NGSC Newsletter

22 February 2019
Issue Two
Other School News
North Geelong Secondary College
03 5240 5800
130 Separation Street
North Geelong, Victoria, 3215


Key Dates

27 FEB                   Student Photo Day  

01 MARCH            Catch up Photos

07 MARCH           Curriculum Day - Pupil Free

11 MARCH           Labour Day Public Holiday

18-20 MARCH      Year 7 Camp 1

20 MARCH             Information Evening/Open Night

                                  (6:00 pm in the Gym)

21 MARCH             Whole School Assembly

20-22 MARCH      Year 7 Camp 2 

21 MARCH             Harmony Day

26 MARCH             Athletics Day - Landy Field

03 APRIL                Parent Teacher Conferences 7-12  

05 APRIL                Last Day term 1

22 APRIL                Easter Monday 

23 APRIL                First Day Term 2

25 APRIL               ANZAC Day Public Holiday


Mr Nicholas Adamou


School Council

School councils play a key role in Victorian government schools. Effective councils have a wide range of skills, expertise and knowledge to support good governance and provide the best possible educational outcomes for students. 


The annual school council election process provides an opportunity to attract members keen to add value and bring their expertise and skills to assist the governance of the school. 


All government schools with students enrolled in Year 7 and above are now required to have a student member category on council. The school election process for the student member category must occur at the same time as Parent and DET employee member elections. 


Where a council has community member positions, council can co-opt members following the election process and add to the council’s skills and expertise.

School council membership

Each school council’s Constituting Order makes provision for its structure and membership:

  • Parent members – parents of students at the school must comprise more than one third of the school council’s total membership. ‘Parent’ includes a guardian or person responsible for maintenance or with custody of a student of the school. Department employees are eligible for membership in this category as long as they have children attending the school and the Department employees do not work at the school (except for the principal who is a member of the Department employee member category) of that school council.
  • Department employee members – must not be more than one third of the school council’s total membership. The principal is automatically included in this membership category and has full voting rights. Other staff (teaching and non-teaching) are elected or co-opted to this category. To be eligible for election to this category, a person must be a member of the Department of Education and Training (DET) employee electorate of the school. 
  • Student members – ‘student’ describes a student who is enrolled at and attends the school and is in year 7 or above. Students are elected to this membership category, or co-opted if a casual vacancy occurs. To be eligible for election, a student must be a member of the student body of the school. The number of student members is recorded in the Ministerial Order for the school council. 
  • Community members – is an optional membership category. The council’s membership schedule may include this category. If a council has the option of community members, the council decides who to approach and co-opt into this position. People are co-opted by the school council to a community member position to bring additional skills and perspectives. Community members hold the same rights, responsibilities and terms of office as elected members. Parents are eligible to be co-opted to a community member position but Department employees are not. Students may also be co-opted to a community member position.

The North Geelong SC, school council composition includes:

(10 parents, 2 students and 5 DET employees including the Principal - Voting members)  

  • 10 x parents (no DE&T employees)
  • 5 x DE&T employees – teaching and non-teaching staff
  • 2 x students 

Total number of voting members 17. 


The College Principal is the Executive Officer of the school council 

This year we have 5 parent vacancies for a 2 year appointment (2019 & 2020) and 3 DE&T employee member vacancy for a 2 year appointment (2019 & 2020). I call for parent nominations for the 5 vacancies. Any parent that would like to discuss the role of Council or the role of the parent member on council please call the school and speak to Mrs Narelle Wiffen or the Principal. 


Nomination forms can be obtained from the General Office; see Mrs Narelle Wiffen. Nominations close on Monday, 4 March at 4:00 pm.


Student Council elections (2 elected members) will be conducted in the next couple of weeks.


I take this opportunity to thank all school council members in particular the parent body, for their outstanding contribution to the life of the College.

Student accident insurance, ambulance cover arrangements and private property brought to schools

Parents and Guardians are reminded that the Department does not provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students.


Parents and guardians of students, who do not have student accident insurance/ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including the cost of ambulance attendance/transport and any other transport costs. 


