Skip to content

Acting College Principal’s Report

Read Time: ( words)

Acting Principal’s Report

It’s incredible to think we have come to the end of the first term already.  Despite being a short term of only nine weeks, so much has been achieved, celebrated and also overcome.  We’ve come together as a community and bounced back following the terrible storms experienced and the aftermath of no power for so many, debris and damage.  Individual, personal experiences have been shared and members of our community have supported each other throughout and since. 

At ESC we’ve had exciting learning opportunities, programs and extra-curricular experiences.  We’ve had district and regional sports events, camps, PAT and NAPLAN testing, student-led events, production auditions and musical performances.  We’ve welcomed several new staff members and students, as well as of course our new Year 7 cohort who have settled in amazingly well, taking up opportunities such as student leadership and sports events with enthusiasm.  Axel, our Wellbeing Dog, has been coming more and more regularly and our Wellbeing team have been busy planning new projects and campaigns.  Our community partnerships continue to grow and thrive, and our building projects progress through the architectural schematic design process.

Our new College Council is set to meet for the first time early in Term 2 – I thank outgoing members Steve Goschnick, Georga Johnston, Julie Bowyer, Janine McMahon, Jarrad Donders and the 2023 College Captains for their contributions to the work of Council throughout their tenure.  We welcome back parent representatives Kirsten Jackson, Jacinta Woehl and Nadia Beardshaw as well as community representative Vicki Walters.  Congratulations to new parent representatives Lizzie Maciulatis and Raelene Gault who join Council in 2024.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone in our College Community for your continued support and faith in our vision to continually support the improvement of student outcomes and the provision of positive educational experiences, through high expectations, targeted support and connectedness.  Happy Easter and keep safe and well over the term break.


Tanja Korsten
Acting College Principal, Vice Principal

Assistant Principals’ Report

Read Time: ( words)


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

We have streamlined our action towards students who are late this year by working with compass and the Learning Engagement Leaders. Students are placed into an education session on Fridays if they have been late to class (unexplained) more than two times in the previous five consecutive days. So parents can develop a stronger understanding of their student’s participation in classes, a chronicle is generated to alert them of their child’s involvement in a late session. This chronicle automatically enrols them into an education session (Friday lunchtime) and the session is visible to students on their compass.

This process relies on students frequently checking their compass for information and understand their daily schedule, another part of school life we are striving to improve in our students. Moving into term two and the remainder of the year, we will expect students thoroughly understand the process and the consequences that arise with two or more lates in a school calendar week.

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
  • Check compass schedule regularly


Parent responsibilities

  • Ensure student attends school every day when instruction is offered
  • Ensure student arrives at school by 8.50am


School Tours

School Tours will be running every Wednesday in term two. Use the QR code below to book your tour now.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Thank you to our parent/ guardians for engaging with our Parent Teacher Conferences on Tuesday March 26. The opportunity to meet with you is extremely important to Emerald Secondary College as we aim continue building strong partnerships with our community.



Assistant Principal’s Report

An amazingly full term for our Student Leadership Program! Our existing Student Representative Council held a completely student-led fundraiser and raised $341.70 for organisation ‘Youth off the Streets’ – an Australian youth services charity supporting homeless and disadvantages young people to reach their full potential and thrive.  I’m incredibly proud of this team of students comprising Alice M, Liz G, Elsbeth H, Ada H, Lucy F, Jayden R, Cadence T, Liam S and very ably led by Keilah D.  These students sought and won community sponsorship from Emerald Woolworths and Emerald Village Meats, liaised with relevant staff, promoted their event, set up for the fundraiser barbecue and cooked, served and cleaned up – completely on their own.  Congratulations to this fantastic team!

Thank you to Emerald Woolworths and Emerald Village Meats.



This term, our Year 7 and 9 students have diligently participated in NAPLAN testing, demonstrating their commitment to academic growth. NAPLAN provides vital insights into students’ proficiency in core areas such as reading, writing, language conventions, and numeracy. These insights enable teachers to personalise instruction, addressing individual needs effectively. More importantly, NAPLAN data aids schools in assessing curriculum effectiveness and identifying trends in academic performance. Additionally, participation in NAPLAN cultivates critical skills like problem-solving and effective communication, essential for lifelong success. We commend our students for their dedication and recognise NAPLAN’s role in enhancing educational outcomes for all involved.


