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Principal’s Report

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8.77 million coming our way!!

The Victorian Government is investing record funding in our schools to make Victoria the Education State and give every student access a great local school and education.

Our school has been allocated $8.77m in last month’s budget. This funding will help our school to continue upgrading our learning spaces.

We will work closely with the School Council and the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) to deliver an outcome that will benefit the entire community.

To prepare for the upgrade, we will complete an Asset Management Plan over the coming weeks. The AMP is a long-term document that helps to plan for a school’s future. The plan identifies, organises and prioritises the building works required at a school – ensuring students have access to educational facilities that prepare them to thrive in the 21st century. We will be sharing updates on this and will be running some sessions to gather input from all our staff and the wider community. Our School Council will play a vital role in this consultative process. We will also involve our students to listen to their unique and important perspective.

We will share further details about these community information sessions closer to the time and invite you to participate.

We will also keep you informed through regular newsletter updates as the project progresses.

For further information and upgrades, keep an eye on our school website and socials.

The end of term work!

The last couple of weeks of this term will see all of our students finalising assessment tasks, CATs, SACs and that means that exams are nigh. Revision and study will be the focus, as the expectation is that all students will do their personal best. Teachers, too, are busily preparing feedback and reports to the students and to their families. Exams attract a real sense of occasion and importance and the build-up of grit and resilience, to face the examination period head-on. Exams are always constructed to review the learning of our students and their partnership with their learning habits, study, and preparation. I have had the pleasure of popping into our quiet study classroom in our resource centre and have witnessed the productive revision and preparation that our students are doing – I even got involved by quizzing some students about their Biology terminology and they nailed every single one!

Good luck to all our students.

Working together – partnerships

As a school community we are continuing to ensure that each and every student is supported with their learning and wellbeing, all with the aim of supporting the growth and development of well-rounded citizens who are equipped with the skills to be learners and leaders of our communities in the future.

A part of this work is always a partnership with all our community, as we all navigate through these extraordinary times. Often, staff will post a green chronicle on a student’s homepage on Compass, citing observations of a Ready to Learn disposition that includes all equipment, all homework completed and a positive, inquisitive approach to learning. A part of this work includes supporting students with their choices and behaviours that they exhibit as a student at Emerald Secondary College.

All the work we do is built on a platform of restorative conversations and logical consequences.

Please don’t forget our college views of Respect, Resilience, Excellence and Harmony, as these values underpin everything we do.


Staffing (or lack thereof), continues to challenge our college.  As best we could, we are building a pool of CRTs, that our students know, that assists with continuity; however, this does not preclude our students accessing Compass and completing the set work in an orderly environment.  Expectations of high achievement and high standards will never change.

James Barut – Principal

Assistant Principals’ Report

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Axel Update

Axel is now 12 weeks old.  Research shows that having a Wellbeing dog at a school help people to feel brighter and happier.

There is a lot of training and work to be completed prior to Axel being on site, however, here are some things you might find interesting about his progress:

  • Axel has been learning to sit and is now working on waiting before his mealtime.
  • He loves being outside and prances around with great excitement.
  • The core group who will be working with Axel have been undertaking online training modules and have many instructions when training and interacting with Axel. 
  • There is a checklist of tasks to complete prior to Axel coming on site.  Preparation will take many weeks and will involve staff, students, and our wider school community.
  • This will include differentiated teaching of the 3 expectations and why it is crucial for a dog to learn to relax, including
    • Say hello to the person and not to the dog.
    • Give space to the dog.
    • Keep moving (don’t stand and stare).

Please have a look at the following clip from Dogs Connect.  This has been created for part of the introduction to having a wellbeing dog onsite soon…


Building and Grounds update

It was with great excitement that we had confirmation of the $8.77 funding for further capital improvements at the college from the state government.  We have already been meeting to discuss the planning stages of this next project, and considering how the teaching and learning program could benefit from further building upgrades.

We are also finalising details from our last capital works program.  Including blinds to be installed and supplied in A block, our Year 7 centre.  We have also ordered new furniture for many of the spaces that were involved in our capital works program, including classroom spaces and breakout spaces.  This furniture, while its arrival is still a few weeks away, will be a valued addition to the completion of our project, and will help in promoting student engagement in their learning.

We can’t wait for it to arrive for our students to enjoy!

