Please be advised that the production of this newsletter commenced prior to the Victorian State Government’s most recent circuit breaker lockdown announcement – commencing on Friday 28 May 2021. As such, it would be remiss of me to not include a preface regarding the lockdown that we are currently experiencing as a school community.
Two letters have been published to the school community since the announcement of further COVID-19 restrictions. These letters included:
As principal, I would like to personally wish students, families and staff the best in the coming days as we navigate this period of potential uncertainty. I hope that you are able to focus on your positive health and wellbeing at this time in support of your child’s wellbeing and learning progress.
Please be advised that more communications will be provided to our school community in accordance with advice received from the Department of Education and Training. Best wishes, stay safe, healthy and connected.
Ashwood High School - Revealed Campaign - Great to Exceptional
The Ashwood Revealed Campaign, in its sixth consecutive year, has gone from strength to strength with well over 700 visitors during the day and evening. Ashwood High School is well established in the community as a school of first choice. Over 250 visitors attended in the morning, while over 450 attended our Open Night. The audio-visual instalment within the Gymnasium was used for the evening’s Principal’s address. Congratulations to Meg McLellan, Middle School Assistant Principal and Donna Mineo, Executive Assistant, for their outstanding contributions. The feedback received suggested that this was our largest and best coordinated Revealed program. COVID-19 regulations were upheld with the introduction of a QR Code check-in, which recorded the time and date visitors were on the school grounds. The school also purchased two portable hand sanitisation units that were positioned at the entry doors to Building B and the Performing Arts Centre. Events like these make you proud to be part of the Ashwood High School community.
Thank you and well done to Joseph Edwards and Abigail Baker, who spoke at the morning session, and to Oliver Holbeach and Eunjae Kim, who spoke at the evening session. These students represented the school and themselves with confidence and pride. Thank you also to the 200 students who attended the Ashwood Revealed Campaign and to all of the staff onboard.
Ashwood High School Open Morning - Increasing Positive Parental and Community Engagement
On Tuesday 11 May 2021, Ashwood High School held Moore’s Morning Walks with healthy numbers of prospective parents and students in attendance. Well done once again to all the student ambassadors and staff who assisted with the program.
Marketing at Ashwood High School - Great to Exceptional
The focus of the principal’s message is Ashwood High School is a Boutique – Niche School. The message was well received at Open Night by all in attendance. The School’s virtual tour presents the school as ‘The Jewel of the East’. At Ashwood High School we know our students as people and as learners.
Accelerated Curriculum and Enrichment (ACE) Program – Growing Pride and Achievement
We welcomed a large number of prospective ACE students who attended our school on Saturday 15 May 2021 for the Accelerated Curriculum and Enrichment (ACE) Program exam for entry into Year 7 2022. The testing was conducted by EduTest in Building E from 9:00am - 1:00pm. The profile of the ACE Program is strong, far, and wide and entry is in high demand which tells a positive story for the future of our school.
Staffing – Valuing Staff and Building Capacity
The 2021 inductees have settled in very well to the school. School leaders have assumed their positions with growing confidence, purpose and empathy with a commitment to engagement and learning. We have recently recruited the following three staff members into the school: Long Nguyen, Chaplain who commenced at the beginning of Term 2, Laura Higgins, Mini-Schools Administration Officer commencing Monday 7 June 2021 and Jeff Newman, teacher of Students in Health and Physical Education commencing on Monday 7 June 2021.
Middle School and Whole School Assemblies – Growing Pride and Achievement; Enhancing the Student Culture
The sound and projection upgrade of the Gymnasium is accommodating for growth in our student population, ensuring we retain a shared sense of community with a clear emphasis on cultural and symbolic ceremony, acknowledging student achievement, endeavour, citizenship and leadership. On Tuesday 4 May 2021 a Middle School Assembly was held in the Gymnasium. A Whole School Assembly is scheduled for Tuesday 15 June 2021 and will be dedicated to celebrating a shared commitment to our School’s success. Certificates of appreciation will be presented to Student Ambassadors who represented our school with pride during the Ashwood Revealed campaign.
National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2021 - Growing Pride and Achievement
The NAPLAN tests for our Year 7 and Year 9 students took place in Week 4 from Tuesday 11 May 2021. Due to an increase in the number of students sitting NAPLAN testing in 2021, 190 tables and chairs were set-up in the Gymnasium plus 80 tables and chairs in Building F. COVID-19 regulations were up-held according to the Operations Guide i.e. a 1.5 metre distance between each student was maintained. Students took their NAPLAN tests seriously. The school provided an environment for accountable and disciplined learning. NAPLAN results will come out later in the year. Congratulations to Kate Davis, Data Improvement Leader, for her attention to detail in supporting students to perform at their best.
Examination Program - Growing Pride and Achievement
Ashwood High School is focused on delivering high academic and social outcomes for students. The examination program ensures that we have disciplined and accountable teaching and learning. I am pleased with the quality of the professionalism and care taken by staff. The examination program reflects positively on the school when I am taking parent tours. The rescheduled examination program (pending further lockdown announcements) will occur in Buildings B, D and E from Friday 4 June to Thursday 10 June 2021. Good luck to all; knowing that luck will favour the well prepared. The School’s pastoral program has focused on examination preparation, study techniques and emotional wellbeing. Well in advance to Colin Shnier, Director of Studies for his coordination of a rigorous examination program.
Camps Program - Enhancing the Student Culture
Thank you to staff for their outstanding commitment to outdoor education and students’ emotional and social development. The Year 9 Camp to Bimbi Park, Cape Otway was a positive experience for students and staff. The students spent three days camping, bushwalking, canoeing/kayaking, cycling and surfing. Thanks to Lucy Rimmer, Ned Hayward, Tom Grbac, Guy Driscoll, Ronald Lee, Emma Doorley, Michelle Leane, June Ren and Matthew Dexter. The 2021 Year 10 Camp to Canberra has unfortunately been cancelled due to the ever present threat of State border closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. An alternate venue has been booked in the Melbourne CBD, The Village Melbourne, from Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 July 2021. The Year 8 Camp will take place on Tuesday 17 to Friday 20 August 2021 at Roses Gap Recreation Centre. The proposed trip to New Caledonia has been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 international travel ban. The Borneo Expedition that was originally planned for 2021 has been postponed to September 2022. Camps International Information Session has been postponed due to the circuit breaker lockdown. The Year 9 Outdoor Studies Camp and VCAL Camp, originally scheduled for the end of Term 2, 2021, have also been cancelled due to the circuit breaker lockdown. Please see Compass for full details on these events, including refunding and rescheduling.
Alpine School Camp Program - Enhancing the Student Culture
On Sunday 25 April 2021 three Ashwood High School Year 9 students, Ryan Granig, Isabella Mittmann and Edward Voigt, travelled with their families to Glenormiston South to attend the Alpine School for Student Leadership Camp. The students will gain valuable leadership and team building skills. I introduced this camp to Ashwood High School, commencing in 2017. Thank you to School Council for its financial and moral commitment to the Alpine School experience.
Debating and Public Speaking Co-curricular Program 2021 - Enhancing the Student Culture
Under the expert guidance of Ronald Lee, the Debating Club goes from strength to strength. On Thursday 29 April 2021, Year 10 students, Angela Hewerdine, Jessica Sterle and Sebastian Millan, competed in the Interschool Debating Competition. John Monash Science School were their opponents on the topic “secondary school classes should be academically streamed”. Angela, Jessica and Sebastian delivered an outstanding argument and remain undefeated. The Year 9 team consisting of Christos Giakoumatos, Matthew Pirozek, Emma Hew, Cooper Senova-Tapp and Annais Lewis also advanced in the competition.
Co-curricular Programs 2021 - Enhancing the Student Culture
Three students Caitlyn Lim, Bianca Ting and Jamieson Adler accompanied by their Teacher, Matilda Wraight represented Ashwood High School admirably at the Darwin Defenders Ceremony, held at the Shrine of Remembrance honouring those who served and those who died during the bombings of Darwin in World War II. Currently, students have the opportunity to participate in the following Clubs: Sustainability Club which held its first meeting on Friday 14 May, Animation and Art Club, Interact Club, French Club, Running Club, Ashwood Basketball League, Ashwood Premier League (indoor soccer), Newspaper Club, A-Z Community Club and the Breakfast Club. In addition, student attendance at Study Hall continues to be popular.
Instrumental Music Program – Enhancing the Student Culture
Under the guidance of the Ashwood High School Director of Music, Wendy Anderson, we have over 100 students enrolled in the Instrumental Music Program. Students are busily rehearsing for the Annual Music Concert to be held on Wednesday 23 June 2021 and the School Production, The Addams Family, which will be performed on Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 September 2021. Our Instrumental Music Program continues to go from strength to strength.
School Musical Production – Enhancing the Student Culture
The audition and casting process for the production took place during Term 1 and rehearsals commenced at the beginning of this term. We have 50 students who have been cast in the show and approximately 30 who have signed-up to help out in various stagecraft areas behind the scenes. Tuesday afternoons are dedicated for the lead roles to work on blocking scenes, characterisation and learning their songs. Our dance troupe also rehearse at this time. Thursday afternoon is when the whole cast comes together to rehearse group numbers and learn choreography. The dancing, singing and acting for the opening number ‘When you’re an Addams’ is looking incredible.
