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Principal’s Message

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Open Night

Our 2023 Open Night was extremely successful. Firstly, it was very pleasing to see well over 350 people attend the night. Secondly, the organisation and smooth running of the night enabled our potential Fairhills High School community members to experience the school in a very positive light. I want to congratulate Silvana La Leggia (AP of the Middle School), the marketing team and all the staff and students who contributed to the night. By working together we were able to showcase the best of what we have to offer.

School Improvement

In the past few weeks members of leadership have gone out to visit schools who consistently demonstrate outstanding practices in Learning & Wellbeing.

What we saw:

  • Consistency of practice from one classroom to the next
  • Use of an Instructional model in all learning environments
  • High expectations and routines and rituals
  • Differentiated learning through the use of success criteria and small group point of need activities
  • No teacher desks at the front of the class
  • The third teacher (classroom environment and signage) being an essential and important element to create a consistent and calm learning environment.

All of these best practices have led to a Supportive and Orderly Learning Environment and the school achieving the best NAPLAN results in their region (100+ primary schools)

It was certainly inspirational to me as an educator, and I have learnt a great deal from these visits. The aim is to bring some of these evidence based strategies and within our context embed them into our school.

See some of the photos I took below.

Our approach to creating a positive learning environment.

By the start of Term 2 a very large (100cm x 70cm) poster will be displayed in all learning environments.

The poster has:

  • The FHS LEARN model in the centre. The LEARN model will support students to learn in different ways and provides consistency from one learning environment to the next. With ongoing support and development, teachers will begin to structure their lesson plans around the LEARN model.
  • School Wide Positive Behaviours at ‘all times’ and in ‘learning spaces’. Students will be provided with extensive support to understand:
    the importance of these behaviours
    • how they link to our values
    • how they support wellbeing and learning,
    • how to act accordingly
    • the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards they will receive if they display these positive behaviours.

Primary Principals visit to Fairhills High School

On March 29 local primary school principals attended Fairhills High School. A part of the day was a school tour. When we went into Year 7 classes the reaction of some students was priceless. I heard some audible gasps from students when they saw their past primary principal in their secondary setting. The principals loved seeing them.

At the end of the tour, the principals provided some really positive feedback. One principal said she was surprised that it was so calm and orderly, as her perceptions of high schools were very different. Another noted the Out of Class passes and how effective they appeared to be.

We are really a school on the up ?.


Ian Van Schie



Middle School Report

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Dear all,

As the term ends we take the opportunity to congratulate the middle school students for their commitment to their learning and a great start to the year. Our elective classes have been extremely popular and as you can see from the pictures below, students enjoy the hands-on nature and practical components.

In the past few weeks, our year 7 and 9 students completed NAPLAN testing. These tests were undertaken via the on-line portal and all students should be congratulated for their conduct. We would like acknowledge the work of Bill Exton, Michelle Nickels and the IT department for their support and organisation.

The middle school was very well represented in this year’s Wakakirri auditions and we look forward to the final production. Please see the Performing Arts page.

Last Thursday we held our annual Open night. Over 350+ parents and students attended and toured the school for a ‘Treasure Hunt’ around Fairhills.  Parents were treated to pre-entertainment by the Middle School choir, feasted on sausages and cupcakes in food technology, and undertook many engaging activities in all learning areas. Two lucky families from our community walked away with a PS5 PlayStation and gift voucher. Again, I would like to acknowledge all our student helpers and staff who represented and showcased our school with great pride. Congratulations on an outstanding event!

On a final note may you and your families enjoy the Easter break. Have a great holiday and look forward to seeing you all in term 2.

Silvana La Leggia
Middle School Leader

Year 9/10 Fairhills Crime Solvers

The Year 9/10 Fairhills Crime Solvers class went to KIOSC with the goal of solving a cold case murder. Students used a range of evidence from fingerprinting, DNA, footprints and suspect interviews to determine the guilty party.

Year 9/10 Beautiful Baking

Our Year 9 & 10 Beautiful Baking students have been studying chocolate. We’ve looked at the history of chocolate, types of chocolate, how chocolate is made and we’ve made a range of dishes with different types of chocolate. This last week our students have learnt to temper chocolate and make their own shapes and then make chocolate cupcakes to decorate with the shapes.

