Principal's Report

Welcome to Term 2 Great to Exceptional – ‘Jewel of the East’
It is a pleasure to be the principal of Ashwood High School, to see the school go from strength to strength and to witness the academic and social growth of your children each day.

2022 is a year of School Review, where the school and an external reviewer undertake a rigorous process that forms the basis for us to create our strategic plan for the future.

While we will rejoice in our strengths and achievements, we will seek and embrace the input of experts from both within and beyond the school, seeking multiple perspectives.  We will engage with the school community with an openness to challenge for improvement. I look forward to sharing our future journey with you. Please see the end of my report for further details about the School Review.

Beyond our examination of past data for our future focussed Review, much is happening in the present at Ashwood High School, and we have plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Ashwood High School - Revealed Campaign - Increasing Positive Parental and Community Engagement
The Ashwood Revealed Campaign in its seventh consecutive year has gone from strength to strength with well over 1000 visitors during the day and night. Ashwood High School is established in the community as a school of first choice. Over 350 visitors attended in the morning, while over 700 attended our Open Night. Staff, students, and parents helped out to make the day and night programs a huge success. Our Year 7 speakers at the Principal’s Address, Hannah Williams and Ameer Bux (AM) and Anushka Bhatt and Kaveesha Gunasekara (PM), spoke eloquently and confidently about their transition from primary school and their Year 7 experience so far at Ashwood High School. Congratulations to Meg McLellan, Assistant Principal and Donna Mineo, Executive Assistant, Marketing and Communications Manager for their outstanding contributions. Thank you also to the 200 students who attended the Ashwood Revealed Campaign and to all staff for many spectacular displays of student work and activities. The feedback received suggests that this has been our largest and superbly orchestrated Revealed program.

Marketing at Ashwood High School - Great to Exceptional 
The focus of the principal’s message is Ashwood High School is a high performing 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. As a school community, we are committed to improving students social and academic outcomes.

Year 7 2023 – Great to Exceptional
Applications for placement for Year 7 2023 have been flooding in and I have received many letters from parents who live out of the school zone for placement in 2023. This bodes well for our intake in 2023.

Accelerated Curriculum and Enrichment (ACE) Program – Growing Pride and Achievement
The interest in sitting the entrance test for the ACE class is at an all-time high. The test will be held at Ashwood High School on Saturday 6 August 2022 but must be prepaid (online) prior to Friday 29 July 2022 via

This test is open to all Grade 6 students.

Whole School Assembly – Growing Pride and Achievement; Enhancing our Student Culture                                           
We held an Assembly on Tuesday 24 May 2022 as a celebration of our school’s culture and achievements. Although the whole school was involved, the Year 7 students had pride of place in the Performing Arts Centre whilst students in other year levels joined in via technology. The behaviour of students was exemplary. An outline of the School Review was presented and the School Colours program was officially launched for 2022 at the Whole School Assembly.

International Agents Visit  – Growing Pride and Achievement; Enhancing our Student Culture
We were very proud to show our school to a group of International Agents on Thursday 26 May 2022. The agents were very impressed with our school and our students and it was a delight to show the group the exemplary education and opportunities at Ashwood High School.  Thank you to Yonghong Williams, International Student Manager, for coordinating this visit. 

Attitudes to School Survey - Enhancing the Student Culture
The annual Student Attitudes to School Survey will be completed in Week 6, Term 2, commencing Monday 30 May 2022. The purpose of the survey is to obtain student opinion on the quality of the learning environment and student connectedness to school. A letter about this survey has been provided to all families.

Staffing – Valuing Staff and Building Capacity
With the school’s focus on inclusion and wellbeing, we recently welcomed two new staff members to our Wellbeing Team at the assembly held on Tuesday 24 May 2022: Meera Yadav, Integration Aide and Emily Kelly, Wellbeing Support Officer.

Further recent recruits to Ashwood High School include Christine Clarke, Woodwind Instructor Teacher; Marlon Mudalige Don, IT Specialist Technician; Jacob Vitale, English / PE Teacher; Jessica Gao, Mathematics / Economics / Chinese / EAL Teacher and Abbey Xie, Administration Support Officer.  These additions to our magnificent staff are in addition to the many recruits of 2022:

 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2022 - Growing Pride and Achievement
The NAPLAN tests for our Year 7 and Year 9 students took place in Building B in Week 4 from Tuesday 10 May 2022. This was the first time that students have taken this test via technology.  I would like to acknowledge Harsha Dias, IT Manager and Niesha Moorad, Student Outcomes Leader for their work in ensuring that NAPLAN ran seamlessly.  Students took their NAPLAN tests seriously. The school ensured for accountable and disciplined learning. NAPLAN results will come out later in the year. 94.8% of students in Years 7 and 9 were tested and submitted.

Camps Program - Enhancing the Student Culture
Our Year 10 camp at the YMCA Mt Evelyn Recreation Camp was a highlight for our Year 10s, allowing them to taste a variety of hands-on activities and experiences, building on their skills, confidence, and teamwork. Thank you to staff for their outstanding commitment to outdoor education and students’ emotional and social development. Congratulations to Jeffrey Newman (Camps Coordinator) and the Senior School Team including Matilda Wraight, Year 10 Coordinator; Phoebe Lindsay, Student Engagement, Wellbeing and Pathways Leader. 

Co-curricular Programs 2022 - Enhancing the Student Culture
Students in our Debating Club are proving to be fierce competitors. Ashwood High School recently sent a delegation of students to participate in the 2022 West Japan Model United Nations Conference, run by Fukuoka International School, Japan. This was a global event, attended by students from all across the world. I was delighted by the announcement that four of our ten students won awards. This means that Ashwood High School won an entire third of all awards available at this Conference. The students are as follows:

  • Angela Hewerdine, 11C, Most Active Delegate award, for representing China in the Security Council
  • Emma Hew, 10Z, Most Active Delegate award, for representing Afghanistan in the High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Ved Karve, 9Z, Best Delegate award, for representing USA in the World Health Organisation
  • Fatema Sajid, 9Z, Most Improved Delegate award, for representing Republic of Korea in the World Health Organisation.

Debating Coordinator, Ronald Lee, is to be congratulated on this event.  Mr Lee coaches successful Debating Teams across the school and is passionate about his role.

Other Co-curricular Programs have included:

  • Sport:
    • Years 11 and 12 Interschool Sport Tuesday 3 May 2022
    • EMR Intermediate Boys Tennis Friday 6 May 2022
    • Boys Netball and Girls AFL Monday 9 May 2022
    • Ashwood Basketball League                 Lunch activity
    • Ashwood Premier League (Futsal) Lunch activity

Thank you to Tom Grbac, Director of Sport and James Boarotto, Sports Activities Coordinator.

  • Student Leadership:
    • Student Led Clubs and societies, including:
      • A to Z Community
      • Interact Club
      • Art Club
      • Chess Club
      • Drama Club
      • Student Newspaper Club
    • Out of Uniform Day supporting SisterWorks
    • Involvement in the School Review Panel.

Thank you to Calvin Yin, Middle School Student Voice, Leadership and Agency Coordinator and Daniel Meagher, Senior School Student Voice, Leadership and Agency Coordinator for their work with these students.

  • Year 11 / 12 Formal Thursday 19 May 2022
  • Music:
    • Strings Recital Wednesday 25 May 2022
    • Lunchtime Concerts
    • Ongoing rehearsals for the Bands program.

Thank you to Wendy Anderson, Director of Music and her team of Instrumental Music teachers for their expertise and passion.

The outstanding array of high quality co-curricular activities make you proud to be a part of the Ashwood High School community.

Senior School Formal – Enhancing the Student Culture
On Thursday 19 May 2022 the school held its Senior School Formal at The Grand on Princes. It was a wonderful evening that brought students and staff together to celebrate a rite of passage for our senior students. Congratulations to Jessie Tian, Year 12 Coordinator and John Sheehan, Year 11 Coordinator for their management of what has now become a proud school event.

Instrumental Music Program – Enhancing the Student Culture
Under the guidance of the Ashwood High School Director of Music, Wendy Anderson, we have 140 students enrolled in the Instrumental Music Program. Students are busily rehearsing for the Strings Recital was held on Wednesday 25 May 2022.  Our Instrumental Music Program continues to go from strength to strength.  

