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Mooroolbark College Newsletter – June 2021

25th June 2021

Our latest Mooroolbark College Newsletter is here!
The Mooroolbark College newsletters are an important form of communication for our school community.
Each newsletter contains a great deal of information about what is happening in the College including upcoming events and celebration of student success.
Enjoy the read…

Upcoming Events


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As staff and students return to school over the past two weeks, I am reminded of the generosity, resilience on good will of all members of our College Community. The staff and students have worked so incredibly hard to make Remote Learning work so effectively demonstrating the College values of resilience, respect, endeavour and compassion. As a result, the transition back to traditional schooling has been smooth, the learning has continued, and we will be set for a fresh start in Term 3.

I wish to acknowledge the Year 10 and 11 students for their dedication and work completing their exams during remote and flexible learning.  Unfortunately, due to the lock down the Year 12 Social was postponed.  I’m pleased to report that this has been rescheduled for July. 

I would also like to thank the parents and carers of our Mooroolbark College students for their support of learning during our experience of remote and flexible learning. Education should always be a partnership between students, teachers and parents and during this time of remote learning we needed this partnership even more.

Prior to commencing remote and flexible learning our Mooroolbark College Parents Association ran a Bunnings BBQ at Chirnside Park.  Thank you to all the parents who helped and volunteered to make this an outstanding success.

We are looking forward to the start of Term 3 returning on Monday 12th July. Term 3 is an exciting term at Mooroolbark College.  It is also an extremely busy term with the College production in August and course counselling and subject selection in July and August for students going into Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 in 2022.  Students in Year 11 will undertake the Debutante Ball in August and will begin rehearsals in July shortly after we return.  Year 7 and 8 students will all experience new subjects with the rotation of Arts and Technology subjects.  For our Year 12 students, this is the term where their focus needs to be on ensuring they are in a place to achieve their best later in the year.

Again, thank you for your continued support of teaching and learning at Mooroolbark College.


Ann Stratford



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Green House started 2021 with a BANG! We were all keen to see us get off the bottom of the House Cup ladder so we set our motto for 2021 to be “Green House – Number 1 in 2021!” 

The enthusiasm and commitment from the students at the Swimming Carnival was outstanding. Our academic results from the end of 2020 were incredible and at the first count, we were number 1.  

We have since had the House Cross Country and Athletics Carnival where our participation was a not quite as good as the Swimming Carnival. Hopefully at the next assembly we are still in the top 2 spots and we can finish strong in Semester 2. I’d ask all Green House students to make a huge effort in Semester 2 and obtain points through merits and other extra-curricular opportunities. 

We have awarded four value awards this year for either Resilience or Respect. It is good to see the Green House students displaying our four school values every day. Congratulations to our values winners from Term 1: 

  • Jazmine Hosie 
  • Mika Jetajobe 
  • Tristan Dzioba 
  • Mitch Haywood 

We are fortunate to have four amazing and committed house captains this year. 

Mia Caruana: Middle School Captain 

  1. Favourite TV series: Gilmore Girls. 
  2. Favourite food: Strawberries.  
  3. Why you chose to apply to be a Green House leader: To build confidence, experience, and gain new skills!  
  4. Best moment so far as a leader: The best moment being a leader so far is helping out with school tours and spending time with my friends/ other leaders at GRIP leadership. And lastly, the swimming and sports’ carnivals.  
  5. How do you want to be remembered: I want to be remembered as me, Miss Colette’s favourite student and a friendly student always there to help others! 


Belle Gavin: Middle School Captain 

  1. Favourite TV series: I do not actually watch enough tv to have a favourite show but my favourite movie is Inside Out.
  2. Favourite food: My favourite food would have to be any and all types of pasta, especially carbonara.
  3. Why you chose to apply to be a Green House leader: I like to perceive myself as a role model to younger students and have always loved helping around the school environment. I have always loved to challenge myself by seeking every opportunity, taking up the position as a green house leader was going to be my next challenge. I knew I wouldn’t see myself regretting taking the position and I’ve loved undertaking all types of new experiences. 
  4. Best moment so far as a leader: During this year, I’ve already accomplished so much as a leader but some of my favourite moments were helping Year 6 parents and students around on school tours, and when I was granted with the opportunity to do a speech at the college open night. These are things I have thoroughly enjoyed doing and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year. 
  5. How do you want to be remembered: My goal for the year as a leader was to be remembered for frequently putting myself out there and trying everything. By making an attempt to undertake any house challenges, taking opportunities to do public speaking, and helping absolutely anyone when in need.