Students are engaged and excited during rehearsals and are entirely committed to creating an amazing show. They are devising their own ideas in terms of characterisation, costuming and some of the dancers are writing their own choreography. Staff are working extremely hard to challenge yet motivate students and have an excellent overall vision for all aspects of the show, which is taking shape. Meetings have been held with the design team and building of the set will commence shortly. Teams of students and staff have also been developed to work on each aspect of the Musical Production, including costumes, makeup, set design, props, media and promotion and lighting and sound. Thank you to all staff involved especially Sachael Miller, School Musical Production & Performing Arts Producer/Manager.
Parents & Friends Network – Increasing Positive Parental Engagement
Merran Taylor, President and members of the Parents and Friends Network continues to work tirelessly to support our school. The PFN recently purchased two spin bikes and wearable GPS Trackers for students to use in Health and PE classes.
Excellence Award – Great to Exceptional
I am humbled by the excellence award that I have received in the category of Principal of the Year, Australian Education Awards 2021. I have been invited to an award presentation in Sydney on Friday 27 August 2021. The award reflects the commitment and support of staff, students, parents and partners to the Vision and Path Forward of Ashwood High School. Thank you for your continued support.
Friday 21 May, 2021 and Preface - 1 June 2021
Meet some of the Cast
Ashwood High School’s 2021 Production of The Addams Family! Coming to the PAC in September
My name is Ina Christensen, I'm in Year 10 and I have been cast as Grandma in the 2021 Ashwood High School production of The Addams Family. In the musical, Grandma Addams is (described by Gomez) the heart of the family. She may be ancient, but she is sassy, a little crazy and someone that you wouldn't want to mess with. Although I haven't had much experience in acting, I love musical theatre (especially singing and the music aspect of it) and I'm really excited to work with the rest of the cast and the faculty to create an amazing show.
Hi I’m Oscar Barke and I am a leading role in the production. I play the saxophone and I believe I’m very musical, as I’m humming songs a lot of the time. I am excited to be playing the character Pugsley, a cute, young and enthusiastic boy who just wants to be tortured by his sister. I have watched lots of musicals and I love the songs in them. These include the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, and Cats. My family has a history of participating in musicals, My Mum’s cousin got a degree in Broadway, my second cousins dance and sing on a weekly basis. I am most excited about seeing it come together and performing at the end. We hope to see you there.
Hi, I am Jessica Sterle, and I am playing Morticia in the Addams Family Musical. Morticia is an iconic character in the Addams Family and has been portrayed by many amazing actresses such as Angelica Huston and Carolyn Jones. She is a strong, dark, and beautiful mother and devoted wife. I am so excited to be able to play this incredible role and make this mine because she truly is an icon and someone with power. I do have a lot of experience in theatre however this will be my first musical performance. I have been in the past four Encore community Family shows, such as plays like George’s Marvelous Medicine and The Witches. Honestly, I am so excited to be a part of something like this and to get to know everyone in the cast because no matter the role - everyone is important. I am most excited for the performance and to really bring The Addams Family to life!
My name is Charlotte Savakis. I am in Year 9 and I am part of the dance troupe. Dance troupe performers are the Adams Family ancestors which will be really exciting and fun to perform as. I did dance for 10 years, and I still have a passion for it that is why I tried out for the dance troupe, dancing is where I feel most myself and where I have the most fun. I was also in my primary school play, so I have past understanding with theatre as well and my annual dance concerts from my past dance school. I am most excited for the rehearsals leading up to the big nights and just performing to a crowd who is as excited to watch as I am to perform. I am also excited to make new friends and have new experiences in high school.
My name is Maddy Rado and I am Year 8. My role in the Addams Family Production is being a part of the dance troupe. I am a dancer and cheerleader outside of school, but this is my first time being a part of a musical or production. In rehearsals we get a chance to learn our dances as well as placing the different scenes with the whole cast and overall, I am really enjoying the whole process. I'm super excited for opening night so I can perform on stage with all my castmates and friends.
I am Darcy Morrin, currently in Year 11. I am a lead ancestor in the Addams family musical. I have been involved in theatre since the beginning of school and attend outside classes. I am most excited about performing on the night and learning the show through rehearsals.
Hi, I am Stella Evans, and I play Alice in the Ashwood High School production of The Addams Family, The Musical this year. My character Alice is the loving and caring mother to Lucas Beineke and the wife of Mal Beineke. Alice is a very cautious character, always walking around gently and quietly, while holding her own opinion and no one getting to her. As Alice is a very quiet character, she uses poems to express how she feels in day-to-day life, including in gifts or even a conversation. Although we have only had 7 rehearsals altogether, I am in love with the experience. Everyone in the cast is so nice and caring, and the all the teacher's involved make sure you are okay and can have a conversation with them if anything comes up. For the musical, I am excited about seeing everyone work together to make the final piece spectacular and enjoyable, while also having some fun in-between.
I hope to see you on the night!
Hello! My name is Stacy Chishaka, and I am a Lead Ancestor in the musical production The Addams Family! I did a term of theatre when I was new and was a part of the last musical, Bugsy Malone! I fell In love with musicals during this time and the thrill and excitement of the rehearsals and the final product are too entertaining to ignore! I am mostly looking forward to dressing up and hopefully looking fabulous!
I am Carli Taranto a Year 11 student here at Ashwood High School. This year, I am involved in the school musical The Addams Family with the role of a dancer. Since a young age I have been dancing, experiencing many styles of dance and it is something I have always enjoyed doing both inside and outside of school. Being apart of this musical, I hope to make new connections with the cast, and I hope to learn new things that I can apply later on. I am excited for the performing nights that are happening in September as I know it is going to be a great musical that everyone will enjoy watching!
Greetings from the Middle School at Ashwood High School. Term Two has proven to be a busy start to the term. Please see below for some summary highlights.
Year 9 Camp
On the day this newsletter is published, the Year 9 campers will have just returned from Cape Otway. Whilst I await full details from the students and staff upon their return, congratulations to the students for their efforts and many thanks to the teachers who attended to facilitate this excellent learning experience for our students.
Ashwood Revealed 2021 has been completed with another highly successful campaign. The school was a flurry of activity with visitors over the course of the day. As always, the many students who volunteered were the best representation of all that our beautiful school has to offer.
NAPLAN ran for our students in Years 7 and 9 on Tuesday 11 May to Thursday 13 May 2021. The conduct and effort of students was incredible. Well done to the Years 7 and 9 students for their efforts. My congratulations and thanks to Ms Kate Davis, Data Analysis, Improvement and School Organisation Leader, for her excellent organistation.
We uphold high expectations of our students in all aspects of their conduct at Ashwood High School. Thank you to parents who assist us in ensuring your child’s uniform reflects our school’s CHOIR values. A reminder please that scarfs are only to be worn with the winter uniform.
Please be advised that the following Middle School Camp upcoming this year:
Year 8 Camp – Roses Gap Recreation Centre - Tuesday 17 August 2021 to Friday 20 August 2021. Please see Compass for all details closer to the date, including consent and payment.
Middle School Assistant Principal
Term 2 is off to a flying start and it was especially pleasing to be able to commence the term with our inaugural Middle School Assembly, held in the Gymnasium. This was a fantastic opportunity for Middle School students to connect, face to face, with Executive Principal Mr Brett Moore, and hear from our school’s leader about our vision, CHOIR values, and the resources being put in place to support our Middle School students in this stage of our learning.
The extremely important takeaway from this assembly was reinforcement of two of our most pivotal CHOIR values: High Expectations and Respect. Mr Moore reminded students that whilst 2020 was certainly a difficult year for many, these challenges have only increased our resolve to have high expectations of ourselves as staff, students and members of the Ashwood High School community. Our five Respects (respect for self, peers, teachers, our community and our country) must underpin all that we do in the Middle School, as a precursor to meeting High Expectations.
In this Assembly, students were highly attentive and respectful in the way they conducted themselves, and I was very proud to be a leader of our excellent Years 7s, 8s and 9s. I encourage all students to reflect on how lucky we are to be learning and meeting as a group on site. I also encourage students to reflect on Mr Moore’s words and consider ways that they can each, individually and collectively, better embody the school’s values in their daily actions.
As I write this article, the final preparations are underway for our Year 9s to go adventuring for four days and three nights on camp. There will be a range of adventure and resilience building activities for our Year 9s to enjoy in the Cape Otway ranges, and we look forward to seeing lots of photos of their achievements upon their return. Thanks in advance to the large group of staff who are spending many days and nights away from their families (and their other classes) in order to facilitate this amazing experience for our students. Special thanks must go to Miss Lucy Rimmer, who is ably leading the camp, and very excited about spending a few nights in a tent!
This term in Tutor Group, students are able to select their own “Twenties” in line with their personal learning goals. There have already been a number of activities undertaken to assist students in identifying their strengths and areas for development in line with the FYA Enterprise Skills. Thanks to the team of Tutor Group teachers who continue to undertake PL and provide feedback in the inaugural year of this program to make it the best it can be, and to our students for showing Optimism and Innovation in how they have embraced this change.
