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Nossal News Sir Gustav Nossal Boulevard, Monash University, 100 Clyde Road Berwick VIC 3806 PO Box 1036 Narre Warren VIC 3805 Phone 03 8762 4600 Email nossalhs@edumail.vic.gov.au www.nossalhs.vic.edu.au

From the Principals Desk Dear Parents and Students VCE Information Night Many thanks for the parents and students who were able to attend this important session on Wednesday night (in spite of the terrible weather and traffic). If you have questions or concerns about subject selection for 2011 please do not hesitate to contact us and seek more information or advice. Each student will have the opportunity for individual course counselling and we will carefully check all submissions before approving them to ensure that we have all students undertaking the pathway that will give them the best possible outcomes. In some cases this may mean that we will not allow students to access a VCE subject in Year 10 – or that we will advise of alternate subjects that may be more appropriate for them at this time. Teachers will be in the best position to provide this advice as they will have a clear understanding of the course requirements and the abilities of their students. As Ms Meath clearly indicated during the presentation, the VCE is like a marathon race and you need to peak at the right time to ensure that you finish in the best possible

position. I also encourage all students to consider breadth when choosing subjects – there is little need to fully specialise in year 10 and students may be better off consolidating, or broadening their studies before taking on VCE subjects. School Council My thanks to Gavin Swayn (School Council President) and his team who opened up the school for parents to visit and tour on Wednesday evening. Council have been very keen to meet with parents and to give them the opportunity to interact with other parents but it has been proving difficult to find the appropriate way in which to do so as we are so geographically spread. We were also aware that many parents have yet to see the entire building so thought some may like to view the (almost) completed facilities. If you would like to see the rest of the school – please feel free to arrange for a tour, or ask your son or daughter to take you though the buildings after school. Asia Pacific Gifted Education Conference Ms Meath and I attended this international conference in

Sydney last week and presented an information session on Nossal High School on Sunday morning. There was much interest in our school, from within Australia and internationally and I was fascinated by the diversity of approach to selective schools within Australia, but also by the common issues and similarities. Because of her research work Ms Meath is very well connected within the international academic community and we met many experts in the field and made contact with numerous highly regarded practitioners. The resulting links will be of enormous benefit to Nossal as we position the school within the global educational community where we will be able to both learn and contribute to the body of knowledge about world best practices in gifted education. It will also result in direct exchanges of information and visits between schools and universities. Monash Links Dr Leonie Kronborg, and Dr Margaret Plunkett from the Faculty of Education at Monash U n i v e r s i t y (C l a y t o n a n d Gippsland) are world renowned gifted education experts and

Upcoming Dates August 9 State wide pupil free day 16-21 Science Week 17 Nossal House Music- Parents & Students 18 School Council Meeting 31 District Athletics

September 14 Nossal House Debate- Parents & Students 15 School Council Meeting 17 Student/Teacher Debate


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have been working closely with our staff to ensure that the curriculum development at Nossal High School is informed by a valid research base. They will also work with our students in the longer term to collect data to ensure that we are “value adding” to the student's abilities and experiences. This is important action research that I don't believe has been done before, and the results will be of much interest for the broader academic community but more importantly for Nossal, help us to deliver more effective outcomes for our students. Laptop Rollout The software imaging is nearly complete but there has been a delay with the delivery of the latest machines to Computelec from Toshiba so our current rollout date is now expected to be August 18. New Staff It is pleasing to see the impact of new staff and new programs this term; thanks to Ms Pennant in our Science laboratory (and our science teachers of course) we now have practical science lessons and experiments taking place; I have just been presented with some very tasty pizza slices courtesy of Ms Ansalde and the Food Technology class; and Ms Reid has the students back into the chorals routine and making some (reasonably) melodic progress towards the inaugural House Choral competition. Planning for 2011 We will begin advertising for staff for 2011 next week. There is much interest in teaching at Nossal and I am expecting to again be in the fortunate position of having large numbers of excellent applicants.