Caitlyn Kavanagh: Senior House Captain 

  1. Favourite TV series: Greys Anatomy
  2. Favourite food: Pasta
  3. Why you chose to apply to be a Green House leader: I wanted to be a green house leader so that I could help students out around the school yard and to feel that in my last year at Mooroolbark, I got to create a supportive environment in Green House.
  4. Best moment so far as a leader: Definitely the sports carnivals
  5. How do you want to be remembered: I hope to be remembered as someone that people can come up to talk to and be approachable. Most importantly, I hope to be remembered as one of the Green House Captains that won the house cup.


Joshua McMeekan: Senior House Captain 

  1. Favourite TV show: Prison Break 
  2. Favourite food: Ice cream
  3. Why you chose to apply to be a green house leader: I chose to apply for green house captain because I wanted to be a role model for other students within the school, I wanted to have a voice in school activities and most importantly, I wanted to help green house win the house cup in 2021.
  4. Best moment so far as a leader: The swimming carnival because student participation was high and I feel like it went really well for both me as a leader and for green house as well. 
  5. How do you want to be remembered: I would like to be remembered as one of the captains who led green house to victory in the 2021 House Cup!

Michelle Colette
Green House Leader


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Whilst we have now come out of remote learning (and fingers crossed it is for the last time), the information below is still very relevant. The Lockdown Survival Guide was put together by Amy Donaldson, one of our new Mental Health Practitioners.  It has useful tips for students and parents to better manage the ebbs and flows of life and school.  

As we say to students daily, we care about each one of our students and their wellbeing. Your child’s mental health and wellbeing is our priority and we want to continue to provide quality welfare support to them. If you have any concerns at all about your child, please contact your child’s coordinator or myself and chaplain Gill Van Der Ende. We are available to parents via phone or text. Your child can also contact us directly by knocking on the door of our office. We are here to support you!

John Nichol
Student Wellbeing Coordinator



24 Hour Emergency
Kids Helpline  Counselling service for people aged between 5 and 25  24 hours/7 days  1800 551 800

(email, web chat)

Lifeline Crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services 24 hours/7 days

13 11 14

Beyond Blue Information and support for all ages to promote optimal mental health. 24 hours/7 days 1300 224 636

(Chat online or email)

E headspace Provide mental health support for young people aged 12–25 Phone: 

10pm – 1am

Online counselling: 1pm – 1am

1800 650 890

Yarra Ranges Youth Team Provide support and advice to young people   9294 6716 

1300 368 333 or 9294 6905

Inspiro Free youth, teen, young adult and family   counselling 9738 8801 

or visit
for more information

Parent line Support for Parents and carers with children from birth to 18 years 8am–midnight/7 days 

13 22 89 

1300 30 1300

EDVOS Family violence service in Melbourne’s eastern metropolitan region Mon-Fri 9am-8pm 

Sat 9am-5pm (phone or email) 

03 9259 4200

No To Violence Supports for men who use family violence Mon – Fri 8am-9pm 


 1300 766 491


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The focus for the latter part of Term 1 and Term 2 has been on the individual MIPS appointment with our Year 11 students. In the appointment, the students defined their career goals in their career action plan.  Students also had an opportunity to explore their knowledge of post-school options and requirements by using a range of career resources, including Compass (Career Tools), VTAC, university/TAFE course handbooks. 

Mrs Pisano organised the Year 11 Mini Careers Expo held on Thursday 13 May.  Sharon Neal and Matt Tench from the OELLEN, spoke to the students about apprenticeships pathways, employability skills and future job trends. Tertiary and TAFE representatives from ACU, RMIT, Swinburne, Deakin, Box Hill Institute, JMC Academy, SAE and Richmond Institute attended.  The Year 11 students accessed a range of career resources and spoke to the representatives regarding courses, pathways, ATAR results, scholarships and a gap year. This incursion supported the Year 11 students to make informed career choices. 

