Congratulations to Joanne Dao, our College Dux for 2023 with an ATAR of 99.05
Jennifer Ho received a study score of 50 in her English class
with Ms Vasi Pillay, and Anderson Pham received a study score of 50
in his Foundation Maths class with Ms Catherine Reinhardt
Phone: 9547 6822
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In this Issue:
Welcome and Farewell!
This will be the last Journal for the year, and of course my last Journal forever.
It is fair to say that as I have progressively bid farewell to each year level over the last week or two, it has reinforced my appreciation of what a wonderful school we have and how lucky we are as parents, carers and teachers to be able to support our fine Wellington student cohorts – not just in 2023 but over many, many years.
I will miss the smiles, the “hello misters” and all the other respectful conversations and interactions I have had with our young people of all ages and year levels. This week, the Year 9 Design Challenge epitomized all those emotions. What a stunning event it was! Please check out the photos in other parts of the Journal.
A couple of Friday’s ago, I was at an art exhibition in the city, as a private citizen, and from left field I heard “Mr Blaikie, is that you?” It was student from the Class of 2004 no less, and we then proceeded to have a long chat about the ‘old days’ and the influence of Wellington on his life. It made me realize what a privilege it is as an educator to have had that sort of impact on the lives of so many, over so many years (someone out there can do the maths on exactly how many!!!).
As I say farewell I know “The Wellington Way” is as strong as ever, and I am humbled to have been so much part of it.
VCE Results – 2023
Our VCE students received their results on Monday, and I congratulate all the students who presented for the exam program this year.
The Dux for 2023 is Joanne Dao with an ATAR 0f 99.05 – a fantastic result for Joanne who hopes to be pursuing a career in Dentistry next year.
Two other results are worthy of mention. Jennifer Ho received a study score of 50 in her English class with Ms Vasi Pillay and Anderson Pham also received a study score of 50 in his Foundation Maths class with Ms Catherine Reinhardt – what a great team effort between pupil and teacher. Congratulations!
I also congratulate the 28 new inductees into our “90+ Club” – a great effort and reward for the hard work by teachers and students alike. As we often say, the ATAR is but ‘a moment in time’ – so, for all students the most important element is not the number, but where the number might lead you.
To all students in the Senior School, we are proud of you and your results. They are all the more remarkable given the challenges you have faced throughout your senior years. I thank the teachers, wellbeing and support staff who have worked for many years alongside our young people in the Class of 2023.
Ms Huffer and the Pathways Team are available to work through any change of preference issues with all students.
Grade 6 to 7 Orientation Day – December 12
On Tuesday we welcomed the 256 Grade 6 students who will join Wellington as the Year 7 cohort for 2024. I thank Ms Wallis and the Junior School Team for an engaging a “Wellington Way” introduction to our latest cohort of Wellington students. They seem a very happy bunch and we look forward to getting to know them a lot better at our ‘Wellington Welcomes You’ program in Term One next year.
End of Year Arrangements
Our end of year activities program was wrapped up on Wednesday and I thank Mr Tom Wyldes for his thorough planning in this popular program.
We had the traditional visit from our friend from the North Pole on Wednesday, thus winding up the fun and games of the week. Semester Two Reports will be distributed via Compass on Monday December 18, and I urge all students and parents to reflect on the messages contained within them and use these to prepare for 2024.
I am pleased to announce that our annual magazine ‘Vanellus’ is now available online – it is always a great reflection on the year just past. I sincerely thank all the contributors and to editor in chief Ms Megan McKinnon for her tireless work in keeping the content, the design and the deadlines on track! Megan was also instrumental in ensuring the Journal landed in your in boxes every couple of weeks throughout the year. Sincere thanks, Megan.
Planning For 2024
For 2024, please note the following dates:
Further specific details for each day will be distributed via Compass as needed.
In closing, I thank everyone for your continued support this year and for all the years prior and wish you all a happy and safe festive season.
