Assistant Principals’ Report

We were delighted to have our students back on-site for the 2023 school year. I trust that students, parents, carers, and families were able to enjoy a refreshing and well-deserved break.

Welcome Back & Important School Policies
We are writing to inform you of some important College requirements and policies as we begin our 2023 school year. 

Emerald Secondary College continues to provide all students with ‘Access to Excellence’ and in doing so our school community must maintain high expectations for attendance, uniform, behaviour, equipment, and learning. To match these high expectations, it is our priority to equip all students and their families with a high level of support. The partnership between staff, students and parents is valuable and together we can continue to achieve the goals our college and school community is striving for.

Thank you for being a part of our community and contributing to a positive environment for our young people.

Year 7 Induction Week

It was a super exciting first week for our new Year 7’s as they had the opportunity to form new relationships with staff and peers, undertake team building activities, learn Compass and organisational skills, participate in a wellbeing session, and celebrate their first week with a year level assembly on Friday afternoon. The students got to experience each of their new subjects while learning in the brand new Year 7 learning hub. It was great to see the students buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm as we welcomed them to Emerald Secondary College for 2023.

Year 7 Parent Information Night & BBQ

The Year 7 parent information night began with a BBQ for students, parents and College staff. We were delighted to have Jacob Hennig entertain us with his music and singing to set a nice atmosphere as conversations were flowing. Parents and students were introduced to the key Year 7 teams for 2023 and addressed by the College Principal, Mr James Barut. Our Year 7 team provided information regarding Year 7 camp and parent access to Compass outlining how to use the portal. We look forward to the partnerships we create between students, parents, and staff.

School Photos

Our College school photo day is on Tuesday 14th February. Orders can now be made through our Compass portal via your email link or under the community tab.

Place your order now to ensure you get the best price through MSP. Family/siblings photos are available for students attending school. Orders must be placed by 11.59pm the day before photo day. 

Whole School Assembly

What an amazing opportunity it was for the whole school community to come together to celebrate the start of the 2023 school year. Our College Captains, Ethan Crosher, Caitlin Ellis, Jackson Acott and Hayley Marshall, led the whole school assembly with exemplary leadership. We were welcomed by Dustan Rosevear and Hayden Walker with an outstanding Acknowledgment of Country and entertained by the College Jazz Band. The Principal, Mr Barut, welcomed back our students explaining the brand new programs and structures such as the middle years curriculum, BEST, timetable structure and expansion of the student management team to support our students. Ms Korsten introduced all of the leadership opportunities our students can be a part of to enhance student voice and agency at our college, and finally students were provided with information on wellbeing programs, school production and key sports days.

Student Leadership

This week our Student Leadership and Voice Model was launched.  We are incredibly excited to present this model to students and the school community and are eager to see what we expect to be a large number of our student population getting involved in some way.  Our model includes opportunities for students that are:

  • Educational – Students develop skills in areas such as representation, communication and organisation
  • Democratic – All students have a voice and are listened to
  • Responsible and trusted – students have responsibility for real issues; they are trusted to solve real problems and make real decisions
  • Collaborative – Students are partners in decision-making with the school leadership team, teachers, parents and the school community
  • Respectful – Mutual respect develops between students and all members of the school community
  • Caring – Students are committed to their school and care about what happens to it and in it; students care for each other
  • Rewarding – Participation is enjoyable and delivers successful outcomes
  • Allowing them to be a team player – Students will develop teamwork skills through working with other students, teachers and the community
  • Developing emerging leaders – Students will develop leadership skills and may work with the College Student Representative Council

Our Model includes:

The ESC Student Parliament

Student Parliament has 5 responsibilities:

  • Empowering student leadership and voice
  • Making decisions for the betterment of the ESC community
  • Actioning proposals for positive change
  • Driving student initiatives
  • Communicating with the College Council

The ESC Student Representative Council

The SRC has 5 responsibilities:

  • Empowering student leadership and voice
  • Working democratically to represent the student body
  • Representing students’ interests and needs
  • Raising issues of concern, questions of relevance and purposeful suggestions
  • Communicating with the Student Parliament

The ESC Student Portfolio Representatives

These representatives work as a team in interest-based areas of the school.  Their work may include:

  • Leadership of clubs and groups of interest
  • Positions of responsibility linked to domains, learning and curriculum areas or operations
  • Positions that represent specific programs that require student representation as part of the College commitment to student voice

I have spoken with students at length about these opportunities at year level assemblies and the whole school assembly.  Students can express an interest in any of these positions via Compass under the ‘Star’ – Student Leadership Application Form.  Most positions are available to students Years 7-12, students can apply for more than one position and for the representative positions, teams of students are encouraged.  Expressions of Interest close Thursday 16th February and an Investiture Ceremony will follow the awarding of positions.


 BEST stands for Build, Engage, Succeed, Thrive and is part of the College’s commitment to providing a Positive Education Program.  BEST is built around the Positive Education Framework focusing the explicit teaching and living of Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment and Health.

You will have noticed that your child – whether in Year 7 through to Year 12 – has on their timetable one period per week of BEST. 

BEST takes the place of homegroup – your child’s BEST teacher can still be contacted for support (as can your child’s Subschool Team).  During BEST time, lessons encapsulate the key messages of Positive Education and also provide a time and opportunity for your child to be taught, modelled and engage in shared discussion, activities and tasks around, for example

  • Character Strengths
  • Values such as respect, compassion, gratitude, resilience and empathy
  • Respectful Relationships
  • Life and College-specific skills such as organisational skills, study skills, goal-setting, careers planning, road safety, financial awareness and positive citizenship
  • Celebrations of student achievement and the sharing of accomplishments

We’ve had a great start with BEST with teachers enjoying engaging relationship and team building activities with their groups.  We look forward to this evolving program as we incorporate students’ ideas and suggestions.

Extra Support for our Learners at Emerald Secondary College in 2023

Additional to our Teaching and Learning program we have three specific programs that can offer additional support to identified learners in 2023:

  • The Tutor Learning Initiative (TLI) – designed to provide additional targeted small group learning support to students who need it most. TLI enables schools to provide targeted teaching by a tutor teacher to students identified as needing the most support in literacy and numeracy.  For example, students who are falling behind or are below National minimum standards in NAPLAN.  Emerald Secondary College are in the process of prioritising students identified by available data as requiring additional support.
  • The Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Support program (MYLNS) is a program to support students in their learning like TLI, however, in 2023 will prioritise students identified as requiring additional support in Year 10 only.
  • The Student Excellence Program. Students are also identified as requiring additional support through the student excellence program.  Students can engage in the Victorian High Achievers program and are also encouraged to undertake activities and classes virtually in the Enrichment series.  The Enrichment series contains a varied number of topics to build engage and stretch higher order thinking and a love of learning for our high ability learners.

Many thanks again for your ongoing support of the College.

Jarrad Donders, Tanja Korsten & Janine McMahon – Assistant Principals

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