Finally, with NAPLAN successfully completed in Week 4, we are now looking towards Exam Week, taking place in Week 7. Students will undertake Exam Preparation in classes in Week 6, and will be supported to achieve their best and learn valuable lessons about discipline, resilience and optimism when undertaking their relevant subject exams. Full details about which exams each Year Level will undertake, and relevant timetables, are available via Compass.
In the midst of all of these events, our amazing Middle School team continue to work tirelessly, supporting our students with their wellbeing, attendance, individual education plans and encouraging engagement through lunchtime clubs and leadership opportunities. A huge thank you to our Middle School Team: Mr Driscoll, Mrs Dernikos, Mr Hayward, Ms Cooper and Ms Wraight for their tireless efforts above and beyond their working hours. In addition, our Wellbeing team work so supportively across both Mini Schools to provide additional support for students who are experiencing challenges with their wellbeing. Thank you to Ms Elisa Jones Arango (School Psychologist) and our new School Chaplain, Mr Long Nguyen.
Middle School Student Engagement, Wellbeing and Transitions Leader
Cowan finished Term 1 on a very positive note after our amazing victory at the House Cross Country Carnival. This win was as a result of extremely strong participation throughout the house, as well as some exceptional individual performances, with many Cowan students being awarded age group champion. Well done to our age group champions, all students who competed or volunteered on the day, and also to our Middle and Senior School House Captains and House Vice Captains for leading us to victory!
Coming into Term 2, I have been thrilled to see the increasing participation in co-curricular activities from Cowan students. We are very privileged at Ashwood High School to have a range of lunch time and after school activities for our students to develop their interests, passions, skills and knowledge, all whilst making new friendships. From the School Production, to sporting prowess in the ABL/APL, and through the creative sphere with Art Club and Animation Club, Cowan students really can do it all.
Tutor Group has also continued to develop in Term 2, with students being able to start selecting their own modules to complete, based on their personal learning goals and areas for improvement in their Learning Characteristics, based on their Interim Reports from Term 1.
With exams and semester reports quickly approaching, I encourage all Cowan students to set High Expectations for themselves in line with our CHOIR values, and then develop a rigorous and viable plan for revision to ensure they are able to achieve at their best. As House Coordinator, I look forward to reflecting with pride on the improvements achieved by Cowan students when I shortly begin proofreading their reports.
Cowan House Coordinator
Over the first few weeks of Term 2, Flynn students have again involved themselves in our community by embracing the ‘C’ in CHOIR and pursuing many of the opportunities available at Ashwood High School. I congratulate the entire Flynn House for actively participating in the Cross Country Carnival and highlighting the great culture that exists in our House.
Many Flynn students have involved themselves in lunchtime activities, the School Production, Debating Team, the music program and academic competitions that further builds a stronger and connected community, not to mention the abundance of House points these co-curricular activities amass. Congratulations to our student leaders, whose commitment and efforts have encouraged all students to be engaged and perform at their best.
Our Tutor Group sessions have further enabled Flynn House students to get to know each other and build positive relationships through shared experiences that ultimately are developing our students holistically. Our wonderful Tutor Group teachers recognise the learning and social benefits of knowing their flock of Flynnians. By completing different modules in Tutor Groups, students have been collaborating with their Tutor Group teachers to continue to build positive learning experiences and developing life skills.
I look forward to all students finishing the term strongly and doing their best during the exam period to fulfil a successful semester.
Flynn House Coordinator
Term 2 has been off to an exciting start with Melba students participating in a range of activities around the school. There are so many opportunities for co-curricular involvement including School Production, the Debating Team, the instrumental music program, bands, ensembles and choirs, and a range of lunchtime clubs including Animation Club, the A-Z Community, Interact Club, the Ashwood Basketball League and the Ashwood Premier League. These opportunities allow Melba students to demonstrate their commitment to our CHOIR values, particularly Community, as well as earning some handy house points along the way!
Positive participation was also seen during House Cross Country at the end of Term 1. Whilst the number of students participating from Melba was excellent, there is always room for improvement, so we encourage everyone to get out on the course and have a go! Congratulations to our Melba House Captains and House Vice Captains in both the Middle and Senior School who modelled participation and encouraged all students to perform at their best.
Our six Melba Tutor Groups have also been going from strength to strength as they get to know peers, their Tutor Group teachers, and form connections with students from other year levels. The exciting modules students are completing allow them to develop within our Learning Characteristics and these valuable skills will certainly support them come exam time. I look forward to seeing all Melba students do their best to finish off Term 2 successfully by studying hard for exams and then reflecting on their performance this semester when reports are released. It is important to celebrate our successes and reset goals as a result. Go Melba!
Melba House Coordinator
Paterson House has once again started Term 2 with great spirit and endeavor. Students have actively been involved in many co-curricular opportunities available at Ashwood High School to peruse individual interests and connect with other students. Many Paterson House students have involved themselves in these opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and passion for debating, art, music and sport. In addition, I would like to congratulate those Paterson students who have been rewarded a role in the School Production, The Addams Family.
Our Tutor Group program has further empowered Paterson House students to get to know each other and build positive relationships within the Middle School. Students have actively shared knowledge and experiences with others to strengthen their ability to communicate with their peers, develop a sense a belonging and analyse their own personal attributes and values. Tutor groups teachers facilitate the learning of our Paterson House students and guide them to continue to build positive learning experiences and develop lifelong skills.
Congratulations to our student leaders, whose commitment and efforts have allowed all students to engage in the opportunities available at Ashwood High School. Good luck to all students during the upcoming exam period.
Paterson House Coordinator
Term 2 has seen the continual development of the Student Leadership Program in the Middle School. The students involved play a crucial role in developing the Middle School community identity following the launch of the Mini School structure at the beginning of the year. An important example of this was the address given by Middle School Captains, Amber Balmer and Haris Shehzad, at the recent Middle School Assembly. Amber and Haris spoke eloquently about the important role that the students in each year level play in ensuring that the Middle School functions as a cohesive and supportive community.
A landmark event in the Ashwood High School calendar is the annual “Ashwood Revealed” open day and night. All student leaders and many other student volunteers participated as tour guides and assisted in running the various stations around the campus to help showcase the school to prospective families and the wider community. Four Year 7 students were asked to present a short address to those who attended the Principal’s Addresses during the day. Well done to Joe Edwards and Abi Baker, who spoke at the morning session, and to Oliver Holbeach and Eunjae Kim, who spoke at the evening session. These students represented the school and themselves with confidence and pride.
This term Ashwood High School has also had the opportunity to send three Year 9 students to the Alpine School for Student Leadership. Eddie Voigt, Izzie Mittmann and Ryan Granig are spending nine weeks living and learning at the Alpine School campus in the Victorian High Country, developing their leadership skills and independence. Congratulations to these students for embarking on this exciting adventure.
Student Voice, Leadership & Agency Coordinator
Middle School Vice Captains Report
A warm welcome for Term 2 to the students and families of Ashwood High School. We are the Middle School Vice Captains for 2021. We are both really excited for this opportunity to represent the school and the school community this year. Term 2 has been, and will continue, to be an exciting term with many school and co-curricular events planned, such as exams, NAPLAN, Year 9 camp and ‘Go Grey in May’, a fundraising event to raise awareness for brain cancer.
Hello everyone, my name is Christos Giakoumatos and I am one of the two Middle School Vice Captains for 2021. I am in Year 9 this year. I have been the on the SRC in Year 7 and Year 8 and I am really excited to take a big leap forward into a new position this year. I am so grateful for this brilliant opportunity to represent the school. The last term has been incredibly successful, and at some stages difficult, with sports carnivals, lockdowns and school run events. Thankfully, Term 2 has arrived and it is going to a packed, crazy and some what stressful term. I am excited for what this term has to offer, and I am optimistic for what Term 2 has to offer.
My name is Emma Hew, and I am one of the two Middle School Vice Captains for 2021. This year has already proved to be exciting, with many events planned. As a member of the SRC, the Year 9 ACE class, and other school clubs such as the Debating Club, I look forward to contributing to the school as much as possible. I am extremely grateful to be offered this position and hope to achieve the most I can.
Recently, Ashwood High School held our annual event, ‘Ashwood Revealed’. ‘Ashwood Revealed’ allows the school to show families the great aspects of Ashwood, such as our facilities, programs, faculty and students. We both had great fun running tours on the night and getting to meet future Ashwood students. The students and staff all worked hard to prepare, with interesting booths for all subjects, such as the badge makers in the French area and philosophy dilemmas for Humanities.
The school has also recently held the first Middle School Assembly, where Mr Moore, Ms McLellan, and the Middle School Captains addressed the Year 7-9 students in the Building D. The assembly was a great success, allowing for the students of the Middle School to feel more connected. Middle School assemblies will continue to be held, as well as Whole School assemblies.
Go Grey in May was the fundraising event chosen by the SRC, which we are both a part of. The theme for Go Grey in May is any grey coloured item of clothing, which shows the school’s support for this. A gold coin donation will be received will be received from all students participating, which will go to the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation, which supports families dealing with pediatric brain cancer. We are all really excited for this, and hope to see everyone participating.
We hope everyone has a great Term 2!
