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Principal’s Report

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We’re at the end of Week 6, as you read this newsletter!

Where has this term gone? I have used the word ‘stamina’ in my title, as many of our students start to find that the pressure of summative assessments starts to build. Organisation, study at home and good preparation is the key to get through this fairly ‘hot’ time.

Preparation is the key to success and the College has high expectations for all our students, and we will never apologise for setting these standards. ESC stands for building potential and success, and every student has a right to learn and thrive at our school, and every teacher has the right to teach without poor behaviour creating interruptions.

Thus, if we can support our students in any way, your student’s first contact is the Learning Engagement Leaders who are there to support the student cohort.

ALL dealings with school staff must be respectful and solution focussed.




We remind everyone that the cooler weather is now rolling in and request that parents work with their children, so that all students have the appropriate items of uniform for the cooler weather. Our aim is for our uniform to provide students with a positive school identity, support student safety and remove many of the biases and issues that arise when students have free dress. As a college, we are a Uniform School.

HOODIES are not a part of college uniform. Any windcheater, top, etc (without a hoodie) may be worn as an undergarment, if it cannot be seen. If you are unsure of our Uniform Policy, please access the College website.



Attendance is a precursor to engagement and student connectedness to our college. Understandably, illness cannot always be avoided, but we ask our parents to support us as much as possible by scheduling any non-essential appointments and commitments outside of school hours. High attendance rates are essential for our senior students to pass their subjects and will also be used as qualifiers for students in other year levels to be able to access some of their extra-curricular activities.



This survey is an important way to collect wellbeing and engagement information from our students and to check in on how they are travelling with their school connectedness. If you have any queries relating to the survey, please contact the College on 5968 5388.



We will adorn our newsletters with a focus on some of our staff, as we get to know them, as they settle and become part of our community – enjoy the read.



We value and understand that many of our students’ achievements can also happen outside school hours, so as Principal, I look forward to parents/carers emailing me with the highlights of achievements. With your kind permission, the story and adventure will be printed in the newsletter, for our community to enjoy. Please email me: [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.

This newsletter’s high achiever is Robert, who is in Year 9.

*Reprinted with permission

Robert has always been fascinated with engineering and physics – specifically rockets and propulsion. Much of his spare time is spent building rockets and researching fuels. Our eldest son Christian is an engineer and Robert has spent a great deal of time playing with his software and 3D printer.

Robert is now a member of the Australian Space Association and the Victorian Rocketry Association (which is a branch of the Tripoli American Rocketry Association), and on Sunday we attended a launch in Serpentine (about 45 mins past Bendigo) where aerospace teams from Monash, Melbourne, ANU and RMIT Universities launched their high powered rockets… some of which will go on to compete in America later this year.

Robert is undertaking the Tripoli mentorship program, which allows him to certify in high powered rocketry as a minor, with guidance. He will be the first in Victoria to complete this mentorship. His aim is to complete level 1 certification this year.


James Barut-

College Principal

Assistant Principals’ Report

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We are continuing to develop our School Wide Positive Behaviour Framework here at Emerald Secondary College. Whilst the program is in its infancy and yet to be launched, we would like to share with the community our direction and philosophy.


Recently Year 11 and Year 12 students were invited to submit expressions of interest to be peer mentors to Year 7 students.  This week 12 students were involved in collaborative training activities to prepare them for this role.  For the mentor, mentoring offers:

  • a leadership opportunity – to help others learn and progress
  • a positive, voluntary initiative
  • relevant experience
  • an opportunity to see things differently – to engage with someone younger and understand how others think
  • a chance to share students’ own experiences to help understand self better
  • development of own emotional intelligence
  • the ‘feel good’ factor – knowing students are making a difference
  • building of confidence and capacity

For our Year 7 students, the program can

  • Improve social, emotional and communication skills
  • Raise self-esteem
  • Improve communication skills
  • Reduce risky or poor behaviours
  • Enhance social and emotional development
  • Improve relationships
  • Encourage healthier behaviours
  • Improve school attendance
  • Improve resilience
  • Reduce feelings of isolation

We’re very proud of our Seniors for volunteering to be a part of this initiative and of our Year 7 students who have shown enthusiasm and a positive response to the program.