Initially we will be looking for two outstanding Leading Teachers initially to work with Ms Meath to further develop the curriculum and pedagogy for Year 9; and for the senior school (Years 10 – 12) and then another 15 or so teachers to cover the curriculum requirements of a school of 400. Information Resource Centre Ms Reddy has done an excellent job (under rather difficult circumstances) in establishing our Information Resource Centre. She has faced some significant challenges with the design of the security system and lack of computer network, but has managed to activate a substantial fiction collection and is beginning to roll out the reference materials for student access. This will happen progressively and many resources will also be available online, through the school network and eventually the Ultranet. She has had invaluable assistance from our team of volunteers and staff; and many families have donated books to help us build the collection. As we are such a small school it will take time to accumulate the resource materials (funding is tied to student numbers) and our staff numbers will also grow progressively. Ms Reddy has a substantial teaching allotment and we cannot man the IRC at all times during the week, so I have asked her to nominate times when we can close the IRC to enable essential preparation and organisation – as well as classroom teaching to occur. Pupil Free Day – Monday August 9 On Monday all government primary and secondary schools in the state will be involved in professional development around

the introduction of the Ultranet. Ms Thompson, Mr Witt and Ms Mitchell have been trained as lead users at Nossal and will lead the staff team through an intensive training program on the day and throughout the next few months as the Ultranet is rolled out. On the same day all principals and assistant principals in the state will gather in Melbourne for the (very) “Big Day Out.” This has been an annual professional development event for principals previously and has been the place where important reforms and initiatives are introduced by the leaders in the Department of Education. It is the first time that Assistant principals have been included, meaning in excess of 3500 principal class officers will be gathered together in the one place. It will be an impressive event logistically and professionally. The Ultranet is here! In August our school logged into the future with the Ultranet, a new online learning system for schools. The Ultranet is a state-wide, secure site that teachers, parents/guardians and students can access via the internet. Our students and teachers will be able to collaborate in the Ultranet using online tools such as wikis, blogs and discussion forums. Students will be able to create their own online learning portfolio and take part in online learning activities. Teachers will be able to access and share valuable online learning content across Victoria. From the end of September, you will be able to log on and see information about your child and our school. This information will build up over time, creating an ongoing record for each student. These records will travel with your


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child from year to year and school to school. Between now and then, we will give you more information about the system and how you and your child will be able to use it. The pupil-free day on 9 August gives our teachers dedicated time to become familiar with the Ultranet. Some basic privacy information about the Ultranet The Ultranet is accessible to school staff, teachers, students and parents/guardians in Victorian government schools. It is a closed website that can't be accessed by anyone else on the internet.

The Ultranet will not store health or welfare information about your child (health or welfare information includes medical, behavioural, birthday or contact details.) In fact, the only personal information about your child in the Ultranet will be their name and school photograph (unless you notify the school and request the photograph is not used). All other information on the Ultranet about your child will be specific to their learning. In Release 1, learning information about a student can be seen only by that student and teachers at our

school. From the end of September, the parents/guardians of the individual student will then be able to see this information. This means that you can only see information about your own children, and teachers can only see information about students at their own school. More information If you'd like more information, p l ea s e g o t o www.education.vic.gov.au/ultranet or talk to Ms Thompson. Mr Roger Page Principal

Administration News Please note that applications for EMA(Education Maintenance Allowance) and Conveyance Allowance for Semester Two are now closed. Payment of applications will be made early next week by direct debit and cheques will be posted by the end of the week.

Student Leadership and Wellbeing Monash University Open Day Last Weekend Monash University Berwick had its Open Day. Nossal High School was a part of that offering tours of the school and showcasing our wonderful student areas. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pooja Uchill, Fazle Hoque and Owen Rich for volunteering their time on the weekend to coordinate and facilitate the tours. Well done!

State School Relief Fund Yesterday Nossal High School staff and students raised $175 for the State School Relief Fund which assists students to reach their full potential. Staff and students wore ‘crazy’ slippers, hats, gloves and scarves to honour the event. A big thank you to everyone for getting involved and supporting a great cause. House points were allocated on the day with the following results: 1st Phoenix= 50 pts 2nd Garuda= 45 pts 3rd Pegasus= 30 pts 4th Griffin= 25 pts

Mr Wayne Haworth Director of Wellbeing


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Careers- Subject Selections Students may wish to borrow careers/job guide books from the library. This may be useful when considering future careers and possible future subject selections. Mr Wayne Haworth Director of Wellbeing

