths Methods Preliminary

•Year 10 Health and Physical Education


Students will be able to select from three year-long science options:

•Year 10 General Science

•Year 10 Biochemistry

•Year 10 Physics and Systems


Students will also be given the opportunity to select from two year-long Humanities options:

•Year 10 History

•Year 10 Commerce


 In addition to the above, students can also select from a variety of additional electives:

Café Catering

Theatre Studies

Health & Psychology

Textiles Product Design


Creative Industries

IT Coding


Human Movement



Year 10 students who wish to be enrolled in a VCE subject are required to complete an application form and meet with course counsellors to gain approval.

House Athletics Carnival

Congratulations to Ms Asyo, Ms O’Reilly and the PE Staff who organised a fantastic House Athletics Carnival on Thursday 8 August. Although  cold, the day was mostly free of rain allowing all students to maximise their contribution and enjoyment. The track was filled with athletes participating in their House Colours and students in the grandstand were vocal in supporting their team mates.


A special thank you to our staff who were busy raking pits, measuring shot put, discus and javelin attempts, recording place judging, providing First Aid, supervising, coaching and cheering.


The Student Voice Team ensured everyone’s thirst and appetite was satisfied during the day by operating a very functional canteen.


Finally, well done to Mr Orologas and Acacia for being winners at the Athletics Carnival for 2019.


Mr Tony Katsianos

Mr Mark Picone

Director of Students

How to find balance in your life during Year 12

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. - Thomas Merton.

Balance can be divided into two categories: internal and external.

Internal  includes your mind, your heart and your health.

External includes work, school and family.


How to prepare for the English Exam

The English examination is fifteen minutes of reading and three hours of writing. Each section of the examination is equally weighted, so it is wise to spend approximately one hour on each section. Within each period of time, students need to study the task and topic meticulously, think carefully and plan methodically, before beginning their writing. For many students, it is also wise to leave enough time at the end of each piece to proofread the work before moving on to the next task.


Students should bring an English and/or bilingual printed dictionary. It must not, however, contain any highlighting or annotation and  may not contain a thesaurus. Electronic dictionaries are not permitted. The dictionary can be used for clarification of terms and for checking spelling and may be used during reading time.

Section A – Text Response

Section B – Comparing Texts

Section C – Analysis of Language Use

Source: Bob Hillman, senior English teacher, Trinity Grammar School, Kew.

It’s time. Are you ready? Exam period is closing in!

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.  It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that! -Rocky Balboa

Australian Geography Competition  

Congratulations to our students who entered this year’s competition,  joining the  73,000 students from across Australia. The competition encourages students to take an interest in geographical concepts and ideas while at the same time promoting curiosity in the physical world around them.


Genevieve Windsor Year 7 received a distinction

Takoda Perkins Year 7 received a credit

Alejandro Mariona Year 8 received a distinction

Callum Cheung Year 7 received a participation

Cameron Robinson Year 9 received a distinction

Esther Walker Year 9 received a distinction

Janvi Chaudhary Year 9 achieved a credit

Swagta Malhotra year 9 achieved a credit

Mehak Dhingra Year 9 received a participation

Maple La Year 8 received a participation

Lilit Dabagyan Year 10 achieved a credit

Ethan Walker Year 11 received a high distinction

Andrew Leap Year 11 received a credit.


Careers in this field could include:


Environmental consultant

Town Planner

Conservation Officer

Recycling Officer



Ms Kalouda Pelitidis

Director of Students


Director of Community Engagement

Year 12 Valedictory Dinner

To mark the end of thirteen years of schooling we will celebrate the achievements of our Year 12 students with a Valedictory Dinner at Merrimu Receptions. All Year 12 students and their parents are invited, with tickets going on sale shortly.


In the meantime, fundraising events will be held to reduce the price of tickets. One of the fundraising events is hosted by Tastepoint. Click on the link to book your spot for this fundraiser.


Years 10 and 11 Formal and Years 7,8 and 9 Disco

Another exciting initiative being launched this year is a formal for Years 10 and 11 students, to be held on Friday 13 September. An organising committee of students are planning the function and it promises to be a great night.


Late in Term 2 Years 7, 8 and 9 students put on their dancing shoes and attended a disco in our gym. Pizza, soft drink and a DJ ensured a great night was had by all. A big thank you to our Parents and Friends Group for organising this event.

