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Principal’s message

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Josie Millard

After nearly one year, I am extremely well placed to reflect upon my good fortune to be the Principal of Kew High School. This is a school with particularly strong community connections. This is a school with amazing students, who work with their teachers to improve and influence their learning inside the classroom and their environment outside the classroom. This is a school with high expectations of all learners and teachers – in their learning and in the ways in which they live the values of the school. I am indeed fortunate to be a part of this school community, and I thank each and every one of you for your support and your kindness.

Recently I wrote to the school community with the following message.

Kew High School is a proud public school. We take, very seriously, our responsibility to provide the best possible education to our students.

Our guiding principles in framing and delivering that education are our school values:

  • Accountability
  • Social Equity
  • Participation
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Excellence

I seek to assure you that Kew High School takes our responsibility to create a learning environment in which all students are respected, where all students are safe and where all students have strong voices. We are a reflective school community, and the current social discourse around gender-based violence and the role of consent education in addressing and preventing this has caused us to reflect on ways in which we already are addressing this – and ways in which we can improve.

The Leadership Team are working together to ensure that what we do now, and what we do in the future, supports all of our students.

A number of steps have already been taken, and further steps will be taken to address these issues. Some of these will be visible to students and parents, and some will not be.

I thank the team who have been working to determine our school’s response to this issue. Please look for further guidance from the Wellbeing Team on Newsfeed.

I thank all parents who have already contacted me regarding this important social issue. It is the fact that we are working in such an engaged and committed public school community that makes me feel so confident that our community will always ASPIRE.

Learning and Teaching

Across the school, classes  have undertaken some major  assessments,  School Assessed Tasks  (SACs) and Common Assessment Tasks (CATs) over the last few weeks of the term. The purpose of assessment is to identify the skills and knowledge that the student has gained at that particular point in their continuum of learning. If teachers can accurately identify where the student is at in that point of their learning, they more effectively support students to move to the next stage.

At Kew High School, we pride ourselves on our continuous drive for improvement in all areas of teaching and learning. We know that improvement in student learning outcomes is inherently influenced by the process of enhancing teacher practice. Across the school, teachers are working together to examine the evidence of students learning and to determine which aspects of instructional practice are influencing learning for each student. Throughout 2021, teachers are working in small teams to improve their capacity to  use formative assessment to  improve teaching – and therefore to  improve learning. The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning and to gather feedback that is used to adjust teaching.

One of the best ways for teachers to examine their own practice is to observe each other teaching. We are fortunate to have an expert team of Learning Specialists in the school, who have designed an observation protocol which specifically supports teachers to improve their use of formative assessment. Students may come home to you and say that they had another teacher in the class today. When they do so, you will know that this is part of the process of improving learning and teaching at Kew High School.

Sod Turn of the Kew High School STEM Centre

On Monday 1 March, Tim Smith (Member for Kew), Anthony Carbines (Member for Ivanhoe) and Enver Erdogan (Member for Southern Metropolitan) attended to officially ‘turn the sod’ of the STEM Centre at Kew High School. Together with myself and the School Captains, Laura Cuthbert and Elliot Aitken, the official party signed into the building site, donned our safety gear and ‘turned the sod’ of our new building. It was a significant day in the life of the school, and I paid tribute to the parents and community members who worked so hard to ensure that our future students will be able to learn in an environment that fosters critical and creative thinking, innovative curriculums and collaborative problem solving.

The building is scheduled for completion at the beginning of next year, so our 2022 students will gain great benefit from the opportunity to learn in such an innovative environment.


Year 7 Learning to Learn program

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In Week 5 of this term, all Year 7 students took part in a Learning 2 Learn program. The learning intention of this program is to help students understand how they learn and arm  them with some tools that can help them with their learning.

