Principal's Report

Ashwood High School and Parents & Friends Network – Year 7 Family Barbecue – ‘Increasing Positive Parental and Community Engagement’

Thank you to the members of the Parents and Friends Network (PFN), who catered for the school’s Year 7 Welcome Barbecue, which was held at the school on Tuesday 27 February 2024. Over 450 people attended this event, and plenty of sausages were consumed. The Ashwood High School PFN is highly valued by the school and its community.  The PFN is made up of volunteer parents who work to support the school, and students / families and in doing so organise special events, both inside and outside of school grounds.

Student Leadership Investiture – ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’

Ashwood High School’s Student Leadership Investiture, held on Monday 26 February 2024 was another wonderful celebration and acknowledgement of student leadership at the school.  Each year, our prefects will play a significant role in setting the tone for the student body.  They accept the responsibility of being examples of how Ashwood High School students are to conduct themselves in all aspects of their daily lives at the school.  At this event, I spoke about the role of our school as a social, learning, and health & wellbeing institution (community). The whole school approach for wellbeing was revealed, and students learned about the causal connection between wellbeing and learning. Congratulations to all students appointed to leadership positions in 2024.

Cross Country Carnival 2024 – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’

Ashwood High School was fortunate to enjoy great weather for our annual Cross Country Carnival 2024. The Cross Country Sporting Carnival is an important event in our annual school calendar and we are fortunate that we can experience this event on our school land. All Houses competed with pride, however the overall winner of the competition was Flynn House. I was very impressed with the level of respect students displayed for one another and thank Mr Tom Grbac and his team for the excellent coordination of this event.

‘Ashwood Autumn Leaves soiree’ – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’

The ‘Ashwood Autumn Leaves Soiree’ held in the Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday 27 March 2024 was a delightful event that showcased the incredible talent of our students. The performances were exceptional, captivating the audience with their skill and passion for music.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Director of Music, Liam Headland, and his dedicated group of instrumental instructors for their hard work and commitment in preparing the students for this event. Their expertise and guidance have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the evening. The Ashwood High School community thoroughly enjoyed the musical performances, and we look forward to more wonderful events in the future.

NAPLAN 2024 – ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’

I am pleased to report that our administration of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for our Year 7 and 9 cohort ran smoothly and efficiently. NAPLAN serves as a vital tool in evaluating our students' literacy and numeracy skills, providing valuable insights into their progress and informing our teaching practices. Our well-organised implementation of NAPLAN ensures that students have the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities, enabling us to assess their strengths and identify areas for improvement effectively. We are committed to providing the necessary support to ensure that every student reaches their full potential. I would like to acknowledge Harsha Dias, IT Manager and Rob Gray, Middle School 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.

Student Led Conferences – ‘Ongoing Growth & Sustained Success’ (plus all four priorities)

2946 Student Led Conference bookings were made by families, representing 3.5 bookings per family. The decision to hold the meetings via teleconferencing over a two-day period was met with positive feedback from our families.  Parents are strategic partners of the school in the education of Ashwood High School students.

Emergency Evacuation Drill – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’

On Tuesday 26 March 2024 Ashwood High School held an Emergency Evacuation Drill. During the evacuation drill, students were safely escorted along a designated evacuation route to our predetermined evacuation site (at the Netball Courts).  At the conclusion of the drill, all students were escorted back to their classrooms. The safety of your child(ren) as well as the safety of our school staff is very important to us. Our students were well behaved and respectful.

Forming Sound and Strong Governance – ‘Good to GREAT, Great to Exceptional,  Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success’

I was delighted to welcome all members of the 2024 Ashwood High School Council at its first meeting on Wednesday 20 March 2024 (after the AGM).  I am looking forward to continuing strong governance and working with all members as a team to fulfil the objectives set out in the ‘The Path Forward at Ashwood High School’; reflected in the new School Strategic Plan (SSP) 2023 – 2026 and 2023 Annual Implementation Plan (AIP).

We received two nominations for the parent representative category.  As there were four places available, an election process was not required. Congratulations to parent members Nicki Dear, parent of William, Year 12, Samuel, Year 9 and Hamish, Year 9 (renominated); Philip Connell, parent of Declan, Year 10 and Griffin, Year 8 (renominated). Thank you to Cory Pearce for his service on School Council throughout his term. It has been my pleasure to work with all School Councillors. Thank you to Caroline Servadei, who will no longer serve on School Council as an elected staff member, for her contributions. DE members include re-nominated members Sarah Reynolds, and Meg McLellan. In Terms 2-4, Caroline Servadei will act as the Middle School Assistant Principal while Meg McLellan is on leave. Consequently, she will be deputised to School Council during this period. Thank you to student members in 2023 Sebastian Millan and Jessica Sterle. As a School Council we continue to embrace student representation and the 2024 Captains Emma Hew and Miles Guy will be a credit to School Council in 2024.

2023 Annual Report at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) – ‘Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success’

The 2023 Annual Report was presented and ratified at the AGM held on Wednesday 20 March 2024. The 2023 Annual Report showed significant improvement in teaching and learning and student wellbeing. The Annual Report will be available on the school’s website, and I thank School Council for the ratification of the Report and their ongoing contribution to the school improvement process. It was with enormous professional satisfaction to present the school improvement data coupled with the Department of Education’s recognition and praise of the school. It is appropriate that this glowing assessment of the school’s achievements is shared with the school community, placing Ashwood High School as a leading school in the government school system.

“End of Year Assessment:  2023 has been a wonderful year of learning at Ashwood High School.  The school has been assessed as “Influence” in NAPLAN and Senior Secondary outcomes.  Against statewide trends, the school also is “Influence” in School Climate where levels of staff endorsement of Academic Emphasis and Instructional leadership are very high.  The recent release of VCE summary data places the school above many schools that previously were known for their excellent VCE results.  Congratulations to all staff at Ashwood High School and a particular mention to the leadership team for their expert guidance and support around the AIP annual activities.”

This complimentary review by the Department of Education places Ashwood High School as a premier school in the Inner East of Melbourne; one in a hand full of the highest performing local entry high schools in Victoria.

Annual Report Executive Summary – ‘Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success’

My executive summary of the Annual Report is as follows:

Ashwood High School's Greatest Achievements in 2023:

  • Completion of the new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) and Research Centre, enhancing the school's educational facilities and reputation as ‘the private school in the public system’.
  • Eighth successive year of a student enrolment increase, reaching 837 students, showcasing sustained growth and demand.
  • Continued growth and excellence of the prestigious Accelerated Curriculum and Enrichment (ACE) Program for academically able students.
  • Continuation and improvement of the International Student Program, with 67 international students enrolled in 2023, reflecting the school's commitment to diversity and cultural understanding.
  • Robust staffing with an additional 36 new staff members being recruited to the school, delivering quality education.
  • Exceptional academic emphasis with a strong focus on core subjects complemented by a diverse elective program, preparing students for senior years.
  • Outstanding NAPLAN results with student achievements surpassing both similar schools and state averages, particularly in Reading and Numeracy.
  • Remarkable VCE results, with a 98.5% completion rate and impressive performance metrics, positioning Ashwood High School among the top schools in the state.
  • Successful transition programs for Year 7 students and other year levels, ensuring positive experiences for students and families.
  • Development and implementation of innovative wellbeing initiatives and leadership programs, fostering student engagement, resilience, and inclusivity.
  • Strong financial performance, with efficient resource utilisation and significant investments in facilities and educational programs, including the completion of the STEAM and Research Centre and refurbishment of Building G.