Miss Coghlan organised the Year 10 Pathways Day. It was held at the College on Tuesday 15 June.  Students listened to a presentation by Jenny Roache on pathways, available to students in senior school.  Virtual presentations by Deakin University, AFL SportsReady – Education and Employment, and OELLEN focused on courses and employability skills respectively.  Mrs Woodward has commenced planning for the Year 9 Pathways Day.  The Year 9 Pathways Day will be held at the College on Tuesday 13th July, during period 3.  Mrs Keogh was organising tertiary representatives to visit our Year 12s after they have completed the GAT.  At this stage, this is on hold due to Covid restrictions.   


Jenny Roache
Senior School Leader


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As we bring term 2 to an end, we reflect on the time we have used to explore algebra and cartesian planes. Students had an opportunity to apply this knowledge during our ‘Tower Challenge’ we held during remote learning. This produced some great results, and some interesting towers. Faculty favourites were Liara Summers, Aliyah Orwin, Matilda Sleeman, Lyndon Grantham, Aidan Grier. 

With a snap lockdown, looking at the positives, we could pull out the quizzes and interactive online activities we relied on in 2020.  

Wrapping up the term, students have learned that algebra is in many things we do in life outside of the classroom, including a classroom favourite, how we use algebra to simplify a McDonalds order.  

Students have had the opportunity to read graphs and create their own stories to match the changing gradients of graphs, these include sales of skis, bitcoin investments and kilometers ran. 

We are looking forward to the holidays and a chance for students and staff to refresh and rewind before beginning Term 3 – Measurement and Geometry. 



Jade Hubben
Mathematics Key Learning Head


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With so many of our subjects being semester-based, recent weeks have seen classes consolidate students’ understanding of what they’ve learned over the semester.  Students have completed their final CAT assignments, while loose ends on earlier tasks have been resolved. 

Year 7 Geography Suburb Design, Year 8 Geography Megacity Report, Year 9 World of Work Cultural Diversity and Year 9 Trade and Conquer were a few of these assignments.   

Year 9 “Trade and Conquer” from Be Your Own Boss involved students selling their products at lunchtime in the Northern Quadrangle.  What a popular celebration it was!  Spider drinks, quartz crystals and candles were among the popular items on sale in the last days prior the move to remote classes.   

VCE classes began new units, with the Year 11 History class examining the links between their work in Unit 1 on Nazi Germany and the focus in Unit 2, the Cold War.  It was amazing how many direct links students had to times past when we played “1930s-40s History Bingo”. 

Working remotely, our classes saw students complete SAC and CAT assessments, demonstrate their understanding of coursework and participate in many engaging activities.  These included quizzes, Kahoots, photo challenges, sketches, constructing quick diagrams, tours of faraway places using Google Earth and Streetview, and observations of the local area. 

Well done to all Humanities students and staff on a great first semester.  We wish everyone a relaxing and fulfilling term break and look forward to more exciting things in Commerce, History and Geography in term three. 


Chris Hanneberry
Humanities KLA 



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What a term to celebrate! Our annual Athletics Carnival was held on the 24th May and it was fantastic to see so many students participating in their house colours.

Volleyball is a sport that is extremely popular here at Mooroolbark College and with the help of our new sport’s coach Peter, a select number of our students have been chosen to be involved in an athlete training program where they will develop their skills and teamwork capabilities. Our sights are firmly set on the state championships this year, as we have had many successful division attempts across all year levels. I’d like to thank John Nichol for pioneering this program to better engage and support our Burmese community. I would also like to thank Peter for his efforts in training, supporting and nurturing the students’ raw talent. If any students are interested in joining the program, training is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school in the ECA at 3:00pm.

Inter-School Sports have been a huge part of Term 2 and I want to thank our parent community, teaching staff and our amazing students for getting involved, having a go at something new and making some fantastic memories along the way. We have had more students participating in Inter-School Sports than ever before. I would also like to congratulate all students who participated in District Cross-Country. Please see the Inter-School Sports update for more information.