When asked to reflect on the program students responded with:

“I learnt to be resilient and know it’s okay to make mistakes”
“Neuroplasticity is really important to know because we can think about things differently”
“I learnt about self-regulation and the input, process and output”
“Knowledge doesn’t mean understanding and to always have a challenge”

The Year 7 students also heard from a panel of Year 12 students, who gave them a valuable insight into the things that have helped them to become successful learners.

The quote below from Isabella QU provides a great summary of the intended outcomes:

“To always ask questions to your peers and teachers because they are there to help you all the time. To always have a growth mindset and always think positively and tell yourself you can do it, even if it’s not now.”

Well done to all Year 7 students.

Dan Norton and Penelope Cleghorn on behalf of the year 7 teachers

Year 11 VET Surf Lifesaving Camp

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On the last day of the VET Surf Lifesaving Camp at Inverloch Surf Beach, students participated in a patrol scenario which required them to work as a trainee lifeguard. 

“When I worked as a Life Guard, I patrolled both the tower and at the water’s edge. A challenge I faced when patrolling at the water’s edge was when I encountered a patient who suffered from concussion from a direct impact from another surfer. I made sure he was comfortable and put him into the recovery position, taking care to minimise any movement of the spine. I then worked with the other members on patrol to manage his condition until further assistance arrived. A challenge I faced when patrolling the tower was coordinating the emergencies that seemed to all happen at once. I found this hard as I had to make decisions about who needed the most urgent help.”
Sam King
Year 11 student

Along with completing their Surf Lifesaving Bronze Medallion, students also participated in two surf lessons and a range of other water safety activities. Students were also required to demonstrate care for the fragile coastal and implement a range of environmental minimal impact strategies.

Dan Norton

International Students On Swimming Carnival Day

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Junling Yang

The much-awaited 2021 KHS Swimming Carnival finally arrived on March 18. After a very long year in 2020 – and then a stay-in-Melbourne summer holiday without travelling home – all our international students were excited about this opportunity to enjoy the pool, fashion parade and being in the crowd! Yuhang of Year 12 and Haira of Year 10 proved to be the stars of the day! Yuhang was overjoyed with the Blue Ribbon he won for his house and Haira lost count of his ribbons he was awarded! Our swimmers were strongly supported by the cheerleaders of each house, and all the boys and girls in the crowd, and everyone who participated in the lunch time parade. Our international students enjoyed jumping into the water in costumes! The other international students, who chose to have a study day, all attended school and had a very productive day.


Diorama Boxes Year 9

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Katherine Smith Year 9 3D art students selected a famous artwork to appropriate into a Diorama. Each student chose their selected work and did research about the artist, what time period they worked in, how they used elements, the principles in their works, and why they chose that particular work to use. Students then recreated the works, using various materials and techniques.

The World’s Greatest Shave 2021

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Jack Casonato The World’s Greatest Shave is an annual fundraising event for the Leukaemia Foundation that aims to raise money to support and empower families impacted by blood cancer, and to accelerate blood cancer research. On Friday 12 March, Kew High School hosted its annual ‘World’s Greatest Shave’ fundraising event. With thanks to the contribution of all staff, students and families of the school community, a sum of $9,431.43 was raised for the Leukaemia Foundation. The following students, who shaved and coloured their hair, are commended for their bravery and individual fund-raising efforts: Kaitlyn Korpar             $1,910.64 Scotia Whiting             $1,671.26 Lulu Castellan             $1,415.33 Toby Aitken                 $1,143.39 Arya Afshar                 $1,021.75 Lucera Perrone           $400.18 Paula Bleby                 $310.75 Carlo Fiori                   $181.75 Ollie Stone                  $50.63 Sincere thanks are also extended to the Wilsmere House leaders and members: particularly Hannah Blowfield, Luccera Perrone, Eleanor Hobbs, Claire Williams, Arnold Mak, Maya Twigg, Liam Hogan, Nina Van Ravenswaaij, Lester Leong, Hamish Stewart, Melissa Merlo, Elizaveta Blagova, Isabella Perich and Rion Harris McGovern. Their collective assistance with the bake sale and coin collection helped generate $1,246.30 of the total amount raised.

