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Principal’s Report

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Principal’s Report


Welcome to Term 2


As you read and enjoy our newsletter, it is hard to believe that we are already into Week 4 of second term.

All terms are busy, but this term is especially busy as students focus on completing quite a few summative assessments. The reports will be published at the end of this term, and this is important feedback for how our learners are progressing.

As a college, we are committed to growing our students on all levels – academic, social, cultural and citizenship. To that end, we have tested all our students from Years 7-10 on their skills in literacy and numeracy. With this data, we can make reasonable adjustments to support the learning space – make informed pedagogical decisions.

Throughout the year, our professional work will involve adjusting our lesson plans (as needed), hone our assessment rubrics and involve our entire learning community in the learning process. Students will also be asked to set goals, as part of their plan for academic progress.

One thing that our college will not negotiate on, is effort. Disruptive behaviour, disrespectful actions and behaviours will not be tolerated, as we all have a right to flourish at our school. Everyone must have the opportunity to learn without fear or fervour.


School Council


Our first School Council meeting convened at the start of this term, with the welcoming of new staff and parent appointments.

Thank to Nadia for her School Council report that is included in this newsletter.

Can I please reiterate Nadia’s comment and thank all the outgoing parents for their service and commitment to Emerald Secondary.


Our constitution is thus:


Parent Representatives

  • Nadia Beardshaw – School Council President (elected for another term)
  • Vicki Walters – School Council Vice President (community member)
  • Jacinta Woehl – Treasurer – (second term)
  • Kirstin Jackson –  (second term)
  • Lizzy Maciulastis – new member
  • Raelene Gault – new member


Student Leaders

  • Mitchell
  • Lily
  • Charlotte
  • Keilah

(Rotational basis)


DE Representatives

  • James Barut – College Principal
  • Tanja Korsten – Assistant Principal
  • Mel Findlay – Acting Assistant Principal
  • Tiana Clayworth – Acting Assistant Principal
  • Linda Lewis – Business Manager


Thank you in advance to all the members of the School Council, who will assist the school in its strategic direction and provide energy, involvement, and support for our entire ESC community.



College Principal



A note from your School Council President:

Following on from our 2024 School Council AGM, I would like to welcome our new parent representatives, Lizzy Maciulastis and Raelene Gault along with our four College Captains, Mitchell, Lily, Keilah and Charlotte. Thank you to our School Council members who are remaining on for another year, some continuity is always beneficial in providing support when working towards long term goals. I would also like to thank our outgoing parent representatives, Steve Goschnick, Georga Johnston and Julie Bowyer for their time and valuable contributions.

It has been an exciting start to 2024 with our new and enthusiastic cohort of year 7 students quickly adjusting to secondary college life; our VCE students hitting the ground running; our continued encouragement of student voice and agency through our many leadership positions; impressive participation numbers across our whole school sporting events in swimming, athletics and cross country.

It has been incredibly pleasing to see the positive changes and growth in ESC over the past five years. The leadership team, together with School Council are aware of the areas needing improvement and are constantly working towards creating better outcomes for all. Because of the nature of schools, these changes can sometimes be slow. While others may opt for alternative options that can present as preferrable, rest assured that ESC continues to learn, grow and develop in order to be the best it can be for our community, just as we hope our students can. It is through this collaborative learning and growth that we will build a stronger community.

Throughout 2024 you will continue to see developments in our building and grounds, in particular as a result of the $8.77m funding to complete the remaining stages of our master plan. In addition to this, School Council will be raising funds in order to put a much-needed shelter over our bike enclosure. There will be more to come on this in the coming weeks.

As always, we encourage participation and feedback from all our stakeholders: students, families and community members. The representatives on School Council offer you another avenue to reach out if you have any queries, concerns or feedback. Please don’t ever hesitate to get in touch.


