The College hosted a visit from The Hon Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria and recently elected member for Monbulk, Ms Daniela De Martino, to tour the latest upgrades to our college. Dan and Daniela created a real buzz as they walked around the grounds to inspect our facilities. Our students leaders were adept ambassadors and polished professionals in their dealings with our visitors, discussing our programs and their favourite subjects.
The Premier and Ms De Martino were impressed with the upgrades and indeed, they particularly enjoyed all the contemporary learning spaces that had been built and the fantastic new facilities in our Food Technology classrooms.
Yours truly also took the opportunity to walk our guests through parts of our college that require urgent attention/upgrades – much to my delight, The Premier agreed!! We can’t wait for the May budget to deliver us some very, very good news…watch this space!
Time for a break!
First term can always be a bit of a challenge, as a college implements change for the first time. If you remember this time last year, the strategic direction was grounded in the bigger vision of ‘Engagement’ and there were the technical, philosophical and academic adjustments to our curriculum and structure of the day. For the most part, students have found the 5×60 minute day manageable, but there are still some students who require some extra support, in aligning with our very important culture of safe and orderly classrooms.
The BEST curriculum has been met with energy and enthusiasm from most of our students – Mrs Tanja Korsten has outlined some of the curriculum in this newsletter and we will continue to teach our students about wellness, mindfulness, gratitude, and emotional literacy. Combined with our new middle school subjects, there has been quite a bit of change for our learners to absorb.
Next term, we will be catching up with student focus groups to discuss the implementation of all our programs.
Athletics Day = Attendance Day
Last Friday, our annual Athletics Day was held at the Knox track. It was a great day, with so much positive involvement and positive relationships amongst the entire community, outside the classroom.
Listened to music
Supported each other
A great day to continue to build our culture of school connectedness, school pride and harmony.
Thank you to all the staff and students who made the day so successful, especially to our Sport Co-ordinator, Ms Mauger, for all the organisation of the day.
I do wonder if the students absent on the day, had as much fun as those who attended?
Emerald Secondary College VALUES….
….are in the throes of being finalised. Consultation with staff, students, school council and community members has taken place and we have settled on the ones that best exemplify our direction and identity as a college. We will unveil them next term at our whole school assembly and implementation of the College Values will start as soon as possible. Without giving too much away, Respect was definitely up there….
Have a lovely break
The holidays will give everyone an opportunity to take a breather and come back to school next term, all refreshed and ready to go.
A couple of significant milestones have to be mentioned in this newsletter – congratulations to our Year 7 cohort who have just completed their first term of secondary education. For our Year 12s, you’re just about one third through your course and it is important that you continue to build momentum throughout the remainder of the year.
Students will be dismissed at 2.30pm on Thursday, 6th April
The 24th April is a Curriculum Day for the College – students are not required at school
The Kitchen Garden project is continuing to proceed with the help of our Vocational Major Students. We have seen ground cleared and levelled for a small concrete slab to be laid. This has allowed for the construction of a small garden shed. Further clearing and construction of garden beds will continue. We are enjoying watching this project as it develops and thank Rotary for their continued support.
This week we received news that we have approval to start work on a new shade sail structure, after obtaining a $25,000 grant. This shade structure will be constructed between the library and E block, in the hope that we will be able to create an outdoor flexible learning space for our students and staff to enjoy.
Teaching and Learning
It was great to meet with families in our recent parent teacher interviews to discuss student progress, achievement, set goals and discuss ways that we can support students in their learning.
As we near the end to a busy term we see our students come to the end of their first round of Common Assessment Tasks. For some students, they are well practised at the routines of study and revision in preparation for assessment time. For our Year 7 students, this term they have learnt how to access Compass, how to store files in an organised way on their laptops, and how to access resources such as notetaking sheets on the library catalogue. They have been shown how to access their learning tasks, upload tasks from their files to learning tasks for submission, and how to engage in feedback with their teacher in the conversation box in the learning task. Many Year 7 students undertook practice assessment tasks, prior to submitting CATs to get used to processes and routines of assessment time.
Well done to all our students for their efforts in their learning for Term 1.
Have a great break together, and we look forward to fantastic Term 2.
It’s been a big couple of weeks in BEST!
For our Year 7-9 students we have been focussing on friendships, relationships and communication.
Year 7 students discussed and explored positive acts of friendship and kindness and worked collaboratively, looking at the Friendship Pyramid and identifying together what makes a healthy friendship.
Year 8 students delved deeper still into discussions around relationships and communication. Students explored different scenarios that a typical student of their age might find themselves in, and shared strategies and positive outcomes that they could work toward achieving in tricky situations. They also explored how to tackle difficult situations – how do you get yourself out of a conversation or situation you don’t want to be in? What happens if you don’t agree with what’s happening around you? How can you be a part of a peer group, but also be an upstander (stand up for what’s right) if your gut is telling you it’s not? Students looked at the following strategies:
Be clear about how you feel and what you want
Look at the issue from the other person’s perspective
If things aren’t going to plan, take a break
Agree to disagree
Look after yourself
This is important work for our students and we encourage families to continue the conversation at home.
