MWSC College News – Issue 8

7th August 2020

Read all the latest news and events happening at Mount Waverley Secondary College in this edition of MWSC college news.

Photo:  Mount Waverley Secondary College, Senior Campus

Upcoming Events

College Principal’s Report

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We have a great community at Mount Waverley Secondary College

I would like to say thank you to everyone in our learning community for their support during these challenging times. I have the utmost respect for how our students and staff have coped with the shift from onsite learning to remote learning to onsite learning and now back to remote learning. I know it is not easy for families as well but we will get through this.

A quote I have up on my office wall and which I have shared with students and staff is this:
“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.”


Well done to our VCE Students and Staff

Our VCE students attended the Senior Campus during the first three weeks of term. Congratulations to all of them for their co-operation in having their temperatures checked and wearing masks. Their behaviour and attitude at this difficult time have been excellent. Thank you also to the teachers, Education Support staff and the Senior School team for their work with supporting our students.

Making an appearance this term is Macey our MWSC Therapy Dog. Macey belongs to our HR Manager Ms Andrea Hardcastle and completed training as a therapy dog over the last holidays. The students enjoyed seeing Macey at temperature checking and Macey also visited some classrooms and the students loved seeing her.


Holiday Works

Across the holiday period the ICT and Facilities Teams were busy improving the college.

The ICT Works undertaken included:

  • Phone system software upgraded
  • Tranche 20.2 notebooks for staff received and prepared
  • C1, C2 C4, C5 and C6 room computers re-imaged
  • Loan devices re-imaged
  • Projector maintenance on JC
  • Work on Core Servers and security certification
  • DHCP and Print servers upgraded

The Facilities Team also worked on a wide range of tasks as outlined below:

  • Soil spread and grass laid to make pathways at portables/oval safer
  • Clearing, removal, relaying of drainage pipes along the stairs at the senior sails area to allow better drainage
  • Senior Campus Hall glass replacement
  • Large tree removed from small Junior Campus car park
  • Inspection of roof anchor points completed
  • LA61 – new carpet and painting – it looks brand new!
  • LA62 – internal doors repainted
  • Corridor to SC Staffroom – painted and new carpet laid including new foyer matting at both ends of the corridor
  • Painting various places including Middle School building (D12 D13 D11); as well as A3 ceiling; and Senior Hall fan room corridor to new exit door and LA11 section of ceiling;
  • Pressure cleaning – decking at Senior portables; around Middle School building (under vertical garden, back of D11, from conference room to the middle doors); VCE ramp in front of offices; Junior boys admin toilet to remove graffiti
  • Monash Council – fixed the edge of the path on Stephensons Road at Junior Campus from bus shelter to the crossing
  • Junior Home Economics – mould issue fixed – repairs and repainting
  • LA44 – 5 new science benches installed
  • LA11 – installed window film to finish off the room
  • All gutters cleaned out across both campuses
  • All gas heaters across the college have been serviced and repaired where needed
  • P6 air conditioning replacement works finished
  • Asbestos removal works in theatre and maintenance store with light replacements
  • Year 12 Locker Bay refurbishment including new lockers and painting of both walls and floor – it looks amazing!

Thank you to our ICT and Facilities teams for their great work across the holiday period it is an impressive list!


Parent Teacher Conferences

The college held two parent teacher conferences in the first two weeks of term three. Thank you to all of the teachers and parents who were able to participate in a new way of conferring. It was pleasing for teachers and parents and students to have an opportunity to discuss student progress.


Subject Information Evenings, Careers

This week has been incredibly busy with a large number of our staff working hard to ensure that students and their families have been able to access information and advice to assist them in selecting subjects for 2021 and possible future career pathways.

On Tuesday 4 August the VCE 2021 Course Information Night will took place via WebEx. There was a session for 2021 Year 11 students and 2021 Year 12 students and their parents. For the first time this was done via WebEx and it was pleasing to have approximately 300 families involved in the sessions. Thanks to Ms Lisa McKiernan, Head of Senior School, Mr Matt Cara, Senior Subschool Leader and Ms Jo Hall, Head of Careers for their presentations. Parents will receive a copy of the presentation.

