The Sunday Funday on 8 October was an amazing success with a stream of alumni (former students), local and school community coming through the gates all day.
We also had some dignitaries attend the day which included:
Jackson Taylor – Member for Bayswater
Matt Fregon – proud alumni, member for Ashwood, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Mary Doyle – Federal Member for Aston
Harvey Wood – Principal of Fairhills for 20 years
I want to thank the 50th birthday committee for doing an incredible job in the planning and implementation on the day. The Funday committee comprised of Bill Exton (Event Manager), Heather Kirby (Nostalgia), Sally Davis (Alumni), Nicole Blanchard (Jack of all trades and great on the BBQ), Sarah Power (Music Performances), Suzi Pedler (food) and Jessica Winstone (Cosplay). A big thanks to the wonderful students who volunteered their time on the day and demonstrated the school values impeccably. I also appreciate members of staff who came in and helped out.
Beautiful weather, a variety of events and great people to share it with. An inspirational and unforgettable day!
New learning hubs in 2024
I am pleased to inform you that the STEM/Senior School Learning Centre and Music Learning hub are on track to open Term 1 of 2024. This is very exciting news for all of us as it has taken quite a long time for:
The school to get funding for new buildings (47 years to be precise)
The completion of these new building (we were given the funding at the end of 2020!)
We are busy now working out all our furniture needs with the hope that all classrooms will be fit for purpose when classes begin in 2024.
As well as these amazing new learning hubs we have been upgrading aspects of the school through our minor works initiatives. I want to thank those parents/carers who pay their annual contribution that allow us to build school pride via minor works and amazing learning opportunities
In 2023 we have/will:
Laid new vibrant carpet in the Year 7 & 8 Learning Hub
Laid new vinyl in the Art Learning Hub
Designed and planted new garden spaces along the main entry into the school
Revamp the Year 7 & 8 Learning hub external walls with cladding and fresh colours
Completed in Christmas holidays
Outdoor classroom in the Senior School courtyard
Completed early 2024
Toni Kirk (our incredible Business Manager) has put in an application for a sizeable grant to modernise our courtyard toilets. We don’t know if we will receive it but we have been informed we are into the next round. Fingers crossed everyone. You have to be in it to win it!
Victorian Treasure visit
On 13 October we were fortunate to have Tim Pallas the Treasure of Victoria, alongside Jackson Taylor, come to visit the school. He was very impressed with the school and the great opportunities available to the students. He met with our terrific Year 12 leaders, went on a tour of classrooms and met some of dedicated students and passionate teachers.
I argued our case for further Capital Works funding e.g. lots of government schools in affluent areas have amazing facilities, where is the equity? Credit to Mr Pallas, he listened attentively. I hope that due to the treasurer’s visit and Jacksons ongoing advocacy of Fairhills, we will receive Stage 2 funding in the next couple of years.
Dealing with distressing online content
With the tragic and distressing events unfolding in the Middle East, Australia’s independent regulator for online safety, eSafety, has issued guidance to help parents and carers support their children in dealing with distressing online content. The eSafety website has resources for parents and carers about online safety. These include information on extra precautions you can take to protect your children from seeing disturbing content online.
eSafety encourage parents and carers supporting young people who may be more vulnerable to check in with them. If they are presenting with signs of distress, support is available through external services including:
The Importance of our School Values of Act Responsibly, Build Relationships, and Show Respect
In today’s society, the importance of instilling strong values in students cannot be overstated. Schools play a crucial role in shaping the character and behaviour of young individuals. At Fairhills we prioritise our three core values of acting responsibly, building relationships, and showing respect.
Firstly, acting responsibly is essential for students’ personal growth and success. By teaching them to take ownership of their actions and make responsible choices, schools empower students to become accountable individuals. This value encourages them to complete learning tasks on time, follow school rules and expectations, and contribute positively to their school communities. The recent participation and assistance of many of our Middle School students at the 50th Birthday celebration fun day was a clear example of the core value of Acting Responsibly.
Secondly, building relationships is crucial for fostering a sense of belonging among students. Schools should emphasise the importance of teamwork and collaboration to help students develop social skills necessary for future success. By promoting healthy relationships with peers and teachers alike, schools create an environment where everyone feels valued and supported. The weekly team activities delivered in house groups such as the spelling and maths challenges create and foster a positive team spirit and connection.
