Elwood College 2017 Newsletter No. 5 Tuesday, 15 August

Principal's Note

Hello everyone

We had a wonderful visit from our sister school Obu Higashi High School earlier this month. Thank you to the families who generously hosted the students in their homes and helped to give them a memorable 'Elwood experience'. As you can see from these photos, much fun was had and lasting friendships were forged.

In building news, all is progressing well and we have scheduled the demolition of B Block for the September school holidays. We are looking forward to the new building's official opening on Sunday, 26 November to coincide with Elwood College's 60th anniversary celebrations (although we anticipate students will be enjoying their new learning environments earlier in Term 4). We hope students and families will join us for the anniversary along with alumni from Elwood College and Elwood High.

I would like to congratulate all the students, staff and parents who contributed to the school production earlier this month. 'A Day of Sky' was just jaw-dropping to me - both in terms of our students' awesome talents but also the leadership, teamwork and creativity they demonstrated in creating this original show. 

Elwood College is delighted to have been appointed a Leading School in the new Respectful Relationships program being delivered in all Victorian schools to help combat family violence. As well as reviewing our own school to ensure we model positive relationships and attitudes, we will be guiding other schools to do the same. The fact that Elwood College has been chosen as a leader in this field demonstrates, to me, so much about what makes our school special.

On that note, the Department of Education is running a survey to gauge parents’ perception of school climate, student engagement and relationships with our parent community. This is a state-wide survey in all schools but Elwood College will receive its survey results to help inform our planning and improvement strategies. You will find the link to the survey later in the newsletter.

Finally, I will be joining our Year 10 and 11 students on the France study tour on 7-27 September. Todd Asensio will be acting principal while I am away.

Warm Regards
Rhonda Holt

Science Week Challenge

Our Science teachers are hosting fun lunchtime activities in the Science & Language Centre throughout this week (except Wednesday). Students from all year levels are welcome to bring their lunch along. Come with a friend or just turn up and join in.
The week will end with the WAR ON WASTE & RECYCLING CHALLENGE on Friday. 
The 'ELWOOD BUILDS EARTH v2.0' Competition challenges students to solve sustainability issues, develop a business idea and pitch it to our expert panel. Get thinking to be in the running for prizes.

Parents and Friends Group

The main role of the Parents and Friends group is to connect the parents/carers within the school community at Elwood College. The group assists to facilitate various school events throughout the year, including the school production, student talent night and parent get togethers, as well as fundraising at the regular monthly Elwood Farmers Market held at the college.  This year we are also managing events at the Elwood College 60th Birthday Celebration.
There are three meetings remaining to be held on Wednesday 30 AugustWednesday 18 October and Wednesday 22 November and all parents are welcome to attend.  Those who would like to assist but cannot attend meetings can email Group Convenor Kerryn Stubbs on kezgs@bigpond.net.au.

Dates for your Diary

22-25 August: Ski Camp

Wednesday, 30 August: Years 7, 10, 11 & 12 vaccinations

7-27 September: France Study Tour

Saturday, 9 September: Elwood Farmers Market, 9am-1pm, Elwood College.

Thursday, 21 September: Parent-student-teacher interviews, 1-8pm.

Friday, 22 September: Term 3 concludes, 2.30pm dismissal.

Monday, 9 October: Term 4 commences.

Saturday, 14 October: Elwood Farmers Market, 9am-1pm, Elwood College.

Tuesday, 17 October: College Tour, 9.15-10.15am.

Thursday, 19 October: Art Show & Year 7 Welcome Evening.

Monday, 23 October: Year 12 Final Day & Valedictory Dinner.

Monday, 6 November: Curriculum day, no students at school.

Tuesday, 7 November: Melbourne Cup public holiday.

Saturday, 11 November: Elwood Farmers Market, 9am-1pm, Elwood College.

Sunday, 26 November: 60th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, 9 December: Elwood Farmers Market, 9am-1pm, Elwood College.

Parent Survey 2017


Elwood College is conducting a survey to find out what parents think of our school. The Parent Opinion Survey is an annual survey offered by the Department of Education and Training that is conducted amongst a sample of randomly selected parents at each school.

It is designed to assist our school in gaining an understanding of parents’ perception of school climate, student engagement and relationships with our parent community. Our school will use the survey results to help inform and direct future school planning and improvement strategies.

The survey will be conducted online by ORIMA Research Pty Ltd and only takes 15 minutes to complete. The survey can be accessed via desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile at any convenient time within the fieldwork period from Monday 7 August to Sunday 27 August.

Approximately 30 per cent of parents will be invited to participate in this year’s survey. All responses to the survey are anonymous.

The online survey is available in English, Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Chin (Hakha) and Hindi.