These achievements underscore Ashwood High School's commitment to excellence, holistic education, and continuous improvement.

School Strategic Plan 2023 - 2026 – ‘Ongoing Growth & Sustained Success’

In 2024 we enter the second year of our four-year Strategic Plan. The theme of my first Strategic Plan (2015 – 2018) was ‘From Good to GREAT’. This period centred on putting in place the pre-conditions (school culture, structures, and processes) to transform Ashwood College from an underperforming school into Ashwood High School - The Jewel of the East. My second Strategic Plan (2019 -2022) was centred on the theme ‘From Great to Exceptional’. The theme of our current Strategic Plan (2023 – 2026) is Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success. The 3 main goals for our current Strategic Plan are:

  • Goal 1: To maximise achievement for all students
  • Goal 2: To enhance student agency in their learning
  • Goal 3: To improve student wellbeing and holistic learning growth for all students.

Staffing – Excellence, Continuity and Coherence – ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’

In 2022, 18 new staff members, in 2023, 36 staff members, and in 2024, 21 new staff members were recruited and inducted into the school. Due to the continued growth and prosperity of the school, a total of 75 new staff members have joined Ashwood High School over the past 3 years. It is easy to learn your way on The Path Forward at Ashwood High School. The culture, structures and systems in place make our school an enjoyable place to work. The following staff members have joined the school this year and have settled in very well.

Students, staff, and families of the Ashwood High School community are extremely fortunate to belong to a school that is strategically resourced.

Ashwood Revealed Campaign – 2024 – ‘School of First Choice’

Weekly tours have been at capacity each week (around 60 families per week). Interest in our exemplary school continues to be very strong. Bookings are pouring in for our Open Day, Ashwood Revealed, and the event has been heavily advertised in all our local primary school newsletters. From Tuesday 12 March 2024 our lovely administration and integration staff delivered postcard invitations to all Grade 4, 5 and 6 students at the following schools:

I would like to thank the Parents and Friends Network, in advance, for their support of this event. Ashwood High School remains committed to building and maintaining our positive and strong profile in the primary schools.

School Camps – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’

The Year 11 Camp, held from Monday 18 March to Wednesday 20 March 2024, was meticulously organised by Jordyn Bracegirdle and her dedicated team. Attending staff members include Tom O'Toole, Bruce Verity, Stephanie Richards, Rory Fahey, Jen Wang, Xiao-Wen Ye, Jessica Gao, Edward Williams, Dahe Liu, Megan Mooney, and Sarah Reynolds. This immersive outdoor adventure at CYC Phillip Island Adventure Resort provided students with valuable team-building experiences and opportunities for personal growth, fostering strong relationships in a unique environment away from the school's regular routines. The camp was highly regarded for its enriching activities and positive impact on student development. Feedback from students indicates that they had a fantastic time, further highlighting the success of the program. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Ms Bracegirdle and her team for their exceptional efforts in support of the students and the quality of the experience.


Co-curricular Programs 2024 – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’

Co-curricular events have included Year 11 and 12 Interschool Sport on Friday 23 February, the Swimming Carnival on Wednesday 28 February, and the Student Leadership Investiture on Thursday 29 February.

Our school offers a vibrant array of co-curricular clubs led by dedicated teachers. These include the AshBook Club (Mr Franich, Ms Van Olst); Creative Writing Club (Ms Leane, English Teachers); French Club (Madam Marie, French Teachers); Homework Club (Yonghong Williams, Kai Yin); Humanities Club (Mr Hayward, Ms Van Olst, Ms Poland); Maths Club (Mr Jay Chan, Maths Team); Study Hall (Mr Cifra, Mr Williams, Ms Robinson); Aerobics Club (Ms Schinina, Ms Cameron, Eirini Vilianioti); Badminton Club (Dr Verity); Running Club (Mr Newman); Volleyball Club (Mr Boarotto, PE staff); Art Club (Ms Hamilton, Ava Lillywhite); Drama Club (Ms Laffan, Leah Reid, Hamish Lee); Open Studio (Ms Edmiston); Ashfeed Club (Ms Miller, Daisy Harvison); Breakfast Club (Mr Long Nguyen, wellbeing team); Chess Club (Mr Fahey, Ryan Lim, JayC Carter); Cross Cultures Club (Mr Kai Yin); Debating Club (Ms Madan, Daisy Harvison, Cormac Morrin, Amy Russo, Hannah Williams); eSports Club (Mr Daniel McBride); Interact Club (Ms Mooney); SRC Club (Ms Miller, Ms Van Olst, school councillors); Wellbeing Club (Ms Renee Callander).

These clubs offer diverse opportunities for students to engage and excel beyond the classroom, thanks to the dedication of our staff. I know I speak on behalf of all School Councillors, when I acknowledge and thank my amazing staff for their discretionary effort. This co-curricular program enhances Ashwood High School’s proud profile as the ‘Private School in the Public System'.

Department of Education Initiatives: Disability Inclusion Tier 2 Funding and Mental Health Fund – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’ and ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’

Thank you to Sarah Reynolds, Senior School Assistant Principal for providing a comprehensive and detailed overview of at the recent Education Sub-committee on the way in which Ashwood High School is accommodating the requirements of the Tier 2 Disability Inclusion Funding, a department initiative to address policy foci relating to improved mental health and inclusivity. These intentional steps reflect our dedication to providing a supportive learning environment, empowering students to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally (part of the school Vision statement).

VCE Data Analysis – ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’

The Annual Implementation Plan for 2024 outlines clear strategies in relation to evaluating impact on student learning.  For the ninth consecutive year at Ashwood, I have employed Dr Carmel Richardson as a consultant as part of building practice excellence. There is a strong focus on building the capacity of staff to analyse student learning data to inform teacher practice. Success breeds success.

VCE Directions Paper – Framework for VCE Teaching and Learning Excellence – ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’; ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’.

In 2020, I developed a Framework for improving VCE Performance as part of the first cut of the VCE Directions Paper.  This framework for improved VCE outcomes was developed during my management of the challenges presented through the global pandemic – COVID-19. The dimensions of the Ashwood High School VCE Framework for improving VCE outcomes are reflected in the graphics below.  I have changed the title of the Framework to demonstrate a subtle shift in the discourse from an initial title that emphasised the need for improvement to a revised title that emphasises the need for practice excellence as part of the school’s ongoing growth and sustained success. Since devising the framework, Ashwood High School has become recognised as a high performing school – ranked in the Top 10 schools in Victoria for VCE Results. The revised title for this work is: Ashwood High School – Framework for VCE Teaching and Learning Excellence. Continuing to deliver improved VCE outcomes will result from a collective focus on practice excellence – valuing staff and building capacity.

The Senior School team is currently in the process of completing the VCE Directions Paper. The dimensions of the Framework for VCE Teaching and Learning Excellence have formed the strong foundation for our school’s strong VCE performance results over the past few years (along with other factors such as the growing student enrolment, the increasing school budget, recruiting quality staff, and diversifying subject choices in the Senior School).

