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Principal’s Report

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Who could have predicted that astonishing and dangerous storm that swept through our community a couple of weeks ago? It is a real miracle that no lives were lost, although I’m aware that many in our community suffered damage to property and were left without power for quite a long time – our thoughts remain with you, and we hope that life is getting back to some semblance of normality.

The sound of chainsaws still resonates throughout – there’ll be plenty of logs available!


Our students started the year exceptionally well, but we were all unsettled by the storm, and some of our students still require some support in settling into a routine and structure.

As the Leadership team continue their learning walks across the college, they see students continuing with their work, in an orderly, respectful manner. Some students have been pulled up for their inappropriate use of ICT and this has been followed up by the Learning Engagement Leaders – ICT is to support learning, not for games.


One thing that our college will never apologise for – we set high standards for every student and this school is a school where students will come to be supported to achieve their personal best…..and, there is no ceiling for that! Anecdotally, we are observing some positive changes in how the students interact with each other and their teachers. We want this positivity to continue to grow and be a trademark of our college.


I am so proud of how our Year 12 students are conducting themselves as role models for our younger students. They’re bouncing back, too, as many SACs and other summative assessments are nigh. Ms Hay and the entire Senior School LEL team are to be acknowledged for injecting urgency and academic rigour into our VCE culture.


In other news, we are channelling the research and work of Dr Lyn Sharratt, who is a highly accomplished educational practioner, author and presenter, whose focus is putting FACES on our data to increase both school and student achievement. Thus, students are undergoing reading, writing and numeracy testing, so that our staff can differentiate accordingly to student needs. This is important work that sits outside NAPLAN, as there is a real urgency in knowing our learners – the people we serve and have a responsibility too. Very soon, parents will be invited into the conversation about catering for student needs.


We look forward to your ongoing support in assisting us to support your son/daughter with their targeted, academic needs.



College Principal

Assistant Principals’ Report

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Assistant Principals’ Report

Axel – Our Wellbeing Dog

Axel is almost one year old and has been onsite at the College a few days already this term.  We are moving to having Axel in three days each week from next week and are excited to be having him in our classrooms, working alongside students and supporting calm, orderly and productive learning spaces.  Next week we plan to have Axel spend some time with 7G in their Humanities class, with Year 11 Ancient History students, Middle Years Humanities classes, Year 12 Biology and in classrooms where students will be undertaking PAT and NAPLAN testing. 

In this newsletter families will find a Q&A sheet with more information about how we are using Axel to support our programs.

Student Leadership

We’ve had an incredibly positive response to our launch of Student Leadership positions with approximately 125 applications.  We are busy reading students’ applications and enjoying hearing about their passions, interests, aspirations and leadership experience.  Students will find out in the next week whether they have been successful in gaining one of these student leadership positions and they and their families will be invited to an Investiture Ceremony on Wednesday 27th March at 9am – invitations to follow.  A reminder for students who miss out – soon expressions of interest will be open to join and support these leadership areas, clubs and other programs – we’d love you all to participate!


PAT Testing

To kick off the academic year, ESC implemented a comprehensive student assessment approach, including PAT testing for all students in years 7-10. These tests encompassed reading, writing, and numeracy. We’re excited to have completed this initiative, eager to analyse the results, and utilise the data to support students with both interventions and extensions beyond the curriculum. The goal is to tailor teaching methods effectively to each student’s strengths, areas for improvement, and unique learning styles. The PAT testing process has given teachers valuable insights, enabling them to identify students who may need extra challenges or support based on their academic landscape.



ESC would like to inform parents/guardians of year 7 and 9 students about the upcoming NAPLAN testing at Emerald Secondary College.

NAPLAN, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy, serves as a cornerstone in our educational evaluation process. Designed for students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9, it offers a comprehensive insight into their literacy and numeracy skills on a national level.

Here at Emerald Secondary College, NAPLAN holds significant importance. It provides educators, parents, and carers with invaluable data regarding students’ progress in reading, writing, and numeracy, all aligned with the national proficiency standards. This data guides us in tailoring support or extensions to meet individual educational needs effectively.

