Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter

31 August 2017
Issue Thirteen
Important Dates
Principal's Message
College Matters
World Challenge 2018
STEAM Matters - Science
STEAM Matters - Maths
English & Library 
In our community
Mentone Girls' Secondary College
(03) 9581 5200
Corner Balcombe Road & Charman Road
Mentone, Victoria, 3194

Important Dates


Wednesday 30 August  to Friday 1 September 

Year 10 Camp 


Monday 11 September

9am, College Tour 

Beachside Track & Field competition


Thursday 14 to Thursday 28 September

Japan Study Tour


Wednesday 20 September

VCE Recital Evening


Thursday 21 September

College Assembly


Friday 22 September

Term 3 ends. Early dismissal

Term 4 

Monday 9 October

Term 4 starts 


Tuesday 10 October

6.30pm, 'The Two worlds of Your Teenage' Book launch


Monday 16 October

9am,  College Tour


Monday 23 October

College Assembly


Tuesday 24 October

Year 12 Celebration Assembly

Year 12 Valedictory dinner 


Wednesday 1 November

Year 12 VCE Exams commence 


Monday 6 November

Staff ProfeD day (Student Free Day) 


Tuesday 7 November

Melbourne Cup Public Holiday


Thursday 9 November

9am, College Tour


Friday 10 November

College Assembly 


Tuesday 21 November 

7pm, Presentation Night, Robert Blackwood Hall


Monday 27 November

Headstart begins 

Principal's Message

Dear Parents & Guardians

What a hub of activity it has been at Mentone Girls’ Secondary College.  It was lovely to have been able to spend time with parents and students last night at the Parent/Teacher/Student conferences.  I always enjoy these events as it is a time when there is that old fashioned face-to-face interaction that is so important in communities.  I would like to acknowledge our wonderful teaching staff who strive to provide the girls with an engaging curriculum everyday.


We continue to be in partnership with the University of Melbourne through the Graduate School of Education Masters of Education program.  Through this program, we have 11 teacher candidates (once referred to as student teachers) join our school to observe and take classes under the guidance of our experienced teachers.  This is a valuable experience for all involved and they bring much to our school.


I was very impressed with the calibre of the students performing in the Winter Concert last week and the audience numbers reflected that there is a high regard for this program.  I can’t recall seeing so many parents with their camera phones out videoing since my own girls performed in concerts during their school years.  The talent of the girls was outstanding and this is a credit to the music teachers and the instrumental music staff.  As a parent of daughters who played a number of instruments and performed in many events over the years, I appreciate that music is more than a development of skill.  It is a program that contributes towards the development of self-esteem, ability to work as a team and promotes a love of the arts. Under the guidance of our new Director of Performing Arts, Tim Veevers, this area of the school program continues to flourish. 


Finally, I would like to update you on the plans for the development and improvement of areas within the school.  A library consultant has visited to work with us on re-imagining our library.  We anticipate reinvigorating the library in term 4 to make this an exciting and contemporary learning environment for all of our students. 


Kind regards


Linda Brown


College Matters

Summer Uniform

From Friday 1 September either winter of summer uniform can be worn. From Wednesday 1 November all students must wear summer uniform.  

Uniforms can be purchased from the official supplier, Costume World at 1291 Nepean Highway Cheltenham or from the Parents and Friends Association operated Second-Hand Uniform Shop. Located on campus it is open during term on Tuesdays 2.45pm to 3.45pm and Wednesdays  8.15am to 9.15am.  

Book Launch - 'The Two Worlds of Your Teenager'

Sonya Karras and Sacha Kaluri are two of Australia’s most sought after motivational speakers. They are regularly visitors to our school, running engaging workshops for the Year 12s.  They are known as social commentators, columnists, television and radio presenters,  directors of the Australian Teenage Expo and now authors.

