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.
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.
We are not sure if you have noticed, but our college website was looking a little tired.
We have been working hard behind the scenes to research, plan for and develop our new college website. Our new college website has been under construction and planning for quite a number of months now, with many people working at updating pages, photos, details and college policies.
Updating student details, new enrolment enquiries, updated policies and student handbooks among many other resources can all be found on our new website.
While it is still a work in progress, it was with great excitement that we were finally able to launch our new school website last week. We hope you like it as much as we do!
Building and Grounds
Our college 2022 Building program is now up to stage 4. We have already been enjoying the completed library resource centre, Administration building and staff hub.
Stage 3 was finalised at the start of Term 4 with the reopening of our newly refurbished textiles room, one of our Food Technology kitchens, kitchen prep room and also a new storage area for food technology. It has been a mammoth task of decanting these areas, and then sorting and finding new homes and storage areas for resources. Classes have now resumed and staff and students are loving the fresh new learning environments for these technology areas. Stage 4 will see the second Food Technology kitchen completed, a staff hub, external locker bay for the Year 8 students (new lockers have been ready and waiting for a while now). The area will be completed with a corridor with windows that allow visibility into the kitchens and also seating and cabinetry in the corridors.
Recently our Year 7 locker bay was moved into the senior building. This is in preparation for the temporary closure of ‘A block’ (our Year 7 centre) next week. All spaces in A block will be getting an upgrade, including flexible teaching spaces, break out spaces, separate smaller locker areas (to reduce student congestion at locker bays) and also a thoroughfare in the corridor with additional breakout spaces, group work and collaboration. Our science block will also be getting urgent repairs to the roof in E block. We are very much looking forward to this work to improve our learning areas for staff and students.
Hopefully you have also all seen the announcement of the pledge for further funding made recently at our college to further upgrade our facilities.
We have recently welcomed a new Facilities Manager to our college, Dennis Curnow. Dennis comes to us from Croydon Special School and has many years of experience working in a school setting. He has been hard at work, both decanting different buildings and also getting work completed in the buildings and grounds of our college.
Emergency Management Procedures
We have recently updated our College Emergency Management Plan for 2022/2023. We would ask that you update your contact details if required (remember this can now be completed on our new website). In the event of an emergency our best way of contacting families is through SMS as the first point of call. In the case of an emergency, please follow the information in the text that is sent from the College.
Teaching and Learning
The recent Curriculum Day saw staff continue to design curriculum for our new Middle Years Program. We can confirm that we have over 60 Middle Years Units that will be running in 2023. Staff have been working together to design learning activities and resources for these electives next year. Next week we will be forming student forums to seek student voice and feedback to inform further planning for the Middle Years electives.
Janine McMahon – Assistant Principal
Term 4 Week 2
Welcome back to our college for our final 2022 term. I have been very privileged to have had a term of leave travelling Australia with my family and have returned refreshed and refocused for Term 4.
I am further privileged to be working in the capacity of Assistant Principal with two of my focus areas being Positive Education and Amplify (Student Voice and Leadership).
Emerald Secondary College is committed to ensuring we are providing a holistic education and programs which educate the whole child – we endeavour to improve connectedness to school and instil pride in our college through a positive culture. The concept of Positive Education is centered on the work of Dr. Martin Seligman and is based on the science of Positive Psychology, which he defines as ‘…the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work and play’. At ESC we aim to
Build resilience and
Promote positive engagement
and in doing so improve students’ self-worth, their engagement to school, their purpose and academic motivation. We are working on a robust, fun, evidence-based wellbeing program that reflects these beliefs and objectives and will be embedded in the College program for students 7-12 from 2023.
In Week 2 of this term we began the very exciting process that is the College Captaincy Selection Process for 2023. We encourage Year 11 students this year to consider the four leadership positions that are available and access the Application Form on Compass under ‘School Favourites’. Applicants will be shortlisted by a panel comprising myself, our College Council President Nadia and one of our incumbent College Captains, Ruby. I’m very much looking forward to talking with what I know will be a high calibre of applicants.
In liaison with our SRC and the wider college student body we are also working towards shaping a whole school Student Leadership model with lots of opportunities for students to shine in both formal and informal leadership positions, extend their skills and have their voice heard. The aim is to increase opportunities for student voice, agency and leadership and nurture students’ sense of empowerment.
I welcome any ideas and suggestions from our wider college community – please feel free to contact me at the College.
Exciting times at Emerald Secondary College!
Tanja Korsten – Assistant Principal
Welcome back to Term 4 as we launch into a very busy end to the year.
Whole School Assembly
What an amazing opportunity it was for the whole school community to come to together to celebrate the talents and achievements of our students across different curriculum areas. Our College Captains Michael Dance, Ruby Pugh, Vanessa Dewar and Hendrix Boyle led this whole school assembly with exemplary leadership. We were welcomed by Dustan Rosevear and Hayden Walker with an outstanding Acknowledgment of Country and entertained by Chalee Tjepkema and Kai Hughes. The College farewelled our Year 12 students and recognised their contribution to the College over the last six years. Once again, we wish them all the best for their final exams.
Year level assemblies
Our students engaged in year level assemblies throughout week 1 where they were welcomed back to a busy term. This was a chance for staff to outline key dates and the high expectations of all Emerald Secondary College students. Students were provided with the opportunity to participate in some fun activities to build upon the sense of connection and belonging to our school, promoting a sense of pride at ESC.
Updated Mobile Phone Policy
Please familiarise yourself with the updated mobile phone policy communicated to the community through Compass and the new College website. All policy updates have been communicated to our students as we prepare for an enjoyable Term 4.
Updated Toilet Process
Student asks to go to the toilet
Student receives out of class pass from their teacher
Student collects a key form the librarians to attend the toilet.
