A slightly belated welcome back to Term 2 – covid has even impacted the production of our newsletter this term!
And, as is the case in many schools at the moment, we are certainly feeling the impact of illness with many staff, students and families struggling with covid or flu and colds. We know how challenging it can be for students when their teachers are absent, and also for families managing work and caring; however, it is essential that people’s individual health is the main priority.
I want to thank you for your vigilance in monitoring your children’s health, especially with RAT testing; and also acknowledge our staff and casual replacement teachers (CRTs) who are doing a fabulous job in keeping all aspects of the school’s program running smoothly.
It is a pleasure to welcome a number of new staff to our school this term. Alexandra Bushby joins the Individual Needs Department as a Speech Pathologist; along with Ilija Manojlovic as a Teacher Assistant. Anne Ingram joins the Wellbeing Team as our Mental Health Practitioner, and Jasmine Shea is working at reception in the general office team. Vonnie Posnakidis joins the Maths and Science Departments, and Paul Gleeson joins the tutoring team.
We wish each of these staff all the very best for their time at St Albans Secondary College.
It is always exciting to have things to celebrate, and Term 2 has gotten off to a great start in this respect.
Warmest congratulations to Ebony Kemeridis and Joseph Vincent; to Jacqui Hunter and David Thompson; and to John Coulson and Harin Silva who have all recently announced their engagements. We wish them every happiness for their futures together.
We also welcome Annemarie Papaleo’s baby, Eleanora Lucia Nelli, and Tina Phan’s baby, Kayden Phan. Congratulations to both families on the arrival of their newest members.
Congratulations also to Di Phyland on her remarkable achievement of umpiring 1,500 games of football in the Essendon District Football League, and in the VFLW and AFL Masters.
Di is a passionate and skilled sportsperson and has had a significant positive impact on football as a player and as an umpire, as well as through her role in mentoring young players and umpires.
We are very proud of you, Di.
You can read more about Di’s achievements in this newsletter.
Visit from Natalie Suleyman, MP for St Albans
We were pleased to host a visit from Natalie Suleyman, MP, earlier this week. At the invitation of our School Council President, Dr Tracy Nero, Natalie met with staff and students to tour our performing arts centre, and to hear about our plans for redeveloping the centre into a state of the art performance space and theatrette.
The school will commence the development of more detailed plans in collaboration with the Department of Education.
On behalf of the School Council and community, I thank Natalie for her interest in and support of St Albans Secondary College.
This year, Education Week runs from 22 to 28 May. The theme, ‘150 Years of Public Education’ commemorates the past, celebrates the present and imagines the future of education in Victoria.
Education Week is an opportunity for all schools to highlight their education journey.
This year, St Albans Secondary College is 66 years old. Since we opened, we have proudly served the St Albans community, always striving to provide a quality education to improve the outcomes and pathways of our students.
See below for some photos of our past.
St Albans Secondary College will be celebrating Education Week in a number of ways.
We have a display in the Library highlighting the history of the school, with articles, photos and artefacts from different decades.
A past student, Laura Van Keulen will present a Q&A to discuss her time at the school, what it meant to her, and her pathways since leaving the College.
There will also be Key Learning Activities each lunchtime for students to get involved with. The timetable for these activities will be published on Compass and also on the Important Dates page of this newsletter.
Below are the reflections from a past Principal, John Brookes, who was at the school in the late 1970’s
REFLECTIONS ON ST.ALBANS HIGH SCHOOL: 1977-1979
John D. Brooke
St. Albans was a big school: 1250 pupils and a staff of 114 including non teaching staff. Of the teaching staff, roughly 80 were aged 27 or younger. Coming as they did, from such a diverse range of ethnicities, the students, like the staff, were all striving to find their place in the world.
Such a volatile mix could have led to a fairly troubled school. That it did not was due to three factors:
The first was the existence of a capable group of senior staff who displayed sound leadership to staff and students.