Primary Schools

At South Oakleigh College we continue to forge close links with our local primary schools. Last term we had South Oakleigh students assisting at primary school athletics carnivals, sports competitions and various other events.


I had the pleasure of being invited to the Oakleigh South Primary School end of term assembly where Grade 5 students presented on their five -lesson visit to our school. I was delighted to see how they valued the program and reiterated how we enjoyed having Oakleigh South students visit.


We were also fortunate to have Huntingdale Primary students join us for a series of science lessons. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they undertook a series of practicals where they used bunsen burners and created rockets.


Later this term, students from Clarinda Primary School will join us for a program.


After-school Program

Each term we hold an after-school program for our local Grade 5 students. So far this year we have held Coding  Advanced Maths and this term, a STEM program. It is gratifying to see our staff giving primary students an opportunity to develop higher level thinking skills through these activities.


Mr George Tzimourtas


Year 7 Monash Tech School Excursion

Year 7 Science students participated in an innovative educational program devised, in conjunction with industry partners, to foster design-thinking and 21st Century skills. An on-site experience at Monash Tech School included:

  • a tour of the facilities
  • use of new technologies to encourage a fresh understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • development of team working ability
  • introduction of experiential design thinking skills

Students were exposed to new technology and machinery, the design thinking process and collaborative problem solving and were required to create either a bionic, implant or wearable device to support a condition of the body – hence the name of this program: SUPERHUMANS.


Students read about a patient who had an issue with their hand, eye, heart or kidney, then worked on a prototype to support their condition. Students worked through various layers of understanding to develop a holistic approach to solve the problem.


Once students had arrived at their plan they used software to build their 3D model then a high tech device was used to make a prototype. 


The final component of this experience was for the team to create a presentation around their prototype - a 'pitch' to the audience. 

Students worked in teams communicating and collaborating with each other in a respectful and supportive manner.  They invested time and energy and ensured equity of contribution to solve a real-world problem.  Conflict resolution, sharing of opinions and justifying an idea were all part of this future skills-based program.


Judging by the smiles, energy and commitment shown by our students the program was a success.


We would like to thank the team at MTS for providing us with the opportunity to visit their new premises at Monash University and to participate in this innovative 'real world' learning opportunity.


Mr Steven Kuruc

Science teacher


Year 8 Monash Tech School Excursion

For three days, two Year 8 Science classes visited the Monash Tech School to explore how renewable energy could impact towns in Victoria.

In teams, they created a company which was tasked with setting up a type of renewable source in a given Victorian town. The choices of renewable energy were either: hydro, solar, biofuel or wind. Half of the team created an app to be used to educate the town about why they should implement renewable energy, and  they identified key advantages to the technology.


The other half used a program to simulate what the town would look like with renewable energy. Students were required to be creative in their problem solving to generate data about the town when using renewable energy.


Students enjoyed the opportunity to think about a real-world problem in this great facility which allowed them to develop their STEM skills in a new and challenging environment.

Ms Emma Love

Science teacher


Year 11 Legal Studies Excursion – County Court

On 24 June Year 11 Legal Studies students visited the County Court of Victoria. In unit 1 we studied both criminal offences (homicide, arson) and civil actions (negligence, defamation) and we were keen to see our court system in action.


After a small delay passing through security we were escorted into an empty courtroom and introduced to Her Honour, Judge Frances Hogan, who shared with us the details of some of the grizzly cases she has presided over. Students then asked the Judge questions they had prepared, and Her Honour was both honest and open about her life as a Judge.


Judge Hogan was particularly impressed when students presented her with a South Oakleigh College ‘showbag’ complete with stress ball (for her stressful job) and pen (for all her paperwork).


The Tipstaff then accompanied us to other courtrooms to see closing arguments in the Armaguard heist case, then submissions in a civil case brought by a client against their own solicitor.


We also witnessed a media mobbing of Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson as he exited the Magistrates Court after an adjournment of his case.


The day provided us with not only an insight into how reality differs from the way legal cases are reported in the media, but it was a tantalising trailer for our study of Thompson’s case as we look at sanctions and sentencing in Unit 2.

Ms Jacinta Marlborough

Legal Studies Teacher


Certification of Attainment in Greek (Hellinomathia)

Four students have obtained the Certificate of Attainment in the Greek Language with High Distinction. We congratulate the following students:

Lydia Pouliezou—achieved the Level C2 of performance

Despina Kirketsou—achieved the Level C1 of performance

Eva Tsoukala—achieved the Level C1 of performance

Eva Goutsos—achieved the Level B1 of performance


Preparation for the acquisition of the State Certificate of Attainment in Greek (Hellinomathia) is a pedagogical opportunity for students to improve their skills in the Greek language, acquire a rich vocabulary, use the language in communication and develop the following examined skills: reading comprehension, listening, production of oral speech, and writing.