Students will go to the toilet and return the key to the librarians and head back to class.
All toilets will be open before school, recess, lunchtime and afterschool.
Emerald Secondary College wants all students to be able to access the curriculum through Compass. Students must ensure their laptops are fully charged for the start of the school day. This allows them to be ready to learn with the required equipment. Due to the nature of charger cords it causes an OH&S risk to the classroom and therefore we cannot allow students to connect their chargers to power points during class time. Students will be able to charge their laptops during recess and lunchtime if they drop their device off at sub-schools or the library with their charger.
Schooling is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 to 17 years (unless an exemption from attendance or enrolment has been granted).
Daily attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they do not fall behind socially or developmentally. School participation maximises life opportunities for children and young people by providing them with education and support networks. School helps people to develop important skills, knowledge and values that set them up for further learning and participation in their community.
Both schools and parents have an important role to play in supporting students to attend school every day.
Emerald Secondary College believes all students should attend school all day, every day when the College is open for instruction and is committed to working with its school community to encourage and support full school attendance.
Our school also promotes student attendance by:
Articulating high expectations of attendance to all members of the College community
Creating safe, supportive learning environments which promote success through active participation and engagement in purposeful learning
Adopting consistent, rigorous procedures to monitor and record student absence
Providing early identification and supportive intervention for students at risk of poor attendance
Linking with local community groups and agencies to maximise program and individual support
Accessing specialist support for individual students with identified behavioural, health or social issues
Providing a staged response to non-attendance
Supporting students to return to school after absences
Attend school every school day
Arrive at school and classes on time and be prepared
Talk to a teacher if there are issues that might impact on their ability to attend school/class
Ensure student attends school every day when instruction is offered
Ensure student arrives at school by 8.50am
If students are in attendance at a school approved activity, the teacher in charge of the activity will record them as being present.
New Attendance Requirements
If your child is sick or absent, you are required to notify the school as soon as possible on the day of absence, by Compass or contacting the school on 5968 5388 or [email protected].
Notifying the school of your child’s absence either prior to, or on the day that they will be away, helps ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and will fulfil your legal responsibility.
From the end of Term 2 2018, all Victorian government schools are required to contact parents/carers as soon as practicable on the same day of an unexplained student absence. If your child is absent on a particular day and you have not contacted the school to explain why, the absence will be marked as unexplained.
This system also promotes daily school attendance. Going to school every day is the single most important part of your child’s education, they learn new things every day – missing school puts them behind.
There are times when we will need to contact you, including on the day if your child is absent and you haven’t informed the school as to why. Do we have your most up to date contact details? If not, please contact the school on 5968 5388 or [email protected] so we can update our records. Please include parent/carers’ name, address, phone numbers, email address and emergency contact details. Please remember to contact the school if any of these details or your circumstances change.
Same-day notification of unexplained student absences
Our school will text/call you as soon as practicable on the day if a student is not at school and you haven’t notified the school as to why. If you are notified by the school that your child is away without a reason, please contact us as soon as possible by calling the school on 5968 5388 or email at [email protected] to let us know where your child is. If we cannot reach you because we don’t have your correct contact details (i.e.: message notification fail, disconnected number), then we will make contact with any emergency contact/s nominated on your child’s file held by the school, where possible, on the same day of the unexplained absence.
Please remember it is your responsibility to contact us to provide an explanation for your child’s absence from school, and where possible, please inform us in advance of upcoming absences.
For further information on the processes and procedures our school uses to record, monitor and follow-up student attendance and absence please read our Attendance Policy Attendance Policy.
Many thanks again for your ongoing support of the College.
Last week of Term 3 the Science faculty had some great practicals. Year 8’s did their much anticipated cow eye dissection. Some were squeamish but most were really excited.
Year 12 Biology concluded with the hominoid skull analysis. Our final topic involved comparison of skull structure between apes, humans, and several bipedal human ancestors. The start of Term 4 is all about revision, revision, revision!
We had a fabulous day celebrating the end of official Year 12 classes. Our seniors arrived at school dressed in the attire of their childhood dream career and were welcomed to school by a small group of Year 7s who gave each student a flower. Year 12s then participated in a variety of games from Primary School, including tunnel ball and octopus, and staff and students enjoyed a delicious breakfast together.
In our farewell assembly, students watched a video with messages of congratulation from their teachers and also the traditional Year 12 Video made by the students themselves. We shared some thoughts and reflections and took students “back to primary school” by reading excerpts from Dr Seuss’, ‘Oh, the Place You’ll Go!’
Finally, students received a letter from their parents or special person in their life. There was not a dry eye in EPAC as letters were read. We thank parents and families for helping create this special moment and can just imagine the big hugs that took place when everyone arrived home later that evening.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022. As a college we are so very proud of you. You showed great enthusiasm, leadership and your sense of pride shone through as you celebrated 13 years of school.
Students sitting their exams are encouraged to come to school and make use of the study spaces and meet with their teachers. The library is open and is a dedicated study space for Year 12s throughout the exam period.
We look forward to seeing you all at Valedictory on November 16 and celebrating the Class of 2022 as a community.
Year 11 Outdoor and Environmental Studies have just returned from three days away at Wilson’s Promontory National Park, investigating the plans to turn this area into a Conservation Reserve. Their experiences included a Welcome to country acknowledging the Boonwurrung and Gunai Kurnai people, observing the sunset from Mt Oberon, participating in a Wilderness boat cruise, surfing and surf rafting, as well as visiting a range of sites in the National Park. They will now use the research they undertook and their experiences to craft a “Habitat Recovery Plan” for the College.
Matt Pringle – Outdoor & Environmental Studies Teacher