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Principal’s Report

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The youngest members of our school community have completed six months of secondary school! Fantastic achievement!

Feedback from the Junior School team is that all students have forged friendships, acquaintances and a real awareness of the work that is required to do well and flourish in a secondary environment. No one asks students to do more than their personal best and Emerald Secondary College has high expectations, with its teaching and learning offerings and its extracurricular programs, to challenge all our students to achieve their personal best.

Reports will be posted on Compass this week for all parents to peruse and this is an important part of the learning journey – focus on learning growth. Whilst all the tasks are on Compass, with continuous feedback throughout the semester, the reports will provide an overview of values and attitudes to learning – important aspects of the development of the whole student.

As I pen this newsletter, the Year 9 cohort are at City Experience, familiarising themselves with everything our fine city has to offer, that includes landmarks and visitations, culminating in an amazing race! Thanks to the Year Level Engagement team for organising this learning opportunity for our students and to all the staff that have attended.

Our Year 9s, 10s and 11s have just completed their mid semester exams – for some students, their first time…what a fantastic learning experience for them.

They are to be congratulated for the way they took on the challenge of the occasion, their exemplary behaviour throughout and their attention to being in the right place at the right time!

Thank you to all our staff for preparing the exams, and, of course, the marking and assessment. Students need to be invested in this process too – it’s not just another ‘assessment task’, but an opportunity to reflect on the nuanced skills of exam preparation:

How well did I prepare?

Did I take notes?

Did I answer all the questions?

How was my time management?

The feedback process will allow students to seek clarification from their teachers and an opportunity to reflect on their own learner disposition.

Most of the Year 10s are involved in Work Experience this week and a taste of adult working life – good luck to all our students and thanks to the Careers’ team who worked so tirelessly in organising placements.


The impending break allows all to recharge and hit the ground running for the next term….revitalised, refreshed and rejuvenated. Putting aside the lame alliteration, the two week break can also be a trap for some of our senior school students, especially those undertaking Year 12. I can hear some of the commentary now:

  1. ‘I’m going to sleep till midday!’
  2. ‘I’m going to shop until I drop!’
  3. ‘I’m going to do as many shifts as I can to save for schoolies!’
  4. ‘I’m doing Netflix, footy and focaccias!’

In fact, there are a plethora of activities that our senior students will have time for, and this is to be encouraged, but the advice is based around not forgetting one’s studies and maintaining a routine.

Research has shown that the body and the brain enjoy the consistency of pattern. Thus, the advice from many experts, including Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, is to keep those waking and sleeping hours almost the same.

At a minimum, students must undertake to do at least three hours of homework per day, during the term break. Please assist your sons/daughters in this area by gently asking them about their plans and perhaps assisting them with their organisational health. As such, the noble pursuits listed above will be able to be fulfilled without guilt or regret.


Next Friday, the last day of term, will be an early finish – this information has already been posted on Compass.

If you’re going away, please take care and we’ll see you next term.

The first day back for Term 3 is Monday, July 10th, with all classes commencing at that time.

James Barut – College Principal


Assistant Principals’ Report

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End of Term achievements and reminders

Congratulations to our students for a successful term of learning in their chosen courses as the term and semester draws to a close. 

We have witnessed our Year 9 and 10 students prepare and undertake exams in their classes for the first time.  Throughout this week they will be undertaking feedback sessions with their peers, supported by their class teachers, to reflect on their performance, but also consider how to best tackle study, revision strategies and assessment tasks in the future.

Our VCE and VCE VM students have finalised all school assessed coursework tasks for their Unit 1 and Unit 3 courses and are now starting the adventure of their Unit 2 and Unit 4 courses. 

Year 12 students are on the home stretch with just over a term of formal classes remaining.   The students are already starting to think about preparations required for their end of year exams.

A reminder….

As the term closes, it is a great time to do an audit of equipment and resources required for learning.  Please chat to your children over the holidays and:

  • Replenish any supplies that may have dwindled or been misplaced over the term. It will be wonderful to see our students start Term 3 with a well-stocked pencil case, a labelled exercise book for each subject, and a working laptop. 
  • Pay a visit to the uniform shop in Officer if necessary to replenish any uniform items. Check out the new school pants and puffer jacket to help stay warm throughout Term 3.

 Wellbeing dog update

Axel attended his first session of Puppy training at Cockatoo Creek Vet this week.  At the start of the session, he sat back and observed the other puppies and strangers, however after a little while was keen to meet and socialise gently with others attending.  These four sessions will form another important part of his training, incorporating socialisation is a key part of his development. 

Positive learning impacts of a wellbeing dog in schools.

There has been a lot of research undertaken regarding wellbeing dogs in schools. More specifically, on testing the idea that dogs have a positive influence on the social behaviour of school children.

Studies have evaluated school students’ performance when completing difficult tasks in the presence of a dog versus the presence of a human. These papers suggest that the presence of a wellbeing dog supports concentration, attention, motivation, and relaxation.

Students were found to be more likely to participate in learning activities when in the presence of a wellbeing dog.  Major differences have been found in children’s interest in a wellbeing dog in a school environment, however in the presence of a dog, classes have been found to have a reduction in behavioural extremes (such as hyperactivity) and, some students known to be withdrawn individuals have been observed to become more socially integrated.  These findings have been attributed to a reduction in stress levels and the promotion of a positive learning environment.