Lastly, showing respect is a cornerstone value that should be ingrained in every student’s character. Respecting oneself as well as others cultivates empathy, tolerance, and understanding within the school community. It creates an atmosphere where diversity is celebrated and everyone is accepted. Our students this week demonstrated this value by listening attentively and respectfully at the final year 12 assembly.
In conclusion, schools have a responsibility to teach students important values that will shape their character throughout their lives. Acting responsibly teaches them accountability; building relationships fosters teamwork; showing respect cultivates empathy. By prioritising these core values at Fairhills, we can ensure that our future generations grow up to be responsible citizens who contribute positively to society.
School Wide Positive Behaviour (SWPB)
School Wide Positive Behaviour (SWPB) is an approach that focuses on creating a positive and inclusive learning environment for all students. It aims to promote good behaviour and prevent negative behaviours through the implementation of clear expectations, consistent consequences, and targeted interventions.
One of the key components of SWPB is the establishment of a set of school-wide expectations or rules. These expectations are explicitly taught to all students and are consistently reinforced by all staff members. By clearly defining what is expected from students in terms of behaviour, SWPB helps create a safe and orderly learning environment (SOLE) where everyone knows what is acceptable.
Another important aspect of SWPB is the use of positive reinforcement. Instead of solely focusing on punishment for misbehaviour, SWPB emphasises acknowledging and rewarding positive behaviours. This can be done through verbal praise, certificates, and through the use of positive behaviour points that can be cashed in for rewards at the SWPB point shop. Students have been saving up all year for the chance to exchange for top point ticket prizes. A big thank you to our Amplify leaders Emma O’Connor and Kristy Burrell for running the shop all year.
SWPB also recognises that some students may require additional support to meet behavioural expectations. In such cases, targeted interventions are put in place to address specific needs. These interventions can range from individualised behaviour plans to counselling services or social skills training.
In 2024 we will continue to implement the School Wide Positive Behaviour approach to ensure a positive school culture that enhances student engagement in learning. By setting clear expectations, providing consistent consequences, and offering targeted interventions when needed, SWPB creates an environment where all students can thrive academically and socially.
Silvana La Leggia
Middle School Leader
Year 7 Science Parachute Experiment
In the current Year 7 Science topic “Forces”, our students investigated the relationships between the mass and the gravitational force through an exciting parachute experiment. Embracing inquiry-based learning, students hypothesised, experimented, and analysed results using the scientific method. This hands-on approach not only enhanced their understanding of science and physics, but also fostered vital problem-solving skills and teamwork.
Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2023!
On Monday 16 October our Year 12 students completed their final classes at Fairhills High School. It was a time of reflection and anticipation for the students themselves, staff who have taught and supported them over the years and of course their parents and family.
The Class of 2023 has been a wonderful group. From their very first days as nervous Year 7s, they have shown us not only their dedication and commitment to their education but have also embraced our school values of acting responsibly, building relationships and showing respect. They have contributed to our school community in countless ways, whether through academic accomplishments, sports, arts, leadership roles, or community service. Their presence has enriched our school, and they have set an excellent example for younger students to follow.
Our Year 12 Student Leadership Team, led by our school co-captains Felicity Anderson and Bailey Steen, have been outstanding in their leadership and commitment to our school this year. They have lived out our school values and demonstrated to all what it means to act responsibly. On behalf of the Fairhills community I thank them for their dedication to their role, the many activities and events that they led or contributed to and for always supporting and encouraging their fellow students to be their best.
The Class of 2023 are at the threshold of a world filled with endless possibilities, where they will have the chance to shape their own futures. It is an exciting but perhaps also slightly daunting time for them as they prepare for life beyond school.
On Tuesday 17 October the Fairhills school community acknowledged and celebrated their achievements at our Whole School Assembly and Year 12 Breakfast. The following evening, we held our annual Valedictory Dinner to recognize the 13 years of schooling these students have now completed. The highlight of the dinner was a speech from Sheridan Catterall, a Fairhills student from the Class of 1995. Sheridan spoke of her time at Fairhills, the fond memories she holds and the journey she has taken since leaving high school.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Stokes, our illustrious Year 12 team Leader. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mr Stokes this year, to support our awesome Year 12 students. His passion and dedication to his role as Year 12 Team Leader is second to none and he has helped shape these young adults into who they are today. Congrats on a great job!
Finally, I wish every Year 12 student all the very best for their upcoming examinations, interviews and/or commencement of new courses of study or employment and look forward to seeing what they achieve in the weeks, months, and years ahead!
