It is great that we were onsite for the full year. There were certainly trials but also plenty of tribulations as well. The last two years of Covid lockdowns probably made us not ‘match ready’ particularly in the first term. We also had staffing issues due to the national shortages across Australia. Life was pretty tough there for a while. Mistakes were made but we learnt, improvised, innovated and improved. I want to thank you (the school community) for your combined grit and resilience throughout this year.
We implemented many improvements this year that included:
Sub School structures to enhance a supportive and orderly learning environment
Diverse and student led electives in Year 9 & 10
Teaching and learning initiatives e.g. Learning Intentions and Success Criteria in every class
I encourage you to spend the holidays doing the things you love and are passionate about. Rest and recharge for an incredible 2023 filled with inspiring and innovative learning. I’m excited to be on the learning journey with you.
Return to School Interviews
Late November, 2023 Y8-12 parents/carers would have received a Return to School Interview email from the school. There will be a booking link in the email parents/carers. This link will be available for a few weeks. After this time parents/carers who have not booked a time will be allocated one.
The mandatory interviews will be held on 30 January, 2023, from 11am-7pm
The key aims of the Return to School Interviews is to:
Ensure a positive start to the year for students
Build closer relationships between parents/carers, students and the school
Provide important 2023 information to parent/carers and students
We look forward to meeting with parents/carers and students on the day.
Please see more information on the return to School Interviews later on in the newsletter.
The Australian Federal Police through the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is seeing a concerning global trend of teenage males being targeted to send explicit images of themselves and then blackmailed. This is called sexual extortion, or sextortion.
The AFP is urging families to have important safety conversations ahead of the school holidays to prevent young people from becoming victim. This crime can have serious wellbeing and psychological impacts.
How does sextortion start?
Unsolicited friend and follow requests on social media
Direct messages on one app and then being asked to keep chatting on a secondary app
Conversations suddenly and quickly becoming sexualised
Requests for sexualised images or content.
What can families do?
Have open and regular conversations about your child’s online activities and interactions
Know what platforms, apps and games they are using and who they are interacting with
Remain open and approachable, victims will be reluctant to come forward if they feel they will be punished or blamed
Ensure your child knows that it is okay to leave conversations if they feel uncomfortable or unsafe
Term 4 in all schools is one of the busiest times for staff and students. This year has been no exception. Staff are busy finalising results for students, preparing for the incoming Year 7 students, writing and revising the 2023 curriculum.
It’s also a time of great excitement for the Class of 2022 as they await their VCE results. I wish all Year 12 students every success as they move onto the next stage of their lives no matter which pathway that is chosen.
Students in Years 9-11 have completed their formal exams. All students should be commended for their effort and the way they prepared for their exams. We anticipate the students’ hard work and strong study habits will be rewarded at the upcoming Student Award Night.
Awards Night – 15 December
In recognition of the students’ hard work, the school will be holding an Awards celebration on Thursday 19 December at Swinburne University, Wantirna. Parents/guardians will be notified once the semester reports have been completed. We are in the process of completing reports and deciding on the recipients of Academic Excellence awards, Learning Culture, Values and Special awards. Teachers will nominate those students who have demonstrated excellence across all subjects, engaged in their learning and students who exemplify the school’s values. I suggest that the night is kept free in anticipation that your child may receive an award. Once nominations have been received parents/guardians will be immediately notified.
VCE Start and Smartstart
2023 VCE Start began on Monday 21 November and runs for two weeks. This is an opportunity to begin their courses and develop a greater understanding of VCE expectations. Students going into Years 8-10 in 2023 will have a week of Smartstart classes that conclude on 9 December.
In conclusion, I wish all the Fairhills High School students and their families a well-deserved and relaxing holiday.
Year 9 Connect Program
Head over to the Middle School report to see what has been happening.
Associate Principal, Teaching and Learning Excellence
As we finalise Term 4 activities we see our students in the middle School undertake our 2023 Smart start program. Students are given the opportunity to sample their subjects for next year and understand the key knowledge and skills that they will develop. Teachers get to know their students, set expectations and complete some engaging activities.
On Thursday 15 December, we look forward to celebrating our students at the annual awards ceremony to be held at Swinburne University. Award winners and their families will be notified shortly and it will be a great night to acknowledge the wonderful achievements of our students.
Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !
Silvana La Leggia
Middle School Leader
Year 7 Gumbuya World
Some Year 7 students swapped out their middle school classroom for a fun day at Gumbuya World! Students took a well deserved break earnt by achieving 250 Gold token rewards by demonstrating school wide positive behaviours. Congratulations to you all!
Year 7 & 8 Thrive – Upstander Movement
Throughout our final Year 7 and 8 Thrive classes, we have focused on the concept of being an Upstander.