A special mention to all the fantastic Leadership Development students who led an incredible semester of the Peer Support Program for our Year 7 students. As teachers, it is awesome to see the younger generation of leaders coming in and supporting our Year 7s and even teaching the teachers a thing or two. The connections and learnings made during Health was a joy to see. Not only do the Year 7s have a grasp of a range of new Health topics but they have also gained some extra friendly faces in the school yard.

Finally, I’d like to wish all students, parents and guardians a safe and happy holiday as we head into Term 3. As students partake in new semester-based subjects in Term 3 and 4, I look forward to the many works they produce and the learnings they gain.


Stephanie Todd
Health and Physical Education Key Learning Head


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Cross Country and Athletics Carnivals: 

On the 27th March, we held our annual Cross Country Carnival at Lilydale Lake. There was a record number of sign up’s, with over 500 students running on the day. It was fantastic to see some extremely competitive races, with some age group champions decided by less than five seconds. There was also a great level of sportsmanship shown by all members of the college. 

Congratulations to the following students who placed first overall in their respective age groups!

U13: Xander Lalor & Matilda Sleeman 
U14: Angus Trewavis & Jordyn Allen
U15: Bailey Van Bert & Brooke Petrie 
U16: Harrison Woolhouse & Ashley Chuah
U17: Cooper Williams & Shaneyl Parker-Hawdon
Open: Samuel Ottosson & Zoe Griffin 

On the 24th May, Mooroolbark College participated in our annual Athletics carnival. Luck was on our side with perfect weather for the day. Just as the sun came out, so did the costumes, with students dressed in playdough, onesies, jeanies, bananas, power ranges and even sauce bottles. It was fantastic to see so many students wearing their house colours and displaying their yellow, blue, green and red pride.  

The sprints were booming with students and our relays were as intense as ever. So many activities were ran across the day and the enthusiasm from students is what makes this day so special. Students even had the opportunity to race against our fastest teachers in the staff vs students relay (with the students coming out victorious).  

Keep an eye out for the final results to be posted soon! 

Mr Exon
Interschool Sport Coordinator


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Congratulations to all our EAL students on getting through remote learning and the end of the term.

This time of year marks the end of the semester with reports soon to come out, as well as the beginning of a semester of learning. We asked some of our students what they would say to a new EAL student at Mooroolbark College. Much of this advice applies to everyone as we get ready for the holidays and a new term. 

Some exciting news from the EAL Team: 

We are very excited to announce that Mooroolbark College is setting up a homework club that is specifically designed to provide extra support to students who come from an ‘English as an Additional Language’ or refugee background. We are running the club in partnership with the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY), Migrant Information Centre (MIC) and Foundation House. We think this is an excellent opportunity for your child to get extra help with their schoolwork and for them to feel more supported and engaged with their education. Stay tuned for more information on the starting date and time. 

Finally, Ms Yi Jiang will be taking over the role of EAL Coordinator from next term. Charlie Chaturapornkul will be moving on from this role at the end of this term. We asked Ms Jiang to introduce herself to the EAL community in preparation for next term.


Charlie Chaturapornkul
EAL Coordinator



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Term 2 has been a time for assessment and consolidation in The Arts, with many of our classes undertaking practical activities focusing on skill development, creating and making. Throughout the Arts this term, Year 7 Drama students have been busy working on their Fairy Tale Performance, while Year 8 Music students have been putting their musical skills to the test by creating short pieces of original music. In Year 8 VCD, students have been completing their visual pun tasks, while Year 9 Art students have been exploring photography. In the senior school, our VCE Media Art, VCD and Studio Arts students have been busy finishing off their Unit 3 SATs. They have created some amazing work that we can’t wait to share with everyone next semester.  

Our Media students in Years 10, 11 and 12 have been super busy finishing off the last remaining work for the semester. Our Year 10 students have shown fantastic time management skills in completing their film posters and their final short film productions in the last few weeks. Our Year 11 students have completed their recut film trailer, which turned out fantastic, while our Year 12 students have just completed their planning documents for the production that they’ll create next semester. We can’t wait to see how they all turn out.  