Whole School Approach for Wellbeing – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’

Work has commenced on implementing our Ashwood High School - Whole School Approach for Wellbeing - CREATE. This important body of work will continue to compliment CHOIR and PIVOT and become part of the common vernacular at this exemplary school community.


Framework and Model for Sporting Excellence – ‘Four Pillars of a GREAT school’                                                                                                           

Our school continues to have a creative orientation instilling purpose, awareness, and insight. I am working with the Sport Captain to develop a Framework for the program of Ashwood High School Sporting Excellence. I will also be working with Deakin University Academic staff in Exercise and Sports Science prior to launching the model with the school community. Like all the modelling at Ashwood High School, the Framework for Sporting Excellence will be based on evidence and research.

My plan will be to present the Framework for Sporting Excellence to the Education Sub-committee in Semester 2. Following this, I look forward to engaging members of the school community in a Sporting Excellence Working Party meeting to gain the input of interested members of the parent community. A brief preview of the draft Sporting Excellence Framework has been provided for your information above. The Framework for Sporting Excellence, STRIDE will form a strategic part of our School Improvement Framework .

School Improvement Framework – ‘The Path Forward at Ashwood High School’ – ‘Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success’

The elements of the School Improvement Framework are shown in the graphic materials below. The School Improvement Framework will ensure the school’s ongoing growth and sustained success.

Parents and Friends Network (PFN) – ‘Increasing Positive Parental and Community Engagement’

I enjoyed being present at the recent Parents and Friends Network AGM on Wednesday 6 March 2024. School leaders will be present at all PFN meetings in 2024. Each PFN meeting will focus on a particular theme that aligns with the needs of the PFN and the portfolio (area of responsibility) of the participating school leader. Ashwood High School remains supportive of a highly productive PFN as part of its commitment to one of the school’s key priorities (announced in 2015) increasing positive parental and community engagement.

School Driveway – School Access Road – ‘Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success

Providing the school community with an update on the ongoing School Driveway project, I am pleased to report progress in various aspects. Since our last discussion, efforts have been focused on addressing challenges, particularly regarding construction cost escalations that exceeded the allocated budget limit. While these challenges persist, collaborative efforts involving Monash City Council, Vic Roads, and the VSBA are actively underway to navigate through them and ensure project continuity. As of now, we have successfully completed the Design Phase and are currently in the midst of the Tender Process. As principal, I remain committed to closely monitoring these developments and will promptly communicate relevant updates to  the school community. Our collective dedication to enhancing school access and safety remains unwavering, and relevant stakeholders are committed to achieving positive outcomes for our school community.

A Safe and Enjoyable Term 1 Break

Ashwood High School extends its wishes for a safe and enjoyable break to all members of the school community. I would like to thank all members of the school community for their contribution to a very busy, exciting and rewarding start to the year at Ashwood High School. To Year 7 students and other students new to the school this year, I trust you have all settled into school life and enjoyed being part of our great school culture at Ashwood High School.

I wish all members of the Ashwood High School community a rewarding Easter holiday break.  We look forward to seeing you back at school for Term 2 on Monday 15 April 2024.

Dr Brett Moore
Executive Principal
Thursday 28 March 2024


Upcoming Events

Prefect Investiture

On Thursday 29 February 2024 Ashwood High School held another successful Student Leadership Investiture – a private event to acknowledge and induct our Student Leadership Suite of 2024. Dr Moore gave an impassioned address which focused on the importance of symbolic leadership, and also emphasised the vital importance of putting our ‘best foot forward’ in formal situations. This included the importance of first impressions, professionalism, and body language (eye contact, formal greetings, and a firm handshake). The event provided an important reminder of the caliber and quality of our students of those students present in formal positions of leadership, but also of our students more broadly. Congratulations to the many students who have obtained leadership roles in 2024. Each student obtained a badge of which students report wearing with pride on their school blazer.


Ms Meg McLellan
Middle School Assistant Principal

Middle School Engagement, Wellbeing and Transitions Report

Year 7: Hunger Games and New Friends at Kinglake!
Back in Week 3, our Year 7 cohort headed off on a thrilling adventure to Kinglake Forest Adventures! With a Hunger Games theme, the camp was packed with exciting activities designed to build self-confidence, resilience, and of course, forge new friendships. Students participated in challenges, navigated the great outdoors, and learned valuable teamwork skills.

Celebrating Success in the Middle School
This term, the House Coordinators have launched a fantastic initiative - "Student of the Week!" This program allows any teacher in the Ashwood High School community to nominate students who have demonstrated exemplary qualities. Whether it's going above and beyond in service or behaviour, showcasing incredible academic effort, achieving personal bests, or simply being an all-around outstanding student, Student of the Week celebrates the diverse ways our Middle Schoolers shine. Congratulations to all the students who have been awarded this recognition so far!

Flynn Takes the Crown at the Swimming Carnival!
A huge shout-out to all the amazing swimmers who participated in our Middle School Swimming Carnival this term! The competition was fierce, with students from all Houses giving it their all in the pool. In the end, Flynn House emerged victorious, crowned champions for 2024! Congratulations to all the swimmers for their dedication and sportsmanship, and a special thanks to the organisers for putting on such a successful event.

In Weeks 7 and 8, NAPLAN was completed by our Years 7 and 9 students. NAPLAN stands for the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. It's a yearly assessment in Australia for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

The tests are designed to measure a student's skills in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The results are used by educators, schools, governments and the community to see how students are progressing in these foundational skills. This helps identify areas where students might need extra support and allows educators to monitor how effective teaching programs are.

As Term 1 draws to a close, I'd like to extend a special congratulations to all our Middle School students for tackling NAPLAN and for such a wonderful start to the academic year! Your hard work and dedication are truly appreciated. Now, it's time for a well-deserved break. I hope all students and their families have a relaxing and enjoyable time. We look forward to seeing you all refreshed and ready for another great Term 2!

Harriet Cooper
Middle School Engagement, Wellbeing and Transitions Leader

House Reports

Cowan House
Cowan House has had a very productive start to this Term and I am proud to announce we achieved second place in our Swimming Carnival. I would like to extend my appreciation to all Cowan House students for their enthusiasm and support.

Congratulations are in order for our newly appointed Cowan House Captain, Imogen Roder. We are excited to see you thrive in your new role in Cowan House and we wish you all the best on your journey!

I would also like to congratulate the following students for being nominated as Students Of The Week:

Benjamin (Ben) Knowles for handing in lost property found in school grounds.

Nick Meikle for his excellent contributions and effort to his French class.

Aadi Joshi, Barbara Campelo and Max Yang for volunteering to assist with preparations of Cowan House materials for the Swimming Carnival.

With Cross-Country Carnival coming up within the next few days, all Cowan House students are encouraged to demonstrate their positive House Spirit and participate to earn more points for our House.

A few words from our Middle School House Vice-Captain:

I am Jack Newton. This year I am the Cowan Middle School House Vice-Captain for Ashwood High School and the acting Cowan Middle School Captain for Term 1. I am really excited to have this role and to be a part of the Cowan House Leadership Team.

During our annual Ashwood High School Swimming Carnival, Cowan House students embraced our House spirit and, demonstrated their fantastic swimming abilities by giving it a go and most importantly, having fun. A lot of students wore bright yellow accessories and banana costumes to show their support as they also tirelessly waved our Cowan flags with pride. It is through their participation and enthusiasm that we were able to earn so many points and score the second place in the Carnival.

