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Principal’s Report

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WELCOME to our new staff 

Please join me in welcoming our new staff into our learning community:

Ms Kimberley Herbert – Art and Photography

Mrs Fiona Minorgan – Humanities

Ms Ginny Liu – Maths

Ms Louise McInnes – English, Tutor and MYLNs (Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy support)

Ms Annie Gesthuizen – Front Office

Ms Annie Wylaars – Food

Ms Menallie Slusher – College Chaplain

Mrs Samantha Streader – Inclusion Learning Assistant

Ms Daisy McMahon – Disability Inclusion Admin Officer

We are very pleased to have our new staff in our college, as there is still a state-wide, if not nation-wide shortage of teachers. We understand that there is a degree of frustration building in our community, but we ask for your support in the understanding that we are doing our best to have a regular, expert teacher in front of a class.

 Attitudes to School Survey

 As per the information in the last newsletter, the AtoSS was completed by most of our students during their BEST lesson. Years 7 and 8 will be completing the survey later this week and the final results will be collated by DET and feedback provided back to schools at a later date.

Why is this information important?

Its importance is that we strive as a community to make a difference, to make our college the best it can be for everyone – information, feedback and communication is key to school improvement. As always, the results will be shared with all of you. In the upcoming weeks, staff and families will be invited to partake in the survey – everyone will have a voice and have an opportunity to be heard.

Values at Emerald Secondary College





Our students have embraced the new college values and there has been a real shift in the dynamics on expectations and positive learning behaviours. Some students require extra support in supporting this culture change and we will be working closely with them and their families to arrive at an agreed understanding of suitable behaviours and actions – our college is a place of respect, excellence, resilience, and harmony.

Child Safety at Emerald Secondary College

 During the week, I wrote to all of you, explaining that we are upgrading our child safe standards, in compliance and practice with DET’s new legislation. This is ongoing work for the College, and I will keep you updated, as the consultation and implementation program unfolds.

It’s FREEZING in Emerald!

 We all know that Emerald can get mighty, might cold – we continue to work with our student leaders and uniform partners, PSW, to provide an extensive list of uniform items. Our goal is:

  1. To make the choices as affordable as possible
  2. Practical and comfortable
  3. Warm
  4. Maintaining a school identity and pride in our college
  5. Equitable for all – no showing off with ‘branded’ items of clothing

There are no hoodies on the uniform list. If a student wants to wear an undergarment under their school jacket, a windcheater without a hood is okay. To stay warm, PSW sells college caps and college beanies to keep out those winter chills. The cap and beanie are available for purchase from the General Office.

Thus, no hoodies at Emerald Secondary College please. Thank you for your on-going support.

James Barut – College Principal

Assistant Principals’ Report

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Term 2 Progress Reports

We have recently completed our Term 2 progress reports, which are a measure of the Emerald Secondary College positive learning behaviours. Year level averages have been calculated and can be viewed below.  As a college we will be looking at this data to see if there are any areas of the teaching and learning program that could be bolstered to improve the learning experience and outcomes for our students. 

For example, you may notice in the graph below that ‘uses tech to deepen knowledge and understanding in Term 2 is lower for our Year 8 and 9 students, than other year levels.  Additionally, ‘uses feedback effectively’ and ‘asks questions for clarity’ are lower in our Year 9 students than other cohorts of students.  As a college we will continue to unpack this data and provide opportunities in the teaching and learning program for our students to demonstrate positive learning behaviours in their lessons.


Introducing Axel – our Wellbeing Dog

We are excited to announce that we are about to launch the Dogs Connect program in our school. This is a whole school wellbeing program which will see the introduction of a wellbeing dog in our community. Our school wellbeing dog will become a much loved and important member of our community.  The Dogs Connect program will support us in implementing this very gradually, thoroughly, and considerately. At this stage we encourage anyone who would like to know more about this program to look through the website link below:

We know that this work will have a really positive impact on many people in our community, and we acknowledge and respect that connection with our wellbeing dog will be offered on a great variety of levels. 