Christos Giakoumatos and Emma Hew
Students from the Year 9 ACE Humanities class were enthusiastic representatives of the school’s ACE Program at Ashwood Revealed on Wednesday 28 April. Live demonstrations of thought experiments drawn from the ACE Philosophy curriculum were a particular favourite with visitors to the school, attracting many eager participants among the crowds of prospective students and parents. Students demonstrated the Evolution of Trust and the Tragedy of the Commons, drawing links to a diverse range of contemporary dilemmas such compulsory vaccination programs for COVID-19, antimicrobial resistance, and climate change. Thank you to Jethro Dvorak, Nell Lameijn, Mikey Perdicakis, Matthew Pirozek, Vicky Saengyojarn and Cooper Senova-Tapp for their highly entertaining presentations. Our ACE students continue to be outstanding ambassadors for the school and their generosity of spirit in helping to promote our ACE Program to the next generation of Ashwood High School students is very greatly appreciated.
In other news, the following Year 7 students have been selected to participate in the Victorian High Ability program in Term 2 this year. Congratulations to Emma Anderson-Weir (English program), Oliver Holbeach, Grace Lee, Gilbert McCann and Irene Wang (Mathematics program).
Enrichment, Pedagogy Partnerships & Professional Learning Leader
It is fast approaching Examination Week in Week 7. Now is the time to catch up with any overdue work and get notes in order. Ms Robinson and Ms Jowett are in Study Hall on Tuesday and Thursday ready to assist with homework, organization of notes and tips on how to study effectively.
Study Hall for Humanities/English is on Tuesday and Study Hall for Maths/Science is on Thursday. Study Hall opens at 3:20pm and concludes at 4:20pm.
All students are welcome.
After School Homework Coordinator, Maths/Science
After School Homework Coordinator, English/Humanities
Ashwood High School continues to strive for improvement. This has been recently evident in the Senior School teaching team who, over the last few weeks, have been fostering the student academic drive, developing sessions on learning tools to access data within all classrooms and improving understanding the potential of every student. One of our strategic goals is to grow pride and achievement and this has been evident with the after school Study Club which allows students to gain extra tuition with all subjects throughout the Senior School.
Ashwood High School was on full display on the evening of Tuesday 27 April through Ashwood Revealed. The school had a full showcase of the amazing programs and facilities that are on offer in a 21st century learning environment. In the senior school, we had on display an engaging physics class which was not only a display for the evening but a real class being undertaken by all students that are currently enrolled in VCE Unit 3.
One of the community highlights for me during this term has been ABL Grand Final, a lunchtime basketball competition that has involved over 200 male and female students from Years 7 to 12. After many high-spirited games and amazing skills over Term 1 and part of Term 2, the Grand Final was played out between a Year 11 and Year 12 teams with over 300 students in attendance to watch the final game. I would like to thank the students involved for their efforts in playing in the Grand Final, their sportsmanship and performance was outstanding and was played in line with our school values. For this competition to take place it involves many hours behind the scenes, organising teams and making sure all players can attend the scheduled games. For this, I would like to give a big thank you to Mr James Boarotto who put the entire competition together. This has had a strong focus on one of our key school priorities of enhancing school culture.
Our school continues to be at the cutting edge of innovation with regards to career pathways and programs that allow our students prepared for their future. With thanks to our school Principal Mr Brett Moore who has developed the Deakin University and Ashwood High School Alliance over the past 5 years. This alliance has allowed our school to work with Deakin University to provide the best possible knowledge and understanding about life after high school at a university level. With our school having a strong focus on developing the students understanding, on Thursday the 29th of April, the Year 10s undertook careers excursion which allowed them to have an improved understanding of what life is like at university and what the requirements are at a university level. This day also involved students attending short workshops with different focuses, one being stress management which was presented by our school phycologist Ms Elisa Jones Arango. The second presentation was on the expectation and understanding of students in Years 11 and 12 where student learnt in detail about Senior School pathways and the VTAC processes, presented by our Senior School Outcomes Leader, Ms Lucy Rimmer.
Ashwood High School continues to develop the high expectation of every student. In Week 7 of this term, students from Years 7 to 11 will be undertaking the process of exams week and will allow students an opportunity to display their knowledge learnt over Semester 1. The academic rigor at Ashwood High School continues to foster growth in every student through the exam process which continues to develop improved study skills and habits to help best prepare our students for the future.
Senior School Assistant Principal
Senior School students have hit the ground running for Term 2 with Formal Committee meetings, the Year 10 Pathways and Study Skills Day, an Education Sub Committee meeting, the Business Management Market Day, School Musical rehearsals, and a number of interschool sporting events.
School Captains, Sivan Chen and Lula Tadesse, share their perspective on the first few weeks of Term 2:
“During these weeks, the Senior Formal Council are working hard and collectively for the upcoming Year 11 and Year 12 Formal for this year. Students feel the excitement from this first time combined formal and appreciate the luck that formal can be held. Meanwhile, the ‘trading simulating’ activity Year 11 Business class ran successfully. Students from the Year 11 Business class presented brilliantly by setting up stalls with a variety of products. There were interactive activities and students were giving speeches about their products to convince buyers (not real selling, there was fake money and not actually giving their products). Overall, the event was so compelling that the whole square was filled with students from all year levels. Besides this, after school Homework Club is running smoothly currently and students in there are studying orderly and quietly.”
On Thursday 29 April, we ran the Year 10 Pathways and Study Skills Day. This day was designed to support Year 10 students in their transition towards VCE, VCAL and tertiary studies. Students received a presentation from Elevate in the morning focusing on study skills and practical strategies for achieving their potential. This was followed by in house sessions on maintaining wellbeing and an introduction to ATAR. In the afternoon, the students were escorted to Deakin University for a tour of the Campus and Q&A session before being dismissed from the University.
A key focus for our senior school students has been on developing a growth mindset to support them in facing challenges with resilience and optimism. According to Carol Dweck, “In growth mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
I would like to congratulate the senior school cohort on a fantastic return in Term 2 and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings.
Senior School Engagement, Wellbeing and Pathways Leader (SSEWPL)
What a fantastic start to Term 2 it has been here in the Senior School. Year 10 students have jumped straight back into their learning after the school holidays and are continuing to explore their options regarding pathways for the future.
Students were involved in a Pathways and Study Skills day on Thursday 29 April. They were able to have a laugh during the highly engaging Elevate session but also engage with practical strategies for achieving their potential. Ms Lucy Rimmer ran an excellent, informative information session regarding ATAR and Ms Elisa Jones Arango put together a fantastic session on maintaining wellbeing- something that we value extremely highly here at Ashwood High School.
Students then walked over to Deakin university where a tour of the Campus was conducted. Students were engaged and asked a lot of questions to the tour guides and were excited to experience the possibilities for their future.
Well done on representing Ashwood High School‘s CHOIR values during this day Year 10’s and a big thank you to all staff involved who made the day a great success!
The Year 10 English team have been conducting Analytical Writing workshops after school for Year 10 students for the past 3 weeks. This has been a great success and I know that students feel more confident in this aspect of writing, so well done to all of you who have attended. What a great opportunity to improve your skills and knowledge in this important subject area.
Thank you to all teachers who give up their time to assist students with their learning during lunchtimes and after school. Your support of our Year 10 students is much appreciated, and I know students are very grateful for your kindness and your continuous encouragement and motivation!
I look forward to seeing the further success of our Year 10 students for the remainder of the term!
Year 10 Coordinator
The Year 11 students have made a great start to Term 2 and, as a group, have displayed the qualities expected of senior students at Ashwood High School. It has been really pleasing that many students have achieved ‘personal bests’ in their studies and it always gives me great pleasure as Coordinator and teacher when students approach me to proudly share their achievements.
In addition to their academic successes Year 11 students have also recently been engaged in a wide range of co-curricular activities across the school. Students have represented the school in Inter-school sports, have been involved in school musical auditions and rehearsals, Ashwood Revealed, debating and in the recent Business Management market day, among others.
The next challenge on the horizon for Year 11 VCE students are the up-coming Semester One exams and I encourage all students to begin their revision early and to ensure that they are well prepared. Exams for Unit 1 & 2 subjects are a great opportunity for senior students to further hone their exam taking skills in advance of the all-important end of Year 12 exams. Students should set aside time for regular revision of the course content and in this regard the words attributed to United States Founding Father and President, Thomas Jefferson ring true “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have”. Keep working hard at your studies and the rewards will follow.
I wish all Year 11 students the best with their studies and the end of semester exams. Have a great rest of term.
Year 11 Coordinator
It seems that the first day of Term 2 was just yesterday, yet we are already half way through the Term 2 of 2021. The first couple of weeks have certainly brought some new challenges and opportunities for all of our Year 12s. After a rejuvenating term break, students were all invigorated to resume their study. Both our VCE and VCAL students expeditiously adapted to the demand of their subjects and continued to impress with their patience, commitment and resilience.
Whilst our Year 12 students are faced with many Outcomes and other forms of assessment due to the nature of Unit 3 studies, it was pleasing to see that they take the initiative and find time to contribute to Ashwood High School community. In the recent “Ashwood Revealed” Open Night on Wednesday 28 April, many of the Year 12 students signed up for different positions and involved themselves in the event. Our school captains and vice captains led school tours and express tours without staff supervision. A number of VCE students assisted their subject teachers with setting up subject displays and answering questions from parents. Our VCAL students prepared delicious sweet bites for the visitors. This evidences our Year 12 students’ genuine and passionate commitment to Ashwood High School CHOIR values.
