Elwood College Newsletter: Term 1 2018

First Term Farewell

Hello everyone,

It has been a huge start to the year. Moving into our new building has been exciting and sometimes challenging process. However, our wonderful new classrooms and open learning spaces have been just reward. We have more work to do but are really starting to see our vision for the college come together. Thank you again to the staff and students for your patience and flexibility.

This newsletter is a celebration of college life and student achievement. As you may have noticed, most of the regular and essential communication we have with parents is now via Compass. With this in mind, we have decided to reduce the newsletter's publication to once every term. However, at any time, parents can look on the Elwood College website and see news stories about our activities and achievements. The Friends of Elwood College Facebook page, run by former parent Sue Constable, is also worth following if you are interested. Parents and students are invited to share news and photos with us by emailing elwood.co@edumail.vic.gov.au - we certainly love to share our students' achievements with the college community.

Now that we are settled into the school year, I want to take this opportunity to address the importance of attendance for the rest of the year. The foundations for learning success are built by students coming to school EACH AND EVERY DAY. Although giving your child an occasional ‘day off’ may seem harmless, missing school can have a big impact on students academically and socially. There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a student misses puts them behind, and can have a ‘snowball effect’ on their confidence in the classroom and beyond.

If a student is feeling anxious or resentful about school, the unfortunate truth is that missing school will only magnify those negative emotions. If you’re having attendance issues with your child, please phone 9531 9566 to arrange an appointment with your child’s Year Level Learning Leader or Sub School Director as soon as possible.

Although there are obviously examples of when a day at home is appropriate (such as genuine illness), we ask parents and caregivers to think twice before letting your child have a “day off”. When an absence really cannot be avoided, it is vital that students speak with their classroom teachers immediately as to how they can catch up on missed classes.

We hope we can work together with parents on achieving excellent attendance for every child – and seeing their confidence grow in the classroom and beyond.

Finally, after a term of challenges with a number of students including our Year 7’s being without lockers for many weeks, we would like to commence second term with a refocus on our school uniform and wearing it as specified in the student diary. Please note that the sports uniform, which includes the rugby top or the track suit is only to be worn to and from school on Sports Days. For PE lessons students change into their sports uniform at school. 

Please note the College blazer is compulsory for all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 and strongly encouraged for students in Years 10 and 11. Year 12 students will soon be wearing their Year 12 jackets.

Full winter uniform should be worn from Monday 30 April. Students can choose to wear either summer or winter uniform for the first two weeks of Term 2. These transition details are also in the student diary

Enjoy the break. Looking forward to seeing everyone back for a fantastic Term 2! 

Warm Regards

Rhonda Holt

Dates for Your Diary

Thursday, 29 March: Term 1 concludes.

Monday, 16 April: Term 2 commences.

Monday, 23 April: House Athletics Carnival.

Tuesday, 24 April: Open Evening 6-7pm.

Tuesday, 12 June: Curriculum day; no students at school (extending the Queen's Birthday weekend for students).

Friday, 29 June: Term 2 concludes.

Monday, 16 July: Term 3 commences.

Year 7 Reporting

Congratulations to the entire Year 7 group and their teaching team on a great first term. 

Rex W and Olivia P report on their first impressions of Elwood College.

Rex: Coming to Elwood has been amazing and very different from my primary school Ripponlea. I've made a lot of new friends and am enjoying it.

OliviaMy first week was very exciting, having new teachers, classmates and getting to know my way around. I found it very helpful meeting all together in the morning and after breaks. My favourite subject so far would have to be English. All the teachers were really kind and helpful, understanding that it was only our first week of high school. I have really enjoyed my experience so far and can't wait for the years to come!


Millar and Wesley Baseball Stars

Congratulations to Baseball State Champions Wesley Ka (Year 7) and Millar Kuhl (Year 8). The boys represented the Southern Mariners in the Junior League (U14) Baseball State Championship played in Geelong in March.

Their team was undefeated, winning the State Championship medals.

Wesley and Millar will now represent Victoria in the Junior League National Championship in Adelaide in late May.

Girls have the Magic Touch

Congratulations to our Under 15s Girls Touch Footy Team who have had great success and showed sensational team spirit at two events this year.

In February, with coach and former teacher Emma Robbins, 10 girls played in the Junior Touch Affiliate Cup (pictured top). They played six games and won third place.

Then on 20 March, a team of 12 girls headed to the Eastern Conference of the 2018 Victorian School Championships (pictured bottom). They won all five of their qualifying games, taking them straight to the Grand Final, which they also won. Ironically, this time they were competing against Miss Robbins in the grand final, who was coaching for her new school.

Well done to the following students who represented the College at one or both events. Year 9: Indigo Gaal, Lola-Jean James, Adele Kirkpatrick, Lily Ranieri, Amy Richardson, Maya Simmonds, Kitty Smyth, Amelie Whitfield and Bree Whorlton. Year 8: Brie Bartlett, Renee Warman and Georgia Skewes. Year 7: Maisy Evans.

The team is expecting to be invited to the next stage of the State Championships but is awaiting confirmation.


Stepping Out to Step Up

Zoe Eyles (middle) reports on the Year 12 Step Up Program.

With Year 12 finally upon us, the school year started differently than most. For the Step Up program, we stepped out of the classroom and headed to Elwood Sailing Club on the foreshore. Over two days we received advice on how to tackle our studies, deal with the stress we’re all looking forward to, and maintain a study/life balance.

On the first day, Ms Bentley spoke to us about pathways after VCE and the vast range of options available, including many specialised and unique courses. Talking about our goals beyond Year 12 made our real-world dreams feel that much closer. 2017 graduates Liza Clerehan, Jayde Elvey and Oliver Woods returned to candidly share their experiences of Year 12. We found their advice really valuable.

Mr Kinch talked us through stress management, meditation and the negative mentalities to avoid in Year 12. Many of us have since noticed how we’re getting to sleep much quicker after employing one of the mindfulness tricks he taught us. That day we also wrote letters intended for ourselves after finishing Year 12. We silently and earnestly scribbled away at this very personal and thought-provoking task.

The next day, we continued the Elwood College tradition of creating ‘memories bunting’. We wrote down our favourite high school memories on triangular pieces of paper to create a garland we will hang up. Unlike our letter-writing activity, this one was not at all silent – we had a good laugh together.

Later, in groups, we did beach exercise, goal setting and discussed the importance of creating support circles. Ensuring Year 12 is not all work and no fun, we brainstormed ideas for House and Year 12 events.

Presenters from Elevate also came to the school. We received explicit, targeted information on how we should study in order to get the best marks, and how to balance our study schedules with a healthy and social life.

We finished the Step Up program with an arsenal of tips and a plan of attack for the year.  Now it’s up to us to tackle this so-called ‘big year’, as only we can determine how much we achieve.


Bowling Over Beachside

Year 10 students Liam and Angus Murphy report on the Beachside Intermediate lawns bowls tournament held in February.

Elwood College's Middle School fielded two teams in the regional tournament. We had a good competitive (and social) tournament meeting new people.

The second team won four of the five games and came equal third.

The first team won all their round games, only losing one end. The first team then played Melbourne High in the grand final, who were also undefeated. It went until the second last bowl of the game to have a decider. The final score was 5-2 in favour of Elwood, after scoring two shots in the last end.

Good job to the lawn bowls middle school teams which consisted of: Liam Murphy, Ethan Taylor Wallgren and Angus Murphy (pictured); Luke McIntyre, Finlay McKay and Marcus Tenenbaum; and our captain Mr Purcell.