Starting this year, Tutor Group classes have been divided into year levels instead of having Years 7s, 8s and 9s all in the one class like in previous years. This gives students more courage to share and have a go, ultimately allowing them to get more out of Tutor Group. This week Cowan students have been looking at Harmony Day and the significance of celebrating diversity and other cultures.

Cowan House has started out the year positively and will continue to do so throughout 2024.

Georgia Kazis
Cowan House Coordinator

Flynn House
Flynn has been off to a ripping start this year. The Year 7s have settled in smoothly and have embraced the Flynn House spirit. It is great to see so many students, both new and returning, getting involved in all the co-curricular activities Ashwood High School has to offer, and we hope their enthusiasm and commitment to the Four Pillars continues.

The House Swimming Carnival was a success, with a large number of Flynn students competing in races to gain points for our House. As a result of the determination of our students, Flynn was able to collect the most points overall and win the Swimming Trophy! Well done to all students who participated or helped cheer on their peers. A special congratulations to Will Thompson (9Z) and Gargi Karve (9Z) on winning Age Group Champions.

Our Middle School House Captains, Lily Wingate (House Captain) and Kaiah Norton (Vice House Captain), have shown fantastic leadership and enthusiasm so far this year. We are very pleased with their efforts in preparing for the Swimming Carnival and helping lead the chant on the day. Hopefully we bring the same determination and energy to the Cross Country Carnival at the end of Term 1.

Well done to Flynn on a successful start to the year.

Ruby Cameron
Flynn Assistant House Coordinator

Melba House
Before we discuss the success we have had in Melba House this term, we would like to introduce Ms Dixon as the new House Coordinator for Melba. Ms Dixon will be taking over the role of Ms Doorley, and working alongside Ms Poland to ensure that all Melba students feel safe and supported at school. Ms Dixon is excited to get stuck into her new role.  Please feel free to come and say hello and introduce yourself to Ms Dixon.

With the conclusion of another term, we would both like to extend our sincerest congratulations to all Melba students for their commendable efforts and achievements throughout the past weeks. Your dedication to academic excellence and participation in school activities has been truly commendable, and we are proud of all your accomplishments.

We are delighted to acknowledge the remarkable turnout and spirited participation witnessed at our recent School Swimming Carnival. Although the school swimming is not our strongest event, every student in Melba displayed exemplary sportsmanship and enthusiasm, both in and out of the pool. Our participation in the Pool Noodle Relay was the best we have seen in quite a while so well-done Melba students for getting in the pool and giving it a go.

We would like to see this enthusiasm continued with the school Cross-Country Carnival, which will be taking place on Monday 25 March. Please encourage all of your friends to come and participate and let us continue to develop and foster a community of healthy competition and teamwork, ensuring that every student feels valued and supported in their endeavours at Ashwood High School.

We would also both like to congratulate all the Year 7 and Year 9 Melba students on successfully completing NAPLAN. Your diligence, time management skills and perseverance throughout this process are deserving of recognition, and we applaud you for your dedication to academic excellence.

Furthermore, it is with great pleasure that we announce the recipients of the Student of the Week award for Term One. Congratulations to Tarik Srinivasan, Alexander Hatzigeorgiou, Fletcher Leaper, Lincoln Liatos, Luka Bridge, and Leo Liu for their contributions to our school community.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and we look forward to celebrating further Melba successes in the future.

We would also like to wish everyone a wonderful break.


Shenae Dixon and Stephanie Poland
Melba House Coordinators

Paterson House
As we're wrapping up term one with all our energy and dedication, it's been a blast seeing what our students have achieved lately and what's coming up next.

I want to take a moment to applaud our students for their remarkable participation and sportsmanship during the recent House Swimming Carnival. Witnessing the teamwork and enthusiasm from all participants was truly inspiring and contributed to the event's success.

A special acknowledgment goes out to our Year 7 and Year 9 students for their commendable efforts in the NAPLAN assessments. Their commitment to academic excellence reflects the values we hold dear in our school community.

I'm pleased to announce and congratulate Joni Helm, Amelia Sim, Thomas Bilney, and Hamish Stafford for their well-deserved recognition as Students of the Week. Their positive attitudes and dedication are commendable.

Looking ahead, we eagerly anticipate the House Cross-Country Carnival, it is an opportunity for Paterson students to showcase their athleticism, further strengthening our community bonds.

Thank you to our amazing school community for your continued support and dedication. Let's keep collaborating to achieve ongoing success, growth, and explore new possibilities together

Brian Lanigan and Zoe Schinina
Paterson House Coordinators



Middle School Captains' Report

With the end Term 1 just around the corner, we have a few highlights from the year so far!

The school Swimming Carnival was a great success. Lots of students got involved and showed great house spirit.  School Cross Country Carnival is coming up on the 25 March which is a great event full of school spirit and fun to look forward to.

‘Swimming was a great event and so many Middle School Students got involved. I’m looking forward to seeing students getting involved in Cross Country.’ - Amy Russo 9Z – Sport Vice Captain

We would also like to celebrate the amazing start our Year 7s have had. We hope you’ve settled in well to Ashwood and enjoyed your transition from primary to high school.  ‘I have had a great time meeting new people and making new friends.’ - Sam Williams 7Z

In addition to the big shift, the Year 7s had their amazing camp which was greatly enjoyed.

Lots of tours have been going around Ashwood High School recently. We’d like to congratulate all the members of the middle school leadership team who helped and led a tour with Dr Moore. Especially our new Year 7 Ambassadors who’re doing their first ever tours.

The Years 7s, 8s and 9s did an amazing job in interschool sport this term. So many students got involved and represented Ashwood High School. Many teams have made it to division and will represent Ashwood High School at a higher level.

As you know, Ashwood High School has a fantastic Music Program that both of us are a part of. Thats why we’re excited to announce that we will be having our first ever performance for 2024, The Autumn Leaves Soiree. And who better to talk about it than our Middle School Music Captain, Jane Lee.

‘I’m very excited for the upcoming performance! It’s an incredibly fantastic opportunity for all our music students to showcase their skills. Especially to our newest additions to our orchestras, the year sevens! I can’t wait to see you there.’ - Jane Lee 9Z

On Thursday  21 March we had Harmony Day. We got to wear casual clothes with orange or a cultural outfit. We hoped you enjoyed the celebrations and had fun. Each student will bring a gold coin donation to go towards ‘Inclusive Australia’.

Wishing you and your family a relaxing break and a Happy Easter.

Hannah Williams and Ameer Bux
Middle School Captains

Greetings to our magnificent Ashwood High School community!

Firstly, we would like to appreciate and congratulate our amazing year sevens who have made a great start in term 1 of their first year at Ashwood High School. We would also like to take this opportunity to pay our sincere appreciation for all staff members at Ashwood High School for helping our year sevens attain an impeccable start this term. As we are all aware that term 1 is coming to a close, we hope our middle schoolers have settled into their respected classes and are comfortably contributing and sharing their ideas. And with that, we are hoping that all of us are excited and working towards an effective, fun, and prolific term 2!

We wish you all a safe and relaxing holiday!