The second was the enthusiasm of the staff for their work. More than at any school at which I taught, the staff put the students first. They put an extraordinary effort into meeting the needs of the students and their parents.
The third was the response of the students to the efforts of the staff. I think they sensed that their teachers really cared about them as individuals, and as a consequence, an air of mutual trust and respect pervaded the school.
As I look back, through the prism of more than 25 years, I have but one regret about my time at St. Albans. I think that we could (and should) have harnessed the relationship between staff and students and used it as a platform to build a much stronger academic focus and, eventually, an academic tradition. We had all of the ingredients to do this, and we could have done it without sacrificing the really good things which we achieved. The job of the school principal is to provide educational leadership, and I think that the lives of the students who were then, and those of those who came after them, would have been enhanced if I had exercised more leadership in this area.
Having said that, we put a huge effort into focusing the curriculum on ensuring that our students were literate, numerate and socially competent and in these basic aspects of building an academic tradition, I think laid a good foundation for those who followed.
April 3, 2006
The College commemorated ANZAC Day this year on our first day back to school after the holidays. Students, staff and special guests gathered to remember and pay their respects to those who have served in the armed services. We also hold this service annually in honour of the anniversary of when Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed on the beach at Gallipoli in Turkey on 25 April 1915. Thank you to our VCAL students and staff who organised this event; a very special day in our College calendar.
Year 6 Transition Days
This term has seen the first of our Year 6 transition activities commence for the year with over 300 Year 6 students from nearby schools visiting the College. Students had an opportunity to tour the school and learn more about the way high school works to support their transition to Year 7 next year. The day was a wonderful success and students met teachers, participated in mini lessons and had fun completing a variety of engaging and hands on activities. A very big thank you to all the students who came along and the transition team at our school for organising such a successful event.
Interact Club 2022
We were very fortunate to have a number of members from our local Rotary club attend our first Interact Club meeting for Term 2, held on Tuesday 3 May. There was an excellent student turnout of 28 students who were very engaged and excited by the projects for the Club to consider and ideas for fundraising presented.
John and Barbara Watters, who have been integral to our Interact Club since it was initiated at the school over 6 years ago, brought along information about a water project in Cambodia. As John outlined, Project W involves our club fundraising to provide clean running water and toilet facilities to one of 54 schools in the most disadvantaged areas of Cambodia. We aim to raise at least $5000 towards this cause. International Committee Chair, Cherrie Osborn, provided further details and stories of how the funds would assist the children in the schools. She also outlined how we could build connections with students in a particular school in Cambodia that we would be in partnership with as part of this Project. The students present were enthusiastic to become involved as they learned that there were no toilet facilities or clean running water at these schools. Our Interact club is now planning fundraising activities so we can assist and look forward to partnering with a school.
As an idea for a local project, Barbara outlined a working bee program the Club could be involved in. It would entail undertaking maintenance and gardening at the Brimbank Bicycle Education Centre in Green Gully Reserve.
Also present at this meeting was East Rotary Club President Yvonne Osborn, who provided ideas about sponsorship and working closely with Rotary to assist with fundraising. We have a long and successful partnership with our local Rotary Club and are very grateful for this connection. There will be more information about the proposed initiatives throughout the year. We look forward to building up the achievements of the club after many of our initiatives over the last two years were impacted by lockdowns. We anticipate this will be a very successful Interact year and thank the student members for their strong show of support.
Business Partners Breakfast
We had a great turnout for our annual Business Partners Breakfast which is an important part of our school calendar and an event that provides an opportunity to build connections and partnerships within the community. The breakfast was held on Wednesday 4 May before school.
Two VCAL students, Shawanah Sciberrras and Vishall Gill, spoke about their journey and experience with this vocational pathway. They were followed by the guest speaker, Deidre Boaz, the Community Food Programs Coordinator for Foodbank Victoria. Deidre, in partnership with her team, has played a vital role in supporting our community. We have partnered with Food Bank over a number of years and many in the community have benefitted from the services they provide.
Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation, operating on a scale that makes it crucial to the work of the front line charities who are feeding vulnerable Australians. Foodbank provides more than 70% of the food rescued for food relief organisations nation-wide. At our school, Foodbank provides the food for our daily breakfast program as well as lunches for students on a needs basis. Also, thanks to Deirdre’s work, we have been able to provide groceries to members of our school community needing some additional support on a regular and ongoing basis. The grocery program started in 2021 during COVID with the provision of hampers to families in our staff carpark, this was particularly important for those impacted during lock downs. We now have a mobile Supermarket onsite twice a term where families can select the groceries they need. Deidre spoke of the desire to assist those in need and she outlined how the services of foodbank assisted many members or the community.
Breakfast was prepared by a number of students in the Year 12 VCAL class, supported by Ms Marlene Cassar. The buffet of food they prepared, and the way it was presented, was commented on by all of those who attended. It was so professionally executed and is a testament to the skills of this team. The event was hosted by the Year 10 mentors who did an exceptional job of running the event with the support of Mr Adrian McCall and Ms Lynda Vo.
A group of VCAL students in front of the breakfast they prepared
There were many present whose connections went beyond being a member of the local business community, a number of our business partners are school alumni who are keen to support the school that they attended. We thank all our business partners and look forward to continuing these strong relationships. Thank you to our guest speaker Deidre Boaz, the VCAL students and Ms Cassar who catered for the event, the Year 10 mentors, Mr McCall and Ms Vo. It was a lovely way to celebrate these important connections within our community.
Western Chances Reception at Government House
A small group from our school were invited by the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Anthony Howard AM QC, to a reception at Government House for Western Chances. Western Chances currently have 35 scholarship recipients at St Albans Secondary College and those of us at the reception were fortunate to also catch up with a number of SASC alumni during the evening. Current Year 11 Student, Sui Hlawn Ceu represented our current student recipients and attended with her father, Lal Hlawn Ceu. Ms Terry Bracks AM, who established Western Chances in 2003, addressed the gathering and spoke of how proud she was of all past and present recipients and how far the program had come in the 19 years it has been running.
Any important information will be sent to parents and families via the Compass News Feed. Parents are asked to ensure that they have access to Compass.
General Office Payments
Preferred method of payment for School Events and Curriculum Contributions is via the Compass school management system. Parents will log in to this system using their allocated unique User ID and a temporary password. Payments can be made through the Action Centre from the home screen. Please contact the General Office on 9366 2555 should you need further information.
Students are reminded that they require their ID cards with them when they present to the front office.
Student Lunches at the General Office
Families are advised that the General Office is unable to accept lunches for student collection. Please discuss and prepare for a different course of action with your child, should they forget to bring their lunch to school.
Attendance, Uniform, Punctuality
We greatly appreciate the support we receive from parents to make sure that your child attends school regularly and punctually, is in full uniform, and is well prepared for all classes with books and equipment.
Students must have a minimum of 90% attendance in all classes at each year level.
Full uniform must be worn to and from school, at school and on all school excursions, including interschool sports.
Students are expected to be punctual at the start of each day and for all classes. Any student who is late more than 4 times will have a Friday detention from 3:20pm to 5:20pm.
Sustainable School Shop
The Sustainable School Shop website is available to purchase and/or sell second-hand uniforms and used textbooks.
When selling items, click the Sell Uniforms button and follow the prompts. Assistance is given to construct your “For Sale” ads including a pricing guide.
To see the ads for items currently on sale or to obtain the seller details, you will need to log-in to the Sustainable School Shop website, click the blue Stocktake button and then click the item you need. Buyers contact the seller directly.
Sellers are asked to delist For Sale Ads as items sell.
