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Are you coming to Mooroolbark in 2023? Would you be interested in applying for the Aspire class?

Our Year 7 students have now completed their first semester of secondary school. I asked them some questions about their experience in the Aspire Program so far – here’s what some of them had to say!

Why did you choose to apply for the Aspire program?

“I applied for the Aspire program because when l came to high-school l wanted to push myself to the best of my abilities and the Aspire program does just that. I also wanted to be in an environment with other people who thought learning was as amazing as l did.” – Charlotte

“I chose to do the Aspire program because my siblings have been in the program and they loved being in Aspire, so I decided to give it a go.” – Will

“I signed up for Aspire because it was a great way to challenge myself in my learning.” – Giselle

 “To give me a challenge in my schoolwork.” – Adam

What has been your highlight of the year so far?

“The highlight of my year has been camp. It was very fun and was a chance to meet new people.” – Ruby

“Term one where we explored food in food studies (trying new subjects).” – Trinity

“Trying to wrap my head around all the new things I have learnt in all of my subjects.” – Dean

“The highlight of this year has to be making new friends. Everyone gets along, is helpful, and just works well.” – Owen

“My highlight of the year so far has definitely been the swimming carnival, I found I was surrounded with many of my friends from other classes. In Aspire there is no push to only be around the same people, and we still participate in the same activities as all of the other classes. The swimming carnival was so much fun, and I loved having a dip in the pool in the heat and having a day away from the classroom for fun activities.” – Elise

What advice would you give to a Grade 6 student who is considering applying for the Aspire program?

“Go for it!! Being in the Aspire program means you get an extra boost in your learning, with experienced teachers to help you along the way. My advice would be to only think about your own personal goals in learning, and not to compare yourself to other students. There is no reason not to apply, because Aspire is not about being clever. Aspire is for people who have a passion to achieve high goals and want to boost their knowledge.” – Elise

“Be prepared for challenging work and tasks and have fun!” – Vincent

“The advice I would give to Grade 6 students applying for Aspire is to try your best at everything and give everything a go because it could help you in the future.” – Addison

“Definitely apply for the program. It’s a great program that helps me all the time. As well as being enormously beneficial to your learning, you also get to do all sorts of extra fun things, like excursions.” – Giselle

“Some advice l would give to Year 6 students applying for the Aspire program is to have an open mind. I think having an open mind is the best thing to do especially when applying for something you love. Be prepared to change a few things and be more open to learning opportunities and just take them as they come. Another piece of advice is to make sure you are passionate about applying, make sure that this is what you really want to be involved in and give it your best effort.” – Charlotte

Choose 3 words to describe your experience in the Aspire program.

Beneficial                  Challenging              Superb                       Helpful

Passionate                Interesting               Academic                  Expectations

Fun                             Exciting

Details about the Aspire program and our testing day for the Year 7 class for 2023 can be found on the College website or you can email any questions to


Kara Salmon
Aspire Program Coordinator and High Ability Practice Leader


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On Thursday, July 28, the Business Management and Accounting students travelled to the Yarra Glen Chocolaterie, and Healesville main street.  The excursion provided an opportunity for the Business Management and Accounting students to explore Unit One and Unit Two course content within an operating business and a business district.  Students spent time at the two locations, collecting raw data on the following topics:  location, layout design, shop fronts, branding, services, inventory, and business ethic. Learning outside of the classroom for a day provided an opportunity to see, hear and feel the theory currently being learned in class, in a real setting.  It was great to receive feedback from the local community on our student professional conduct.


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Our year 7 students were incredibly lucky to have an author visit in the first week of term. We are currently studying a collection of short fiction called Things a Map Won’t Show You. One of the stories, Learning to Fly, is by Sofie Laguna and she was able to visit Mooroolbark College to speak with students and guide them through a writing piece. Here is what a couple of students had to say about the visit:

At the Start of Term 3 our school had the pleasure to have Sofie Laguna come and talk about her time as an author. She spoke about how her dream didn’t work out the way she intended it to. She told us how her career started with her book “My Yellow Blanket” and her inspiration behind writing “My Yellow Blanket.” She answered all our Questions with Confidence. Maybe if she inspired one of us to become an author! -Dean Murs Y8

Sophie Laguna, Author of Learning to Fly, from the short story collection, Things A Map Won’t Show You, is a true inspiration. From a young age Ms Laguna has known what she wanted to do, though it hasn’t always been the same. Since she was five, Ms Laguna has wanted to be an actor, a passion she followed through her whole life and finally achieving it after her schooling, however acting was not all it was cracked up to be. Facing unemployment, Ms Laguna was soon dressing up as fairies for parties. However, she was able to draw inspiration from friend’s stories and was well on the way to writing her very first book.