Throughout this term, students in Years 7-10 have engaged in PAT Testing, encompassing comprehensive assessments in Reading, Writing, and Numeracy. These evaluations offer invaluable insights into students’ academic strengths and areas for growth. Teachers will utilise these insights to inform instructional planning, ensuring that classroom strategies are tailored to meet the diverse needs of each student. Ongoing discussions during staff meetings will focus on analysing PAT results, identifying effective support mechanisms, and implementing differentiation strategies to promote student success. This collaborative approach underscores our commitment to maximising student achievement and ensuring equitable educational opportunities for every learner across Year levels 7 to 10.

Study Groups

Our Senior School Team have been diligently supporting our Year 12 students’ studies through various initiatives. One noteworthy initiative introduced is student-led study groups. The inaugural session drew a significant attendance from the cohort, with students fuelled by hot chips and potato cakes as they prepared for their study sessions. Led by the Senior School Team, the session commenced with a brief presentation outlining the benefits of these study groups before students broke off into their preferred study groups. These student-led study groups offer an excellent opportunity for peers to collaborate, share knowledge, and thoroughly prepare for upcoming exams. Encouraging a collaborative approach to learning, these groups empower students to support each other’s academic endeavours, fostering a supportive and enriching learning environment in our Senior School.


ANZAC Prize – Opportunity to join a fully funded overseas study tour

Victorian Premier’s Spirit of ANZAC Prize – applications open  

The Victorian Government has announced that the 2024 Premier’s Spirit of ANZAC Prize (SOAP) is now open for applications.  
Victorian students from years 9 to12 will have the opportunity to reflect on how Victorians came together to fund and build the Shrine of Remembrance and other community war memorials.   

The prize offers young Victorians the opportunity to:  

  • explore Australia’s wartime and peacekeeping history  
  • join a fully funded study tour to significant war heritage sites  
  • connect with veterans and the ex-service community  
  • understand and remember the contribution of Victorian service people.  

Twelve prize winners will go on a fully funded study tour to an international war heritage destination.    

Students will need to respond to the following topic in almost any format eg a poem, essay, artwork, video, audio response, music, webpage…..  

Explore the significance of Victoria’s Shrine of Remembrance or a local community’s war memorial in honouring Australians who have served in war and peacekeeping. ”

For competition guidelines, tips, resources, suggested content and submission ideas and to apply please click –
Students need to create their submission, write a personal statement, submit a parent consent form and a school declaration – all details on the website. Applications close 29th April – see Mrs Korsten for more information.


Tanja Korsten, Melissa Findlay & Tiana Clayworth 

Assistant Principals

Student Leadership

Read Time: ( words)

Student Leadership

We had a team of enthusiastic students – Jacob C, Janna R, Keith D, Ava F, Charlie N, Jayden R and Mitchell B represent the College at the Emerald Village Association held at the Hills Hub, who were seeking youth input around perspectives of our community and how we can make it even better.  We received this feedback from the EVA:  “Thank you for helping us chat and support and organise our Intergenerational day…thank you to all your wonderful, brave ESC students for coming along and sharing their wisdom.  We loved the passion and they have given us ideas for more action…very positive feedback from representatives of all involved!”  More on this event from our College Captain Mitchell Blackwell is also in this newsletter. 

Year 11 and 12 students have the opportunity this week to express an interest in our Peer Mentoring Program.  Our Peer Mentor leader Charlotte Scott and our College Captaincy Team will speak about the program during BEST – please see Compass for more information including their presentation and the link for the Expression of Interest.  Peer Mentors are trained and matched with Year 7 students to provide additional support, role modelling and mentoring.