School Performing Arts Festival – Enhancing the Student Culture, Growing Pride and Achievement, Valuing Staff and Building Capacity, Increasing Positive Parental and Community Engagement
Due to the coronavirus global pandemic the school was unable to hold its musical production and the Performing Arts Festival over the past two years. Now that we are able to hold performances, in an effort to be inclusive as possible, I am delighted to announce that we will hold the School Performing Arts Festival in 2022.

Although the school had planned to present The Addams Family musical this year, a decision has been taken to ensure that all students can be involved in performing arts this year, instead of a smaller number.  The School Musical Production (The Addams Family) will not take place in 2022.

The Performing Arts Festival will include all students across the school with drama, acting, singing, dancing, music, back-of-house crew, visual arts, props, and sound positions available. We expect unprecedented numbers of students taking part and I cannot wait to host our families for these performances in our Performing Arts Centre.  Further information will be provided in our next newsletter.

School Review 2022 – Growth & Sustainability – Great to Exceptional
The School Review process has got underway. The non-school based people on the School Review Panel include Dr John Hunter (School Reviewer), Eva McMaster (SEIL, NEVR) and two Challenge Partners Wayne Craig (Former Regional Director, DET) and Nathan Chisholm (Executive Principal of Prahran High School). The dates are as follows:

  • Panel Day 1: Validation Day: Wednesday 11 May 2022
  • Fieldwork Days: Tuesday 14 June 2022 and Wednesday 15 June 2022. This will involve the School Reviewer with various focus groups – staff, students, and parents.
  • Panel Day 4: Tuesday 21 June 2022.

School Review 2022 – School Review Panel– Stakeholder Representation and Inclusion – Great to Exceptional
The School Review Panel reflects stakeholder representation and inclusion. I would like to thank all members of the School Review Panel for their contribution to the School Review process. The constitution of the School Review Panel is presented in the table (below).

School Review 2022 – Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) 2.0 – The Education State
Our School Review is aligned with the Department’s Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) and aims to create a self-sustaining cycle of continuous improvement. Please see a graphic of the priorities below:

School Review 2022 – Validation Day - Growth & Sustainability – Great to Exceptional
The Validation Day on Wednesday 11 May 2022 was an enormous success. One of the focus areas of the Validation Day was to gain agreement on the findings presented in the PRSE. School Performance data was presented in the context of the School Strategic Plan 2019-2022 and the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) 2.0. Another focus area of the Validation Day included the development of three focus questions (Terms of Reference) which will guide the investigations undertaken over the course of the two fieldwork days on Tuesday 14 June 2022 and Wednesday 15 June 2022.

The School Reviewer and Challenge Partners will conduct an inquiry based on the following three focus questions under each of the three goal areas - Student Achievement, Student Engagement and Student Wellbeing. The three focus questions are:

  • Goal Area 1: Student Achievement
    • Focus Question 1: To what extent does the teaching at Ashwood High School address the individual learning needs of students?
  • Goal Area 1: Student Engagement
    • Focus Question 2: To what extent do Ashwood High School students have agency in their learning?
  • Goal Area 1: Student Wellbeing and Learning Growth
    • Focus Question 3: To what extent does Ashwood High School address the wellbeing needs and holistic learning growth of all students?

I will continue to work with Dr John Hunter to develop a methodology (for the fieldwork days) that enables him and the two Challenge Partners to engage with a cross section of school community members.  Following the two fieldwork days, the findings of the investigation (in relation to the three focus questions) will be presented to the School Review Panel on Day 4 of the School Review process on Tuesday 21 June 2022. The purpose of the final day of the School Review will be to develop the three main overarching goals for our school’s next School Strategic Plan 2023-2026 - The Path Forward 3.0.

School Capital Works Program – Great to Exceptional – ‘Jewel of the East’
Site preparation continues with much work happening behind the fence.  We look forward to our ‘Turning of the Sod’ Ceremony which will be announced once the Department of Education liaises with our ministerial guests.  I am elated that plans for a new entry (school driveway) to the school have been prepared.  The school driveway to our wonderful school, off High Street Road, will do much to alleviate traffic concerns, enhancing student safety.

Brett Moore
Friday 27 May 2022



Key Dates - Terms 2 & 3 2022

Middle School Assistant Principal's Report

Greetings from the Middle School at Ashwood High School. Term 2 has proven to be a busy start to the term. Please see below for some summary highlights.

Ashwood Revealed
Ashwood Revealed 2022 has been completed with another highly successful campaign. The school was a flurry of activity with visitors over the course of the day. We had over 1000 members of the community in attendance between the morning and evening sessions. 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 10 May to Friday 13 May 2022. The conduct and effort of students was incredible. Well done to the Year 7 and 9 students for their efforts. My congratulations and thanks Ms Niesha Moorad, Student Outcomes Leader, and Mr Harsha Dias, for their excellent organisation of the testing, particularly given it is in the first year that NAPLAN has moved online.

Whole School Assembly
A Whole School Assembly occurred on Tuesday 24 May 2022. Year 7 students attended in person in the PAC, and the remainder of the school, Years 8 through to 12, attended virtually from their classrooms. Many thanks to Dr Moore for leading our school community with a common set of vision and values. It was an excellent opportunity for us to reflect as a school community on where our school is heading in the next few years. Special thanks to Mr Harsha Dias – IT Manager – and the Ashwood High School Media Crew Members – Jamieson Adler, Tile Bodin, Year 11; Year 11; Lucas Johnston, Year 11; Yunal Lutfi, Year 9, for their excellent technology support throughout.

Attitudes to School Survey
The Department of Education and Training (DET) runs an annual survey in all Victorian government schools called the Student Attitudes to School Survey in Term 2. This survey is an important means of feedback to Ashwood High School on the experiences of our students. Please be advised that more details on this year’s survey, including key dates, will appear on Compass soon. 

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 – Wednesday 17 August 2022 to Friday 19 August 2022. Please see Compass for all details closer to the date, including consent and payment.

Year 9 Camp – Wednesday 22 June 2022 to Friday 24 June 2022. Please see Compass for all details closer to the date, including consent and payment.

Meg McLellan
Middle School Assistant Principal

Middle School Engagement, Wellbeing and Transitions Report

Term 2 is off to a flying start here in the Middle School. Students have returned with excitement and engagement in all areas of their schooling. It was particularly special to see so many of our Middle School students assisting with ‘Ashwood Revealed’ and displaying our CHOIR values and how very proud they are to be a member of our outstanding community. Middle School students conducted school tours, providing prospective families and students with all the answers to their questions and provided them insight into the wonderful facilities, opportunities and the excellent teaching and learning program that we have here at our school. Students also assisted with subject specific displays, providing context to learning and showing off pieces of work that they are proud of. Well done to all students involved and thank you for making our school proud!

Year 7 and 9 students have been in involved in NAPLAN (Week 3) and should be commended for their excellent efforts in completing this testing. Exam week is taking place in Week 7 and students will undertake exam preparation in classes during Week 6. During this time, students will be supported to achieve their best and learn valuable lessons about discipline, resilience, and optimism as well as learning values skills for later years. Full details about which exams each Year level will undertake, and relevant timetables, are available via Compass.

The Tutor Group Program has continued to flourish this year and it has been exciting introducing Year 9 students to The Morrisby Program as part of our Careers Program at Ashwood High School. Students have continued to develop connections with their House and peers as well as completing their own ‘Twenties’ in line with their personal learning goals. There have been several activities and workshops undertaken to assist students in identifying their strengths and areas for development in line with FYA Enterprise Skills. A big thank you for the team of Tutor Group teachers for your support of this program and to students for your engagement in making the most of your learning during this time.

Our amazing Middle School team continue to work tirelessly, supporting our students with their wellbeing, attendance, Individual Education Plans and encouraging engagement and school connectedness through the various lunchtime clubs and leadership opportunities that we have on offer. A big thank you to our incredible Middle School Team: Mr Driscoll, Mrs Dernikos, Mr Hayward and Ms Cooper for your wonderful dedication and commitment to the management and success of the Middle School. In addition, thank you to our Wellbeing team: Dr Jones Arango and Mr Long Nguyen for your support of students across both mini schools. I’d also like to welcome Emily Kelly our new Wellbeing Support Officer to Ashwood High School and thank you in advance for your contribution to our school.