I again sincerely wish Mr Chris Knight and the new leadership team all the best for 2024 and as I leave, I know the school is in very good hands moving forward.
Mr Hugh Blaikie
On November 24 all Year 7 students participated in a ‘Career Curiosity’ workshop, which was run by Tyson Day from an organisation called ‘Arrive and Thrive’. The workshop was pitched at the appropriate developmental stage for young people who may be starting to think about their future careers.
At Year 7 level we do not expect students to have a clear idea about what future career they want to pursue. The Department of Education refers to the Year 7 curriculum stage as “I Discover”, which means that we give students opportunities to explore their strengths and interests as a means to plan their future pathways. They also begin to learn about how personal and interpersonal skills will play an important part in their future work roles.
The evidence tells us that young people are starting to think about their futures beyond school even while in primary school. The presentation was designed to encourage students to consider their interests, values and strengths as the basis for these decisions about their future, without expecting them to have a specific career in mind. Tyson spoke to the Year 7s about having an open mind and considering every opportunity open to them.
The workshop included a lively session of ‘Sarah Says’, which required students to use their active listening skills, which are an important aspect of communication. Tyson was introducing students to the concept of employability skills and the ways we can all develop them in our everyday lives. Across each of their years at school students will continue to develop their careers education and research skills through a variety of activities and events.
In mid-November each of our Year 8 students entered the virtual world to explore careers in an interactive and immersive format. The College employed ‘Mindflight7’, a company that brings along a set of virtual reality headsets loaded with a range of careers experiences. We had students experimenting with careers by immersing themselves in open heart surgery, forklift driving, cutting hair, exploring marine life, creating art, cooking and more.
The flight staff encouraged students to explore a virtual experience that they thought they might not enjoy so that they showed a growth mindset and a willingness to try a career that they initially thought might not interest them.
Ms Lucinda Huffer
Director of Student Pathways
On Thursday November 2 a group of students and I got the lucky chance to visit Holmesglen Moorabbin for a day to learn about Renewable Energies. Throughout the day we went through 3 interactive workshops (Wires, Solar, Welding) and at the end of the day a Q&A.
First, we started with wiring which even though was challenging still struck all our interest on how wiring works. The workshop started with us doing a basic switch to turn on a light which might have sounded easy but trust me it was hard with all these wires! More throughout the wiring workshop we stopped in between to listen to our mentor telling us stories about the magic of wiring which shocked a lot of us!
After the wire workshop and the short snack break, we had the hard-working solar workshop. This workshop started with a demonstration on how to install solar panels as a team. When the demonstration finished, we all communicated effectively to help each other install solar panels and after 8 times we finally perfected installing solar panels. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Finally, we reached our final workshop, welding. The workshop had two parts: making a phone holder and virtual welding. I started with virtual welding where we practiced welding and at the end you would get a score but trust me it was difficult. At the end I got 80 points which was later beaten by my friends who got 81 and 88. After we swapped over, and we got to make our very own phone holders. The mentor showed us how to put the metal sheet into the machine which in return started bending the sheet which gave us our very own phone holder.
After lunch finished, we entered the Q&A who was led by three experts from the Renewable Energy sector in Victoria. We asked them questions about “What is Green Hydrogen?” and “What inspired you to work in Renewable Energy?” which further deepened our interest in Renewable Energies. When the Q&A finished, they left us a quiz for everyone to do and let me tell you it was stressful! I got 2nd place in the quiz and my amazing friends cheered for me as I went to get my prize. On our way-out Holmesglen handed gift bags to us as a thank you for visiting which was so nice.
Thank you to Ms La for allowing us to experience this wonderful program, and Ms Jones for supervising us while we were at Holmesglen. Without you we would not be able to gain the experience to further improve our time at Wellington Secondary College.
In November, the student leaders of Wellington Secondary College went to visit Colac Secondary College and their student leaders, following up Colac’s visit to Wellington back in September for our Leadership Symposium Day.