Survey language guides will be provided in a range of languages including Albanian, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, Dari, Filipino, Greek, Gujarati, Indonesian, Japanese, Karen, Khmer, Korean, Macedonian, Malayalam, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish or Urdu.

For further information, please visit: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/management/improvement/Pages/performsurveyparent.aspx

Vaccinations 30 August: Years 7, 10, 11 & 12

On 30 August, 2017, students in Years 10, 11 and 12 will be offered a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine. Year 7s will receive their third round of standard vaccinations.

Nurses from the City of Port Phillip will be providing the free vaccinations at Elwood College. A consent card will be sent home with students in these year levels. Parents/guardians of these student are asked to complete and sign the Meningococcal ACWY consent card, regardless of whether or not the student is to be vaccinated at school. The nurses cannot vaccinate a student without a completed consent card.

The free vaccine program for Years 10, 11 & 12 has been introduced by the Victorian Government to combat a recent rise in cases of Meningococcal W disease and will run from April-December 2017. Young people receiving the vaccine will be protected against the ‘W’ strain of the disease, as well as three other strains (‘A’, ‘C’ and ‘Y’). 

Click here for a fact sheet on the free vaccinations

Information regarding the Meningococcal disease is available in English and other languages at: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/publications/formsandtemplates/meningococcal-secondary-school-vaccine-program

High Achiever Awards

Term 2 High Achiever Awards were presented to the following students at a morning tea on 31 July. The awards were based on outstanding academic achievement. 

Year 7: Lily Walker, Will McCarthy, Monica Ising, Harry Phillips, Timna Shushan, Lily Lau, Sophie Woods, Addy Arya, Eden Saunders, Ines Jost, Georgia Skewes, Tyra Matuauto, Ali Thomas, Oskar Bakos and Maggie Lambrechts.  

Year 8: Jerry Yan, Caleb Collano, Zeta Hamilton Durkin, Blanche Flaster, Clark Soroczynski, Riya Vyas, Amy Richardson, Kitty Smyth, Flynn Richardson, Natasha Hortis, Jack Mardling and Rowan Daly.

Year 9: Lily Rekittke, Faith Roderick, Layla-Jade Bartrouney, Brier Mclean, Sophia Hodych, Max Phillips, Neelu Sidhu, Louis Alderson, Duke Wilson and Victoria Zheng.

Year 10: Thea Davey, Hugo Radovanovic, Harper Massey, Sabrina Phillips, Catherine Oliver, Catalina Acuna, Monique Bauer, Pollyanna Carveth, Chloe Gent and Ruby Woods.

Year 11: Jack Steedman, Henry Lucas, Niamh Mulcahy, Zoe Eyles, Finlea Daniels, Jonathon Zuk, Harry Stone, Vadhana Anil Ram, Georgie Stone and Jikyeong Jeong.

Year 12: Liza Clerehan, Raymond Ward, Jayde Elvey, Jingyun Wu, Caitlyn Deane, Anton Merakovsky, Franklin Ward, Oliver Woods, Sally Davis, Finn Jones.

Wild Applause for A Day of Sky

The buzz around school last week was all about the amazing whole school production held over three nights on August 2, 3 and 4.

Congratulations to all the students involved: so many wonderful performances, fantastic leadership and teamwork. Thank you to Jessica Carson, Matt Green, Jodie Paxton, John Harte, Dot Whellans, Marg Prest, Gordon Watson, Peter Turley and all the staff who helped create this major production.

A very special mention to Year 11 student Harrison Stone who took the showcase concept and turned it into a completely original script interwoven with well-known songs.

Director Jessica Carson wrote: "From commencement of rehearsals the students arrived with an open mind, ready to develop this piece of theatre through trial and error. They worked respectfully with others, creating a rehearsal space that was a safe place for all involved to try new things and practice and grow as performers, while collaboratively creating our performance."

Performer Georgie Stone wrote: "From a student perspective, it was inspiring to see the older students help the younger students with lines and performance. Each student was determined to get the job done and showed signs of comradeship with peers and teachers alike. We managed to put together an incredible original production that we are all proud of."

Photography by Year 10 student Copper Taylor- Bogaars.

Respectful Relationships

We have started learning about Respectful Relationships as part of our health, physical education and resilience curriculum.

Respectful Relationships is a new $21.8 million program in all Victorian schools, in response to the Royal C​ommission into Family Violence. Evidence presented showed the effectiveness of schools in addressing the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge that support violence.

Elwood College has also been selected as a Leading School, guiding local partner schools (primary and secondary) to implement a whole school approach.

As well as teaching age-appropriate curriculum, each school will review its practices and policies to ensure it is modelling respectful relationships and gender equality across the school community.