Student Leadership News

Student Parliament and the Student Representative Council continue to address issues important to the student body.  Parliament is currently discussing how our learning environment can be improved and have been brainstorming ideas and suggestions in our collective endeavour to ensure we have a positive culture at our College.  Other discussion prompts have been:

  • How we make out LGBTQI+ community members feel safer and more accepted in our school environment
  • What student leadership can do to ensure that all students at ESC have engaging opportunities and things to do during break times
  • How to encourage the creation of clubs to make everyone feel more involved
  • Promoting respect for our physical environment
  • Safe travel to and from school

Senior students are also looking into how buddy/mentor/peer relationships with junior school students might promote positive behaviours and positive contributions to our school community.


This week in BEST, Year 7 and 8 students engaged in a ‘Minute to Win It’ challenge.

Pairs of students competed against each other, blindfolded, to spoon as many cotton balls into a bowl within a minute that they could.  Winners will go on to compete against each other – who will be the ultimate Snowball Challenge winner??!!



As the winter cold snap continues this is a reminder that it is compulsory for students to wear the College uniform outlined below. Students should NOT be wearing tracksuit pants, leggings, non-uniform hoodies/jumpers, non ESC beanies/hats or white shoesScarves are allowed but they should be completely navy blue or black.

In exciting news our new ESC pants are now in stock at PSW. Please call through to PSW to ensure they have your child’s size before you head into store or order online. Further stock will be coming into the PSW store in June.

The new style track pants (current sizes available

Size 18/M 





Lastly our ‘Puffa Jacket’ is proving to be popular item in the cooler months which can also be purchased at PSW.


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





Food Technology

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Let’s Get Baking

The Middle Years Let’s Get Baking class did really well in their Cake Decorating CAT.  The cakes look delicious!


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Colourful chemistry 

Years 9 – investigating the colour changes of cabbage, beetroot, turmeric, and blueberries in solutions of different pH.

Year 8 SEAL – Investigating the colours emitted by different ionic compounds when placed in a flame. (Some of them seem more impressed than others.)


Craig Fairburn – Chemistry Teacher

Year 11 Psychology Visit to Emerald Primary School

The Year 11 Psychology classes visited Emerald Primary School last week to collect information on how the younger students’ problem solve and think about the world. The Year 11s worked well with a Grade 4 and a Grade 6 class. Thank you to Emerald Primary School for having us!

Samantha McLean – Psychology Teacher


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Senior Sports Day
Congratulations to our senior sports players. Senior Footy managed a close win over Lilydale High and Senior Netball won their last game against Yarra Hills. Awesome effort !!

Yvonne Mauger – Sport Co-ordinator

Year 7 Boys Football

On Wednesday 31st May our Year 7 boys football team travelled to Pinks Reserve to play against Lilydale High School, Lilydale Heights Secondary College, Upper Yarra Secondary College and Monbulk College. Our boys progressed through after our pool games to play off for third place on the day beating Monbulk College by 28 points.

Congratulations on finishing third for the day.

Jarrad Donders


Year 7 Netball

Well done to our Year 7 students who competed in the Netball yesterday at Pinks Reserve in Kilsyth. 

Emerald Blue played four games, and for a team where a number of players had not played Netball before, they should be very proud of their efforts, teamwork and resilience. Emerald Red won two of their three games and played against Monbulk in the Bronze medal match. The team never gave up and fought until the final whistle taking out 4th place overall. A fantastic result, well done girls!

A special mention to our senior students – Chelsea, Summer and Gemma – who assisted with coaching, supporting and encouraging the teams. It was great to see all students supporting and encouraging each other across the day – a true display of our college values and school spirit.

Amy Donders

Wellbeing, Disability and Inclusion

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What a wonderful time we have had in Wellbeing

Welcome to our new Chaplain Menallie Slusher

In her own words –   

Hi I’m Menallie (not to be confused with Melanie) and I’m the new Chaplain!   

You will find me in the L block Tuesdays and Fridays.

I have the cutest dog in the world and her name is Rosie. During my free time you will find me reading or watching YouTube or spending time with my friends.  I love the musical SIX and will listen to the soundtrack to get me pumped up. I spend my holidays volunteering on camps where I run games and will spend time with campers.

I am so excited to be a part of Emerald and its community. Come and say Hi to me when I am in!


The theme for this years Reconciliation Week is “Be a Voice for Generations”  This theme encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconcilliation where we live, work and play.

