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Principal’s message

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Josie Millard
Principal

As we come to the end of Term 3, 2021, I cannot help reflecting on all that we have achieved and everything that has continued to progress, in spite of our current circumstances.

The STEM Centre has continued to progress and it now looks like a building, instead of a demolition site. When we look at it now, we can imagine what it is going to look like and how we are going to learn and teach in it next year. We are having lots of conversations about the exiting programs that will move into the building and thinking about things like, “Where will the Virtual Reality equipment go?” and “What are the best 3D printers for our creative students?”.

STEM Centre under construction

The Kew High School website has been completely updated over the past term. I congratulate the team of staff members who have reimagined our website so that it presents our forward thinking, innovative school to the broader community. We wanted our website to say who we are and to capture the learning and connected experience of our students. I am most proud to invite both our current and our prospective students and families to explore the new Kew High School website.

Throughout the term, we have continued to prepare for future learning and future leading. All Year 9, 10 and 11 students have chosen their subjects for 2022 after having participated in a comprehensive course counselling program. Students have reflected on their learning in the Student Led conferences and have received feedback on their approaches to learning through the Learning Behaviour reports.

The Kew High School Leadership Team has reflected upon the school’s excellent performance against our key performance indicators and continued our work in identifying our next areas of school improvement. I have really enjoyed having our new Assistant Principal, Jane Thornton, join us at Kew High School. In a few short weeks, even though we have been in lockdown, Jane’s expertise in instructional leadership, curriculum development and data informed practice is having a positive influence in the school.

Perhaps the most rewarding process for me this term has been the appointment of the 2022 Year 12 Student Leadership Team. Students were interviewed and some progressed to make speeches to their cohort before a student vote. I wish the whole community could see what amazing young people are emerging from these extraordinary past few years. To every applicant, I say congratulations. Each of you represented the students of Kew High School, and our ASPIRE values, through every step of the process. As the Principal of this school, I could not have been prouder when the 2022 Student Leadership Team introduced themselves to the whole school on the final day of Term 3.

We have achieved a lot and we have progressed amazingly this term – but the most important work in our school was happening at home. Students attended lessons, they completed their learning tasks, they engaged in conversations and chats, and they continue to learn. We know they learned because they continued to be assessed, both summatively and formatively. We know they learned because the VCE data shows us the clear evidence of progression. We know they learned because our 2021 NAPLAN data showed us the progression. Our median scores continue to be well above the state median scores. For Year 9, the difference between our mean scores and the state mean improved in every dimension assessed. Kew High School had some particular areas for celebration,  including extremely high scores in Writing at Year 9 and Numeracy at Year 7. We have incredible students at Kew High School, but we can also see that we have an incredible learning program.

I wish you all the very best for these coming holidays. In my address to students on Friday in the General Assembly, I asked them to stay away from their computers and their electronic devices these holidays. We need a rest from our screens – and while I know it is not possible to disengage entirely, I ask all of you to be careful and mindful to take some time away from the screen. Please do take every opportunity to get outside, do some exercise, eat well and rest.

Finally, I will update the school community via Compass Newsfeed as soon as I have any information about what Term 4 will look like for us. I very much look forward to seeing students back on site as soon as possible.

Our students have been amazing this Term. In what is easily the most challenging time in education that I have ever known, our students have been strong, they have been resilient and they have been so very caring of each other. Please stay safe, happy and healthy over the break.

Year 9 Outdoor Education

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Dan Norton

With the ongoing exciting news of case numbers putting the daily drain of lockdown, I decided to set my year 9 Outdoor Education class a challenge to connect with the built and natural environments in their own back yards. Well done to the students who engaged with the activity! Some chose to write a reflection on the environment they were in; others reflected on the joys of previous outdoor expeditions. Well done to Hunter and Seb who were able to set up camp and connect with the outdoor environment and break up the monotony of the traditional six hours in front of the screen!

Hopefully, next term we won’t have a curfew and are able to venture further than 5km from our home!