The testing period is scheduled to run from Wednesday, March 13, 2024, through Monday, March 25, 2024. Throughout this window, we’ll ensure the smooth facilitation of tests.

For further information about NAPLAN, please feel free to contact the College.

Thank you for your continued support as we work together to enrich our students’ educational experiences.


Academic Focus

As we move through Term One, our focus remains committed to fostering academic excellence. We are committed to nurturing our students’ potential by providing unwavering support and encouragement in pursuit of our core value of ‘excellence.’

By prioritising academic pursuits, we aim to broaden students’ horizons, enabling them to explore diverse opportunities and carve paths to future careers. This emphasis serves as a guiding beacon, inspiring students to strive for the highest standards in their studies.

Our dedication to excellence not only enriches their educational journey but also equips them with skills essential for success in all aspects of life.

Together, as we journey towards academic excellence, we are confident in shaping not only this school year but also laying a sturdy foundation for our students’ future achievements. We aspire to create an environment where every student thrives, setting the stage for a lifetime of learning and accomplishment.

Open Night

The College is busy preparing to showcase our Values, direction and curriculum at our 2024 Open night on Tuesday March 5th. Features include musical performances from our talented students, information sessions from our Domain and Sub-school leaders, Wellbeing and Disability and Inclusion teams. Our transition and middle years elective programs have been of interest to our community and we look forward to meeting prospective students soon.


College Photos

Our students and staff participated in College photos this week. Thank you to our students for demonstrating our College values whilst moving between classes to have their portrait photos taken. Reschedule day is booked on Friday March 15. Students who were absent on photo day must ensure they are present on time to have their photo taken from 9am onward.


Tanja Korsten, Melissa Findlay & Tiana Clayworth – 

Assistant Principals

College Captains Report

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College Captains Report

On behalf of the College Captains, I would officially like to welcome everyone back.  We have had a very exciting start to this year with many things happening all around the school, including our whole school swimming carnival which was a blast! We also had the privilege of gathering as a whole school for an assembly, which provided an amazing opportunity for all students and staff to be together and be informed of the important things for the year to come.

As school captains we had the privilege of attending the G.R.I.P Leadership Conference, which has got us even more excited about the year to come, and we have begun planning some awesome things within the school. Following the events of the power outage we hope that all families are safe and well. This did cause obviously a disruption to school following the events of the storm, but we know that we can return to regular school as soon as possible and continue learning to the best of our abilities. As school captains we are here to support all of the school community and we invite anyone to come and talk to us regarding any issue or need for support.

Keilah Dewar on behalf of the College Captaincy Team –

Keilah, Charlotte, Mitchell & Lily


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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


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During the Week 3 Blackout, science students made use of the biological specimens that were in the quickly thawing freezer by doing some dissections.  Mostly middle years students participated, but there were some enthusiastic junior students there as well.  Students dissected a cow eye and a white rat to learn about body systems.  Both dissections are part of the Year 9 and Year 11 biology curriculums respectively, but these lucky students got to have an extra go thanks to the power outage!




VCE Biology and Middle Years Genetics & Biotechnology

Middle Years Genetics & Biotechnology students began their genetics studies with a long time favourite activity – Zazzle Marshmallow babies.  “Couples” determined what their Zazzle baby might be like by flipping coins to represent inherited alleles for dominant and recessive traits, which could include colour, tails,  size, length of antennae, number of eyes, and sex.  The Zazzles then lined up for a Kindergarten class photo while their “parents” looked on.


Year 11 VCE Biology students have begun their studies of cellular transport by modelling how cell size and Surface Area to Volume Ratio affects the rate of absorption.  They did this with two practicals, one modelling cells with agar that changed colour and another with dialysis tubes that contained large molecules within the selectively permeable membrane.