Year 9/10 Future Foods

Our Year 9 & 10 Future Foods students have been learning all about alternative ways of cooking, diet and lifestyle. Our current focus is on Plant Based Living, or Veganism. The students are cooking a three course meal across their prac classes; we started with zucchini fritters with salsa and coconut yoghurt for entree (or a perfect brunch), then Lentil Spaghetti (as pictured) and this week we’re making apple crumble. The students were impressed with their Lentil Spaghetti.


Senior School Report

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The highlight of the past three weeks was our ‘Discovery Night’ on Thursday 23 March, where we welcomed a large number of prospective families to come and take a look at our great school. I was very proud of our senior school student leaders, who stayed back to help set up for the evening and also take on various leadership roles. Our car park attendants were simply brilliant! Bailey, Nikita, Brent and Charlie did an amazing job organising the large number of cars onto our oval… It really was a huge effort. Our tour guides on the night also did a fantastic job leading the families to the different rooms and displays. We also had a large number of senior leaders helping out in each room, answering questions and carrying out various engaging activities. Well done to all our senior students who helped out on the night…we couldn’t have done it without you!

Over the past few weeks, our senior students have been very busy completing numerous SACs and work requirements. This has demonstrated the importance of realising that success is the result of hard work and that time must be given to completing tasks and practising skills that have been learned. Repeating and revising creates strong neural pathways and allows for faster retrieval of information. It is clear that many students still need to set up a study timetable, which will enable them to schedule study time as well as allowing time for part-time work, relaxation and exercise.

From a wellbeing perspective, I have noticed that many of our students find getting the recommended amount of 8 to 10 hours sleep each night, quite challenging. The following information is designed to help our students create positive habits and routines at night to assist them with getting the recommended daily amount of sleep.

Why do you need 8 to 10 hours?

  • Your academic success depends on how much sleep you get (ability to concentrate, focus, remember and maintain attention)
  • Your emotional health – if you are lacking sleep you have less control over your emotional responses and are more likely to have conflict and feel negative emotions
  • Physical Health – you are in a rapid stage of development and your body needs time to rejuvenate after a big day. If not, you experience fatigue and have a lower immunity (get sick more often)

How can you develop a positive sleep schedule?

Create a sleep schedule, similar to a study timetable.

Meditation practice before bed

Limit your screen time at night. Get off your phones 30 minutes before you go to sleep! The phone light triggers your brain to stay wired.

  • Read a book
  • Drink Chamomile tea
  • Exercise and nourish your body
  • Set up ‘Sleep Focus’ on your phones
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch (including cola drinks)
  • Buy an eye mask/use ear plugs to help create a quiet and dark space
  • See your GP if you are finding that you are not getting enough sleep

For more information about sleep and teens, click on the following link:

Bill Exton
Assistant Principal Senior School

VCE Art and Visual Communication

VCE Art and Visual Communication students visited the NGV International last week. They learnt about everything involved in presenting and protecting artworks in exhibitions.

They also visited the ACMI to experience the interactive display of media, cinematography and gaming design.

Year 12 VCE VM Melbourne Zoo

The Year 12 VCE VM students went on an adventure to The Melbourne Zoo on Monday. Students were working on risk assessments, interviewing Zoo staff and gathering data in preparation for our upcoming café project. The animals were on full display. Both students and staff had a fantastic day.

Year 12 VCE VM Barista Course

We are very excited to announce we are developing our very own school café. We recently purchased a coffee machine and the Year 12 VCE VM students undertook a Barista course. It was a two day long course where students learnt about food handling and then coffee making. In a rotation, students learnt how to make a range of coffees and how to pour the best coffee. Staff were lucky enough to try their coffees and we were all pleasantly surprised.

Students will be continuing to learn new skills and the café ideas are starting to flow and hopefully by Term 3 we will have the start of a functioning café for all.

Important Dates

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Tuesday 4 AprilHouse Athletics
Thursday 6 AprilYear 8 KIOSC
Thursday 6 AprilLast Day of Term 1
Monday 24 AprilTerm 2 commences – Curriculum Day – no classes
Tuesday 25 AprilANZAC DAY
Wednesday 26 AprilClasses Resume
Wednesday 26 AprilYear 9 Connect 1000 Steps
Friday 28 AprilYear 11 Conference
Monday 1 MayState School Spectacular Rehearsal
Friday 5 MayVCE Careers Expo
Thursday 11 MayParent Teacher Interviews


School Tours

To book a School Tour go to:

We look forward to welcoming you and showing you around our great school.

