Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter

10 November 2017
Issue Seventeen
Important Dates
Principal's Message
College Matters
Worldly Matters
Junior | Middle | Senior School Matters 
What If? 
English and Humanities 
STEAM Matters - Science
In our community
Mentone Girls' Secondary College
(03) 9581 5200
Corner Balcombe Road & Charman Road
Mentone, Victoria, 3194

Important Dates

Term 4 


Monday 13 - Friday 17 November

Year 11 exams


Wednesday 15 - Friday 17 November

Year 10 exams


Thursday 16 - Friday 17 November

Year 9 exams


Monday 20 November

2018 Year 11 Orientation Day


Tuesday 21 November 

8pm, Presentation Evening, Robert Blackwood Hall


Wednesday 22 November

Whole school late start. 10.15am for 10.30am.

10.30am, 2018 Year 10 Orientation Day 

10.30am, 2018 Year 12 Orientation Day  


Thursday 23 November

10.15am, College Assembly 


Friday 24 November

2018 Year 9 Orientation Day


Monday 27 November

Headstart begins 

7pm, Past Students' Association Annual General Meeting


Wednesday 6 & Thursday 7 December

Report Verification - Early finish at 2.30pm


Friday 8 December

Last day for 2018 Year 11 & 12


Tuesday 12 December

Orientation Day for 2018 Year 7s


Friday 15 December

Last Day 2018 Year 8 to Year 10


Monday 18 - Thursday 21 December

Environment Week


Friday 22 December 

Last Day Term 4

Principal's Message

Dear Parents & Guardians



I am sure that all parents of students in Year 12, or a Year 11 student taking a Year 12 subject, have been supporting their daughters with much TLC over the last week or so as they prepare for their exams. I have heard many positive comments made about the girls’ attitude and preparation for their exams with every student turning up at their allotted times.  I hope that mention of this doesn’t jinx this record for them, but this is an indication of how important their studies are to them.


We recently held the Public Speaking Competitions and I was fortunate to drop by the Year 9 sessions to listen to very well prepared and delivered speeches.  This opportunity builds confidence and skill in the art of persuasive writing. The English teachers are to be commended on their guidance in this area.


Whilst many students were enjoying the long weekend with family and friends on Cup Eve our staff gathered at school to participate in professional learning. We were able to focus on our goals for the year which ultimately benefit student learning outcomes. A key part of the day was to examine feedback from parents from our Parent Opinion Survey. I thank parents and carers for providing us with this valuable insight into how you see the College meeting the needs of your daughters and families in general.


Kind regards


Linda Brown


College Matters

School Council Report

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) was first implemented in 2008 across all State and Territory schools. Its purpose is to give a clear picture to governments, education authorities and schools as to where students are at with regards to reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. It also gives parents a broad measurement of how their school is performing.

From our Council meeting last month, two NAPLAN reports were tabled. They documented the Year 7 and 9 results for each of the assessment types. The reports gave us comparisons over the last five years on a National and State basis. It is pleasing to see that MGSC is performing well ahead of the National and State averages. It should be noted that the Year 7 results are influenced by the student’s primary schooling. In saying this however, typically there is a 6% to 7% improvement in test results from Year 7 to Year 9.

NAPLAN is not 'the be all and end all' indicator for student/school performance. However, NAPLAN serves a purpose to many groups and individuals and should not be under estimated in its importance. Students, parents, guardians, and teachers should be congratulated on the continual improvements each year.


Glenn Chadwick

School Council Member

Blazer Pockets - New Logo

All pre-ordered and pre-paid pockets are now in stock at Costume World. These can be collected anytime. 

For those families opting for Costume World to sew the pockets on, please be reminded blazers can be delivered from the beginning of Headstart. No student will be required to wear their blazer to school from 27 November onwards.


Carol Duggan

Assistant Principal

Presentation Evening 

Tuesday 21 November at 8pm at Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University.

Tickets are free and must be booked online:


Please note that there is a late start after Presentation Evening. Students need to be at school by 10.15am in time for Period 2 which commences at 10.30am on Wednesday 22 November. 

Year 11, 10 and 9 exams

Year 11, 10 and 9 students should check their exam timetable on Compass and make sure that they arrive in time for each exam. There is further information about the exams on their Compass newsfeed. Students in Year 11 who have a clash with a Unit 4 exam will have their Year 11 exam rescheduled.