Nossal High School Council Report Whilst the evening was not the best weather wise, it was important that the opportunity was provided to you the parents and families of the students, to visit the school on last Wednesday evening. We were very pleased to see those parents who availed themselves of this chance and through discussions have gained further awareness of the issues that you as a parental community would like us to be considering. We will endeavour to address these in the coming weeks/months and we will report back here on our progress. Some suggestions will require the formation of interested working parties/subcommittees and hence parents to assist in the implementation, and we ask that others will look to supporting the council when the opportunities are provided. We will look for similar opportunities to provide school community activities; but we are fully aware of the diversity of our student population as well as the distances that students and hence parents would be expected to travel; if you have any suggestions that can provide such opportunities please feel free to share these with us to . We have received an offer at this time to accept the vacancy on the School Council and we appreciate this assistance. I would like to remind parents that the school council is a voice for them and we welcome your input. School Council meetings are an open meeting to parents with students at the school and parents are welcome to attend as observers, but please ring in advance so that we know you are coming. Gavin Swayn School Council President

Nossal Sports News Interschool Sports On Thursday 29th July, 60 students were involved in the Interschool Sport program competing against other schools in the Dandenong District. We had 6 teams compete in Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys and Girls Hockey and Boys and Girls Table Tennis. All students represented the school with amazing sportsmanship, teamwork and pride. Results Boys Basketball 5th Girls Basketball 3rd Boys Hockey 1st Girls Hockey 3rd Boys Table Tennis 3rd Girls Table Tennis 1st

Congratulations to the Boys Hockey and Girls Table Tennis teams for making it through the Zone Competition that will be held in November. A big thank you to all the staff and students who assisted in coaching the teams and a great day was had by all. Ms Shelley Veale Sports Coordinator


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Nossal Sports News Continued Girls Basketball The girls basketball team competed in the Dandenong District Sports on Thursday, 29th July. The girls showed great endeavour and determination. The umpires and coaches of the opposition teams commented on their excellent sportsmanship. The top offensive players were our guards Shirlene Perera, Anisha Balakrishnan and Pooja Uchill. The best defensive player (stopping many fast breaks) was Ella O'Hagan. The other forwards also played well defensively including Christine May, Bhawanni Kirkland, Aashna Vazirani, Sumana Vatula and Theresa Lim. A big thank-you to Tawasara Munasinghe and Jennifer Nguyen who helped out with the equipment and scoring. Well done to all the girls – look out for next year ! Game 1 lost to Kambrya College 18 – 23 Top scorer: Shirlene (14) and Pooja (4) Game 2 lost to Carwatha Secondary College 17 – 31 Top scorer: Shirlene (9) Game 3 defeated Dandenong High School 28 – 14 Top scorer: Shirlene (13) and Anisha (9) Game 4 defeated Hampton Park Secondary College 34 – 12 Top scorer: Shirlene (10) and Anisha (8) Game 5 defeated Lyndale Secondary College 19 – 12 Top scorers Pooja (6), Shirlene (4) and Anisha (4) Ms Michelle Desaulniers Girls Basketball Coach

Intermediate Boys Badminton Zones Competition The day had finally come – The Intermediate Boys Badminton Zones Competition. It was at the same place as the District Competition – Springers' Leisure Centre in Keysborough. The whole team was pumped and ready play as soon as we arrived at our destination. When we finally found an empty court, we began practising straight away. Before we knew it, it was 10 o'clock, and the first match awaited. Most of the team had never been to zones before, so we didn't know how tough the opponents were going to be. We were just going to give it our best shot. There were only 3 other schools competing in our zone: Cheltenham, Frankston and Coomoora – and Cheltenham was our first competitor. Unfortunately, we didn't start off too well. We lost our singles matches – all by close margins – but we made up for it by winning our doubles' matches. In the end, however, it still meant Cheltenham were the winning school in this tie (only just). We expected the same abilities from the next school, Frankston. This time, though, we ended up as winners. Our doubles' matches proved the difference. This showed how much of a team our school was. Just before we met our next competitor, we looked at the scoresheets and it showed that Coomoora had won all their matches. From there, we decided we'd be happy even if lost. As expected, our opponents triumphed, but we left with pride, especially after we nearly defeated them in the doubles' matches. By the end of the competition, everyone was tired, but we were still happy – especially since we didn't come last. We came 3rd and it indeed was an accomplishment; especially since we were up against year 10s who participates in badminton clubs, and that they actually had courts to practise on at school. Thanks to Sachith 9S, Barry 9T, Vijay 9S, Jack 9R, Shane 9R and Minh 9T for their talented performances during the competition; and a big thank you to Mr LaBrooy for making this all possible. Barry Wu 9T