Year 9 Outdoor Education
Year 9 Outdoor Education

A note from Musicland

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Judy Bartosy

Term 3 in Musicland has been rather quiet. However, in the homes of our music students, there has been much music making online and practice in loungerooms. We have continued to teach instrumental music online using various approaches, including teaching composition, how to record themselves, and how to download software to help them with their music making. The students have been fantastic in attending lessons online, and ensemble directors have also posted music for individuals to practise their parts while home. The year 12 Music students have been preparing for their performance exams, which start in October. This has been very difficult for students in Group Performance but, fortunately, they have been able to come into school the past week to start practising together. We wish them all the very best.

Year 9 Home Economics

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Cook, Eat, Repeat

Alex Lowe Year 9

For our Cook, Eat, Repeat task, during remote learning in Home Economics, I made my family a marinated lamb roast with duck-fat and butter roast potatoes, corn on the cob, broccoli and carrots.

To make the marinade for the lamb I finely chopped rosemary and added that to a mix of mint sauce, soy sauce, mustard and brown sugar. I marinated the lamb for a while before roasting it. For the roast potatoes, I boiled the potatoes first, then I drained the hot water out, shook the potatoes in the pan (to make them fluffy on the outside), then added some duck-fat, butter, flour and salt, and shook them again. I then roasted them in the oven. This made the roast potatoes really soft on the inside, and nice and crispy on the outside.

For dessert I made pavlova and double chocolate brownies. For the pavlova I learnt that it was really important to beat the egg whites with sugar for a long time for it to be fluffy like marshmallow and not be gritty.

I enjoyed making the marinade for the lamb as I like combining flavours together to make new delicious flavours. I also enjoyed beating the pavlova – although it took a while! My favourite part was eating the dinner and dessert with my family.

Year 7 Drama

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 Year 7 Drama students show resilience and humour during lockdown!

Danny Gesundheit

Doing a subject like drama over a computer during remote learning can be quite challenging. Students in year 7A and 7G were supposed to be studying the art of mime. Instead, they were faced with an alternative task: create a picture/film storybook using one of the following headings: FAKE NEWS, FAMILY, NEW KID ON THE BLOCK, HOME ALONE, GAME TIME or SICK IN BED. Students had to become more than just mime artists. They had to create a story, play all the characters, take the photographs/film, and put it all together in an editing program. The results were fantastic! The students showed great skill and humour. They produced some inspiring work, especially because of the difficult circumstances! Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau would have been proud!

Brian Dang 7A
Katia Totta 7G
Katia Totta 7G
Brian Dang 7A
Angelina Karakoukas 7G
Holly Porter 7G
Holly Porter 7G

Term 3 VCE International Students

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Junling Yang
International Student Program

It has been a very fluid Term 3 – long and short at the same time. Our VCE International Students adapted to lockdowns and online assessments, as swiftly as they could, with the rest of the school. A lot of achievements were made during the term for both Year 12s and Year 11s, despite of the difficult circumstances we are in. All our Year 12s made their VTAC applications online and are working hard and disciplined towards not only the end of year VCE exams, but also what is beyond 2021. All our Year 11s are getting ready for their 1st VCE exam (1st Languages oral exams) which are happening in early October. A big shout out to all our international students who themselves made their vaccine bookings, as soon as their age group was eligible, and went to get the jab! The confidence, independence and maturity they demonstrated during the process is just inspirational!

Due to the Covid restrictions, we had to cancel the planned mid-autumn festival celebration, but everyone is looking forward to the time when we can return to school and enjoy the mooncakes. Hollie and Harry, International Student Captains 2021, sent their care packages to all their fellow students to give everyone a wellbeing boost. Students who had birthdays during the term were celebrated during online assemblies and with a virtual lollipop. We are thankful to our dedicated homestay hosts who support our students, understand them and celebrate the student birthdays in the absence of their parents overseas.

Well done to all of our remarkable International Students and very best wishes to your VCE exams!

QNetwork update

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Hello carers, parents and friends at Kew High School,

Well, here we are the end of Term 3 and, once again, we extend our gratitude and thanks to the teachers at Kew High School for their ongoing commitment to navigating our kids through another almost full term of home school. While it has been far from ideal for our kids, it was acknowledged at our last committee meeting how lucky we are to have such a strong community surrounding and steering our kids through this difficult time.