On Thursday 6 August the 2021 Year 9 and Year 10 Course Information Nights were held via WebEx. Again many families attended which was very pleasing. Thank you to Ms Sarah Chase, Head of Middle School, Ms Mardi De Kretser, Middle Subschool Leader and their team for organising these events.

Prior to the sessions, families were able to receive more specific subject advice from a range of teachers and faculty heads via WebEx. Thanks to all of the staff involved. In addition, students have access to a range of resources including video presentations developed by the faculty heads and also the subject handbooks for Years 9,10 and VCE. These resources should allow students to make informed decisions about what they would like to study next year.

A huge thank you to the subschool teams, Heads of School, the Teaching and Learning team and subject teachers for all of their work in preparing for these events.


Year 10 to 11 course counselling interviews

On Thursday and Friday the middle and senior school teams, a number of teachers and the Careers Team were all involved in interviews to confirm student courses for 2021. This year it was completed through WebEx with all Year 10 students having a 15-minute interview with a staff member.

Any student or parent who would like to speak to the Careers Team or a member of the senior subschool team can do so by emailing to arrange a meeting or phone call.

Student choices for Year 11 and 12 2021 subjects must be completed by next Friday 14 August.


Assessment during remote learning

All students will be continuing with assessment tasks and activities during remote learning. Students will receive information via Compass. Please check Compass for details and for feedback when a task has been completed.


Student Wellbeing

As we have moved back into remote learning for all students this term, we will continue to prioritise student wellbeing to ensure all of our students are healthy, happy and able to learn. To support an ongoing connection and sense of belonging for students and staff with the college, we are again running Google Meet sessions during Home Group for students in Years 7 to 9 each morning, along with Google Meet sessions during Mentoring for students in Years 10 to 12 each afternoon. We would like to thank all of our wonderful teachers who are taking one of these groups each day to ensure students have a continued positive connection with the college.

Our Student Wellbeing team, along with each Sub-School team, have worked closely with these Home Group and Mentoring teachers to support a whole school approach to student wellbeing. The Heads of School and Sub-School Leaders have been working together to come up with some great activities designed for our students and staff to explore. We look forward to further developing these sessions and providing positive and useful strategies for our students during this challenging time.


STEAM Centre

We are currently going through the process of selecting an architect to design these new learning spaces.  This project is moving ahead rapidly which is exciting.  More news to follow in the coming weeks.



Mrs Karen Wade
College Principal

Head of Middle School’s Report

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My Future Pathways and Subject Selections

This week in the Middle School we started the important and valuable discussions about students’ futures and the different pathways available to them. This started with all middle school students attending the My Future session on Wednesday. This session provided students with information on the different pathways available to them and taught them about prerequisites and how these can be used to help decide what subjects to select. Students were asked to access and reflect on their Morrisby profiles to help plan and develop a future pathway and career direction. They also completed a research task into the qualifications and  prerequisites of their chosen careers as well as completing their semester two Careers Plan. We congratulated them on their attendance and involvement in this session.

Thursday night we held our first online remote Middle School Subject Information Evening and we would like to thank all parents/carers and students for their attendance and participation at this session as well as a big thank you to those staff that presented on the night and those who were available in the faculty rooms to answer questions. It was a great night with a lot of information available to support the students in their subject selections.

Over two days each of our current year 10’s had the opportunity to be involved in an online Subject Selection Course Counselling session to support them through this process we would like to thank all students and parents/carers who attended these and a big thank you to all the staff who facilitated these valuable discussions.


Important Dates in the Subject Selection Process

  • All subject selections need to be submitted via Edval by Friday 14 August.
  • All expressions of interest to be part of the enhancement program in order to complete a VCE subject in year 10 need to be completed and emailed to Mrs Sekula by Friday 14 August.

We wish our current and future Middle School students all the best in making these decisions and remind them that there are many resources available to them to help support them through this process including the student hand books, faculty information and video, recordings of the presentations and other supporting material which  are available to all students via the intranet and the shared folders.