Student Leadership, Voice & Agency

Student Parliament Progress Report 

Quite a number of issues have been brought up in the two meetings we have had in student parliament, leading to interesting discussions between all of the representatives, both junior and senior. Some of the topics we have covered so far includes the 695 bus – where there were concerns regarding how people were getting on the bus and the sheer amount of people on the bus itself from school, therefore resulting in people missing the bus. General school improvements that kids would like to see, ways to get people involved in events etc. We are hoping to further progress some of these ideas and contributions in the coming weeks. Although, it’s been difficult to get everyone together due to there being events on when the meeting is to be held. Overall the Student Parliament has been off to a fabulous start and it’s great to see everyone contributing to better Emerald Secondary College. 

-Caiti, Ethan, Hayley & Jackson – College Captains


Student Representative Council (SRC) Report

Student Representative Council has been off to a running start! With two well attended meetings held fortnightly on Fridays in A1. Students have been enthusiastically leading discussion and sharing their ideas for school improvement and events. Among other things, students have suggested fundraisers for charity, improvements for BEST, clubs and sporting events. Hopefully if all goes well we can see a brand new chess club for students to test their wit against each other. General school improvements have been mentioned like shelves for the students with plastic lockers, and consistency across the school for the volume of the PA speakers. Thanks to those who’ve participated in SRC, student’s voice can be heard and represented, helping to contribute to fun opportunities for students, and improvements around our school. 

  • Daniel McAllister (Communications Leader) on behalf of SRC Leaders Keilah Dewar & Jayden Regan

Student Portfolio Representatives

Following our Investiture last term, staff have been meeting with their teams and discussing authentic ways for them to exercise student voice and agency and contribute to decision making for the improvement of ESC.  Some of the things happening include:

  • Radio Club have been working with staff leadership and we now have music replacing bells. The students have learned how to operate the system and have created their own playlists.  Students are looking to expanding their current role and exploring other ESC radio options
  • Community Leaders will be working on commencing partnerships with some of our local primary schools, Emerald Glades, Emerald Public Library, Puffing Billy Railway and the Emerald Village Association and other community groups. They are opening up communications and we are excited to see what’s to come!
  • Student Parliament and Student Representative Council meet fortnightly on alternate weeks. Both groups are entirely student led and students take the initiative when scheduling and promoting meetings, creating an agenda and distributing meeting minutes and actioning ideas and steps forward.
  • Ambassadors continue to very proudly and ably represent the College at public events such as Reconciliation Week Events coming up at the Emerald Hub
  • Book Club and Literacy Leaders are working toward meeting with representative from the Emerald Public Library also and are working with our library staff on book club and related events

 Positive Education

Our students across all year levels recently participated in education around Upstander and Bystander behaviours and actions in BEST lessons (Build, Engage, Succeed, Thrive).

We describe a  bystander as a person who is present at an event or incident but they do not take part.  They stay silent and watch.  They might walk off.  Crucial to understanding the impact of bystander behaviours is that consideration that this inaction has an enormous effect on those at the centre of an incident.

Classes discussed  situations where they could feasibly help without putting themselves at risk and how this might occur safely.  Being an upstander involves developing the awareness, skills and courage needed to intervene in a situation when another individual needs help – we can act , we can change the outcome of an event, or prevent it from escalating.

  Support was also offered to students as always. 


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

SEAL Primary School Visits

Selected SEAL students are visiting our local Primary Schools to promote the Emerald Secondary College SEAL program. Visits so far have included Macclesfield PS, Emerald Primary School with visits scheduled to Selby, Cockatoo, Gembrook and Menzies Creek Primary Schools coming up soon. Our students have set a fine example encouraging our future students to pursue their passions to accelerate, enrich and extend their interests in reading comprehension, abstract reasoning, mathematical reasoning, and written expression. We look forward to meeting our next cohort of SEAL students at Emerald Secondary College.

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.

General appearance

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.

Uniform – New Puffa Jacket

ESC’s new Puffer jacket is now ready for purchase at PSW. All sizes are available in store and online.