During the Week 3 Blackout, SEAL science students participated in the “Worst Day in the Science Lab” practical by simulating fake wounds that could occur in a science lab if proper safety precautions aren’t followed.  Using fake skin, blood, bubble wrap to simulate burns and parts of nails, metal shards, and broken glass/plastic, students came up with some fantastic and gross wounds.  They then went around to scare Mr. Barut and anyone else they could find.  Luckily, nothing like this really ever occurs in the science lab because ESC students always follow the safety rules!

Ashley Forster

Reading is Magic.

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Instrumental Music.

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katrina Owen

Outdoor and Environmental Studies

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Outdoor and Environmental Studies

Year 11 Outdoor and Environmental Studies visited the Britannia Creek Geological Reserve this week in order to investigate the characteristics of the environment that lead to the formation of specific biomes. They also had the opportunity to explore the caves and step a little out of their comfort zone!

Matthew Pringle

Senior School

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


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Shortly we will commence our NAPLAN testing schedule at Emerald Secondary College.

As you are no doubt aware, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a literacy and numeracy assessment that students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit each year. It is the only national assessment all Australian students have the opportunity to undertake.

At Emerald Secondary College, we consider NAPLAN to be a crucial part of our school’s assessment and reporting process, by providing teachers with additional information about the students’ educational progress. By assessing the reading, writing and numeracy skills that students are learning through the school curriculum, it allows parents and carers to see how their child is progressing against national proficiency standards. This collection of data also enables teachers to provide support and/or extensions for students to best suit their educational needs.

The NAPLAN test window starts on Wednesday 13 March 2024 and finishes on Monday 25 March 2024. Our school will schedule the tests within this testing window. Please see the brochure  below which contains more detailed information about this important National Assessment Program.



Louise McInnes – Acting Learning Specialist, Assessment and Reporting

The Arts.

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Art Club

Art Club commenced for 2024 this week with students beginning the process of creating ceramic bowls for the College’s wellbeing dog Axel. Other projects on the horizon include adding to Emerald Secondary College’s collection of murals.

The focus of Art Club is to provide students the opportunity to explore and further extend themselves within the visual arts. Within this space students will have the opportunities to take part in:

– Whole school art projects (eg. wall murals)
– Extended study and access to materials for VCE Art and Viscomm
– Opportunities to enter external art competitions or exhibitions
– Specialised skill development workshops (eg. painting)
– Extra-curricular art making of their choice

Art Club will run fortnightly from 3:15-4:30 every Thursday of Week A in B10, until the end of the year unless otherwise advised. All year levels are welcome, and no sign-up is required. Please see Mr Fyfe or Ms Herbert if you have any questions about it.


Year 11 Art Making and Exhibiting

As part of Year 11 Art Making and Exhibiting, students visited the ‘Triennial’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Triennial is “a powerful and moving snapshot of the world today as captured through the work of over 120 contemporary artists”, with students focusing primarily on the creation and presentation of works by Australian artists, before exploring the remainder of the exhibition for further inspiration. Students represented the College exceptionally well, with many also choosing to participate in Yoko Ono’s collaborative, interactive work ‘My Mommy is Beautiful’.


Dale Fyfe


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ESC would like to welcome Brendan Alter, our new chaplain.  Brendan will be with us on Tuesday and Friday.  You will see Brendan all over the school, in breakfast club, in junior school, in senior school and even on the basketball court.  If you see him around, please say hello and make him feel welcome.




 Brendan, in his own words

I am married with one daughter and granddaughter. Three step daughters and three dogs. Lady, Gus and Oscar.

I enjoy tinkering and working on and driving my old Holden, l just enjoy life.

I will be supporting the Wellbeing team to best serve and support the students at Emerald Secondary College.

I would like to thank the staff and students for the warm reception and acceptance.




Chillax Club

What a great start to Chillax Club, facilitated by our placement students Victoria and Labonno. Well  done to all the students who came to Chillax and played mindful games with us!

We have so many more activities planned to enjoy over the next 6 weeks. Everyone is welcome to come and join us to relax, destress and have fun.

See you every Thursday at lunchtime in L1.





Tips for making and maintaining friendships – this is great information, particularly for our new year 7s

Felicity Wooden- Wellbeing co-ordinator 

Community News

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