Learning to Fly is a heart-warming story about a young boy’s quest for freedom. David had always wanted to fly, yet like any other person, has been physically unable, however when he attempts one final time, David suffers the consequences. Bed-bound with broken legs David is gifted a sketchpad and in painting, he finally learns to fly. – Giselle Leonard Y1

As part of their study of Sofie Laguna’s story, students wrote their own dreams on a coloured piece of paper, and then folded them into birds using origami. Students then took their birds that contained their dreams and threw them out into the universe.

Our year 10 students are currently studying Lord of the Flies and have been consolidating their understanding of the story and themes through visual character displays. This amazing work is being displayed in the classroom so that all students can benefit from it.


  • Book: Detention by Tristan Bancks. It is about individuals and about knowing their stories. It outlines the anguish of refugees detained in or near Australia with understanding and compassion. – Ms Garnaut
  • Film: The Peanut Butter Falcon. Heart-warming film of an unlikely friendship who both go on an adventure to compete at a wrestling competition. – Mr Ingham
  • Podcast: Out of Character with Millie. A Spotify original by TikTok superstar Millie – famous for her parodies of overbearing and nosey English teachers. – Ms Farrell

Transcript: Uhhh girls… where are we meant to be? I’m pretty sure the podcast has already started, get a move on ploiseeee! This isn’t for me, it’s for you guys! Okay? I’ve got an education, I’ve got a degree, I don’t need to listen to the podcast, you doooo. But you guys. You guyssss, need to get a move on. So stop lingering in the hallway, lets goooo!


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A recent highlight for Mooroolbark College’s EAL and Burmese community is undoubtedly the Performing Arts Camp early this term – 25 incredibly talented Chin students all together on a camp, enjoying every minute of the 3-day intensive rehearsal and taking every opportunity to spread their genuine passion for music and dance! The Wakakkiri squad has devoted hundreds of hours to dance practice over the last few months and will take part in the National Wakakkirri Story Dance Festival. We are keen to watch their live performance and be touched by our wonderful dancers at Frankston Arts Centre on 25th August.

The EAL team is also excited to announce the change in our Hakha-Chin and Burmese-speaking MEA (Multicultural Educational Aide) Sarah Awi’s role. She will now sit at the front office on Monday mornings to facilitate the Admin team’s communication with Chin families. It also means that EAL parents can now walk in and receive immediate assistance with their paperwork and payments without having to make an appointment.

Term 3 has always been the busiest time of the year, with Year 12s embracing the last full term in their secondary life, to all Year 8 to 11s making important decisions on their subjects and pathways for next year. This year Jessie & Tial Cung, the two Year 12 Chin students, have done a fantastic job in their roles of Biik (Red) and Darrang (Green) House captains. They have been assisting coordinators to organise events, giving speeches at school assemblies, and modelling positive behaviours for their younger peers. It has inspirationally influenced many of our junior and middle school EAL students, as we see an increasing number of applications from them for the leadership programs in 2023. We wish them the best in their applications and hope to see more students taking pride in their leadership skills.


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Term 3 is off and racing. Semester 2 is always a brilliant time of year and a time to hit the reset button if the first half of the year didn’t go to plan. Semester based subjects change over, teachers meet new students, students explore different pathways and make new connections, oh and did I mention the weather slowly gets warmer? It’s the best!

Starting off with a huge congratulations to our junior school netball teams who participated in their regional event on Wednesday, 3rd August. The Year 8 girls teams played an excellent round but unfortunately were knocked out in their final.