Students, after succeeding in the examinations, receive a certificate that proves their level of proficiency in the Greek language.


This process motivates them to study the language in depth and follow a rigorous academic program. People who obtain the Certification are recognized worldwide for their language qualifications and can study in universities in Europe including Greece, United Kingdom, and USA.


The Certificate of Attainment in Greek is the only certificate officially recognised by the Greek Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious affairs. It confirms knowledge of Greek as a foreign/second language at 6 levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.

Ms Dimitra Maniatis

Greek teacher






Eastern Regional Cross-Country event

On a wet winter’s day, a team of 25 SOC students set out to Yarra Glen Racecourse to compete in the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Cross-Country event. The rain and cold weather did not stop our students’ enthusiasm and athleticism.


Each age group had approximately 100 - 120 students competing and SOC was proud of the efforts of all students, in particular Year 9 students Cameron Robinson, Andre De Vries and Yousef Altuwayjiri who achieved places in the top 30 of their respective races.


SOC celebrated the success of Luke La Greca from Year 9 who finished 1st in his race and Kohen Umezu from year 8 who finished 9th. Both boys will compete in the upcoming State Cross Country Championships.


We wish them the best of luck for the races ahead!


Ms Noor Asyo

Sport Coordinator


State Cross Country Finals

SOC was proud and delighted to have Kohen Umezu from Year 8 represent the school at the State Cross Country Championships on July 18. Kohen ran an impressive 3km race to place 38th out of 90 runners, with a time of 10:55 minutes.


We celebrate this outstanding result as it demonstrates Kohen's hard work and dedication.


Great effort Kohen!!


Ms Noor Asyo

Sport Coordinator


Senior Girls Soccer

On Wednesday 17 July our senior girls’ soccer team travelled across town to the Darebin International Sports Centre to play in the regional finals.

They played three matches in Pool One, improving with every game. The first encounter was an arm wrestle against Kew which resulted in a 1-1 draw. The second match was a sound confidence- building win over Melba, 2-0. The girls continued to improve with a dominant performance in the driving rain over Koonung 2-1, the favourites in Pool One.


This was a rainbow win for the girls who had now earned the right to play Mt Waverley, the winner of Pool Two, in the final.


They approached the game with confidence, but unfortunately our girls fell short to an older, bigger bodied, well drilled outfit with a star goal kicker to go down by four goals.


Over the four games, we were privileged to witness some individual feats of dazzling skill and several acts of raw courage. The girls never gave up, playing tireless quality soccer to the end and most noteworthy was how the they performed as a cohesive and effective team. 


Congratulations to Ms Sara Downs for putting in the time and effort to train this proud outfit representing South Oakleigh College.

Team Captain Stacie Varsamidis revs the team up before the first game

Ready to take on the opposition

Very happy team after a great win in the rain, hoping for a good omen in the final


Mr Michael Pittard

Soccer Coach

Athletics Carnival

The House Athletics Carnival was held Thursday 8 August at Duncan McKinnon Reserve.


With the weather forecast looking far from ideal, we prepared to batten down the hatches and trudge through the wind, rain and potential thunderstorms. Luck being on our side, we managed to make it through the day relatively dry with only small patches of rain and a few icy winds.


The competition offered students the opportunity to achieve success and gain points for their respective Houses through a variety of track, field and novelty events. The event also provided students with the chance to earn a place in the SOC Athletics team which will compete at the upcoming Monash Division Athletics carnival.


We congratulate ACACIA House as our School Champion. Age division champions will be announced via Compass.

The overall points tally for the event:

  • Acacia            -    1103 points
  • Grevillea       -    1080 points
  • Banksia         -      844 points
  • Waratah        -      753 points

The SOC Sport Staff express our appreciation to all students, staff and parents involved in the preparation, running and round-up of the day.


Ms Laura O’Reilly

Sport Coordinator


Year 10 camp

In the final week of Term 2, Year 10 students headed to camp at Alexandra near the Goulburn Valley. Despite frosty mornings and negative four degrees overnight, students enjoyed blue skies and sunshine which was unusual and extremely lucky for the middle of winter.