Congratulations Class of 2023! May your future be filled with success, happiness, and fulfillment. We are immensely proud of each and every one of you.
Senior School Assistant Principal
Year 10 Melbourne Museum
Our Year 10 students recently embarked on an exciting educational journey to the Melbourne Museum, where they encountered a day of exploration and discovery. The experience was a dynamic fusion of IMAX wonder, immersive road safety education, and a thrilling physics challenge.
IMAX Adventure: Serengeti 3D: Journey to the heart of Africa
Our day began with an extraordinary IMAX screening that whisked our students away on an unforgettable journey through African animal migration. They were captivated by the awe-inspiring migrations and the incredible stories of these creatures. This cinematic voyage not only deepened their love for wildlife but also highlighted the interconnectedness of our natural world.
“Road to Zero” – Immersive Road Safety Education
Our students then took part in the “Road to Zero” program, an immersive educational experience that blended technology with road safety. They donned virtual reality (VR) headsets to navigate virtual road scenarios, enabling them to make real-time decisions and understand the repercussions of their choices. The use of touching tables and simulations enhanced their hands-on learning of road safety.
Physics Challenge: Stopping Distance, Speed Limits, and More
The day concluded with a captivating physics challenge. Our students explored the science of stopping distance and speed limits. Through interactive activities and experiments, they gained insight into the factors that influence a vehicle’s ability to come to a safe stop, including speed, reaction time, and braking distance. This practical knowledge empowered them to be responsible road users.
We extend our sincere gratitude to Melbourne Museum for facilitating this enriching experience. “Road to Zero” showcased the power of learning through adventure and hands-on exploration.
Stay tuned for more exciting educational adventures in the future!
Year 11 Chemistry
The Year 11 Chemistry class embarked on a journey to KIOSC for a masterclass session on water analysis. The purpose of this excursion was to investigate whether the run-off waste from an open-cut diamond mine and a pharmaceutical industrial plant had contaminated a nearby lake, consequently harming the fish life. To accomplish this task, students employed various experimental methods such as UV-visible spectroscopy, thin layer chromatography, and pH meters.
Year 11 Chemistry – practical investigation
As a part of the Year 11 Chemistry course, students are required to design their own practical investigation with a focus on the properties of water, acids or solubility. This year, the students have chosen a wide range of investigations including;
Does your Shampoo change the pH of water?
How does acid concentration effect reaction rate?
What is the solubility of Potassium Nitrate?
Does a bath bomb fully dissolve?
How much Sulfur is in fertiliser?
Some groups have expanded their investigations to including a comparison between distilled water properties to those of water from blind creek. This task has enriched the students understanding of key concepts, and further developed their practical skills.
VCE VM Students ACE the Grad
As part of the VCE Vocational Major (VM) program three of our Senior students have completed a School Based Apprenticeship/Traineeship (SBAT).
This fantastic program coordinated by Headstart has enable them to complete their senior school Certificate – VCE VM and begin their Apprenticeship/Traineeship program while still at school. The placement hours completed as part of this program count towards their final apprenticeship and traineeship qualification.
SBAT’s are a win, win program, students are provided the opportunity to complete VCE and they start accruing valuable hours towards their Apprenticeship/Traineeship.
Our Senior VCE VM students have successfully graduated school with a Year 12 pass and moved straight into their preferred career.
Congratulations to these three students.
Bailey – SBAT Carpentry
Noah – SBAT Automotive
Brayden – SBAT Business
VCE ATAR results will be released on 11 December.
Year 12 students are encouraged to check their VTAC Preferences and make any changes. They can seek support and assistant from school from the 11-13 December.
Change of preference needs to be completed by the 13 December for December offers. Change of preference for January offers closes 22 December.
Parents, contractors, visitors and volunteers should always make contact with the General Office first when visiting the school or requiring to make contact with their child.
Appointments with teachers must be made via telephone or email.
State Schools’ Relief
State Schools’ Relief provides support to any Victorian student attending a government school, on the advice of the school.
Schools are able to submit an application whenever they believe there is a need to support a student whose family/carers are facing difficulty in providing the appropriate uniform, footwear or educational items for attending school and a travel pass.
Situations include, but are not limited to:
Independent living and/or homelessness
Natural disasters, house fires
If you need assistance please email the school at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please outline your circumstance and what support is required (uniform/clothing educational items) and we will be in contact with you to advise what is available.
