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Principal’s message

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by Josie Millard

As we come to the end of another remarkable term, I would like to most sincerely acknowledge the work of all staff, students and their parents and carers. There have been many highlights for Kew High School in Term 3. In fact, there have been so many highlights that I will need to limit my reflection to only a handful of them. I hope that you will see throughout this newsletter many of the other achievements of the students of Kew High School.

The Addams Family

This term saw the production of the musical, The Addams Family. Our students, divided into two casts, performed six shows over four days – and they were exemplary. The audiences widely commented vociferously that is was hard to believe that this was a school production. Their performances definitely reflected the many hours of dedicated rehearsal and preparation. The sets lighting and the costumes were breathtaking. The cast of actors, dancers and singers, the musicians and stage management students were simply amazing. It was one of the finest events I have attended in my time in education. Whilst I know that only a handful of the students will go on to professional careers in theatre, I also know that every single student who contributed to the amazing success of the Kew High School production in 2022 will never forget their experience. I wish, particularly to thank these extremely dedicated teachers; Michael Brandt, Stuart Crawford, Kylie Kollmorgen and Harry Arvanitis. Their support of the students was exceptional.

Naplan results

Over the past few weeks, families of students in Year 7 and Year 9 should have received in the mail hard copies of the 2022 NAPLAN tests. All parents should also be able to access these on Compass via the ‘Analytics’ tab. The school has spent some time analysing the results and determining where our learning and teaching program has been particularly successful, and where we have room for improvement. I am most proud to say that our results were outstanding. In Year 9, the percentage of students who achieved in the top two bands in Reading, Writing, and Numeracy not only increased significantly from 2021 but also Kew High School comfortably outperformed the state, and also outperformed similar schools. In addition, we also saw a significant decrease in students performing in the bottom two bands. We have more work to do in analysing – item by item – the skills and impact of the curriculum, but our overall results indicate that we are challenging our high achieving students and we are effectively supporting students across the continuum to access the curriculum and to progress in their learning.

Official opening of the STEM Centre

On Tuesday September 6, the Minister for Education, Natalie Hutchins MP officially opened the Kew High School STEM Centre. We were most proud to welcome a number of distinguished guests to our school for the occasion including Natalie Hutchins MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Women, Anthony Carbines MP, Member for Ivanhoe, Karen Money (Regional Director) Mark Flack Area Executive Director and Eva Mc Master and Erika Bienert Senior Education Improvement Leaders. On behalf of the school community I thanked those who had made such significant contributions to ensure that the hope and the vision for this learning facility was realised.

Thank you to our school community; to the members of our School Council, to members of our school alumni with whom we share the joy in bringing STEM education to our students. Thank you to Pete, Peggy, Tom and Mark, the Principals of our local primary schools for being with us today…I hope you see the possibilities for your students to thrive in their future secondary education.

Welcome to current staff, past staff members and our senior student leaders who represent the future of this building.

Thank you to the team that created this building; to Michael Taylor, the architect of this building (they love it Michael…teachers are moving classes in every single lesson). Welcome to Duncan, Hamish, Joe, Robin, Rick and the team from 2 Construct. I hope you think it looks magnificent as it is being used to in learning and teaching.

Thank you all for making the time to join us today to celebrate the opening of our building. Thank you particularly to the Minister for Education for coming to see our school and see the impact that a dedicated STEM Centre will have for the learning, and for the opportunity for the students of Kew High School.

I do wish to acknowledge two people who cannot be here today to share the day with us…both of whom were instrumental in ensuring that the hope and the vision for this learning facility was realised.

James Thyer, our School Council President, who is very disappointed that he is unable to be with us today, and Clare Entwisle, previous Principal of Kew High School, a long term passionate advocate for the students of this school. Clare was determined that students of Kew High School, both the students of today and the students of the future, would be able to access the best possible education at our school. She knew and she was determined that this would be reflected in an upgrade of our facilities – and in the opportunities a STEM Centre would bring to the critical thinking and creativity for our students. Thank you, Clare.

For government schools In Victoria,  the Education State means building a system that provides every student with the knowledge, capabilities and attributes that will see them thrive throughout their lives, to have the skills that industry needs and that employers expect.