Students participated in a variety of activities including:

  • high ropes
  • giant swing
  • canoeing
  • laser tag 
  • archery

On the final day students headed out to a giant hedge maze and spent the afternoon exploring mazes, playing mini golf and drinking milkshakes.

A big thank you to all  staff who made the program possible.



Mr Chris Blattmann

Camp Coordinator



Wellbeing Team

  • Mr Michael Alexis– Director of Student Services
  • Ms Joyce Harris– School Chaplain (SU Victoria)
  • Ms Penny Hsiao– Adolescent Health Promotion Nurse (DET)
  • Ms Lan Liu – Master of Social Work Student


Headspace in schools

Year 12 can be a stressful time—juggling school responsibilities with home life, work and friends can become unbearable.


During July, Headspace in Schools presented to Year 12 students. This was followed with another presentation on August 7 geared specifically to our International Students.

The focus for both groups was on mental health literacy, how to support a friend if worried about them and keeping a healthy headspace. The discussion was also around the services available and how these may be accessed.


Phoebe from Headspace gave our year 12 students strategies and a better understanding of  how mental health issues affect young people.



The presentation was engaging with interactive segments challenging our students and allowing them to increase their knowledge by drawing on existing ideas.


Our caring staff at South Oakleigh are available to help all students in any area of their life. Sometimes, all you need is a conversation.


 These initiatives are designed to support the mental health and wellbeing of school communities through evidence-based mental health promotion, prevention, early intervention and postvention services. HEADSPACE


For 24-hour assistance contact a Headspace related service:

  • Call Lifeline
    13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline
    1800 55 1800

C.O.R.E. program

Throughout Term 2 and continuing into Term 3, the Wellbeing Team partnered with TESSA Inc. (www.tessainc.org.au) to run separate focus groups for boys and girls. The program is designed to equip our students with skills and knowledge to enable them to navigate challenges they may face in life. The program aims to tech self-discipline and self-control, better decision making and improved self-esteem through physical exercise, strength and resistance training, and mindfulness.

Brainstorm Productions

Years 7 to 10 students participated in compulsory incursions exploring a range of issues run by Brainstorm Productions. This theatre company aims to reduce incidents of bullying in schools and improve student behaviour and wellbeing.

Years 7 and 8    

The Sticks & Stones program explores gender stereotypes and negative patterns of behaviour that can develop through inappropriate modelling from peers, family members, TV, the internet and video games. It examines the link between hormones, the fight/flight response, aggression and violence


This hard-hitting narrative is punctuated with circus skills to demonstrate co-operation and strategies for improving self-control through breath, focus, and channeling energy into positive pursuits. 








The Sticks and Stones program covered:

 Respectful   Relationships

 Domestic Violence

Cyber Bullying
Conflict Resolution
Consequences and the Law

Sexual Harassment
Image Based Abuse
Communication Skills

Years 9 and 10              

The Flipside is an anti-bullying program that explores responsible and ethical use of technology for improving student wellbeing and mental health. 

The performance highlights the importance of personal responsibility, empathy and values in the digital world. When people post words or images, how will they be received? What will be the consequences?


The Flipside challenges students' perspectives on what's humorous, toxic, private, humiliating, informative, safe or appropriate online. The performance encourages them to think critically about their online values and behaviour and provides strategies for respectful communication.


The Flipside program covered:

 Cyber Bullying
 Social Media

Ethical Online Behaviour
Responsible Use of Technology

Digital Citizenship
Impulse Control
Digital Footprint
Cyber Safety


Online Bookings for Students

A reminder to Students that you can book appointments to see the Wellbeing team online through COMPASS.

Wellfest Week

Wellfest week is the first week of September 2 - 6 and there there will  be a  range of activities throughout the week.


Mr Michael Alexis

Director of Student Services

MAD Camp

Students are invited to:


for Secondary School Students

‘DIAMONDS in the ROUGH’ is the 2019 camp theme.


What is MAD camp?

MAD (Make A Difference) Camp is for young people keen to help each other change the world.


Join with others like you from around Victoria to learn how to be a culture-shaper at school,

at home, and around your community.


Secondary MAD Camp is for Year 7-12 students, and held at Camp Coolamatong, Banksia Peninisula during

1-4 October 2019 (in school holidays). Campers: $210


MAD camp provides an opportunity to GROW as an agent of positive change…right where you are.


For more information see the Wellbeing team.


Ms Joyce Harris

College Chaplain


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