The 2018 booklists will be distributed to students at their relevant orientation day in the week Monday 20 to Friday 24 November.

  • 2018 Year 11 – Monday 20 November
  • 2018 Year 10 and 2018 Year 12 – Wednesday 22 November
  • 2018 Year 9 – Friday 24 November
  • 2018 Year 8 students will also receive their booklists in this week.

Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal

Staff Professional Development Day

On Monday 6 November College Staff took part in a whole day Professional Development session that focussed on using data to improve teaching and learning, effective communication and methods to engage 21st Century learners. Teachers worked in teams to share expertise and develop strategies. They also reflected on and responded to Michael McQueen lectures on generational learning.

In one of the sessions staff used the Polleverywhere program to create a visual representation that responded to the question, ‘How would you like Mentone Girls’ Secondary College students to describe their school experience in 20 years time’ their responses are below.

The Cup Eve Professional Development was part of the Mentone Girls’ Secondary College ongoing commitment to professional learning and a valuable opportunity for staff to collaborate and innovate. The ideas and strategies will be implemented in lessons and curriculum planning as we move into 2018.


Jennifer Connolly

Director of Staff Professional Learning

Past Students' Association 

The Annual General Meeting of the MGSC Past Students' Association is : 

Monday  27 November at 7pm in the Staffroom 

Refreshments from 6.30pm

All Past Students are welcome.

New Committee members are very welcome!

Enquiries to Maureen on 0403 174 976

Worldly Matters

World Challenge

The T-shirt order has been processed and the T-shirts are now available to be collected from the Middle School Office together with a waterproof document holder.


Hint #3: Walking poles are very useful as they save 10% of energy and provide stability when ascending and descending terrain especially if it's icy. They can be bought in Nepal or on eBay (look for the Pioneer brand) but I would avoid the pricey Leki or Black Diamond models.


Michael Warden

World Challenge Coordinator

International Student Program

We would like to congratulate Judy Wang and Shelley Zhang for completing their Year 12 at our College and wish them all the best during their exams. They have been at our College for several years and we have learnt so much about China from these two young women.

On Wednesday, we had our first Morning Tea with the International mothers at our school. This was not only a social event; we were able to run some basic English lessons to support their English skills so that in turn they are able to support their daughters. These community friendships are so important both to our program and the college as we learn so much from our parents. These Morning Teas will run once a term so I hope more local parents whose daughters are EAL and/or international students are able to join us.

Ekaterina Xanthopoulos

International Student Program and ELC Manager

Home Stay Families Needed

Our International Student Program is looking for families living in the local area -  Mentone, Beaumaris, Parkdale and Cheltenham - to host International Students. The students are from China, female and between 14 and 17 years of age.

The student's family pays a weekly fee to the host family to cover costs. If you and your family are interested in learning about another culture and enjoy sharing our Australian way of life with others, consider being a host family. We are looking for placements now. 

To find our more, please contact the International Student Program Coordinator, Ms Si Feng, on 9581 5294 or email  [email protected]

Junior | Middle | Senior School Matters 

Senior School

VCAA Units 3 and 4  study exams are underway. Students are now able to demonstrate all the hard work they have done in a final performance. They have conducted themselves very well in this high pressure time. The Senior Sub School wish them all the very best and hope they achieve their desired goals.

Students should continue to check their emails for any important messages about their VTAC application as some students have yet to complete their registration. If in doubt, they should contact Ms Poulos who is able to help them with any queries about the process.


Year 11 exams begin next week. Some of the exams have been rescheduled due to students’ commitment to a Unit 3 and 4 exams.


The following week will be Orientation Feedback Week. Please refer to the email 9 November for details. In summary, the 2018 Year 11 Orientation is on Monday 20 November at 9am and the 2018 Year 12 on Wednesday 22 November at 10.30am. These Orientation Days are compulsory. Students will receive important and valuable information.  Please note the starting times for each year level.


Sylvia Christopoulos

Senior School Leader

What If? 

Suitcase Series performance 

The Suitcase Series empowers young people to tackle the greatest challenge of their generation: climate change. The program asks Year 9 and 10 students to devise their own works in response to a specially commissioned script. This innovative program is a chance for students to develop and expand their theatre-making skills and to share a performance day with their peers from other schools, before viewing Malthouse Theatre’s full production of the play.

