As we come to the end of an exceptional year, I invite you to take the time to read this newsletter and reflect upon the amazing successes we have achieved in the face of significant adversity. Our community has come together to find a way to celebrate the students of Kew High School in innovative and creative ways. I have been so fundamentally impressed with the dedication of parents and of the wider community to this school. It is evident that Kew High School is unique in this area – we have an established community of families who live locally, who know each other, who welcome new members, and who come together to support the students and the school. Our students have identified, in survey after survey, that which makes them proud of this school is the connectedness of our school community. I hope that as we come to the end of the year all community members are able to feel proud of this exceptional school.
On Thursday 3 December, we farewelled our Class of 2020. The staff and parents who put together the celebration did so with commitment and dedication. The students were amazing. They dressed up, they celebrated each other and for the staff who witnessed it, it was a reward for all of the work they do with young people. No one could have been prouder. But there was some sadness, as there always is when you say goodbye to people you have worked with for six years. We wishes the Class of 2020 to very best of luck.
Then, the following Tuesday we welcomed our 2021 Year 7 students. The new beginning, the welcoming of new students always brings with it happiness and hope – and I think in 2020 this renewal felt even more special. The program for the day introduced students to the school and whilst there was some trepidation early in the day, by the end of the day there were smiles and laughter.
Year 10 and Year 11 students have completed Unit 1 and Unit 3 Headstart Program and are to be congratulated upon the manner in which they have undertaken the first sessions in their VCE studies. They have recognised the significant advantage they have by completing the Headstart Program and their purpose and commitment has been evident throughout the school. Holiday homework for all subjects has been set and we are confident that students will enjoy completing these tasks which further prepare them for a productive year in which they are able to reach their potential.
Year 12 students will receive final results on Wednesday 30 December 2020. Whilst we are looking forward to celebrating these, we also know that the best outcome has already been achieved. We are so very proud of our Year 12 students who have completed their secondary education in the very best possible manner, in the most incredibly difficult circumstances. The Department of Education and Training states that the benefits of strong educational outcomes are clear and compelling:
Education creates better physical and mental health and increases social cohesion, leading to the strengthening of civil society and ensuring community and government resources can be directed where they are most needed.
Our Senior School students epitomise the clear and compelling benefits of their fine education. They symbolise the ideals of Kew High School. We are very proud of them.
Our current Year 7, 8 and 9 students have been working hard all term. Teachers have been re-writing curriculum to include as much practical activity as possible, and lessons and assessment have stretched right to the end of the term. As the holiday break begins, I encourage everyone to make the time to rest, to eat healthily and to be deliberate in avoiding screens over the break.
In the final Newsletter of the year, I would like to wish all members of our school community a very happy holiday, and a safe and healthy New Year.
I sincerely thank you for the welcome and for the messages of support through out the year. It has been an absolute privilege to be appointed to lead Kew High School and I am very much looking forward to 2021.
Kew High School Gardens benefitted from excellent Spring rain. The absence of students through Term 3, because of the remote learning assisted with no population impact allowing lawn areas a rest.
Garden maintenance was restricted during Term 3 due to loss of work days due to restrictions. Mulching and weeding continued in the main areas around the entrances. The back of the library was cleaned up and the vegetable gardens changed to Summer crops.
The new garden beds have been planted. The Jacaranda Garden has perennial plants. They are now filling out into the design by volunteer Bridget Naughton who also donated many of the filler plants. The Burke Road South native garden preparation was completed with help from volunteer Ed Brown and had time to settle down absorbing the Spring rain. The main planting has been installed with the grasses to follow as time allows.
The lawns and parkland have been mowed and trimmed by Andrews Garden Service team. They also cleared the paths and pruned the shrubs along the Burke Road Fence. The Landscape Lads led by teacher Sam Gleeson are back in force. They are currently preparing the garden beds beside the Burke Road bus stop. These will be planted out by the end of term 4.
Garden maintenance will continue over the Christmas New Year break to ensure the new plants and veggies are watered and weeds kept out.
Sam and Ruby (7A)
In the past few lessons, we have been looking at techniques used to separate mixtures of two different components. We explored decanting, filtration, distillation, crystallisation, chromatography, magnetism, flocculation and centrifugation. We participated in multiple practical experiments. The first was filtration, where we added chalk to water and separated it through a paper filter nestled in a funnel. We then looked into centrifugation, then chromatography, in which we identified substances through differentiating between the colours and how far they travelled up through the chromatography paper, based upon how soluble the ink components were.With the flocculation practical activity, we used chemical flocculants to bind with the particles of dirt and other impurities in the water which then formed a sediment on the bottom of the beakers. We learnt a lot throughout these couple of weeks and it was a great way to end another year of learning.
Year 12 Food Studies students addressed the specifications of a design brief requiring them to design and produce a healthy lunchbox for children. In designing the lunchbox, students were required to consider the establishment of healthy behaviour principles for young children to meet their dietary and development needs. Students are to be congratulated on the excellent work produced in 2020.
After almost a year of indoor recreation the VET Sport and Recreation class managed to head out to Queenscliff for a snorkelling trip which was linked to a minimum impact and snorkelling unit of competence they were studying.
First stop was Popes Eye where students were able to refine their underwater viewing and duck diving techniques. Highlights included the large gulls nesting on the rock structures, lots of kelp and a few fish!
Second stop was Chinamans Hat, a structure which homes a large group of fur seals. We also got to meet Dottie, a massive stingray who seems to keep the Seals entertained!
Last stop was Portsea Pier, where we were able to stop a few weedy sea dragons which was a highlight of the day.