Please note that all requests are treated in confidence.
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. Any students without consent/payment after this date will be removed from the event and will not be able 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.
Students 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 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.
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.
Parent Carpark – pick up and drop off
If you drop/pick up your children please ensure you:
use the Parent Car Park – not the staff/guest car park, except for those with a disability parking permit
pull into a parent parking spot to let your child out/pick them up
when exiting turn left onto Scoresby road (as per the sign)
The purchase of School Uniforms are now through Dandy Schoolwear in Dandenong.
During Term 4, staff and students will be trialling a new IT communication and collaboration tool called Vivi. This platform allows staff to mirror their computer screens wirelessly to the projector, and will further increase student interaction in class. Students will also be able to easily share their computer screens on the projector, take screenshots of work, annotate slideshow presentations and work collaboratively on tasks. The trial will be undertaken in the Middle School classrooms, along with selected Senior school rooms. Staff will have training in the coming weeks in preparation for this new innovative learning tool to be implemented.
Congratulations to all students who performed at the annual instrumental music concert at Swinburne University theatre.
It was an entertaining evening with over 50 students performing music solos and ensemble items. All students received a certificate and awards were presented by the Principal – Mr Ian Van Schie.
Our school community clearly demonstrated the Fairhills High School three core values during the evening – some examples are:
Act Responsibly – students prepared and ensured individual musical items were ready for performance
Build Relationships – students displayed team building skills whilst creating a supportive environment within ensemble items.
Show Respect – valued and admired all student performances with applause and encouragement.
It was wonderful for the Library to be the site of a display of School archival material for the recent 50th Celebrations. During the day many of our past students, staff and their families relived memories and caught up with old school friends. We have an extensive collection of old school photos, school magazines and other artefacts but we are always keen to collect more. If you have old photos particularly of activities and excursions from the 70s, 80, and 90s that you would be willing to share with us, please contact the school. We also welcome enquiries from those wanting copies of old school photos.
Farewell to our Year 12s
We have been lucky to share our Library space with the Class of 2023 for the last six years. We wish each and every one of them all the best for their VCE exams and future endeavours.
Shione Fukumoto our Japanese Language Assistant has sadly left us. She was contracted to work Term 1 to 3. Shione didn’t want a formal farewell or fuss, so quietly departed for New Zealand where she will be making her new home.
This was typical of Shione; no fuss, but doing an absolutely brilliant job. Shione helped our junior classes, engendering an enthusiasm and confidence for learning Japanese. She also assisted some senior students with their challenges learning Japanese through VSL. She also helped our Japanese staff develop their language skills; something I personally am very grateful for.
We wish Shione good luck in the future, and no doubt some lucky people in New Zealand will experience the professionalism and enthusiasm she has for language learning.
Integrated Learning Area Coordinator – Languages
Welcome back to a sunny Term 4 and the home stretch for the year.
October is Mental Health month in Australia. This year’s theme is We all have a role to play – to support our own and other’s mental health and wellbeing. As part of our whole school campaign to Mental Health Month we have had some fun lunchtime activities to raise student awareness, as well as some in class lessons on healthy coping and resilience. This also tied in with our RUOK? Day campaign at the end of Term 3 where we focused on ways of checking in with our friends.
Our lunchtime wellbeing pop up activities are designed to give students an opportunity to informally engage with information about an identified issue or theme. For our mental health pop up run over week 2 and week 3 of term, students were able to learn about the signs of mental health struggles, strategies to help manage these difficulties and where to access help. We also emphasised the role of healthy habits for wellbeing and the power of our self talk.
Our RUOK? Day campaign at the end of Term 3 gave students the chance to consider how and when to check in with their friends when we think they may not be their usual selves. Our famous RUOK? Cupcakes are a helpful reminder!
In Week 1 our Year 9’s had a powerful day facilitated by The Man Cave and The Reach Foundation- providing opportunities to engage in conversations and activities about healthy masculinity, relationships, emotional awareness and positive identity.
Our Health Promotion Nurse, Kaye Walker, is implementing a Vaping Education program across our Year 7, 8 and 9 THRIVE classes throughout Term 4. Vaping continues to be a significant public health issue for our young people and education about the harmful effects of vaping is an essential strategy for combatting the issue. If you have concerns about a young person who is vaping and would like further information or support, please make contact with your student’s Year Level Team Leader to discuss a referral to the Wellbeing Team. Alternatively, you can contact the Wellbeing Team via the front office.
