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Principal’s Report

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Welcome back to all our students and families.

I am sure that the mid year break gave everyone an opportunity to recharge and refocus on what needs to be completed for the rest of the year. School reports were distributed at the end of last term, and whilst the reports serve as a summary of the assessment tasks, students and parents should not have received ‘report shock’ because of the ongoing formative feedback provided throughout a learning sequence.

Parents have the capacity to check the progress of their son/daughter by logging onto Compass and remaining informed about the stages of progressive learning, that reflects a task. Teachers prepare detailed lesson plans, following our college instructional model, to maintain clarity and consistency of understanding.

It was fantastic to see a number of senior students acknowledged for their high achievements in their studies (see Facebook page). We are thrilled to celebrate the work of all our students, and we must continue to work together for sustained success.

Effort is one of the non-negotiables at our school – students doing the best they can.


NAPLAN – results are in for Students in Years 7 and Year 9

The College has received the 2023 NAPLAN results and parents will be receiving a summary from the College in due course.

In 2023, the grading and feedback scale has changed, and the dots of achievement will appear in four scales only:

  • Exceeding
  • Strong
  • Developing
  • Needs Additional Support

The College will be working with all our learning community to help you unpack the data, and strategise extension and /or improvement skill building.

Please clicked on the attached link for a short video that explains the ‘new’ NAPLAN in more detail:




 AMP 1 complete, now onto AMP 2!

 After receiving feedback from the entire community, our Asset Management Plan (number 1) was submitted by the principal class team. Thank you to the parents who took the time to complete the survey – invaluable, in allowing us to prepare as much detail as possible for the design team.

Asset Management Plan (number 2) will be (mostly) generated by the VSBA (Victorian Schools Building Authority) who will liaise with architects and contractors to continue the momentum.

By the end of this term, with recommendations, we hope to appoint the design team. Remember, the design/architect team will stay with the school for close to two years, to see the upgrade through to the finish.

Just for clarification:

The College received 8.77 million dollars for this upgrade. This money is administered by a centralised authority and the entire amount is protected and preserved to assure the success of the upgrade.

The College does NOT have access to these funds, to use on staffing or programs.

 As such, we respectfully request that as many parents as possible can see a way to pay their fees, to support resourcing of materials, particular in the electives.




On another note, subject selection for 2024 is upon us – students from Year 8 onwards will be focussing on honing their subject selections, as their learning interests are piqued by curriculum offerings. There will be quite a bit of information generated through Compass, so keep an eye out for the latest updates.

If your Compass app, or Compass on your computer does not give you access, please contact our office on 5968 5388, for extra technical support.


James- College Principal

Assistant Principals’ Report

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Student Leadership News

Our Student Parliament and Student Representative Council continue to evolve and grow together.  Together, staff and students have agreed upon processes and ways of working to ensure Emerald Secondary College students are well represented and have authentic voice and leadership opportunities.

Why do we have an SRC?

  • Staff : Student Liaison: Better decisions are made within a school if everyone who is affected by those decisions is involved in making them in some way. This results in better decision-making, and more effective implementation of actions.
  • Active citizenship: Research shows student learning (particularly about being an active and informed citizen) and results improve where students are actively represented in decision making. Secondly, research has shown that student learning and school results are improved in schools where students are actively represented in decision making.
  • Improved relationships: Schools in which there is active participation by students are generally happier and safer places, with better relationships between all members of the school community.

Our SRC and Student Parliament provides voice for students in all areas of the College including:

-Buildings & Grounds

-Teaching & Learning/Curriculum

-Social Justice/Fundraising

-School rules and frameworks

-Issues/concerns facing students



Pyjama Day

Our College Captains are leading a fundraiser to support The Pyjama Foundation which raises much needed funds for children in foster care.  Students and staff were, on Friday 21st, encouraged to wear pyjamas/Oodies and donate to this cause.

Our fundraising for this event continues and we’d love for you to support this initiative.  You can donate here:

The Pyjama Foundation – Tanja Korsten. This link is also available through our social media posts




Community Service

Our Community Service leaders Olivia and Taesha have been busy conducting meetings with various community groups such as our local primary schools, MYLI library and Emerald Glades Aged Care facility.  We are excited to be making partnerships with our local organisations and look forward to working together on projects, sharing skills and resources and getting our students out into our community, as well as inviting community members into our school.  Our first project with Emerald Glades has  begun – students in Years 7-10 have been invited (via Compass) to express interest in visiting the facility and spending time with some of the residents – this might involve art/craft activities, playing games or even teaching them a trick or two on their electronic devices!


