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Principal’s Report

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Staffing and Challenges

Many in our community would have become increasingly aware of the difficulties in staffing our schools, both primary and secondary. Currently, there are more positions advertised on recruitment on-line, than staff available to fill all these positions.

This is the reality.

I have spoken about this issue in previous newsletters and wanted to flag it again with you, as we prepare our workforce and planning for 2024.

Workforce is not just about the recruiting of teachers, but curriculum offerings throughout the College. Students have made their subject selections/choices for next year (nearly there) and the reality is that some curriculum offerings have had a low uptake in number and these subjects will not run next year.

The list of subjects (and number of classes in each subject) is determined by student interest. Large numbers of students expressing interest in a subject at a particular level can result in more than one class being offered, while very limited numbers may see a class not being considered viable and, for that year, the subject may be dropped.

We will do our very best, given the limitations of our resources, to construct and deliver a viable curriculum.



Reminder to Complete the 2023 Parent/Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey

Our college is conducting a survey to find out what parents/ caregivers/guardians think of our school. The Parent/ Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey is an annual survey offered by the Department of Education that is designed to assist schools in gaining an understanding of families’ perceptions of school climate, student behaviour, and student engagement. If you received an email inviting you to complete the survey, we would urge you to ‘have your say’ before the survey closes on Friday, 8 September. The survey is optional but we would still encourage you to participate. Our school will use the survey results to help inform and direct future school planning and improvement strategies.

James Barut – College Principal

Assistant Principals’ Report

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Progress Reports

I hope that you have had a chance to review your child’s Term 3 progress reports via the Parent Compass Portal. You may have noticed that the progress reports are looking a little different. After undertaking a review of our progress reports and seeking student, staff and parent feedback we have adjusted our positive learning behaviours that form the basis of our progress reports to fall inline with our school values (as displayed below). 

Please discuss the progress reports with your child.  We look forward to discussing the progress of each student in our upcoming student parent interviews, which will take place in week 9 of this term. 

We congratulate our students on their success in accomplishing their learning goals this term and look forward to working with and supporting our students as they set further goals for themselves in their learning for the remainder of Semester 2.

Community Service

Our Community Service teams continue to make progress as they consolidate connections with our local community, representing our College with enthusiasm and integrity.   Students have composed emails, organised follow-up, attended meetings with community organisations and been pivotal in the organisation of upcoming events.

They are working with MYLI Libraries (Emerald Public Library and assisting in the event planning of YouthFest – watch this space for an invitation to students to participate in the ‘Tiny Art Show’ and other activities.  They have also begun working with Gembrook Primary School and are investigating how we might be able to support Year 6 students during their transition to secondary college, among other ideas.

Students have also met with the Lifestyle Manager at Emerald Glades Aged Care Facility and different groups of student volunteers are meeting weekly on rotation spending time with the residents.  Last week our students made playdough and played Uno.  It is wonderful to see our students making a difference in other peoples’ lives – altruism is a valuable and admirable quality and through our Positive Education programs we encourage this selflessness, concern and empathy for the wellbeing of others.

Model United Nations

We have entered 2 teams into this year’s Model United Nations event through the United Nations Association of Victoria.  We will be representing Pakistan and Spain and have a team of 3 teachers supporting the research and preparation of students who will putting forward an amendment to the Draft Resolution on the topic of ‘achieving gender equality’. 

This is an exciting opportunity for students and we’re so pleased to have a number of students interested in both representing ESC on the day of the event and supporting the team through their research journey.

Smoking and Vaping

Parents, carers, schools, and community all play an important role in protecting children and young people from, and educating them about, the harmful effects of smoking and vaping.

Research from the Royal Children’s Hospital shows many parents and carers are not aware of the harmful effects or how their views about smoking and vaping can impact the likelihood of a young person taking up smoking or vaping.

The Department of Education and Training has developed resources to help you learn more about the health risks of smoking and vaping, and some suggestions about how to talk to children and young people about vaping, and where to get support. To access the resources, go to

You can also view this video on smoking and vaping from experts at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne for health advice and tips for starting a conversation with young people.


In 2024 Emerald Secondary College will be launching a new College scarf ready for the winter 2024. Please see an example of the scarf below as we launch this item at the end of term 1 2024. Pictured below is the updated uniform storyboard outlining the available uniform options for students at PSW.



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
  • Implementing data-driven attendance improvement strategies
  • 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

 Student responsibilities

  • 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

Parent responsibilities

  • Ensure student attends school every day when instruction is offered
  • Ensure student arrives at school by 8.50am

Janine McMahon, Tanja Korsten and Jarrad Donders

The Arts

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Middle Years Photography

Recently in both Middle Years Photography units ‘World Through the Lens’ and ‘Light and Studio’, students have been working with the manual settings of the camera. This has involved using shutter speed to experiment with time and movement in their photos to create interesting aesthetic effects.

Dale Fyfe – The Arts Domain Leader


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Science Week

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. Running each year in August, it features more than 1000 events around Australia, including those delivered by universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums and science centres. These events attract a wide audience from children to adults, and science amateurs to professionals. Over one million people participate in science events across the nation.

This year’s theme was “innovation” so at ESC students in science classes, on excursions, and at special lunchtime events explored how innovation has changed our lives in the 21’s century – from chemistry experiments, to building things, cooking with new ingredients, and of course sampling some snacks made with insect protein – the protein of the future!  

Middle Years environmental science students braved the bad weather to participate in the Ecosystems and Sustainability program at Healesville Sanctuary on Friday.  We observed animals from lyrebirds to Tassie Devils actually enjoying the cold wet weather, did some water testing, and learned about how wetlands are so important to saving our woodland ecosystems. 

Ashley Forster – Science Domain Leader


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The Ping-Pong-A-Thon

Emerald Secondary College is excited to announce we will be having our first ever Ping-Pong- A- Thon! This event aims to raise money to help end modern day slavery. Across the world there are approximately 40.3 million slaves with majority located within 3rd world countries including Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and India. The Ping-Pong-A-Thon strategically partners with organisations who are actively working towards combating slavery across these countries.

So, on Tuesday September 5th from 9am – 3:10pm Emerald Secondary will be picking up their ping-pong bats and playing NON STOP table tennis all day! Students from year 7-9 will be allocated a period to play and senior school and staff can come join in the fun at recess and lunch time. Break out the sweat bands and pick up your bats for a day of non-stop fun.

If you wish to donate to the cause please click the link below- every dollar will help to meet our goal of $1,500 raised, the approximate amount it takes to save one person from slavery.

Felicity Wooden – Wellbeing Co-ordinator


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Year 8 Basketball

It was a great day for Year 8 basketball, two boys teams and one girls team headed to Knox Basketball Stadium to complete at Yarra Division.

We had some amazing results with the boys finishing 2nd and the girls team winning the day.

The girls will compete at Regional in October. 

Yvonne Mauger – Sport Coordinator 

A Blast from the Past

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From the Archives

We thought that it might be interesting to have a look back at some of our past Newsletters and print some of the articles in each future Newsletter, to remember and enjoy some of the things we did from years gone by.  This week’s article is taken from the Newsletter published on February 25th, 2011.

Community News

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