Our Year 12s’ commitment to CHOIR Values is also observed in their daily life in school. Many of the teachers in Senior School have witnessed our Year 12s immerse themselves in their studies in study periods, recess and lunch time, and indulge themselves in heated yet respectful discussions around what they just learnt. Yet, they find time to maintain a clean and healthy learning environment. Special thanks to our amazing Lula Tadesse, Courtney Tulia and Nyapal Giek. These responsible young adults have taken the initiative to clean E07 thoroughly to ensure the learning space is clean and tidy, suited for all students to undertake their studies. Thank you!
As Week 6 is approaching, I’d like to remind our Year 12s of the first Ashwood High School Practice GAT. To assist students with their preparation for the General Achievement Test in Week 8, Mr O’Toole, Miss Rimmer and Mrs Huggins have arranged a practice GAT on the afternoon of Tuesday 25 May ( Week 6). Please note the key dates down and come prepared!
Wishing everyone a productive and fruitful term! Keep in mind: “You are strong enough to handle your challenges, wise enough to find solutions to your problems, and capable enough to do whatever needs to be done.” (Lori Deschene)
Year 12 Coordinator
The beginning of Term 2 has been particularly busy and exciting with regard to the Student Leadership Program with many of the new programs and initiatives devised by the student leadership teams coming into action.
One such example is the launch of the expanded co-curricular program with multiple student-led clubs and societies, including the A to Z Community, the Interact Club, the Art Club, the Sustainability Club and the Student Newspaper Club. The full timetable of Student Clubs and co-curricular activities is now available on the Compass Calendar.
Another significant student-led event is the upcoming Go Grey in May fundraising and activity day, initiated and run but the Student Representative Council. The purpose of the day is to raise funds for the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation in support of pediatric brain cancer research, while simultaneously encouraging students to take action to support their mental and physical health. On the day, students will be permitted to dress in grey clothing when providing a gold coin donation, as well as participating in art, fitness and mindfulness during lunchtime.
Student Voice, Leadership & Agency Coordinator
School Vice Captains’ Report
A big warm welcome to the Ashwood High School community, many of you may not know us, in fact you may have never heard from us yet but we are the proud School Vice Captains of 2021. We would both like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves, take a moment to reflect on the recent events that have occurred within the school community as well as introduce some exciting upcoming events that will take place this term.
My name is Courtney Tulia and I am very proud to be representing the Ashwood High School student body in 2021. Whilst going through the selection process for this executive leadership position, I knew - whatever the outcome - I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that students are motivated, inspired and confident within themselves to be successful – whatever that may look like for them. I am pleased to say that with the help of the senior and junior leadership teams and great support from teachers, students are being offered a wide range of opportunities to thrive in all areas of learning.
Hey I’m Zac Aitken, I am one of the two School Vice Captains for 2021. While you might see me around the Senior Centre or carrying my team in basketball, just know I’m here to support anyone through their high school journey. I started at Ashwood High School in 2016, being within the first year level following Mr. Moore’s arrival. When I began high school, I was a simple teenager, choosing to focus on sporting and video games instead of my schooling. However, as I’ve matured and completed the ACE program and progressed through VCE I have seen the value in my education and taken advantage of the resources provided to me. Feel free to come up to me and ask any questions regarding Ashwood and what you can expect from each year, or to just simply say ‘Hi’.
Although the beginning of the year was a bit bumpy for a second, with the short lockdown we faced, students were able to remain optimistic and maintain high expectations for themselves and their learning. We would like to acknowledge your efforts. However, without the resilience and optimism displayed by the Ashwood High School staff this would have not been possible. Thank you, teachers!
Nevertheless, on Wednesday 28 April, Ashwood High School hosted its annual ‘Ashwood Revealed’ event. This was a great opportunity for parents and students of all ages to walk around the beautiful school grounds and observe everything the school has to offer. The set up was incredible, many of the students’ work were on displayed in the Building B; Interactive Science experiments in the Building F where people could light their hand on fire; food baked by our VCAL students in the Building C. Personally, we found it humbling to watch students and teachers come together as a community and passionately speak about their own subjects with such authenticity. Overall, the night was amazing and definitely one to remember. We would like to take the time to thank all of the staff and students who volunteered their time, it certainly does not go unnoticed and it would not have been possible without you. A special thank you to Ms McLellan for organising the event and ensuring the night was perfect.
Okay, what you have all been waiting for. On Friday 28 May the SRC will be holding a charity event ‘Go Grey in May’. All students are to dress in grey and provide a gold coin donation to raise funds for pediatric brain cancer in support of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation. They raise and contribute funds towards Australian and international brain cancer research, to support families affected by pediatric brain cancer and to support the education of the next generation of brain cancer practioners and researchers. We would love to see all of you dressed up and show your support.
Zac Aitken and Courtney Tulia
As we work towards to end of Units 1 and 3 the Senior School students in both VCE and VCAL have been steadily completing Outcomes and SACs in order to demonstrate a satisfactory level of understanding of the coursework and their individual levels of achievement. I would like to remind parents and guardians that upcoming SACs, events and Outcome due dates are all listed on your child’s Dashboard on Compass and, looking further ahead, on their schedule. I would also like to remind students, parents and guardians that if a student is absent for a SAC (VCE) or when an outcome is due (VCAL) they must have a medical certificate.
Students should be continuously revisiting their study schedules for homework and revision as they work to develop a program that best suits their learning style. These skills will be invaluable to all of the students. For the VCAL students this will assist with organising their time to complete school tasks as well as their VET and work place commitments. The Year 11 VCE students should be ensuring that they have allowed time to study, as well as complete homework, in particular in the lead up to exams in Week 7. The Year 12 VCE students will find ongoing revision will assist them greatly in preparation for the end of year exams. Any students requiring assistance with this should visit the Senior School Staff Office where there are many staff available to help.
VCAL students are also reminded to ensure that they complete payment and all documentation required for the upcoming VCAL Camp in a timely manner. This includes advising VET teachers and work placements of absences for that week.
Students undertaking a scored Unit 3/4 subject will all be completing the GAT, General Achievement Test, on Wednesday June 9. The General Achievement Test is a test of general knowledge and skills in:
These areas are very broad.
Each represents a body of general knowledge and skills that students are likely to have built up through their school years.
The GAT results are used to assist with the statistical moderation of School Assessed Tasks and Coursework and for derived exam scores, should they be required. As such it is very important that the students approach this test in the same way that they approach all of their exams.
To prepare students for this I will be running an information session for the students involved during Period 6 on Wednesday May 19. Any student who is absent for this session must see me to ensure that they have all of the relevant information.
All students will have received a copy of the 2021 GAT brochure, however it can also be accessed via this link https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Documents/GAT/2021GATBrochure.pdf
VCAA Curriculum Services Coordinator
Ashwood High School Careers Expo
It is close to that time of year again. Save the date of Tuesday 15 June 2021 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. The purpose of the night is to show case career options such as; undergraduate programs for both local and international students, pathway programs, traineeships and apprenticeship opportunities and services offered by your institution for students who require extra assistance due to a disability.
We have a number of fantastic exhibitors who have already RSVP’d, including: Monash University, Box Hill Institute, Collarts, Swinburne University, Kangan Institute, University of Tasmania, Richmond Football Club, Echo Australia and many more.
Year 10 news
With September fast approaching there is no time like the present to source your Work Experience placements.
Access further information regarding Work Experience and possible placements via the Ashwood High School Careers Website https://www.ashwoodhighschoolcareers.com/?page=work-experience, your Work Experience Information Kit and the Where to Apply for Work Experience resource.
Remember you need to have your placement locked in with your SWL submitted to me by Friday 25 June 2021.
On Monday 10 May 2021 Year 9 students participated in the Morrisby Assessment Introduction. Any Year 9 student who missed the Assessment Introduction class please refer to the Period 5 Challenge lesson plan from Monday 10 May 2021 or email me directly at email@example.com for instructions.
The Morrisby Assessment is scheduled to run over two double Challenge classes on Monday 7 & 21 June 2021. Upon completion student data will be compiled and, in Term 3, students will participate in a one-on-one interview where their results will be explained. An event has been set up on Compass for parents/families to approve student participation.
For further information please visit https://www.morrisby.com/parents.
Miss Jodie Hechenberger
Careers & Pathways Coordinator
Semester 1 Exam
At Ashwood High School all students in Years 7-11 will sit formal Semester 1 Exams. Please be advised that, whilst we await further announcements from the Victorian State Government on the progress of the current '7 day circuit breaker lockdown', the original date of the exams has been postponed. Please check Compass for updates.
Rationale of Exams:
We conduct these exams to prepare students for the demands of VCE exams. It is important to remember that the exams are just one of a range of assessment tasks that determine a student’s progress and abilities. However, they are an important experience and should be taken seriously. External VCE exam administrators frequently comment on how prepared, calm and focused our VCE students are at their final Year 12 exams. This is a testament to our Year 7-11 exam program, which ensures that students know what to expect, how to revise and manage their time, and how to behave and remain focused during their exams.
We train students in appropriate study and revision techniques, which help to consolidate and integrate a large body of knowledge. Students engage in formal revision and exam practice in class, which they are expected to continue at home.