Ms Sarah Chase
Head of Middle School



Student Voice Report

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McWhirter Conference 2020

The McWhirter Conference offers a unique educational opportunity for the next generation of school leavers. It provides a forum where students listen to others, put forward their own ideas, debate and gain confidence. The conferences aim to encourage students to think about how they may be able to participate in shaping the future. Many past students describe the experience as ‘life changing’ and have been inspired to pursue further education and career options they may not have otherwise considered.

Year 11 students Francis M and Stephanie K attended the second Australian McWhirter Conference “remotely” during the recent school holidays. Here’s what Year 11 Leader, Francis, had to say about the experience:

During the holidays (2-3 July) Steph and I attended the McWhirter Conference. I can honestly say, it was beneficial for our learning by exposing us to various perspectives on whether we should focus on the economy or environment. We began with usual introductions on Zoom with Iain McWhirter and Peter Pemberton with their opening speech and Maxine McKew hosting the conference. Then we split into our separate Syndicate Groups to introduce ourselves and state our positions going into the forum. Gigi Foster and Peter Gregory justified why the economy should be our main focus, whilst Nick Cook and Zoe Whitton justified their position on the environment. All four speakers gave insightful, informative, and interesting views. Of course, there were technical issues; wifi cutting off, frozen screens etc…but we were patient.

My Syndicate members and I all had the same mindset at the end of the two days; there must be a balance between preserving the economy and assisting the environment. Through the numerous discussions and using our knowledge from school and our own interest, we were able to form our own opinion to answer the questions brought forth. I could not have asked for a better group of members. At the end of the conference, we took a photo to remember our moment together.

Peter talked about an Alumni event in the future as he noticed our willingness to stay in touch and meet each other in person. I enjoyed this forum and was grateful to attend, listening to other like-minded people.  ~  by Francis M 11I

Miss Hayley Dureau
Head of Student Voice

Student Wellbeing Report

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Student Wellbeing continues to offer support to all students during remote learning. Students can access counselling via google meet or check in via email. If a student wishes to engage with a member of the student wellbeing team they can do it directly via email or alternatively speak to their year level coordinator. If a parent wants to make a referral or is in need of some advice/tips, please get in contact with either Mr Paul Graham (Manager of Student Wellbeing) or Ms Kerri Haworth (Senior Campus) / Ms Danielle Mott (Junior Campus).

At the beginning of term 2 we launched the 6 week lock down challenge for year 7 to 10.

We have been promoting the following 4 key messages: Stay Connected, Stay Focused, Stay Healthy and Stay Positive. These have also been the themes of home group in the first 4 weeks of this term. Students were asked to set a goal/challenge for each one of the 4 themes and also to set an ultimate challenge, such as learning a new skill or trying to reach 10,000 steps a day. We ran a competition during week 1 and we had over 190 entries.

We hope that students have been able to succeed in their goals/challenges during lockdown and they continue to stay connected, focused, healthy and positive during this time.

On Monday 3 August, we were incredibly fortunate to have Jemima Montag (commonwealth gold medallist) present to the Year 11 and 12 students and parents/carers. Jemima’s presentation focused on framing your thoughts, developing your resilience toolkit and perseverance. She encouraged students to reframe their challenges as opportunities rather than threats and she talked about having a support network, focusing on self care and recovery during lockdown/remote learning. Jemima is an inspirational and motivational speaker and no doubt the students/parents who attended would have benefited greatly from hearing her speak.

On Wednesday 12 August 2020, The wellbeing team will be presenting to the year 7, 8 and 9 students using a prerecorded video by Australian diver, Laura Hingston, as part of the Be Fit Be Well program by the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS). Laura’s video covers her journey from gymnast to Olympic diver. Laura discusses resilience through having back surgery, the benefits of exercise and a good diet, and ways of having support while “enjoying life’s journey”. She also has a significant focus on having a dream and setting goals to achieve it. The Wellbeing team will be introducing and showing the video as well as summarising key points.

Mr Paul Graham
Manager of Student Wellbeing
Many thanks to our college nurses who have compiled some Information on support available for our school community during Covid19.

Music Director’s Report

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I would like to congratulate the music community at Mount Waverley Secondary College for the smooth transition back into remote learning. During our music staff meetings, the instrumental staff have discussed the dedication and commitment that our young musicians show to learning their instruments. Attendance is excellent and the students have not allowed obstacles to stop their progress on their chosen instruments.