While QNetwork set out in Term 3 with some grand social plans unfortunately, like most events across the State, our Trivia Night has had to be postponed. We hope to reschedule this event in December. Just imagine; the possibility of a relaxed, in-person social night before the years end! Thank you to all who have already bought tickets. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response. Once we have set a new date, the remaining tickets will be back on sale. We particularly encourage our Year 7 & 8 parent cohort to take the opportunity and come along since they, due to COVID restrictions over the past 18 months, have had limited opportunity to meet other families.

In other news, QNetwork are very pleased to have funded two new basketball backboards, which we hope will be installed before the kids return to the school grounds. And a reminder that we are always looking for new members to join QNetwork. A great group of parents, collectively supporting our kids where we can. If you are interested, please email qnetworkpfa@gmail.com

Agi Luczak (she/her)i,
QNetwork Secretary

English Incursion: Michael Pryor’s writing workshop

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Lynette Sanchez Ruiz 10G

Everyone loves to read and, if you don’t, then you haven’t found the right book yet. But good books have to come from amazing writers and amazing writers aren’t born – they’re made. That’s why, on the 20th of August, aspiring year 9 and 10 writers attended a 2-hour writing workshop held by a famous and successful YA writer – Michael Pryor. A little background on Michael Pryor, for those who don’t know him: Michael Pryor is one of Australia’s leading science fiction and fantasy authors. He has published more than 35 books and over 50 short stories, such as the Law of magic series, 10 Futures, and Gap Year in Ghost Town. He has also been shortlisted seven times for the Aurealis Awards and seven of his books have been named CBCA Notable Books.

Among the 25 young writers in attendance was yours truly. I’ve always loved writing but have always struggled with crystallising ideas. Thankfully, Michael could help. One tip I found useful was the adequately dubbed Michael Pryor’s Four Stages Writing Process.

Step 1: preparation – the most important step. Every writer plans differently but every good writer plans well.

Step 2: the first draft – which is straightforward, plain, dull and ultimately rubbish. But don’t worry because then comes…

Step 3: rewriting – around 4-8 drafts. Do it again and again. It is a lot of hard and tedious work but it is ultimately worth it. And finally…

Step 4: the production and selling of your creation.

The workshop wasn’t all theory; it also included some hands-on tasks such as designing your town, drawing a map and creating your own character, using Michele’s methods of work. He made it very clear that preparation was critical and gave us good tips on how to succeed with both these tasks. Along with the planning, you must also nail all the three classic elements of a story: character, setting and concise series of events. Good story = nailing these. And if all fails try writing the plot the Disney Pixar way.

The workshop with Michal Prior was truly very insightful and answered many questions all young writers share. In fact, it got me out of writer’s block and I have finished a few stories that had been on my to-do list for a while. It was an honour to meet such a fantastic writer. Thank you, Michael Pryor, for holding this fantastic workshop and answering our many questions. And a massive shout out to Miss Lynch and Ms Brahmin, who organised this amazing opportunity for us. Thank you. Thanks also to Mr Spargo who ensured the transition to an online workshop was successful.

And you dear reader – thank you for sticking with me to the end. Hope you stay safe and maybe pick up a book, or write about that story or idea that has been on your mind for months now.

Year 9 Home Economics – Street food

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Design your food van

Kerry Power

As part of our Year 9 Home Economics course, students were asked to design a food van concept for a multicultural food festival. The results were fantastic! Students researched various cuisines from around the world to showcase in their presentations. Sharing their projects with the class in remote learning gave us all a sense of travel once again.

Congratulations Year 9s on another job well done!

For this Home Economics task, we were required to design the menu, uniforms and van of food truck business. The theme and menu had to represent a country’s food. As I am Hungarian, I chose Hungary. This task was very fun and enjoyable compared to most other work in lockdown. I really enjoyed this task as it was creative. I learnt more about some of the Hungarian cuisine I hadn’t had before and some of the drinks I didn’t know existed. Doing this task reminded me of my last trip to Hungary just before lockdowns started. Many of the foods I spoke about are popular Christmas foods and they are prepared fresh in the streets, and the streets smell amazing with the scent of mulled wine and fresh paprika. I really enjoyed this task. It brought back my memories of my trip to Europe and was fun and enjoyable.

Tomi Green, Year 9
Recipe research
Menu Design
Van, uniform and packaging
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