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21st July 2023


Guest Speaker Mark “Squiz” Squirrell with Ms Marina Stergiou

Year 9 “Building Resilience” Presentation


Principal’s Welcome

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Belated Welcome back
I welcome everyone back to Term 3 and trust that you have had a good break. If you have not had the chance to access your child’s semester report, I suggest you do that as a priority.

Road Safety and ‘Respect The Congestion’
It is always timely to remind students and families that Wellington is like a not-so-little village of over 2000 people – comprising students, teachers and members of the parent community. At peak times of the day, there may be lots of people in relatively confined spaces. Before school and at the end of the day I ask all members of our community to take special care to ensure that we all stay safe and healthy. This includes getting dropped off or picked up in cars, catching the bus to and from school or crossing Police Road at the lights or in other side streets around the school. ‘Respect the congestion’ (and the rights of others), be careful and above all – stay safe.

NAPLAN 2023 – Changes To NAPLAN Reporting
We sent a newsfeed out a couple of week ago about the new NAPLAN – below is an updated version for those who may have missed it. Families will receive their NAPLAN results by mail in the next couple of weeks. So, please make sure your contact details are up to date. For any changes, contact the General Office on 9547 6822.

The NAPLAN results for 2023 were released to schools on Monday, July 17. I am writing to inform you of some changes to this year’s reporting. These are changes being introduced nationally by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

NAPLAN will continue to measure student achievement in numeracy, reading, writing, spelling, and grammar and punctuation but the results will now be presented in four proficiency levels. These are:
· Exceeding: (the student’s result exceeds expectations at the time of testing)
· Strong: (the student’s result meets challenging but reasonable expectations at the time of testing)
· Developing: (the student’s result indicates that they are working towards expectations at the time of testing)
· Needs additional support: (the student’s result indicates that they are not achieving the learning outcomes at the time of testing. They are likely to need additional support to progress satisfactorily).

These changes will give schools, parents and carers clearer information that details student achievement against new proficiency levels. 
Students’ NAPLAN reports will continue to show how they are tracking against their peers and provide an indication of their skill levels against national averages and where we would expect them to be in order to get the most out of schooling. This provides valuable information to teachers about how we can continue to support your child’s learning and academic growth.

While each set of NAPLAN results is an important milestone, it is also important that students understand that one result does not define them – these results are about making sure every student gets the support they need so they can continue to get the best from their learning. When we provide you with your results, you will also receive more detailed information about what the new proficiency levels mean.

In terms of Wellington performance, initial results are very positive. As yet, we do not have state-wide comparisons, however we are way ahead of similar schools and highly competitive within our Network.

Year 7 – % in top 2 Bands – Exceeding or StrongWSCSimilarNetwork
Grammar & Punctuation685580
Year 9 – % in top 2 Bands – Exceeding or StrongWSCSimilarNetwork
Grammar & Punctuation644773

Staff Professional Learning
Friday August 11 will be our third whole of staff Professional Learning Day for the year (the first two days of the year were the first two). We will be engaging in a number of externally and internally driven activities that support our provision of FISO 2.0. Students will not be required to attend on this day as all classes will be cancelled.

Event Planning 2023
We continue to return to normality in the post-COVID world. The following events can be locked into your diaries:

  • School Production: Wednesday August 30 – Saturday September 2
  • 3 Way Conferences: Wednesday September 13
  • Year 12 Valedictory Dinner: Thursday October 12
  • Awards Night at Robert Blackwood Hall: Tuesday November 21

More details will emerge as we move through Term 3 and 4.

DET Surveys – Attitudes to School, Parent Opinion, Staff Opinion
We finalised our Attitudes To School Survey with our student cohort at the end of Term 2 and the Staff Opinion Survey has just been completed. The Parent Surveys will become “live” soon and if you are selected, I urge you to complete it. These surveys provide significant information to assist us in planning for the next year.

Hugh Blaikie


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Upcoming Dates: July-August

  • July 17-28 Victorian Young Leaders China Virtual Program
  • July 24 Year 9 Course Counselling (selected students)
  • July 28 Year 12 Formal
  • July 31 VM Incursion
  • August 1 Year 10 Holocaust Excursion
  • August 3 Australian Maths Competition
  • August 3 Year 10 Holocaust Excursion
  • August 4 Year 9 Romeo & Juliet Incursion
  • August 11 Student Free Day

Performing Arts

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VCE Music Recital – May 31

On May 31st, the VCE Unit 1 Music students performed at the first VCE Music Recital of the year! Part of the VCE Music Curriculum is to perform repertoire, so this event was both a performance opportunity, and an assessment for the students. The new VCE Music study design allows for a wide variety of instruments to perform, so we heard a lot of quality performances ranging from classical piano pieces to a “Bounce DJ Set”.