A selection of short films created in Media can be seen on our YouTube channel at 


This month, the College’s Instagram has been showcasing the amazing work produced by our Art students in Art, Media and Studio Arts. Well done, everyone! You can check out more of our students’ amazing work at



It’s full steam ahead for both of our College productions with rehearsals for both The Addams Family and Alice in Wonderland going well. Both of our productions have their performances early next term and we can’t wait to see our students shine on the stage. More details on both productions will be made available at the start of next term. 



During Week 2 of Term 3, Mooroolbark College will be running art related actives at lunchtime in celebration of THE ARTS. 

More details will be provided in Week 1. House points will also be up for grabs! 



Jordan Van Kuelen
The Arts Key Learning Head


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Our ASPIRE students have so many wonderful things to celebrate throughout Semester 1.

Congratulations to the Year 7 class on their transition to secondary school. Students have worked hard to complete their required assessments, worked cooperatively with their peers and sought help from their teachers when necessary. Keep working hard and striving to achieve your personal next next semester!

Our Year 9 class had a fantastic end to Term 1, completing a cross-curricular Amazing Race event. Students worked in teams to complete a variety of challenges, developing their problem solving and collaboration skills. Well done to Ms Cannington and Mr Ingham for organising such a fun event for our Year 9 class! The Year 9 class are now in the process of planning an Amazing Race for the Year 7 class, to be held in Term 4.

“During the final weeks of Term One, the Year 9 ASPIRE class was separated into small teams to undertake an Amazing Race type game throughout English and Maths classes. The unit started with teams making names, slogans and logos – some of these were more serious, while most of them were good jokes! The first activity was a scavenger hunt around the school to test how well we could memorise limericks and get our new teams working well together. Another one of our challenges was a physical challenge where we tried to hold up heavy weights. This was what I considered the hardest challenge as it tested our resilience, as well as our ability to cooperate with others. In the last challenge we had to use our creative skills to make baskets out of hula hoops, string and tape so that they would be able to support 10 beanbags. Using these baskets we needed to run up and down the basketball court transferring water from a bin into a bucket to earn points.” – Belle Gavin

A reminder to prospective students that our ASPIRE testing day will be held on 11th September 2021. Please register your interest using the following link –

During Term 3, I will be running the one-on-one reviews with the Year 7 and 8 students and we will get to run an excursion or two! I hope all of the ASPIRE students and teachers take some time to rest and recharge over the holidays and come back to school ready for an exciting term.


Kara Salmon
ASPIRE Coordinator and High Ability Practice Leader


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The practical component of Science is often the most appealing part for students. They get to use equipment that is unfamiliar and it allows them to gain a deeper understanding of the theory taught. Our year 7 students have been learning about separation techniques used in laboratories, desalination plants, sewage treatment and even in the kitchen. Students applied the skills they have developed during the term and collaboratively problem solved how they were going to separate the ‘Green Gunge’. Once a plan was in place, students performed the experiment and presented their findings on a poster. They will proudly have these on display during our Year 7 Night of Excellence, to be held during term 4. 

Our more senior students have also been applying their knowledge. The year 10 Forensics classes recently visited KIOSC, a tech school located in Wantirna to investigate evidence and solve a mock homicide case. Students examined physical evidence from the crime scene, such as fingerprints and crime scene virtual reality (VR) photos. They interviewed suspects and identified their whereabouts on the day in question. Students also explored the mathematical biometric measurements that can be taken at a crime scene and used as evidence. All evidence was then transferred and analysed in the lab. The experience consolidated the skills they have been learning throughout the past semester. 



Year 10 Biology students attempted to identify how recently different animals shared a common ancestor based on similarities in features, structures, classification etc. A comparison of a shark and dolphin was used as an example of convergent evolution (as they appear similar but diverged from a common ancestor long ago ie. cows much more closely related to dolphins than sharks). 


These are just a small sample of some of the experiences our students are enjoying in Science. Term 3 will be just as busy and we will also be celebrating National Science Week – Food: Different by Design in August. Have a safe and restful break over the holidays. 