Sachael Miller
Middle School Student Engagement, Wellbeing and Transitions Leader

From the House Coordinators

Throughout Term 2, Cowan has continued to impress from all standpoints of Ashwood High School’s four pillars – Sporting Excellence, Academic Excellence, Arts Excellence, and Excellence within the Community – Civics and Citizenship.

Cowan students continue to have a fantastic level of participation in all co-curricular activities. It filled me with pride to see all students embracing the opportunities available at Ashwood High School and immersing themselves in a wide variety of activities. From the Lunch Time concerts, to sporting prowess in the ABL and now APL, and through the creative sphere with Art Club and Animation Club, Cowan students are showing that they really can do it all!

Whilst there were no competitive events that occurred since our strong performance in the Swimming Carnival, the level of House cohesion was high, with the Tutor Group program ensuring all Cowan members still came together at regular intervals. Students during those times completed modules to enhance and further their personal learning goals. These improvements will see all members of Cowan House placed in a fantastic place leading into Semester 2.

In a few weeks, the opportunity for Cowan students to prove themselves in the exam sphere will occur. This brings on an exciting chance to showcase their understanding of subjects, and craft useful skills within studying.

Overall, I am extremely happy and proud with the way in which all Cowan students have implemented their fantastic approach to their schooling and have continued a fantastic Semester 1. All members of Cowan House have epitomised Ashwood High School’s ‘High Expectations’ and values in an admirable manner.

I keenly look forward to what the remainder of this semester brings and seeing the further improvement of students in Cowan House.

Guy Driscoll
Cowan House Coordinator

Middle School Student Leadership & Agency Report

The beginning of Term 2 has been particularly busy and exciting with regards 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 Chess Club, the Drama Club and the Student Newspaper Club. The full timetable of Student Clubs and co-curricular activities is now available on the Compass Calendar.

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 on the day. Well done to Hannah Williams and Ameer Bux, who spoke at the morning session, and to Anushka Bhatt and Kaveesha Gunasekara, who spoke at the evening session. These students represented the school and themselves with confidence and pride.

Calvin Yin
Middle School Student Voice, Leadership and Agency Coordinator

So far, Term 2 has already proven to be a great success for our Middle School leaders. Ashwood Revealed in Week 2 was a chance for the Year 7 Ambassadors to accompany tours around the school and embody Ashwood’s values as they guided prospective parents and students and provided insight into the day-to-day life of an Ashwood student. Along with the Year 7 Ambassadors, many of our Middle School student leaders aided in tours, as well as running student club stands. Additionally, the Concert Band, Stage Band, String Orchestra, and other assorted acts performed wonderfully throughout the evening, and some Food Studies students were hard at work making delicious snacks for everyone to enjoy.

We enjoyed the company of hundreds of visitors in the morning and evening, and all of the students involved did a fantastic job of providing prospective parents with feedback on Ashwood High School’s transitional process and school culture. We also heard from student speakers and Dr Moore at his Principal’s Addresses throughout the day, and overall, it was a successful day for our wonderful school.

Our Middle School Captain team have been working with teachers, students and fellow student leaders to generate and action ideas to further improve the school and its community. We’ve most recently begun working on implementing more student voice into the selection of activities at camp and are working with members of the school community to add recycling bins to the yard. We’re always happy to hear from students, so if you have an idea or concern that you’d like to be addressed, feel free to email us anytime.

Daisy Harvison and Connor Russo
Middle School Captains


Accelerated Curriculum & Enrichment Program

Ashwood Revealed played host to the launch of the ACE Program promotional video featuring ACE students Aayati Desai (Year 7), Thomas Duckworth (Year 8), Oscar Barke, Jonathan Evans, Daisy Harvison, Leah Ried, Connor Russo (Year 9) and Emma Hew (Year 10). Thank you to all the students involved for being such wonderful ambassadors for the program. The video was produced by the supremely talented Ashwood High School Media crew, consisting of Lucas Johnston, Jamieson Adler and Tile Bodin of Year 11. Jamieson is also an alumnus of ACE, having completed the program in 2021.

A reminder to families that applications are now open for entry to the Year 7 2023 ACE program. Students currently enrolled in Grade 6 are invited to apply. Entries close Friday 29 July 2022. Applicants will need to be available to sit the entry test at Ashwood High School on Saturday 6 August 2022. For more information, please visit the school’s website or contact Mrs Caroline Servadei on 9807 1333.

Caroline Servadei
Enrichment, Pedagogy Partnerships & Professional Learning Leader

Senior School Assistant Principal's Report

Dear Ashwood High School Community,

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 students’ academic drive, developing sessions on learning tools to access data within all classrooms and improving understanding of the potential of every student. One of our school’s strategic goals is to grow pride and achievement, and this has been evident with the Senior School Study Hall, which allows students to gain extra tuition in all subjects throughout the Senior School. 

Ashwood High School was on full display on the evening of Wednesday 4 May 2022, 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.

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  Year 10 Students and Teacher Tigers team with over 300 students in attendance to watch and 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 and sporting excellence.

Our school continues to be at the cutting edge of innovation with regards to career pathways and programs that allow our students to prepare for their future. A huge thank you must go to our school Executive Principal Dr Brett Moore, who has developed the Deakin University and Ashwood High School Alliance over a number of 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. On Thursday, 28 April 2022, the Year 10s attended a careers excursion, allowing them to better understand what life is like at university and the requirements at university level. This day also involved students attending short workshops with different focuses, one being stress management which was presented by our school psycologist Dr Elisa Jones Arango. The second presentation was on the expectation and understanding of students in Years 11 and 12 where students learnt in detail about Senior School pathways and the VTAC processes, which was presented by one of our Leading Teachers,  Ms Lucy Rimmer.

Ashwood High School continues to develop the high expectations of every student. In Week 7 of this term, students from Years 7 to 11 will be undertaking Exam Week. This will allow students  to display their knowledge and skills learned throughout Semester 1. Our academic rigour at Ashwood High School continues to foster learning growth in every student. The exam process continues to develop improved study skills and habits to help best prepare our students for the future.

Best Regards

Tom O’Toole
Senior School Assistant Principal­

Senior School Engagement, Wellbeing & Pathways Report

Senior School students have hit the ground running for Term 2 with Formal Committee meetings, the Year 10 Wellbeing and Careers Day, Year 10 Camp, the Business Management Market Day, and a number of interschool sporting events.

On Thursday 28 April, we ran the Year 10 Wellbeing and Careers Day. This day was designed to support Year 10 students in their transition towards VCE, VCAL and tertiary studies. Students received in house sessions on maintaining wellbeing and an introduction to ATAR. In the afternoon, the students travelled to the VCE Careers Expo at Caulfield Racecourse - Australia's biggest education and careers expo.

Exhibitions on the day included:

  • Information and resources for the VCE
  • Information about tertiary study, university, TAFE and training courses
  • Career advice
  • Study advice
  • Employment advice and opportunities
  • Apprenticeship and traineeship advice
  • International exchange and gap year programs

In Week 3, Year 10 students also had the opportunity to go on camp at Mt Evelyn. This was a wildlife and environmental adventure camp located in the Dandenong Ranges, an hour away from Melbourne. Students were able to engage in a range of outdoor activities including archery, high ropes, giant swing, eco warriors, night time bonfire and many more. The students really embraced the challenges and worked together to solve puzzles throughout the camp. Matilda Wraight, Year 10 Coordinator, and I were incredibly impressed by the maturity and supportiveness of students on this camp which made it a real pleasure for all involved.

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.

Phoebe Lindsay
Senior School Engagement, Wellbeing and Pathways Leader (SSEWPL)

Year 10 Coordinator's Report

In Week 3 of Term 2, Year 10 students participated in camp, spending three days and two nights at Mt Evelyn YMCA Recreation Camp. The students completed in a variety of adventure and team-building activities including a high ropes course, archery, a crate stack, tree planting, parkour and a giant swing.

The camp was very well enjoyed by participating students and staff, with all attendees grateful for the opportunity to bond as a year level team after the many disruptions to school activities in previous years.

Thank you very much to all who helped the camp be a resounding success including school administration staff, Mt Evelyn Camp staff, parents and guardians, participating teachers and education support staff, and to the students for their enthusiastic, respectful and appreciative participation in this opportunity.

