Skip to content

Newsletter #2 2022

11th March 2022

“Inspiring and empowering members of our school community to achieve their full potential in an inclusive and supportive environment”


Our newsletters are an important form of communication for our school community.

Each newsletter contains information about what is happening in and around the school including important dates and celebration of student success.

Read all the latest news in this edition.

Principal’s Message

Read Time: ( words)

Annual Implementation Plan (AIP)

The AIP supports the school to achieve its strategic plan’s targets. Below are some of the important actions and activities we will be undertaking to support student outcomes.

  • Implement QuickSmart numeracy program in Year 7 and 8
  • Develop and monitor high expectations strategies within the school’s new structures
  • Student Representative Council to develop a comprehensive proposal for a 2023 student led canteen
  • Develop student leadership programs across all year levels
  • Develop Compass as an assessment tool to provide continuous feedback
  • Develop a guaranteed and viable THRIVE curriculum in all year levels
  • Implementation of an individual and house based positive reinforcement system implemented via Compass
  • Implement and monitor Stymie, an online anonymous reporting website for students
  • Installation and operation of an E-sign on Scoresby Road
  • Construction of a Senior School/STEAM building, music hub and landscaping
  • Participation in Ourschool Alumni program
  • Develop and implement the fathering projecT

New Respectful Behaviours in Schools

The Department of Education has created a new web page for parents, linking to the new Respectful Behaviours within the School Community Policy.  This information provides support for parents to engage positively with school staff, including the appropriate pathways for raising concerns or complaints with schools and other useful resources for parents.  Click here for further information.

This work is linked to the new laws introduced by the Andrews Government, which strengthens protections for school staff against parent and career aggression by empowering authorised persons, such as principals, to issue School Community Safety Orders in response to harmful, threatening, abusive or disruptive behaviour at work.

The new School Community Safety Order scheme will be introduced to all schools in mid-2022.  Click here for further information.

Violent and aggressive behaviour has no place in Victorian school communities. Staff should not feel that being subjected to violence and aggression is part of the job and are encouraged to report any risks or incidents of violence and aggression to their school leader and through their reporting mechanisms.

We are pleased that the Department is taking a strong stance to communicate to the school community the behaviours which are unacceptable.

New Building – Science

Preparation for the new building project is moving along. All the science equipment is being packed up and moved to J Block. This is an enormous task and the science teachers have been amazed at just how much equipment can be stored in cupboards. Even though we are losing access to the science labs, teachers will make sure students still manage to have the best possible science experience until the rebuild has been completed.


Ian Van Schie



Teaching and Learning Excellence

Read Time: ( words)

New Staff

I am pleased to introduce two new members of staff to our school community. We are delighted to have the following members of staff join our team:

Mrs. Laura Blackson, who has transferred from Cranbourne East and comes to the school in her capacity as a Learning Specialist. Laura will be teaching Health and Food Technology in the Senior School. She will be working with the Teaching and Learning Excellence team in her capacity as the Innovative Curriculum and Pedagogy Coordinator (ICAP).



Ms. Sarah Taroza who will be teaching English both in the Senior and Middle Schools. Sarah is a keen, dedicated and enthusiastic young teacher. We wish these new members of staff a smooth transition into the Fairhills High School community.





It’s been a busy start to the year with many new programs being introduced across the school. Most importantly, however, has been a series of tests that have taken place across the Middle School with students being assessed in literacy and numeracy. These assessments will serve to ensure that all students’ learning needs are met, with a range of specialist tutors, mentors and coaches, who will be able to address some of the students’ learning deficiencies that resulted from the past two years of COVID lockdowns.

In addition to the assessments, we have introduced a range of programs that will improve standards across the school: in the area of mathematics the new QuickSmart program will be overseen by Mr. Edmund Chow; Student Excellence Program will extend many of our brightest and most talented students; the introduction of Respectful Relationships across the school, the introduction of NAPLAN testing and the wide range of electives that have been offered at Years 9 and 10.