Year 9s focussed on the difference between bullying and banter – how to identify, acknowledge and even challenge when friendly banter crosses the line and is hurtful and makes others feel uncomfortable.
Students in Years 10-12 explored the VIA Institute’s 24 Character Strengths. The VIA Institute’s work is centred around positive education, the science of strengths and the practice of wellbeing. Students enjoyed participating in a quiz to determine their strengths and looked closely at each of the strengths and how these might manifest in their lives at school, work, family and in their leisure pursuits.
World Down Syndrome Day
Monday 21st March was World Down Syndrome Day and Emerald Secondary College celebrated with colourful socks and a stellar lunchtime performance! Josh and Jeremy are our students with Down Syndrome and students right across the College learned more about Down Syndrome in their BEST lessons and worked together, putting together some beautiful letters, poems and messages for Josh and Jeremy letting them know how much they are appreciated, what they learn from them and why we’re grateful to have them part of our school community. The boys wowed the crowds at lunchtime with their singing and dancing and performing of their favourite tunes.
ESC is an inclusive school and we celebrate and embrace difference and diversity!
On Monday 27th March we held our Student Leadership Investiture Ceremony.
67 students were acknowledged and celebrated for having the courage, initiative and positive mindset to put their hands up and be a part of our College Leadership Team and Representative Crews. We were very pleased to have had Michael Galea – ex ESC College Captain & MP for Southern Metro Region and Daniela DeMartino – MP for Monbulk attend and address our students along with James – inspiring them to continue contributing, to activate their student voice and to make a difference on their own leadership journeys.
Over 45 parents/grandparents were able to join us for the Investiture Ceremony – it was lovely to have so many proud parents part of our celebrations.
Our College Captains Hayley, Jackson, Ethan and Caiti did a great job running the proceedings and it was a great opportunity to showcase our students’ successes to our school community.
Our College Captains were also a part of a Statewide GRIP Student Leadership Conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre on Wednesday 29th March. They represented our college perfectly and had the opportunity to take in a number of workshops around making our school a great place for everybody, positive impact, running assemblies, making others feel valued and getting others on board with new ideas.
We are so excited to launch into Term 2 with our new Student Leadership Teams. There are always opportunities to join a crew or group – students can see Mrs. Korsten for more information.
Parent Teacher Interviews
What an opportunity it was for teachers, students, and parents/carers to come together to foster strong partnerships as a community focused on learning, engagement and achievement. Parent teacher interviews are an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress, strengths, and future learning opportunities.
The meetings allowed opportunity to:
discuss your child’s engagement during the learning periods.
inform you of your child’s progress.
discuss areas of strength and/or concern.
discuss any further strategies that the school may consider to be of benefit.
Thank you to all parents/carers that attended our parent teacher interviews and we look forward to continuing our work of strong student outcomes.
Uniform & Appearance
Emerald Secondary College is a uniform school.
The full list of Emerald Secondary College’s compulsory school uniform items are available at Appendix A to this policy.
While at school, travelling to or from school or participating in school activities, Emerald Secondary College students must comply with the following:
Uniforms must be clean and in good repair
Additional layers of clothing may be worn underneath the uniform for added warmth, provided these undergarments are completely hidden.
Where a staff member has been made aware of a welfare issue in relation to uniform the student will be given borrowed items if available, and there will be support through State-School Relief. The student may be issued with a pass by the Learning engagement Leader for a set period of time.
As we come to the end of Term 1 our Year 7-12 students will experience their celebration assemblies to recognise their achievement in effort & engagement, attendance, academics and behaviour throughout this term. Our student leaders will be hosting these assemblies and we look forward to the performances undertaken by our music students. Barry Plant & Jacqui Ryder are awarding a ‘Good Choice Award’ to one student in each year level each term with a $50 voucher and we thank Barry Plant for their contribution to the school. The ‘Good choice Award’ is built around the following criteria – kind, caring, upstanding leader in their cohort and goes out of their way for others.
School photos have been delivered to the College. All students will receive their photos during their BEST classes in week 10 & 11.
Emerald Secondary College School Tours – Term 2
School tours run every Wednesday morning at 10.15am.
It was a great day on Friday, the sun came out and competition was fierce from all who competed. The winning house on the day by the smallest of margins was O’Neil, four new records were set. Well done to all who came along and got involved, many thanks to all the staff and students for making the day such a huge success.
Nate Hall 12/13 – 200m 26.06
Nate Hall 12/13 – 100m 13.00
Nate Hall 12/13 – High Jump 1.50
Nate Hall 12/13 – Triple Jump 10.44
Kiara Flavel 18/20 – 1500 5.07.53
Age group champions
Noah Van Haren
Mitch Attley of year 7, participated in the regional Golf competition at the Eastern Golf Club in Yering completing 18 holes. He did an outstanding job representing the school.
He was playing against 40 or more kids aged between 12 – 17. We ae stilling waiting on the final results; however it is believed that Mitch finished in the middle of the field.
What a fantastic event – We had 9 brave students and staff who were willing to shave, cut or colour their hair.