As we headed back to port the skipper let the student have some fun, including roof jumps, sitting on the cargo net and even some body drags along the side of the boat.
A wonderful day was had by all.
On Friday 4th of November author Zana Fraillon came to Kew High to congratulate the Junior Writing Competition winners, Ella Scott, James Koren and Daniel Geva. Students received a signed copy of Zana’s new book The Lost Soul Atlas.Here is what Zana had to say about the winners and the competition:
Thank you all SO much for giving me the opportunity to read your short stories. They were all so wonderful, and it made my decision of choosing my three favourites particularly hard. I had to go back and read them all multiple times before I could decide.
For everyone who submitted a story, I hope you enjoyed writing them as much as I enjoyed reading them, and please remember that there are so many things that contribute to a story connecting with a reader at a particular time. There are books by very famous authors that I have just not been able to get into, and then coming back to them a year later, I have loved every word.
Reading is so subjective - I bet if you handed your stories to ten different authors to judge, you would get ten different opinions on which story was their favourite and why.
But for me, there were three stories that I couldn't go past. So in third place, is Ella Scott’s story And The Candles Blow Out. I loved the way the reader is sucked in to believing where the story is headed, and then the big twist comes! I particularly loved the way the final scene is of the candle blowing out, reflecting the lights that had gone out at the beginning. In second place, is Best of Times, Worst of Times by James Koren. The two character perspectives were distinct, work so well with each other, and they carry the suspense all the way through. And in first place, is Jürgen Garin, by Daniel Geva. I loved this story. In particular, it was the final sentence - 'What you just read was once my life, now it’s my story' - that I thought was so brilliant, and that stuck with me for a long time after reading. This is the mark of a really good story, really well told.
Thank you all again, and all the best with your writing. I look forward to seeing your names on the spines in my local bookshop many years from now.
Year 7 students have just been completing their first text essay based on Zana’s novel ‘The Bone Sparrow.’ Many students took this opportunity to get their novels signed by the local Melbourne writer. A warm thank you to Zana for judging the junior school competition this year and for taking the time to meet with our students.
This term, 16 Year 7 and 8 students participated in the inaugural Victorian High Ability Program (VHAP) in Secondary Maths. These students attended weekly online sessions facilitated by the Victorian Virtual School (VSV) via WebEx. All students enjoyed being part of the program, and being challenged to develop their problem-solving skills in Mathematics concepts.
Our VHAP students have already been identified for Term 1, 2021, with 18 Year 8 students enrolled in the Secondary Maths and Secondary English groups.
Congratulations to all involved!
2021 VHAP Participants:
Edward Bates, Charles Evans, Robert Green, Cato Hobsbawn, Aidan Jenkin, Toby Jenkin, James Koren, Riley Porter, Moritz Von Wyss, Fergus Whiting
James Hartley, Luke Hazeldine, Arion Karasavidis, Elizabeth Rogers, Liam Sweeney, Isabelle Wu
Term 4 has been an exciting time back on campus at Kew High School. There have been many exciting events and programs involving chaplaincy.
Remembrance Day Service – Our Year 7 and 8 leaders did an amazing job leading the junior students in Remembrance Day service. Using the wonders of technology our media crew ran a live feed of the service, from the outside library stage directly into the class rooms of 400 students. All 16 leaders took part in the service which included the of Remembrance, the Last Post and the presentation of 100 poppies with the names of relatives and friends connected with the staff and students of the school.
Peer Support – Congratulations to the 37 Year 9 students who have been selected for the Peer Support program in 2020. The leaders recorded their first session of welcome games and activities for the Grade 6 students which took place via video screen on Orientation Day. The Peer Support leaders take part in a number of leadership training events before they run their first face-to-face Peer Support Session on the first day of Year 7 2021.
Chaplaincy Second Hand Book and Uniform Shop – A big thank you to the volunteers who have worked through the busy season of books and uniform sales. For most of Terms 2 and 3 we were concerned that the sale would not happen due to Covid safety requirements. However, last minute changes meant our fantastic volunteers were allowed back on site to run the sale. The modules have been overflowing with uniforms and the volunteers have been busy packing book orders and processing sale items. This is a great service to the school and also financially supports the chaplaincy. A huge thank you to Catriona Christie, the uniform coordinator, and Tracie Christopoulos, the book coordinator.
Chaplaincy Fundraising – Did you know that the Kew High School Chaplaincy does not receive Federal government funding? Each year the Chaplaincy Committee and the School raise all the funds to pay for the Chaplaincy program. Thanks to the commitment of a wonderful group of volunteers each year, the Chaplaincy Committee raises over $41,000. But it’s not easy. You can help by volunteering to assist in the second-hand uniform and book shop where the commissions collected supports chaplaincy.
You can also get involved in the Chaplaincy committee or simply support the fundraising events held each term.
It was great being back on site and even greater hearing the many sounds of Musicland. At the start of term we were not allowed to teach wind, brass or singing in doors so these lessons were held outside. This proved to be more successful than we thought as the sounds of instruments and voices filled the air around the school; and many students and staff said that they really liked hearing the music while in class. It was a bit like where’s Wally, trying to find the instrumental teachers and their classes! Were they outside the theatre? In the library amphitheatre? On the grass near High Street?
As well as music outside, we were able to have an end of term concert on the final day of year 10 and 11 classes. This concert was a huge success and finally we were able to see, and hear, live music after our months of isolation. The concert featured bands as well as solo instrumentals and we were treated to a performance from Gordon, our new Music Captain, playing bagpipe, followed by his brother Lachlan performing on the piano accordion.
We look forward to even more music next year, Happy holidays everyone!
Director of Music.