Karen Dean
Associate Principal, Staff Development/Leadership

Senior School Report

Read Time: ( words)

2021 Year 12 Valedictory Afternoon Tea

  On the afternoon of Thursday 24th February we were able to gather together with the Year 12 class of 2021 and celebrate the successful completion of their VCE studies. Students and staff mingled and were able to catch up with each other and hear about their post-schooling plans for 2022. Part of the afternoon was devoted to handing out the subject awards for the top performing students in each VCE study as well as the major awards recognising the all-round achievements and contributions of our senior students. Students and staff were able to recognise and congratulate the 2021 Dux – Lionel Yu. We were pleased to be joined by Nick Wakeling (State Member for Ferntree Gully) who was able to present the major awards – The Endeavour Award to Rhys Saultry, and the Aston Shield to Preethi Muthukumaran.


Another highlight of the event was being able to meet Gus Bacareza in person; our student from Micronesia who completed his VCE studies with the 2021 Fairhills class from over 5,000 kilometres away. It has been a fantastic effort by Gus to do his studies via remote learning, and he was recognised enthusiastically by the students and staff.

A big thank you to Ms Burrell for organising the event along with Ms Rundle, Mr Stokes and Ms Grunberg.


Paul Donaldson
Assistant Principal and Senior School Leader

Congratulations Patrick!

Patrick Gawith, our Year 12 Senior School Leader has been playing Baseball for 8 years.  Recently, he has been selected to represent Australia for the Under 18’s in his position as catcher. He’s planning on heading off to Canberra to participate in the Australian Institute of Sport facility and is hoping to be selected to go to California and represent Australia in the Under 18’s World Cup.

We wish him all the best.

Year 11 Physics

Last week the Year 11 Physics class went to KIOSC to do an activity on thermodynamics. The Students used the FLIR IR cameras to highlight inefficient energy transfers and understand the thermal properties of common building materials. Students further explored these concepts by designing a dwelling with minimal energy input to maintain a habitable thermal environment. This activity enabled students to experience and examine some key concepts in the VCE Physics course.

Year 10 Social Committee

Year 10 (and first Year 11 accelerated students) – Ms Grunberg is looking for a committee to get the Year 10 Social underway for 2022. 

What needs to be done?

Organisation of the date, venue, entertainment, food, decorations and anything else to make a great night.

How to sign up?

Interested students can see Ms Grunberg in her office next to A2 to sign up.

It’s always a highlight of the year – let’s make 2022 the best one yet.

Middle School Report

Read Time: ( words)

Middle School Report

It’s hard to remember everything about my middle or high school years – a few really amazing teachers, some awesome chemistry experiments, and having friends over after school. But what I can tell you about are the school events that happened. Athletic Day, Sports, camps, dances, guest speakers, theme days… these are the memories that stay with me today.

So I got to thinking; what is it about school events that are so, well, amazing? And the simple answer is that it brings people together in one place at one time to celebrate one thing. It was those moments when you realised you were a part of something special and that you were connected.

This week’s Year 7 Orientation camp and whole school Athletics Day events provided an opportunity to build school spirit, create a sense of belonging and everlasting memories.


Silvana La Leggia
Middle School Leader

Year 7 Camp

Our Year 7 students headed down to Phillip Island via Point Nepean for their three day Orientation Camp. Our campers enjoyed activities including swimming, beach walks, circatron , giant swing, flying fox , frisbee golf, bowling and Camp favorite Clip n climb. Our sincerest thanks goes to Ms Sarah Powers for her organisation, and supporting staff – Peter Croucher, Jesse Harberger, Mitchell Burrows , Olivia Johnson and Bec Vance. An amazing time was had by all!


Year 8 Highlight

Year 8 Thrive students excelled in this weeks team challenge with the creation of popsicle colored coded stick towers. Working in teams and armed with a limited resources and blue tack, students were required to design and construct multi-level towers. Congratulations to our winning teams.

Year 8 Science

Year 8 students are currently studying the characteristics and functions of cells. For their assessment they are required to make a labelled model of a cell. They usually come up with some very creative ways of construction their models. So far two models in the form of cakes have been submitted by Kaylee, Keanna and Mia from 8B. Please see the included photos.