Each week the College website features solo performers from Year 7-12. I congratulate the students who have recorded these, and are willing to share them with the school community. Please have a listen to these each week if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so already.

Our Junior Choir, led by Ms Alahana Somerville, is preparing remotely for participation in the Victorian School Spectacular, which will be recorded as a remote exercise and broadcast on Channel 7 later in the year. Well done to these students who have been working hard towards this wonderful opportunity.

Both the Stage Band and Symphonic Band have participated in remote recordings. These are challenging for the students involved as it is always difficult to get a ‘perfect take’ and takes time and practice to achieve, and submit a performance that they are happy with. It has been a delight to hear the end product of these projects and it once again demonstrates the resilience our students show.

I encourage students to continue to practice and strive for excellence. In the absence of ensembles during this time, look for ways to create using your music. This can be sharing videos, making recordings, participating in conference calls or using apps such as Acapella to collaborate with others or complete individual compositions.

I’d like to finish this report with a quote. Many students have indicated to me that music really is an escape and a gateway for students to learn in a practical and creative way during this Stage 4 lockdown. Keep up the great work, MWSC Music students.



Over the next few weeks we are beginning the re-enrolment process for 2021. It is important that these forms are returned by the due date so that we get an accurate number for those students continuing. This ensures that we are staffed adequately and that we have an accurate number of places to offer to our 2021 Year 7’s.

Due to the circumstances of remote teaching, we will be emailing the re-enrolment form and instructions out. Current instrumental students/parents please keep and eye out for these forms and make note of the due date.

Any other students in the school community interested in becoming involved in our 2021 Instrumental Program, will have the opportunity to enrol early in Term 4.



Year 7 classroom – Band Program Tasks


 A trio using app “Acapella” to create an ensemble at home 


 ‘Couch choir’ recording we made with the Junior Choir preparing for the Victorian State School Spectacular




Mrs Tijtje Keatley
Music Director

Head of Careers’ Report

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There is a hive of activity within the Careers team this week with Parent information evenings, Subject selections and Virtual Open days.
Key dates to diarise:
8-9 August – RMIT Open day
12 August – VTAC Parent information night
12 August – Swinburne open day (Swintopia
16 August – Federation Uni Open day
16 August – Deakin Open day
29-31 August – Monash open days
5-6 September – University of Melbourne open days

The Careers team are launching their reach out re-energise session of Coffee, Careers and Chocolate (all the important things)  every Wednesday 1pm-1:30pm via google meet.  Google meet link will be sent out to all senior school students.  We hope and encourage students to join us to relax and enjoy the finer things in life.

Ms Joanne Hall 
Head of Careers

Student Activities – Junior Campus

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University of Melbourne Mathematics and Statistics Research Competition 2020

Students from the accelerated mathematics program have had the chance to compete in a self driven research competition throughout July. Creating and researching complex mathematical or statistical models for solving real world problems, students have submitted their research papers or presentations to be reviewed for the next stage where they may be offered the chance to present their findings at a forum.
Congratulations to Sanuli F, Sarah F, Suha R, Aanya S, Sesandi S, Senuli P, Benji M, Austin M, Eunice Y, Maya C, Sara P, Emma O for
their excellent research and efforts, good luck for the next stage of the competition.

Junior Campus Activities Update

Lunchtime Clubs: Students on the Junior Campus will have the opportunity to engage in the many lunchtime clubs on offer, despite learning from home. Through the use of Google classroom students may connect with an enthusiastic teacher and peers in one of the following clubs to complete activities during lunch breaks:
  • Debating
  • Harry Potter
  • Anime
  • Craft and Textiles
  • LEGO
  • Korean and Japanese Pop culture

Student Youth Network – SYN Radio Program Junior Campus

Select Year 7 students will have the chance over the next few weeks to record a radio talk show with a SYN Radio Producer, to be edited and prepared for live broadcast.
Tune in to our student shows weekly on Thursdays and Fridays 12 – 1pm from the week of the 3 August to the week of the 7 September.
Miss Grace Leszczyski
Student Activities Coordinator – Junior Campus
MWSC College News – Issue 8