So far this time all of our students have participated in a Year level or Subschool Assembly to set expectations for the term.  Many year levels have also acknowledged NAIDOC Week, and have participated in their first Dogs Connect Student Presentation – getting to know our Wellbeing Dog Axel and all about the three expectations.


School Dog

Our Year 7 and Year 8 students have also been working on posters for display around the College to support the introduction of Axel.  Thank you Riley, Nami, Elsbeth, Lucy and Ada for these creations!

As we do begin to introduce Axel into our College environment this semester, please be aware that there are ways your child can be involved in the Dogs Connect program even if they have allergic to or may be scared of dogs.  If you have any information that may be relevant to your child specifically and our program, please fill in and return the Family Considerations Checklist provided within this newsletter and return to the front office or to Mrs. Korsten.



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 shoes.  A scarfs is allowed but they should be completely navy blue or black.
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.


Classroom Norms

This Semester a set of classroom norms will be consistently applied across the College for all classes. These classroom norms will be displayed in every classroom for staff and students to refer to. The classroom norms have been taken into consideration following feedback from staff and students and our most recent student ATOSS data.



Policy Updates:

Emerald Secondary College in collaboration with School Council has updated the following policies.

  • Dogs At School Policy
  • Communication With School Staff Policy
  • Drug & Alcohol Policy
  • Child Safety & Wellbeing Policy

Please review these on our College Website.

Janine McMahon, Tanja Korsten, Jarrad Donders

VCE Students.

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VCE Students

ESC Would like to extend a huge congratulations to our Year 11 and Year 12 VCE students who maintained a ‘Very High’ average (80-100%) in several of their classes in Semester 1. Well done and keep up the great work!

Year 11 Levi Corbett, Lucy Barker, Savannah Graham, Harry Proctor, Darcy Doyle (absent Lena Dellaert, Bradley Walker).

Year 12 Christian Stammer, Kahlani Hutchinson, Daniel McAllister, Galaxy Lay, Allanah Dean, Keeley Megarrell, Kaylee Logiudice.



National Computer Science School (NCSS)

Congratulations to Year 12 student Daniel McAllister who was selected to participate in the prestigious National Computer Science School (NCSS).  NCSS is a ten-day summer school for students going into Years 11 and 12.  It brings together talented young people from around Australia for an intensive course of computer programming and website development at university.

If you are interested in applying for next year’s event, take a look at their website.  Applications open soon!


Jack Talbot – Senior Sub-school Leader


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The conditions were kind to us for the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Senior AFL. Our Senior Football Team put in a great effort at Elgar Park, playing 3 matches, winning their final game against Wantirna 17/36.

Sarah Kennedy

State Cross Country Results 

The girls went really well. Jasmine Cochane came 21st in her age group and Miah Beardshaw finished 12th. These are amazing results at a state level – Well Done!

Yvonne Mauger – Sport Coordinator 



Cognitive Study

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Opportunity to take part in a research study – 2 x free cognitive assessments for your child

Emerald Secondary College is participating in a new research study.  Qualified researchers will provide two free neuropsychological assessments to participating students.  Families will also receive a free report for each session. These reports will assist in better understanding how students think & learn and how their thinking skills develop.  More details below.

Tanja Korsten


Dear Parent/Guardian,

I am writing to let you know about a new research study being run by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, The Royal Children’s Hospital and The University of Melbourne. You and your child may be interested in taking part in this project.

You might also like to view The COGNITION Study Animated Video which provides a visual summary of what it means for you and your child to be involved in this research project. The video can be accessed via the following website:, or by scanning the following QR code:

What is this project about?

We are inviting you and your child take part in a research project called The COGNITION Study.

Cognition or cognitive development are words that we use to explain how you think, explore and figure things out. This can include tasks such as learning, memory and attention.

We will be using a cognitive assessment called the CANTAB to collect information about children’s cognition. The CANTAB stands for Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, it is owned by a company overseas called Cambridge Cognition.