Our Student Leadership Investiture was held on Wednesday and it was a terrific morning.  58 students were acknowledged and awarded their positions and badges for 2024 – it was just fantastic to see so many Year 7 students especially being prepared to submit an application and be successful.  Thank you to Daniela de Martino, MP for Monbulk for supporting this event once again and addressing our student leaders.  Thank you to the parents who were able to come and help us celebrate and our many special guests including Marcus Adams from Emerald Rotary, Shelley Beardshaw and Claude Cullino from the Emerald Village Association, Jeff Springfield from Cardinia Shire and Darrelyn Boucher from Cockatoo PS.


Our Student Leadership Profile for 2024 is:




















College Captaincy Team Report

The Emerald Village Association (EVA) is a committee which voices the needs of our town and works with the council on projects and acts as our town’s voice. They hosted an intergenerational meeting last Thursday involving student leaders, Menzies Creek Primary School students, and senior citizens of Emerald from Emerald Glades. The discussions regarded the future planning and community safety of Emerald. With three generations in attendance the topics varied widely from residential homes for seniors, gaming rooms for teens, and even climate change and the reduction of our carbon footprint. The meeting allowed the Association to widen their view from what they had previously focused on. The conversation allowed for a different perspective between generations and the ideas brainstormed will be presented in a further meeting to the State and Local Governments. They saw “a need for places like the Hub and the library to have rooms and activities for teenagers who weren’t into biking or skateboarding, like a games room”, which was voiced by our student leaders primarily. The meeting was a huge success with a variety of great ideas presented. The EVA is an amazing Association – if you want to learn more about what they do, check them out at the Hill’s Hub and online. If this sounds like something you would like to join, definitely check them out and get involved!

In recent weeks our year 12s and the Captaincy Team have been quite busy. We’ve had the school athletics day where we all dressed up and had a wonderful time. The teacher vs student volleyball match was also a great hit – in our opinion it was definitely rigged but the teachers continue to deny these accusations! We also had the study group launch in the interest of providing the year 12s with the most optimum environment in order for them to achieve their academic best while bonding as a cohort as we finish up our SACs for the term. The SRC held a barbeque for students to raise money for the Youth off the Streets charity and managed to raise around $350 for their efforts which we congratulate them on. They did a fantastic job and are really making an impact on something larger than our school. Charlotte and the team presented the Peer Mentoring program to the year 11 and 12s during their BEST classes and we can’t wait to see how the program turns out. To finish up the term from myself, my fellow captains, and the staff, we all wish you a safe and wonderful holiday and can’t wait to see you back in term 2.

Mitchell Blackwell  – College Captain





Junior School

Read Time: ( words)

Year 7 Camp

Our Year 7 students had a blast on camp this week at Phillip Island. We kicked off with a wander down the boardwalk at Nobbies before heading over to the Wildlife Park where students were able to feed and pat some of the various animals. Emus were a fan favourite!

After a lovely walk to CYC The Island, our home for the next three days, we got straight into our activity rotations. Students challenged themselves and then challenged their teachers to have a go at the giant swing, flying fox and much more.

Tuesday started with beach games and a swim in the ocean before continuing on with activity rotations. Students had plenty of free time where they spent a lot of time on the trampolines and trying out the best team combinations for tug of war. Wednesday was a nice calm day as exhaustion caught up.

We walked from San Remo to a lovely park for lunch before jumping back on the bus to head home after a very busy three days.

Thanks to all staff who came along and to students for making camp such a fun and memorable experience.



Samantha Mclean
Year 7 Learning and Engagement Leader

Senior School

Read Time: ( words)

Year 12 Study Group

Study Groups in full swing!

It is a busy time for the Year 12 students with assessments coming in thick and fast. It was been great to see the grit and determination of students have been doing particularly, with the study groups. 

Study groups were launched earlier in the month and we have seen many early birds coming in and preparing for assessment before school starts or others staying back well after school teaching and support each other. This collaborative spirit is really a credit to all those who are working hard.

It’s the senior school team’s hope that the Year 12s will continue to build on this momentum throughout the year.


Rebecca Holmes & Sean Reid – Yr 12 Learning & Engagement Leaders



Year 11 News and Updates

What a start to the 2024 school. With the bustling of adapting to VCE classrooms, keeping up to date with coursework, power outages and sports days such as swimming carnival and athletics carnival – I would say that our students are keeping it together quite well.