Kew High School is very proud to be a government school, committing to the Education State. 

Our values – Accountability, Social Equity, Participation, Integrity, Respect and Excellence –  are truly reflected in the lived experience of the students and the staff of the school on a daily basis.

We are very proud to be a school that is inclusive, that educates with a moral purpose and that respects, and indeed creates a community. We believe that, in our public school, we are the public. It is here in our school that society – our community – is created and each of us takes that responsibility extremely seriously, so that each student who leaves this school does so with the values of our public education and our school – that they ASPIRE.

But we are a school and, as well as living and building the personal values of our community, we build our purpose in learning – in being the best teachers and the best students we can be. As teachers, we know that in order to improve outcomes for every student, to prepare them for the unknown futures they face, they must learn to think in new and innovative ways – and that we must learn to guide their learning with the most responsive, evidence based pedagogies and curriculum designs.

STEM is more than the acronym of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The word, STEM, is shifting to become an adjective that is used to describe just about anything and everything that anyone is doing in science, mathematics and digital technologies. The challenge for us will be to ensure that all our curricular and our cross-curricular programs are relevant to each of the disciplines; that these are integrated and represented in the learning, the thinking and the creativity of our students – and that these skills and capabilities we wish to build in our students are supported by innovative and effective pedagogies in our teachers.

We thank each of you who have contributed to the idea and the commitment and the building of this magnificent STEM Centre – the students of Kew, and thus our community, will benefit for many years to come.

Presentation night 2022

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Year 12 Studio Art – Picasso Century at the NGV

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Excursion to The NGV Winter Masterpieces Exhibition

Picasso Century

by Katherine Smith
Visual Arts teacher

The year 12 Studio Art class were involved in an Art industry contact day designed for Unit 4 Studio Art students.

The day featured a Presentation by the Education Staff member, John Parkinson, at the NGV in the Clemenger Auditorium.

We then were able to view the extensive exhibition that ran throughout the gallery spaces on the ground floor. The exhibition featured 80 works by Picasso, alongside over 100 works by more than 50 of his contemporaries, and drawn from premier French national collections as well as the NGV Collection.

We then listened to talks by the following Gallery staff that covered a number of the Key Knowledge and Skills outlined in Unit 4, the following staff presented to the students;

  • Janelle Borig – Conservator, Exhibitions and Loans
  • Matilda McKenna – Marketing Coordinator
  • Allie Mactier – Exhibition Designer
  • Meg Slater – Assistant Curator, International Exhibition

Student were given the opportunity to asks the panel questions and make notes about the exhibition, this time was invaluable for our Kew High school students.

NGV logo

Year 12 Literature – Gabriel Bergmoser visit

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by Ariana Balmores

On Friday the 6th of May, the Year 12 Literature class was joined by award-winning author and playwright, Gabriel Bergmoser.

Growing up in Victoria, Bergmoser believed that it is “the most important thing is to follow your passion” and so he pursued Screenwriting at the Victoria College of the Arts.  

An enthusiastic and compelling storyteller, the author of the novel The Hunted shared insight on what life was like as a published author. Bergmoser recounted entertaining anecdotes that simultaneously generated laughs and shared enlightening tips for Year 12s aiming to pursue creative writing:

  • Tip 1: Write your first draft as though you’re in love with the story (just write!). Write the second draft as though you’re in charge (this is when you edit and adapt).
  • Tip 2: Participate in theatre or play writing – you will quickly learn from audience reactions and gain firsthand feedback about your work.
  • Tip 3: Just start writing! In the words of Bergmoser, “when we do something once, it makes it easier to finish something”.

Overall, the Year 12 Literature class gained useful knowledge and greatly enjoyed Bergmoser’s presentation, which emphasised that “if it is your passion … do it” and inspired those of us who aspire to be published writers.

If it’s a story you’re thinking about constantly … then you have to write it.

Health and Human Development

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by Catherine Gayfer and Dan Norton

As part of their studies into prenatal and infant development, unit 2 HHD students had to complete two task:

  1. care for and protect an egg-baby for two weeks
  2. keep a journal, in which they reflected on the impact of teenage pregnancy on them and their family’s lives.