Student Absence Line
Parents are reminded when leaving message on the student absence line to:
Wait for the beep before leaving a message
State who you are, eg: I am the parent of …….. and clearly state your child’s name and home group
Clearly state the reason for your child’s absence and how long they will be absent for
Please ensure that your message is audible (not on speaker phone) and there is no background noise.
Camps, Sports, Events Fund (CSEF)
Parents with a valid Health Care Card may be eligible to apply for the CSEF. The CSEF is a yearly payment for each child in the family attending our College. This payment is to assist with the cost of Camps, Sports and Excursions for your child to attend. Applications for CSEF close on 22 June, 2022 and forms can be downloaded from our College website or obtained from reception.
State School Relief (SSR)
Should you have a valid Health Care Card and require assistance to purchase school uniform and/or school shoes; you may be eligible for SSR. Health Care Card holders with students enrolled in the VCAL program may also be eligible for assistance with the purchase of personal protective gear. Please enquire at the General Office.
Welcome back to all our students for Term 2. We hope that you have had a restful and enjoyable break.
Term 2 has commenced with a flurry of engaging activities. On Wednesday 4 May the Year 7 students attended a Science based excursion to Melbourne Zoo. The students were able to intersperse free time exploring the zoo with four informative talks from the keepers. The talks focused on the elephants, giraffes, baboons, and the rare and endangered snow leopard.
The Year 7 Melbourne Zoo excursion was a great experience for everyone. The students had the chance to see many cute and incredible animals. Students were all given their own little booklet to fill out while looking at different types of animals. There were all kinds of animals at the zoo such as gorillas, turtles, giraffes, snakes, sea otters, elephants, and more. It was so cool to see gorillas beat their chest, lions roar, birds fly, and monkeys climb. Students were enjoying the trip immensely simply because of the excitement that the zoo brings. It was a tiring walk around the zoo but it was definitely worth seeing all the amazing animals that the zoo has to offer. At the end of the day, everyone gathered to hop back on the bus to go back to school. Everybody was exhausted but happy. Once we got off the bus to school, we all sat down in the grassy area to get some rest. Overall, this excursion was a huge success. – Spike Gillbee 7J
The following day, the Year 8 students travelled to Ballarat to visit Sovereign Hill. This open air museum depicts the first ten years of European settlement at Golden Point, Ballarat, following the discovery of gold in 1851. The second largest gold nugget ever found, the ‘Welcome Stranger’ was found near Golden Point. This nugget, weighing in at 69kgs is recreated at the museum.
Grade 6 Taster Days
While our students were out of the school at the Zoo and Sovereign Hill, we welcomed prospective 2023 Year 7 students with our Grade 6 Taster Days. Students from our feeder primary schools were welcomed with a BBQ and were provided with an introduction to SASC and the core subjects. They met with many of our staff members as well as their future classmates.
Over the course of the final weeks of Term 1 and into Term 2, our Junior School Class Captains and Vice-Captains, as well as a number of other students, participated in Student Forums. These events are designed to obtain feedback from the student body on a range of issues across their school life. Students provided very positive feedback on range of issues, as well as providing areas for further attention and improvement.
Year 7 Camps
Year 7 camps at Strathbogie have been continuing into Term 2. The activities offered have been changing as the weather cools. However the ability to provide a safe and engaging alternative learning environment hasn’t changed. Camps provide an invaluable opportunity for students to form relationships with classmates and teachers outside the regular classroom. They also get a taste of life in rural Australia.
Welcome back to all Middle School students, family and teachers. We hope that you enjoyed your Easter holidays and the chance to spend quality time together as a family.
Over the next few weeks, students in Year 9 and 10 will be summarising their learning over the course of the semester in preparation for semester tests and exams. Teachers have spent time with students reviewing their learning and supporting them to identify areas for targeted revision. In assemblies, students were reminded of the importance of a good diet and sleeping well in preparation for exams and tests
On Wednesday 4th May, the Year 10 Peer Mentors organised a breakfast to begin the schedule of events with the College’s Business and Community Partners. A huge thank you to Mr Adrian McCall, Ms Lynda Vo, Ms Marlene Cassar and the Year 12 VCAL students for their support in organising and facilitating the event.