Nadia Beardshaw

School Council President

Assistant Principals’ Report

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Anzac Day Assembly

A HUGE thank you to the staff and students involved in making our Anzac Day assembly a success. In particular, thank you to Kane Falconer, Vice President of the Emerald RSL, for his humbling address to our College community. The musical performances played by some of our students were outstanding. Coordinated and accompanied by Ms. Katrina Owen and Mr. Eythan Sendeckyj, a demonstration of hard work, practice and patience. The College Captains, Koori Leaders, Alinta and Hayden, and Community Leader, Elizabeth Males, all demonstrated the College value of resilience. If you pass these students in the yard, please pass on a message of gratitude.


School Tours

Emerald Secondary College Tours run every Wednesday at 9:45am. To book your tour, use the QR code below. The tour includes a tour pack, informative presentation in the conference room and a walk around the College to see our students and staff in action.



Special Persons Breakfast

In recognition of Mother’s Day, Emerald Secondary College are hosting a Special Persons Breakfast on May 13th from 8am – 9am. RSVP essential for catering purposes. 

RSVP here:


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 e.g. 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.


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

Emerald Secondary College is participating again in a research study being conducted by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.  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 about the study can be found here: Cognitive assessments – Research Study

For more information about what it means for your child to be included in the study, please scan the QR code below. 


AP Teaching & Learning

‘Improvement begins with knowing each face, hearing each voice, and having sufficient knowledge about each student’

  • Lyn Sharratt

Our work for 2024 is deeply focused on knowing the academic levels and capabilities of each students. We have spent Term 1 testing students comprehensively to gain an insight into each student’s abilities and fully understanding all the learners sitting in our classrooms.

Our work in Term 2 extends beyond just knowing our students and focuses on catering to each students’ unique abilities in order to maximise their potential. Staff are embarking on a professional learning cycle known as a ‘Professional Learning Community (PLC)’.

A PLC cycle is a collaborative process driven by data analysis to improve student outcomes. Teachers will be working in small groups to analyse student data, set goals, develop and implement teaching sequences and interventions, with an aim to improve student outcomes. PLCs enhance teacher collaboration and consistency, promote data driven decision making, improve instructional practices, and increase student achievement. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement, PLCs empower educators to adapt teaching methods to meet diverse student needs effectively.


Based on data from PAT testing and previous testing results our PLC cycle will focus on improving and enhancing numeracy skills across the curriculum, with the exception of the English faculty who will be analysing data to pick a literacy-based focus. Domains will focus on improving numeracy through a focus on skills that have a strong numeracy element.

Numeracy is emphasised due to its strong presence in VCE studies, ensuring students are fully equipped for academic success. We are prioritising numeracy skills to comprehensively prepare students, recognising its integral role across various subjects within the VCE curriculum.

For example:

  • Health and PE






  • Humanities














  • The Arts









2024 NeiTA Awards

The NeiTA Foundation is inviting nominations for the National Excellence in Teaching Awards.  The Awards acknowledge exceptional educators and recognises teachers and leaders who represent excellence within their teaching profession through their contribution to the advancement of education. 

At ESC we know our teachers are committed, passionate and caring individuals dedicated to their students.  We would love for our community to take up the opportunity to submit nominations  it only takes a few minutes via the link below:

2024 National Excellence in Teaching Awards (




Student Leadership

Our College Captains and Ambassadors were outstanding representatives of the College at recent ANZAC Day events.  As well as leading our College Assembly students also participated in the Emerald Dawn Service and the Mid-morning Service.

Captains very eloquently delivered a speech to our community that they had written themselves, reminding us all of the profound impact of troops’ efforts in conflicts beyond our borders.  They particularly spoke about the tragic history of East Timor and the intervention of INTERFET (International Force East Timor) led by Australia and New Zealand, who brought hope, relief, support and protection.  We are very proud of our students as they continue to shine in their roles within our school community and in the Emerald and surrounding community.