In some circumstances, medical or other expenses will be paid by the Department where it is assessed that it is likely, in all the circumstances, that the Department is liable for negligent (careless) acts or omissions of its staff/volunteers. 

Student accident insurance/ambulance cover policies are available from some commercial insurers, and can be obtained by school councils on a whole-of-school basis, or by parents/guardians for individual students. 


Private property brought to school by students, staff or visitors is not insured and the Department does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage.


At the beginning of every academic year a great deal is written in various publications on the topic of homework. Some of the education opinion-piece writers argue strongly that homework is an ineffective means of improving academic performance. Some go as far as to suggest that homework has a negative impact because it turns other children off school and causes tension between parents and their children. I agree with some of the criticisms of homework: excessive amounts of homework are counterproductive; it is not a case of more is better; homework without a clear purpose, e.g. ‘busy’ work, is of little value. 


However, there is ample evidence from research and experience indicating that homework can increase learning and achievement. That is why it remains an important part and an expectation of the learning process for all North Geelong SC students. Please see school policy on “homework” on the school’s website.


There are many benefits that flow from completing regular, relevant homework. Homework helps students develop sound study skills and habits. By undertaking regular homework, students develop self-discipline and time-management skills, and begin to take responsibility for their own learning. 


Homework supplements and reinforces work done in class. Revising work covered in class during the day greatly aids understanding and memory; the Ebbinghaus curve (The forgetting curve illustrates the decline of memory retention in time. A related concept is the strength of memory that refers to the durability that memory traces in the brain. The stronger the memory, the longer period of time that a person is able to recall it. A typical graph of the forgetting curve shows that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material) underlines the role that ‘re-visiting’ material plays in retention and recall of information. Homework of this type usually consists of written tasks, reading, drill work and memorisation. 


Homework can also be used to extend students’ skills and understanding in areas that cannot be covered in limited class time. Extension activities usually take the form of longer projects which are an expansion of work covered in class, or problem-solving activities which may take several days or weeks to complete. 


At North Geelong SC students always have homework irrespective of their Year Level. Students understand that homework is not simply the work set by their subject teacher; it is also work that the student needs to do to ensure that the day’s lessons are absorbed, previous work revised, preparation is made for new units of work, and assignments are completed by the due date. 


The role of the parent in homework is to support and help students. Students need to be provided with the environment and resources necessary to undertake homework and to establish a regular routine for school work done at home. However, parents must never forget that homework is set for the student, and that teachers need to see what students can do on their own. Parents should also be aware if their child is spending too long on homework tasks. Students should be encouraged to take regular breaks so they feel refreshed and ensure their study time is affective. Learning does not only take place in the classroom during scheduled lesson times. Homework plays an important part in learning also. Please call the school and talk to your child’s Home Group Teacher, Coordinator or a Principal Class Officer, if there are any issues with your child’s homework.

Picking up & Dropping Off Children around schools.

For the safety of children, parents are reminded to take care and obey parking signs when picking up or dropping off children around schools.  Council’s Parking & Information Officers regularly patrol school areas during start and finish times and motorists detected breaching parking regulations risk being issued with a Penalty Infringement Notice.


Remember, as soon as you stop to let your children in or out of the car, you are deemed to be parked.  You do not have to leave your car or turn the engine off to be fined so please ensure you are parked in a legal parking area.


At children’s crossings, you must remain stationary at the stop line while any person (including an adult or the supervisor) is on the crossing or the stop sign is displayed.  Do not let your child alight at this time, ensure that they wait until you are safely and legally parked.


If you breach a parking regulation the Parking & Information Officer assigned to monitor the crossing will usually record your registration number and details, and the Penalty Infringement Notice will be posted to you within the next three days.


Mrs Julie Andrews, Mr Paul Dawson &

Mr Bradley Headlam

Assistant Principals

The Geelong Project

North Geelong College is participating in The Geelong Project (TGP) in 2019.  TGP’s focus is to minimise youth homelessness and prevent young people from leaving school early. TGP is unique to Geelong and is now being used interstate and internationally. It is recognised as the best way to tackle the problem of youth homelessness, long term.