The Wellbeing Team have farewelled Sarah, one of our amazing counselling volunteers this week. Sarah began with us as a student on placement in October of 2022. After completing her counselling qualification earlier this year, she chose to stay on as a volunteer. We have been incredibly grateful for the time and commitment Sarah has given to our students and school and wish her all the very best as she moves onto the next step in her counselling career. Students and parents who were seeing Sarah for counselling have all been informed and had an opportunity to say goodbye.
Finally, we wish all of our graduating Year 12 students the very best with the next step of their journey. For those sitting exams currently we hope for them all the balance they need to feel productive during this time. East well, sleep well, play well…and do a little bit of study.
Peta Cartwright | Student Wellbeing Coordinator
Accessing support through Wellbeing – Students
The Wellbeing Team can support students to navigate challenges that may be impacting on their ability to engage in learning or general feelings of wellbeing. This can include: transitions and adjusting to change, family or relationship difficulties, grief and loss, mental health concerns, drug and alcohol concerns, and many other challenges that young people encounter.
An initial appointment with a member of the wellbeing team will be an assessment of need with the student or family which will help to decide the best support option for the student. Support options available through the Wellbeing Team are:
Individual short term counselling, psychoeducation and skills development
referrals to external support agencies.
students may also be encouraged to access self-help strategies or resources.
Referrals to see someone from the team are made through year level leaders. Parents, students or teachers with concerns are encouraged to speak to their year level leader. Students or parents can also make an appointment directly with someone from the Wellbeing Team by attending the Wellbeing Centre, calling the school office or contacting us via email at email@example.com
Year level leaders who are made aware of concerns by a teacher will always endeavour to make contact with parents before referring a student to the Wellbeing team.
All counselling sessions with students are confidential and information is only shared if a student is deemed to be at risk of harm.
If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, please contact kidshelpline or lifeline on the numbers at the bottom of this page.
What’s on in Wellbeing?
The Wellbeing Centre is open at recess and lunchtime for students who need a quiet, safe place to regulate or access support. The centre is also used for lunchtime group programs which are advertised through compass or on notice boards.
Q-Squad, our LBGTQIA+ group runs every Thursday lunchtime.
Accessing Support – Families
Most families, at some stage, 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 wellbeing 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Clink on the links below for further information
Knox 4 Me – a support program for rainbow young people aged 14-18
We recently partnered with Thread Together to provide free and brand clothing for students in need. Thread Together collects brand new unsold clothing from all around the country, saving it from landfill. Thread Together believe that people in need deserve the dignity and choice of new clothing, without judgement. If your children need any help with clothing, please contact the Wellbeing team for further assistance.
With the support of volunteers from local churches- Knox Baptist and Hillsong Church we are able to provide a breakfast club 5 days a week for our students, including a Pancake Breakfast every Thursday morning. All students are welcome.
Food support for families in need
Each fortnight on a Tuesday after school from 2:48pm – 3:08pm we have food support available 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.
External food support options
The following community agencies provide food support for families in need.
eSafety’s express learning series provides parents and carers with practical tips and advice on common online safety concerns. The videos are 5 to 10 minutes long and cover four important topics, including:
Setting up parental controls
Digital technologies and mental health
Cyberbullying and online drama
Online sexual harassment and image-based abuse
Cyber Safety Project provides a whole community approach focused on developing future skills, lifelong habits and self-regulation when innovating and using digital technologies for work, life and play. To create safer communities our educational programs and proactive teaching strategies will engage the whole community with learning how to participate safely and responsibly in a digitally-engaged world. To learn more about family workshops and webinars for parents or carers, please visit https://cybersafetyproject.com.au/families/
Parentzone Eastern – Parenting Solo program
A parent building solutions program for sole parents of children 0 -18 years.
Do you want to:
Feel more supported as a sole parent?
Learn strategies to help your child cope with change and stress in life?
Set boundaries on challenging behaviors while still maintaining a positive relationship with your child?
Connect with other sole parents living in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs?
Interactive 5-week program to learn strategies and connect with others. The program is held online via Zoom so you will need to have a device with video and audio in order to participate.
Each Thursday for 5 weeks (9 – 30 November 2023)
Noon – 2pm
Online via Zoom
Free for sole parents living in Melbourne’s Eastern region.
For more information contact Sharon Muir on email@example.com
Or go to this link to register Registration – Parenting Solo (office.com)