Alicia Joseph and Izzy Gullan
Middle School Vice-Captains

Senior School News

School Captains' Report

As the end of the term wraps up, we would like to congratulate everyone on making it through these very busy months. Students are nearly a quarter of the way into the year and their consistent effort in their studies and dedication to upholding Ashwood High School CHOIR values truly reflects our warm school community.

Following a smooth transition into the new year, students are expected to adapt to their new environments, especially in anticipation of assessments. Whilst this can be a trying time for students, it’s important to remember to maintain a positive work-life balance and incorporate some activity around your studies.

Many extracurricular events have begun, which are an exciting opportunity for all students to engage in new activities. Interschool sports are an opportunity for students to develop teamwork skills in friendly competition with other schools and build genuine relationships with their peers. We also have a record of 22 co-curricular clubs running this year, providing students with an environment to foster new interests. On 25 March 2024, the annual Ashwood High School Cross-Country Carnival will be held, with each House competing for 1st place. The Carnival is another example of Ashwood High School’s dedication to keeping students active and reinforcing school culture with friendly House rivalries.

Week 6 was a relatively short week for classes at Ashwood High School due to the Student-Led Conferences held on Tuesday 5 March and Friday 8 March 2024. Student-Led Conferences are driven by student engagement and contribution. These conferences encourage active participation from students in a discussion with parents and teachers, setting students up to improve and achieve throughout the year. In Week 6, on Thursday 7 March 2024 was School Photo Day. Some students took their first or last photos at Ashwood High School. It was a reminiscent day for the graduating class as we took our cohort photo with Dr Moore.

A highlight for us so far has been our first official speech at the Whole School Assembly held on 26 February 2024. The attention and respect we received from students was inspiring and instilled confidence in us. We were very appreciative for the opportunity and cannot wait for our future speeches.

So far, the year has been full of activity and progress for Ashwood High School. We extend our encouragement to the students at Ashwood High School to maintain their positive outlook for the coming months. We have both thoroughly enjoyed our time as School Captains so far, and could not prouder to be leading this school.

Emma Hew and Miles Guy
2024 School Captains


LOTE Learning Area Report

The students studying French have continued to show eagerness to learn and deepen their language skills this term. Lots of activities that have taken place as we approach the end of Term 1’

To adhere to the traditions of French Film Festival, Years 9 and 10 went to the Kino cinema in the city on Wednesday 6 March 2024 to watch the movie ‘The Princes of the Desert’. They were accompanied by Madame Dernikos, Mademoiselle Kakkar, and Mademoiselle Balvally. Our students had a great time and were great ambassadors for our school.

Our VCE students will also be going to the Kino in the city on Friday 22 March 2024 to watch the movie ‘The Three Musketeers’. This excursion will enable them to know more about the French author Alexandre Dumas and explore French history through literature and cinema. More details about both outings will follow in the next newsletter.

French Club has had a great start under the tutelage of Mesdemoiselles Kakkar and Van Der Vliet. These sessions are running on Thursdays at lunchtime in classroom B05. French Club is specifically tailored for our Middle School students and provides them with an opportunity to learn French through games, movies, and art, to name a few activities running. In the last session, our students worked together to create French flags with a twist.

The French poetry competition hosted by the Alliance Française – Berthe Mouchette, is back on this year. The theme reflects what is happening in Paris this year during the 2024 Summer Olympics. Through the competition, our students learn to memorise and recite a French poem. In doing so, they build their confidence, memorisation, pronunciation, and fluency in speaking French. Every year, Ashwood High School students compete in record numbers. This year, our students will again compete in all year group from Years 7 – 12. We wish them all the very best!

Delphine Marie
LOTE Learning Area Coordinator






Health & PE Learning Area Report

Dear Families & Students of Ashwood High School,

Year 7
The Year 7s have found their feet in HPE and have become experts at ‘Orienteering’. This unit was enjoyable for students and enabled them to be active around the school whilst building different social connections in their class. In Health, students have been looking at Cyber Safety and the importance of understanding the harms associated with the online world.

Year 8
The Year 8s have just about finished their unit on ‘Fitness Components’ and are currently in the midst of completing two assessment tasks. With the connection between theory and practical this term, students are currently presenting a ‘Fitness Components’ circuit in their PE class. This will then coincide with a ‘Fitness Components’ test that will be completed in their Health class.

Year 9
The Year 9s have continued to develop their knowledge about AFL 7’s, working hard to complete drills and exercises to improve their AFL skills. This unit has been met with a high level of engagement, with students super excited for their upcoming AFL 7’s tournament that will occur in the final two weeks of term.

Year 10
The Year 10s have shifted from looking at ‘Cultural Games’ in PE to looking at ‘Lifelong Physical Activity’. This has opened up an amazing opportunity, as students are currently spending their PE lessons at the Mount Waverley Bowls Club taking part in a Lawn Bowls Excursion. Students have been extremely engaged with Lawn Bowls thus far and are enjoying taking part in a sport that they may not have experienced playing before.

VCE Physical Education (PE) and Health and Human Development (HHD)
The VCE PE & HHD classes are fully immersed in their first unit of 2024. The Year 11s and 12s have completed their first of many outcome SACs with some excellent results coming from those. The VCE team are really excited for what can be achieved in 2024 for students.

Wishing everyone a great Easter and look forward to updating everyone early in Term 2.


James Boarotto
Health and Physical Education (HPE) Learning Area Coordinator


English Learning Area Report

Year 7s off and running!

Throughout Term 1, our Year 7s have been investigating persuasion and working to understand the construction of arguments. Their very first assessment task was to create an oral presentation on a product they believe their classmates will find useful. They had the creative freedom to either recreate an existing product or invent something entirely new in groups of 3-4 students.

All students created wonderfully creative and detailed presentations and it has been a joy to witness their enthusiasm and innovative thinking. Now, we are preparing to embark on the next chapter of our journey together: structuring and writing an ‘Analysis’ piece, which they have been familiar with in previous years as ‘persuasive writing’. We cannot wait to guide them through this process and witness their growth as critical thinkers and communicators. 

Angelina Panoussis
English Teacher

Mathematics Learning Area Report

In Year 7 Mathematics this year, students will engage in a dynamic and comprehensive exploration of fundamental mathematical concepts. Through a combination of theoretical knowledge, practical applications, and collaborative activities, students will develop a strong foundation in numeracy, algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement, statistics, and probability.

Our Year 7 students started the year with the topic of whole numbers, which involves both long and short algorithms as well as mental arithmetic shortcuts. Then we moved on to the topic of Angles and Measurement. In this topic, students discovered different types of angles, as well as strategies to measure and compare angles using a protractor and understand angle notation. In terms of measurement, students have discovered the concept of lengths and areas, as well as calculating the perimeters and areas of various shapes.

Being high school students for only one term, our Year 7 students have demonstrated genuine enthusiasm for learning mathematics, finding joy in the exploration of mathematical concepts and problem-solving challenges. Through interactive activities and collaborative tasks, students have embraced the opportunity to deepen their understanding of numbers and shapes. Well done, Year 7s.

The Year 7 Maths team hopes to continue to inspire a love of Mathematics in the students’ young minds.