TGP believes that working early (early intervention) with young people and their families is the best way to solve problems before they become too large. Early Intervention Response Worker’s from Barwon Child, Youth & Family (BCYF) will be placed at North Geelong Secondary College. They will provide support to assist students to stay at home and remain connected to school.

Students are asked to complete the Australian Index of Adolescent Development (AIAD) survey. The survey asks questions about students’ current circumstances at school, their health and wellbeing, family, friends and the community. Through the survey, students with high risk factors will be identified so that TGP can offer support.

North Geelong College and TGP hope that parents and the community will get behind this effort to provide improved support to students in Geelong schools.

Year 12 Study Camp

This camp was held from 6th to 8th of February at the Warrnambool Campus of Deakin University and was once again a great success. Over 100 students attended and, from all reports, thoroughly enjoyed the experience, both academically and socially.  A highlight was seeing students taking themselves out of their comfort zones and participating in unfamiliar activities. The Year 12 students have begun the year with their heads down and are working hard, with few students requiring assistance to refocus.

Reading at NGSC

Due to our high expectations around improving school data, the school has implemented a targeted reading program for Years 7-9. The English program is split this year into four periods of English and one period of dedicated reading with strategies about appropriate reading levels, reading comprehension and promoting reading for learning and enjoyment. Teachers of the reading classes have had specific training by an external specialist in reading.


The Curriculum Day being held this term on 7 March, has a focus on reading across the curriculum and a guest presenter will speak to all staff in the first session with workshops to follow. Contact your child’s reading teacher or Brad Smallman, English/Literacy Leading Teacher, for more information. 


The students have started the year smoothly and in particular; the school uniform has been worn well, most students have their devices  connected to the school’s wifi and many students have the correct materials for their learning. There are the usual efforts of children wearing incorrect socks or wearing the PE uniform on non-PE days or even if they are not doing PE or Outdoor Ed in a senior program. The Year Level Coordinators are working with these students and families to address the problem. The new version of the PE zip up jacket, with the soft shell outer, has also been seen at school. 

Progress Report

Please note that on the evening of Monday, 25 February the first round of Progress Reports will be available on Compass. This will provide an insight into your child’s progress with particular focus on the following:

  • Achievement- progressing toward outcome/standard
  • Attendance- meets NGSC requirement
  • Homework
  • Participates positively in learning activities
  • Preparation/Organisation- required materials
  • Respect to peers and staff.

These will be conducted every four weeks and reviewed by staff and the Student Management team to address areas of support, improvement and celebration.

Logging in to Compass

It has been noted that approximately a quarter of parents still have not logged into Compass. A letter and details around setting up Compass on a device at home has been mailed to those parents, with details on how to log in. Parents should receive this in the next few days. Support can be provided by speaking to Mr Headlam.


Attendance is an area of significant improvement in the College, however, it continues to be an area of focus. It is included as an area of assessment in the Progress Reports. We have significantly high expectations in this area and are always aiming to support parents in ensuring students are at school more consistently. This year we have enabled parents to provide a response to the morning SMS by a link to indicate a reason for absence. We hope that this enables an easy notification to school.

Engagement Survey

In recent weeks all students at the College have been completing an engagement survey. You will be able to access your child’s responses to the questions via Compass Insights. Teachers will receive details from this survey in the next week to completely inform them of the learning needs of the students in the class environment. Teachers will identify avenues to differentiate their instruction and therefore cater to the different abilities and needs in their classes.


Jacob Storer

Year 7 Coordinator

What a start!

Hello all and welcome to Year 7 for 2019. It has been incredibly exciting meeting all the fresh faces to the NGSC family. All of us here in the Year 7 Team have been very impressed with the start to Secondary School Life that many have made. A clear majority of the new Year 7s have exemplified the College’s values of RESPECT, EXCELLENCE, ACHIEVEMENT and DIVERSITY. With many more exciting opportunities coming up in the next few weeks, it is important that, as we get more comfortable, our standards remain high. 