In Middle School, Year 7 students will have exams in English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities only. This will introduce them to the structure and expectations of the exam period, so they are ready to sit exams in all subjects in Semester 2. Students in Years 8 and 9 will sit two exams each day.
Senior School students in Years 10 and 11 will sit their exams over the week. When not in exams, these students will be expected to participate purposefully in private study sessions. All students, regardless of their exam schedule, are expected to attend school from 8:50am to 3:10pm each day.
All students and parents are advised to check their Compass schedules in the weeks leading up to the exams to see when their exams have been scheduled for each class.
If a student is absent during the exam week, it is expected that their absence is supported by a medical certificate. The school will re-schedule exams for students if they have a certificate or if their absence has been approved.
Preparing for Exams:
Students should not only be doing homework, but should also spend time studying for their exams. They should consider such questions as:
Parents / guardians can assist their children by showing an interest and by helping them to develop a study timetable and study routine. This link has some excellent ideas for planning a study timetable.
If you have any questions or queries regarding the exams, please do not hesitate to contact me at the school.
Director of Studies
The Department of Education recognises Community Engagement in Learning as a high-impact improvement initiative. At Ashwood High School we are fortunate to be an active member of a number of community partnerships, one of which is the Ashwood Alliance: a cluster of Victorian government schools dedicated to improving educational outcomes through their work with the School of Education, Deakin University.
Ashwood High School is proud to be one of the founding members of the Ashwood Alliance. The work of the Alliance continues to play a key role in supporting the School’s strategic goals. This year, Ashwood High School will be working closely with our alliance partner Deakin University to facilitate a collaborative project aimed at exploring students’ identities as learners. In particular, our students will be working with pre-service teacher candidates to explore their learning identities and how these identities are constructed. Developing students’ awareness of their identities as learners is closely connected to the strategic aims of our School Goal 2, which endeavours to enhance active engagement in learning, and motivation to learn, through the implementation of approaches that empower students and develop voice, agency and advocacy.
In other news, the Term 2 professional learning program is off to a flying start with staff participating in training on exam invigilation and child safety. Thanks must go to Assistant Principal Ms Meg McLellan for leading a highly informative seminar on exam invigilation. As part of the school’s ongoing commitment to creating and maintaining a safe environment for our students, all staff members have also completed online modules on mandatory reporting and risk management in fulfilment of Ministerial order 870 relating to the Child Safe Standards.
Finally, Ashwood High School is pleased to be welcoming nine pre-service teacher candidates from Deakin and Monash Universities in Term 2 this year. A special thank you to their mentors: Ms Lucy Rimmer, Ms Niesha Moorad, Ms Allison Phillips, Ms Phoebe Lindsay, Ms Carmela Diaz, Ms Kathryn Robinson, Ms Meg Brydon, Mr Alistair Rayner, Ms Caroline Servadei and Ms Heidi Cornelissen for their support of the next generation of the teachers.
Enrichment, Pedagogy Partnerships & Professional Learning Leader
The Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Spiral
Mathematics is everywhere. Sometimes, it hides in places where you least expect it.
As part of the Rates and Ratios unit, Year 8 Maths students investigated the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence. Through a series of investigations, students could see how frequently the Golden Ratio appeared in both natural and built objects and environments.
Students first used measuring tapes to measure and then find how different proportions of the human body were often very close to the Golden Ratio, (which is approximately 1.61803...). Students then investigated the Fibonacci Sequence:
“When any two subsequent Fibonacci Numbers are divided, they get close to the Golden Ratio. The higher the numbers, the closer you get. E.g. 5 ÷ 3 = 1.67, but 89 ÷ 55 is 1.1618 which is really close to the Golden Ratio.”
Fatema Sajid 8A
Finally, students used the sequence to generate the Golden Spiral. Students were able to recognise the pattern’s prevalence in nature.
“In nature, the golden spiral appears in flower petals and the nautilus shell. The way in which these things curl forms the golden spiral.”
Tessa Robertson 8A
“You can [also] find the golden spiral on a snail shell and spider webs and flowers and pine cones and in the galaxy and tornados.”
Patrick Buehrig-Calkin 8A
Students worked well on this investigation and their effort is commended.
Art/Digital Technology/Maths Teacher
Golden Spirals (Clockwise from left) – Hans Toolsie, Fatema Sajid, Christabel Sequeira, Tessa Robertson, Patrick Buehrig-Calkin, Issy Mitsios, Daniel White
Left to right - Christabel Sequeira, Talia Isik, Amelie Sydenham
Left to right - Daniel White, Cooper Stephens, Cooper Leaper
Left to right - Justin Xu, Hans Toolsie, Dragon Ho, Patrick Buehrig-Calkin
Ashwood Revealed was a fantastic opportunity for some of our Year 7 students to showcase some of the fun experiments they have been conducting in class. With the support of Ms Jowett, students performed demonstrations with dry ice, the Van de Graaff generator and slime.
Mr Chan even performed an exciting demonstration igniting a flame in volunteers’ hands. This included visitors to the school, students and even staff!
8 ACE students conducted an investigation into blood spatter, testing if the distance from the ground that the blood has dripped from has an effect on the size of the drops of blood.
Year 9 students have been investigating electrical circuits. After becoming familiar with the laboratory equipment, students conducted an investigation into Ohm’s law by measuring the voltage and current at different points in a simple circuit before using Ohm’s law to calculate the resistance of the resistors in the circuit.
Science Learning Area Coordinator
Highlights from the Humanities Learning Area include a Market Day for the Year 11 Business Management students. The business ideas included lollies in a jar, pop cakes, cocoa bites, printed t-shirts and accessories, brownies, home-made ice-cream and lolly vans. A few stalls hosted basketball competitions and nerf gun wars which proved popular with students.
The Year 7s are investigating certain Ancient Chinese figures and are completing a research task on either Confucius, Empress Wu Zhao or Qin Si Huang.
The Year 8s are learning about everyday life in Maori society. They are learning to describe the Maori class system and social structure as well as how to explain the bartering system of Maori society.
The Year 9s have started exploring various aspects of World War 1 including its short- and long-term impact on Australian citizens and the Australian political, social and economic landscape.
The Year 10s are learning about the Holocaust and have started working on individual assessment tasks. They are able to present photo journals, interactive maps or essays as demonstrations of their learning on specific areas of this topic.
Humanities Learning Area Coordinator
April was a particularly busy month for our department, and an exciting one. Our team worked tirelessly together to put together a range of spectacular and inviting displays for Ashwood Revealed. Displays ranged from baking scones through to robotics and animation. My sincere gratitude to my team involved for demonstrating the range of successes students may achieve in our Learning Area.
Creativity, persistence and resilience are three personality traits that are sought after in the workplace, and these are skills that are learnt over time. One beautiful thing about our subjects is that it allows students a supportive, practical and engaging environment to not only learn about themselves but the world around them. This has been evident in the wide array of learning opportunities our students have experienced recently, and I’d like to personally thank our teachers for allowing our students to grow as young adults in an everchanging world.
Creative Arts and Technology Coordinator
On a windy, and promising Autumnal day, Years 11 and 12 Studio Arts students met at the historically significant Federation Square to begin their Contemporary Arts Trail.
Understanding and interpreting art from a range of different contexts, cultures and times is an important academic pursuit in Art, and can lead into all professions, such as literature, curating and art preservation.
Our students visited a range of contemporary Art spaces, ranging from large institutions such as the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) through to an artist-run space called Blindside on the seventh floor of the Nicholson building.
One space of particular interest was Buxton Contemporary. Their group exhibition consisted of works made by artists during the infamous 2020 Melbourne ‘lock-downs’.
Creative Arts and Technology Coordinator
Year 10 Food Studies
Year 10 students have been working extremely hard on their assessment task for Food Studies. Students have enjoyed cooking different dishes and experimenting with diverse ingredients and flavours. They have also had fun plating up and presenting their dishes to create the ‘wow’ factor. Well done Year 10s!
Year 10 Food Studies Teacher
Year 10 Media - Photography unit
This term in Media the Year 10 students have been learning about visual composition and how to use DSLR cameras. As part of their studies, they have been researching a particular photographer of influence from the 20th century and attempting to emulate this chosen photographer’s personal interest, values and or style.
Saad Alam – influenced by Steve Curry
Cruz Caffaro Rossi – influenced by Max Dupain
James D’arcy – influenced by Walker Evans
Lucas Johnston – influence Max Dupain
Caitlyn Lim – influence George Krause
Sasha Pearce – influenced by Lee Friedlander
Isaac Roder – influenced by Ansel Adams
Thomas Seabrook – influenced by Adreas Gursky
Keshav Sunkara – influence Andy Warhol
Congratulations and a very big thank you to the members of Concert Band, String Orchestra and Stage Band for their terrific performances at Ashwood Revealed. Thank you to the tireless efforts of the IM Staff for their support on the day and evening, and for musically preparing our students during their weekly lessons and rehearsals.
I would like to acknowledge the following students who have recently been awarded auditioned places in some of Melbourne’s premier youth music ensembles; Charlie Pearson on Alto/Tenor Saxophone (Australian Youth Band, AYB Music Camp and Monash Symphonic Winds); Chris Li on Trombone (Australian Youth Band), Oscar Barke on Alto Saxophone (Australian Youth Band); Kenan Wong on Alto Saxophone (Melbourne Youth Concert Band). Congratulations to these students for their dedication and pursuit of excellence with their music.