Cardinia Shire Council hosted a Reconciliation Week event on Tuesday. The event included a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony, storytelling by a local Wurundjeri man with didgeridoo performance and activities.  Two of our students spoke about what Reconciliation means to them and our school.  The aim of the event was to provide an opportunity to bring people together to build stronger relationships between Indigenous children, young people and families with Council and other non-indigenous community members.

  • I felt happy to be there and I loved the smoke from the leaves. It was amazing seeing all the cool art, people have put a lot of effort into making them – Kiarna
  • I really enjoyed going to the reconciliation celebration at Emerald Hub on Tuesday. I got a lot out of it. – Kalana


We were very lucky to have Red Cymbal come to ESC to run a drum shed session.

Drum sheds bring young people together to jam, learn from each other, share ideas and hang out in a friendly environment.   Three drum kits and a bass guitar were available for students to “jam”.

We’ll set up multiple drum kits and percussion instruments for students to jam on, no matter their musical tastes or abilities. It was a fun hour inspiring people to play music and participate in a friendly positive event.

There are a lot of research studies that suggest strong links between the development of positive mental health and making music/jamming.

  • The drumming was super fun, I loved it  – Jesse
  • It was fun – Jeremy


On Tuesdays, our new Chaplain Menallie runs a lunch time fun program – Lots of games – Everyone is welcome. The favourite game this week was Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza.

  • It was fun spending time with my peers and getting to play games with them – Izzy

Felicity Wooden – Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Junior School

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Boori Monty Pryor Incursion

The Year 7 students were treated to an incursion with Boori Monty Pryor. He is the author of one of the Year 7 English texts, the Binna Binna Man. 

Students were delighted with Boori’s story telling as he read one of his picture books. ‘The Story Doctor’, in EPAC. Boori explained the meaning behind the illustrations, and told the story of resident Emu, Eddy, from Wongutha Christian Aboriginal School.

Boori was especially impressed with our Year 7 cohort, who upheld the College Values of Respect and Excellence throughout the presentation. 

Melissa Findlay – Junior School Leader


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Winter Music Concert

On Tuesday 30th May, ESC music students presented an eclectic programme of musical works for parents, family members and school staff members. The house was packed with over 250 in attendance. 

The concert featured performances by: Taiko Drumming (Mr. Kawakami) Jazz Band (Mr. Key), Year 7 Band Class Band (Mr. Wickremesooriya), Year 7 Drummers (Mr. McLeod) and Guitar Group (Mr. Cole). Students in taking lessons at ESC and in VCE Music Units 3 & 4 presented a wide range of pieces in solo, duet and group contexts. 

The event was streamed live to L block, where students awaited their turn to perform.  

Damon Key – Music Teacher

Senior School

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VM Literacy Magazine

Check out these fantastic articles in the first edition of VMAG, an online magazine created by our Year 11 VCE-VM Literacy Class. Students have written about a broad variety of topics; from the ethics of capital punishment, to the future of the automotive industry and all the things you might not know about Uber Eats – you can read it all here!

Jack Talbot – VM Literacy Teacher


School Announcements & School Council Report

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Dear School Community,

Following the March AGM, the ESC School Council consists of a mix of experienced and fresh faces, to continue the rich discussions ensuring the decisions affecting our students are first of foremost in the interest of the students. Being one year from putting together the schools Strategic Plan, we are well on the way to reaching goals with improved attendance rates, appropriate changes to the school uniform and increased opportunities for student voice, just to name a few.

Often with the stresses of life it can be very easy to focus on the negatives however, a productive School Council celebrates the positives and uses these to work towards addressing any issues. The stability in the leadership of our school means we can work together with our student body and community to have productive conversations about all areas of the school, whether they be points to celebrate or issues that need to be voiced. There is a real focus on providing accessible education for everyone and the data reflects that our school is most certainly heading in the right direction. There should be no doubt that ESC is the school of choice to be able to provide all the families in our community with the education required to fulfil future goals.

With Term 2 being short, we are well and truly heading towards the exam period. We would like to wish everyone the best for their exams – remember, if you do your best, you have done enough. Finally, if any families have any queries or concerns and for whatever reason contacting the school is difficult – reaching out to members of School Council is another possible avenue. There are six parents on School Council that no doubt you’ll see around the community and our fantastic four College Captains are well known to our student body. We always welcome constructive feedback, if there are any issues you feel need to be addressed pleased don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Nadia Beardshaw

School Council President

[email protected]



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