Kurunjang Secondary College Newsletter

22 September 2017
Issue Two
Principal's Report
Dates to Remember
Gorton Young Leaders
A Helping Hand
Try a Trade Day
Girls Rugby Clinic
Just Dance
In the classroom with...
Student Reports
Water for Life 
Literacy & Numeracy Week Celebrations
Technology and Parenting
Kurunjang Secondary College
03 9743 9211
Kurunjang Drive
Kurunjang, VIC, 3337

Principal's Report


Even after many years of working in schools, I continue to be amazed by the extraordinary leadership skills of our students.


Quite often I am asked by members of the school community as to what I consider to be the fundamental ingredients of student leadership in school, and the extended community.

Passion, commitment, communication skills, active listening, seeing all sides of an issue, reacting swiftly, and thinking strategically should be fostered in all of our students if we want them to become valuable and productive members of our college community. Our college values of High Expectations, Respect and Perseverance are always at the core of successful student leaders’ work.


Every day, many of our students display these skills and many regularly are acknowledged both within and outside of the college for their achievements.


Just in the last two weeks, three of our students have had their leadership acknowledged within the wider community.


Aiden Leheny, Year 11 and member of the 3rd Melton Rover Crew, received the Queen’s Scout Award- one of the Scouting Community’s highest recognitions. Only a small percentage reach this level; these are the top achievers among Scouting’s 47 million members globally. To attain this top award in each of the five sections in Scouting reflects initiative in tackling this challenge, sustained effort over many months and years, self-discipline, teamwork, and leadership.


On Monday the 18th of September, Maddy Tibos and Lleyton Bush, two of our Year 12 students received the Gorton Young Leaders Award. The awards were presented at the electoral office in Caroline Springs of the Honourable Brendan O’Connor MP for our federal electorate area. These two students received the award for all round school leadership and for the out of class support to their peers and school community. There are many outstanding young leaders in this area and competition for these awards was extremely demanding, so we are very proud as a school of their achievements.


On behalf of the college community, I congratulate Aiden, Maddy, and Lleyton on their awards and look forward to hearing of their future successes.


In conclusion, I also want to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the many Kurunjang Secondary College Leaders who continue to display several of the qualities I have outlined and continue to make a significant contribution to our college.


I wish all of you a pleasant, and restful break.


John Mitsinikos

College Principal



Dates to Remember

Term 4

Monday 9th October

Term Four Starts


Thursday 12th October

Student Parent Teacher Interviews

(Students are to attend interviews with parents)


Monday 6th November



Tuesday 7th November



Tuesday 21st November

VET Awards Evening


Wednesday 22nd November

Yr. 12 Valedictory

Rock Band Concert


Monday 11th Dec to Thursday 14th Dec

Year 9 City Experience


Thursday 14th December 

Awards Evening


Friday 15th December



Friday 22nd December


Exam dates

Unit 3 & 4

Wednesday 1st Nov to Wednesday 22nd Nov


Year 10 & 11

Monday 27th Nov to Friday 1st December 


Year 9

Thursday 7th Dec & Friday 8th December


Gorton Young Leaders

2017 Gorton Young Leaders Award

On Monday the 18th of September Maddy Tibos and Lleyton Bush, two of our Year 12 Students received a Gorton Young Leaders Award. There are many outstanding young leaders in this area and competition for these awards was extremely robust, so we are very proud as a school of their efforts.


The awards were presented at the electoral office in Caroline Springs of Hon Brendan O’Connor MP for our electorate area. These 2 students received the award  for all round school leadership and for the out of class support to their peers and school community.


“Each recipient here has distinguished themselves as future leaders through their commitment to their education and their community"  Mr O'Connor said.  The  Young Leaders Award was created to recognise achievements of young leaders in the community. - Mr Cove




A Helping Hand

Supporting Birthing Kits Australia & the Zonta Club

One Wednesday 6th September the year 12 Health and Human Development students were involved in assembling birthing kits to send to developing countries in the Asia-Pacific or African regions. Although very simple, these kits reduce the number of infant and maternal mortality in developing countries.