Please come and support Year 11 musicians Lucy Jordan and Sam Harvison who will be performing at Booroondara Farmers Market at 10.30am on Saturday 29 May 2021
Address: Patterson Reserve, East, Auburn Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Director of Music
Students have continued to experience new and exciting classes this term.
Here are some highlights:
During Term 2 thus far, students have had the opportunity to participate in a Dance unit to enhance their understanding of movement and movement sequences that can contribute to lifelong physical activity. As part of this unit, Ashwood High School invited the 'Nikki Visaj Dance Company' in to educate students on a range of dance styles, including Cultural Dance, Hip Hop and Indigenous Contemporary, to broaden students' knowledge of the uniqueness of movement in each dance style. Students will now take what they have learnt from these sessions and apply their dance skills to create a group performance as their assessment for this unit. Students' participation in this incursion was admirable and it was amazing to observe their development over the two-week period.
Health and Physical Education /Outdoor Ed/Maths Teacher
“The Ashwood Basketball League (ABL) returned for its second year at Ashwood High School in 2021. Spanning across both Term 1 and Term 2, students created teams of 6-7 and competed in a playoff bracket elimination style tournament at lunchtime every Tuesday and Thursday.
The ABL is one of the biggest spectacles in the southern hemisphere and the word did not take long to spread as each lunchtime attracted a bigger and noisier crowd. There was music pumping all around the Gym as students surrounded the court and cheered on the many teams involved.
The competition started with 16 teams and gradually that number withered its way down. We saw plenty of competitive matches and some upsets that included the Year 11 Boys taking down the Teachers in the Quarterfinals. A big shoutout to the Year 7 Boys team that made it all the way to the Semi-finals, coming agonisingly close to beating the Year 11 Boys in that matchup.
The Grand Final saw the Year 11 Boys (Gun Gun Beech) vs the Year 12 Boys (Comets Mavericks). It was an incredible matchup that traded baskets back and forth all game. The game needed 3 over times to find a winner, with the Year 11 Boys hitting a clutch 3 pointer with 45 seconds left to seal their fate. The atmosphere was electric, and every student was on their feet for the entire match! It was the perfect way to end the ABL season for Term 1 2021.
It was an honour to run the ABL during Term 1 and it would not have been possible without the following members of Ashwood High School.
After a successful ABL season for Term 1, I cannot wait to see the competition grow in the future. Keep your eyes peeled as the ABL will be back before you know it.
English/Physical Education Teacher
A new Cultural Games unit has been introduced in Year 10. Students have learnt about a variety of games from China, Venezuela, Torres Strait Island, and Ethiopia to name a few.
Our Year 9s have continued with a focus on invasion games, with this term students undertaking a Personal System of Instruction (PSI) unit of Quidditch. All those Harry Potter fans out there, start chatting to our Yr 9’s. They are becoming experts in all things quaffles, bludgers and beaters! Check out our photos in the next newsletter after our Quidditch tournament is complete.
Health and Physical Education Learning Area Leader
Quel début magnifique for our French learners! Our newest Francophiles in Year 7 have commenced the year brilliantly by enthusiastically embracing learning a new language and have been enjoying elevating their cultural awareness. The Year 9 French classes applied their French language skills when visiting the French Film Festival to watch the latest film releases from France and finishing the excursion with a delicious French inspired lunch. Thank you to Madame Marie, Madame Dernikos and our wonderful Year 9 students for making this excursion a great success.
We wish all students currently practising for the Berthe Mouchette Poetry Competition ‘bon courage’ and look forward to outstanding results.
“When I first found out I would be doing French in High School I was so excited but nervous at the same time. I was very scared because I thought I would embarrass myself. But I have learned to accept the fact that it’s a new language and I don’t have to be so good at it if it was my first time.
I enjoy French very much and I would love to learn the language so I could communicate with French speaking people.”
Dwobet Medi Ojulu
“I think it’s a good subject because French is challenging and pushes my limits a little bit, but overall, I like the subject. I’m thinking of choosing French as a subject in Year 9 because we get to go on excursions overseas. I have never been overseas so I’m really looking forward to it.”
“French is different to every other subject, we are encouraged to learn more and more every lesson. The teachers are willing to help us and I have learned more French in just over a term than I learned in all of primary school.”
“This year I have learnt more French in one term then I learnt of Italian in seven years of primary school. French is a fun subject and I always enjoy it. I am excited to learn more French this year.”
“I think that French is a really easy language to learn, it’s actually easier than I expected it to be. When I first thought about French, I thought there would be really hard words that would be really hard to remember. But it wasn't hard, just on how you pronounce it is hard but it’s really easy on remembering the spelling. And also because it’s really fun when learning French, I think it was much better than learning German in my primary school because I didn't learn that much from it. “
Michelle Belmarco Alves
“I found French fun and easy. French had made me want to know how people in France live. French is in top 10 best.”
“Learning French In Year 7 has been an amazing opportunity in learning a new language. Learning a different language in high school is completely different to the things that they teach you in Primary School. So far, in the past term and a half I have learnt more in French than what I learnt in 1 term of learning Japanese in primary school.”
“French was easier than I thought I was definitely easier than Japanese. The French games are fun and Mrs Dernikos is my favourite teacher, (but don’t tell anyone) so things have been fun learning this year.”
“This year I started learning French and I really thought I would be bad at it. I originally found it hard but soon I got the hang of it. Mrs Dernikos includes these fun games for us to play that is related to French and we also get to use Quizlet to help us learn our words and remember the vocabularies. I now think French is a really fun language to learn and it is really interesting to learn a new language. I can’t wait until I learn more words. Thank you Mrs Dernikos.”
“I really enjoy French because of this website called ‘Quizlet’. It’s also much easier than Japanese and much more fun and independent. I look forward to later years and I hope I will learn this language.”
“When I first came into French class, I thought we would just be learning bits of the language here and there just like in primary school. But it was a really different experience. I would have never thought that I would get so far and be able to learn another language like this. When I'm at home, I study enthusiastically and it's really fun when we get tested. I really like my teacher Madame Dernikos because she helps us and we get to play fun games while learning.”
“I love French. It is so much fun to learn. I find it easy to learn and we get to play heaps of games and learn heaps of new words. I think it will be fun to talk to my friends in French instead of English and we will both understand. I love doing Quizlet, it is my favourite part of French .I cannot wait to learn more.”
“I thought French would be difficult like Japanese but it is much easier. I have enjoyed learning French because we get to play fun games. My teacher has made learning French much better than I originally thought.”
“I have found that French is a very thrilling subject. I really enjoyed making the PowerPoint about the Francophone Countries. My teacher, Mrs Dernikos makes learning French very easy and fun. I think I am going to want to do French until I graduate.”
“I love French! Mrs Dernikos makes learning French fun by making it interesting. I have learnt more French in the first 2 terms then I did in 7 years of doing Chinese. I think it is fun because we do lots of activities in French.”
“I like French because I really like testing my skills and thriving for more and French is a really fun it’s one of my favourite subject. I also like French because you can play games like quizlet and that is fun.”
The Art of Listening
One of the most effective ways for students to develop their English language skills is by actively listening to a range of audio and audio-visual texts.
This term, weekly listening sessions are running during the International Student Homework Club. It has been pleasing to see many EAL students participate in activities designed to develop their listening comprehension skills. Students listen to a range of texts, take notes, and answer multiple-choice and short answer questions. The listening content comes from various news and current affairs programs, so students also gain an understanding of the current issues in the media.
I encourage students to track their listening progress using a listening log. Students should aim to watch or listen to at least 15 minutes of English audio texts every day, and the listening content can vary from news to TV and podcasts.
Here are some links and suggestions to get all EAL students started.
Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening lab – www.esl-lab.com
ESOL Courses – www.esolcourses.com/content/topicsmenu/listening.html
Talk English – www.talkenglish.com/listening/listenadvanced.aspx
English Club – www.englishclub.com/listening
5 minute English – www.5minuteenglish.com/listening.htm
ABC Learn English – www.abc.net.au/education/learn-english/
EAL Learning Area Coordinator
As a teacher I seek to elicit an array of responses from students. Some of the responses I seek are intellectual, but others are affective or emotional. After researching the impact virtual reality has on learner empathy several years ago at the University of Melbourne, I was grateful for the opportunity to lead my year 10 class in a virtual reality incursion to Auschwitz, former concentration camp. According to Bertrand et al. (2018), the 'presence' afforded by virtual reality correlates with positive empathetic responses from viewers who watched the United Nations' Clouds over Sidra and the New York Times project Displaced (both are highly recommended viewing).
Year 10 student Tilé Bodin wrote that the virtual reality visit "made me feel very, very empathetic toward the Jewish people, being able to see what living conditions they were living in. It also made me feel sad that such atrocities could be committed around the world." Vanessa Koziarz, another student in Year 10 wrote that it made her feel "upset, angry, frustrated, and especially sad as I am connected to their history. I managed to feel the pain and loss the people felt that experienced it."