I started off the year with a clear vision and message to the Year 11s for 2024 and now I pass it on to you “The key to success is through cohort cohesion and connectedness”. Not only does this vision align directly with our college values but it highlights the importance of working together.

I have observed many positive instances of this including; 

  • Clear building of teacher and student relationships
  • Seeking feedback from teachers and staff in the Senior School
  • Increased transparency and resilience 
  • Supporting each other’s wellbeing 
  • Positive classroom environments 
  • Celebrating behaviours when we succeed

Although there is much to improve on, Year 11 are working hard. We recognise that there have been some difficulties dealing with the pressures of VCE but are exceptionally proud of the efforts thus far.

Term 2 will see a lot of new challenges and exposures, such as VCE exams, incursions (RYDA), reporting, and Central Australia Camp.

I look forward to seeing everyone back after term holidays. Have a well deserved break 🙂



Grace Sleit
Year 11 Learning and Engagement Leaders




Athletics Day

Read Time: ( words)

2024 Athletics Day

Students in Year 7-12 participated in whole school athletics this year at our new venue at Mount Evelyn and had a great day! The weather was perfect – not too hot and the rain held off. 

Participation was the highest I have seen in years with some very impressive results. Geysen clearly won the day with a score of 993. Congratulations to all our athletes!


House Score

Geysen 993

Greetham 769

O’Neil 753

Jeffreys 617

Hawley 469

Hobbs 381


Age group Champions


Andrew Algra

Janna Rodriguez


Nate Hall

Jasmine Rule


Sydney Neilson

Jasmine Cochrane


Luca Scalora

Miah Beardshaw


Toby Storer

Kiana Logiudice


Cameron Fryer

Lily Cochrane


New Records

Nate Hall: 14 Boys Triple Jump – 11.10m

Miah Beardshaw: 16 Girls 1,500m – 5.58.11

Bonnie Jackson: 12/13 Girls 100m – 14.19

Jasmine Cochrane: 15 Girls 1,500m – 6.06.40


Yvonne Mauger


Read Time: ( words)

Year 7 Cricket

11 Year 7 boys headed out on a super hot day to have a go at cricket. All students had a great day. Much improvement was shown from start to end.


Year 7 Volleyball A and Tennis

Another terrific day, as some of our Year 7’s tried volleyball and tennis at interschool sports. The tennis boys got better with every game and the volleyball girls came away with a few wins.

Well done!










Year 8 Girls Cricket

On Thursday the 22nd , nine Year 8 girls headed out into the heat to play cricket. They did such an amazing job and got better with every match. More importantly they had the best time playing.

Regional Swimming 

Eight keen students set off to Regional swimming at Aquanation on Tuesday.

Everyone did an amazing job. Regional Swimming unveils competition at a very high standard, so all students should be very proud of themselves.

Miah Beardshaw placed 3rd in the 16 girls 50m Freestyle. 


District Swimming 2024

On Wednesday the 20th of March, a mini bus full of students headed to Croydon Outdoor Pool for District swimming.

Miah Beardshaw, Xaiver Collard, Caelan O’Connor and Daniel Beardshaw were awarded age group champions and many of our students have moved on to the Regional Event.

Emerald Secondary College finished 3rd  overall.


The following students move on to the Regionals:

Miah Beardshaw:  200m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly (R), 50m Freestyle (R), 50m Backstroke (R) 200m Individual Medley (R)

Xavier Collard: 50m Breaststroke, 50m Butterfly (R), 50m Freestyle (R), 50m Backstroke (R)

Dainel Beardshaw: 50m Breaststroke, 50m Butterfly (R), 50 Backstroke

Caelan O’Connor: 50m Breaststroke

R = New District Record



15-16 Female Medley Relay

15 Male Freestyle Relay

16 Female Freestyle Relay


Yvonne Mauger

Kokoda Training

Read Time: ( words)

Students take on Kokoda Challenge

Thirteen students from Emerald Secondary College have applied, been interviewed, and selected to take on the challenge of walking the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea this September. Students and staff will complete 9 days walking the Kokoda Track while learning about the history of the track and its relevance Australia and the second world war. The trip has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Duke of Edinburgh Award – Australian Branch. (Students will also complete a level of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the lead up and during the trip). We are also luck to be supported and sponsored by the Emerald RSL.