From Tuesday 10th May – Thursday 19th May, Year 9 students will be completing their NAPLAN tests for Language Conventions, Reading, Writing and Numeracy. The timetable for NAPLAN tests will be available on Compass for parents and students to refer to.
Work experience starts for Year 10 students on Thursday 9th June for one six days. Any student who has not yet confirmed a work placement and completed the necessary OHS modules must see a member of the careers team for support.
Semester Two for Year 10 will start on Monday 20th June, with changes to students’ electives, and in some cases, their English and Maths teachers.
Year 9 Semester Tests – Monday 30th May to Wednesday 1st June
Year 10 Semester Exams – Thursday 26th May to Friday 3rd June
State Rugby League Team Selection
Congratulations to both Nathanial Sialaoa & Divine Vili, who have both been selected for the 2022 U15 Victoria Schoolboys Train-on Squad. Both have worked hard on and off the field and have been rewarded with being recognised as 2 of the top 28 league players in the State for their age group.
Well done to you both, you should be very proud of yourselves, and we are cheering you on all the way. – Mr Sam Brown
We wish the students all the best for their tests and exams.
My name is Vonnie and I have just recently begun teaching Maths, Science and Year 11 Personal Development. I am so excited to be embarking on this new chapter of my life. I completed my Master of Teaching (Secondary Teaching) in 2020 at Victoria University. I have spent the majority of the first year of my teaching career working as a CRT through ANZUK and have been to numerous schools in Victoria building my experience.
Prior to my Masters of Teaching, I graduated a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Sciences) from Swinburne University where I also got some industry experience working at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in 2015. During my undergraduate studies I also had the pleasure of travelling to Vietnam with 15 other university students for one of my units. We spent two weeks working with university students in Tra Vinh, talking about Sustainability.
Ultimately, I chose to alter my career pathway towards teaching because I believed it would help me to find a greater sense of meaning and happiness. Since making this decision I feel more fulfilled and energised towards making a positive contribution as a teacher. Thank you so much for your warm welcome. See you around, folks! 🙂
Hi, I am a new member of the Individual Needs team and this is my first role in the education department. I have a background working as a carer, but this new role supporting the kids at school is unique and I am excited for the challenge and learning ahead. I am very grateful for the opportunity, and only after a few weeks here at St. Albans I have felt very welcomed and have met many lovely people.
Here is a bit about me: In my spare time I enjoy playing soccer and going to the gym. I also like the outdoors, lately I have been really into fishing.
I look forward to meeting and working with you all.
Hi, my name is Alex and I’m very excited to be joining the Individual Needs team at St Albans Secondary College as the new Speech Pathologist.
I have experience working in the community setting as well as primary schools and private practice with a keen interest in providing assessment and support for language, literacy and social skills. In my spare time I love going camping with my family, riding my horse (Rain) and playing netball. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with you all.
Dear St Albans Secondary staff and families,
My name is Anne, I am a social worker by training and have just commenced in the Mental Health Practitioner role here at St Albans. Previously I worked in Public Health with children and their families. I am very excited to be joining the school community.
My work interests are in safety and connection between people and the health and wellbeing of young people.
I also love sewing, nature and the outdoors.
Look forward to meeting you all soon.
Hi, my name is Jasmine. I am very excited to be joining the staff and students at St Albans Secondary College in the General Office.
My background has been in finance and also working within the health sector. I am really looking forward to working within Education to take on a new challenge and to gain new skills and experiences.
We have 4 children aged between 14-20 so our house is very loud and busy, but lots of fun.