Some were lucky enough to be given a healthy egg baby to look after for 10 days, whilst other students were presented with newborns with a range of birth defects. Students used this task to learn about the challenges and rewards of parenting, as well as aspects of material diet and lifestyle which can affect the physical, emotional, social and intellectual stages of development of infants and children.

Kya Wiebenga was one of the more responsible and caring egg baby ‘parents’, completing her journal and taking her egg baby everywhere with her over the two week period.  Kya snapped a range of pictures of her and her egg baby out and about; at home, work, classes, school excursions and other outings designed to stimulate the egg baby’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development.

Here is what she had to say about the experience:

  1. If your parent(s) found out that you were pregnant, how would they react? What do you think they would think, do, or say? (Ask them!) They would be supportive of my choices; however maybe not the happiest, as they would think I am way too young for the responsibility of looking after a child.
  2. Now that you’re “egg-specting” a ‘baby’, what are you thinking/feeling about it? Are you excited, worried, etc? I am excited to be a mother and dress it up and take it everywhere!
  3. What have been the most challenging moments as an egg parent? Taking my egg baby everywhere, even to Bounce as it is fragile! Also other students can be cruel and heartless. Protecting the egg-baby was a full-time job! (many egg babies didn’t survive).
  4. How well did you protect your egg-baby over the last 14 days? I protected my baby amazingly over the last 14 days in a ‘basinet’ with scrunchies for protection and comfort, as well as always taking it with me or getting it ‘egg’ sat.
  5. How good of an egg-parent were you? I was a perfect egg parent because I had my child’s needs met. It was the best dressed and I did everything for it to keep it safe and happy.
  6. What have you learnt about being a parent? That you need to always be looking after your child and that it is very draining.
  7. What was the most rewarding aspect of this week with your egg baby?  Taking it on outings and dressing up my baby was the most rewarding aspect of my time with the egg baby
  8. How do you feel about the egg-baby project now that it’s over? What was good/bad about it, and why? It was a good experience and I think I would be wonderful mother.
  9. What did you learn during the assignment? Was there anything that surprised you? That children are a lot of work.

Some journal reflections have been included below:

Matty Hoy
Risk/protective factor: A protective factor means the child will grow in a network of supportive people who may help it. This would increase the baby’s ability to communicate and rely on others.

Gabi P
Risk factor: May get social anxiety from being round new people as she is still young, which could affect her emotional development.

Protective factor: She had the chance to make new friends and branch out her network of friends.  This experience definitely helped her communicating with others and creating meaningful relationships.

I think this experience really helped her social development, as she got to spend time with another baby and learned to feel comfortable with other people when I am not there giving her that support.

Expected key development milestones achieved: The baby is beginning to be more independent from its family.

Term 3 Sport

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by Ben Abbott

Division Athletics

A big congratulations to all the students who represented the school in the Division Athletics Carnival. There were some fantastic results on the day with Owen Roberts, James Edgar, Isobella Hishongwa-Gibb, Seb Wolff and Lana Roberts winning their respective age group championships. Well done to the 21 students who have progressed to the region championships by winning an event on the day.

State Mountain Bike Orienteering

For the first time we participated in the Victorian Schools Mountain Bike Orienteering championships held at Woodlands Historic Park. A total of nineteen students challenged themselves to find as many controls as they could in their allocated 75 minutes. Students used a map and compass attached to their bikes to find the different controls, with Sacha Martina and Ryley Boyd (Yr 7), Joel Boyle and Taj Cairns (Yr 8) and Milla Key (Yr 10) winning their age categories for the day. Well done to everyone who participated on the day.

Region Cross Country

Congratulations to all the students who participated in Region Cross Country. On a tough track our students produced some sensational results, highlighted by 2nd place results to Sophie Smith and Holly Porter in their respective events. Congratulations to the u14 girls team of Holly Porter, Claudia Dal Pos, Ruby Fraser and Hannah Sertori who won the teams event with all students finishing in the top 15 individually.