Their first book The Two Worlds of Your Teenager gives  parents skills to communicate with their teenager when they enter the workforce and party scene at the same time.   There is a special launch and opportunity to meet the authors for our community on: 

Tuesday 10 October at 6.30pm

Nina Carr Lecture Theatre

RSVP: 9581 5200 by 20 September 

This is a free event. Books will be available to purchase. 


Carol Duggan

Assistant Principal

Parent Opinion Survey

Thank you to the parents who have responded to the annual Parent Opinion Survey.  Families that were selected to take part in the survey can still respond. The deadline has been extended to Sunday 3 September.  The links and more information about the survey are in the email previously forwarded. 

Interim Reports & Parent/Teacher/Student interviews

Interim reports are available on Compass. These reports provide a snapshot of the students’ work habits, including their ability to work independently and collaboratively and their completion of classwork and homework.

This term we held two Parent/Teacher/Student interview sessions – one for Year 12/Unit 4 students on 15 August and the second one for Year 7-11 students on 29 August. Both were well attended.

I shall be seeking feedback from staff, students and parents about the structure of these interviews for 2018. Our aim is provide timely feedback on student performance and strategies for further improvement.


Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal 

International Student Program & ELC News

The ELC students are currently completing their English Language Centre (ELC) Passports. The passport is a document completed by the students: they have to interview various staff members, asking them a couple of questions, recording their answers and obtaining a signature as evidence of their meeting. At the end, a photograph of the student is included which is stamped and endorsed by the Principal. This is an interesting and engaging activity that allows each student to meet various staff members of the College and build their social skills.

A new position has been created for the International Student Program from 2018 - a VCE International Students Officer. This is exciting for the program as the teacher will be counselling the students from Year 10 onwards on their choice of subjects as well as supporting them with study skills.

We will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival on the last Friday of this term. During our celebration, we hope to see friends of the international students as well as homestay parents and ISP students parents. 


Ekaterina Xanthopoulos

ISP and ELC Manager

Earn & Learn

Please keep collecting Earn & Learn stickers to provide extra resources for the students. They can be dropped in the collection box near the General Office. The Woolworths promotion runs until Tuesday 19 September. 


Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week 

 MGSC has introduced a student-led wellbeing initiative - the Student Wellbeing Team. We aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing through events emphasising the importance of mindfulness and gratitude.

'Random Acts of Kindness' was the theme of a week of activities this term. It was inspired by the belief that kindness is the foundation of positivity and hope and is relevant and valued by everyone.  It sparks wisdom that holds great power hidden inside of us. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia


The RAK week was launched with free hot chocolate served by our long time partner, Kingston Youth Services, with an act of kindness goal attached. The acts of kindness rolled out to the entire school with a different focus for each day - staff appreciation, environment appreciation, peer appreciation and finally self-care and gratitude. On Friday we celebrated the things we were grateful for with music, sweets and a gratitude poster where students shared what they appreciated most.  

It was an extremely exciting and meaningful week that brought us all together in celebration of each other and our differences. Moreover, we raised awareness in taking care of others and ourself to extend that kindness cycle to our community and beyond.


Student Wellbeing team

World Challenge 2018

Payment due soon

In September, the first major instalment is payable directly to World Challenge.  Remember to use the MGSC team and your daughter's code/name in the banking reference.

There will be a 10km walkathon comprising four circuits of local streets to assist students with their fundraising. Paperwork will be available from the Middle School Office in the first week of term 4.


It is still too early for World Challenge to provide any firm itinerary plans. Consider starting to look for items from the kit list around Christmas with a view to finding bargains in store and online . 


Michael Warden

World Challenge Coordinator

STEAM Matters - Science

National Science Week report 

National Science Week, themed around Future Earth,  was enthusiastically recognised at MGSC over the week of 14 to 20 August.  There were activities and events at the school and around Melbourne that our students participated in. Here are some reports on their experiences. 