People all over the world are taking up the challenge of the upstander movement, in particular young students who want to see changes in their school.
An upstander is a helpful bystander–a person who recognizes when a situation is wrong and acts promptly and decisively to make it right. Moreover, an upstander will always stand up and do their best to protect and support anyone who is being hurt or treated unfairly.
Upstanders aren’t born – they’re made
These skills are learnable, coachable, and teachable. Some of the simplest ways to start include:
If you see or learn about a bullying incident or other harmful behaviour, do SOMETHING to help. Be a friend to the target, report the behaviour, discourage others from contributing to the problem, etc. Being an impassive observer helps no one but the bully.
Get friends and colleagues involved. There’s strength in numbers. The more people you can get to condemn and report the abuse, the more likely it will stop.
Be aware of the bullying/harassment policy in place at work or school. Also, point out the specific guidelines or laws being breached by the perpetrator.
Be a reliable, impartial witness to bullying incidents – accurately record time, place, persons involved, and precise details, so it can be investigated.
Promote tolerance and acceptance by respecting differences.
Stop hurtful messages and lies from spreading. The Internet has made it all too easy to spread malicious gossip about others. Refuse to be a part of it.
Educate yourself about bullying, harassment and toxic behaviours. The more you know about its causes and effects, the better prepared you will be when it’s your turn to be an upstander.
When you see any kind of harm say something by reporting it to your team leader or through Stymie at www.stymie.com.au
These awards acknowledge students who have demonstrated acts of kindness, being an upstander and worked above and beyond expectations.
Year 9 Connect – Wheelchair Basketball
Year 9 Connect students had a visit from Basketball Australia’s wheelchair basketball team on Wednesday 16 November. The students learned a bit about how to function in a wheelchair and how to play the game a little differently to how they normally do. A great time was had by the students and teachers who got to have a go, as they built a new set of skills and the empathic capacity thinking about people different to themselves.
Year 9 Connect – Healesville Sanctuary
On Wednesday 30 November Year 9 Connect students went to Healesville Sanctuary. The students got to explore the native animals, talk to keepers and see the bird show, all the while looking at the dangers that these animals face. They were taken to the endangered animal display where they were looking at habitat for Helmeted Honey Eaters (the Victorian National Bird) and Orange-Bellied Parrot a pair of endangered animals and looking at how they could improve their habitat.
Year 9 Peer Support Training
Last week our Year 9 students undertook training to become mentors to 2023 Year 7 students.
They spent two days doing Peer Support Australia activities to ensure they would be ready to interact with our youngest students in a positive and productive way. Students also had time for some fun such as making costumes out of toilet paper.
Next year Year 10 and 7 students will have a fortnightly class together spending time examining our school values along with participating in some fun games and activities.
We have begun conducting interviews with VCE students about their VCE pathway and subjects for 2023. Students going into Year 12 were interviewed this week and were required to check their VASS details as well as confirm their pathway (including the Vocational Major) and individual subject choices. This will continue next week for students moving into Year 11 in 2023. Students were given a copy of the booklist, senior school guidelines and reminded of the importance of reading their English novels and completing the assessment work that was set during the 2023 VCE Start program for each subject over the holiday period. This work and other details will be discussed further in the return to school parent interviews on 30 January (first school day of 2023).
It has been my pleasure to work as the Assistant Principal in the Senior School position over the last few years (and to be a Fairhills teacher). I have always enjoyed working with the students and staff of Years 10, 11 and 12 and seeing the students move through their VCE studies and onto their post-schooling pathways. I will miss the day-to-day interactions with our students and parents and would like to wish Bill Exton (the new Senior School Assistant Principal) all the best in his work in supporting our students and staff in further developing high expectations. Fairhills High School has great students and teachers and I hope they continue to aim high and achieve their goals.
Assistant Principal and Senior School Leader
Year 10 and 11 STEAM
Well done to our Year 10 and 11 students who attended the Melbourne University Electrical Engineering Club SuperHack Competition on the November 26 and 27.
SuperHack is an annual engineering hackathon hosted by the Melbourne University Electrical Engineering Club (MUEEC), and is MUEEC’s largest event of the year. It is an annual engineering hackathon for female, non-binary and gender diverse students in years 10 and 11 from metropolitan and regional across Victoria to compete in teams to solve engineering design challenges based on a set theme.
Our two teams were against some highly competitive schools. FHS Year 10 team made a self locking door and our Year 11 team made a security system.
The students did a great job.
Congratulations to our Year 11 students team – Felicity, Ameisha, Swastika and Maahira for winning the Mentor Choice Award!!!
Year 11 VCAL – Share the Dignity
Mrs Suzi Pedler, Year 11 VCAL Teacher, had the honour of dropping off our 15 bags to Bunnings Scoresby for the Share the Dignity Drive.