Matilda Wraight
Year 10 Coordinator

I had an amazing time at Mount Evelyn Recreation Camp. The staff were all very friendly and pushed me to try things I was scared of. The camp and staff had built up my resilience and teamwork skills in only 3 days. It was so fun and was the most enjoyable camp I have been on.
Olivia Day, Year 10 student

Last week the Year 10s went off to Mt Evelyn for school camp. Mt Evelyn had lots of activities such as archery, the giant swing, and a high ropes course just to name a few. The days consisted of activities, free time, food breaks, night walks and always a fun quiz or movie before bed. On the last day we went on a 5km bush walk up hills and into the forest where we finished our walk and were taken home by bus at the big dam. We had 3 awesome days in Mt Evelyn and made some fun memories to remember for the rest of our lives. 
Charlie Pearson, Year 10 Student

As a new teacher to Ashwood, the Year 10s YMCA Mt Evelyn Recreation Camp was a great opportunity for me to see the students interact and enjoy themselves in a school group but outside of the context of a classroom. Over the three days we got to see a variety of hands-on activities and experiences, allowing students to build on their skills, confidence, and teamwork.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to get involved in each activity and to both see and be seen by students in a more open and natural environment. Personal highlights would be the campfire (with marshmallows), nature hike, and the giant swing.

Rory Fahey
Physics, Maths and Science Teacher



Year 11 Coordinator's Report

Returning to school following the Easter holidays, Year 11 students have made a bright start to Term 2, continuing to work hard in class and to display the learning habits necessary for success in VCE and VCAL. It has also been particularly pleasing to see students taking the opportunities to seek assistance and extension through attendance at the Senior School Study Hall. This program runs every day after school and is an excellent opportunity for students to work with one another and teachers to make the most effective use of their valuable study and revision time.  

In addition to their academic successes, Year 11 students have also 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 Ashwood Revealed, debating and the recent Business Management Fiesta, among others.

Students are also naturally very excited about attending the up-coming Years 11 and 12 Formal, on Thursday 19 May, and we are all looking forward to a fun and memorable night.

The next challenge on the horizon for Year 11 VCE students are the up-coming exams and students are encouraged to begin their revision early and to ensure that they are well prepared. Exams for Units 1 & 2 subjects are a great opportunity for senior students to further develop 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 seek assistance and feedback from their teachers as needed.

I wish all Year 11 students the best with their studies and the end of semester exams. Have a great rest of term.

John Sheehan
Year 11 Coordinator

Year 12 Coordinator's Report

After a long and demanding Term 1, our Year 12s finally managed to have a bit rest in the Term 1 break. In the first half of Term 2, after the rejuvenating yet busy term break, Year 12s were invigorated to resume their study. Both our VCE and VCAL students expeditiously rebuilt their momentum and continued to impress with their patience, commitment and resilience.

Whilst our Year 12 students are faced with many VCE Outcomes and other forms of assessments due to the nature of Unit 3 studies, it was pleasing to see them taking the initiative to contribute to the Ashwood High School community. In the recent Ashwood Revealed Open Day and Night on Wednesday 5 May 2022, many of the Year 12 students signed up for different positions and involved themselves in the event. Our School Captains Elizabeth Tziafas, Sam Harvison, International Student Captain Anthony Zhu, Vice Captains Abby Helm and Jake Larking, led school tours and express tours without staff assistance. A number of VCE students assisted their subject teachers with setting up subject displays and answering questions from parents. Our VCAL and VCE students collaboratively prepared delicious, sweet bites for the visitors and staff. All 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 the Senior School Centre 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. Recently, these discussions also extended to a very exhilarating topic that is not quite academic focused…Year 11 and Year 12 Formal 2022! Yes, it is finally here. After all the change of dates and deferrals due to COVID, it is finally here. Big thank you to Mikayla Jevric and Kiara Hurlston and many other Year 11 and Year 12 students on the organising committee who are working seamlessly to make this a fun night for all.

Venue:              The Grand Reception on Princes, Mulgrave

When:               Thursday 19 May, 6.00pm to 10.30pm

Dress Code:      Formal

Wishing everyone a productive and fruitful term! Look forward to seeing our diligent of Year 11 and Year 12 students and the amazing staff at the Formal where we all take a night to wind down a bit and decompress! “Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun” (Randy Pausch), be it study, work or The Formal.

Jessie Tian
Year 12 Coordinator

Senior School Student Leadership & Agency

Term 2 has commenced with a refocus of the student leadership team to promote the broad and inclusive range of student clubs on offer. Under the leadership of the Student Clubs Prefect, Jamieson Adler, there has been a push to garner as much student body support for the clubs on offer.

This follows the Student Representative Council’s successful Casual Clothes Day on Wednesday 6 April, where students dressed within the theme of ‘Journey’ to best support SisterWorks, which aims to raise funds to assist, empower and upskill migrant women. The SRC can proudly confirm the funds raised exceeded expectations and would like to extend a thank you to all students who donated to such a worthy cause.

Student Leadership positions were also in full force in their support of the annual Ashwood Revealed in a range of duties including hosting subject stations, leading school tours, presenting speeches to prospective parents and assisting in the set-up of the event.

With the development of the new School Strategic Plan, student leaders were invited to join the School Improvement Team to present their views on areas of strength and improvement from a student perspective. Thank you to Caitlyn Lim (Communications Prefect), William Roache (Paterson House Captain), Jessica Sterle (Performing Arts Prefect) and James Talbot (Music Captain) for their well-thought-out presentation delivered to the School Review Panel.

School Captains Sam Harvison and Elizabeth Tziafas have been busily working away at presentations for the School Council (focusing on student growth, development and leadership), and the Senior School Formal. Thank you to both Sam and Elizabeth, along with our Vice School Captains Abby Helm and Jake Larking, for their continued effort in representing the school with pride, honesty and comradery.

The remainder of Term 2 of the 2022 academic year will continue to bring forth opportunities for all student leaders to continue to demonstrate high levels of leadership, initiative and a sense of community.

The Student Leadership Executive is looking forward to representing the student body as we navigate through what is the shortest but one of the busiest terms of the year.

Daniel Meagher
Senior School Student Voice, Leadership and Agency Coordinator

With the conclusion of Term 1 we are very excited to announce that the first casual clothes day of the year was a tremendous success, with funds raised exceeding expectations. Those funds have now been donated to the SisterWorks charity as to assist with the continuation of their goal ‘to support women who are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants to improve their confidence, mental well-being, sense of belonging and economic outlook’.

We, the Student Leadership Team, are busily organising the Term 2 casual clothes day fundraiser, so get excited for what’s to come, I know we are!

On Wednesday 4 May, Ashwood High School opened its doors to prospective families and the wider community during our annual Ashwood Revealed Open Day and Evening. This event was an excellent opportunity as a school to come together and show off to the community our hard work and passion towards subjects, academia and co-curricular activities. On the night many students and staff set up incredible stations, with science experiments in Building F where people could make slime, sport activities in Building D and delicious scones in Building C baked by the Food Studies and VCAL students. The English Learning Area had a knowledge and skill-based Escape Corridor, while the Drama Department put on some skits in the Performing Arts Centre - and that’s just a few of the highlights from the evening. We would like to congratulate all student leaders who attended this event for their excellent assistance to staff and attendees and we look forward to next year’s Ashwood Revealed.

Years 11 and 12 students are ecstatic to attend the upcoming formal as this event has not been able to go ahead for the past few years. We are excited to celebrate the amazing achievements of these cohorts and have a night out with friends, peers, and teachers.

We cannot wait to continue leading the school with pride in Term 2 and we wish everyone the best of luck through this busy term.

Abby Helm and Jake Larking
School Vice-Captain


VCE VCAL VET Curriculum Services

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 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 workplace 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 Term 2, 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.

A recent meeting with the Year 11 students included revisiting the VCAA requirements to achieve a VCE Certificate and, from 2023, the new VCE (VM) and VPC certificates, which will replace the VCAL certificate.  Emphasis was put on the fact that students must have a minimum of 16 units to achieve their certificate (12 for VPC), a timely reminder to students that the VCE is a two-year certificate.  Within the 16 units students must include a minimum of 3 units of English (including EAL and VCAL Literacy), including a Unit 3-4 sequence. Based on this requirement all Year 11 students were reminded that they must pass English this year if they are to progress to Year 12.

Teachers in the Senior School offer ongoing additional assistance to their students, both through the after school Study Hall and specific lunchtime sessions. All students are encouraged to seek assistance when required to ensure a satisfactory outcome for each of their subjects.