BEST – Build, Engage, Succeed, Thrive

This term our students have covered so much information already and feedback has been consistently positive as the program meets its success criteria and students are explicitly taught positive learning behaviours and attitudes that align with our College Values of Respect, Resilience, Harmony and Excellence.  Students have worked their way through their Career Action Plans – looking at what drives and motivates them, identifying their strengths and skills which are valued and transferable in the workplace, working on resumes, understanding how employers recruit and about the value of first impressions, investigating different post-school pathways and learning about the labour market, and recognising the skills and attributes employers look for in an employee.  In the emotional and social intelligence space, students have been examining and discussing relationships and communication and role-playing different scenarios to find opportunities for positive behaviours, learning about ‘The Stress Bucket’ – the importance of stress management and self-care, about study skills and planning, and of being an upstander and increasing our level of empathy around the impact of being a bystander.

The Year 7 cohort has also learned more about our Dogs Connect Program and have been busy making posters for display around the College.


Tanja Korsten, Melissa Findlay & Tiana Clayworth 

Assistant Principals



Student Leadership

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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

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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

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Year 10 Immunisations

Just a reminder to all Year 10 parents that the Year 10 Immunisations will be taking place on the 9th of May.

The Immunisation Clinic will start at 9am and will be held in L Block. Any questions please phone the first aid officer on 5968 5388.



Dental Van

This week Year 10 students were provided with Dental Van notices in their BEST class. If your child has misplaced their form or was absent on Monday, please see reception. 


Selina Rose – First Aid Officer




Athletics Day

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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


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Cross Country 2024

All our year 7 students participated in the cross on Wednesday the 17th of May. It was lovely to see all the students getting out and enjoying the sunny Autumn day.

The winners are below:

1st place – Alexander Devenish

2nd place – Judd Clarke

3rd place – Denham Cutting

1st place – Janna Rogriguez

2nd place – Sophie Keily

3rd place – Jasmine Reining

Later in the day students from year 8 – 12 who signed up completed the cross country, this event was fiercely competitive results are shown below:

14 Boys

1st place – Judd Penketh

2nd place – Andrew Algra

3rd place – Marley Billman


15 Boys

1st place – Lincoln Smith

2nd place – Xavier Reining

3rd place – Thomas Riddell-Stephens


16 Boys

1st place – Noah Renouf

2nd place – Brodie Williams

3rd place – Daniel Williams


17 Boys

1st place – Tyson Flavel

2nd place – Toby Storer

3rd place – Kynan Bennett


18/20 Boys

1st place – Eric Huecherig


14 Girls

1st place – Tia Mackenzie

2nd place – Alice Mattille



15 Girls

1st place – Jasmine Cochrane

2nd place – Ella Born

3rd place – Nicole Van Den Helm


16 Girls

1st place – Miah Beardshaw

2nd place – Myra Incoll

3rd place – Bella Shubart


18 / 10 Girls

1st place – Lily Cochrane






2024 Track and Field Championships

Nate Hall in Year 8 competed in the National Track and Field Championships in Week 1 of Term. He did an amazing job, coming second in the 200m hurdles in a time of 28.26 and 8th in the 100m hurdles in a time of 15.33.

Well done Nate!


Yarra Division Cross Country

On Monday the 29th 48 students competed at the Yarra Division Cross Country. Emerald finished 4th overall. There were many great individual achievements with 15 students moving on to regionals on June 13th at the Yarra Glen Racecourse.


Yvonne Mauger

Kokoda Training

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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.








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Bottle Return Bins

In partnership with our local Emerald SES, Emerald Secondary has been provided with two bins in which to deposit 10c refundable cans, bottles, and small cardboard drink containers as part of Victoria’s container deposit scheme.  Regulations for acceptable items are listed on the bins.  Right now, there is one at the Canteen and one at A block near the main office.  SES will pick them up when full and we will share the proceeds.  Students are encouraged to use them whenever possible. The money will go directly back into school programs.  


Year 12 Chemistry students experiment with combustion of different fuels to study their energy content and efficiencies

Year 11 Biology has been studying bodily transport systems in plants and animals. 

Students compared and contrasted the way water and nutrients move up the xylem of celery to how blood and oxygen move around a mammalian body with a rat dissection.

Ashley Forster


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Wellbeing FUN

Some of the fun things we do in wellbeing:

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