While the trip to Colac was a long one, the discussion that took place with the students at Colac Secondary College was informative and worth it, as we conversed about different methods and strategies that can be used to encourage more student engagement and leadership building skills amongst both schools. The student leaders of Wellington were also taken on a tour of Colac’s school facilities and it would be remiss to say that we were not amazed by their facilities. Colac Secondary College’s campus was incredible, with their gym and library being much more spacious than ours. We learnt that this was because the gym and library was for both the students and the general community of Colac.
It was with this that the topic of “community” became an essential part of the discussions that took place that day between the schools. We had a guest speaker, Richard Riordan, who was the local MP of the area. He spoke about making decisions as a leader, and leading a community. Colac Secondary College also had a farm, which included cows, chickens and hamsters that the students would take care of for their agriculture classes. This was particularly eye-opening for me, as I had never considered that the students of Colac would study subjects that were any different from our school.
On behalf of the student leaders who attended this workshop, I can confidently say that this was a collaboration and event worth remembering and we hope that we can do this again in the future.
SRC Vice President
Following an eventful Term 3 with the Production of Frozen Jr., the annual Spring Concert was held in week three of Term 4 to another full house in the MJP Theatre.
Following on in similar fashion and format to the Winter Concert, the concert included a diverse range of music including the Percussion Ensemble, String ensembles, Junior and Senior Concert bands, Stage band, Guitar and Bass ensembles, Choir as well as numerous talented soloist and duo acts. For those present, a memorable and possible highlight was the ‘Special Guests’ performance – featuring none other than father and son duo Mr Ben Blaikie and Mr Hugh Blaikie on Guitar and Vocals to close the evening with the Staff Band.
We will cherish the numerous times Mr Blaikie has performed at Music events over the years. We thank Mr Blaikie, a true patron and supporter of the Arts and Music at Wellington.
All students enrolled in the Instrumental Music Program have lessons at school and are required to attend and perform with one of our Ensembles. This concert series is the perfect opportunity to showcase our varied Ensembles and for our young performers to gain experience on stage, performing with other students.
We are delighted by the numerous requests from students who wish to perform at these events. Although we cannot always include all performance requests, we provide a number of other performing opportunities such as Busking Days, the performance at Awards Night at Robert Blackwood Hall, and other College events. We are always looking for more opportunities and welcome ideas and suggestions from our student and parent community as we plan for 2024.
Congratulations to all our performers this year, thank you to all the Music staff for working with the students and to the parents supporting our program. For existing students enrolled in the program, students will be automatically re-enrolled at the start of 2024 unless we are notified.
For students wishing to join the program in 2024, an expression of interest link and information will be available on the Compass Newsfeed soon, and again at the start of 2024.
For any further information regarding the Instrumental Music program or lessons, please contact the College at email@example.com or on (03) 9547 6822.
Mr John Oien
Instrumental Music Coordinator
Congratulations to the international students who received awards at Robert Blackwood Hall. Here are some photos of our International award winners, taken on the night.
Continuing on from the competition which ran this year, Mr James Heng (Wellington’s DE Specialist Technician) challenged International Students to compete against him. Three students took up the challenge – Evan Yin, Jack Nguyen and Manith Seng. Manith and Jack beat Mr Heng, who was kind enough to provide chess sets as prizes to each of the students who participated.
Last week we celebrated as Mr Blaikie and Mr Dwyer presented WIELC graduation certificates to our 11 WIELC students and wished them all the best as they transition to mainstream classes next year.
Lots of fun was held last week at school and at home celebrating the festive season. Students learned about Australian Christmas traditions and discussed celebrations in their home countries. Some students had fun decorating the Christmas Tree in their homestay and enjoyed the traditional Christmas meal before they departed for their home countries to spend the holidays with their families.
Director of International Programs
The Year 9 International Cuisine students rose to the Mystery Box challenge. The students collaborated in teams to produce a dish with high sensory properties. The meals produced were of restaurant quality and the atmosphere in the room was electric.