Below is a quote from Year 7 student:

‘I have found Maths at Ashwood High School to be very different to how it was in primary school. It went from being relaxed and easy to focused and challenging. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get used to it. When I started at Ashwood High School, I was panicking about all the maths tests we might have to do, but soon I realised that iIn reality, we haven’t done that many tests at all.  I’m sure in another few weeks everyone will be comfortable with the subject. The transition was a lot easier than expected.’
Honey Williams, 7E

Jen Wang
Mathematics Teacher

Rubber band-powered cars from the Year 9 Engineering Class



Humanities Learning Area Report

Dear Ashwood High School Community,

As we come to the conclusion of a successful Term 1. It's time to reflect on the enriching experiences and academic achievements within the Humanities Learning Area.

In Year 7, students delved into the cultural burning practices of First Australians, exploring how these techniques are used to manage the landscape.  Our Year 8 students embarked on fieldwork around the school, investigating both the positive and negative impacts of human interaction on the environment. This hands-on approach allowed students to develop their observational skills while critically analysing the effects of human activities on our surroundings. This week, our Year 9 cohort will enjoy a fieldwork excursion to the bustling Queen Victoria Market. This immersive experience will provide students with insights into food security, enhancing their understanding of how we access our food in an urban environment.

Our Year 10 students are beginning their transition to VCE, and the Year 10 Geography class can look forward to an upcoming excursion to the Yarra River.  Our VCE students have successfully completed their first areas of study, and we're proud to see them diving into their first assessments. As they await their grades, we commend their dedication and hard work throughout the term.

The inaugural Humanities club meeting is scheduled for this week, marking the beginning of an exciting journey for students interested in exploring the humanities beyond the classroom. The first activity—a trivia competition—promises to be a fun and intellectually stimulating event for all involved.

As we bid farewell to Term 1, I extend our gratitude to our dedicated students, supportive families, and committed staff for their contributions to the Humanities Learning Area. We look forward to another term of curiosity and academic growth.

Ned Hayward
Humanities Learning Area Coordinator

Creative Arts and Technologies Learning Area Report

March Art Club
On Wednesday 21 February 2024, all Ashwood High School students and staff were invited to create friendship bracelets inspired by Taylor Swift’s ‘Era’s Tour’ which has inspired a global trend of creating and swapping handmade bracelets at concerts and beyond. With almost 50 students and staff participating in total, we had to borrow additional chairs from neighbouring classrooms. When those seats were also filled, students even set up workstations on the floor, with a few picnic blankets provided. It was wonderful to see the Ashwood High School community so engaged as they crafted and socialised with peers from all Houses and year levels. This was the first co-curricular art activity to be held in the refurbished Building G Art Room, and it was wonderful to see students making the most of this beautifully refreshed and spacious facility.

‘Making bracelets and Taylor Swift's songs in the background was a lively and enjoyable experience for me and my friends, I would love for more of these events to happen.’ - Mancy Chen 8G

Opportunities for student voice:

If there is a specific activity you would like to see run in Art Club, or If you would like to run an activity yourself

(e.g., are you great at knitting? Or scrapbooking? Drawing something in particular?) please contact Ms Hamilton,
Ms Edmiston, Ms Lindholm or Year 11 student and Art Prefect, Ava Lillywhite with your suggestions!

Carolyn Hamilton
Creative Arts and Technologies Learning Area Coordinator

Sasha Pearce selected for Top Arts 2024
Congratulations to 2023 Year 12 student Sasha Pearce, whose artwork was selected for display in the National Gallery of Victoria’s annual Top Arts exhibition. This exhibition is open to all students who completed the 2023 VCE study designs of Art Making and Exhibiting and Art Creative Practice. This year’s panel of judges received applications from over 1400 students, with Sasha’s work featuring alongside 51 other outstanding works from young artists across Victoria.

Top Arts 2024 is open to the public until the 14 July at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square.

Marnie Edmiston
Art Teacher



Director of Sport Report

Friday 23 February 2024 – Years 11/12 Interschool Sport
The first Senior Interschool Sport Day of the year unfortunately clashed with a Year 12 English excursion, meaning only Year 11 students were able to sign up for sports. Despite this fact, Ashwood High School was able to field teams in the sports of Volleyball, Tennis and Cricket. From all reports, students competed very well and represented Ashwood High School with pride and passion.

Friday 1 March 2024 – Mullum Division Swimming Carnival
A mere two days after their impressive performances at the Ashwood High School Swimming Carnival, 38 dedicated students raced their hearts out at the Mullum Division Swimming Carnival. Some super individual and team efforts throughout the day saw 21 students progress to the Eastern Metropolitan Region Swimming Carnival and more impressively, saw Ashwood High School finish 2nd overall out of 7 schools. A huge effort and something to be extremely proud of. I know I am extremely proud as the Director of Sport. A further congratulations to Leah Reid and Jayden Thach who were Age Group Champions on the day!

Monday 4 March 2024 – Year 9/10 Interschool Sport
It was another great day of Interschool Sport for the Year 9/10 students as the massed descended on the sports of Volleyball and Tennis. There were no winners on the day, but some very narrow margins that cost some of the teams. Well done to all students that participated in this Interschool Sport Day.

Wednesday 6 March 2024 – Year 7 Interschool Sport
The first taste of Interschool Sport for the Year 7 students saw huge numbers turn out to participate in Volleyball, Tennis, Baseball and Softball. All students represented Ashwood High School in a positive manner.

The highlight of the day was the Girls Softball winning their competition. Well done for such a fantastic effort. These girls will train against each other under the watchful eye of Ms. Kipping in preparation for the next round – EMR Girls Softball, to be held in Term 4. Congratulations to the following students: Emmy Chan, Ashley Dubois, Eliza Ekanayaka, Juniper Gettens, Joni Helm, Sarah Kim, Anh Luong, Katania Major, Maya Preyser, Lilly Scott and Honey Williams.

Tom Grbac
Director of Sport

Library Report

The 2024 Premiers’ Reading Challenge is now open, and all Ashwood High School Years 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 High School student who participates will earn five House points. Those who successfully complete the challenge will earn thirty House points and receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier.

Our library has hundreds of great titles from the Challenge Booklist available for loan; so, all our eligible students are able to participate. Students can find more details here.

Attack on Titan
Among the recent library acquisitions is the complete, 34 volumes of Hajime Isayama’s manga masterpiece, Attack on Titan. It is an incredibly well-crafted and intricately detailed story set in a dystopian world caged in by centuries-old secrets and legacy. If you’re into Japanese manga you will already know of “AOT”, and if you’re not, this best-selling, award winning series might change your mind.

Remember to find time to enjoy reading every day.

Matthew Feeney

Accelerated Curriculum and Enrichment Program

Entrance testing for the 2025 Year 7 ACE program will take place on Saturday 20 July 2024. Written applications close one week prior to the testing date. Parents and guardians are reminded that you must have confirmed your enrolment at Ashwood High School for 2025 to be eligible to sit the entrance test. A fee of $90 is payable (direct to Edutest) to register for the test. Families requiring more information about the program, including information on how to apply, are encouraged to visit Alternatively, please visit our school website or contact Mrs Caroline Servadei (Director of Enrichment, Partnerships and Professional Learning) on 9807 1333 for more information.

The Victorian High-Ability Program is an initiative developed by the Department of Education and Training to support high-ability students to excel through structured learning extension programs. The program aims to stimulate students’ critical thinking, problem solving and creativity through enriching their understanding of English and Mathematics. Entrance to the program is by invitation and is based on the results of statewide testing. Four students from Year 8 participated in the program in Term 1. A further 35 students from Years 7 and 8 have been invited to participate in the English and Maths programs running in Term 2 this year. We hope they enjoy the opportunity to extend their literacy and numeracy skills and make new friends.