Peer Mentoring

Last week, senior students who had volunteered to take part in the peer mentoring program this year attended a training session to improve their skills prior to the program’s launch. The launch took place this week on Monday, and it was a success. Senior students were paired with junior students, and they interacted and engaged in fun activities with one another. The Peer Mentoring program is a beneficial initiative that asks senior students to serve as role models for junior students, allowing the transition from primary school to be smoother. This creates the opportunity for Year 7 to be able to recognise a familiar face in the yard and improves the general connection between the seniors and the juniors. Those involved in the program will meet fortnightly at least, giving them the opportunity to use their creativity in activities or engage in one-on-one conversations. This will increase junior students’ sense of involvement and give them the chance to approach their mentor whenever they need. We are excited to see the impacts that this year’s mentors will have on their mentees and may expand the program for next year’s cohort.


Year 12

With a lot of preparation required over the next few weeks, our Year 12 cohort is once again in the busy time of the term. We recently participated in a dodgeball match against the teachers, and we destroyed them (even with the cheaters!). This week year 11 and 12 students took part in a number of sporting events, such as netball, soccer, and footy. Although we didn’t see amazing results the students most certainly had a blast and that is what matters!


Charlotte Scott – Peer Mentor Leader and College Captain





As a learning community and a part of your child’s educational journey, it’s vital to recognise the crucial role that active participation and classroom orderliness play in fostering a conducive learning environment. These elements not only contribute to academic success but also cultivate essential life skills that are invaluable beyond the classroom.

Active participation is more than just showing up; it’s about engaging fully with the learning process. When students actively participate in class discussions, activities, and projects, they deepen their understanding of the subject matter. By voicing their thoughts, asking questions, and collaborating with peers, students develop critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills essential for success in higher education and future careers.

Participation within the classroom, and school community, enhances students’ sense of ownership over their learning, empowering them to take control of their educational journey. As a college committed to enhancing student outcomes we strongly encourage your child to embrace opportunities to participate actively in class, whether through raising their hand to contribute, joining group discussions, or seeking clarification when needed.

In addition to active participation, maintaining classroom orderliness is fundamental for creating a conducive learning environment. A well-organised classroom minimises distractions, fosters concentration, and promotes respect among students and teachers. When students understand and adhere to classroom routines, it creates a sense of predictability and stability, allowing for smoother transitions between activities and maximising instructional time.

As parents, you can support the importance of classroom orderliness by reinforcing the value of respect for teachers, peers, and learning materials. Encourage your child to adhere to classroom norms, such as arriving on time, being prepared with necessary materials, and demonstrating courteous behaviour towards others.

By emphasising the significance of active participation and classroom orderliness, we can collectively contribute to creating an environment where every student has the opportunity to thrive academically and personally. Together, let’s empower our students to be ready to learn, actively engage in the educational process, and embrace the journey of lifelong learning.



Fundraising to Protect Our Kids Bikes

We need your help to deliver a much needed shelter over our current bike enclosure. After surveying our students, we learnt that the most popular wish list item for the student body is a roof over the current bike area. Understandably, we have a number of students choosing not to ride to school as their bikes currently have to be left out in the elements all day, instead of safe and dry under shelter.

Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, while this sounds like a relatively straight forward project, once we cover footings, materials, installation and the necessary permit fees and applications we are looking at a cost of $19,800. A big target, but one we feel we can achieve with the help of our school community and hopefully the wider community also.

We have reached out to a number of local businesses to request financial support; the school is most certainly more than happy to offer any free advertisement and recognition to these businesses and we of course extend this to any families within our school community that may run their own business. If your business is keen to support us in reaching our financial goal, please reach out to the school or myself and we can work out the details and of course get some information about your business up on the school socials, so everyone knows both about your fantastic business and that you are generously assisting our school community.

Further to reaching out to local businesses both from the school and wider community we would like to request a donation from each student. School Council has discussed the various options around fundraising and while fairs, events and various drives can be successful we are mindful of the time and financial stress that this can place on a few. Instead, would like to aim to reach our goals with as little financial and organisational stress on all.

Over the remainder of 2024, if each student can donate $30, we will reach out target. We understand that in the current climate this is not going to be achievable for everyone however, if you feel you can donate $10 per term we can make this happen. Some families might be able to donate more, some less. Ultimately, what we are hoping is that over the course of the next seven months we can slowly chip away at this target and make it happen.

Over the coming week you will see a Compass post with an Event created specifically for this donation. Again, if each student can cover $30 we will meet the target however, we of course appreciate whatever you can spare. This donation can be made over multiple payments or in one go. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out, you can contact the school or email me directly and I’ll always aim to get back to you as soon as possible.

Let’s work together to tick this wish list item off for 2024 and hopefully have more students riding to school knowing that their bikes are kept safe and dry from the elements.