Julie Huggins
VCAA Curriculum Services Coordinator

Careers & Pathways

Yes, it is close to that time of year again, Ashwood High School Careers Expo. Save the date Tuesday 31 May 2022 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. The purpose of the night is to showcase career options such as; undergraduate programs for both local and international students, pathway programs, traineeships and apprenticeship opportunities and services offered by institutions for students who require extra assistance due to a disability.

We have a number of fantastic exhibitors who have already RSVP’d including Deakin University, Holmesglen Institute, RMIT, University of Tasmania, Box Hill Institute, JMC Academy, Australian Catholic University (ACU), Kangan Institute, Torrens University Australia, Richmond Football Club Leadership Program, Gateway LLEN and many more.

With September fast approaching there is no time like the present for Year 10 students to source their Work Experience placements.

Access further information regarding Work Experience and possible placements via the Ashwood High School Careers Website, 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 Work Experience Arrangement Form & Additional Work Experience Form (COVID) submitted to me by Friday 24 June 2022.

On Thursday 28 April 2022, Year 10 students attended the VEC and Careers Expo at Caulfield Racecourse.  The VCE and Careers Expo provides resources and information for the VCE, tertiary courses, career and gap year options, study strategies and much more. The Expo featured over 130 exhibitors, seminars on VCE subjects, career, employment and study advice. It was a great day with overall feedback from students indicating they had a great time while learning about the options available to them for their future careers.

On Tuesday 10 May 2022, Year 9 students participated in the Morrisby Assessment Introduction. Any Year 9 student who missed the Assessment Introduction class please email me direct at for instructions.

The Morrisby Assessment is scheduled to run over two double classes mid to late Term 2. Upon completion student data will be compiled, and in term three 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

Jodie Hechenberger
Careers and Pathways Coordinator

Student Outcomes Leader's Report

During the first two weeks of Term 2, students and staff took steps to ensure that they were prepared for Ashwood High School’s first year of NAPLAN Online testing. Students attended a NAPLAN Online Student Information Session where they received information about the purpose and procedures of NAPLAN Online, and suggestions for how to perform at their best on test days. Students were given the opportunity to have their questions answered and, given that they had already completed Practice Tests in Term One, students asked some very thoughtful questions. It was then fantastic to see students come well-prepared on the test days and put their best effort into the tests.

Both students and staff must be congratulated for their adaptability during our school’s transition to NAPLAN Online. Staff were highly engaged during the Test Administrator Training and they worked hard to ensure that all students could access the tests in a fair and standardised manner. Thank you also to Mr Harsha Dias, IT Manager, who worked tirelessly to ensure that our school had the IT capacity to successfully run NAPLAN Online. It was a team effort that resulted in the smooth running of NAPLAN Online at our school.

Later in the year, families will receive their child’s personal NAPLAN report. The data from these NAPLAN tests, in addition to other data, will be used by teachers to better understand students’ strengths, identify areas for growth and plan for effective teaching and learning. PAT testing data from Term 1, along with 2021 NAPLAN data, has been collated and shared with teaching staff. Within learning areas, teachers have begun analysing the available data and considering how they can use it to inform their practice. The use of this data enables staff to make evidence-based decisions about how to best support all students in the classroom. I look forward to continuing working with staff around using data to improve their practice this term.

Niesha Moorad
Student Outcomes Leader

Enrichment, Pedagogy, Partnerships & Professional Learning

This term, a pilot group of eleven indomitable staff members from Ashwood High School will be test-driving our newly created reflective practice continua as part of the first step in a broader whole-school improvement initiative aimed at enhancing our classroom pedagogy.

Representing the culmination of almost 12 months of intensive collaboration between the Principal Class, Leading Teachers and Learning Area Coordinators, the new reflective practice continua will support teachers to be able to interrogate key elements of their teaching practice to determine the next steps in their development as classroom practitioners.

Code named ‘Project Intrepid’, the Peer Observation and Learning Walks pilot group will be collecting data about teachers’ classroom practice and progressively assembling a data bank of illustrations of practice that will support Ashwood High School teachers to “hold up a mirror to their practice” with the goal of improving teacher and (ultimately) student performance.

Thanks to Catherine Nelsson, Peta Gannoulis, Caroline Servadei (Humanities), Harriet Cooper, Jeffrey Newman, Nic McMahon (Health and Physical Education), Ann Price, Ruby Cameron, Calvin Yin (Maths), Niesha Moorad and Stephanie Richards (Science) for their dedication and enthusiasm. We wish them well as they embark upon their learning journey.

In other news, a seminar on “Evaluating your practice” was held for second year VIT candidates on Wednesday 6 April 2022. The goal of the seminar was to support teachers with the documentation of their inquiry projects in preparation for their panel presentations later in the year. The journey to full registration with the VIT is a rigorous rite of passage for our graduate teachers, and we look forward to witnessing their professional growth this year.

Caroline Servadei
Enrichment, Pedagogy Partnerships & Professional Learning Leader

Mathematics Learning Area Report

Maths touches so many aspects of our lives, that its importance cannot be overlooked. We interviewed some of our Year 12 students about why they chose to study maths, what they enjoy about the subject, and some advice for younger Middle and Senior School students.

Here is what they have to say:

“I chose to study Methods because I love solving maths problems. Previously, I had a good knowledge of maths and I find Methods very interesting and challenging. Learning Methods actually helps me improve my Maths skills a lot. 

I enjoy my class because I always gain support from my teacher and my peers whenever I face challenges. My teacher is very kind as she’d love to understand her students’ situation and provide them with extension for the due date if necessary

My advice for younger students is getting ready to put in a bit of effort in Year 11 because the content from Year 11 is pretty similar to Year 12. In Year 12, you may have to deal with more challenging Maths problems, so you need to get yourself well-prepared.”  
Thomas Trinh

I chose Specialist Maths because it is a challenging subject, which means that I need to contribute more in the maths area to achieve a better understanding. Meanwhile, I like to solve maths questions, they are interesting and similar to puzzles.

I enjoyed the process of working out a question, and I can feel joyed and proud at the moment that I solve the question.

My advice is that if you are not sensitive with numbers but you are still interested in maths, come and join us. If you are not good at conceiving models but you are still enthusiastic about math, come and join us. The most important thing to learn maths, is that you have to be interested in it.”
Ziming Zhuang

“I chose to pursue Methods for Year 12 VCE as not only will it broaden my choices when it comes to building a successful future, but also because it's a welcome challenge for myself.

 My favourite part about Methods — and maths to that extent — is seeing and understanding how something that looks so complex and daunting can be broken down into many smaller parts in order to find a solution. Once I understood this, completing questions and finding those solutions is extraordinarily satisfying. 

What is my advice to other students when studying VCE maths? As long as you pay attention in class and ensure homework is kept on top of, maths will generally be very easy— even in Methods. Leaving things to the last minute is something I would strongly suggest against— speaking from experience.”  Jai Postma

“I chose to study Mathematical Methods as it presents me with the opportunity to further progress in my studies at university, since it acts as a vital prerequisite for multiple studies and university courses. This will therefore allow myself a diverse range of career options in the future. 

I enjoy learning about different types of functions, in particular polynomial and cubic function along with our current topic of the unit circle and differentiation. 

I would advise students to study VCE Maths, in particular Mathematical Methods since it acts as a challenging subject to most and allows for students to expand their mathematical skills and learning. In addition, this subject acts as a prerequisite for multiple studies and university courses which will then present students with the opportunity to pursue a wider range of career options involving math.”
Elizabeth Tziafas

“Mathematics is the foundation of all science subjects, and it is widely used in various areas.

 I enjoyed the process of solving the problem and considering about challenging questions. Successfully solving a problem or coming up a new way to solve a math problem gives me a strong sense of satisfaction and achievement.

Listening to the teacher carefully in class is very important. You are better to finish what you have learned and review it regularly, to give you more time to do the revision before your SACs. Asking your friends or teachers is an effective way to help you solve the problem that you can’t solve yourself.”
Vivian Yan

“I chose Further Maths because I was interested in a subject that would adequately prepare me for the problems that could arise in later life. With Further Maths’ financial and statistical focus I feel like I am learning mathematics which are applicable to my own life outside of school. 

I have enjoyed the class time allocated to completing exercises in class. I feel like Ms Doorley trusts the class to make the most of the time that we are given so as to best prepare ourselves for success in assessment tasks. 

