College Principal’s Report

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Retirements

At the end of this term we farewell the following staff who are retiring after many years of dedicated service to the Mount Waverley Secondary College learning community; Dr Les Mullins, Ms Dina Verginis, Ms Linda Crook, Ms Linda Wotherspoon, Mr Peter Schneider and Ms Maureen Theobald. We wish all of our retirees the best in their future endeavours and know that they will enjoy the next phase in their lives.

 

Careers Week

Your ‘Career is a journey, not a destination’ was the theme for Careers Week which was held recently.  Thank you to Mrs Joanne Hall Manager of Careers Education and Mrs Lyn Luongo Careers Education Coordinator for putting together an exciting program including daily activities for students.

 

Japanese Online Conference

Eight of our VCE Japanese students, Lynn Li G, Bach N, Aaron C, Francis M, Jungmin P, Steven L, Charlie W and Helena Z participated in an online conference with students from Meiho High School in Tokyo recently. Students from each school exchanged information and shared their opinions about the life-style change that they have experienced in the last few months amid the coronavirus pandemic. Our students gave presentations all in Japanese and actively engaged in a discussion with the Japanese students showing amazing competency in their communication skills. Meiho High School was originally visiting us in August and we were going to visit them in September as part of the Japan Study Tour. Under the current situation, these plans are not going ahead, but we were very lucky to have this occasion where students could meet and interact using the languages they study. Special thank you to Ms Ayako Yasunaga our Head of Languages for organizing this learning opportunity.

 

 Remote Learning Survey

Thank you to all the parents/carers, students and staff who completed the feedback survey on our remote learning experiences recently. The aim was to capture a snapshot of the experiences of the MWSC community as we adapted to this new way of learning. The data will be used to celebrate our collective resilience and improvements in student agency. Well done to Ms Hayley Dureau, Head of Student Voice for leading the project along with a working party of students and staff. Hayley presented the remote survey findings to College Council last Thursday night. The results were very positive and showed how much the students and parents appreciated everyone’s efforts whilst we were working from home.

 

Thank You Letters

I really enjoyed reading the thank you letters that all 200 staff received from me when they returned to school but I can’t take the credit for the idea. Mr Adam Laan, Acting Head of Pedagogy came up with the idea. He wanted to be able to recognise the achievements of all staff whilst we were in a remote learning environment and sometimes we don’t know what everyone is doing behind the scenes. So Adam created a huge spreadsheet and along with Mr Matt Sheehan’s help had all of the Learning Specialists and Leading Teachers contribute to this spreadsheet by recognizing their colleagues with positive feedback. Adam then emailed all of the students and over 500 students responded with comments about how their teachers and support staff had helped them throughout this challenging time. Thank you so much to everyone who helped with this important project. There is no ‘I’ in TEAM!

 

Student Wellbeing Webinar

On Wednesday 3 June, Mr Paul Graham our Manager of Student Wellbeing hosted a Student Wellbeing webinar for parents to support them and their children in a return to on-site learning. Thank you to Paul, Ms Danielle Mott and Mrs Kerri Haworth our Student Wellbeing Coordinators for their efforts in putting this together. Over 120 parents including the College Principal attended and found it to be a very informative, helpful and positive presentation.

 

The Skellig Audiobook Project

Our Year 7 students will commence their study of the novel Skellig by David Almond next term. As part of this, the Year 7 English team have created an Audiobook Project for the students involving various staff recording themselves reading one or more chapters of the novel. Thank you to Mr John Simon and Ms Clare Challenger for organising this great initiative, supported by the rest of the Year 7 English team and staff participating. We look forward to listening to the finished product.

 

STEAM Centre Planning

The planning for our new STEAM Centre is underway with support from the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) and NEVR Regional Office.  The first phase of this work has been completed by the end of this term.  Thank you to Mr Ian MacLeod, Campus Principal in charge of Facilities for overseeing this project.

 

Staff Nomination

I recently received a letter from Mr Bruce Atkinson, Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Eastern Metropolitan Region asking me to nominate a staff member who went above and beyond during the remote learning phase. I decided that I had to nominate all staff at Mount Waverley Secondary College because everyone has done such outstanding work during this time. Congratulations to all of my wonderful staff!

 

Wellbeing Team Morning Tea

I had the pleasure of attending a special morning tea last Friday to thank the Wellbeing Team for all of their hard work during the remote learning phase. Our Manager of Student Wellbeing Mr Paul Graham, our inclusion team, nurses, wellbeing co-ordinators and chaplain all worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the wellbeing of our students was our number one concern and that our students were being supported.