Year 9 Connect Program

We are pleased with the progress our Year 9 students are making in the Connect Program this term. We have undertaken a range of new programs that include team building games with Supreme Incursions; Nathan Hull, an inspiring, motivational speaker and a range of interesting activities that include preparing dough and making delicious, mouth-watering pizza. We are all so pleased with the progress the students are making and we look forward to more exciting activities.

Important Dates

Read Time: ( words)




Thursday 10 MarchWhole School Athletics Day
Monday 14 MarchLabour Day – Public Holiday
Monday 21 MarchYear 7 Immunisations
Thursday 24 MarchFairhills Discovery Night
Friday 8 AprilLast day of Term 1 – 2.30pm finish


Discovery Night

Join us at our Discovery Night – bookings can be made at:

School Tours

Can’t make it to the Discovery night?  Book a School Tour in March – for more information go to:

We look forward to seeing you and showing you around the school.

2022 Term Dates

Term 131 January to 8 April 2022
Term 226 April to 24 June 2022
Term 311 July to 16 September 2022
Term 43 October to 20 December 2022


General News

Read Time: ( words)

General Office

The General Office hours are: 8.15am-4.15pm. 

Telephone: 9758 5022

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.

Uniform Shop

The purchase of School Uniforms are now through Dandy Schoolwear in Dandenong.

Dandy Schoolwear

Factory 8, 169 Cheltenham Road, Dandenong
(03) 9792 0424

Monday to Friday – 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday – 9:30am to 2:00pm

Uniform Price List

2022 Fairhills High School Student Dress Code


2022 Bell Times

8:40amLocker Bell (10 min)
8:50amPeriod 1 (57 min)
9:47amHouse Group (Year Level on Wed) (15 min)
10:02amRecess (25 min)
10:27amPeriod 2 (57 min)
11:24amTransit (2 min)
11:26amPeriod 3 (57 min)
12:23pmStart of Lunch (25 min)
12:48pmMiddle of Lunch (25 min)
1:13pmPeriod 4 (57 min)
2:10pmTransit (2 min)
2:12pmPeriod 5 (57 min)
3:09pmStudents finish
3:11pm– 4:08pmPeriod 6 Monday and Tuesday some VCE subjects (57 min)


Team Leaders

Year LevelStaff Leaders
7 and 8Kate Parker & Sarah Power
9Greg Baker & Mitchell Burrows
10Robyn Grunberg
VCEJulian Stokes


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.

Year 7 Immunisations

As part of the National Immunisation Program, Knox City Council’s immunisation team will be visiting Fairhills High School to provide free scheduled vaccines to all Year 7 students.

In 2022, the recommended doses for each vaccine offered in Year 7 are as follows:

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – two doses over 6 months
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough – single dose to boost previous child doses

Please open the following link to Year 7 Secondary School Vaccine Program consent form. Please complete, sign and submit the form.

Year 7 – Fairhills High School – Vaccine Consent Form

The consent form must be completed and submitted electronically, regardless of whether the child is being vaccinated or not.

CSEF Applications

Applications are now open.

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities.  If you have a valid means-tested concession card, such as a Veterans Affairs Gold Card, Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible. There is also a special consideration category for asylum seeker and refugee families.

If you applied for CSEF through our school last year, you do not need to complete an application form this year, unless there has been a change in your family circumstances.

If you would like to apply for the first time, please complete the 2022 CSEF application form.

Student Absences

If your child will be absent or late due to illness or for any other reason, parents/guardians are able to:

  • Mark their absence on Compass / or
  • Send an email to the school: / or
  • Phone the absence hotline is available 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.

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 your child or any family member has COVID, please ring or email the school so we can record their absence accordingly.

Contact Details

If you have changed any of your personal details (phone numbers / address / place of employment) – please email your changes to: or phone the office for assistance on 03 9758 5022.  It is important to ensure our records are current. Thank you for your cooperation.


Athletics Day

Read Time: ( words)

Athletics Day

Our Annual Athletics Day was held Thursday 10 March 2022.  Students arrived dressed in their house colours and had the opportunity to participate in individual and group activities.  Even our Support Dog Scout enjoyed the day.  Thanks to Ms Bishop for organising the day along with the teachers and support staff which ensured a smooth, enjoyable day for all.  