I would advise that all students try to complete a Maths subject, as they teach useful problem-solving skills which are applicable in a multitude of situations. I’d also like to add that when things seem tough it’s worth asking for help because oftentimes a new perspective is all that is necessary to overcome adversity.”
Sam Harvison

“I chose to do Further Maths because I am aware that most careers will need some sort of VCE Mathematics to be applicable, and so I will have a wider range of job careers to be able to attain.

I enjoy being able to tackle difficult mathematics equations with my friends- the questions always seem less daunting when friends and peers are around to help as well.

Be sure to keep up with your work- you don’t want it overloading you! Friends and teachers are there to help you each and every step of the way, and it is not as stressful as you might think. It’s actually fun.”  
Stacy Chishaka

My sincere thanks to our student contributors for their thoughtful insight and continuing inspiration. Our best wishes for your continued studies!

Jay Chan
Maths Learning Area Coordinator

Science Learning Area Report

Students in Year 11 Biology are coming upon the end of Unit 1 and will shortly be completing their examinations. In this area of study students explore how systems function through cell specialisation in vascular plants and in digestive, endocrine and excretory systems in animals, focusing on regulation of water balance in plants, and temperature, blood glucose and water balance in animals. Biology students represented the function of the digestive system by digesting a McDonalds cheeseburger. To represent the mouth, students mashed up the burger with a potato masher and added mixtures that modelled gastric juices. Students absorbed the nutrients in the small intestines with a sponge and squeezed it out into the blood. In the final stage, students modelled excretion of waste products. From here Biology students will examine how homeostatic mechanisms in animals help maintain their internal environment within a narrow range of tolerance levels, and consider malfunctions in homeostatic mechanisms.

"This practical activity was an interesting way to demonstrate how the digestive system works and further improve our understanding of its functions". Angus Cutfield   

"This practical activity was very engaging and memorable, it helped improve my understanding of the digestive system further with visual representation on how each organ functions". Quyen Tran


Stephanie Richards
Science Learning Area Coordinator

Humanities Learning Area Report

It’s been a busy month in the Humanities at Ashwood High School, with community at the heart of what we’ve been up to.

Thank you to Mr Lee for organising a fantastic Medieval Fencing incursion for our Year 8 students, and for extending the experience to all students and staff with a lunchtime demonstration.

“In Year 8 Humanities, we have been learning about the Medieval Period (400CE – 1500CE). Following our learning about the Medieval Period, we had the Melbourne Messer Club visit our school to run an incursion on Thursday of Week 9. This included Nelson McGuigan and Stanley Foster.

We were shown several types of swords and we were taught about the art of medieval fencing. We also learned about different fencing moves and certain parts of the sword. For example, the lower half of the sword is stronger than the upper half.  We also learned some of the rules of medieval fencing, like how you have to hit your opponent with the edge of the blade, not the flat side. What I found interesting about the incursion is when we were learning about the origin of medieval fencing and how it’s evolved to become the fascinating sport that it is today.

One of my favourite moments during the incursion is when Nelson McGuigan showed a certain moved which involved pinning Stanley Foster to the ground. What was special about the incursion is the fact that I got to hold one of the swords and I hit Mr Lee with it. Surprisingly, I didn’t find it as heavy as I expected it to be.

During lunch some of the members of the Melbourne Messer Club had several fencing matches against Mr Lee. Overall it was a great experience, was very entertaining and quite interesting.”
Matilda Rostan, 8E

Congratulations to Mr Yin and the Year 11 Business Management students for a very successful Ashwood Fiesta. It was a resounding success, and the opportunity for the broader student community to authentically engage in the event enhanced the experience for all.

Catherine Nelsson
Humanities Learning Area Coordinator


On Monday 2 May, Year 11 VCE Business Management students held Ashwood Fiesta, a school-wide entrepreneurship event, to demonstrate their understand of planning a business. 

Students had been working for 4 weeks to brainstorm their business idea, create a business plan and use all the given resources to present their final business idea. They came up with a range of service business ideas, providing carnival games, such as photo booth, ring toss, darts, etc. 

On the day, our class set up 7 stalls at the Amphitheatre since lunchtime. All students received tokens to participate in the games and invest in their favourite business. They shared their laughter and joy with us. 

The winning team, Saad Alam, Matthew Bereket and Thomas Seabrook, earned over $350, with less than $40 starting funds. 

Congratulations to all the Business Management students for a successful day and thank you to the Ashwood Community for your ongoing support. 

Calvin Yin
Business Management Teacher 


Creative Arts/Technologies Learning Area Report

This month has seen students across all year levels continue to expand their creative confidence and skills in a range of settings. Students across the subject area have taken off (or soon will!) on various excursions, with senior students seeing where the creative arts can lead them into further study at TAFE, university, and the potential careers beyond.

The Arts and Technologies Learning Area had an incredible turnout for Ashwood Revealed. In 2021, only three students were part of the interactive Art and Design display. This year, we had more than 20 students in attendance, working on personal art projects, class work, and building connections with creative peers across all year levels. The students in attendance did a marvellous job of modelling our school CHOIR values and answering the questions of prospective students, parents and carers hoping to join Ashwood in 2023 and beyond.

On display were linocut artworks and folios from Year 7 Visual Art, skateboards in progress from the current woodworking and product design unit being undertaken in Year 8 Design Technologies, an array of curious ceramic vessels from Year 9 Art students, screen prints from Year 10 Art students, and an array of top-notch work samples and folios from our VCE folio subjects.

Additionally, collaborative works were proudly on display, such as our giant collaborative canvas from 2020, and the current canvas-in-progress for 2022.




If you are keen on a career in music production, or curious to learn more, check out the DIY Supergroup competition!

For those more interested in the Visual Arts, check out the 2022 Arts Competition being run by Zart Art!

Speak to Ms Lindholm for more information, or search for these competitions online.

Jessica Lindholm
Creative Arts Learning Area Coordinator

It is great to be back at Ashwood High School in 2022, after a period away on maternity leave. There are many exciting changes, but it is great to see the familiar student faces – albeit older and taller!

I always love to introduce new year levels to the fun of the technology rooms and the Year 8 Design Technologies students have been working hard on mastering the design process, in first term designing logos for various companies and experimenting with interior architecture and design, and in Term 2 on designing and making plywood skateboards. 

Students have had fun exploring both hand made and digital designs and experimenting with many different methods, media and materials.

Catherine Preston
Visual Communication, Art and Design Technologies Teacher

To broaden student’s understanding of design and highlight the opportunities that are afforded to them in tertiary education settings, Year 12 VCD students were provided with the opportunity to visit Monash University Caulfield and Monash College on Thursday 5 May 2022.

At Monash University, students were treated to tour of the campus to see the spaces that tertiary students work in and the designs that they were working on. Additionally, the Year 12s were provided with an opportunity to see laser cutters and 3D printers in operation as well as experience these modern technologies in Monash’s digital fabrication labs.

Upon traveling to Monash College, our students were greeted by Dr Kanvar Nayar and provided a personalised tour of the College’s new building and its Google-like interior spaces. They were also able to obtain valuable images and experiences of the spaces and the material application within this incredible building.

To round it all off, students visited Top Designs. Here, the Year 12s were able to observe many of the top achieving VCD folios from 2021 and gather visual resources to push their SAT folios further.

It was a great experience for all students and our Pre-Service Teacher, Ms Ash, who joined us for the day. Please take a look at the photos from the excursion.

Vito Bila (Monash University) introducing the students to the Laser Cutters

Demonstration by Vito Bila of the applications for Laser Cutting and 3D Printing to the VCD students

Our Year 12 students huddled around the Laser Cutters

Students with Mr. Ripper outside the “Sound Shell” which was designed and manufactured at Monash University by students

The Year 12s with Dr Kanvar Nayar, Mr Ripper and Ms Ash

Lucy Jordan (12A) and Vivian Yang (12D) gaining valuable insights through the interactive folios

Daniel Butler (12B) and Lucy Jordan (12A) interacting with the digital folios

Our VCD students with Mr Ripper outside the Top Designs 2022 exhibition

Rosario Ripper
VCE Visual Communication Design, Design and Technology, Mathematics Teacher

Our performing arts program has had an exciting start to the year with lots of opportunities for students to unleash their creativity.