Skye Jennings
Science Key Learning Head






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One of the most incredible aspects of working in the Library is seeing learning in action through the changeover of reading material and the support that our Library receives through consistent visitors.  

We love watching our students use the Library resources; lunchtimes are always busy and full of students exercising their critical thinking skills during a game of Chess or Uno. Students practice their reading strategies by exploring our shelves of fiction and graphic novels. The Wellbeing Wall is always examined closely and we find that we’re often changing out the texts available in this section as we showcase new books that help to support our wellbeing and mental health.  

Teaching colleagues are often bustling in and out of the Library, investigating new books that have been delivered and sometimes even some older titles that support our curriculum. It’s pretty exciting when we’re able to provide a text that will help support the learning that happens in a classroom and we’re always on the lookout for recommendations that can be used as either model texts or just interesting reading.  

We’ve had some great recommendations over the last few months from both staff and students and we look forward to continuing to fill our Library with the books that *you* want! If you have a recommendation, then please include it in our Recommendations Book which you’ll find on the Library circulation desk.  

Excellence in learning occurs when the team works together – students, staff and parents. The Library is the heart of this team and while we don’t know the exact secret to happiness, we do know that we’re never sad when we’re surrounded by books!  

New to the Library this month: 

Neurocomic – recommended by the VCE Psychology team 

The Art of Taxidermy – recommended by Year 9 student, Kai Rogers 

The CHERUB series – recommended by Year 12 student, James Basford 

Teen Breathe magazine – recommended by the VCAL team 

Kit Magazine – recommended by the Library team 

Welcome to Consent – recommended by the Wellbeing team 


Premiers’ Reading Challenge 

Don’t forget to log all your finished books on the PRC website. If you don’t have any login details, then you can ask Miss Pauer. You get House Points for all the books you log on the site and for everyone that finishes the challenge, there is a hot chip lunch on offer!  

We have several students that have completed the Challenge already! What an amazing reading journey they’ve had.

Book Club is back on! 

Running every Tuesday lunchtime, if you would like to participate in Book Club, please speak to Miss Giles. We chat all things books and reading. There are lots of fun activities and we also supply the snacks. We’ve been busy writing some recommendations that are for students, by students, which you’ll be able to find in the Library.


Prue Bon
Library Coordinator


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Students have been working hard in Technology to master the skills they have been learning and to finish the products they have been tasked with.  

The Year 11 Systems Engineering class have had their drag races run and won with the fastest vehicle belonging to Lachlan Sturrock. There were a number of notable mentions, Illiro Smit, Joshua Edwards and Darcy Draper arranging catering for the event. Mr Unland, who recently took over the teaching of this class, was not able to match the speed of the students. He is tipped to do better in the return event where students get to modify their designs to make them go faster. 

In our Foods area our Year 7 & 9 students bounced back well after lockdown, making the most of the lunchtime classes and as a result have produced amazing results. Our Year 7 students finally managed to make their own muffins they had been researching and planning this term. The Year 9 Food Studies students completed their Burger Design task making some tasty burgers and the Special Occasion Foods classes worked hard to design and make their own birthday themed cakes, achieving amazing results. Luckily, our Year 10 students had already completed the course work prior to lockdown. The Barkers Bakery students competed well for the most creative, well designed and produced dessert. Year 10 students planned, prepared and produced healthy meal kits. The presentation of their products were very professional. Barkers BBQ have had a great time designing and producing their own BBQ meal and got to sample a brisket which was slow-cooked in a smoker for 14 hours, thanks to Mr Dingey. Overall, despite the challenges we should all be proud of our students’ work ethic and results. 

In the Textile Design area, our students have once again demonstrated their commitment to learning by coming in at lunchtime to catch up on time they missed in the practical rooms during remote learning. They have drawn on the knowledge and range of technical design skills they developed when working on their folio and have applied this knowledge and skill to their products. They utilised sharpie design, shaving cream marbling, tie-dying , block painting, painting, string pull and liquitex to create their designs. The quality of the bags, cushions, soft toys, heat packs, indoor footies etc were mind-blowing. They certainly worked hard to complete their products to an excellent standard.  


Andrew Dingey
KLA Leader Technology

Mooroolbark College Newsletter – June 2021