Forms to be returned

Recently, it may feel like you have been inundated with forms from your students. The start of the year can be a hectic time and often an information overload. I ask that all students ensure that all forms make their way to their parents to ensure all information is passed on effectively. It is also important that forms are returned as quickly as possible so that the organisation of events, etc, can run as smoothly as possible. Currently, Year 7s have the following forms to return:

  • Immunisation forms - should be returned by now

  • Camp forms - permission/payment and medical forms to be returned as soon as you can

  • Photo forms - were handed out this week

If you have not received these forms or have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of the Year 7 Team.

The importance of communication

As I mentioned in the email I sent out at the beginning of the year, my aim for the Year 7s this year is to ensure clear and open communication. This is a new and exciting time for our new students, but also one that can bring new stresses and discomfort as they try to find where they stand in a new environment. Whilst we will be trying our utmost to communicate with you, information about your child here at school, I would also ask that the favour is returned, especially in regards to any issues that may arise during class or in the yard.


Our role as a coordination team is to support our students with any issues and to help them navigate their way positively through school. Unfortunately, with 179 Year 7s across 8 classes, it can be difficult being aware of all that is going on within the year level. That is why we remind students that the best course of action is to alert their classroom teachers or the Year 7 Team. This can be done discreetly, such as an email directly to me. Emails can be accessed via Compass or by typing a teacher's last name into the ‘To’ section of the email; this should automatically fill in their email address. If we are alerted immediately, we are able to take action and support your student straight away. However, as is the case sometimes, a student’s first port of call is to their parents and often the first we hear of an issue is from a concerned parent wondering why no action has been taken.


I know it can be an intimidating experience to approach an office full of Coordinators, so I would suggest an email or even to approach a trusted teacher who can then liaise with us.


I look forward to a positive year with the expanded NGSC community. Welcome to the team!


Simon Scoullar

Middle Sub School Leader


I would like to extend a hand and welcome you to the Middle School at North Geelong Secondary College.


Historically, we see a huge amount of growth in students during Years 9 and 10. They begin to find their place in the world and it is important that home and school work together to achieve positive outcomes for your children.


With this in mind, we want to bridge the gap between home and school by offering a free presentation by the award-winning Pathways Foundation. Pathways provide skills and strategies for dealing with the transition from adolescence to adulthood. None of us are naïve to the challenges faced with raising adolescents; you see them at home and we see them at school. With the support of the Pathways team, we are striving to achieve:

  • increased respect
  • confident communication and social skills
  • motivation to set goals.

We would like to invite parents, guardians and students to attend an information evening on Wednesday, March 6 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. It will be a chance for you to meet Year Level Coordinators, hear some expert advice and ask questions.


This is the first time The Pathways Foundation is presenting and I am genuinely excited about the prospect of continuing to work with parents to better support our students and your children.


We are hoping to get as many Middle School Parents along as possible. I know personally, as you do, the challenges and rewards of dealing with adolescence, particularly in the middle years.


All NGSC Parents are welcome and there is a $100 door prize on the night.

Collection statement
Letter to Parents/Guardians of Year 7 and 10 students

Dear Parent/Guardian,


RE: Secondary School Vaccine Program.


The Secondary School Vaccine Program offers free vaccines to help make sure students and communities are protected from diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, human papillomavirus (HPV) and meningococcal A,C,W,Y.  

Local councils deliver the program and schools distribute the information and consent card booklets.


The Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 authorises secondary schools to provide their local council with student and parent/guardian contact information for any student scheduled to receive a vaccination. This information assists local councils to follow-up parents/guardians of students with incomplete or missing consent cards. 


What information goes to local council? Schools provide the following basic student and parent/guardian contact information:

  • Student name, gender, date of birth, year level, class, language(s) spoken at home
  • Parent/guardian names, phone numbers, email and postal addresses

Why do schools provide this information?

  • To ensure all Year 7 and 10 students are offered the opportunity to access free vaccinations at school.
  • To improve communication with parents/guardians regarding their child’s vaccination needs
  • To reduce the administrative burden on school staff to follow-up consent cards.

What do I need to do?