 

Year 12 Drama Performances

Our Year 12 Drama students presented their ensemble pieces in the Theatrette last Wednesday and I thoroughly enjoyed their talented performances. Thank you to Ms Jane Carter for organizing this opportunity to showcase our students work.

 

 

Hand Sanitiser Donation

Recently we received 326 bottle of hand sanitizer donated by the company New Vivid Pty. Ltd. This was organized through the company, DET and Monash City Council and all schools in the city received bottles based on the number of classrooms they had.  I wrote a letter of thanks to Mr Jeff Zhang and the company on behalf of our learning community.

 

Morning Tea

Today our local Member of Parliament for Mount Waverley, Matt Fregon, kindly provided morning tea for our staff to thank them for their efforts during remote learning. Special thanks to Matt for recognizing the work of our teachers and support staff at this challenging time.

 

The Cheesecake Shop

Thank you to the The Cheesecake Shop Mount Waverley 2/41 Blackburn Road, who kindly donated some cakes for our staff this week. We thoroughly enjoyed this special treat and encourage you to support our local small businesses during these challenging times.  The Mount Waverley Store is offering 10% off to all staff and students at the college.    All you need to do is present a picture of the flier attached.

 

Positive Parenting Program

 Families can now access free expert parenting advice through the online Triple P – Positive Parenting Program. The website address is https://www.triplep-parenting.net.au/vic-uken/triple-p/

The program is relevant to families with children between 2 and 16 years and provides strategies to deal with specific challenges, such as building children’s resilience and dealing with conflict.
There are courses specifically for parents of toddlers to tweens, and for parents of pre-teens to teens.
It gives parents strategies to:

  • raise happy, confident kids
  • manage misbehaviour so everyone in the family enjoys life more
  • set rules and routines that everyone respects and follows
  • encourage positive behaviour
  • take care of themselves as a parent
  • feel confident they’re doing the right thing.

 

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Student/Teacher conferences are being held remotely for Years 10-12 students on Thursday 16 July (Week 1 – Term 3) and for Years 7-9 on Thursday 23 July (Week 2 – Term 3). These will be conducted via Webex Meetings. Please note these interviews relate to Semester 1 subjects only. As there are only 30 spaces for each teacher if you can’t make an appointment please don’t hesitate to contact teachers via email if you would like further feedback. On Wednesday 9 September,  we will be holding a whole day of interviews for Years 7-12.

 

Happy Holidays

It has been a huge and interesting term and one we will never forget. Have a well-deserved break everyone and enjoy time with your family and friends. A reminder that Term 3 begins on Monday 13 July.  Stay well, take care and I will see you next term.

 

 

Mrs Karen Wade
College Principal

Campus Principal’s Report – Junior School

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Student Wellbeing

All of our teachers and staff have been excited to welcome back our students during the past three weeks and encourage them to self-reflect, get back into a school routine, focus on the positives on returning, and developing social connections.

We have continued to focus on student wellbeing during this time with a home group program developed around the themes of ‘Reconnect’, ‘Recognise’ and ‘Reflection’ to further support the transition of our students back to on-site learning. Thank you to Mr John Simon, Mr Nic Barca, Ms Sarah Chase and Mr Paul Graham for their efforts in leading the development of this. It has been great to see our students enjoying their learning whilst respecting the various measures we have put in place to support the safety of all members of our college community.

 

Semester Reports

Our semester reports will be published to families via Compass on Friday 26 June. Congratulations to all students who have applied themselves throughout the semester, certainly in a unique and different learning environment. These reports are a great opportunity for our students to reflect further on their growth in learning and identify further areas of improvement.

Students commence their Semester Two at the beginning of next term, moving into some new subjects as part of this changeover.  A reminder for parents/carers that we have our Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences scheduled on Thursday 23 July from 4pm to 7pm, bookings will be available via Compass shortly.

I wish all students, staff and parents/carers a safe and relaxing break. We look forward to seeing you back in Term 3 ready for the second semester of learning on Monday 13 July.

 

 

Mr Andrew Batchelor
Campus Principal – Junior School

Head of Junior School’s Report

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Thank you to our Junior School students for their efforts, positivity and adaptability throughout this unique and memorable term!