Our Year 11 VCAL class held a range of fundraisers to raise money to create these bags, including 5 Mum and Bub Bags, to help out women in need this Christmas.
Thank you to everyone within the Fairhills Community who donated in any way. And remember; it’s not too late for you to create your own bag or donate online. Thanks to Rachael at Bunnings Scoresby for her help in unloading the bags.
All 2023 VET students should have received a confirmation letter outlining the details of their class time, venue, program and charges.
If you have not received such a letter and believe that you are doing a VET program in 2023 please contact Liz Rundle – Liz.Rundle@education.vic.gov.au
Students who are on wait lists will be informed of any change in their enrolment status as soon as the school is – sit tight a lot can change before February next year.
Students enrolled to complete year 1 of VET in 2023 should have attended an orientation session on the 30 November (some programs have alternative dates and students would have been contacted by email).
Check your emails
Given that most VET programs are delivered at alternative settings it is critical that students and family monitor emails for any communication from their provider. The providers will always communicate with the students first and foremost and the school as a curtesy.
Key things to remember for VET
VET is once a week, so if you miss a class you miss a whole weeks work. It is not OK to be away!
If you are genuinely ill, please contact your trainer and Fairhills
VET is competency based which means your trainer must see you complete tasks in the classroom.
VET counts towards your VCE / VCE VM – each unit of VET is allocated nominal hours and on completion of 90 hours you achieve 1 unit towards your VCE. VCE VM students must achieve 180 hours across their program
Remember you are in the community representing Fairhills, make sure you follow the dress code and behavioural expectations of your host provider. We know you will do us proud!
If you have any concerns question about your VET – please speak up contact Liz Rundle.
Withdrawing from VET Programs
It is important that we get VET programs right for each student from the very start. The census date for VET is at the end of February after which the school is charged regardless of attendance / completion.
We want all our VET students to be in the right VET programs – so please keep us informed.
ATAR and change of preference week
On Monday 12 December all students undertaking a Year 12 subject will be able to access their studies scores and ATAR.
If you don’t know your VCAA number (the number on all your exams), please contact: Liz Rundle or Julian Stokes.
Try to be patient the site crashes every year with the huge amount of traffic first thing – maybe give it an hour.
Please make sure you have registered to be able to access your results online or via your Mobile phone.
Students who have applied for courses and wish to be considered for the early December round must adjust their preference list before 14 December at 4pm. (be aware that not all courses participate in this round). December offers December 21 at 2pm.
All other change of preference needs to be completed by Thursday the 22nd of December for the 6 January first round of offers.
I will contact all year 12 students who have applied for courses via the VTAC system and providing support and guidance if change is required.
Please make sure that you have paid your application fee, or your courses application will have to wait for the second round.
Don’t hesitate in contacting me either at school: 9758 5022 or 0408394958, I am happy to help. Remember the ATAR doesn’t define you and there are always solutions to any problem we just need to nut it out.
Parents and families, I would ask you to be mindful of the fact that the ATAR is governed under the privacy act and belongs to the student, let them share when they are ready, just ask are they happy and will they be able to access their courses? Now is the time for planning the future rather than reflecting on the past.
I wish everyone receiving results on Monday the 12 December all the very best – keep in contact and lets start planning 2023!
VCE VM students
Students and families of VCE VM students are encouraged to have secured Structured Workplace learning placement for Fridays ready for the start of 2023. Placement should be linked in some way to the VET program completed or being studied. Extra time at your part time work is not taking advantage of this opportunity to get out into the work force.
Be mindful of requested a year’s placement up front rather ask for 1 day a week for 4-6 weeks to get started.
Students must have completed the legal documentation prior to placement to provide them with insurance.
If you have someone willing to host you, you must complete the SWL documentation.
REMEMBER you are doing SWL not work experience because this is part of your VCE – VM program.
You will then need to meet with the employer and complete both the student, parent and employer sections and then return to Careers office for the final Principals signature.
Remember to use your networks and if that is not successful Cold Calling.
Please contact me if you have any questions; Liz.Rundle@education.vic.gov.au
To support students to have an inspiring and inclusive 2023 school year we will conduct “Return to School Interviews” onsite on Monday 30 January from 11:10am – 7pm. Students and a parent/carer are required to attend. Students are expected to attend in full school uniform
Appointments can be booked by Parents/Carers through the Compass booking system. The booking system will open at 7pm on Monday 5 December and close Tuesday 20 December at 5pm. From December 21, parents/carers will be allocated an appointment time. Appointment reminders will be emailed to families throughout January.
Each interview will last for approximately 12 minutes.
Items that will be discussed include:
Attendance policy & procedures
Student dress code (student to wear full uniform on the day)
Green House are the winners for Term 4 and the overall winners for this year. As seen below they were clearly in front for house points overall but it was a close call for Term 4. Congratulations Green House! This win will be the first engraved on our new House winners cup.
