Principal’s Report

VCE exams are nigh!

Tuesday was the last day for all our Year 12s and they finished the day beautifully and as expected. They came here in the morning starting at 8:00 am, wearing free dress and looking resplendent in their future occupations. Upon arrival, they were handed a flower by the youngest members of our community (Year 7s) and the canteen had prepared a delicious breakfast for them. The previous day was red shirt signing day and this is the last year level to see that tradition.

After that, they were ushered off to EPAC where they recognised their Home Group teachers and played videos of thanks and gratitude. Home group teachers then handed out letters that the parents had written to their son/daughter (done on the hush) and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Students were offsite just before recess with many hugs and much excitement.

So, now they’re studying, or at work, or taking a year off – whatever it is, they left the premises quietly and respectfully. We couldn’t have been prouder with how they conducted themselves in the community, so aware of their impact as Emerald Secondary College students. Absolute kudos and thank you to the senior school team, Jack Talbot and Bri Holder, and all the staff involved.

The Valedictory will give the College a final opportunity for a wrap-up.

We look forward to some terrific VCE outcomes.


There have been some significant changes to the leadership and organisational structure at our college for 2023. We have already mentioned the new five-period day next year, the new VM (Vocational Major – replacing VCAL), the Positive Education curriculum, and the new Middle School Elective program.

Other organisational and personnel changes include:


  • There will be two Sub Schools in 2023, Years 7-9 and Years 10-12, with the possibility (depending on staffing) of having two Year Level Co-ordinators for each year level. The rationale for the decision was borne about by the new Middle School elective structure, that allows Year 10 classes to access more accelerated programs, through the VCE. Further, the College felt that the Junior School must be one that focusses purely on transition and discovery. We want our students to be engaged in their learning and engaged to their school


  • Mrs Melissa Findlay has been appointed as a Leading Teacher in the position of Head of Junior School (Years 7-9) and Mr Jack Talbot will remain as Head of Senior School (Years 10-12)


  • Mr Jarrad Donders has been appointed to the position of Assistant Principal – Director of Students and will oversee the Sub Schools


  • We welcome back Mrs Tanja Korsten, after her leave, who is taking up her role as Assistant Principal and will lead the work in Pos Ed, Student Voice, and Inclusion


  • Ms Rebecca Arnold will take up her new role as Inclusion Leader – Leading Teacher


  • Ms Sarah Deer has been appointed to the position of Learning Specialist, overseeing whole-school literacy


  • Ms Tiana Clayworth has been appointed to the position of Learning Specialist, overseeing student growth and data

These changes were implemented in direct response to our School Review and set out our new strategic direction for the next four years. Always, always, always, our college welcomes input from our community, and we maintain our high standards of respectful relationships and respectful, solution focussed discourse.

8.77 million

What a pleasant surprise visit from Daniela De Martino, the Labor member for Monbulk who promised 8.77 million to contribute to our next capital works project. The vision is to create contemporary teaching spaces where teachers can team teach, students can work in ability groups and wide-open spaces would allow for collaborative learning to occur and greater scope for differentiation. Our college has had a facelift this year, and the promise of extra funding will complement the work that has been undertaken.

Attitude to School Survey – Parent Response

The results from the parent body have been received and I will unpack some of the feedback in the next newsletter. Out of 150 odd families who were contacted to participate, the uptake was quite low, which may often skew results – but, at the end of the day, data is data, and I will present the findings in the ensuing weeks.

Student Free Days

Please keep an eye out on our Compass feed for upcoming Professional Practice Day/s for teachers (in Domains or individually), a whole school Report Writing Day, and a Curriculum Day. These days have been legislated by the new VGSA Agreement, supporting teacher practice.

One thing I can confirm is that Monday, 31st of October (Melbourne Cup Eve) is a fully operational school day. The canteen will remain open.

James Barut – Principal

Skip to content