To support students with their return to on-campus learning, we prepared a Home Group program for Years 7 to 9 based around the themes of reconnecting, recognising and reflecting. In Week 9, students completed activities based on reconnecting with their peers, teachers and the face-to-face school environment. Week 10 provided opportunities to recognise strengths, kindness and to practise mindfulness. The final week of activities has been designed based on reflection about the term that has been while setting some goals for the near future.

In the past weeks we have also held virtual year level assemblies and look forward to celebrating some of Semester 1’s highlights and achievements at a virtual Campus Assembly early in Term 3.

A reminder that Parent Student Teacher Conferences for Years 7 to 9 students will be held on Thursday 24 July from 4.00-7.00pm. These will be held remotely via Webex and bookings can now be made via Compass.

Also in Term 3, our Year 8 students will begin thinking about their move to the Senior Campus by selecting electives for study in Year 9 in 2021. Further information will be published in early Term 3.

We would like to thank our parents and carers for their support throughout the remote learning period and with the return to school. Thank you also to the Year Level Coordinators, Wellbeing Team and Junior School staff for their outstanding work this term in supporting the learning and wellbeing of our students.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable break and we look forward to seeing you back in Term 3!

 

 

Mr John Simon
Head of Junior School

Campus Principal’s Report – Middle School

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Students in Year 9 and 10 have completed a fantastic semester of learning.  Students and families should be congratulated for their support of the remote learning program.  This was a different schooling experience and it was pleasing to see how engaged both students and staff were while working remotely.  I have been impressed with students, who in many cases, have achieved more than they thought was possible across this last semester.  It was pleasing to welcome students back on site and this allowed students to reconnect with their peers and teachers and start working in classrooms again.

Can I wish all families a safe and restful break and we look forward to welcoming students back to the college on Monday 13 July to commence Term 3.

 

Semester Reports

Congratulations to students who have applied themselves throughout the semester, especially those who have reflected on assessments, taken on board feedback and applied suggested strategies for improvement.  It is important to remember that some students’ self-esteem is affected because they feel they have let others down even when they have worked to the best of their ability.

How do we encourage genuine positive self-esteem in our young people at this time? One way is to provide unconditional positive acceptance, while encouraging an appreciation of individual special abilities and worth. This involves showing that you do care and respect their skills across a broad range of activities, not merely judging them based on their academic success.  It is important for students to focus on achieving their personal best in all facets of their lives.

 

STEAM Centre

The planning for our new STEAM Centre on the Senior Campus is well underway with support from the Victorian Schools Building Authority and region.  A brief survey was sent to all students, staff and parents for input into this exciting planning project.  The information collected from this survey will help with the planning process ensuring we design a building for our current and future needs.  Work will continue across the remainder of this year on this exciting project.

 

 

Mr Ian MacLeod
Campus Principal – Middle School

 

 

Head of Senior School’s Report

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This term has been one for the record books! Over the last 11 weeks our school community has supported each other through uncertainty, change, and challenges. The Senior School team would like to congratulate our VCE students for showing strength, resilience, gratitude, and compassion throughout the term.  You should all be very proud of everything you have achieved.

I would like to thank the Senior School team for supporting our students and families this semester. Their dedication throughout the remote learning period ensured that all students were supported to achieve their best under challenging circumstances. Thank you to our Year 11 Coordinators Gabi Phelan and Stephanie Bear, Year 12 Coordinators – Ms Bec Kosach and Ms Antia Hill, VASS Administrator – Mrs Tammara Smith, and Senior School Leader – Mr Matt Cara.

Over the holiday break I encourage students to take a break from technology, develop positive sleeping habits, spend quality time with family and friends, and recharge for the beginning of Semester 2.

Year 12 Graduation

Due to changes to the VCAA examination period Graduation has been moved to Thursday 29 October, please save this date in your calendar.

 

 

Year 12 (Unit 3&4) Examination Period

The VCAA have published the revised exam timetable for Unit 3&4 exams. The examination period will run from Monday 9 November – Wednesday 2 December. Please use the link below to access the exam timetable:   https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/administration/Key-dates/Pages/VCE-exam-timetable.aspx

ATAR Scores will be released to students on Wednesday 30 December from 7am onwards.  Further information and support regarding VTAC applications will be provided in early term 3.

 

 

VCE 2021 Course Information Evening

This year we will be hosting a virtual information evening held via Webex for 2021 VCE students. The information evening will be held on Tuesday 4 August. Detailed information will be provided at the beginning of Term 3. Please save the date in your calendar.