The year 12 students have been studying the health of people in developing countries and how programs such as the Birthing Kit Foundation that we participated in, influence the health, human development and sustainability of the people living in these countries. - Mrs Hardham



Try a Trade Day

Try a Trade Day

10 of our PreCAL students attended the ‘Try A Trade Day’ on Friday 1st of September.

The event was aimed at students who are interested in exploring an SBAT, Apprenticeship or Traineeship career pathway including carpentry, plumbing, electrical, automotive and a number of traineeship positions.

Students participated in a number of ‘hands on’ activities to explore a trade or traineeship that might be of interest to them.

They were given the opportunity to talk to industry professionals and receive career advice with some of Australia’s finest tradespeople and learn about where a trade career or a traineeship can take them.

- Ms Taylor



Girls Rugby Clinic

Rebels Girls Sports Clinic

On the 14th of September Sam Homewood the Rebels Rugby female game development officer and her staff took our girls for a rugby clinic. After the disappointment of our girls not being able to make the state tournament this year, it was great to have the Rebels development officers come down and share their knowledge and passion for the game. Everyone really enjoyed it. The following student’s thoughts were reflective of the general feedback I received about the clinic:

Cathy Ioane-Blake (u16 player)

(It was) …very good…the demonstration’s... and the games …helped me practice the basics…(when we) split up into the two groups practicing scoring tries(I really enjoyed it)…(Sam and her staff) they were good at explaining what to do…it was good and they were descriptive…

Angel Mulu- Jessop (U18 player)

It was really fun… they taught you actual tackling stuff…they were really supportive if you don’t understand…they were very understanding and would take it down if you didn’t understand it…they made it a happy environment… it was spacious and we always moved around we were not stuck in one spot… (I liked it because) it’s all fun and games…

Our girls have always been very talented and with more work our u14s will follow in the footsteps of our strong 2016 u16 girls who almost upset the State sports academy. Rugby is a tough game played by our brave young people.

- Mr Schwalgher



Just Dance

On Stage with Aidan Falzon

At school Aidan Falzon Year 8 is your normal everyday lad making mistakes and having fun. Not many would realize that away from school Aidan transforms himself into a sophisticated elite dancer. He has been dancing since he was five and started competing four years ago against couples from throughout the nation. He is so good that currently with his sister (dance partner) they are the current silver medalist in the 2016 Australian Ballroom Championships ‘Juvenile’ division. Aidan’s highest achievement was winning the ‘New Vogue’ Juvenile division at the 2015 National Championship with Hannah Smart.  Aidan moves so gracefully with every body movement precise and expressive. Aidan’s continual success shows the school values of high expectations, respect and perseverance. He puts in consistent effort, dedication, is passionate about his sport and has heaps of parental support. 



In the classroom with...

Mrs Tegan Aquilina

What is one of your hidden talents?



What makes a ‘great’ day at school?

Seeing my home group waiting for me outside our classroom.


Your dream vacation would be?

Spending time in Europe, shopping and eating my way through the different countries and cities.

What inspires you?

People who face adversity head on, never giving up.


What would students be surprised to find out about you?

I’m a twin! I have a twin brother.


If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?

You get out of life what you put in. So put your heart and mind into everything you do!


What is your favorite subject to teach?

Humanities- Love history especially Australian history


The best thing about being a teacher at the College?

Working with the many wonderful students and staff.

Student Reports



Water for Life 

Kids Teaching Kids

Our students have been selected to present at the Melbourne Water Kids Teaching Kids Conference in Melbourne next month and have chosen to focus on the world’s diminishing water supply.

Supervising teacher Ms Panagiotidis said the two-day event aims to inspire future environmental leaders from local schools to discuss environmental issues and pledge their commitment to make a difference.

The eight year 9 students will raise awareness about the state of the world’s water supply and the 663 million people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water.

This week they started fundraising for the Global Aid Network Australia’s Water for Life initiative with a goal to raise $5000 towards building a well in a rural village in Benin, West Africa.