Nadia Beardshaw

[email protected]



Tanja Korsten, Melissa Findlay & Tiana Clayworth 

Assistant Principals

Get to know the staff

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Ms. Rose

How long have you worked at Emerald Secondary College?
l have been working at Emerald Secondary College for the last 11 months. In that time l have taken on the position of Administration and First Aid Officer.

What is your role at school?
In my role l have been looking after the sick bay, updating all the Asthma and Allergy Plans, creating new student plans, and making sure the medical side of things are up to date.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job would be working with an amazing group of people and looking after the children as they have been welcoming and l love taking care of them.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
If l could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be Chocolate 😊




Mrs. Haines

What is your role at the school?
I’m in Reception/Administration, which means I am usually the first stop for people contacting the school. I help with anything from emails to phone calls, administering band aids, creating newsletters, making PA announcements to selling chocolate. Being in reception keeps me very busy!

When you were little what did you aspire to be?
A meteorologist or a film editor.

If you were a superhero, what superpowers would you have?
Time turning. I would love the ability to re-do the last minute of any conversation at will.

What skill would you like to master?
I would like to be able to speak fluent AUSLAN. I learned baby sign when my children were babies but would love to be able to hold a conversation with someone in sign language.



                          Mr. McRae

Hi! I am Steve McRae.

I am one of the two year 9 Learning engagement leaders. I am into my second year at Emerald Secondary College, having completed a couple of years at South Oakleigh Secondary College previously.

I have come into teaching through a bunch of other experiences, both in my home in New Zealand and over here in Aus.

  • Supervisor on a strawberry farm in the Sunshine Coast
  • Sales merchandiser for Coca Cola in NZ
  • Sales Merchandiser for Goodman Fielder
  • Furniture removalist in Canberra
  • Worked as a fitter and turner in Dandenong south for 5 years or so
  • Worked as a cutter for a company that made these enormous vulcanised rubber mats for the mining industry

All walks of life, working with pretty much every version of people that exist and I think this is something that really helps me when it comes to building relationships in the school environment.

Building these relationships is critical to being a quality teacher, both in terms of delivering curriculum and in managing a successful classroom.

My major passion (other than my wife, kids and two dogs) is soccer (football). I am in my 33rd year of playing, and as I get older have started transitioning into senior coaching and am currently the senior coach at Monbulk Rangers. Sport has always been an important outlet for me, there is tough times that everyone goes through and I have not been immune to them – sport has always been something that helped me move through these times both with the hard physical work involved, and the social network that exists in strong team based sports.

I get a massive kick out of seeing students/players take on my feedback, clearly apply and see the look on their faces when it works – knowing I have helped growth in another person is pretty cool and something that is a big part of why I have embarked on this new career in education.

Now for a couple of the fun questions –

  1. If I had to eat one meal for the rest of my life, what would it be? 100% bangers and mash

  2. If I could be a superhero, what powers would I have? The ability to instantly calm down any tantruming child.

I love being a teacher – I am new to education and even newer to this school, but whilst parts of the job are difficult, the staff I work with every day make it a place that I look forward to going to on the daily.


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Junior Boys Netball & Junior Girls Football


In early May a full team of girls headed off to play football at the Yarra division, it was a great day. It so exciting to have enough players for a girls team, looking forward to more in the future.

2 teams of boys played netball with Emerald finishing 3rd overall.

Well done all involved, special mention to the staff for helping out.


Senior Girls Netball

Senior girls netball played really well  on Tuesday. The team played 6 games and came away with 4 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw which meant they came second overall! 



Senior and Intermediate Badminton

Senior and Intermediate Badminton went out on Wednesday, all students had a great day. The intermediate Girls Team came away with the win! They will move on to the regional event later in the year.



Senior Soccer 

The boys had a great day at senior soccer on Tuesday, they should be very proud of their efforts, finishing 3rd overall.


Yvonne Mauger

Senior School.

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Senior School

As we approach the second half of term two, in Senior School, we approach some of the busiest times of the year. Across the senior years a vast majority of the students have settled into their study habits and created healthy routines. We are in full swing with assessments including SACs and SATs, these have been done in class and afterschool.

Some updates and important information below.  


We appreciate you keeping your child(ren) at home when they are unwell, and we wish them a speedy recovery always. Please be reminded that our VCE students require medical certificates when absent to support the VCAA requirements of 90% attendance. Students should be when able accessing lesson plans from compass and keeping as up to date as much as possible and or must understand that catching up is an essential part of VCE studies. All ‘Areas of study’ are assessed for each student, and it is their responsibility to seek and complete anything that has been missed.