Social Justice report

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Kathryn Tucker In Week 9, Kew recognised Harmony Week – a week where we celebrated the contributions and achievements of our multicultural school, state and country. The Year 9 & 10 House Cup ran on Wednesday and Friday, with Wilsmere triumphant over Cotham in a penalty shoot-out for the ages. The House Cup was aligned with Amnesty International’s #GameOver campaign, which works to highlight the plight of asylum seekers in indefinite detention in Australia. Our Social Justice Captains, Laura Alberti and Patiola Monu, worked with a dedicated team of Social Justice volunteers to set up and run a petition – which garnered over 100 signatures. Thanks in particular to Emma Wells and Louis Carter for their help setting up.

Kew celebrated International Women’s Day with a concert featuring some fantastic female artists. Laura and Patiola MC’d the event, bringing joy to our Friday lunchtime. Amazing job to everyone who performed: Audrey, Bishaaro, Scotia, Talia, Eve, Emily, Nyla, Nesta, Mimi and Jasmine. You all killed it!

Special thanks to Coby, Jude, Callum and James, who helped out on the day.

Term 1 also saw the creation of Stand Out Kew, a group for our LGBTIQA+ students and allies. With four meetings under our belt, students have identified a range of goals and projects, and are currently working on electing a leadership team. Much more to come in Term 2!

Year 12 Chemistry

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Adam Maxwell

In Year 12 Chemistry the students are studying electrochemical cells called galvanic cells. In an experiment we created a galvanic cell called the Daniell cell, which was invented by a British chemist in 1836. Daniell produced electricity from a chemical reaction between zinc metal and copper solution. He separated the reaction into two half reactions in separate beakers called half cells. The two half cells are connected by an external wire and an internal salt bridge to complete the circuit. The electrons are forced to move through the external wire from one half cell to the other to complete the reactions. The movement of these electrons creates a current which is electricity. In the experiment, the students could measure the voltage produced using a voltmeter, which provided evidence that electricity was being produced. The students could see that the heat normally released from a chemical reaction was being harnessed to form an electrical current. Chemical energy was being transformed into electrical energy in a controlled environment.

Galvanic cells have been used in batteries as a source of electrical power for many years. It is also the basis for fuel cells which are commonly used today. Modern technology is using galvanic cells and fuel cells to provide an efficient and cheap continuous supply of energy, by combining a fuel with oxygen.

Galvanic cells are a solution to the issues faced with the burning of fossil fuels, like petrol and diesel for transport. Galvanic technology is used in both battery cars and hydrogen cars. This new technology can provide clean, efficient and renewable energy. Hydrogen fuel cell cars and battery cars are the future, as we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which pollute the environment and are a finite resource.

Many international companies have invested in galvanic cell technology to find an alternative to fossil fuels. It will be interesting to  see who wins the technology race. The Tesla battery operated cars or the Japanese car companies who have invested heavily in hydrogen powered cars.

Q Network update

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Hello, Kew High School community. As we get back to normal operating procedures in our daily lives, the QNetwork is also ramping up its activities for 2021. For those new to the school, the QNetwork is a parents and carers’ group that supports the school in any way we can. Typically, we organise the catering for events such as the graduating students’ Valedictory Dinner, staff the kiosk at music concerts and organise our own events too.

So far in 2021 COVID prevented us from catering for the Year 7 Meet the Teachers night as we usually do. However, we did provide  logistical support for the student initiated Ride to School Day. We have also acted as an informal focus group for the school on various issues, including gauging parental support for online student led conferences.

We would appreciate more people being involved in the QNetwork and would love to meet some more Year 7 & 8 parents and carers. Come to our meetings or sign up to volunteer. Get involved in the school community in a fun, informal way; whether you want to meet other parents, want to know what is going on in the school or want to contribute by volunteering.