In Year 9 Drama, students have begun preparing for their solo monologue assessments, experimenting with their expressive skills to interpret and sustain a character. This assessment is designed to arm students with the knowledge and skills needed to move into VCE Drama and/or Theatre Studies.  

Moving beyond the curriculum, every Wednesday lunchtime our Performing Arts Club has been meeting, with numbers growing every week. The club is open to all year levels and is designed for students to build their confidence, make meaningful connections with their peers, and, of course, have fun! Jessica Sterle (Performing Arts Prefect for 2022) has done amazing work bringing the students together with a structured program that ensures quality learning in all aspects of theatre and performance.

"Drama Club is a very fun, exciting and social club! We learn lots and also have fun!"
Eunseo Cho

 ‘Drama Club is the highlight of my week, we get to be social, and develop our drama skills at the same time. It's really fun and exciting!’  
Matisse Simpson

It is also my pleasure to inform the Ashwood High School community that this year’s production will be announced in the coming weeks, with audition processes beginning shortly after. There will be an open information session run for any students who are interested. The details for these events will soon be confirmed via Compass. Until then, drum roll please...!

Michelle Leane
Performing Arts Manager

Instrumental Music Report

Congratulations and thank you, members of the Concert Band, String Orchestra, Stage Band and Jazz Ensemble for your contributions and performances at Ashwood Revealed. It was heartening to be able to play in front of an audience once again, 12 months since our last opportunity making a grand total of two performance events in 2 and a half years!

Please see below for Music Performance events planned for the remainder of this term. Ticketing and audience details to be advised.

Strings Recital Wednesday 25 May 2022 6:00pm PAC
-featuring the String Orchestra, Chamber Strings and Soloists

Mid-Term Ensembles Concert Wednesday 1 June 2022 7:00pm D01
-featuring the Concert Band, Stage Band, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and Soloists

VCE Unit 1 Music Recital Tuesday 14 June 2022 6:00pm PAC
-featuring VCE Music student solo performances

Lunchtime Concerts, Fridays 1:00pm PAC

Wendy Anderson
Director of Music

Health & PE Learning Area Report

Term 2 has started with a bang!

Our students have experienced some amazing opportunities this term. Take a look below:

Year 10 Sport Science Elective
Our two Sport Science elective students took part in a practical session run by METS Performance. The session gave students the opportunity to use top of the range sport science equipment such as timing gates, jump mats, light pods and force plates.

“The Sports Science incursion was really interesting. We got to see our reaction skills, vertical jump and our sprinting speed over 20m. Everyone really loved it and we had a great time.”
James Cox

In Sports Science my class had the opportunity to learn about our physical abilities and skills within sport. We enjoyed this incursion as there were many variations like reaction wall tests, agility and vertical jump tests. It was amazing we could do this in our class.”
Ella Selby and Amelia Simpson 

Year 9 Outdoor Studies
"On Tuesday 26 April, the Outdoor Studies class went to the Edithvale Wetlands. When we arrived there, we met our guide Jane, who explained the global significance of the wetlands, as they provided a resting site for many species of migratory birds. She also explained some of the initiatives that Melbourne Water was taking to reduce their own carbon footprint, through the capture of methane and reuse of methane at sewage treatment plants. She showed us some interactive maps that highlighted the transformation of the wetlands over a century, and then took us to a small bird watching shelter. All in all, it was a successful excursion, despite the fact that our bus driver got lost on the way to the wetlands."
Connor Russo - Year 9

Year 10 Health and Physical Education
As part of our lifelong physical activity focus in our 10HPE classes, we have had Pulse8 Fitness in for a three-week program. Students have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of sessions such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), strength and conditioning and a shoulder health/desk health session.

Students have had a great time, learning about what opportunities are in our communities to participate in once they leave school. Georgia and her team from Pulse8 also spoke to the students about careers within the fitness industry.


Student Focus:
James Cox – Year 10

James participated in the Australian National Mountain Bike Championships held in Tasmania, where he placed 35th.

How long have you been participating in mountain bike riding?
“I started in 2018 but have been into bikes since I was born.”

What made you go into the sport of mountain bike riding?
“I was into motorbike riding and saw a doco on mountain bike riding and I thought it would be fun and went from there.”

What do you enjoy about mountain bike riding?
“It’s fun, there are great people in the sport, I get a good feeling when I ride my bike, even if it’s just around the streets.”

We wish James all the best and future success in the sport of Mountain Bike Riding.

Our Years 7 and 8 students are also currently showcasing their movement and dance skills respectively. We will have more details and photos in the next newsletter.

We wish all students who are taking part in exams in Week 7 all the best and remember to seek out assistance before the exam to help consolidate your understandings.

Allison Phillips
Health and Physical Education Learning Area Leader


English as an Additional Language

Ashwood Revealed
It was an honour to be a part of the Ashwood Revealed night as the EAL Coordinator. Students cherished the ability to share some of their work samples on the night, engage with the interactive activities set in our designated space as well as express their thoughts and feelings about the subject.

Some of their thoughts included the following reflections:

“EAL helps me express myself.”

“Being part of the EAL classroom makes me feel like an individual.”

“English as an Additional Language is a space where we all connect and broaden our knowledge of the English language.”

I would like to commend the students for their attendance to the event and for upholding the Ashwood High School values to a high standard.

Analysing Argument
This term, students began their study of Argument Analysis. In this unit, students are required to read and engage with a plethora of persuasive texts that attempt to position readers in a variety of ways. Students are required to explore the use of both visual and written language language for persuasive effect as well as how a contention and arguments are structured and presented to a target audience to achieve a specific purpose.

Upon familiarising themselves with many authors and text types such as articles, speeches, letters to the editor and more, students were able to produce their own language analysis essays.

Here are some reflections of what the students think about studying persuasive texts:

“The analysis of persuasive texts teaches us how to interpret the language and intended effect in the text.”

“When analysing a persuasive text, it is important to think of the purpose and audience.”

“Developing the skills related to argument analysis requires critical thinking.”

Georgia Kazis
EAL Learning Area Coordinator

Director of Sport Report

Years 11/12 Interschool Sport – Tuesday 3 May 2022
On Tuesday 3 May, the Years 11and 12 students got a chance to play Basketball and Table Tennis. There were 35 students that attended Basketball and 6 students that attended Table Tennis. From all reports the Table Tennis students completed hard and were very well behaved.

None of the teams managed to bring home the chocolates against some strong opposition, but great to have Senior Students once again back out on Interschool Sport. 

EMR Intermediate Boys Tennis – Friday 6 May 2022
On Friday 6 May, Zac Miravet, Oscar Morton, Matthew Pirozek, Dan Rainsford, Tanna Sawford and Cooper Senova-Tapp travelled to the Ringwood Central Tennis Club to compete in the Eastern Metropolitan Region Intermediate Tennis day. Against some very experienced & tough opposition such as Ringwood, Brentwood and Rowville and minus their best player Matt Ry’dell, the Ashwood boys did their best but ultimately could not get the job done.

Boys Netball & Girls AFL – Monday 9 May
On Monday 9 May, Ashwood sent out 2 Girls AFL teams (our most ever) and 3 Boys Netball teams. The 3 Boys Netball teams competed hard all day, with the Junior team finishing 3rd overall, the Intermediate team finishing 4th overall & the Senior team finishing 4th overall. Some of the better players on the day included Charlie McKay, Mitchell Morton & William Roache.

The Girls AFL was a raging success with 2 teams sent out and 52 students attending. The Intermediate team came 3rd overall, which was a terrific effort considering many of the girls had never played in an organised team before. The highlight of the day, however, was the Senior Girls team which won through to the Grand Final with Coach Nic McMahon at the helm. Unfortunately, the Senior Girls came up short against Mullauna in a fierce contest. Well done to all the girls and we hope to build upon our girls AFL teams in the coming years.

Tom Grbac
Director of Sport

Sports Activities Report

Dear Students, Staff and Families,

Welcome back to Term 2 where we have another action-packed lunchtime activity program planned for students.

As mentioned in my previous newsletter, the ABL concluded on the final day of Term 1 in which the Teacher Tigers took on 5671 (Year 10 Boys). The game was played in great spirits and showcased the amazing basketball talent that Ashwood High School has to offer.

Grand Final: Teacher Tigers (29) vs 5671 (21)

Now that Term 2 has commenced we switch the focus to the Ashwood Premier League (APL) which will begin in Week 3. We have an impressive 12 teams signed up to take part in the league. As always, this is going to be a wonderful way for students to showcase their futsal skills as well as form positive social connections with their teammates and peers.