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Outstanding Result for Nossal Students In Semester One, the Casey Multi-Faith Network organised an essay competition for all the secondary school students in the region. Students were to write an essay on the topic: “We are One, but we are Many.” Levi Barker from 9P won the first prize in the competition while Zara Ali 9N and Marina Morkos 9N were awarded commendation certificates. The winners were awarded their prizes and certificates at the annual gathering of the Casey Multi-Faith Network at the Casey Council Chambers attended by a large number of people on Thursday 29th July, 2010. Levi was asked to read his winning entry at the function. He received much acclaim for his thoughts and high ideals as presented in his winning essay.

“WE are ONE, but we are MANY” “How can students today lead the way to a truly multi-cultural Australia?” I am Australian By Levi Barker 9P- Winning Entry As the song I am Australian, written by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton, puts it, 'We are one, but we are many.' Woodley and Newton were referring to the society of Australia. This country is collectively made up of many different people and cultures. Unified diversity functioning as one body and just like a body, communities have different parts with different functions. Every part is needed for optimal function, just as every person in a community, every group and culture, is needed to make that community complete. But every part needs to be respected and taken care of. Every part needs to be honoured for its usefulness and accepted for its difference. Societies need to focus on similarities instead of differences. If this is done by everyone in a community, it will flourish and be a pleasant place to live. If this generation could look outside themselves and focus on each other and the world they live in, the various threats to the environment around us could also be minimised. A community is much like a body. Every person or group of people plays their own part and every person is different. Simple tasks performed by a body such as opening an envelope require many different parts to work in cohesion to achieve the best results. Opening an envelope with a tongue is possible, yes, but it would be extremely difficult and would most likely result in unnecessary injuries or discomforts. In the same way, a community needs to acknowledge the different people and cultures that make it what it is and take care of them so they might, in turn, give back to that society. This is what all communities should be like and, hopefully, this will be the model for those in the future: caring, accepting and all-inclusive.


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To achieve a truly multi-cultural country, it is needed for one to look past the different clothing, customs, beliefs and even the level of melanin in another's skin and discover what makes everyone similar. Differences should not be ignored; ignorance cannot be conquered simply by more ignorance. But differences should not be solely focused on. When this is done, similarities are rarely seen. Shifting one's view could dramatically affect the way friends and enemies are perceived. It is every human's right to have feelings, experiences, opinions and beliefs. If others are simply acknowledged as living, breathing human beings who can feel and can contribute to our society, then this country, this world, would greatly benefit and become more united. If everyone in a community was cared for by everyone else and in return cared for them, then problems like racial segregation and differentiation would not exist. Even other aspects that eat away at societies like depression, loneliness and poverty would fade with the introduction of genuine caring attitudes into our community. People will still come into conflict and personalities will inevitably clash, but if these disagreements were solved with the added ingredient of looking beyond oneself, peace will arise where wars may have once flourished. This generation harbours the people who will be the leaders of the world in the future. However, instead of being conscious of other people, they are perfectly content to plug in their earphones and block out the world with loud, blaring music, or engage in conversation only with those they know well. Though it may not seem like it, these antisocial teenagers could very well hold the key to becoming the genuine, caring generation that this world has been waiting for; the generation that could lead this country and this world into a time where people help and support each other. When everybody is so focused on others in this altruistic mindset, they can also focus on the environment around them, and problems like Global Warming or Climate Change can be tackled by an entire country – a unified body of people working toward the same thing. So, in conclusion, though the question posed might appear to be difficult, it has a simple answer. All one has to do is change oneself from the inside out. To accept differences, focus on similarities and work together for a brighter future. Hopefully, this generation will not follow in the egoistic footsteps of some before them, but will branch off on their own altruistic path that will mould the world and truly make it a better place. Then Australia's culture would be one where many different cultures worked together in harmony and peace, interacting and coming to each other's aid. Australia's culture would be one renowned throughout the world. For we are one, but we are many, and from all the lands on earth we come. We share a dream and sing with one voice: 'I am, you are, we are Australian.'

State Wide Pupil Free Day Monday 9th August All Government Schools receive training on the rollout of the Ultranet

Nossal newsletter 6th August 2010  

Nossal newsletter 6th August 2010

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