In Term 2, we will be having a Wine and Cheese night on April 27 at 7pm in the VCE Centre. There is much to discuss, not least the ramifications of the COVID lockdowns on the lives of our students (which are still being felt). Everyone has a different experience to share and the QNetwork would be happy to hear about it.

Ken Brown (QNetwork President/ father of Ferdinand) contact:


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Karen Lynch
Head of English

Our English teachers have been busy providing core and extra-curricular activities; much of which we missed out on last year.

Getting to Know our Year 7s.

Every year, staff are very excited to meet our new Year 7 students. Over the last few years, the English team have got to know their students through the ‘Re-inventing Me’ project. The project takes the pivotal moment of entering high school as an opportunity to chart other important moments in individual student’s lives. Students also respond to questions about their identity through a range of other projects. The outcome was the colourful poster-filled walls that greeted parents and students on the Meet the Teachers Night on Wednesday 10th of February. Students proudly showed off their class work, which also provided interesting talking points between parents, students and teachers.


The Year 11 students were introduced to Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, on Friday 26th of February. The Complete Works theatre company performed key scenes of the play, whilst also pausing to discuss important aspects of the play: plot, themes, symbols and historical context. The actors were most impressed with the Kew High students’ levels of concentration on a Friday afternoon and complemented them for their insightful questions in the Q & A session at the end of the performance.

On Wednesday March 10, the Year 12 students benefited from a presentation from former student, Lindsey Dang, who came to speak to our students about the film, Rear Window, and approaches to the text response. Lindsey is currently studying Law at Monash and has become a prominent VCE English tutor in Melbourne. Her insights will be helpful for students in the lead up to their Text Essay Outcome for Year 12 English.

Calling all aspirational poets.

Australia’s oldest junior poetry competition, The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, are now open. Details of the competition can be found here:

This year has an OPTIONAL THEME of “Rich and Rare” – a reference to the Australian National Anthem and our unique and diverse landscape.

Students of all age groups can enter. Interested applicants to contact

Kew High School Alumni Development

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Elise Dunstan There is no shortage of former Kew High School students (alumni) eager to engage with the Ourschool alumni program. They are curious to know what has changed on-campus, who the new Principal is and whether Kew High School is still as they remember it. Whether it’s taking part in an online or in-person session, alumni feel uplifted by reconnecting with their old school, and staff feel it too. For students, there are opportunities to learn first hand a range of aspects relating to careers and the world of work: the many different pathways that can be pursued after school; how exchange, travel and internships can assist with employability; which jobs are in ‘growth’ industries; and the skills and attributes that are important to develop. Recently, alumna Gloria Karaiskos (Class of 2001) shared her story as part of the Ourschool Industry Insights session:  loving mathematics and science at Kew High; studying chemical engineering at university; working for an global mining company as a process engineer, then for one of the Big Four professional service firms; and to currently being a Director at the Carbon Market Institute. Gloria also discussed the new jobs emerging as a result of climate change and explained the variety in her work. She talked fondly of her school days, and is willing to help students understand and seize opportunities ‘out there’. There are hundreds like Gloria who want to equip the students with knowledge and self-belief – to aspire and strive. There is also a growing number of alumni who have put up their hand to host a year 10 work experience student. The more nuanced messages students are getting, from alumni being more present in their educational experience, is a sense of pride and a feeling of being part of something bigger – a sense of belonging and support which cannot be underestimated in terms of personal wellbeing and link to educational outcomes.
PHOTO ABOVE: Laura Walsh, Josie Millard and Elise Dunstan with alumni Ben, John-Luis, Krutika and Emily who returned to speak to the Yr 10 cohort during a Pathways session in Term 1.

Open Morning – Monday 10th May

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Families and students who are seeking an enrolment in Year 7, 2022 are invited to attend a school tour to see Kew High School in action.