It was a very enjoyable night and such a great opportunity to showcase our senior music students all in the one night. Congratulations to everyone who performed, and a big thank you to our helpers:  Mr. John Oien & Mr. Navin Gulavita (who both helped moderate the assessments), Mr. Peter Jarvis and Mr. Aben Alexander. 

Mr. Tray Driscoll-Plavins
Learning Specialist – Student Voice & Agency

Winter Concert – June 22

The Wellington Winter Concert coincided with the winter solstice, sometimes referred to as the shortest day or longest night. Although the day was short, the so-called longest night, passed quickly with an evening of music performances from our instrumental music program students and staff.

The performance took place in the MJP Theatre to a full house audience. With a newly upgraded sound system, the performers and audience were treated to the best possible sound for all to enjoy.

The concert included a diverse range of music including Contemporary, Classical, Orchestral, and Popular genres performed by the Percussion Ensemble, String ensembles, Junior and Senior Concert bands, Stage band, Guitar and Bass ensembles, Choir as well as numerous talented soloists and duos throughout the evening.

An event of this scale cannot take place without the support of our school community and its success is a testament to all working together. In particular, I would like to thank the performers and parents for their involvement, the Performing Arts captains, Community Voice including Sam Pirotta and Mr. Blaikie, the Tech Crew and staff who gave up their time to help with sound, lighting and backstage. Last but not least, the WSC music teaching staff who share their passion for music and expertise to develop and inspire our young musicians, there would be no program without them.

The WSC music program and standard continues to grow and improve. There was no shortage of items to include in the program with many students requesting to play in the Winter Concert. Some may have to wait until Spring. We were delighted to have so many students keen to perform in the concert and share their passion and talents.

We will be hosting instrumental music soirees/evenings later in Term 4. These evenings are a great way to meet the teachers and see the students play in a less formal setting. Numerous busking day events are held at lunchtimes for the students and the cast and crew are busy rehearsing for the ‘Frozen’ Production commencing Wednesday, 30 August, to name a few of the upcoming performance events not to be missed.

We look forward and hope to see you at the next Music events!

Mr. John Oien
Instrumental Music Coordinator

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Excursion – June 14

Year 9 Drama students were lucky enough to go on an excursion to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the end of last term. Students were thrilled by the incredible staging and special effects, whilst being captivated by the clever plot line to the play.

Mr. Aben Alexander
Performing Arts Teacher

Future Leaders Camp

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Future Leaders Camp – May 31 – June 2

On May 31, a group of 18 students from year 9 attended Wellington’s annual Future Leaders camp at Boar Gully campground, located in the Brisbane Ranges National Park, Balliang. They spent 3 days learning valuable life and leadership skills.

One of our students writes about her experience:

Future Leaders is a year 9 elective at Wellington SC that offers to enhance leadership capabilities within students, teaching situational life skills and providing outstanding opportunities. The course shows coverage of the skills that come along with being a leader. Future Leaders are part mobilisation, part collaboration, part citizenship and part leadership. The program is immersed in nature, enforcing the students to build up their own personal character and leadership skills. A Future Leader embodies faith in their own judgement of character and how to successfully achieve the criteria of collaborating and leading a team. Even when put in demanding and contemplating situations, we are offered to think outside of the box.

The Duke of Edinburgh program and Future Leaders camp are activities to utilise hands-on learning to engage students, allowing students to foster innovative ways for personal and community development.

Future Leaders offers the completion of the Duke of Edinburgh program where we follow the requirements of the criteria to complete our Bronze in year 9. The Duke of Edinburgh offers a bronze, silver and gold award. We are required to participate in a physical recreation, skill and volunteer work, with a choice of completing the following 2 for 12 weeks and the other for 24 weeks. Enforcing students to partake in different extracurriculars that are beneficial to students’ learning, knowledge, skills and characteristics. Future Leaders’ camp is mandatory within the course to surround ourselves in nature to learn outdoor skills.

We participated in camping outdoors for 3 days, 2 nights at the Brisbane Ranges National Park with Ms Fry, Mr Burge and Mr O’Bree. Many students had different perspectives of their expectations for that camp however, while on the camp we realised it was more than just the hike. We collaborated, supported each other and learnt not only how to be independent but also how to rely on others. What we believed to be bad unexpectedly came out to be a life-changing experience. Hands-on learning such as starting a fire, hiking, team building activities such as riddles, and reflections of our ups and downs enhanced our physical, mental, social and personal skills and capabilities. Students willingly experienced new things together as a class and the opportunity to develop socially by making new friends and meeting people is also valuable and one to remember.