The Year 7 girls Netball team have made their place into the STATE FINALS! This is the first time our junior girls’ team has made it past regionals. Well done to all students involved. What an incredible day.

Our students have been working so diligently within their subjects. It has been great to see so much determination and spirit after facing such hardships during the lockdowns.

It has been busy for Year 9 students….

Physical Education students have commenced their European Handball SEPEP tournament. SEPEP involves students taking on various roles within a team such as coach, trainer, scorer and umpire. The tournament is about to heat up with classes going head-to-head in the coming weeks. Best of luck to all.

Additionally, our Health students were treated to an incursion called ‘Smashed’. The live play demonstrated how underage Alcohol consumption can have more than just physical health impacts on students’ lives. Students also explored the social, emotional and psychological impacts of underage drinking, as well as the legal implications. It was a great way to spend an afternoon! Well done to all students who engaged in thoughtful discussion and debate.

The Year 9 Advanced Sports Leadership students recently completed their Community Work at Manchester Primary School. They ran Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Netball, Soccer and Games lessons. Students learnt valuable lessons in communication, patience, teamwork and collaboration whilst planning, implementing and reflecting on their visit. Students will be there for 4 weeks and then head up to Bimbadeen Primary School.

I’d like to congratulate Reuben Johnson in Year 10, who represented Mooroolbark College at the State Cross Country Championships. He ran a personal best time of 18.15 for his 5km race and came 23rd in the state.

A big thank you to F45 Chirnside Park for hosting our Year 10 Talented Sport Program and taking them through a Cardio Hybrid workout. We look forward to seeing you again next term!

Another huge congratulations to Year 12 student Mia Austin. The No.18 pick in the AFWL draft, Austin was named in the ruck in the NAB League Team of the Year, being a standout performer for the Eastern Ranges over the course of the season and earning Vic Metro selection in the process.

We wish her all the very best for her journey in her Carlton AFLW career.

I’d like to congratulate all students for making it to the halfway mark of the schooling year. I look forward to the rest of 2022 and sharing the wonderful achievements of our students.


Stephanie Todd


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Welcome Back… and It’s Excursion Time! 

And welcome back to Languages in Term 3. If you are in Year 8 you can look forward to investigating topics such Food and School and celebrating your studies with an excursion to the city at the end of the term. We will be visiting one of our capital’s museums before attending a lunch at a German or Chinese Restaurant. If you are in Year 7 you can look forward to developing a deeper understanding of your chosen language and the excursion in Year 8! The Year 8 excursions are a reward for two years of Language study at Mooroolbark and a sample of what studies in Year 9 will be like if you choose to take German or Chinese as an elective. Of course, our Year 9 students are invited to come along to the excursions as well. 

We are indebted to four student helpers who volunteered their whole evening to be welcoming to students and parents; introducing them to the teachers and handing out the mandatory buttery waffles. The waffles are always a big hit not only on the night (covered as they are with a thick layer of faux-snow … okay, so it’s just icing sugar…), but also for the rest of the week, as it takes that long for that happy smell to dissipate from J-Block.

Assessment, Reporting & Awards 

Reports are creeping closer. Please keep an eye on your CAT statuses. Please follow instructions in order to maximize your marks. If you have concerns, please contact your teacher in good time. We are happy to help where there is a need. 

The Education Perfect Certificates will also be presented at assemblies this term. Congratulations once again to our 41 winners. 


Jiaqi Tan, Yi Jiang, Jordan van Keulen & Jonas Bahlo 
Languages Faculty 


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If you haven’t dropped by the Library lately, you really should! Our big new windows are letting in so much light – it’s hard to reconcile the fact that the Library hasn’t actually gotten any bigger because the windows make the space look huge! Our new circulation desk looks pretty sweet, too!

New books have dropped this month, and include ‘Wandi’ by Favel Parrett (which is a really cute and true story about a dingo that was stolen from his parents and ended up in a zoo – you can even follow Wandi on Instagram!); ‘Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief’ by Katrina Nannestad (which is an absolute tear-jerker but a beautiful story about a young boy who is left to fend for himself during the war) and the first three titles in the ‘Pages & Co’ series (which is a wonderful, rollicking tale about a young girl who learns that she can walk into books!).