 

 

Ms Lisa McKiernan
Head of Senior School

Head of Student Voice Report

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Remote Learning Survey

During the remote learning period, a team of students and staff worked together to create a survey to collect feedback from students, teachers and parents/carers on their experiences in the remote learning environment. The Working Party was established with the aim of capturing a snapshot of the experiences of MWSC students, staff, and parents/carers as we adapted to this new way of learning.

The Remote Learning Survey Working Party involved representatives from the Teaching and Learning, Sub-school, and the Wellbeing team, as well as both Junior and Senior campus students. Members worked together (remotely!) to design the survey questions. The Working Party members are:

Students:   Farah H, Teresa W, Georgia K, Charlotte D (Year 8), Viola H (Year 9), Lila O, Hifzhan H, Rachel T, Aarya T (Year 11), Jennifer C, and Amit K (Year 12).
Leading Teachers:   Lauren Kelly (Head of Learning Growth), John Simon (Head of Junior School), Nicholas Barca (Junior School Leader), Sarah Chase (Head of Middle School), Matt Sheehan, and Hayley Dureau
Learning Specialists:   Cara Hill, Clare Challenger (High Ability), Elizabeth Sutherland (Literacy), and Brittany Barber.
Campus Principals:   Andrew Batchelor (Junior Campus) and Ian MacLeod (Senior Campus)
Head of Wellbeing:   Paul Graham

We intend to use the data collected to celebrate:
A) the resilience of our learners, both staff and students, during this challenging time
B) the positives that have come about through this experience – for example, advances in student agency, and to
C) highlight some possible long-term changes to our practice to improve student learning.

The working party will meet next term to review and analyse the survey data. A preliminary summary of the data was presented at School Council on Thursday 18 June.

 

“Top points to MWSC in your commitment to our son’s learning during this difficult time.”

“On the whole, we have been happy with the remote learning program on offer for our child.”

“I would like to thank wholeheartedly each and every staff of MWSC for managing this remote learning so well. Every lesson has been well planned and the teachers are always there to help out our kids as well as to address our concerns. Hats off to you all for making this whole experience of online learning so successful.”

“We would like to thank the teachers/staff who have worked so hard to ensure our children continue with their education despite the challenges. We are fortunate to have such amazing leaders who have put the wellbeing of the students first and nurtured them though these unusual times. So much extra time and effort has gone in to setting up remote learning and we are very grateful for all that you have done. Thank you.”

Our family would like to thank all of our child’s teachers for their efforts in conducting remote classes and executing lesson plans to the highest levels.

“Well done and thank you MWSC! What an outstanding effort and contribution the school staff and students have made to get through the COVID19 lock-down.”

“Thank you all of you for all of the effort you have made over the period. Everyone has pitched in at this time, and every staff member has risen to the occasion. Teaching online is much harder than face to face. I can hear the concern in the teachers’ voices, I can hear the different ways they are connecting with my children. Sometimes I can hear their children at home in the background. This has been a difficult time for us all and the staff at Mount Waverley have been exemplary in the support they have given to our community.”

Thank you amazing teachers, your care, support and love is all each student needs. after they receive that then they can learn and feel proud of their achievements and succeed.”

“Well done to the Teachers & staff at MWSC for providing great remote learning content to the students! Thank you for all your hard work!”

“Overall, I think MWSC has made a great effort to transition the kids to schooling at home. Thank you to all the staff and teachers for their help and hard work.”

“A huge thank you to the Team at MWSC to deliver quality online learning, for support when needed and the effort put into the delivery of the curriculum!”

“The teachers have done a fantastic job and thank them for adjusting to what has been a difficult time for everyone”

“Thank you for all your support over this difficult and challenging times.”

“I appreciate all the clear communication from the teachers and staff through the Compass notifications. It is an unsettling time and it has been very good to hear the calm and measured approach of the school. I haven’t felt the need to reach out for support but if I did, I would have know how to access the resources you have available, thank you.”

 

Thank you very much to everyone involved in the working party for their time and effort so far. Thank you also to every student, parent/carer and teacher who took the time to respond to the survey. Your feedback and reflections will help us to harness the positives from this unprecedented experience!

 

Miss Hayley Dureau
Head of Student Voice

Student Wellbeing Report

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Thank you to the 125 parents/carers who joined in on our parent webinar on Wednesday  3 June. We received some really positive and constructive feedback and we look forward to presenting more webinars for parents/carers in the future.