A successful Term one was concluded with our annual Year 11 versus Year 12 Soccer Challenge. The game had all spectators watching in anticipation as the Renegades and Goal Diggers gave it their all on the pitch. It was a tightly contested game with the Goal Diggers achieving victory over the Renegades, 8 goals to 6. It was a spectacular game, and we would like to extend our congratulations to the winning team. We would also like to thank all the players and cheerleaders for their enthusiasm and excellent sportsmanship.
In the first week of Term 2, we held a ceremony to commemorate ANZAC Day. Our Year 12 VCAL students led the ANZAC Day service, and the school captains and vice captains laid a wreath to acknowledge the contribution and sacrifice of all those who have served our country. A special thank you to Mr. Andy Marshall from Caroline Springs RSL for his commemorative address to our school community.
The Senior Sub School assemblies were held on Friday the 6th of May 2022. The focus of the assemblies was to promote the benefits of healthy eating and self-care and to communicate exam expectations and procedures. Students had previously completed a Resilient Youth Survey, and were also provided with the results and follow up actions at the assembly. Although there was a lot of information to assimilate, the students listened attentively and engaged well with the presentations. Prior to the assemblies, the VCE teachers met to share and discuss teaching and learning strategies to further support students to achieve their full potential and prepare for their upcoming exams.
The Year 11 students attended the Victorian Careers Show at the Melbourne Showgrounds on Friday 13th of May 2022. The students enjoyed the day, and explored a range of university, TAFE and training providers. They obtained information and resources to inform their future pathway.
The Year Level Coordinators are currently reading Year 11 Progress Reports. They will be interviewing students and speaking to parents/guardians. Progress reports will be available for students and parents/guardians to view from Friday 20th of May 2022.
Year 11 end-of-unit exams will commence on Thursday 26th of May 2022. The students will be preparing for their exams in classes. The Year 12 practice exams will be held during the holidays from Thursday 30th of June to Tuesday 5th of July 2022. We encourage all Year 12 students to use the study timetables developed during their study skills session, and to ensure they have allocated adequate time for both revision and study. A quiet and well-organised study space at home is essential for effective study. Mr Turner, the Teaching and Learning Coordinator, will be offering an advanced study skills workshop at lunchtime in the lead up to the exams.
The Wellbeing team are also running mindfulness sessions every Monday at 8:30am in H1 during the exam period to support students’ wellbeing. A range of mindfulness techniques and resources will be provided to students on the topics below:
A reminder that as the weather is cooling down, students can purchase the school scarf and jacket from the uniform shop on Mondays and Thursdays at lunchtime. The school scarf is the only scarf to be worn at school.
We request that parents/guardians contact the school if their child is absent and that a medical certificate is obtained, where possible. Students are required to meet our Attendance Policy for a satisfactory result in their end-of-semester reports.
We would also like to announce that there will be changes to the Victorian Senior Secondary Certificates next year. The new VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM) and the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) will replace the VCAL certificate. More information will be provided in the next newsletter, parent information evenings and assemblies later in the year.
We would like to thank parents for their continued support of the Senior Sub School, and invite them to contact us on 9366 2555 if they have any queries or concerns about their child.
We wish the Year 11 and 12 VCE students all the best as they prepare for their exams.
On Wednesday 4 May, Year 10 Geography students and teachers Amy Lee, Louis Turner, and student teacher Connor Millsom travelled from St Albans to Port Melbourne to investigate environmental change on Melbourne’s coastline. We were a bit worried that it was going to be rainy but luckily it turned out to be a beautiful, if chilly, day.
Students took part in a range of fieldwork activities, such as field sketching, and surveying people to gather data. They were able to identify some of the issues that Port Melbourne faces, and discuss what problems may occur in the future due to climate change and global warming. They discovered some of the management strategies that are currently being used there, and considered how Port Melbourne is used by the people who live, work, and visit the area.
We finished up with a delicious lunch at Melbourne Central before returning to St Albans.