Louise Rieniets​

Science Domain Leader


Throughout the week, Year 7-10 students competed in the Education Perfect Science Championships, hoping their class would win the ‘pizza party’ prize (well done 8G – class winners). Congratulations to Emily Taylor 10D who scored the most points for MGSC. Overall, MGSC finished second in Victoria against 220 other schools.  As one of the Science Domain leaders, I organised a Kahoot challenge for the Year 7s in the JLC, with questions related to sustainability and the environment. During the entire week we promoted the ‘Keep MGSC Clean’ idea, walking around picking up rubbish and encouraging people to put their rubbish in the bin. So next time you finish lunch, do the right thing and put your rubbish in the bin! Let’s keep our school clean! And remember Science rocks!

Issy Jacques 10E


On Tuesday , Johnny and Sarah from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health gave a presentation to interested psychology students. They spoke to us about the relationship between stress and addiction and the effects addiction has on our brain chemistry. We also were taught about phobias and the type of research done at the Florey Institute. We have been learning about these topics in our Psychology classes and it was eye opening to see that what we are learning can be applied to our real lives and futures after school.

Katrina Young 12H


On Thursday morning,  ten VCE students attended a Science Breakfast at Mentone Girls’ Grammar (in partnership with the Alliance of Girls' Schools Victoria) to celebrate the achievements of women in science and meet guest speaker Dr Tania Obranovich. Holding a PhD in immunology, as well as a law degree, Tania spoke of her involvement in a recent highly public and controversial court case concerning the patenting of the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Her level of passion for such an influential issue was inspiring, and her experience of pursuing an interest in science and genetics was eye opening for everyone in attendance, particularly Year 11 and 12 Biology students. Tania placed an emphasis on the importance of the next generation of lawyers, politicians, accountants and teachers (almost all professions in fact) having a background and understanding of Science. Scientific advances, and laws and legislation surrounding these advances, will most likely directly impact everyone at some point in their lives, and it is our responsibility to understand and interpret the impacts of these decisions on our society. An enormous thank you to Ms Rieniets for organising MGSC's involvement in the breakfast.  The experience was truly valuable for all students who attended and will no doubt influence our consideration of a science-based career.

Jess Ryan 11F


Dessy Turk 10E and I entered the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Big Ideas Forum for Year 10s. We submitted a short video application outlining ‘What problem would you like to see scientists solve for the future of our society?’  If ANSTO shortlist us, we will get to spend three days in Sydney with scientists and researchers who will answer our question! We are very excited and are now waiting for results. Our video is posted here: This program aims to encourage young people using STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) as they are the ones who will take our society into the future.

Katie Barnshaw 10G


STEAM Matters - Maths

VCE Maths Exam Preparations

We strongly advise our VCE Maths students to make use of the exam preparation resources that can be found on our range of online environments.  Year 12 Maths teachers will be providing their students with copies of trial exam papers and solutions to assist with their preparations. VCE Maths Unit 3 & 4 October Tests are also being undertaking in Week 1 of term 4.

Students should also follow a number of useful hints when studying for their final exams:

  • complete all outstanding class work
  • undertake revision on all topics
  • have a key focus on revising material which you may have found more difficult to grasp
  • summarise your key rules/formulae with related examples
  • Further Maths (Unit 3 & 4) students are able to prepare a bound reference for use in both their exams, so work should be well underway with this
  • complete past VCAA and trial papers under simulated exam conditions
  • set up a study timetable that covers all your subjects
  • form a study group which supports your preparations
  • balance your studies with other activities to look after your general well-being

Other students in the Middle and Junior schools should also be looking at how they prepare for their own topic tests and any end of year exams. Forming good study habits early in your secondary school education will help boost both your confidence and results.


Maths Domain Team

Maths makes a real difference

English & Library 


The week beginning 4 September is National Numeracy and Literacy Week.  There will be a competition with a prize of a Dymocks Book Voucher valued at $40. Students will be asked to write in 50 or fewer words, what they view as very good literacy in the 21st century.