Transition to on-campus learning was really smooth, which is credit to teachers and students as well as parents/carers. Everyone should be very proud of how they have handled such a difficult and challenging time.
Now that we are heading into school holidays, it is really important that students get a break. It has been an emotional rollercoaster with lots of change and now is a good time to recharge and relax. I encourage all parent/cares to make sure their child takes a break from their studies over the holidays, stays connected with friends and enjoys engaging in their hobbies/interests.

Telehealth/video counselling

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some counselling services are offering counselling online via telehealth and video counselling. On the senior campus we have put a laptop in the wellness room to enable students who are receiving external counselling via telehealth/video access to these appointments at school. Headspace are now offering doctors appointments via telehealth on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. If students need to attend a doctor but cannot attend after school, they can make the appointment during schools hours and use the laptop in the wellness room.

Mr Paul Graham
Manager of Student Wellbeing

Head of The Arts’ Report

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Year 12 Drama 

This week the Year 12 Drama Class were finally able to perform their 2020 ensemble pieces: The Greatest Show and September 11 The Day the World Changed. With the impact of the COVID 19 interruption to class time three groups had just over four weeks to put these performances together. They really should be congratulated on their commitment to devising,creating and performing under such tight time restraints.
Thank you to all the students and staff who came and supported the students on Wednesday afternoon- it was great to have a live socially distanced audience.

Year 10 Drama 

During remote learning  the Year 10 Drama class created our first ever remote learning performance. This performance is a part of the Drama Victoria Theatre Festival: a performance-making festival for Year 9 and 10 students from schools across metropolitan and regional Victoria. The Festival focuses on the creative development of young theatre makers by giving them an opportunity to explore ideas with their peers, learn new ways of approaching performance, learn about First Nations perspectives and expanding their creative engagement, through drama, with the community around them.  The starting point and inspiration for the performance in 2020 was a dance by First Nations performer Brent Watkins  called  ‘Culture Evolves.’   The students and I are very proud of our performance which can be viewed on Vimeo via a protected password.  It was an extremely challenging task and a venture into a new medium. 

Ms Jane Carter
Head of The Arts

Music Director’s Report

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Lessons have now resumed in face to face format for all of our instrumental students, and it has been wonderful to hear music around the music departments at both campuses’ once again. The music faculty have reflected upon and are very proud of the hard work and self-motivation traits that our students have displayed during remote learning, to advance their musicianship skills and technique on their instruments.

An important part of learning an instrument is playing in an ensemble. In doing so, students learn many skills including blend balance, skills in tuning, synchronisation of independent part playing and following a conductor. Ensembles give the students the chance to make friends across both campuses and work towards goals of learning musical works. All ensembles will resume Term 3, Week 1. 

Whilst concerts, eisteddfods and festivals are not taking place in the normal format during this time, changes are being made so that students have performance opportunities. The Victorian State School Spectacular have announced that students will perform remotely and that the performances will be put together and televised on Channel 7. This will involve our Junior Choir in the coming months. The Victorian Schools Music Festival is approaching, and involves many of our ensembles videoing an entry. In the case of our senior ensembles, the adjudicator will come to the school to work with the bands. The Royal South Street Eisteddfod will also be accepting entries via video. Preparation for this has already begun and it is great to see students and teachers preparing for this ready to come together next term to practice collectively. 

In-school concerts are also being assessed to look at formats that will allow them to move forward. Once again, I would like to thank the school community for their patience and support of the Music Faculty at the college. 

 

Mrs Tijtje Keatley
Music Director

Resource Centre News

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Library Leaders Badge Awards 2020

This Thursday, the Library Leaders came together to celebrate their contribution to the smooth running of the Senior Campus Library so far this year.  Congratulations to Azraf, Kyra, Krisha, Indra, Ewan, Jade, Viola, Csenge, Euan, Micah, Adrian, Paul, Jessica R. and Oliver C. who were awarded their Library Leader Badge.
Thanks to Sam S. for taking photos, Paul H. for providing music, Mrs Cain and Miss Dureau for coming along to thank our Library Leaders for their hard work so far this year.  We are looking forward to seeing all our Library Leaders back next term.
Mrs Whitelaw and Ms Daniels
Resource Centre Team – Senior Campus
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MWSC College News – Issue 7