Children and adolescents will be invited to participate in a number of assessments on 2 occasions, 9-12 months apart. This will include assessments of cognition, problem solving, and academic achievement. Additionally, we are interested in collecting information on children and adolescents’ quality of life and behavioural and emotional symptoms from both students and parents.

The main aims of this research project are:

  • To have 1300 school aged children (5-18 years old) complete the CANTAB across Victorian schools. This will form what we call a ‘normative data set’ and this will allow us to compare cognitive performance of children and adolescents.
  • To create a chart which maps typically developing cognition based on age and gender. This is similar to charts which map weight and height as you get older. For example, it might tell us if children have normal or expected cognitive performance in comparison to other children their age and gender.
  • To understand the links between cognition and children’s level of problem solving and academic achievement. We also want to know the links between cognition and children’s feelings/emotions and behaviours and children’s overall level of health and happiness.

Why am I being asked?

You and your child are being invited to participate in this project because your school has agreed to participate in this research study.

What do I need to know?

The cognitive assessments, testing of problem solving, academic achievement, quality of life and behavioural and emotional symptoms will be administered by researchers at your child’s school over 1.5 hours (2 school periods). These assessments will be done on iPads provided by the research team.

What happens next?

If you and your child are interested in taking part in this research, please complete the bottom of this letter and either return it to the Emerald Secondary College front office (Att: Tanja Korsten), email to Tanja (Assistant Principal) via [email protected]  OR send it directly to the research team via [email protected]

If you indicate that you and your child are interested AND you provide permission to provide your contact details to the research team, a member of the research team will be in contact with you by phone to talk to you about the project. Your contact details will remain confidential, and the research team will only use them to contact you regarding this research.

We will discuss whether the research study is suitable for you and your child and provide further information about the research study in detail for you to read through via email.

Following this we will ask you and/or your child to formally provide consent to participate in the research study. We will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the research.

When consent has been provided, you and your child will be considered enrolled in The COGNITION Study and we will be in contact with your school to organise when the first assessments will occur.


Please email us at [email protected] with any of your questions. A member of our research team will get back to you.

You can also call the study coordinator Yasemin Mehmed on (03) 9936 6475.


Yours sincerely,

Prof David Coghill
Principal Investigator, The COGNITION Study
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Please click on the link below for a printable copy of the Permission to Contact form

Cognitive study Permission to Contact form

Please return this permission slip to the Emerald Secondary College front office (Att: Tanja Korsten), email to Tanja (Assistant Principal) via [email protected]  OR send it directly to the research team via [email protected]

Student Representative Council

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Emerald Secondary College Student Representative Council

This year we are working to improve and revamp the Student Representative Council (SRC) by amplifying the student voice and providing the SRC with larger significance throughout the College. With the Student Parliament up and coming alongside the SRC we hope to give the wider student body an opportunity to share their opinions on topics discussed in Student Parliament, and to allow students to share and work on their ideas. We also hope that following the establishment of a new Emerald Secondary College student representative constitution we can begin to discuss and shape our own ideas and run our own College events and fundraisers to further nuance the student body throughout the College. We also want to emphasise that while things are still up in the air about how the SRC will correspond with Student Parliament issues, we ultimately aim for the SRC to be a place for all students to come and have their voice heard, or even just to sit in on one meeting and listen. Hope to see you there soon!!!

Keilah Dewar, Sarah Brown

SRC Leaders


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Year 7 SEAL 

Students participated in a sheep heart dissection to learn more about the circulatory system and how blood flows through the four chambers of the heart.

Middle Years Getting a Reaction 

The new Semester 2 Middle Years Getting a Reaction (Chemistry) class did their second practical of the term.  The goal of this class is to do a practical every week, to develop hands-on chemistry laboratory skills and become better prepared for VCE Chemistry.  This week focused on the properties of metals and the reactivity of elements in Groups 1-12 of the periodic table.


Year 12 Biology – Immunity

Year 12 Biology students used a card game that was a combination of Canasta, Gin Rummy, Go Fish, and Uno to help learn the pathways of immune response through the adaptive immune system for Unit 4 Area of Study 1.


Ashley Forster – Biology Teacher

Community News

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