A new style uniform pant is also coming soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Emerald Secondary College School Tours –  Term 2

School tours run every Wednesday morning at 10.15am.

To book please click the link below.

Book a School Tour Here

Alternatively, please scan the QR code below:

We also offer School Tours for prospective Select Entry Accelerated Learning (SEAL) parents/students Wednesday at 11.30am. The tours are run by our SEAL Co-Ordinator, Tiana Clayworth. 

To book please click the link below.

Book a SEAL School Tour Here 

If you would like to request an alternate tour date, please contact reception on 5968 5388.

Janine McMahon, Tanja Korsten and Jarrad Donders – Assistant Principals



Careers and Pathways

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Careers & Pathway News

In the lead up to subject selections early in Term 3,  the Careers Team organised some excursions for our Year 9, 10 and 11 cohorts to encourage discussions and thoughts around career pathways and subjects.

Students from Year 9 attended Try a Trade Expo at Skye where they were able to try their hand at bricklaying and carpentry to name a few. There were also representatives from the TAFEs and Universities for students to speak with.

Our Year 10 cohort attended Deakin University and Boxhill TAFE where they learned about the courses and pathways on offer and had a tour of the facilities.

Finally, our Year 11s attended a VCE and Careers Expo at Caulfield Racecourse where they met with representatives from gap year organisations, TAFEs, Universities, Employers, Trade Associations, and many, many, more.

Sarah Kennedy – VET Co-ordinator & Careers and Pathways Assistant


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Year 8 Sport  

We had teams go out for badminton and netball, and it was a great day.  The netball girls finished 2nd and the badminton girls will proceed to regional level after winning the day. 

Junior Boys Netball – Monday 15th of May

Two teams of excited Year 7 & 8 boys headed to Pinks Reserve to play netball on Monday; they had a great day and came away with a few wins too.

Well done to all involved. 

Regional Cross Country 

The following students have moved on to regional cross country at Yarra Glen Race Course on the 12th of June:

Lucy, Tia, Alice, Jasmine, Miah, Myra, Lily, Nate, Jude, Xavier, Lincoln, Brad, Ziggy, Tyson, Toby, Jackson, Sterling and Noah. 


Yvonne Mauger – Sport Coordinator 

Wellbeing Disability & Inclusion

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IDAHOBIT Day – 2023

IDAHOBIT Day is the international day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia which is celebrated across the globe on May 17th.

IDAHOBIT Day was celebrated at Emerald Secondary on Monday 15th May. Cardinia Shire Council Youth Workers, in conjunction with a wonderful group of students, planned the celebrations for the day.

Activities included nail painting, face painting, making beaded key chains and rainbow cupcakes. IDAHOBIT day is important as it highlights the importance of embracing and respecting diversity.

It was wonderful to see so many students and staff engaged in the lunchtime activities.

Emerald Secondary College host a ‘Gay Straight Alliance Group’ that meets every Monday at lunchtime to discuss and plan important days such as IDAHOBIT day and Wear it Purple Day.  All students are welcome to join in.

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club runs every Tuesday and Friday mornings FREE and open to all students.

We would like to thank Food Bank, the Education Department and Victorian State Government for supplying our school with new appliances.  We now have wonderful new appliances to assist with breakfast club.  New microwaves, toasters, sandwich press, blenders.

Come alone and have some yummy hot chocolate, toast, toasted sandwiches fruit and cereal. ALL WELCOME

Felicity Wooden – Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Year 7 Science

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Blooket!  is a 10 minute online game where students answer fast questions and then complete a task based on a theme game (Gold Quest, Crypto Hack etc.).  The game allows students to drill their vocabulary or do other quick-answer revision questions in a fun way.  7A does a Blooket! in science about once a week (usually to review vocabulary) and everyone loves it.  It’s quite competitive, and teams can ‘steal’ from each other, which can make the scores shift constantly for maximum excitement.  Winning teams get stickers, but the enthusiasm of playing and winning is usually enough, as you can see from this photo of 7A!  

Ashley Forster – Science Teacher

Community News

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