Our Virtual International Student Arrives

Read Time: ( words)

International Student – Gus Bacareza finally arrives

On 3 December 2019 the school received an email from Mrs Bacareza about enrolling her son Gustave Bacareza. The Bacareza family was looking for a year 11/12 educational study plan in Australia and chose Fairhills High School.

Then COVID hit – you may remember his story in previous newsletters, where we reported his endeavour to finish his Victorian Certificate of Education in 2020 and 2021 via virtual studies.

Ms Silvana La Leggia was his Business Management teacher for 2020 – 2021. Ms Karen Dean was behind the scenes in helping Gus with his educational plan with Fairhills and Virtual School Victoria (VSV). I, Edmund was mainly supporting Gus for his VSV studies, such as supervising his SACs for the year 2021.

After all the efforts we put in, we finally had the chance to welcome Gus at Melbourne Airport on 25 February 2021 at 7:20am.  I drove Gus to La Trobe University where he will be continuing his Australian Education in Nursing – thanks to his mother who inspired him to become a nurse.  After settling into his student accommodation at La Trobe we then departed for our drive to the Fairhills Valedictory Afternoon Tea held at KIOSC Swinburne. Gus was welcomed by all as he was well liked and supported by his year 12 classmates via their online WebEx classes.

Finally, the day had arrived when we all got to meet Gus in person – it seemed like a miracle.

We would like to congratulate him that he has made it and wish him a happy start for years to come.



Read Time: ( words)

Lunch Time Groups

It has been a busy and exciting start to the year in Wellbeing as we relaunch some of our lunch time groups, put plans in place for the year ahead and get ready for our first whole school wellbeing campaign of the year.

?-Squad, our support group for LGBTIQ+ students and allies is back up and running on Thursday lunchtimes in the Wellbeing Centre. The group is very much student led and there are some great ideas and initiatives on the agenda for 2022. We warmly welcome any students and staff who would like to attend- curiosity encouraged, respect required.  Stay tuned for some more lunctime groups coming soon to the Wellbeing Centre!

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

Next week the school will be participating in the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. This is an Australia wide campaign to support schools to take action against bullying and to help build safe, inclusive and respectful communities. The theme for this year’s campaign is Kindness Culture- It starts with you.

Throughout the week all students will be participating in activities in their THRIVE classes to learn about the science of kindness and how we can all make a positive impact on ourselves and others through simple acts of kindness.

The Year 10’s will be having a presentation on Wednesday 16 March from the Pat Cronin Foundation on the impact and alternatives to social violence.

On Friday 18 March – the actual national day of action, we will be having a whole school lunchtime activity in the courtyard where we will be inviting all students and staff to use their thumb print to create the leaves of a huge kindness tree painting. The thumb prints will act as a pledge to the actions that we can all personally take to create a safe school for everyone.

Community Kindness Challenge

We will also be launching a Community Kindness Challenge that will run for the rest of Term 1. We invite all students, staff and families to nominate someone at school who has been a Kindness Champion – someone who has made a positive impact on you or someone else through a random act of kindness, a kind word or gesture. We will be acknowledging our Kindness Champions later in the term. Nomination forms and boxes will be placed in student common areas and the staff room. Nominations can be made anonymously.

International Women’s Day

Tuesday 8 March was International Women’s Day and was the perfect day to announce that we are re-launching the Respectful Relationships program at the school in 2022. This is a DET mandated whole school program which has at its core challenging gender stereotypes and the prevention of violence against women. The program sits across all aspects of school functioning including leadership, policies, teaching, student support and physical environment. Karen Dean, Assistant Principal will be leading the rollout of the program this year and will be supported by an Implementaiton Action Team. There will be more information provided to families and students as we progress through the program rollout during the year.

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

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.

Student Wellbeing Team

Student Wellbeing Coordinator – Amal Saleh-Zada
Chaplain – Gail Ackroyd
Mental Health Practitioner – Peta Cartwright
Student Support Services Psychologist – Emily Habard


Fairhills High School Alumni

Read Time: ( words)

Inaugural Alumni Careers Pathway Q&A

Fairhills High School held its Inaugural Alumni Careers Pathway Q&A session with Year 11 and 12 students on Thursday 24th February.