Bookweek is coming up, so keep an eye out for all the wonderful books that have been longlisted for the CBCA Award – here in the Library, we can’t wait to see which books win! The CBCA lists are the best book recommendations you can get!

The Independent Reading program is running both Premier’s Reading Challenge and Textageddon, so make sure that you’re logging all the titles you read for both of these competitions so that you can earn house points.

And as a final reminder, don’t forget to return any overdue books! If you’ve got the copy, then it means no one else can read it!


Prue Bon
Library Coordinator


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Literacy across the school is as palpable as ever and has been showcased heavily in our two major ventures within the Independent Reading program – Literature Circles and Textageddon where there is a greater focus on reading, writing and confidence in engaging in open and critical discussions.

How Does Literature Circles Run?

1. Organised into ‘Literature circles’ (or book groups), students are given time to negotiate as a team the amount of pages or chapters they will read consecutively each week over the 6-week period the program will run. They also decide who will be the discussion leader each week and create rules or expectations for everyone in the group to commit to.

Here is an image of one group’s rules and the amount of pages they have agreed to read.

2. Students are given two sessions in class to read the agreed amount of the books and ‘track their thoughts’ in wither their reading journals or via post it notes.

An example of a student’s ‘tracked thoughts’.

3. Students now collect and use their ‘tracked thoughts to guide them in their group discussion sessions. In groups, discussion leaders are expected to summarise the section of the book and stimulate discussion and questions that culminate into a group reflection recorded in their journals.

This program will continue until Week 8 of this term where students will then be tasked with presenting to the class about the book and their experiences over the time reading it.

A happy bunch of year 7s with their books.


We are in full swing with the Textageddon competition. Students have committed to an initial challenge and teachers are encouraging them to earn the coveted certificates along the way. The first of the accolades is the 100 points award and the second, naturally is the 200+ points award. Both are dictated by how many challenges have been completed or attempted. The final iteration of the three certificates is the ‘Home Group Champion’. This will be given to the student/s who have been able to successful garner the most amount of house points within their homegroup. We can’t wait to see these awards circulating!

The certificates


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It has been a busy start for the Pathways team in term 3.

On Tuesday 12th July, the Year 9 students attended an excursion to Box Hill Institute, Lilydale Lakeside Campus, as part of their Pathways Program.

A number of workshops were offered including Nursing, Hospitality, Automotive, Creative Arts, Horticulture and Sport and Recreation. Students chose two and experienced applied learning. Students also had a tour of the campus, listened to guest speakers and a presentation of pathway options for Year 10 at Mooroolbark College given by the Pathways team.

Course counselling and 2023 subject selection has been a major focus for the students in Years 8 – 11 as we begin to prepare for 2023. Students who have missed their course counselling due to illness should make sure they see their cluster coordinator or their Pathways advisor upon return to school.

Information sessions for Year 12 students in regards to VTAC applications will be posted on Compass after week 5 and a parent information session will be held in week 6, Tuesday 16th August.


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Earlier this year Elevate Education ran seminars with our senior students on organisation and study skills. This term they will be visiting again on Tuesday 6th September. The focus of this session is “Ace your exams” and will include:

  • Highest value exam preparation tasks
  • Fixing mistakes to ensure constant improvement
  • Time allocation during exam preparation
  • Techniques for managing stress & time pressure in exams

These seminars assist students in using and applying the skills they learn and support the learning that takes place in the classroom.  

 The General Achievement Test (GAT) will be held on Wednesday 7th September. In 2022, the GAT will be different to previous years. It will be split into two sections:

Section A will assess literacy and numeracy skills

Section B will assess skills in mathematics, science, technology, the arts and humanities, with an increased focus on critical and creative thinking skills.

All students enrolled in one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequence will be required to sit Sections A and B. Senior VCAL students will sit Section A.

All students studying a Unit 3-4 subject will be completing practice exams this term in preparation for their VCAA exams held in October and November. It is expected that all students sit these exams.

They will take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday 15th September (normal classes will not run on this day)
  • Monday 19th – Wednesday 21st September (first three days of the school holidays)

If your student is unable to attend the exams please contact their house coordinator or myself. Details regarding the specific times of each subject exam will made available over the coming weeks.

All details for future events including exams and end of year celebrations will be shared via Compass and email. We kindly ask that you regularly check these so important information is not missed.


Skye Jennings
VCE Coordinator


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Year 11 VCAL Literacy visited the city on Tuesday to support their Road to Solo and Homelessness units. After exploring the interactive Road to Zero exhibition at the Melbourne Museum, we headed to The Big Issue to hear first hand experiences of homelessness and how The Big Issue provides those who are marginalised in the community with job opportunities and support. Thank you to Kelly and Michael for sharing their very personal stories. Next time you see The Big Issue being sold on the street, please purchase a copy. Every magazine sold provides income for the vendor.  Enjoy reading some of the student’s reflections below.

I really felt the Michael’s pain when he was explaining how each choice he made affected his life and how it impacted him either positively or negatively.

The Big Issue taught me that never know what someone is going through and at any time it can happen to you too. Michael has had many difficulties, but he kept continue being resilient which I have some as well.

I was surprised that Michael was homeless but got his life running properly for around 6 years, he had a stable job and a wife and home, but then he ended up homeless again 6 years later. I liked how he didn’t give up and to this day he has his life back on track and is a mental health worker at the hospital.

Through lots of trials and tribulations Michael is now a major part of the big issue and continues to provide help to those in similar situations.  Michael’s story was very interesting and motivating.


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We’ve had an exciting start to Term 3 in Science with classes participating in a range of engaging experiments exploring forces, electricity and cells.

Our Year 7 students have been busy designing and creating parachutes to test the effect of different variables on the time they take to land.

In Year 8, students have been exploring cells, looking at their different functions, sizes and how they work together to form living organisms.

Year 9 has been electrifying this Term, with students exploring circuits, looking at the differences between AC and DC currents.

Fast approaching is National Science Week 13th-21st of August with this year’s theme being Glass – More Than Meets The Eye. This year we will be hosting a range of lunch time activities in E1 each day of Science Week, with the opportunity to create sun catchers, kaleidoscopes & a range of other fun activities. A Forms link will be sent in Compass, for sign-ups. If you would like more information, message Mr Dunkley on Teams.


Tristan Dunkley
Science KLA


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Hello friends,
We know that coming out of two years of Covid isolations and lockdowns, the mental health of our adolescents remains vulnerable. Dr Michael Carr Greg, one of Australia’s best known adolescent psychologists, has the following advice on supporting the mental health of young people.

  • Regular exercise.
    Exercise is also considered a key ingredient for good mental health. Young people should aim to spend some time each day outside of the house and getting some physical activity. Oxygenation of the brain is really important for mental health and for improved concentration and clear thinking.
  • Digital quarantine.
    Make sure students remove their phones while they study and never let young people keep their phones by their bed at night. Many young people are addicted to their phones and good sleep is one of the most important factors for good mental health and reduced anxiety. We know how hard it is for young people to ignore a notification that pings on their phone…. Even at 1am.
  • Practice gratitude and kindness.
    Remind our families of the things we should be grateful for and also encourage them to reach out to others with a sense of kindness to check how others are going. Encourage a good deed each day.
  • Be organized.
    Being organised gives the brain a sense of being in control. Encourage your child to plan what they want to achieve each school day, to use their planner, regularly check compass but then make lists and tick items off. There is great power in ticking items off a list.
  • Encourage them to focus on what they can control.
    Focus on the things they can control and remind them that mental energy worrying about things they have no control over only serves to create more anxiety and has zero impact upon that thing. Focus energy on what they can control.

As I say to students daily, we do care about every 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 our students. If you have any concerns at all about your child then please contact your child’s coordinator or one of the wellbeing team below. Gill, Rebecca and I are available to parents via phone or email. Your child can also contact us directly by knocking on the door of our office. Siobhan O ‘Halloran and Siobhan Martin are available to do individual counseling with students and a referral to them can be made by contacting myself so we can discuss if the referral to them the is right option for your child. We are here to support you.