As a Leading School, Elwood College is taking part in a three-year research program, which will examine the impact of the program on student attitudes. Students will be asked to complete six surveys over the three years. Parental consent is required – a letter and form will be distributed via Compass shortly.

Our teachers have already started teaching the curriculum from Years 7-12, using resources provided by the Department of Education and Training.

Assistant Principal Scott Burton said the new material complements our existing Health and PE programs and The Resilience Project.

The learning materials are designed to develop student’s social and emotional capabilities, build healthy and respectful relationships, support decision making and create positive gender relations. The initiative will also provide resources to best support young people who are affected by family violence.

Kitty and Emma have the Magic Touch

Congratulations to Year 8 student Kitty Smyth who will represent Victoria in Touch Football. Kitty won a place in the 15 years and under team, competing against other states in the School Sport Australia Pacific School Games Touch Football Championship in Adelaide in December. 

Well done also to our sport coordinator and teacher Emma Robbins, who has been appointed team manager. This follows her role last year as the team's assistant coach, as well as her fantastic work starting touch footy at Elwood over the past two years.

Girls Basketball

Our Year 9 and 10 girls represented Elwood College in Intermediate Basketball on Tuesday 25 July.
Coached by Miss Moloney, the girls won two out of four games at Monash University and finished fifth out of eight teams.
Here is a picture Year 9 student Molly Cleveland shooting for goal.

Smiles for Sundial

Year 7 students had a beautiful morning at the "unveiling" of Elwood's sundial, on the grass along the canal near the end of Keats Street. A group of 12 students attended the ceremony on Thursday 20 July, alongside other community representatives, Elwood Primary, Port Phillip councillors and staff, Melbourne Water and media.
Celeste Walters, local resident, children's author and former Elwood Primary teacher, kindly gifted the sundial to the City of Port Phillip. Celeste wanted to make a long-term contribution to the community that could engage all passers-by in an educational, scientific and enjoyable way. The sundial also provides opportunities for students to learn about time, navigation and the seasons, as well as for all residents to experience this ancient form of time-telling.
Elwood students feasted on Celeste's tales of old times and new, all the while munching on choc chip cookies for morning tea.

Darcy's Best on Ground

Congratulations to Year 8 student Darcy Fountain who represented the Southern Metro region in AFL in June.

Darcy was selected for the Under 13 Division 1 team after training with the interleague squad throughout autumn, along with playing for his club St Peter's FC in Bentleigh.

Despite his team losing their interleague match, Darcy managed to win Best on Ground thanks to his two goals and great work in the ruck.

Alumni Stories: Saint for Life

Lawyer John Gdanksi attended Elwood High from 1974–75. He is a Board Member and Life Member of the St Kilda Football Club.

Alumni Stories: Marine Protector

Sacha Guggenheimer attended Elwood College 2001-2004. She is a marine biologist and underwater photographer who now lives and works on Ningaloo Reef in Exmouth, Western Australia. She is passionate about continuing research on protection of the Great Southern Right Whale and is pictured above swimming with a whale shark on Ningaloo Reef.

“I was in the Steiner stream at Moorabbin Heights Primary School and enrolled in the new Steiner stream at Elwood College in 2001. I remember there was a real diverse crowd of students at Elwood, from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. The teachers in the Steiner program were all lovely, but none of them were Steiner trained and it was hard for me to learn. In Year 8 I moved into a mainstream class.

Miss Ireland taught me science and she really inspired me. She went beyond and above to keep us students motivated and excited by science and engineering. I remember really enjoying classes with her where we designed carts and turbines. Miss Ireland really enriched my life. I went on summer camps that she organised at Coowinda in the Gippsland Lakes, and us city kids had an awesome time with camping and canoeing.”

After Year 12 Sacha enrolled in an Engineering/Arts degree at Monash University but discovered her real passion was in marine and freshwater biology. She studied Marine Biology at James Cook University and went onto work as a research assistant at Curtin University in WA where she investigated the acoustic communication of humpback whales and pygmy blue whale populations in the Indian and Southern oceans.

She is now in her third season working on Ningaloo Reef where she works with a company that takes tourists swimming with whale sharks and on humpback whale tours between April and September.

She and her partner have also been involved in expedition cruises with naturalists, oceanographers and marine biologists of the Seychelles, Madagascar, Maldives and India.

Along with a friend, Sacha has organised and run the Rye “Seaside Scavenge” for the past three years where people are invited to pick up rubbish from the beach, have it sorted and weighed and then the data entered into the Australian marine debris database. In 2018, the “Scavenge” will occur at St Kilda beach on January 14.

The Seaside Scavenge mission is to “inspire communities to scavenge, catalogue and dispose of litter appropriately and change their consumption of single use plastics to keep our ocean clean”.