Your support on the following auctions will significantly make a difference

All monies collected will go to the “GAiN Australia – Water for Life Program” www.kurunjangsc.vic.edu.au/auctions


Literacy & Numeracy Week Celebrations

4th -10th Spetember

Students helped celebrate the week by attending Maths Club at lunchtime.  Beautiful origami pieces were made with outstanding pieces created by Hoani-Ford in Yr. 7.  

Competitions for nine letter words scrambles and six word stories were held across the college.  


Technology and Parenting

The Myth of Multi Tasking



Being  a parent today has  plenty of challenges, none more so than keeping up with what our kids  are doing on their  devices. This is particularly the  case when we think  they should be using  their  time more productively.


These days so much of the  kids’ school work  and  study is done on a computer or tablet that it gets tricky  to discern how  much of their  screen time  is work  and  how  much is scrolling on Instagram or snapping on Snapchat.


Of course our kids don’t see a problem with  this.  They believe they are  pretty proficient multitaskers, able  to scroll  a social  media feed, live stream music,  answer a text message and  study for their  maths test at the  same time.


And we  shouldn’t be surprised that they think this,  because most of us think the  same. Most parents are  also now  regular users of a digital device and  also  believe we  can  multitask with  ease. We  routinely scan Facebook while  simultaneously stirring the  cheese sauce, breaking up an argument in the  other room and  listening to our partner recap their  day  at work.


The truth is that neither our kids nor ourselves can  effectively multitask and  do  the  best job possible at any given time. Research tells us that the  brain  has a finite amount of attention it can  devote at any one  moment in time. When we  pile tasks on top of one  another, we  reduce the  effectiveness of our brain  as it must now  share that limited resource amongst those multiple jobs.  We  are  not  multitasking – we  are  switch tasking. This means that each of those tasks takes longer as we  rapidly flick our attention from one  of them to another, refocusing each time. We  lose  momentum and  we  lose  efficiency.


So how  can  we  help  our kids (and  ourselves) stay  focused and  concentrate on one  task  at a time?


Have them  set  up study blocks

This can  start with  time  slots  as short as 20 minutes in which they focus on one  task  only for that period. The blocks need to be timed and  need to be devoted to only a single task.


Turn off notifications

The binging and  beeping of a device will always encourage diversion as the  owner feels  the  need to respond to their  messages or check that email.  By turning off all the  noise-based distractions, your kids (and  you) are  less likely to be interrupted during a focused study period.


Allow them  to reward  themselves

Each time  they manage to complete a set study period, they can  be rewarded with  a short break to do

something else. If this is checking social  media then they need to set a timer and  stick  to it. We  all know  how easily  we  can  get sucked into  the  vortex of social  media feeds and  never-ending scrolling. Other breaks might involve  playing with  a pet or listening to a song. Getting up and  moving to get the  blood pumping is a great way  to take a break and  ensure your brain  is ready to refocus when the  time  comes for the  next  block.


Invest  in an analogue clock

Use a clock  or a visual timer that counts down the  time  for each study period. When the  brain  sees time  literally ticking away it finds it easier to grasp the  concept of how  fast time  is going and,  in turn,  what is being accomplished in that time. This doesn’t quite work  the  same way  when we  use  a digital clock, so using  an analogue clock  can  be a really useful  exercise to try.


Monitor your child

When parents lament to me that they don’t know  if their  child  is doing any work,  or they are  always distracted by their  devices, then I ask them to have the  conversation with  them. Find out  what they are  doing and  if they are struggling with  anything. Look at how  they are  keeping up with  all aspects

of their  lives. Ask their  teacher if they are  still on track. Remember that monitoring your child  – and  not  just on their  devices – is the  best way  to ensure they are  in control and  getting the  things done that they need to be



There are  certainly some tasks that we  can  do  at the  same time  without compromising efficiency. Hanging out  the  washing while  listening to a podcast is something I can  confidently achieve. But when it comes to more cognitive pursuits that require greater focus, then we  must remember that our brains need to be able  to focus solely  on one  task  at a time  in order to

achieve them in the  most productive manner possible.



Interim reports parent letter.pdf