Caroline Servadei
Director of Enrichment and Professional Learning

Science Learning Area Report

As the Learning Area Coordinator of Science, I am delighted to share the exciting progress of our Year 9 cohort as they dive into the world of Ohm's Law. It’s inspiring to see their enthusiasm and engagement in understanding the practical applications of this fundamental electrical principle.

Ohm's Law, which relates voltage, current, and resistance in a circuit through the equation I = V/R, is not just a theoretical concept. Our students are actively applying this knowledge to real-world scenarios, gaining insights into its significance in various fields.

From the design of electronic devices to the development of renewable energy systems and biomedical applications, Year 9 students are discovering how Ohm's Law plays a crucial role in shaping the technology that surrounds us. By connecting theory to practical examples, they are not only preparing for academic success but also gaining a deeper appreciation for the impact of science in our daily lives.

I look forward to witnessing the continued growth of our Year 9 cohort as they navigate the practical implications of Ohm's Law and contribute to a future driven by scientific innovation.

Stephanie Richards

Science Learning Coordinator

Science Learning Area

Ashwood High School Careers Expo, Yes, it is close to that time of year again. Save the date Tuesday 21st May 2024 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 the ADF, Le Cordon Blue, Monash University, Box Hill Institute, Deakin University, Holmesglen Institute, University of Tasmania, Kangan Institute, Richmond Football Club Leadership Program, Photography Studies College, COLLARTS and many more.

On Tuesday 12th March 2024 the Year 7 and 8’s participated in their first career lesion for the year. During this session the Year 7s completed a Pre-assessment work sheet, and several activities to assist in identifying their favourite things. The purpose of the lesson was for students to begin to develop the ability to recognise patterns of behaviours that lead to skill development.

Year 8’s completed a Pre-assessment work sheet, and several activities to assist in recognising change and understand how to use strategies to cope with change and the challenges it brings.

STEAM Curriculum Report

Year 9 Medical Science

During Term 1, students in the Medical Science elective were introduced to the world of Medical Technology. Their first task was to research a Melbourne-based MedTech company and find out about an innovative device or product that they have developed. Monash Tech School has also been involved in the Medical Science elective. Students have been part of a pilot program for their new “Beyond.Health” program which has been integrated into the elective’s coursework. Each lesson, students learned about a different body system (circulatory, respiratory, digestive and nervous systems) in conjunction with activities facilitated by Monash Tech School staff right here in their classroom.

Activities included:

  • using Ozobots to model the movement of food through the digestive system
  • design and problem solving challenges for scenarios like how to unblock arteries and calculating their own lung capacity
  • using an EEG linked to a small motor to make a model car move with the flex of a muscle
  • using 3D scanning and rendering programs on iPads to experience how custom parts can be designed for individualised medical solutions

Next term, students will build on these experiences and design a prototype of a device or solution for one of a number of patient scenarios.

Year 9 Product Design

Students in Year 9 Product Design have been building their knowledge in the materials specialisation of textiles from first principles, as they develop skills in hand stitching and embroidery, with a focus on the Japanese Edo-period technique of sashiko. Their exploration into textiles continued further through the latter part of Term 1, as students investigated natural and synthetic dyeing techniques and applied Japanese shibori tie-dying artisanal skills. In Year 9 Product Design, an appreciation of craft is contextualised within and contrasted against the background of 21st-Century “fast fashion” and the sustainability issues that arise from it. The tension between technological progress and environmental conservation underpins the theoretical discussions that drive the design process.

Year 9 Engineering

Students in Year 9 Engineering have been learning how forces operate in both mechanical and structural engineered systems. Students worked in teams to design and construct a rubber-band-powered vehicle, competing with other groups for points based on the furthest distance travelled. Principles of sustainability and material optimisation were applied to the competition, with the most material-efficient designs receiving the less points deduction for materials used.

The Students are currently engaged in a real-world design context for a structural engineering problem, as they work on a design for a bridge in the Ashwood Wetlands. By applying their understanding of tension and compression forces, along with precedents in engineering structures, they are constructing models of their own engineered solutions.

Christina Siomos, Marnie Edmiston, Amanda Li and Rob Gray

Director of Music Report

Just like that, Term 1 is done for the year!

The music program at Ashwood High School has had an incredible start to term one.

The second last day of the term saw our first concert of this year, “The Ashwood High School Autumn Leaves Soiree”. This concert showcased over 100 of our musicians here at Ashwood playing at an incredible standard and showcasing the variety and depth of performers that we have here at Ashwood High School. A massive shoutout to Jane Lee and Tom Rao, who hosted this wonderful event and to the music team who helped move, organise students, prepare their music and ensure a smooth concert.

The year 7s have absolutely smashed it this year with their instruments they have created for the Instruments of the orchestra CAT. This year we saw the ingenuity of the Bowl Timpani, the Kazooica, the Carb-harp and the box guitar. The ingenuity shown by these young musicians shows great potential for future luthiers and wind smiths.

Throughout the term we have seen multiple lunchtime concerts where students have the ability to perform some of the songs, they have been spending hours practicing. These concerts are continuing in term two and we would love to see a more routine set of performances so I would urge all students to put their hand up to play in the lunchtime concert series!


If anyone is interested in learning a musical instrument there are still positions available for most instruments, please contact me if you have any questions or are interested learning music at Ashwood High School.

Liam Headland
Director of Music

Careers and Pathways

Ashwood High School Careers Expo, Yes, it is close to that time of year again. Save the date Tuesday 21st May 2024 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 the ADF, Le Cordon Blue, Monash University, Box Hill Institute, Deakin University, Holmesglen Institute, University of Tasmania, Kangan Institute, Richmond Football Club Leadership Program, Photography Studies College, COLLARTS and many more.

On Tuesday 12th March 2024 the Year 7 and 8’s participated in their first career lesion for the year. During this session the Year 7s completed a Pre-assessment work sheet, and several activities to assist in identifying their favourite things. The purpose of the lesson was for students to begin to develop the ability to recognise patterns of behaviours that lead to skill development.

Year 8’s completed a Pre-assessment work sheet, and several activities to assist in recognising change and understand how to use strategies to cope with change and the challenges it brings.

Year 10 – Work Experience
During Week 9 Ms Robertson visited all Year 10 classes to perform a Work Experience refresher, pleases see below important dates:

  • When is Work Experience and the duration?
    • Monday 16th September 2024 – Friday 20th September 2024, one full working week – 5 days.
  • Who is responsible for finding my placement?
    • You are, however, Ms Robertson is always here to help and offer guidance.
  • What is my deadline for securing placement?
    • Friday 28th June 2024

All Year 10 students are encouraged to actively seek a work experience placement during the school holidays. Need assistance Ms. Robertson is available on Tuesday, Thursday & Friday in Building E or via email also see Compass feed for Work Experience Spotlights and refer to your work Experience Information pack.

On Thursday 14th March 2024 all Year 11 students and the Year 12 VCE - Vocation Major students attended the Victorian Careers & Employment Expo. On show were over 130 organisations and employers with career opportunities

The Expo was packed with Free advice, and activities galore including:

  • Career Advice
  • Jobs of the Future
  • Talk with Leading Organisations about Training & Apprenticeships
  • Career Seminars
  • Learn how to write a Winning Resume
  • Try’a Skill Zones.