Christine Pham

Middle School

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Year 9 Cohort Mesmerised by Mark Squirrell

It is not often that you will see a group of 300 15-year-olds sitting in a theatre, silently transfixed to a speaker who has been invited to address them. And yet this was the case in the last week of Term 2, when we invited Mark ‘Squiz’ Squirrell to speak to our Year 9 students.

We met Squiz at a Principal Forum earlier this year and upon hearing his United Nations ‘No Hunger’ journey and his Mount Everest experiences, and how these influenced his decision-making, team-building and leadership, we immediately thought this is the person who can captivate our Year 9s and help them to truly understand the meaning of Global Citizenship, connecting with our world and raising awareness about the issues that they explore in their study of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). For most of our students the UN and the work it does is somewhat remote, and they do not entirely understand its global significance. Squiz was the embodiment of what the UN aims to achieve standing before them, talking to them about one of the most significant SDGs.

Squiz was a commando in the Australian Defence Force Special Forces. He spoke to the students about what it takes to become a member of the Australian Special Forces and the skills and experience required to head overseas to a number of war zones including Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan. Significantly, Squiz did not enter these war zones as a soldier, but a humanitarian aid worker and it was his work in this field through the United Nations that became his inspiration to tackle ‘that’ mountain in the Himalayas, Mount Everest.

Through his videos, slides and interactive activities, Squiz inserted students into a number of difficult and challenging circumstances that he faced in real time, and he asked students to contemplate and mitigate those circumstances. All students participated; listening, discussing, choosing options, fully engaged with the scenarios placed before them.

Squiz was inspired by UN World Food Programme and all the people living in poverty that it feeds, to achieve something spectacular and help raise awareness of the global hunger crisis. His mission was to help the UN raise awareness of one of its most strategic goals: global hunger. To do this he chose to expose himself, with a group of others, to arduous climbing in extremely high altitudes, to reach the summit. Describing his journey, he involved the students in situations that test one’s willingness to persevere, to make a difference, to build character and be community minded.

Sharing his hazardous voyage through life, he invited students to seize the concept of being motivated. He inspired our Year 9 students to not be afraid of the obstacles, to take advantage of the thrilling experiences they may be presented with, to be determined, and most importantly to dare to dream.

Marina Stergiou
Assistant Principal

For more information on Mark Squirrell see:

Below are some reflections and comments from Year 9 students on Squiz’s presentation:

Squiz kindly visited Wellington and presented a very inspirational talk to us all. He mentioned all sorts of missions he went on, from assisting those in poverty to even climbing Mount Everest! I will carry his story and strong determination as motivation as I carry on in the future. Thank you Squiz for positively influencing students at Wellington.

Yashvi Mehta

Mark Squirrell taught us the importance of making the correct decisions in life. If we make the wrong decisions we will fall apart and learn, but when we make the right ones we achieve our goals. Decisions we make, shape our future. 

Dhruv Srivastava

Squiz’s recount of his life as a global citizen could only be described as something out of an inspirational guide to life. His interactive and engaging presentation really underscored the significance of perseverance and resilience, especially in his goal to advocate for children’s education in Nepal. Squiz’s presentation not only highlighted the importance of many skills we aim to achieve in Global Citizenship but also demonstrated what the true embodiment of a Global Citizen is.

Una Crnogorcevic

Mark Squirrell’s presentation illustrated his willingness to make a positive impact on the world through being a part of the Australian Special Forces and through being a humanitarian worker. This presentation was engaging and interesting, to say the least.

Ben Harper

Squiz’s presentation was not only engaging and insightful, but the scenarios he presented were thought-provoking challenges that also served as a humbling reminder to be grateful for the things and opportunities we have living in a first-world country. By guiding us through his presentation, Squiz also empowered us to make informed and rational decisions with confidence and clarity.

Tanishka Srivatsan

During the presentation in the theatre, I found Squiz’s experiences extremely insightful and inspiring, noting that although he was faced with difficult challenges and tough situations, he stuck it out and was able to help and provide for many people.

Nathan Thomson

Squiz’s talk was very interesting. His speech about climbing Mount Everest was almost like some movie! He had to overcome so many difficult situations, like getting lost, lack of oxygen and frostbite! His stories about the situations he found himself in and trying to help others without food was very inspiring. He showed how he had to make these important quick and good decisions and if he messed up the consequences could’ve been really bad.