Furthermore, some students spent some time watching and contacting the dog while it was present in their classroom, they also recorded that these students also paid more attention to the guided instruction from the teacher.  The presence of a dog in a classroom has been found to positively stimulate social connections and cohesion in students and is a means of improving teaching and learning conditions in a classroom.

We will continue to keep you updated on our progress in getting Axel ready duty onsite.  As part of this process, we have education sessions planned with students in their BEST classes and also with our teaching staff.  Our core group of staff involved in the Dogs in School program continue to complete their online training modules also.


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 bennies/hats or white shoesScarfs are allowed but they should be completely navy blue or black.

If your son/daughter requires uniform we encourage you to drop into PSW or order online over the holidays, so your child is set ready to go for the start of term 3. The new ESC tracksuit pants and puffa 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.
If you require any support with uniform, please call the College on 59685388. Through the State School Relief Initiative, we can order some items of uniform for free for your son/daughter while all other uniform items have a voucher towards the cost at PSW. This significantly reduces the cost of uniform items including our new tracksuit pant and puffa jacket.



Our goal as a College is ‘to reduce the number of students with 20+ or more days of absence from 47% to 10% by 2025 (AIP goal 2023)’. Latest figures show that 30% of our students have had 10 or more days absence from school. As we are halfway through the year we are on track to reduce the number of students with 20+ or more days of absence however we urge the importance of your son/daughter attending school every day.

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. 

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 – Assistant Principals


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Regional Cross Country

What a great day we had at the regional cross country – amazing running from everyone involved, with Jasmine and Miah moving onto the State Championships in July.  Congratulations everyone!

New Sport Records in 2023


12/15 girls 200m Freestyle – Miah

14 boys 50m butterfly – Daniel 


12/13 – 200m 26.06  – Nate 

12/13 – 100m 13.00 – Nate  

12/13 – High Jump 1.50 – Nate  

12/13 – Triple Jump 10.44 – Nate  

14 – 400m 1.12.57 – Jasmine  

18/20 – 1500m 5.07.53 – Kiara  

Yvonne Mauger – Sports Co-ordinator





Year 9 City Experience

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Year 9 City Experience

In the last week of term our Year 9 cohort completed two days of city experience. Students spent one day completing an ‘Amazing Race’ activity that required them to navigate CBD to find significant landmarks and complete an activity at each one. On the other day students completed a statue hunt around the MCG before spending the afternoon at Melbourne Central or the Queen Victoria Market.

The students represented Emerald Secondary College extremely well and visibly enjoyed themselves over the two days. A very big thank you to Ms. Findlay and her Year 12 Vocational Major class for their hard work in organising and running the Amazing Race activities.

Year 9 Engagement Team – Mel Findlay, Dale Fyfe and Taylor Turton


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Year 12 Biology

Over the last few weeks Year 12 Biology students have been working on their Extended Practical Investigations (EPI) on Cellular Processes.  Students choose a relevant variable that relates to photosynthesis or cellular respiration and designed their own practical to test it.  They created their own methods, requested materials and did risk assessments through the RiskAssess database, conducted the experiment and recorded their results and conclusions.  The practicals went really well and lots of new insights were made.  The final assignment is to put it all together, along with analysis, in a scientific poster for SAC 3: Area of Study 3. The EPI results will be included as part of Unit 4.  

Ashley Forster – Biology Teacher


Year 7 Dissection

As part of their biology unit on classification, year 7 science students were very excited to participate in their first high school biology dissection.  They are comparing and contrasting different types of skeletons with this dissection:  A squid (which has a hydrostatic skeleton, which basically means sea creatures with no skeleton that use the water to hold them up), a prawn (which has an exoskeleton), and a bony fish (which has an endoskeleton like all other vertebrates).  Students explored the external and internal anatomy (form) and physiology (function) of all the creatures.  Some were grossed out, others were thrilled, but their introduction to dissections has begun!

Ashley Forster – Biology Teacher


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Year 9 Wellbeing Day

What a wonderful day we had with the Year 9s on Wednesday.  Every student had the opportunity to celebrate their own wellbeing.

It was a round robin event – every student was part of a small group and all groups went to every session throughout the day

  • Education department nurses came to ESC to talk with our students on mental health, how it affects us and how to support each other.
  • Our chaplain Menallie ran a session on self-care and ways to look after ourselves – things we can do daily, weekly and occasionally.
  • Di from Emerald Pilates ran a yoga session – Always a crowd pleaser, lots of giggles to start but as the students settled into it there was a lot of interest and participation.
  • Dylan from Red Cymbals showed us the power of doing something fun – ways of getting out our feelings and emotions by banging on the drums.  Lots of fun (and very loud)
  • A session on the joys of simple fun – Pictionary competitions, board games, card games

After lunch we all joined in together for some outdoor games.

Felicity Wooden – Wellbeing Co-ordinator


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During Term 2 the Middle Years Big Ideas in Art class have been completing some fantastic works inspired by established and contemporary artists that they chose to study.

The Year 11 Art Making and Exhibiting class have recently completed some amazing Semester 1 pieces after exploring their own chosen themes and media.

Dale Fyfe – Art Teacher

Community News

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Cockatoo Creek Veterinary Clinic is proud and excited to be working with Emerald Secondary College and the delightful little support dog, Axel. We look forward to watching him grow and thrive within the school community, and be there to attend to all his vaccinations, desexing and general health needs. Axel will also be part of our puppy school program, so keep your eye on our socials to see some cute photos! For any information or questions you have regarding your own pets, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team on 5926 5028.

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