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Mooroolbark College Newsletter – March 2024

7th March 2024

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 reading about all the amazing things happening around our College.

Upcoming Events


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All year levels have had a fantastic start in English this year! 

Year 7 

Our new year 7 students have settled in quickly and are currently enjoying a creative writing unit based around the framework of Resilience inline with the school values. We have been doing many activities around building our resilience in our learning and have looked at how Resilience is incorporated in different texts. After camp students will complete their first common assessment task for the year in English which will see them creating their own stories that incorporate a tale of resilience. 

A reminder to all year 7 students and parents that they need to be completing 20 minutes of StepsWeb as homework each week. StepsWeb is an online literacy program which adapts to each learner and practises all the core skills needed for reading and spelling. 

Year 8 

Our year 8 students are enjoying being back in the classroom and are currently learning to express themselves in as few words as possible with a unit on microfiction. Microfiction is a short piece of fictional writing that has 300 words or less. The focus in this unit is on being able to tell a story that is complete but has immediate impact. Students need to choose their words carefully, every single word they write needs to have meaning! 

A reminder to all year 8 students and parents that they need to be completing 20 minutes of StepsWeb as homework each week. StepsWeb is an online literacy program which adapts to each learner and practices all the core skills needed for reading and spelling. 

Year 10, 11 and 12 

Our senior English classes have all started the year with writing units that are designed to expose students to writing for different purposes: To Explain, To Argue, To Express and To Reflect; and to allow them to experiment and develop their own writing ability within the purposes that they most enjoy. 

Each year level is focusing on writing within a different framework. The year 10 classes are focusing on the framework of ‘Compassion’ inline with the school values. The year 11 classes are focusing on the framework of ‘Power’, looking at where power exists, who holds power, who lacks power, and the different power dynamics that exist within society. And the year 12 classes are focusing on the framework of ‘Protest’ which encourages them to engage with the media and the world around them in a meaningful and positive way and to consider what they are passionate enough about to protest. 


Amy Broekmann




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Welcome back to Maths for 2024! 

We have started the year off strongly across all year levels. Classes have been completing hands-on activities, building fluency by completing practice questions and developing their problem solving and collaboration skills during our Numeracy lessons. 

At Year 7 and 8, we have a variety of programs that work together to provide each student with an engaging, challenging and differentiated program. 

Numeracy ProgramThe activities completed in this program provide students with an opportunity to develop a range of problem-solving techniques and teach them the value of reflecting on their thinking and the processes used. Developing these metacognitive strategies enables students to become more flexible, creative and self-directed learners. 

Learning Goals This program allows students the opportunity to choose which area of Maths they would like to improve in. They learn how to set appropriate SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goals and reflect on their own progress. 

Maths classes – During these lessons, students work to achieve growth in the relevant areas of the Victorian Curriculum. Students will complete activities, practice solving problems and develop their understanding and fluency.

Homework program – Starting from Year 7, Maths students at Mooroolbark College are set regular weekly homework. Scaled to suit the year level, this program is designed to reinforce classroom learning by providing students with multiple exposures to the work covered in class, whilst also developing good work habits and routines for later in their schooling. This homework forms part of the compulsory coursework for Years 7 – 10. 

Club 3/4 – This is our homework and after school support session. Students are encouraged to come along if they need help with any work or if they want to complete their homework at a dedicated time each week. Club 3/4 runs each Tuesday and Thursday from 3-4pm. Year 7-10 students should head to the Student Wellbeing Centre, whilst Year 11 & 12 students can be found in the Study Centre. 


This term our Year 7 and 9 students will participate in some activities to help them prepare for our upcoming NAPLAN tests. Students will be reminded that these tests are just one aspect of our school’s assessment and reporting process and that it does not replace the ongoing assessment and observations made by their teachers about their performance. Teachers, our school and the government use NAPLAN to gather information about how education programs are working and whether students are achieving important educational outcomes. All students will be encouraged to approach the tasks with a positive attitude and to put in their best effort. 

If you have any questions about the Mathematics programs offered, your child’s Mathematics journey or the upcoming NAPLAN Numeracy tests, please contact me on 


Kara Salmon 



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It has been a great start to the year in the Science Faculty, with students completing their Science Safety Inductions, Year 7’s have learnt about safety in the laboratory and many have already gained their Bunsen Burner licences.

Year 8 students have learnt about States of Matter and are moving onto chemical reactions. Whilst Year 9 students have been learning about the nervous system and brain. Year 9 Forensics classes are creating their own genetic bracelets (reflecting their individual gene expression) and Innovate Science are investigating effective seed bomb dispersal. 

Year 10 Biology class have been brushing up on microscopy and are moving on to cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Whilst Year 10 Chemistry students have been exploring the Periodic table and the elements. 

Unit 1 Chemistry have learnt about the properties of metals and are starting on ionic compounds. Whilst in Biology students are focussing on plasma membranes. In Physics students have been learning about thermal energy in preparation for their presentations. 

Unit 3 Physics are learning about motion and the Law of conservation of energy. The students in Unit 3 Biology have learnt about protein synthesis and are moving into DNA manipulation. In Chemistry they have looked at Carbon-based fuels, redox reactions and are starting to learn about galvanic cells. 

We are looking forward to great year! 


Melinda Lori Pui





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As we near the mid-point of Term 1 we already have so much to celebrate in our proud little faculty: a successful start to the year; the welcoming of our Year 7s; the College Barbeque as well as the Clubs sign-up.  

We kicked the year off getting our language learners to participate in a few fun activities to get them thinking and speaking in German and Chinese. Every class begins with a short, engaging task that gets them focused on what has been learnt or will be the focus of the day. There are competitive word searches, Q&A style questions, Bingo games, Online vocabulary races and more. It’s all go,go,go in Languages. Having our ‘Smiley Charts’ in class really keeps everyone motivated, as we strive to be our best or fastest or most accurate, whatever the Engage task may be. Five Smileys equal a prize or even a Merit Certificate, you know! And that matters!!

On the 8th of February Mooroolbark College hosted the Year 7 BBQ. Languages had a stall set up for students to sign up for the Languages Club. It runs on Friday lunchtimes where students visit C1 and compete for EP points for Merits and prizes. All are welcome, even if you did not sign up on the day. Come and drop in when you hear the announcement over the PA. The BBQ was a lot of fun – check out the photos from the evening as well as those celebrating Year of the Dragon – Xin Nian Hao! (Happy Chinese New Year!) For this Year 7 Chinese students studied the stories of Chinese New Year and they learnt to make their own Hong Bao (Red Packet), which commonly used during the Chinese New Year as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Cool fun! 

One official change to the College has been the introduction of Coursework as part of the Assessment policy. Basically, this means that apart from two graded CATs, students also have to complete five pieces of Coursework. These are just marked S or N. They need to be completed to an S standard to pass the course. Please contact us if you have any questions, but all the information you should need can be found in the Learning Task section of Compass. 

Until next time, all the best, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you at Open Night on Monday, the 25th of March – we’ll be there again where you can experience some of those Engage activities as well as the sugary, buttery unhealthiness of hot WAFFLES! 


Jonas Bahlo



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Welcome back! we are beyond excited for what this year brings as there are so many wonderful changes and improvements to what was, in many ways, an inaugural year in 2023 for all our literacy related programs. Of course, there is so much to do but here is a snapshot of what has been happening… 

Literacy LORE Program 

The Literacy LORE Program continues in 2024 where students read independently and reflect on their reading at the start of every lesson and then explore and learn different literacies that help them ‘function’ confidently in and around their world.  

Year 7 students have been reading their chosen novels and delving into ways in which they can improve their writing skills via the 6+1 Traits of Writing framework.?Their specific focus this term starts with ‘word choice’ and ‘conventions’ of English, aiming to build on their understanding of what types of decisions they should be making as they write.  

Year 8 students have similarly chosen their reading texts and have begun learning about legal and financial literacy where regarding the former, they discuss and critically think about case studies where young people and the law may collide and if so, how rules, regulations and the law can be a protecting force but also something to understand as best as possible. For financial literacy, students delve into strategies inspired by Scott Pape’s “Barefoot Kids’ book, which has received acclaim for the practical ways it provides to be financially intelligent from a young age.  
Parents beware** we may be educating your child to negotiate their pocket money, plan and grow their savings and recognise how to budget properly and fairly. Sorry! 

Literacy Shield 

Congratulations to Biik house who take out the very first Literacy Shield. The award is given to the house whose students throughout years 7-9, contribute the most house points through a selection of CAT results from all subjects (not just English) and participation in literacy related writing and reading competitions throughout the year.  

Alongside this is the individual award for our year level ‘Literacy Champion’, which is awarded to the student/s who receive the most individual points related to the shield and we had three winners from our year 7 and 8 cohorts. Congratulations to Bodhi Alfonso and Paisley Ball who are our Year 7 Literacy Champions, and Giselle Leonard who is our Year 8 Literacy Champion of 2023. 

The Pseudonym Group 

We are seeking more membership to the coveted and elite group of mystery writers, known collectively as ‘The Pseudonym Group’. This is a fast-growing group dedicated to the crafting of and writing of pieces or artwork that can be displayed and promoted in the many different spaces we have available in and around the school. These include our social media pages, a public display in the library and in these newsletters. You do not need to be great at writing, all you need is a motivation to want to create and write for fun and enjoyment. All Pseudonym Group members are excited to see what the year has in store for them. Our first few pieces will be found in the next newsletter. 


Our two incredible QS instructors have been tirelessly working to gain valuable data and observe classes towards selecting their list of students who would be best suited for the QuickStart program.  

QuickStart focuses on comprehension, vocab and automaticity skills and students who will be selected will engage in 2-3 sessions a cycle for 25 minutes individually gaining support paired with one other student. This year will be focused on our year 7 cohort and sessions will commence Week 6, after the Year 7 camp. Please reach out to us for more details.  


Tyrone Ingham-Dowsing 



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We’re buzzing with excitement as we dive into the latest updates from our classrooms. Here’s a sneak peek into what our students have been up to: 

Our Year 8 students are on a mission to become digital superheroes! They’re exploring the ins and outs of online safety, citizenship, and responsibility. Currently, they’re gearing up for their first CAT (Common Assessment Task), where they’ll showcase their knowledge through a presentation in a format of their choice. It’s all about empowering them to navigate the digital world with confidence and integrity. 

Meanwhile, over in our Textiles classes, creativity is in full swing! Year 8 students are whipping up designs for Cupcake Pin Cushions and diving into textile experimentation. They’ve been mastering their skills and ensuring safety is always a top priority. Over in Year 9, it’s a similar story with students demonstrating their prowess through technical skill samples and designing fabulous Bucket Hats. Talk about fashion-forward thinking! 
Stepping it up a notch, our Year 10 Textiles crew is putting their knowledge into action. From technical skill samples to designing chic Cross Body Bags, they’re weaving their way through the design process with finesse. With design briefs and client profiles as their guides, there’s no limit to their creativity! 

In the realm of Food Studies, our students are whipping up a storm! From exploring hygiene and safety to diving into the delicious world of pizza design, they’re on a culinary adventure. Year 11 students are delving into the history of food production, while Year 7s are mastering kitchen basics with stuffed pita pockets and ramen. And let’s not forget about Barkers Gastronomy, who are recreating Chef’s Hat restaurant meals with finesse! 
Last but not least, our thinkers, movers and shakers for the future, in Repair, Restore, Recycle are on a mission to save the planet, one bookend at a time! They’re diving deep into the principles of sustainability, researching the benefits of recycling and reusing, and planning their upcycled masterpieces. Who knew saving the environment could be so stylish? 

Stay tuned for more updates from our classes as our students continue to learn, create, and inspire! 


Perie Edmonds



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We have started 2024 with a bang! Welcoming our new year 7 students to the college has been fantastic. Students have dived straight into PE lessons with a focus on team building and cooperative challenges. Below are some photos from Mr Coghlan’s 7G and Miss Todd’s 7E PE classes having an absolute ball.  

Year 7 Health students will soon experience one of our most cherished programs, that is, Peer Support. Year 10 students from Leadership Development with Mr Uren will be planning and delivering lessons to small groups of our students in Health. The year 10’s will get to know the year 7’s and work with them to better understand a range of topics including Making Friends, Cyber Bullying, How to Seek Help and so much more! We are looking forward to this memorable chapter for our 7’s to begin! Stay tuned for photos. 

Year 8 students have just started their Respectful Relationships unit in Health. In the unit students explore topics such as being a respectful partner, types of violence, being an upstander (calling out negative behaviour). See students in 8A below discussing the characteristics of a respectful relationships. Well done to all students who got involved in the discussions.  

Year 11 students completing VCE Unit ¾ Outdoor and Environmental studies went out exploring on their first excursion last week to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Students got to learn about the historical events of Melbourne and the relationship that this creates with the outdoor environment that currently exists. Students also had the opportunity to make their own Potpourri. Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant materials used to provide a gentle natural scent, commonly in residential settings. 

Our wonderful Year 12 students completed their first Health and Human Development SAC for Unit 3 on Thursday. All students are to be commended for their study efforts, leading up to the SAC.  


Stephanie Todd 



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A warm day at Silcock Reserve Croydon greeted the boys Year 9 & 10 cricket event on the 27th February. The team conducted themselves in a positive manner and were a pleasure to coach. Shaking hands, cleaning up, encouraging their peers and the opposition batsman and sharing the bowling and batting were all commendable gestures.

They won the semi final but fell short in the final against a rampaging Norwood. Scores and details as follows:

Semi Final Melba 4/75 defeated by Mooroolbark 4/104 from 15 overs. Will Reid, Dylan Pickett and Mikaylah Sleeman were the pick of the bowlers. Will Reid smashed 37 and Judson Ross batted well to steer the team to victory after a slow start. Hayden Dempster batted “for a good time but not a long time” hitting a few ripping boundaries! Jake Hope and and Thomas Shortt fielding was exceptional. 

The final saw Norwood plundering 3/164 and Mooroolbark fell short in an honorable loss to a super side by 100 runs finishing on 5/64. Will Reid was voted unanimous team MVP and Hayden Dempster and Judson Ross were best team players and co captains. 

Will Reid was unanimous team MVP and both Judson Ross and Hayden Dempster were equally voted best team players for their co captain leadership.  Honorable mentions to Mikaylah Sleeman for providing the team with morning tea and Dylan Pickett for volunteering to do extra “kit clean up.”  Mikaylah was allowed to play in the absence of a girls team and “held her own” with the bat and the ball. A “shout out” to all the team for being willing to represent the school in sport and wish them all the best on and off the field for the remainder of the year.


Gavin Fox 




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It has been a great start in The Arts this year. All classes are busy laying the foundations for the year and are eagerly working towards their first CATs/ SACs. 

In Visual Arts, our Year 7 Art students have been introduced to Art Analysis, which centres on the elements and principles of Art. They are learning to identify specific formal qualities in artworks, and form and voice their own opinions. Looking forward to starting the practical work. The Year 9 Art students have begun the semester by recapping and expanding on their knowledge of the Elements and Principals of Art. Last week they started working on their first CAT for the Semester; creating Linoprints on a design of their choice. In Ceramics, the Year 9s are well into making their first CAT, a coil pot using terracotta clay, and including the specific decorating techniques of ‘bass-relief’ and ‘incising’. ?The progress of student work is excellent, and I can’t wait to see how their artworks turn out. In Year 10, our Art subjects split into either Ceramics and Printmaking or Painting and Drawing. The Year 10 Ceramics and Printmaking students have almost finished the wet clay work for their first CAT ‘Dream-catchers’, while solidifying their knowledge of the materials, techniques and process required for working with clay.?The Year 10 Painting and Drawing students have been researching a chosen artist and analysing their work, in preparation of them creating an inspired portrait artwork. Our senior art students in Year 11 Art: Making and Exhibiting students are currently working through outcome 1 of unit 1. They are experimenting with different art forms, comparing the different materials and techniques in preparation for them creating original artworks in term 2. Lastly, Year 12 Creative Practice students are exploring and experimenting in preparation for creating their final artwork for this term that is inspired by a chosen artwork/artist. 

In the area of Visual Communication Design, our junior students are busy working on their first CATs for the Semester. Year 8 VCD students are currently working on their first CAT, book cover design: based on the year 7 short story collection, Things A Map Won’t Show You. They are exploring visual language and imagery specific to one story they have chosen from this book, and are researching and sketching different ways to design their individual book covers. The Year 9 VCD students have commenced work on their first CAT, an isometric video game landscape design. To succeed with this task, students are required to follow the design process and master the foundations of the isometric drawing method. This task will culminate in a fully rendered, original A3 isometric urban or natural landscape design, suitable for use in a fictional video game. Finally, the Year 10 VCD students have just completed a drawing composition task and are now starting on CAT 1: Minimalist Design. During this CAT students will study and design their own artworks based on the American Modernist designer Charley Harper; famous for his minimalist designs based on flora and fauna. 

In Media, Year 10 students began the semester by completing their first filmmaking challenge: The Chocolate Bar. Students were tasked with planning, filming and editing together a short sequence all in under one hour. They all did such a fantastic job. Now they are busy working on their first CAT for the semester; Movie Mash-up Posters where they must combine at least 2 films into one poster. They have some incredible ideas and we can’t wait to see how they turn out. The Year 12 Media students have been working hard analysing their Narratives and their Contexts film, Barbie. They have looks at how codes and conventions have been utilised to bring the world of Barbie to life as well as the many feminist influences in the film. 

?Lastly, in Year 9 Drama, after several lessons of group bonding Drama Games, the students have begun work on their first CAT; developing Improvisational Acting Skills. Students will perform in multiple styles and scenarios as they learn how to create a character and a narrative without the aid of a script.  


Matthew Neil-Holland 




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In the first assembly of the year our SRC executive team was introduced to the College community; our Secretary, Aliyah Orwin, Publicity and Engagement Manager, Nat Tressider, Vice President, Daniel Bohun and President, Makayla Knight.  

We have applications open to the SRC as a general member, the more members we have the better we can make the school with more student opinion!  

We announced our first event of the year, something we aimed to re-introduce, a Valentine’s Day stall, selling roses with special messages. We started planning this during the leadership camp in 2023, we were very excited to be restarting this again. Over the school holidays and the first 2 weeks of school we worked extremely hard to try to make this the best it can. With the amazing support by Ms. Paige Williams, we were able to add glitter onto some roses for an extra special surprise. Many students and teachers bought some! 

In the end we made $270, we are currently open to suggestions as to what we would like to do with the money that was raised to help make the school even better.  

Our next upcoming event is the College Swimming carnival, and we will be continuing the tradition of song dedications and a stall.  


We are excited for our upcoming events and what 2024 has in store for us! 


Makayla Knight 



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Belle Gavin 
Everyone is always nervous when they start a new year of school, but this year I felt all these other pressures that I hadn’t had before, I was going into year 12, the year that counts, with the College Captain title on my mind. I was beyond nervous but as soon as I was back to school I realised why it’s a happy place for me. I once again could socialise with anyone around me and got to see and interact with all the teachers I admire. As year 12s we started with a wellbeing workshop which was really beneficial for our cohort, although our pathways day was cancelled (buses replace trains) all of our students and teachers were resilient, and it made for some really enjoyable lessons! Excited for the year to come!

Rhianna Gray 
It is a privilege to commence my final year of education with the support network established in the amazing staff and facilities that Mooroolbark college provides. As one of the college captains, I was filled with pride hosting our welcoming assembly for the new year; with celebration for our past and current students displaying the importance of dedication and what success can follow. At Mooroolbark we are a part of a unified community and as our College Captain I have felt nothing but support to accompany the responsibility of this role. I wish all students for the new school year success with their academic endeavours and I look forward to what this year holds. 


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Welcome Back to our Mooroolbark College community and an extra special welcome to our new Year 7 students, we are so excited to support you on your high school journey.  

The term is racing along and the canteen is humming! We are extremely busy and thankful for our student helpers that assist us in the canteen each day. Campbell Robertson is our resident barista on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning and Will Harston and Maddi Meyer assist us on various days throughout the week with before school, recess and lunchtime service, re stocking fridges and stock and our recycling bins. Lunch orders are now collected from our side window and this is a more efficient process. If you haven’t already, I would strongly encourage you to download the Flexi Schools App and order your recess and lunch orders through here. This ensures that you always get what you would like and no waiting in the busy canteen lines. Alternatively, you can order with the canteen staff prior to 9.00am. 

Already this term the canteen has celebrated Valentine’s Day, Taylor Swift and The Eras Tour and most recently Chin National Day with our Burmese students on Monday, 20th February.  Chin National Day is a day to celebrate being Chin, a day to celebrate identity, culture and traditions and a day to promote understanding, sense of identity and most of all unity in diversity. We have a number of Chin students at Mooroolbark College and it was wonderful to see all of our school community take part in homegroup activities and embrace such an important day in our College calendar. The canteen provided cupcakes for our Chin students and we had other items available for sale. It was lovely to see such happy and smiling faces as the students collected their cupcakes!  

Please find attached our Term One menu and if you have any queries or special requests please do not hesitate to contact the canteen staff. We look forward to connecting our school community through new delicious food.    

Thank you for your support of the canteen! 

Mooroolbark College Newsletter – March 2024