So far students have been training with and without their large backpacks on the thousand steps in Ferntree Gully National Park as well as local walks. Students have also completed fundraising BBQ’s including last week at the Emerald RSL where they were also presented to the members and spoke about why they want to complete the trek. Finally last weekend students and staff spent both days walking in Cathedral State Park – hauling their large packs up and down mountains to get a taste of what trekking the Kokoda Track will be like.

If anyone reading this would also like to help by sponsoring the group – please contact Marion Donders or Shane Closter at school.

We wish the group well with their training over the coming months.








Read Time: ( words)

Year 11 Biology

Year 11 Biology students have begun their studies of body systems by looking at plant transport systems.  “The Celery Experiment” that we all did actually shows how water and soluble nutrients (including food colouring) are transported up the xylem to the leaves of vascular plants. 




Middle Years Environmental Science Excursion to Healesville Sanctuary

by Claire Aspinall (9B)

Our time at Healesville was not only educational but was one of the most thrilling excursions I have ever been on in my high school experience.

Getting my work done early on the lyrebird and the long-necked turtle, I was able to wander about the well-kept zoo and better learn about the animals and their environmental habitats.  

The bird show was an exceptional example of this.  While my peers and I sat in the crowd, we were able to marvel in the birds’ majestic flight patterns and their stunning feathers. Being incredibly trained, the ‘spirits of the sky’ soared into the crowd and were able to lift their wings and feet on command from what the zookeepers said was for atomical and medical examination. So cool!

The zoo had a huge gift shop and lovely pieces of metal flower art throughout the zoo, with buttons that would make the artworks sprinkle mist on a hot or muggy day. The paths were well kept and had no rubbish at all. Altogether it was a lovely place to stroll with loved ones.

To end our excursion, with the bird show being mine and many others’ highlight of the day, the zookeepers escorted us around the wetlands where we gathered our final morsels of information for our CAT, and sadly had to leave soon after.

I would love to add that this excursion was very beneficial to the staff and students, helping us learn about our beloved Australian animals. I would like to thank Mr Sendeckyj and Ms Kennedy for their time and their patience.

Claire Aspinall (9B)


Ashley Forster


Read Time: ( words)

World’s Greatest Shave

What a fantastic time we had with the World’s Greatest Shave

7 brave students and staff lost their hair for a great cause.  We raised a lot of money to help fight leukemia.   Many other students had their hair coloured to join in the fun.  It was great to see the school come together to support their friends and colleagues.

Wellbeing support

On the holidays if you need some wellbeing support:

School wellbeing will not be available during the holidays  – if you need some support, please access it with the numbers below.

Support numbers for young people:

Support numbers for families:

  • Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
  • Lifeline Australia TEXT : 0477 13 11 14 (6pm to midnight, 7 days a week)
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
  • Parentline: 13 22 89
  • FrontYard Crisis Housing & Support: 9977 0077
  • WAYYS Housing: 9791 6111
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.
  • Relationships Australia: 9725 9964
  • EACH Family Relationships Centre : 1300 00 3224
  • Child First. You can self-refer by calling 1300 369 146



Kids Help Line –

E Headspace –

Beyond Blue –

LifeLine –





Poetry Day

Read Time: ( words)

Poetry Day

With World Poetry and World Forest Days occurring on 21st March, we are encouraging our students to take part in the Poem Forest. For each ‘Nature’ inspired poem submitted, Poem Forest will plant a tree helping to sustain Australian native flora and fauna. This is open to all of our students. If you would like to write a ‘Nature’ inspired poem, please do so and submit it to the Learning Task listed for your English Class. Submissions will remain open into next term.

Happy Writing!

Sarah Deer

Community News

Read Time: ( words)



Skip to content