Further highlighting an amazing day of results were Isabel Fraser, Alexander Picken and Lachlan Warwick who also finished in the top ten of their events to progress to the state championships.

State Cross Country

Congratulations to all the students who competed in the State Cross Country Championships at Yarra Glen Racecourse on Thursday 14th July. These students were Alexander Picken in the u13 boys event, Claudia Dal Pos, Ruby Fraser, Holly Porter and Hannah Sertori in the u14 girls event, Lachlan Warwick in the under 15 boys event and Isabel Fraser and Sophie Smith in the under 16 girls event. A special mention to Sophie Smith who finished in the top 10 which is an outstanding result.

An extra special congratulations to the Year 8 girls’ team of Claudia, Ruby, Holly and Hannah who as a team came runners up in the state. Well done girls!

Inter-school Sport

A busy term of Inter-School Sport in term 3 saw over 20 teams participating in a variety of sports. Congratulations to the following teams who won their respective days, with some teams progressing to the Eastern Metropolitan Championships;  Yr 7 Boys/Mixed Volleyball, Yr 7 Ultimate Frisbee, Yr 8 Boys/Mixed Handball, Year 8 Girls Volleyball, Yr 8 Boys/Mixed Volleyball, Inter Girls Handball and Inter Boys/Mixed Ultimate Frisbee.

Congratulations to our Yr 8 Girls Netball team who won all their pool games at region only to just miss out on a spot in the grand final, going down by 1 goal in the elimination final.

The year 8 Girls AFL team finished off a spectacular run of performances, winning 6 straight games to reach the Region Grand Final. The girls fought hard, succumbing to a very strong Rowville team. Well Done Girls!

Ice Skating and Trampolining

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by Catherine Gayfer

These excursions enable the students to experience the recreational/leisure domain of physical activity. This links to Unit 2 AOS 1 of the curriculum in which students develop an understanding of the relationship between physical activity, sport, health and society. Furthermore, ice skating and trampolining help students develop strength, co-ordination and balance. As well, they help achieve the aim of strengthening peer friendships and promoting positive self confidence in a group environment. Once back in the classroom we reflected on how participation in sport and recreation enhances all areas of an individual’s health and wellbeing.

Garden program

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by Phillip Naughton

Kew High School gardens and grounds have continued to be maintained. After two and a half years of disruption, the grounds are now clear of construction and storage materials. We are now able to keep the car park tidy.

The main work has involved attending to weeding, pruning and trimming shrubs, and mulching the Burke Road native garden. The Jacaranda Perennial Garden should have a good show later in the Spring, as many of the perennials planted last Autumn are starting to grow. Good rain over the past couple of months has maintained soil moisture and plant growth.

The main project this term has been the completion of the garden along the east side of Musicland. The garden has been forked, composted and mulched. The Landscape lads again provided many lunchtimes and completed the planting of trees, shrubs and bulbs.

Next term, we will continue to restore the War Memorial Garden next to the Jacaranda Garden and the theatre’s vertical wall will get more plants.

Alum Rachel Lim and Food Studies

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by Katia Stapleton, Yr 11

On Wednesday, August 31st, a former Kew High student Rachel Lim – part of the school’s alumni group – discussed her experience working in the area of food and nutrition with our combined year 11 and 12 Food Studies class. She explained her studies in food, nutrition and health promotion, and the interesting work opportunities she had experienced after graduating university – from social media marketing to working currently alongside patients in hospitals, discussing what preferred foods they would like served whilst in care. She gave us some handy advice on employability skills that employers look for when seeking staff, such as organisational skills, resilience and – her number one favourite – being able to hold a good conversation (In other words, being up for a chat!). As a class, we were able to understand how Food Studies as a VCE subject can help us have some key knowledge on factors relating to the food we consume and produce, and how this can contribute to different university courses, linking into our individual career interests.