We raised $4,665.50 – A tremendous effort – a big thank-you to all who donated and supported this event. This will go a long way to supporting the Leukemia Foundation.
A huge thanks must go out to Amber and Cody Wilkes who donated their time to shave and cut a lot of hair.
Our Brave Students are …
Hollie Kee – Year 12
Kynan Bennet – Year 10
Taesha Korstan – Year 9
Elijah Ling – Year 8
Our brave staff are …
The day was held in the quadrangle and witnessed by most of the school. The crowd was very encouraging and cheering on their friends and teachers. Other students also had the opportunity to get their hair sprayed with some fun colours and shapes to raise some more money. A huge thanks to our school captains for running this stall.
What a jam packed three days of fun we have all had. We began with a trip to The Nobbies for a stroll on the boardwalk, before going to the Wildlife Park where we fed kangaroos, emus, and wallabies and saw a variety of plant and bird life.
We arrived at camp settled in to our first activities including the flying fox, archery, the giant swing and rock climbing.
On evening number one, we had a disco and boogied away!
The second day begin with a beach walk and we played some games in the sand including Magic Shoes and Fox Holes. The students enjoyed the sea air and the sand. We returned to camp to complete a rotation of the activities before we sat down to dinner, Taco Tuesday!
We sang Happy Birthday to one of our happy campers and showcased some Year 7 talents in a talent show, which provided us with many laughs, smiles and appreciation of our students. We then took off on a walk to the pier before we returned to tuck in for our final night’s sleep at CYC, The Island.
Junior Sub School Team
The Year 7 camp recap by Alex Rees (7D)
It started as a long bus trip that wasn’t that bad from Emerald SC to Phillip Island, with a couple of cool things to look at along the way. Roadside sculptures, beaches and everyone was hyped to see the bridge towards Phillip Island.
The first thing we arrived at was The Nobbies centre and boardwalk around lunch time. We saw the amazing blow hole at the end of the boardwalk, which was very splashy and cold. We headed off to the wildlife park where there were so many cool animals!
There were koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, emus, lizards, turtles, snakes, bats, cool birds, Tasmanian devils, rabbits etc. We were even able to hand feed the majority of them all!
Instead of taking the bus to camp we did a 30-minute walk from the wildlife park which was exhausting in some opinions but fun in others.
After about ten minutes of settling in, we went to the rec for our first activity, there were many different activities including giant swing, the circatron, archery, flying fox, mechanical wall and so on.
My group had the circatron first, it was a circle that your harnessed into, then is spun around. There are three circles, white, red and blue and they all spin you in different directions and it’s really crazy.
Now onto the morning of the next day. Everybody took a walk to the beach for some team games. Fox holes (my favourite) and magic shoes. Fox holes was a red light green light based game, although if you’re seen you’re out. The players have 5 to 10 minutes to dig a bunch of fox holes to hide in over the beach, then you must get from hole to hole until you pass the line without being seen. Next was magic shoes, only one person has the shoes on at a time and must carry people to the other side of the beach. If you’ve already had the shoes you cannot move back to pick everyone up, so each person must use the shoes to get every across the line to win. Then we headed back for the next few activities, there was archery, shoot a bow at the target and try get a bullseye. Mechanical wall was small rock climbing wall the rotates and moves around as you climb. On the giant swing you are put in a harness on a 15 metre tall swing, then the rest of the group pulls a rope for you to go up. Then when we are ready, pull a cord and swing down. Flying fox, you’re sent up a 7 metre tall platform with a harness on, then you get attached to the line and zoom down the line.
On Thursday March 16, Year 12 Biology students attended a program at the Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC) at the University of Melbourne “Applying Biotechnologies to Produce Human Insulin” to apply gene cloning techniques used in protein production. Students use models to demonstrate the processes underpinning various DNA technologies. They performed restriction digests and gel electrophoresis to determine if two genes, including a marker gene for Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), had been successfully inserted into a plasmid vector. They transformed E.coli cells with the recombinant plasmid vector so that they will produce a new protein and the marker protein, GFP. They plated out their transformed E.coli samples on selective media and took these plates back to school to identify if bacteria had been transformed with the recombinant plasmid. This excursion was directly linked to Unit 3 AOS 1 curriculum and provided four hours of hands-on lab work.
On Saturday 18th March 14 students and their parents headed to Casey Fields Cycling track to compete in race 1 of the Victorian Human Powered Vehicles (HPV) series. The school entered 2 teams. Lily, Harry, Jasmine, Ethan, Miah and Riley in Senior (mixed equal numbers of males and females) where they finished 1st in their category. Zak, Daniel, Ben, Elijah, Decca, Riley, Jude and Calvin in Middle (all boys) where they finished 2nd in their category. What a fantastic start to the series.
Thanks also to the parents Gavin, Nadia and Christian (who managed the teams) and to all the other parents who helped in the pit or with marshalling.
Finally, I would like to thank our current major sponsor Barry Plant Real Estate for their generous contribution to keeping our HPV’s on the road. If anyone else is able to help out and sponsor our program please contact Shane Closter at school.