We were absolutely delighted to welcome the very first participants of the Ourschool official Fairhills alumni program!

Three former students, Clyde Benjamin (Class of 2018), Olivia Johnson (Class of 2017) and Maya Tomasovic (Class of 2018) generously gave their time to Q&A with Year 11 & 12 students, inspiring them about the realities of career pathways into teaching, IT, engineering and law and offering practical advice and tips about tertiary study, work and getting a job.

Why is this so helpful/so important? Why do public school alumni communities matter so much?

Simple. Alumni hold a completely unique role with current students, having attended the same school. Hearing their experiences helps motivate students to aspire, feel confident and see opportunities they may never have thought available to them. Whether a pathway leads to tertiary or TAFE, apprenticeship, or employment, every. single. student. pathway. matters.

Through Clyde, Olivia and Maya sharing their wisdom and insights, going forward, those students who attended the session are now:

  1. Educated first-hand by peers about the range and realities of potential career pathways they could follow…
  2. Inspired about the employment possibilities that await them in the adult world…
  3. Connected to a supportive and experienced adult alumni network.

Thank you so much Clyde, Liv and Maya, your brave honesty, brilliant humour and enormous kindness was an absolute inspiration to students and staff, please come back to celebrate Fairhills’ 50th anniversary with us next year!

Are you a former Fairhills student?

If you are a former student of Fairhills High School, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us by sending an email to: Sally Davis at






Read Time: ( words)

Library News

Each year since 1945, the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA), has brought children and books together across Australia through CBCA Book Week. This year over 600 books have been submitted for judging. The CBCA has recently released a shortened list of 116 notable books, which will be judged for the main prizes later in the year. This month we are displaying a wide selection of these chosen books and invite you to view them in the Pop-Up Library.

Some of the featured books include:

Elsewhere Girls by Emily Gale and Nova Weetman

Cat and Fanny have never met. They both live in the same Sydney suburb, but in different worlds, or at least different times: Cat in current-day Sydney, and Fanny in 1908. But, one day, time slips and they swap places.

As each girl lives the other’s life, with all the challenges and confusion it presents, she comes to appreciate and understand herself and the role of swimming in her own life.

Narrated in alternating chapters by Cat and Fanny, Elsewhere Girls is a moving and funny story of two girls with a deep connection, one based on the Australian Olympic champion, Fanny Durack. It’s a fresh and engaging exploration of the challenges and pressures for young women growing up in the past and today.

Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Wilde

Henry Hamlet doesn’t know what he wants after school ends. It’s his last semester of year twelve and all he’s sure of is his uncanny ability to make situations awkward. Luckily, he can always hide behind his enigmatic best friend, Len. They’ve been friends since forever, but where Len is mysterious, Henry is clumsy; where Len is a heart-throb, Henry is a neurotic mess. Somehow it’s always worked. That is, until Henry falls. Hard. For the last person he imagined.

From an exciting debut author comes this passionate story of growing up, letting go, and learning how to love. Winner of the State Library of Queensland’s Glendower Award.


The Gaps by Leanne Hall

What does it mean to be the one left behind?

When sixteen-year-old Yin Mitchell is abducted, the news reverberates through the whole Year Ten class at Balmoral Ladies College. As the hours tick by, the girls know the chance of Yin being found alive is becoming smaller and smaller.

Police suspect the abduction is the work of a serial offender, with none in the community safe from suspicion. Everyone is affected by Yin’s disappearance—even scholarship student Chloe, who usually stays out of Balmoral drama, is drawn into the maelstrom. And when she begins to form an uneasy alliance with the queen of Year Ten, Natalia, things get even more complicated.

Looking over their shoulders at every turn, Chloe and Natalia must come together to cope with their fear and grief as best they can. A tribute to friendship in all its guises, The Gaps is a moving examination of vulnerability and strength, safety and danger, and the particular uncertainty of being a young woman in the world.

Skip to content