Green House students got a free sausage and can of drink at the Sausage Sizzle on Friday 2 December for lunch.
Term 4 Tally GREEN – 1,445 RED – 1,408 YELLOW – 1,402 BLUE – 1,171
2022 Year Tally
GREEN – 8,172 BLUE – 7,499 RED – 4,438 YELLOW – 4,414
Thank you for all your hard work. We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and look forward to our House Competition in 2023.
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.
Benefits of Music Lessons for Children
Awards Night performances preparation
The choir and flute quartet are preparing performance items for the Awards Evening on 15 December in the theatre at Swinburne Wantirna.
We acknowledge and congratulate these students on their commitment to this performance so late in the year – well done.
Flute Trio at Knox City Shopping Centre
Fairhills High School featured in the November edition of the local paper ‘Gully News’ highlighting the Flute Trio performance at Knox City Shopping Centre
Performers – Abby, Aurora and Jack
Vocal Quartet Performance
The Vocal Quartet sang Christmas Carols to the Knox Retirement Village residences on Thursday 1 December.
Both the students and residence thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon of entertainment.
The students have been asked back next year to sing – congratulations to the following students.
Also, a thank you to our singing teacher Jessy Turner.
Concert Band Regional Workshop
Flutes students represented Fairhills High School in a 90 piece concert band workshop.
Congratulations to flute students Jack and Abby of Year 8 who represented Fairhills High School at a regional level, participating in the Concert Band workshop with over 90 students from other schools. A wonderful achievement and an opportunity for them to develop ensemble skills and personal ability with their flute playing, They represented the school with pride. Well done to both of them.
Awards Evening Flute Ensemble, soloists and choir
Knox Rocks Recording with Boronia Rotary Club involving Individual student
The Senior boys basketball team played in the Australian School Championships last week on the Gold Coast. The boys finished with a record of 1 win and 4 losses, however showed promising signs for being in a competition this size for the first time. It was a great experience for all students with each student growing their basketball game in different capacities. The students were commended by coaches and staff from other schools for the way that they played and controlled themselves on and off the court. Overall we are happy with the foundation we have set and will build upon this in future competitions.
We would like to thank everyone who participated and helped with fundraising to help the students get to the Championships as this would not be possible without your support and encouragement. We look forward to future competitions and placing Fairhills High School basketball on the map.
Dear Fairhills Community, I have to say goodbye to you with mixed excitement and sadness. It has been a pleasure and privilege to have been part of the Fairhills community over the last nine years. It has been an honour and pleasure to have worked with you all. I will miss being here and look forward to working with a new school.
I want to thank all the staff and volunteers for their help and support over the years. I also want to thank Peta Cartwright (our Mental Health Practitioner) and Gail Ackroyd (our Chaplain) for their dedication, passion, and unrelenting support. I have been very blessed to have worked with you.
The wellbeing team will continue with their amazing work in 2023 under a new Student Wellbeing Coordinator. Wishing you all a safe and relaxing break.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”— Winnie The Pooh
Amal Saleh-Zada| Student Wellbeing Coordinator
Families in need: Food options
Each fortnight on a Tuesday from 3.10-3.30 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
Accessing support through Wellbeing: Students
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 email@example.com
Teachers who have concerns about a student may also refer them to the Wellbeing Team through their Year Level Leader.
If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, please get in touch with 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
In November we celebrated the life of C S Lewis – a writer who not only wrote his own masterpieces but influenced the writing of other famous authors and their books, including Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
Clive Staples Lewis was born on 29 November 1898 and died on 22 November 1963 – the same day President Kennedy was assassinated. He was born into a family of bookworms and was surrounded by limitless books, thus he grew up reading. He loved to write and by the time he was five, he’d written a story about a fantasy land, influenced by one of his favourite writers, Beatrix Potter.
Lewis was schooled by private tutors until age nine when his mother died in 1908 from cancer. His first book was a collection of poetry he wrote as a teenager. In 1916, Lewis was awarded a scholarship at University College, Oxford. He enlisted in the British Army in 1917 and was discharged in 1918 after being wounded. Following this he became a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement.
Lewis wrote more than thirty books during his career, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. He released the first book in his popular Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in 1950. The series contains Christian ideas whilst also borrowing characters from Greek and Roman mythology, as well as traditional British and Irish fairy tales . Whilst alive, Lewis did not permit movies or film of his work as he felt that any movie would fall short of depicting the characters and settings accurately. With the advancement in technology however, such effects and settings have become achievable. Live-action film adaptations have been made of three of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005), Prince Caspian (2008) and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010).
As we are approaching the end of the school year, can students please return any overdue library books. Library staff will be contacting all students with overdue items over the coming week.