A Note from Musicland

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by Judy Bartosy, Director of Music

Term 3 has indeed been a busy one for all who dwell in Musicland. We have had a number of performances, including The Addams Family Musical (with the production band of 15 members), the Jazz and Swing Night, the VCE Music Performance Evening, the Vocal Soiree and Kew’s Got Talent. The Jazz and Swing Night was held off campus to give students the opportunity to play in a non-school setting – much like doing a real-world gig. The Vocal Soiree highlighted the talents of our singing students, performing in both group and solo items. The VCE Music Performance night was a way for our senior students, preparing for their final performance exams, to demonstrate to the audience the expectations required for these exams. Kew’s Got Talent was again very popular with both performers and the audience, and even a few teachers joined in the music making. This was the last chance for year 12 students to show off their stuff and what a fun event it was! Term 4 will see the Orchestra and other ensembles performing for Presentation night, the Junior Heat of Kew’s Got Talent and the end of year concert, Q UP. See you all then!

Go Girl, Go for IT

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by Elise Dunstan

What’s more fun than playing different types of games? What about getting showbags with oodles of giveaways, sharing a space with miniature and giant-sized robots, solving puzzles with friends, and learning about careers pathways from interesting and dynamic women working in STEM!!

It was great to see ten Kew High School students seize this experiential learning opportunity at Deakin Uni in August. The ‘Go Girl, Go for IT’ event involved a trade show expo, Women in STEM panel discussion in the lecture theatre, and focus group activities utilising different technology. The students engaged in problem-solving, critical thinking, analyses and innovation – all core skills for job security into the future.    

Something I learnt about STEM, and myself, was that there are certain careers that you can choose based on your passion and personality. Participants could do a survey about choosing a career in STEM and my result was a cognitive computer analyst. I had no idea what a cognitive computer analyst does until it was explained that people who have that job are responsible for analysing AI. After learning about that, it got me interested in learning robotics and STEM, and gave me the encouragement to pursue subjects like maths and science so that can I consider more career pathways in this field. Visiting Deakin University was a golden opportunity to encourage girls to explore more about a path involving IT.

The day was fun as you got to do a lot of stuff and were given a lot of stuff, and it was very informative.” Carys said the speeches about women in STEM and IT was also fun and really broadened her view on what STEM is about. She said, “It got me considering a job in IT for the future.

Invasion games

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by Catherine Gayfer

Following on from the invasion games unit last term, in term 3 all year 9 PE students have had the opportunity to plan and deliver a 30min invasion game for their peers, developing their organisation and leadership skills and implementing strategies and tactics learnt last term. Below is the reflection from Matilda Johnson of 9H after she ran a warm-up game and then a game of Capture the Flag for her classmates with her partner, Sarah.

Using two words, describe how you felt about being a student leader?
Before delivery – Prepared
After running your activity – Fulfilled

The things that went well in the session were … Students were engaged and intrigued in our lesson and had fun during our warm-up game of fruit salad.

The reason that these things went well were …. We were very organised, not only with the set up and structure of our games but also with strategies and ways to encourage our peers to join in and make themselves a part of the game. This was one of our priorities.

The things that I found challenging in this session were … At times it was hard to remember to clarify every rule and variation of the game, so I missed a few minor details. I knew how to play the game but that doesn’t mean everyone else did to.

What changes would you make if you were to run this activity again? If we were to re-run our game, we would set up our first game with more consideration of space as it is a racing/running type game. More room at either end of the court during our warm-up game for deceleration would have made it safer for our participants.

I think I achieved Well Above the Standard in this CAT because of the preparation, determination and engagement my partner and I put into not only our own game but in other students when their games were being presented. We took it upon ourselves to create time to meet with teachers and other students to make sure our game ran smoothly. While other games were being presented, we got fully involved and encouraged other peers to do the same.

Victorian Volleyball School Cup

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by Louise Bates

After a 2 year break due to lockdowns, the 2022 Victorian Schools Cup Volleyball Tournament successfully went ahead in late July this year. The competition was made up of over 200 teams, competing from Years 7-12 in a range of divisions. Kew High School sent 14 teams and just under 150 students to this competition with our Year 7-9s competing in it for the first time! What’s more, we can’t thank enough our 8 wonderful Alumni who coached some of our teams throughout the tournament.

Well done to our Year 9 Boys and Girls teams who finished with Bronze Medals. Everyone else showed enormous growth throughout the tournament and we are looking forward to competing again in late November.

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