School Open Morning and Tour on Monday May 10th 2021 at 9.30am to 12.00 pm is now open for bookings. The School tour will commence at 09:30am from the school gymnasium (Burke Rd. entrance) followed by an information session at 11:00am in the school theatre (High St. entrance)

Please book via the link below:

An opening note from Musicland

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Judy Bartosy

It’s great to be back in Musicland without last year’s interruptions. There is music everywhere – during the day, before and after school, and lunchtimes. Students have been enthusiastically involved in reforming bands and we have already enjoyed a  number of performances.

The Year 8 students study a unit of rock music, in which they do a crash course in learning to play drums and guitar. They then get into groups to form a band to perform a song using drums, guitar, keyboard and voice. We have had a number of very entertaining performances form these groups and the students have really learnt a lot and also enjoyed themselves in this activity.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Laura Alberti of Year 12 organised a Women’s Day concert. This was fantastic as it featured  a lot of girls not involved in the music programme, who all performed admirably at the concert. The items featured solo voice, some rock bands, a few duets, and singing to backing tracks.

We look forward to resuming our normal schedule of performances in the year to come, so watch Newsfeed for up-coming  concerts!

Chaplaincy News

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Rosemary Carter
School Chaplain

Hello and welcome to all of the new students and families attending Kew High School in 2021. My name is Rosemary Carter and I am the Kew High School Chaplain. As the chaplain, I am involved in a range of programs in the school including Connect, Peer Support and Pastoral Care. Students are welcome to come and see me in room 108 to discuss any issue or concern.

Thursday 29th January marked the first day of school for the Year 7 students. It was also the first day of the Peer Support program for 2021. It was fantastic to see over 200 Year 7 students meeting with the 38 newly trained year 10 Peer Support leaders. The program is aimed at helping Year 7 students transition into high school life. A wide range of topics are covered over the term, including finding and keeping friends, getting organised and working through hassles. Welcome to the new Year 7 students and congratulations to the year 10 Peer Support Leaders.

This year, the Chaplains Assistance Fund has again aided many students and families with new and second-hand textbooks, and uniforms. We are also very grateful for the support from both the Rotary Club of Canterbury, who continue to sponsor small student scholarships, and the Bendigo Bank Kew East Community Bank, who provide funds for Covid grants.  Without their generous support, the Chaplains Assistance Fund would be unable to continue to offer assistance and support to Kew High School students.  Applications for support through the Chaplain’s Assistance Fund can be collected from the general office.

1000 Hearts lunch time program commenced this term. A great group of students have been meeting on Wednesday lunch time  to sew felt hearts. The 1000 Hearts kindness project is based on small pocket hearts, which are handmade from wool felt and stitched with love and good intentions. The hearts are then offered to people as a symbol of compassion, care and kindness. For more information, visit

The Second Hand Uniform and Book Shop has again had a busy three months, with the volunteers running a highly successful covid safe end of year sale. A big thank you to all the volunteers for donating their time for this huge undertaking. If you are interested in purchasing items from the shop our regular, the shop is open every Tuesday from 12:20pm – 1:10pm and two Monday evenings per term. Watch the Compass newsfeed for advertisements of these evening opening times and dates. New volunteers are encouraged and welcome to join our team in shop. For information on volunteering or how to sell your  own uniforms and books through the shop, please see the school webpage or email the school chaplain

Bus Stop Garden

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Phillip Naughton Gardener The Kew High School Gardens benefited from a mild summer and some good falls of rain. During the long break, access was  restricted because of building work: however the gardens held up well. During term 1, the gardens have been maintained and kept tidy. Time spent on weeding has decreased because of the constant application of mulch over the previous years. The Landscape lads have installed fences around the garden beds at the Burke Road bus stop. Two of these beds have been  planted with perennial shrubs. The school now has an alumni coordinator, Elise Dunstan, who will be creating support teams to work on garden projects. The Environment captains and teacher, Kirsten Lomax, will become involved in the garden program. Next term, we have projects to complete: there will be many more shrubs to plant out; the vegetable garden needs changing to winter season crops; and the herb garden is set to have a makeover.

Boroondara Farmer’s Market

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