Marin Palinic

Year 10 Curriculum Expo – June 19

Year 10 Psychology Incursion

Vikki Petraitis is a famous Australian writer, presenter, teacher and podcaster who has valuable  life experience in the forensic world of science. Recently the Year 10 Psychology elective students had the privilege of learning from her involvement, firsthand in particular cases, during an incursion. This unique event was the first of its kind and an exciting initiative for the elective. The focus was to incorporate what students had learned in theory and apply this knowledge to real life forensic cases that were current and relevant today.

Having already been taught the various mechanics involved in criminal profiling, Vikki presented the notorious Frankston Serial Killer case.  She highlighted the psychology behind the investigation and empowered students to openly share their ideas and opinions regarding possible suspects. In groups, students created a profile based on the five-step Behaviour Evidence Analysis Model and compared their conclusions to the actual offender’s profile developed by an FBI trained profiler. Forensic psychology is already an engaging topic for students, however this experience solidified their knowledge and reinforced self-efficacy. It was a well-received experience and students were forthcoming in voicing their appreciation and need for future incursions.

The class was later presented with a recent case in Mentone that had received widespread media coverage.  The Class of 1999 from Kilbreda, a Catholic Secondary College for girls, are being stalked.  The unknown offender continues to send a series of anonymous letters to 65 women who are now in their 40’s. Although this case is still as yet unsolved, students had the golden opportunity to profile the offender on raw evidence and data provided by Vikki. Students applied their skills with the understanding that this could assist the investigation. All students were inspired by the prospect that once a suspect is arrested, that their profiles were successful.

By all accounts this was an engaging and interactive program. Vikki’s skill set in education and public speaking, carefully curated the program to suit the needs of all Year 10 students. She spoke highly of the student’s behaviour and enthusiasm. In the end, “experience is the teacher of all things.”

Ms Anita O’Shea
Psychology Teacher

Senior School

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Year 12 Legal Studies Excursion – Supreme Court

One Year 12 VCE Legal Studies class went to the Supreme Court on the last day of Term 2 (Friday June 23). The students were able to sit in the court and speak to 2 Judges who answered their questions. The students then got to sit in on a cold case murder from 2007, where the prosecution and defence lawyers were going through DNA evidence. Students then went to the Court Library to see all the old books with precedents and previous court decisions. The students were very engaged and felt they got a lot out of the excursion.

The other Year 12 VCE Legal Studies class went to the Supreme Court on Friday 14th July.  The students were able to look around a court and speak to a justice registrar and have their questions answered. The students then went to the law library to have a look at all the books and history displayed.  We then sat in on a bail hearing of a 13 year old.  The defence called and questioned a youth justice worker about the accused bail request and how the youth might be supported if released on bail. The students enjoyed their time at court.

Mr. Ron Jooss
VCE Legal Studies Teacher

Student Wellbeing

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Pride Club

Pride Club is a safe space where people can share their experiences, learn about LGBTQIA+ issues, and most importantly build a community based on the foundation of unconditional support. It is a home away from home where you can be yourself without fear of judgement or discrimination. By joining the Pride Club, we can all be part of the movement that aims to create a more inclusive and accepting society for everyone.

Ultimately, becoming a member of Wellington’s Pride Club is a wonderful way to display your pride and support, meet new friends, learn new things, and make a positive impact in the LGBTQIA+ community and the world. So please do not hesitate to join this club! Whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity, everyone is valued and welcomed in the Pride Club. Come down to Pride Club every Friday lunchtime in W10 because “Pride is for Everyone.”

Cayman Boon

The Importance of Self-care

Self-care is when you take the time to take care of yourself. It is where you do anything you enjoy that helps make you happy and conserves your physical, mental or emotional health. Self-care can be simple everyday pleasures like soaking in the bathtub, reading a book or going for a run. For families, self-care helps parents/carers and teens deal with life’s everyday pressures in a more positive and rewarding way. Self-care is very individual. What may work for one may not work for another. Take some time to figure out what you are going to enjoy the most. By having a set routine of self-care, it will help keep you energized and help deal with pressure.

Self-care Ideas:

Physical Self-care:

  • Exercise: Using a workout app, walking, running, cycling, swimming.
  • Sport: kicking a ball around with mates in the park, joining a local club or gym.
  • Spa: Soaking in the bath, massage or manicure.

Mental & Emotional Self-care

  • Entertainment: Listening to music or watching a movie/ TV show.
  • Nature: spend time in the backyard, at the local park or gardening.
  • Friends: catch up with a friend, arrange to meet at a café.

Creative Self-care

  • Imagination: writing, drawing, journalling.
  • Learning: Reading a book, cook new recipes, listen to a podcast.
  • Spirituality: Reading scripture, meditating regularly, attending a service

Shannon Pook
Mental Health Practitioner
Student Wellbeing Team

Community Noticeboard

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