Ms. Jodie Hechenberger                                          
Careers & Pathways Coordinator                               

Ms. Kristin Robertson
Jobs, Skills & Pathways Assistant Coordinator

Student Culture

Term 1 has been an extremely busy and exciting term for all things students at Ashwood High School. We now have 22 clubs on offer (some new and some still continuing favourites). Students have shown their enthusiasm through sign ups to try a new skill, learn something new and further their connections with peers and teachers across the school. I would like to give a shout out to all students who have become a part of a club or two this year. Remember that it is still not to late to join in (just see the relevant teacher and students in charge). I would also like to extend my thanks to all of the staff who have involved and for always going above and beyond to provide our students with the best experiences possible.

On Monday 4 March, I attended the Invest in Women’s Conference with five of our amazing Year 11 and 12 students. This event was held to celebrate International Women’s Day. The campaign theme for International Women’s Day in 2024 was Inspire Inclusion.

When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment. The focus of this year’s theme was for all to forge a more inclusive world for women.

The students and I travelled to Parliament House to witness and engage in a discussion focusing on The United Nation’s theme for International Women’s Day: Count her in: Invest in women Accelerate progress. The panel members include Nicole Werner MP, Professor Julianne Moss and Commissioner Jennifer Huppert, from the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

The key speakers told their stories of progress and focused on ways to strengthen inclusion through providing the tools and opportunities to participate in economic decision-making.

It was an extremely inspiring event and I want to thank the following students for joining me and being such wonderful representatives of women and our school.

Emma Busuttil (Year 12)

Kirsten Leow (Year 11)

Tahia Mcpherson (Year 12)

Charlotte Savakis (Year 12)

Olivia Schwatschko (Year 11)

Ashwood High School is proud to announce that we will be celebrating Harmony Day on Thursday 21 March.

​Harmony week (March 18-24) is a celebration that recognises Australia’s diversity and brings together Australians from all different backgrounds. It is about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.

Students and staff will be asked to wear orange and/or cultural dress. A gold coin donation will be collected, and donations will go to the charity Inclusive Australia. Inclusive Australia’s goal is to make exclusion and discrimination a thing of the past. Ashwood High School values inclusivity and looks forward to celebrating all of our differences, sharing stories and things from our own culture to better understand and connect with each other and our world.

We have a number of things planned for upcoming Harmony Day and I look forward to sharing a reflection on that event in the next newsletter.

I wish all of the Ashwood High School community a restful and happy Term 1 holidays.

Sachael Miller
Director of Student Voice, Agency and Inclusion

Running Club 
And we are off and running.... pun intended! The Ashwood High School Running Club has been on the

move since Week 2 of this term. So far, we have had a regular group of dedicated runners participating each week, with new members stopping by to try our club every Friday morning at 7:40 am.

Mr Jeff Newman and Mr Rory Fahey have enjoyed the last five weeks meeting new Running Club members and getting reacquainted with students who ran with us last year. With the intra and inter- school cross-country carnivals fast approaching, all students are invited to get some extra training before these events.

Students wishing to join the running fun are invited to come along: please have your parents/carers consent to your participation via email to or with a signed note when you first attend Running Club, you will then be added to the event on Compass for regular participation.

Look forward to having you along for the run!


International Student Program

Student feedback on Year 10 Camp to Mount Evelyn
‘The trip had left an indelible mark on me, igniting a desire to participate in future camping adventures with my schoolmates. Returning to school, I carried with me cherished memories of laughter, friendship, and adventure. The camping trip had not only strengthened bonds but also instilled in me a newfound appreciation for the great outdoors and the importance of teamwork. It was an experience I would treasure for years to come, eagerly anticipating the next camping excursion with my school friends.’
Peter Nguyen, 10F

I made a lot of friends with local students, and I realised the significance of teamwork and the powerful force of unity. Moreover, I gained courage and bravery through the camp. The camp is a melting pot of courage, friendship and adventure. We can break free from the routine and enjoy the happiness brought by courage and friendship.  
Zihan Shen, 10F

I knew very few students in Year 10 since I was new at school, but thanks to camp,  I had a chance to meet and make a lot of new friends. The food was not the best, but we still enjoyed it because we were all hungry after a long day doing activities. I enjoyed this camp, and I had a fun time with my friends. If I had not joined this camp, I don’t think I would ever talk to them. Thanks to all the instructors and teachers..  Roz Trinh, 10F

‘On the first day of the camp, we did the archery. I think that was the most interesting part of this camp. At the beginning of the archery session, the teacher taught us how to use the bow and the arrow. After that, we started to shoot. I got two 8 points and one 9 point. I think that was not bad effort. Then we did archery relay. Everyone needed to shoot three arrows and pass the bow to the next student which was really fun.’ 
Lihe Wang, 10F

‘This camp made me feel the importance of teamwork. During the activities, we got to know each other better. Even if there were some arguments through communication, we could solve this problem. I’m glad to have joined my team and had a nice time at the camp.’  Xuanyue Zhou, 10F

After we put away our suitcases, our teacher told us to start the first activity and my group was assigned to try the giant swing which was my favourite activity during the 3 day camp. The swing was 20 metres high. Because I played this a few times before, I was not scared of the height. I could feel the wind blowing against my face when I was high on the swing. The time on the swing was short, but it was great experience for me.’  Tara Liu, 10E

‘All activities were very fun. My favourite activity was Archery. It was very interesting and I got quite many points in that game.

After-school Support for International Students
In Term 1, the International Student Program team has been offering academic support after school to Years 7, Year 9 and Year 10 students. On Monday and Wednesday, Mr Kai Yin has been running NAPLAN preparation sessions to help Year 7 and Year 9 international students. On Tuesday and Thursday, Mr Yin runs Year 10 EAL Club to support Year 10 students’ English language improvement. Mr Yin also offered an after-school session to consolidate Year 11 students understanding in their Mathematical Methods learning.

I would like to thank Mr Yin for his effort in improving international students’ learning results.

Compass Login for International Students’ Parents Overseas
Recently, the ISP team has updated all homestay students details in CASES21 to include details of their parents overseas. This allows the Compass system to generate an account for homestay students’ parents overseas to access Compass in order to monitor their child’s learning and behaviour on timely basis. We would like this initiative to further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our communication with parents overseas and maximise their support to homestay students’ learning journey at Ashwood High School.

 A big congratulation to Cheuk Kiu (Cyrus) Mak on winning the championship in 16-year-old boys group at our recent Ashwood High School Swimming Carnival.

I also would like to congratulate all international student swimmers, Mingyao Huo, Rin Nishimura, Haoze Zhang, Yuan-Hao Lan, Jason Suryanata for their active participation in school events. I would like to encourage more international students to join our co- curricular programs and activities.

Congratulations to Zihan Shen for being promoted from Year 10 Maths class to Year 11 Mathematical Methods class! On his first day in Mathematical Methods class, he achieved 99% for tech free session in SAC1.

Thank you to Ms Li, Mr O’Toole and Dr Verity for supporting Zihan’s transition to Mathematical Methods.

Yonghong Williams
International Student Program Manager






Parents & Friends Network Committee