In Semester 1 the Year 10 Script and Performance Drama class took on the challenge of creating their own interpretation of the professionally written script with a view to performing in Term 4 at the Malthouse Theatre. The class worked collaboratively to develop an insightful and original response to the script that they titled “What if?”. As well as writing the play the students designed costumes, make-up, props, lighting and sound for the play and ended their semester of Drama with a rehearsed reading of the play.

In order to ensure the play was performance ready, the cast continued rehearsing two lunchtimes every week in Term 3 and 4. The process involved ups and downs and cast changes that eventually saw a dedicated group of 18 students from Years 7 -10 take to the stage at The Malthouse on 30 October.

The cast rose to the occasion to give a powerful and thought provoking performance of their work. The students received praise and feedback from the other schools that were present and also from professional actors. The audience were particularly impressed by the writing, use of symbolism and slam poetry in the performance.

After performing the students had the opportunity to view work created by other schools and then a professional performance. The group agreed that it was a pretty special day that made the lunch rehearsals and last minute stresses worthwhile.

As the teacher facilitator I can say I was truly proud of the efforts of this group on the day and on the commitment shown throughout the process. Congratulations to the cast and crew:

Paige Friedrich, Dessy Turk, Bridget Spencer, Molly Haringsma, Jasmine Wendt, Natalie Reeves, Charlotte Fitzsimmons, Ruby Crofts, Eva Cutts, Darcie James, Sara El-Masri, Lara Chadwick, Maddie Dukker, Emily Howells, Tina Kavehnasab, Natalie Jenkinson and Emily Ryan.


Jennifer Connolly

Director of Staff Professional Learning 

English and Humanities 



At La Trobe University Young Writers’ Awards on 31 October, Alexandra Webb's entry, Into the Jaws, was awarded third prize. Congratulations! That’s a massive achievement. The judges commented on how difficult their task was this year as the standard of writing was so very high.

Alex wins $125 and a framed certificate plus some other assorted goodies.  The judges described her as a talented writer.  This is a testament to the ability and commitment of some of the students at our College and we hope to further encourage Alex in pursuing her interest in writing.

Most students now are studying for impending exams. They are invited to re-read key sections of their texts and notes and learn quotes to ensure they are prepared for a variety of questions. Those who have worked consistently throughout the year should feel comfortable that there will be no nasty surprises to alarm them.


Anne Gamble 

English Domain Leader 

STEAM Matters - Science

2017 L'Oreal women in science forum

On Friday 3 November, 14 Year 9 and 10 students, including myself,  caught the train to the Walter and Eliza Institute for the L’Oreal Women in Science Forum along with students from all across Victoria. Throughout the day we were introduced to the L’Oreal - UNESCO for Women in Science Fellows for 2017. Each of the four fellows we met come from a different cultural, social and academic backgrounds. They are  all researching different aspects of science such as antibiotic resistance, contributing factors to diseases like cardiovascular and inflammatory bowel disease and even quantum physics!

Each woman spoke about their area of research, what helped them to get to where they are today and how they overcame the gender stereotyping in science.

Afterwards we were able to ask any of them questions about their careers or just advice in general while having morning tea which was incredibly cool to be able to have a conversation with such successful women.

I think all of us would agree when I say that the experience was really insightful and speaking to these women really put into perspective that when you work hard enough you can achieve what you set out to do.

A big thank you to Mrs Rieniets for organising the day for us and to Mrs Briedis for accompanying us on the trip. 


 Issy Jacques, 10E



Going all the way to Adelaide!

The Athletics team is raising money to help send the team to Adelaide in December.

They are selling chocolates at school. A  large bar is $2. A mini sweet treat just 50 cents.


Thank you for the help raising money for our team. Every little bit helps. 

Go Mentone!

In our community

Spring Fete Fever

There are more fabulous fetes in our local community this weekend. 


Be a Tiger in 2018 

St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Football Club has free clinics for girls in November and February. Note change of date for the February clinic. 

For more information and updates visit


BayCISS Annual Christmas Appeal

Supporting local families in need.


Student exchange

Early bird discount closing soon. 


Support the CFA with a Fun Run


Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter