The start of the term has been positive for our school community. The warmer weather (well most of the time…) and longer days has put an extra spring in our proverbial step. It has been a challenging year at times so I know many of us a looking forward to the Christmas break. However, we also need to remember that there are still 8 weeks of learning prior to the holidays. Let’s ensure we continue to have high expectations of ourselves and others. Every day of learning counts!
Sod turn of the new build
Thursday 6 October was our official sod turn. For those who are unsure what a sod turn is, it is a traditional ceremony that celebrates the first day of construction for a building. The sod (soil) is lifted from the ground for the first time. This is often completed by a member of parliament. We were fortunate to have Jackson Taylor (local member for Baywater) come out to do the sod turn with the support of some of our excited students. It was a great day for the school. Although, we received the funding 18 months ago, a sod turn is a sign to the local community that building has started.
Currently we are trialling a token program with one of our Year 7 classes. I received inspiration after visiting Knox Park primary and seeing the great work they are doing around rewarding positive behaviours. I would like to thank the Principal Mr Hanson for being so accommodating.
By showing positive school values behaviours in core classes, students earn purple tokens. When students receive five purple tokens (individual rewards) they receive a gold token (class rewards).
I would like to recognise the following students for earning 100 purple tokens:
They also received a $10 voucher from Tasty Trucks and will be presented a certificate at a whole school assembly from Ms La Leggia. Great job!
7C students are only:
1 gold token from having a pizza and movie afternoon (students can choose the day)
51 gold tokens away from going to their chose destination – Gumbuya World.
In the next few weeks we will evaluate the token system to gauge its effectiveness and long-term sustainability. Our plan is to implement a positive behaviours program across the school in 2023.
Activities day 31 October
Just a reminder that as 31 October is a school day prior to the Melbourne Cup, we will be running a different schedule for Year 7-10 students on the day.
English, Humanities & Languages
It was nice to return to one of the traditions we have for our Year 12 students over a number of years and join with them to celebrate the end of formal classes with a breakfast at the Arboretum on Wednesday 19 October. The Year 12 students enjoyed a relaxing breakfast of fruits and bacon, egg, hash brown rolls beautifully cooked by Mr Chow and Mr Stokes. Students mingled with some of their Year 12 teachers in the warm morning sun to relax together and sign and write messages on their uniforms. A big thank you to Ms Rundle for organising the food and coming in on her day off to set up the event.
Year 12 Valedictory Dinner
On Wednesday 19 October, Year 12 students and their parents joined together with staff at the Karralyka Venue in Ringwood to acknowledge the efforts of our Year 12 students. Special guests on the night were Jackson Taylor (State Parliamentary Member for Bayswater) and Nick Wakeling (State Parliamentary Member for Ferntree Gully) who made major presentation to students recognising their achievements throughout 2022. The evening has a number of major purposes – to recognise and make presentations to individual students who have performed well in their studies throughout the year. Academic Excellence and Merit Awards were given out for each VCE and VCAL subject, as well as awards for leadership in various areas of the school such as Wellbeing and VET. We also get to celebrate the hard work and support of the parents and carers of each of the Year 12 students.
However, the main focus of the evening is to acknowledge and celebrate together the achievement of all our Year 12 students, both VCAL and VCE, in successfully completing their final year of schooling. As I mentioned on the night, gaining your senior certificate is not easy achievement and only 56.8% of Australian people over the age of 15 have completed their Year 12 studies. Well done to each and every individual VCE and VCAL student – each one of you have worked hard, completed many SACs and assessment tasks, attended lessons, managed personal problems, juggled part-time employment, relationship issues and importantly worked with your teachers support to satisfactorily complete the course requirements. It is a big achievement (after some difficult years) and something the parents present on the evening were rightly proud of. The VCE students have a number of weeks of exams over the next month and we look forward to their continued efforts to gain the best results possible. Congratulations to the Class of 2022 and good luck with your future endeavours.
Assistant Principal and Senior School Leader
Year 10 Social
The Year 10 and 11 Cohort attended their Social at Chateau Wyuna. Students had a most fabulous night on the dance floor with their friends. A great night was had by all!
Year 11 VCAL Share the Dignity Pink Day
On Monday 17 October, our Year 11 VCAL students held a Free Dress Day to support the ‘Share The Dignity’ Foundation. Our students dressed in shades of pink (the company colour of Share The Dignity) to raise money and support for women and children who need a little extra help this Christmas. The money will be put towards purchasing personal care products and sanitary items that will make someone’s life a little easier in the coming months. Thanks to those who dressed up and donated.
A Cut above the rest / The value of Work Experience & Part time work
Graduating student Riley started his senior program focused on an Electrical Career pathway. He completed VET Certificate II in Electro technology Pre apprenticeship and Electrical work experience as part of his Senior Vocational pathway. During year 12 Riley started to question his chosen pathway and was struggling to find a part of the trade he really liked.
Having secured a part time job in 2022 at a local butcher shop, Riley discovered a new industry and trade. Riley loved his part time job and began to investigate the training required to pursue a career in the Meat industry. Riley’s employer was suitably impressed with him offering of a full time apprenticeship at the end of 2022.
Before Riley made his final decision to take up the offer of the apprenticeship he competed 2 weeks of full time work experience, to help him confirm that this was the work environment and trade he wanted.
Riley will start his Career in the meat industry and full time apprenticeship at the completion of his senior year in November.
Congratulations Riley for using all the opportunities available to you to help you find your focus; VET in schools, Work Experience and part time work. Plus the research you undertook re the training and qualifications you would need.
You are a perfect example of a student who was proactive in taking up opportunities and making things happen.
We will wish you all the best in the next chapter of your journey.
Year 12 – Some Final reminders / dates
VTAC – University / TAFE applications:
ATAR’s will be released
Change of preferences week
13 January 2023
First round offers
1 February 2023
Second round offers
Students can change their preferences between each offer round but must remember that only courses listed above their current offer can be considered in subsequent rounds.
Students seeking employment are encouraged to register on job seeker websites and with registered training organisations to assist them. If students need any support in developing their resume / cover letters they are encouraged to go to http://www.firhillscareers.com – log in to their secure area and use the templates available. Or contact myself for support.
Official VCE / VCAL Certificates
Certificates will be available in the final week of Term 4. A Compass notification will be sent to students when they are available. These are only printed once and students must collect them from the General Office in person and sign for them.
Save the date – 2023 Graduates Afternoon Tea – 9 February 2023
2022 Year 12 students are invited back to school on 9 February at 4pm for Afternoon Tea. This is an informal event allowing students to catch up with staff and each other sharing 2023 plans. They will also have the opportunity to pick up their VCE / VCAL certificate if they have not already done so. To RSVP please go to: https://forms.gle/2iYjR2TYv11582kt7
VET in Schools – Vocational Education and Training as part of VCE & VCE VM
VET enrolments are now overdue.
If you have not submitted an application form and you want to be considered for a VET program for 2023 or you are continuing with your VET program next year please submit your application form to the General Office next week.
Application forms are available at the front office and on Compass under School Documentation – Subject Selection 10 / 11 – VET.
Students who have applied for a VET program will receive a confirmation letter by the end of October. Students entering first year VET 2023 are required to attend a Compulsory Orientation session on the 30 November between 2:00pm-3:30pm.
Many local businesses contact the school at this time of year with job opportunities for our students. These job opportunities are published on Compass, so we encourage students who are looking to secure holiday work to check Compass regularly.
Students looking to enrol in VCE Vocational Major for 2023
Students are reminded that Work Experience must be organised now for 2023. Students will need to complete one week of work experience with their prospective employer for the next year by the end of this year. VET enrolment must be completed for their Industry pathway before the end of the year as well..
Work Experience forms can be collected from Career Office.
As we celebrated the graduating class of 2022 this week at the Valedictory Dinner it reminded me of the importance and need to equip our students with the necessary life skills of resilience, self-confidence and independence to ensure that our students can navigate a successful pathway in life.
Students at Year 9 had the opportunity to develop and build these skills when they attended the Year 9 Camp at Charnwood where despite torrential rain, persevered with bravery and grit to undertake the challenging adventure activities offered. Congratulations to our Year 9 students and team leaders, Karen, Greg and Mitch for all their efforts.
As Term 4 sweeps in and we head towards the summer break, there is an emphasis in preparing and up-skilling our students to transition successfully into the 2023 new school year. Year 7- 9 students have been working on an explicitly teaching literacy task word unit to help improve student literacy across the curriculum and develop key term literacy skills in preparation for exam/test assessments. As students become familiar with the vocabulary of common task words they become more confident in their ability to answer questions using these task words. A big thank you to Michelle Nickels our Integrated Curriculum and Pedagogy Leader in preparing this body of work.
Similarly, I encourage parents and students to review any outstanding learning tasks on Compass and to be pro-active to ensure that this work is completed. Please also reach out to the teaching staff for any assistance and support needed.
Silvana La Leggia
Middle School Leader
Congratulations to Georgia of Year 7 and Kaylee of Year 8 for winning the Team Leader Positivity awards this week.
Both students have received positive reports from their teachers on Compass and were entered into a raffle to win a chocolate from Year 7 and 8 Team Leaders, Ms Parker and Ms Power.
8B Maths Venn Diagrams
Students were asked many questions for example do you prefer basketball or football, books or movies, chocolates or ice-creams, Marvel or DC etc. Students were required to stand in the Venn Diagram to show their preference of A, B or both. There were lots of interesting questions and conversations. Everyone was super excited and engaged. At the end of period, quite a few students were saying maths was fun!
Year 9 Connect Camp
Year 9 Connect students have recently returned from a three-day camp at Carnwood. This unique campsite is a three-hour drive from Knox and just outside of Benalla. Although the weather was wet and overcast for most of the time, all thirty students participated in, and enjoyed, a range of adventure activities that included: bushwalking, mountain bike riding, canoeing and a range of team building exercises. Due to the wet they weren’t able to do the sleep out they were still given the task to cook for themselves (and their teachers) on an open flame. The students had a unique opportunity to enjoy the wide-open spaces of this remote valley, develop their leadership and problem- solving skills and connect more closely with each other and the staff. Everyone involved in the camp demonstrated a positive and supportive attitude towards each other.
On 19 October, Year 9 Connect students went to Scienceworks. They enjoyed exploring the activity centre as well as doing a robotics program and engaging with a sensory experience.
Parents/carers are provided with log in details. For any questions or trouble logging in please contact the office. Using Compass allows parents/carers to have access to up-to-date information and the following features:
Monitor attendance, and enter an explanation for absence or lateness
Communicate with teachers
Update contact details
View their child’s timetable and the school calendar
Monitor homework and assessment tasks
Download and view semester reports
Book parent-teacher-student interviews each semester
Pay and provide consent for events and school contributions
Compass Events / Payment Centre / Course Confirmation
Please check Events regularly as these need to be consented/paid by the due date for your child to attend. Also check out the Payment Centre and Course Confirmation sections.
Phone the absence hotline on 9758 5022. Leave a message after the prompt. The absence hotline is operational 24hrs a day, 7 days a week for your convenience.
Student’s arriving to school late should report to the General Office to receive a late pass.
If a student is required to leave school early for any reason they should bring a note from their parent/guardian and record this on Compass. All students are required to sign out from the General Office. If they need to call home, they should come to the office. Students should not use their mobiles.
If your child or any family member has COVID, please ring or email the school so we can record their absence accordingly.
Students who are family close contacts, must wear a mask whilst indoors and onsite and test regularly. If you require RAT tests, please contact the General Office.
Parent Carpark – pick up and drop off
Just a reminder for parents/carers to use the Parent Car Park at pick up and drop off times. The staff/visitors car park should not be used.
Lunchtime Clubs and Groups
Students have the opportunity to join any of the Clubs and Groups offered during lunchtime. Details are provided in the link below. Any suggestions for other lunchtime activities can be forwarded to the wellbeing team.
Looking to buy or sell secondhand books or uniforms? Visit: www.sustainableschoolshop.com.au
You can also find the following items:
Electronics & DVD’s
2022 Bell Times
Locker Bell (10 min)
Period 1 (57 min)
House Group (Year Level on Wed) (15 min)
Recess (25 min)
Period 2 (57 min)
Transit (2 min)
Period 3 (57 min)
Start of Lunch (25 min)
Middle of Lunch (25 min)
Period 4 (57 min)
Transit (2 min)
Period 5 (57 min)
Period 6 Monday and Tuesday some VCE subjects (57 min)
Asthma / Diabetes / Anaphylaxis / Epilepsy
ASTHMA, DIABETES, ANAPHYLAXIS, EPILEPSY or an ALLERGY management plans are required to be updated and submitted to the school every 12 months. Please ensure you have provided this to the office in the best interest of your child.
If you require any assistance, do not hesitate to contact the office on 03 9758 5022.
If you have changed any of your personal details (phone numbers / address / place of employment) – please email your changes to: email@example.com phone the office for assistance on 03 9758 5022. It is important to ensure our records are current. Thank you for your cooperation.
Instrumental Music Enrolment forms for 2023 are being distributed to students. Please return these to the general office to secure your child’s place in the program – especially if you are hiring a school instrument.
Local newspaper article
It was terrific to have our instrumental music program feature in the Gully news! Well done to the flute and trumpet students – see article included in this report.
Knox City Shopping Centre Flute Ensemble
Performance Seminar Woodwind & Brass Students
Knox Retirement Village Christmas Carols Flute Ensemble
North Eastern Victorian Regional Concert Band Workshop Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet students
Awards Evening Flute Ensemble & soloists
Knox Rocks Recording with Boronia Rotary Club involving Individual student
Congratulations to the students who are involved in this program. It is run by Rotary of Boronia and we thank them for supporting our instrumental music students. I have heard wonderful things about the program.
On Monday 10 October the Eastern Metro athletics carnival was held with Fairhills having 6 participants.
Congratulations to Tori, our highest placed athlete who received a medal for third place in javelin. All our students put in an amazing effort which unfortunately left some with injuries on the day. Well done to everyone involved.
It was a great day and enjoyable to see all the students from a wide range of schools competing and doing their best regardless of their place in the field.
QLD Basketball Team – Looking for Sponsors/Donations
We are beyond stoked to have the opportunity to head to the Gold Coast this December to compete against 50+ other schools in the Australian School’s Championships!! (ASC’s).
The ASC’s is the pinnacle event for school basketball in Australia, attracting Secondary Schools Australia-wide to compete in a week-long event. In recent years, the Championships have become so well-regarded that teams from neighbouring countries have even travelled to participate!
The Wellbeing team have hit the ground running in Term 4! Lunchtime groups are back on, we have had our first whole school campaign for Term 4 and we are looking forward to an exciting final term of 2022!
“Do whatever needs to be done, so that you can be everything you want to become.” – Unknown
Amal Saleh-Zada| Student Wellbeing Coordinator
Elephant Ed will visit our Year 7-10 throughout Term 3 and 4 to discuss issues commonly faced by adolescents, including safety, identity, body image, social media, and other issues. They deliver age-appropriate workshops that are tried and tested across all relevant age groups and are mapped to State and National curriculum guidelines. They work towards empowering young people to make informed, positive and safe decisions about sexuality, relationships and growing up.
Lunch Time Groups
Explore, facilitated by Gail, our School Chaplain, is a group for Year 7/8 girls and students who identify as female to connect through games, crafts, activities and discussion. The group will explore themes of friendships, personal strengths, coping and lots more. It runs Tuesdays at lunchtime in the Wellbeing Centre. Interested students can speak to the Year Level Leader or pop in to see Gail on a Monday or Tuesday for more information.
? Squad – our LGBTQ+ group continues to run on Thursday lunchtimes in the Wellbeing Centre and is open to all students. Each term the students attending decide what they would like to do during the weekly lunchtime sessions. Over the year so far we have talked about self care and relaxation, made rainbow bead bracelets, decorated cookies, worked together to create a Pride Month Calendar to raise awareness about gender and sexual diversity, had a karaoke session, shared our favourite LGBTQIA+ friendly books and TV series and continued to build and support a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ students and allies. Curiosity welcome, respect required.
Breakfast Club is held in J2 – (entrance from the Canteen Courtyard) as follows:
Monday – recess – basic breakfast
Tuesday – recess – basic breakfast
Wednesday – before school – basic breakfast
Thursday – before school – pancakes
Friday – before school – basic breakfast
Families in need – Internal Food Options
Each fortnight on a Tuesday from 3:10am-3:30am we have available food support for families who may be in need, for whatever reason. We have a selection of frozen meals and pantry items that families can collect from the former school canteen area without question or judgement. We know that access to food can be a real challenge for some families and we feel strongly about supporting the basic needs of our students and families. Watch out for compass posts each fortnight.
Families in need – External Food Options
For families in need please see the following services that support the community:
Student Wellbeing Team
Student Wellbeing Coordinator – Amal Saleh-Zada Mental Health Practitioner – Peta Cartwright Chaplain – Gail Ackroyd University Placement Students: Elli, Kerrie, Sarah and Eliza
Accessing Support through Wellbeing
The Wellbeing Team can assist students in accessing the support they need to navigate challenges that may impact their ability to engage in learning or general feelings of Wellbeing. For example, the Wellbeing Team can engage the student or family in an initial assessment of need, short term counselling or skills development or referrals to external support agencies. Students may also be encouraged to access self-help strategies or resources. We will explore the best options for each student.
We encourage students and/or parents to contact the year level leaders for wellbeing referrals. You can also make an appointment with someone from the Wellbeing Team by attending the Wellbeing Centre or contacting us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Teachers who have concerns about a student may also refer them to the Wellbeing Team through their Year Level Coordinator.
If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, please contact kidshelpline or lifeline on the numbers at the bottom of this page.
Support for Families
From time to time most families will need a little extra support to manage the normal challenges of life as well as the more difficult situations that arise. If you are experiencing hardship, stress or circumstances that are impacting on the well being of your family life or your ability to cope, the Wellbeing Team can help to connect you with community services that can provide support. Please contact the Wellbeing Team via the school phone number or via email at email@example.com
During the month of October we celebrate the birthday of author R. L Stine. Stine has been referred to as the “Stephen King of children’s literature” and is the author of hundreds of horror fiction novels, including the books in the Fear Street, Goosebumps, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly and The Nightmare Room series. Stine has created one of the most recognised character villains in Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy and he has featured in Goosebumps books since 1993 and more recently in the Goosebumps Movies 1 & 2. Stine is now writing for Disney + and has a regular Story Book Club Podcast on Spotify.
Visit the Library now to see our collection of R. L. Stine books.
Farewell to our Year 12s
We have been lucky to share our Library space with the Class of 2022 for the last six years. We wish each and every one of them all the best for their VCE exams and future endeavours.