Alex Missailidis said that the experience made him feel "more empathetic and connected to the individuals among the camps." He reflected that the experience allowed him to "embrace a connective approach to learning." Alex wanted to highly encourage 'parents and other members of the school community to visit Auschwitz virtually'. Alexei Bradley-Malcolm reflected that members of the Ashwood High School community should experience the virtual tour because "we should not hide ourselves from history, whether it be good or bad".
Members of the Ashwood High School community can visit the Auschwitz Virtual Tour by visiting panorama.auschwitz.org When you visit, ask yourself: what do you already know about the Holocaust? What questions do you have about the Holocaust? What did you learn from your virtual visit?
Digital Pedagogies Coordinator
Ashwood High School Cross Country Carnival – 29/3/21
Another marquee day on the school calendar is the Ashwood High School Cross Country Carnival. The whole school came together and participated in the course, with some students running and some students walking, all trying to gather as many House Points as possible. It was a fantastic afternoon and I would like to congratulate our Age Group Champions: Keely English, Daniel Pashutin, Ariana Pashutin, Henrik Thompson, Elissa Tsekmes, Angus Cutfield, Micky Van Dalen, Thomas Seabrook, Jas Ardern, Jackson Webster, Yao Zhang and Harry Norris.
A further congratulations must also go to Cowan House which finished on a winning score of 548 points, from Flynn (488 points), Melba (374 points) and Paterson (302 points)
The interschool Boys Netball tournament was held at Ashwood High School on Monday 10 May. Ashwood had 3 teams entered across the Years 7-12 event. The Year 10 boys team battled it out the entire day, causing an upset in the Grand Final by accounting for Heathmont, who had previously had their number earlier in the day. Congratulations to the boys who have moved on to the next round, scheduled to take place on Tuesday 27 July.
On Thursday 29 April 2021, Round 3 of the Debating Association Victoria interschool debating competition took place. The Year 10s were up against John Monash Science School. The team consisted of Angela Hewerdine, Jessica Sterle, and Sebastian Millan as the speakers, with Chai Couzens as a substitute who also provided the team with invaluable preparation. Although the students knew the topic would be on education, the topic was not revealed until the night of the debate. This turned out to be “That secondary school classes should be academically streamed”, with our team as the Negative side. Unperturbed, our Year 10s delivered an utterly convincing victory to remain undefeated in the competition.
At the Year 9 level, our team consisted of Matthew Pirozek, Emma Hew, Cooper Senova-Tapp, Annais Lewis, and Christos Giakoumatos. Our topic was “That public transport should be free” with the team on the Negative side. Although our team had prepared well and had been eagerly looking forward to the debate, we won by default due to a forfeit by the opposition school. Congratulations to all our students involved so far.
I would like to thank all those who have participated in school sports events this year, including the Swimming Carnival and Cross Country. I was very glad to see you getting in the water and trying your best in running. Congratulations to all participants and winners. I am sure you enjoyed the events as much as I did.
A big congratulations to our international music performers, Jason Suryanata, Chris Li and David Ji for demonstrating your talent in the lunch time concerts. You have done a wonderful job on the stage.
Our creative Year 10 student Tony Xu participated in the PSC Photography Studies College HOME Competition People's Choice. Let’s wish Tony good luck with his imaginative photo - Home of Poseidon.
For those who have proactively participated in the school activities and events this year, I am so proud of you. And I would love to see more international students willing to participate in more of the whole school events, to present their best to their peers, and to get involved in supporting our school community. It is important that we embrace every opportunity offered at Ashwood High School to enhance our learning experience in Australia.
The upcoming inter-school sports and athletics carnival are great opportunities for those who want to be involved. Don’t miss them.
International Student Captain, Andy Kuok
I met with the international students of the middle school last week. An annual survey sheet was handed out to each of the students which included a feedback section for possible improvements for the International Student Program.
A big thank you for completing the survey. I look forward to discussing your feedback with you and we will work together to make your school experience better.
If you have any questions, you can talk to me at recess any day or lunch on Mondays. Hope to see you all in the athletics carnival in Term 3!
Middle School International Student Captain, Jason Suryanata
Beyond Our School WallsWe are pleased to advise Ashwood High School has been selected as the best practice for online learning program throughout the Victorian government school system. A filming crew was sent by the Department to our school on 22 April to make a promotion video. At the interview with our Principal, Mr Moore, he introduced strategies our school implemented to support the offshore students. Two of our offshore student representatives expressed their appreciation to our school for this online learning opportunity and they provided super positive feedback on our quality program and excellent support.
The successful online program well demonstrated our school CHOIR Values. At Ashwood High School, we are innovative and have strong technology to quickly adapt changes to better support our students. The online program also reassures our school community that Ashwood High School always has students’ interest in mind and is making every possible effort to support our students towards their future success.
I would like to thank Mr Moore, Mr O’Toole, Ms Mineo, Ms Diaz, Ms Moorad and Ms Li who kindly supported the filming project.
I also would like to thank our School Captain, Sivan Chen and International Student Captain, Andy Kuok, our Year 11 student buddies, Anthony Zhu, Vivian Yan and Sheldon Liu for their support to Year 11 online learners. These positive and welcoming student connections have contributed to our online learners’ strong sense of belonging to our school community.
A big thank you to those International Students who supported Ashwood Revealed 2021 on Wednesday 28 April.
Ashwood Revealed 2021 was a great opportunity to present to our prospective parents the benefit of the International Student Program to our school community. It is important for our parents to understand International Student Program effectively contribute to the development of our students’ intercultural capability and global citizenship skills.
The visiting students and their parents were impressed with the photos of happy students on the whiteboard which truly reflected our successful program at Ashwood High School. Ms Williams emphasised to the visitors that intercultural and global citizenship are critical skills our younger generation needs for their future career successes.
International Student Program Manager
Following 2020’s lockdowns, it was a real pleasure to help welcome the community to our school at this year’s Ashwood Revealed. The feeling among the students, staff and visitors was wonderfully positive and celebratory. Thank you to our student volunteers, Talia Isik, Isabel Mitsios and Christabel Sequeira, who did an excellent job running our popular Harry Potter Trivia Quizzitch which was thoroughly enjoyed by all participants and spectators.
Many visitors to the Education Resource Centre on open night were very interested in our school’s library and the online information resources it provides our students and were curious about our students’ reading habits and preferences. Potential new students and their parents were impressed to hear of the plans for the inclusion of a fantastic, purpose-built library space in our new building opening in March 2023, and many expressed to me their appreciation of Ashwood’s recognition of the importance of libraries and reading. As one father said to me on the night, “In primary school students learn to read so that in high school they can read to learn.”
Premiers’ Reading Challenge
With four more months before the Premiers’ Reading Challenge closes, there is still time for students to take up the challenge. It is a great way to widen their reading and earn points for their house. All Years 7-10 students are registered and encouraged to participate. Full details can be found on the ERC’s Infiniti home page.
Remember to find time to enjoy reading every day.
Year 7 Catch Up
The PFN organised a catch up at Essex Reserve in the Term 1 holidays on Friday 16 April from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. As it was outside of the school term, this event was advertised via the Year 7 WhatsApp group. It was great to connect with new families despite the chilly day and we also got to debut our new banner purchased in Term 1. If you’re not a member of the Year 7 WhatsApp group, you can join by scanning the QR code on the right.
Barefoot Bowls, Bingo & Big Screen Footy
The PFN is holding a whole school parent’s event at the South Oakleigh Bowling Club on Friday 18 June from 6:30pm to 11:30pm with barefoot bowls (weather permitting), bingo and big screen footy. Tickets on sale now through https://www.trybooking.com/755427
Tickets are limited so book early!
Ashwood High School Open Night
The PFN was thrilled to be back on site, providing a refreshment stall and information for families considering Ashwood as their high school of choice. We heard lots of positive feedback about our school!
Ashwood High School values the high level of support it receives from parents and families. Your financial support allows us to offer our students extra resources and high quality programs, beyond our basic curriculum funding provided by the Department of Education and Training (DET), such as:
In order for students to enjoy the opportunities that this extra funding provides, please check your Compass Portal. Methods of payment can be found on the portal. This funding does make a difference to our students.
Parent Payments have been added to Compass. Compass allows for a variety of payments as well as a payment option. You can also arrange a payment plan at the General Office. Thank you to families who paid prior to the end of the year and to families who have paid this year or have set up payment plans.
Camps Sport Excursion Fund
Camps, Sports & Excursion Fund (CSEF) is provided by the Victorian Government to assist eligible families to cover the costs of school camps, sporting activities and excursions.
If you hold a valid means-tested concession card or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF ($225.00 per secondary school student). A special consideration category also exists for asylum seeker and refugee families. The allowance is paid to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, sporting activities and excursions for the benefit of your child.
If you are eligible for this funding please contact the General Office as the closing date is Friday 25 June 2021.
A warning to the school community to read parking restrictions signs outside the school. The City of Monash frequent Vannam Drive during pick up and drop off times to ensure the safety of the school community on the roads. Families have been booked in the past for stopping and letting their children out of the car in restricted areas. A caution to students to use the attended crossing during drop off and pick up. Vannam Drive is a busy thoroughfare during the day and student safety is of utmost importance.
The administration car park is for visitors only and not for student drop off or pick up.
Student Absence Hotline - New Number
The Student Absence Hotline has a new number: 9807 1811
Please leave a detailed message advising your name, student name, date of absence and reason for absence. The hotline is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Director of Business