John Nichol
Well-Being Leader


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It’s an exciting time of the year in The Arts. Our senior students have just completed their midyear final artworks and they look fantastic! Our senior Art, Media, Studio Arts and VCD students have really excelled. They have completed some amazing works of art including photography pieces, sculptures, short films, film posters, advertising campaigns, designs, paintings, and some very cool mixed media artworks. We can’t wait for ‘Rise’: the VCE Arts showcase coming up in Term 4 to show-off this amazing work.

Arts Week

The Arts faculty recently held its highly successful Arts Week in the first week of Term 3. The week is a celebration of all things visual and performing arts. Events included chalk art in the Southern Quad, Media Film Screenings, Art Club and Music Jam. All of the events were highly attended and the students all had such a fantastic time.

The Arts Instagram Work

This month’s Instagram Collage showcases the amazing work produced by the Year 11 Media class during Unit 1. Students were tasked with creating representations of superheroes in the form of a series of film posters. They all did such a fantastic job. Well done, everyone. You can check out more of our students amazing work at

Media Film Festival – Entries Are Now Open!

Entries for Mooroolbark College’s 10th Annual Film Festival are now open and close on 1st September. Entries must tell a narrative, be appropriate for all audiences and contain no copyrighted material (including visuals or music/sounds). They can be completed by an individual or a team/group. Entries are open to Media and non-Media students.
The film festival will be held on 6th October.

For more details, please see Mr Neil-Holland.


Our Performing Arts students are also making the most of the colder weather in that it provides the perfect opportunity to perfect and hone their performances. Our VCE Music students are busy practicing for their final performances. It was fantastic having the College’s Big Band perform at the College production this year. What an amazing way to showcase our talented instrumental music students.

College Production

This year’s College production of ‘We Will Rock You’ was a huge success! The performances were amazing. All of the students and staff involved should be very proud of their work. A special thanks goes out to Peter Marz (director/producer), Jordan van Keulen (music director) and Sarah Rosendale (choreographer) for all of the tireless hours they put in to make the show a success.


Our Wakakirri Dance Squad students were also a wonderful addition to the College production program. It was so great seeing them give a sneak peek of their upcoming performance piece. The team will be competition in this year’s Wakakirri Festival to be held at the Frankston Arts Centre on 25th August. We wish them all the best and can’t wait to attend!

Performing Arts Camp

Congratulations to our performers, our Performing Arts teaching team, and our very supportive parents who gave our students time to develop their production routines, Wakakirri theme and performance, and for our instrumental music students to practise and learn new instruments. It was fun filled few days full of music, singing and performing and the feedback from students has been very positive. 


Matthew Neil-Holland
The Arts KLA Leader


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Welcome to Semester 2 and it is a pleasure to welcome a new group of students into the Technology classrooms. Students have looked at workshop safety and are starting to design their projects as well as learning the skills required to successfully execute their designs.

Upgrades to the benches in the Woodwork rooms are progressing well and it certainly helps to improve student learning being on a new workbench. Students are very keen to claim their space when they enter the classroom. Upgrades to other areas of Technology will also occur soon.

 Planning is underway for some student involvement in the Lilydale show later in the year, with Food Technology certainly keen to encourage students to enter the various baking competitions.

We are looking forward to a productive semester 2 in the Foods Department and can’t wait to see what our students will produce. We have completed work on safety and hygiene and have started to build our students skills and confidence as they work toward their Independent Design CAT. It’s been great to see the Year 7’s enthusiasm and willingness to embrace new challenges as they produce scones, toasted sandwiches and conduct taste testing. Our Year 9 students have had a busy start to the term; investigating their family history, making and decorating cupcakes in Special Occasions Foods, conducting taste tests comparing breakfast bars they made with commercial products, ranking the nutritional value of breakfast cereals, making ham and cheese breakfast scrolls in Food for Life and in Food Studies they have made vegetarian sausage rolls and compared them to vegetarian ones, making butterscotch rolls and gluten free choc chip cookies. Year 10 Barkers Bakery have worked with yeast making bacon and cheese pull-a-parts and cinnamon twists and are now starting their work with pastry beginning with spanakopita. They have conducted a newspaper article review and investigated the ethics and sustainability of the production of chocolate.

Mooroolbark College Newsletter – August 2022