2023 Term Dates

Term 130 January to 6 April 2023
Term 224 April to 23 June 2023
Term 310 July to 15 September 2023
Term 42 October to 20 December 2023


General News

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2023 Parent Payments

2023 student charges are now listed on Compass under Payment Centre.  Parent payment contributions can be made through this area at any time.

General Office

The General Office hours are: 8.00am-4.00pm

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.

ANZAC Day Badges

ANZAC Day items – badges / Pens / bracelets are available for purchase at the General Office.  Prices range from $2-$5.  


Compass is the communication portal for Fairhills –

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.

Click here for the Compass Parent Guide

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 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 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)

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

Click here for the Uniform details and  Price List

Click here for the 2023 Fairhills High School Student Dress Code

Sustainable School Shop

Looking to buy or sell second hand books or uniforms?  Visit: 

You can also find the following items:

  • Calculators
  • Sporting items
  • Musical items
  • Electronics & DVD’s
  • Stationery

2023 Bell Times

Two different bell times run during the week:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Tuesday and Thursday (includes House Group)



Period 18:40am – 9:39am8:40am – 9:39am
Period 29:39am – 10:38am9:39am – 10:38am
Recess10:38am – 10:58am10:38am – 10:58am
Period 310:58am – 11:57am10:58am – 11:57am
Period 411:57am – 12:56pm11:57am – 12:56pm
Lunch12:56pm – 1:36pm12:56pm – 1:36pm
HomegroupN/A1:36pm – 1:49pm
Period 51:36pm – 2:35pm1:49pm – 2:48pm


2023 Team Leaders

Year LevelStaff Leaders
Sarah Power
8Sarah Power
9Greg Baker
10Tony Hitchman
11Leanne Henderson
12Julian Stokes


Student Leadership

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Student Leadership Training Day

Thank you to Yellow Arrow Leadership who visited last week and spent the morning with our Student Leaders.

The students shared their ideas and motivation with each other and explored how they can best collaborate as a team.

Emma, the Student Agency Leader had the following feedback:

“Felicity was excellent. Her enthusiasm and warm approach woke up our students in the morning session and meant we had all students participating instead of remaining silent and disengaged. We were able to build on this leadership session for future event planning and excitement for what we could achieve for our school. It was particularly good to get our students thinking about the “why” when it came to planning for events.”

Thanks again Yellow Arrow Leadership

School Leaders

Congratulations to all the below students on their leadership roles.



Community Help

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Fairhills High School Red Cross Lifeblood Team

Did you know that (thanks to our own Suzi Beasley) Fairhills High School has a Red Cross Lifeblood team?

This means that once you have registered as a member of this team, any blood, plasma, or platelet donation you make at any Red Cross Lifeblood Centre around Australia will not only save lives, but add one to our team tally. Anyone in our school community (over 18) can register to be a part of the Fairhills High School Lifeblood team.

To register:

  • Log on to your donor profile
  • Click on My Details, then Manage Preferences
  • This will bring up a screen where you can join the Fairhills High School Team

Alternatively, you can just ask to join our team the next time you go in to donate.

For more details about being a Red Cross Lifeblood donor:

Saver Plus – helping take the stress out of back to school time

The Saver Plus community program has helped over 55,000 Australians take the stress out of back to school time. It’s free for eligible people to join.

At Saver Plus, we pair you with a savings coach while you budget and save over the next 10 months. You attend online workshops to learn tips, tricks and information to grow your budgeting and savings skills. Once you reach your agreed savings goal, ANZ matches your savings dollar-for-dollar, up to $500. You can use that money towards education costs such as uniforms, text books, laptops or extra-curricular activities such as sport or music.

You could be eligible to join Saver Plus if you:

  • have a Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card
  • are at least 18 years old
  • have some regular income from work (you or your partner) including casual, part-time, full time or seasonal (we also accept child support and carer’s payment as income)
  • have a child at school or attend vocational education yourself.

If you’re eligible, start now and we’ll help take the stress out of next year’s back to school.

To find out more, or to apply, go to or call 1300 610 355

Instrumental Music

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Open Night Performances

Congratulations to all the instrumental music students who performed at Open Night – well done.