Ms Voula Rivans
Food Technology Teacher
The Year 8 students have been learning the structure of the eye. To have a better understanding and to see various parts of the eye, students were asked to dissect the eye of a cow/buffalo.
Our students were excited to dissect the eye and noticed important parts of the eye.
By the end of this activity, students were able to:
Mr Radha Kollipara
In their last week of the school year, the Year 9s spent four days working on their Design Challenge. The challenge for the students this year was “How might we highlight the culture of Wellington Secondary College by creating a game?”
The students started by investigating current games and what makes a good game. By the time the second day rolled around, the students had really taken the idea and ran with it, there were many brilliant ideas that were ready to be brought to life. Students were able to use resources in the Makerspace, in our Design and Technology precinct, to produce their games. Once again, the Makerspace was a hive of activity. As the prototyping was happening, it was apparent that there were many variations of some popular board games, but it was also great to see some students coming up with original games and computer/video games too.
The Design Challenge ended with an Expo on the last day, where the Year 9 students pitched their ideas to various Year 7 and 8 students and teachers. Amongst these visitors, were our judges for the week, ready to choose winners to hand out prizes. Prizes were awarded from the Principals (Mr Hugh Blaikie, Mr Daniel Butler, Mr Brendan Dwyer and Ms Marina Stergiou), various teachers (Mr Jackson Keat, Ms Teresa La, Mr Christos Liousas and Mr Seijiro Nishioka) and the 2024 Middle School Captains (Stefan Battista, Kanish Kapoor, John Modouris and Nurali Seyit).
The criteria for judging was based on various aspects depending on the judges – which included, but was not limited to, strong emphasis on College culture, best gameplay, best visuals, creativity and dedication throughout the week. The judges will tell you that with all the amazing effort that had gone into these games, that it was very difficult to choose just one winner each! Many honourable mentions were also celebrated on the day.
Once again, it was fabulous to see the students collaborating and creating fantastic pieces of work. Their board games were so good that the idea is that they will be kept and used in future years in the classroom, potentially as part of a transition program – watch this space!
Ms Teresa La
Director of STEM
On November 31 students from 9C Global Citizenship ran a market day to “Make a Difference” and raise funds for selected charities. Students sold cupcakes, spiders, milk shakes, ice cones and candles. After a bustling lunch time they were able to raise a combined total of $638 for their charities.
Special thanks to Ms Rachael Andrews for her support in the kitchen.
Mr Aben Alexander
Curriculum Area Learning Specialist – Performing Arts
Wellington Secondary College and the French teachers in particular are proud to acknowledge Fiona WEE in year 10 who is studying French at the Victorian School of Languages. Fiona has obtained an Excellence award in recognition of her outstanding results in French.
We wish Fiona all the best with her future studies in VCE French.
Mr Bushan Sookhareea
Curriculum Area Leader – Languages
On Friday December 1 the Inclusion department celebrated the end of the year by taking a select number of students to visit the magnificent forest of the Dandenong Ranges onboard Puffing Billy. Starting our journey in Belgrave, and disembarking at beautiful Lakeside where we explored the outdoors and the new museum. From here we made our way back down to the famous Emerald Bakery where the taste of Italy meets the village life of Emerald. Enjoying the sunshine and our lunch, it was a day for everyone to remember.
Ms Jessi Cantle & Ms Jess Elms
Inclusion Support Officers
Quiksound Productions and Monash Youth Services presents ‘Art Day’, a lively social opportunity for young people in the City of Monash to connect over their shared interest of art. Supplies from multiple art mediums will be available for use and no experience required!
This event will take place over two days with each day targeting a different age range. Participants are encouraged to either work on their own projects and/or contribute to a collaborative art piece.
Tuesday January 16 10:00am – 12:00pm for 8–13-year-olds
Thursday January 18 1:00pm – 4:00pm for 14 – 25-years-olds
For more information and to book head to www.monashyouth.org.au/Events/Art-Day