  1. Your information will be provided to Barwon Health in March 2019. If you do not wish for your details to be provided, please advise the school in writing before 28 February 2019. 
  2. Read the information provided in your child’s consent card booklet and complete all sections, regardless of whether or not you consent for your child to be vaccinated as part of the school-based program. 
  3. Detach Part A of the consent card booklet with all fields completed, and return to school. 

Every day vaccination saves lives and makes it possible for Victorians to live free from the illness and disability caused by many infectious diseases. All Year 7 and 10 Victorian secondary students can receive these vaccines for free. 


For further information please go to the following links: 

  • Privacy -
  • schools 

From your Principal, Mr Nicholas Adamou.

NGSC office: phone 5240 5800


Sarah Bridges

Senior Sub-School Manager


It has been a busy start to the term and it is pleasing to see students taking on the role of “senior students” and modelling school values and leadership to the rest of the student body. Students have attended assemblies where expectations for the year were outlined. A summary of discussions is listed below:

  • Use of Compass and Google Classroom is expected and important information will be communicated via this platform
  • Students have access to the library and common room during study periods and after school to work independently
  • Students are expected at school in time for homeroom regardless of study periods
  • Attendance in all classes is closely monitored to ensure students are in class learning and meeting the 90% attendance requirement (this includes VET)
  • Full school uniform must be worn correctly. Sports uniform may only be worn by students in PE and Outdoor Ed practical sessions (these have been nominated by staff and students informed).

Year 12

Staff and students enjoyed a lovely stay at Deakin University residences, a walk to the Port Fairy Lighthouse and some students ventured in for a swim. Activities and a guest speaker focused on motivation, organisational skills and looking after ourselves during the final year at school. The Year 12 jumpers look fantastic and the school captains have led assemblies with pride.

Year 11

Students have settled well into the senior levels. Classes are running smoothly and students are engaged in their learning.


Students have recently participated in activities focused on employability skills and classes are now venturing out on excursions to investigate different industries and jobs.


Unit 3 and 4 students have recently received information regarding understanding and preparation for the GAT. All students are required to sit a practice GAT on Thursday, 7 March, 2019. This will be marked by external markers and students will receive individual feedback. Please ask the students for this letter.


Applications for special examination arrangement for the final end of year VCAA unit 3 and 4 exams have opened. Students who have a health impairment, physical disability, mental health condition, specific learning disorder, language disorder, motor coordination disorder, hearing impairment, motor coordination disorder are able to apply for special exam arrangement. You must have proven medical documentation. This is not SEAS (application for tertiary studies to explain difficult personal circumstances). Please see Ms Bridges if you have any questions or want to discuss an application.

Senior Sub School Office / Year 12 Common Room

Due to the building works the Senior Sub School Office will be moving to the A building and sharing with the Junior Sub School Office. Students are expected to sign in and out at the Junior Sub School window. The Year 12 Common Room will be temporarily relocated to B wing, the old dining room. Phone numbers will remain the same and the Senior Sub School Attendance Officer will be located in the Junior office.


The first round of progress reports will be published next week and staff will be contacting students and parents/carers if needed. Please contact the relevant Year Level Coordinator or myself with any concerns.


Thank you for your support.

Other School News

NGSC Information Evening


Financial Assistance
Information for Parents
Camps, Sports & Excursions Fund (CSEF)


Vera Dudas

Multicultural Community Liaison Officer


The Multicultural Committee has commenced the year with a very productive first meeting on Monday, 18 February. 


The Pako Festa is finally here this Saturday, 23 February and once again we are taking part in the parade and cordially inviting parents, friends and students, brothers and sisters to join us.  This multicultural event is a perfect opportunity to promote and showcase NGSC’s diverse multicultural community and share in the enriching connections of culture. 


If you wish to take part in the Pako Festa contact the school for more information or visit


You may also just head down on the day to meet us at the assembly point on the corner of Waratah and Pakington Streets, we will be congregating on the Pakington Street side and are number 12 in the parade line.  You would need to be there by 10:00 am.


It would be great to see as many of you as possible, and trust me, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful day with lots of fun and feel like a celebrity while the crowd cheers us on in the parade. 