Mr James, Ms Turner and Mrs McAlister were very proud of your achievements.

Trumpet, clarinet, electric guitar and flute students performed ensemble songs in the foyer as members from the community arrived.

The Choir performed as the opening item for the presentation.

Thank you to all students for your efforts and achievements and, of course, their parents who support them with their music education.



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Wakakirri Auditions

On Tuesday after school, Wakakirri Auditions were held in the Performing Arts Centre. We had a range of students from year 7 -12.
We are very excited to be trying something new this year. We will be completing Wakakirri and a Musical Bi- Annually.
Wakakirri’s theme is “Change”. Fairhills will be creating a story dance based on the iconic Marilyn Monroe.

Stay tuned for more updates from the Performing Arts.

Resource Learning Hub

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Harmony Week 2023 was recently celebrated from 20 – 26 March.

Harmony Week celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. It reminds us to be respectful of other peoples’ cultures and traditions. It reminds us to be inclusive and not make anyone feel left out. It reminds us that no matter where we might come from, we are all Australians.

Inside the Library, we have prepared a colourful display reminding us of our multi-cultural backgrounds at Fairhills High School. Students will hopefully enjoy the stories shared and learn from the aspects of diversity within our community!

Don’t forget that these are merely a sample of all the fabulous books available for borrowing!


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Term 1 is always a busy, exciting and (sometimes overwhelming) start to the year, especially for our Year 7’s who are learning all new people, places and routines. It can be useful to reflect on just how much we have achieved in a short period of time and to celebrate our successes, however small. It is also helpful to note how adaptable to change our brains can be and how resilient we can be in new and challenging situations. When we treat challenges as opportunities to learn, there is only success!

One of the cornerstones of Wellbeing at Fairhills is helping to promote a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for all students. One of the ways we do this is by running awareness and education campaigns throughout the year. In Term 2 we will be running campaigns for IDAHOBIT Day and Men’s Health Week. Campaigns may include fun lunchtime activities for all students, competitions, classroom sessions delivered by members of the wellbeing team or guest speakers and information delivered through compass posts. Stay tuned for more information on Term 2 activities.

We hope everyone has an enjoyable break and we look forward to seeing you all back in Term 2.

Please see information below for accessing wellbeing support and check out some local and online supports for families and young people including a parent seminar on the really important issue of vaping amongst young people.

Peta Cartwright | Student Wellbeing Coordinator

The Team

Student Wellbeing Coordinator – Peta Cartwright/ Social Worker (3 days per week – Mon (Wk2), Tues Thurs, Fri)

School Chaplain – Gail Ackroyd/ Counsellor (2 days per week – Mon/Tues)

Mental Health Practitioner – Mariani Lim (2 days per week)

Counselling Intern – Eliza Wade (2 days per week- Tues, Thurs)

Counselling Intern – Sarah Ardiente (2 days per week – Tues, Fri)

Local and Online Services and Supports for Families and Young People


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
  • group programs
  • 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

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.

More groups to come!

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

Breakfast Club

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 2.48- 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




Fairhills High School Alumni

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This Monday, we are delighted to welcome back Fairhills High School alum Matt Fregon MP, class of 1986, to speak to students at our whole school assembly about his journey since leaving high school.

Matt was born and raised in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs where his parents still live. He moved to Mount Waverley with his wife, Rebecca, and daughter in 2010, and before his election to the Legislative Assembly in 2018, Matt ran a small I.T. business on High Street Road, Glen Iris for over a decade. He participated in many of the school’s performances and was known for his singing abilities!

Save The Date – Fairhills is 50!

In 2023, Fairhills High School Knoxfield celebrates 50 years of history-making, a significant achievement for any school or organization.

Our 50th anniversary will be a memory to hold for all current and former students, staff, parents, and the community. As an amazing school, we want to share our experiences of the last 50 years and look back to see how the school has changed from 1973 to now, 2023, and see just how far it has come.

Across Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October, Fairhills High School Knox is delighted to play host, and invite you to join us celebrating the people, the stories, and the growth of the school over the last half-century and looking ahead to the next 50 years…

Planning is underway on a terrific line-up of exciting events and activities across the two days for all members of the Fairhills High School family- and we hope that all our staff, students, parents and community members – both past and present – will be able to join us in celebrating our fantastic school!

The future is bright for Fairhills, be part of it!




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