I encourage those who are not playing each lunchtime to come up to the Gym to watch the APL as the atmosphere and experience has been first class thus far and showcased the incredible school culture that students possess at Ashwood High School.

It is sure to be another busy and enjoyable term of lunchtime activities at Ashwood High School.

James Boarotto
Sports Activities Coordinator

Debating & Public Speaking Report

In Term 1, Ashwood High School sent a delegation of students to participate online in the 2022 West Japan Model United Nations (MUN) conference, organised by Fukuoka International School in Japan. This took place over three days, from Friday 1 April to Sunday 3 April. However, even before the conference had started, our students had put in hours of research in preparing their political positions and legal papers.

In the UN Security Council, the Ashwood Debating Prefect and Head Delegate to this conference, Angela Hewerdine, 11C, represented the People’s Republic of China on the topics of “Peaceful and responsible use of outer space” and “Addressing the rising tension around the South China Sea”. This was a particularly challenging position. However, Angela was incredibly active during the writing of both Draft Resolutions. She was highly competitive when debating against her fellow delegates, but also friendly when collaborating. Ultimately, Angela won the award for Most Active Delegate, making this her second international MUN award as an Ashwood High School student.

In the World Health Organisation, Ved Karve, 9Z, Fatema Sajid, 9Z, and Joshua Aitken 9F represented USA, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand respectively. Their topics were “Combating global health disparities rough improving access to pharmaceutical markets and services” and “Preparing legislations for global coordination for future pandemics”. All three were participating in a MUN for the first time, but were still courageous enough to make the first three speeches of their committee. The quality of our students was at a consistent high throughout the entire conference, and the success of our students was on full display when Ved ended up winning the award for Best Delegate and Fatema ended up with the award for Most Improved Delegate.

Meanwhile in the UN Human Rights Council, Daisy Harvison, 9Z, Leah Ried, 9Z, and Connor Russo, 9Z, represented Japan, Germany, and France respectively on the topics of “Addressing equal rights for women in the workforce” and “Improving education for Indigenous populations”. This was also the first conference that these students had participated in, and they overcame many challenges to negotiate, debate, and contribute to the passing of the committee Draft Resolutions.

Finally in the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Emma Hew, 10Z, Celina Hewerdine, 9F, and Wesley Pryor, 9F, represented Afghanistan, Colombia and Syria respectively. Their topics were “The prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment against refugees” and “Accomplishing social inclusion by minimising discrimination against refugees in order to ensure their safety in the countries where they have found refuge”. Our three delegates worked well together in an at-times hostile and competitive committee. However, Emma still won the award for Most Active Delegate, while Celina and Wesley also did very well for their first conference.

I would like to congratulate our four award winners again. I would also like to acknowledge the dedication all of our students put into their preparation. At the conference, the quality of legal and political nuance from the Ashwood Delegation impressed many, and it was an excellent effort overall.

Top row: Mr Ronald Lee (Debating Coordinator), Angela Hewerdine (Debating Prefect), Celina Hewerdine, Connor Russo

Middle row: Wesley Pryor, Emma Hew, Joshua Aitken, Daisy Harvison

Bottom row: Fatema Sajid, Leah Ried, Ved Karve

Ronald Lee
Debating Coordinator

International Student Program

School holiday event - VCE Webinar
During Term 1 break, on 20 April, Anthony Zhu, our International Student Captain helped organise a VCE Webinar for Senior School international students and their parents. The DET accredited education agency, Auswin and the recruitment officers from Monash University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology provided extensive information on the prerequisites for the courses our students are interested. They also addressed a lot of questions from our students and parents, such as Year 12 VS Foundation Course, etc.  The feedback from participants was super positive. This event was particularly well received by our students’ parents because they could communicate with the university representatives and the agent in Chinese.

Thank you to Anthony Zhu for his help in organising the event.

A Special Thank you to Homestay families
We are unable to run a successful International Student Program without support from our homestay families.  We are very proud of the quality of our homestay program. All our homestay families have excellent experience in supporting our students over the years. This year, in particular, a few of our homestay families kindly provided additional support when our students were infected with COVID-19. They all did a great job in making appropriate arrangements to support our students’ quarantine and successfully stopped the virus from spreading further to their family members.

Words cannot really express our gratitude to our homestay families and here is some feedback from our homestay students.

‘Student visa holders who are fully vaccinated are able to arrive in Australia without an approved travel exemption’. The news released in early December 2021 was an exciting news for all the international student who were overseas then. I was excited too, but also concerned about living with a homestay family because it was my first time away from parents. However, my concerns completely dispelled very soon after I arrived in January 2022.

My homestay is a big family. I live with my homestay father John, homestay mother Carol and their 2 children as well as another international student, Olson. When I first arrived in Australia, they did everything they could to help me adapt quickly to this new environment. They made me feel the warmth of home and family here in Australia.

Australia’s COVID-19 pandemic situation was quite severe and lots of people got infected with the virus. Unfortunately, I was infected with COVID-19 on the first day of Term 1. I was very sick during that period. I had all the COVID symptoms, and it was a horrible experience for me. I felt sorry that my homestay family had to take a 7-day quarantine with me. I am lucky because my homestay mother Carol is a retired nurse with professional medical knowledge. Carol helped and took care of me during that tough period. My homestay father John texted me every day to check on my situation and cooked special meals for me. Olson was chatting with me to help me reduce the feeling of loneliness. I could not have overcome the COVID infection so quickly and smoothly without their support and caring. I appreciate their support deeply and I will remember their help forever.


They also celebrated my birthday on 1 May. They bought a cake and Peking duck for me. I was a bit down on the morning because I thought I would have a quiet birthday, but what Carol and John did for me completely subverted my imagination. I was very happy and deeply touched. I am very lucky that I have supportive homestay and friends with me to go through the toughest period of time in my life.

If someone asks me ‘How to overcome the difficulties in your life?’, I will definitely say that you cannot overcome the difficulties in your life without the support of your family and friends. In this situation, the homestay is my home in Melbourne. I will remember this wonderful experience forever.
Kaisheng Hou, Year 11

When I knew I had COVID-19, I was terrified at first. But Tina, my host of homestay mother, gave me great support and hope. In order to help with my quarantine, she bought disposable lunch boxes and chopsticks for me. Tina gave me sanitiser and a kettle to use in my room.  I was also given a private bathroom to use. Everyday Tina left cooked meals outside my door.  Tina also bought me medicine from the pharmacy, which helped me get recovered faster. When I apologised that I brought the virus home and brought all this trouble for her, Tina smiled and said it didn't matter, the most important thing is that you get better as soon as possible.

Tina treats us like her sons and I am especially touched by all she has done for me. When we are naughty, she will teach us with patience. Tina cares about our study and wellbeing. When my exam grades are not good, she would remind us to improve my attitude towards study. My homestay is indeed my second "mother" in Australia and also my friend. I'm so lucky to have this homestay.
David Ji, Year 11

Yonghong Williams
International Student Manager


Education Resource Centre Report

Ashwood Revealed
It was a real pleasure to proudly welcome so many members of the community to our school at this year’s Ashwood Revealed. Many visitors to the Education Resource Centre expressed their interest in our library and the online resources it provides to our students. Potential new students and their parents were impressed to hear that work has commenced on our new building which will contain a fantastic, purpose-built library space. Several parents voiced their belief in the importance of libraries and commended our school’s commitment to the provision of such a valuable facility.

Thank you to our year 7 volunteers, Eunseo and Minju, who, did an excellent job running the Harry Potter Quizzitch at Ashwood Revealed.

Premiers’ Reading Challenge
This year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge is up and running and all Ashwood Year 7-10 students are automatically registered and invited to participate. It is not a competition; but a personal challenge for Victorian students to read more and to read more broadly. Every Ashwood student who participates will earn five house points and those who successfully complete the challenge will earn thirty house points and receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier.

The Education Resource Centre has hundreds of great titles from the Challenge list of approved books available for loan; so there is no reason why all our eligible students cannot participate. Students can find out more by following the links on the ERC’s Infiniti home page. (Students use Compass username and password.)

Remember to find time to enjoy reading every day.

Matt Feeney
Education Resource Centre Coordinator


Parent and Community Partnerships - Parents & Friends Network