The Multicultural Committee greatly values NGSC parents’ and the wider school community participation. 


Pako Festa is on Saturday 23rd February!

Victoria’s biggest free celebration of cultural diversity


Street Parade / Food / Performance/ Workshops /Exhibitions /Family


2019 theme ‘Generations’


Tina Doyle

Student Wellbeing

Seeing a doctor at NGSC

The NGSC Doctor’s clinic in A Block is now open on Wednesdays.


Doctor Bianca Forrester and Nurse Amanda Patterson will be seeing students by appointment. Students can also attend the clinic at recess and lunchtime, at these times no appointment is necessary.


Students can make appointments through Student Wellbeing or independently by attending the clinic at recess or lunchtime on Wednesdays.

Students can also make their own appointments online by going to:


Students are encouraged to drop in to have a look at the clinic during break times and meet the

International Student Program

At North Geelong Secondary College, we like to make our International Students feel comfortable with meeting new people and experiencing new and exciting activities. Term 1 was no exception; an interactive activity was organised where the students made some tasty dumplings from scratch.  The students were filled with a wealth of knowledge in the preparation, presentation and cooking of these dumplings but, above all, the looks on their faces at the taste testing time was something to be remembered. The students really enjoyed themselves, energised and excited to help one another filling and decorating the dumplings to their choice and liking. A great and tasty experience by all of the students and staff!




Pako Festa is on Saturday 23rd February!

Victoria’s biggest free celebration of cultural diversity


Street Parade / Food / Performance/ Workshops /Exhibitions /Family


2019 theme ‘Generations’


Melbourne Summer Japanese Festival

The Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday, 24 February from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm showcasing traditional and contemporary Japanese culture with performances, foods and activities for all ages. 

Experience the vibrancy of Japanese culture from a variety of performances including local song and dance groups,  and featuring traditional acts such as Taiko drumming, Okinawan folk music, but also contemporary dance performances and a debut bilingual talk show. 

Everyone can experience the festivity of Japanese festivals first hand through participating in the Bon Odori dance or the Best-Dressed Award for lasting memories and fantastic prizes.

River Terrace will be lined with stalls offering a delicious, authentic taste of Japan. From the classic festival favourites like takoyaki, okonomiyaki and yakitori, to ice cream and Japanese beer. 

For the creative and fashionable ones, there will be plenty of arts and crafts to purchase too.
The festival concludes with drawing our highly anticipated raffle prizes at the end of the afternoon including a pair economy return tickets to Tokyo as the first prize. 

This year, the City of Melbourne celebrates the 40th anniversary of our first sister city relationship with Osaka, Japan.


  • Date: Sunday 24 February 2019
  • Time: 11:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Venue: Federation Square – Corner of Swanston & Flinders Streets, Melbourne (Melway: 2F, 4F)
  • Organiser: Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Melbourne Inc.  Japanese Society of Melbourne, Inc.
  • Visit:   for more details.

Barwon Health Immunisation Centres and Hours




Victorian School of Languages

Nth Geelong Centre

Located at

North Geelong Secondary College


The Victorian School of Languages is a specialist government school offering complementary language instruction outside of regular school hours. It enrols students in Years 1 to 12, who are unable to study their language of choice in their mainstream school. Students from all educational sectors (Government, Independent and Catholic) are eligible to enrol.           


The Victorian School of Languages offers quality courses aligned with government curriculum standards, based on communication skills that include speaking, reading, writing and listening. Its VCE program is fully accredited and can advantage students in the calculation of their university entrance score.  


The school`s language program is delivered through face-to-face teaching in over 40 Language Centres situated in government secondary schools across the state, and through Distance Education mode.


In North Geelong, classes are held on Saturday mornings between 9:00 am and 12:15 pm at:

North Geelong Secondary College


Languages offered:      

Croatian, Karen, Vietnamese, Dari, Persian, Polish, Macedonian, Bosnian, Turkish & Russian

*New languages may be offered subject to demand*


For enquiries Telephone: 5277 9833


Further details and enrolment are available online at our website:


Discover the World of Languages!                 

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