In September there will also be an internal writing competition which has two categories and some enticing prizes. This will be in relation to writing about another era to commemorate the two hundred year anniversary of Jane Austen's death.


Anne Gamble

English & Literacy Coordinator

Book Week celebrations

Our invited author Will Kostakis was a sensation on Friday 25 August.

Will spoke about his personal experiences growing up as a Greek boy in Australia and how he turned the memories of his relationship with his Greek grandmother into stories. We celebrated this great young Australian author while bringing out the hidden writing talent in our girls. He made us laugh with his stories and gave great tips for our budding writers. Will had a special talent for grasping the attention of his audience.

The participants in these workshops had an opportunity to try out their creative writing ability on the day. The workshops helped students build confidence and take pride in their work, develop creativity, improve literacy as well as inspiring deep thoughts. They certainly had a lot of fun on the day.

More than hundred students in Years 8, 9 and 10 participated in the writing workshops that ended with lots of sweets and fruit distributed among all students in the Library.


Neelika Kottachchi

Library & Information Services Manager



Winter Concert

Last week we hosted our annual Winter Concert. This concert featured all 11 College Ensembles, and over 200 students performed from all year levels.

It was a fabulous night for all who attended and was a good demonstration of excellence by our talented music students. Congratulations to all who were involved.



Tim Veevers

Director of Performing Arts


Year 7 Futsal 

The Year 7 Futsal teams competed in the Beachside Interschool Sport carnival on Wednesday 23 August. Mentone A team was in a pool with Cheltenham Secondary College , Elwood College and Glen Eira College and had three impressive wins of 6-2, 11-0 and 13-1. Mentone B and C teams were in a pool  with Elwood B and Leibler Yavneh College ​, with Mentone B drawing two games and Mentone C drawing one game.

​Mentone A played Yavneh in the final and won the game 5-1. The convener of the day applauded the A teams passing and team play as they scored an impressive 35 goals and only conceded 4 for the day. The star players of the A team were Emily Walker and Jade Lawless, along with Emily Green, Isobel Long, Tea Silva, Lilly Crofts, and Olive Lyons.

Congratulations to all representatives of MGSC and for the A team for being the Futsal tournament Champions. Go Mentone!


Anthony Bruhn

College House Coordinator


Year 8 Hip Hop Competition

The annual Year 8 Hip Hop  competition was completed on Monday.  After energetic displays of locking, krumping, moonwalking, roboting and new and old 'skool' dancing by our 'twitches' (all-female dance group), we had winners.  Congratulations to: 

1st - Anastasia, Georgia and Charlotte (8A)

2nd - Angel, Hannah, India and Ashleigh (8C)

3rd (equal) - Arshi, Acacia, Amelie, Maia, Amy, Erin (8G)

3rd (equal) - Kira, Nykita, Aoife, Lucy, Nacia (8GH)


Jackie Mathews

Health & PE Domain Leader

In our community

Holiday programs in Bayside

Bayside Council offers school holiday programs for 10 to 17 year  olds. More information on the attached flier.


Girls Cricket Clinics - Free to come & try 

Learn new skills, have fun and make friends playing cricket. Brighton District and West Bentleigh Cricket Clubs are offering four free cricket clinics for girls 8 to 16 years of age on Thursday nights in September at Insportz Sandringham. More information attached.


Saver Plus Program

This program assists parents on lower income with up to $500 in matched funds for their future school costs for items such as school books, uniforms, laptop/iPad, school shoes, stationery, music, art, sport etc.  See for more information. 

Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter
GirlsCricket_ClinicFlyer_Sept2017 - Copy.pdf
Spring School Holiday Program FLYER.pdf
Spring School Holiday Program FLYER.pdf
Spring School Holiday Program FLYER.pdf
BDCC_WmnsRecruitmentFlyer_2016_email (1).pdf
GirlsCricket_ClinicFlyer_Sept2017 - Copy.pdf