From the handbook: All absences need be approved by the College.  The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) mandates a requirement of attendance for teachers to validate/authenticate student work. Only the following absences will be approved by the College and not be considered as part of the minimum 90% attendance requirement:

  • Illness – a medical certificate is required.
  • Bereavement – contact the Senior Sub-School prior to the absence where possible.
  • Other Educational Activity (e.g. if you are on an excursion for a distance education unit/ excursion/ sitting an exam etc.) – you must notify the VCE/VCAL Team Leaders.
  • Other – if there are other valid reasons, these will need to be discussed with the Senior Sub-School Leader before the absence (if possible) or as soon as possible afterwards.


Family holidays, part time work, license tests, illnesses without a certificate and other similar causes for absence are not acceptable School Approved absences.


SAC / SAT Calendar

Semester 2 SAC / SAT calendar will be published in week 11 of term two for our students and families to plan and support study routines as our students flip to studying unit 2 / 4.

The GAT – Tuesday 18th June 2024

No Year 12 classes will be running on this day. The GAT is broken in to two sections.

Section A – 9:00am- 11:15am
BBQ lunch provided
Section B – 1:15pm – 3:00pm

The 2024 GAT (General Achievement Test) is on Tuesday 18th June 2024.
This is completed by ALL Year 12 VCE and VCE VM students and any year 11 student completing a year 12 (unit 3/4) subject. 

  • The GAT assesses your skills against literacy and numeracy standards – these are essential skills that show you’re ready to move on to further study, training, or employment. It will give you confidence that your skills are at the right level to support you, whatever you choose to do after school.
  • The GAT also assesses your skills in mathematics, science, technology, the arts and humanities.
  • GAT results are important for checking that VCE external assessments and school-based assessments have been accurately and fairly assessed and can be used to calculate Derived Examination Scores.


Year 11 Exams

The exams for year 11 studying a Unit 1 subject will be completed during week 8, Monday 3rd June to Thursday 6th June. No year 11 VCE classes will be running this week. VCE VM students are running as normal. The exam timetable can be seen below. For more information, please visit Compass.

All other details can be found on Compass.

Year 12 ‘Mate Day’

On Friday 3rd May our Year 12 students had a free dress day. The theme of the day was ‘Mates’ as we build connections amongst the cohort. People were encouraged to dress up in ‘friend inspired’ costumes and they didn’t need to be asked twice. There were some fantastic efforts with a group dressed for a slumber party, everyone from the Mario Bros, Alice in Wonderland, Thing 1 and Thing 2 and a special shout out to Mr. Reid who dressed as a Year 12 (in PERFECT uniform) because the Year 12s are his friends 😊

The Year 12s were treated to a hot chip lunch which was enthusiastically received by the students.  The day was filled with smiles, and it was excellent for building connections among the group.


Emily Hay- Head of Senior school 

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


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Recently our VCE students have been extending their understanding through experiences within and outside the classroom.


Year 12 History: Revolutions students have used visual media to recreate key moments in the French Revolution such as the Tennis Court Oath and the Storming of the Bastille.


Year 11 Legal Studies students were fortunate to attend the County Court where they observed court proceedings in the morning and the Juries Session in the afternoon.



Year 11 Geography travelled to Kinglake where they undertook the fieldwork component of the unit.

Fiona Minorgan


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Environmental Science class

This week the Environmental Science class took water and soil samples from Emerald Lake on a sun-drenched afternoon. We learned about different ways to survey environments and the ways humans can impact the health of ecosystems. Back in the lab, we tested different pollution types from our samples and compared different treatments for removing the pollution. These student-led investigations have tested middle-schoolers’ science understanding and creativity. From building UV chambers to growing plastic-eating mushrooms, there has been a healthy flurry of activity in the lab from our budding environmental scientists!



Year 8 science

This term in science Year 8 science students have been learning what makes a chemical reaction, observing different types of chemical reactions, writing chemical formulas, and determining how to speed up a chemical reaction.  


In Unit 1 (year 11) Biology students have begun their Extended Practical Investigation (EPI) SAC, determining the effect of different variables on the transpiration rate of Australian native plants.  They designed, prepared, and analysed their own investigation and will write up their findings in a scientific poster.

Ashley Forster


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IDAHOBIT Celebration – Monday 20th May 


International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia. IDAHOBIT is the anniversary of May 17, 1990, when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases.  

This year’s theme was A Call for Unity.

On Monday at lunch, we celebrated IDAHOBIT by wearing a splash of colour, activities like nail and face painting, and cupcakes and treats for students. Members of our Gay/Straight Alliance facilitated the event and a lot of fun was had by all!


Felicity Wooden

Community News.

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