Issue #1/2022

April 2022
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Year 12 Energize Day





    This week marked the longest continuous period of time that we have spent at school in over two years. I think we have made the most of each and every minute, with a term full of activities, events and most importantly face-to-face teaching and learning.

    It hasn’t been without its challenges, particularly in managing staff isolation periods. There is a state-wide shortage of replacement staff and even advertised positions are challenging to fill. As a result, staff across the college have had to step in to cover classes, have additional students and sometimes work outside of their normal teaching areas. As always, this has been taken in their stride and has allowed us to continue to provide strong learning programs.

    Our students have also been incredibly flexible and resilient as they built up their learning stamina across our first full term.

    I recently shared the following data with our School Council. Our results over the past 12 months are something to be very proud of and show just how adaptive and hard-working our staff and students are, even while facing such challenging periods.

    NAPLAN 2021
    NAPLAN 1
    naplan 2
    In our School Performance Report, Achievement in Reading and Numeracy was reclassified from Renew in 2020 (static) to Stretch (improving and working towards high performance).

    We have been targeting more professional learning in Numeracy, particularly catering to our high achievers and we have seen the impact:
    • We maintained 60% of students in the Top Two Bands from Year 3 to 5, opposed to 20% in 2019
    • We maintained 100% of students in the Top Two Bands from Year 5 to Year 7, opposed to 56% in 2019
    *NAPLAN wasn’t administered in 2020


    Given the circumstances, we achieved a high level of student engagement in both periods of remote and flexible learning and on-site classes. Year 10 was the only cohort to have below 80% attendance (78%). Most year levels sitting around 90%.

    Last year's data shows that our student retention rate from, Year 7 to Year 10, is higher than the state average and a 5% improvement on our 4-year average.

    The college improved the average percentage of positive endorsement in the following areas of the Student Attitudes to School Survey that directly relate to a school's achievement of Wellbeing outcomes:
    • Sense of Connectedness, up 2%
    • Advocate at School, up 5%
    • Not experiencing bullying, up 7%
    • Our management of bullying, up 6%
    • Student Voice and Agency, up 4%
    • Respect for Diversity, up 9%
    We are looking forward to continued success and improvement across this year.

    We hope you all have a safe and happy holidays and return fresh for another big term!

    Kind regards,

    Matthew Scammell


          Hello to all members of the Boronia K-12 College community,

          It is hard to believe it is almost the end of Term 1. Despite a challenging start to the year due to COVID we have slowly been able to reintroduce a range of fun and informative activities and events which make BK-12 a great school to be part of. The list below is just a snapshot of the first 10 weeks of 2022.
          • Whole School Athletics Carnival
          • Junior School District Swimming
          • Principal class visit to Foundation classes and a return visit by students to see our offices
          • Year 5/6/7 Gumbuya World Excursion
          • Journey tracks
          • Year 9 Buttercup Camp
          • Interschool sports including Volleyball and Cricket
          • Year 10 Farm School
          • Senior School VET classes
          • VCE Studio Art excursion
          • High Abilities Program
          • Senior KIOSC Excursions
          • Swinburne Children's University Graduation Ceremony
          • Student Leadership Day
          • Youth Cultural leadership day
          • Year 12 Energize Day
          • Food handling training
          Student Progress and Parents Contacting Staff
          Staff at Boronia K-12 welcome parent contact and are more than happy to discuss student progress and help clarify any issues that may arise. We believe that a very important element in helping children do well at school is to set high expectations. Just as our students’ belief in themselves can translate into either high or low performance, teacher and parent beliefs and behaviours can also affect how well a student performs at school. Educational research tells us that highly effective teachers are tenacious in their high expectations for all of their students – no matter what the circumstances. This also applies to parents.

          Staff are in the process of completing Interim Reports which focus on expectations relating to student work habits. Interim Reports will be made available to parents of all students from Foundation – Year 12 via Compass on Thursday 7thApril (from 3.30pm onwards).

          Student/Parent/Staff Conferences are scheduled to be held on Thursday 5th May for all students in Years 7 - 12. Arrangements and booking details for this event will be made available via Compass at the beginning of Term 2. Aside from the conferences on 5th May, parents are also able to request a face to face meeting, phone conversation or email communication with staff at any time. It is important to make face to face appointments in advance however to ensure that the teacher is available.

          Congratulations to the bulk of our students who are wearing correct school attire most of the time. More importantly, they are wearing it with pride. Our Year 6 and Year 12 students have been sporting their unique year level jackets/jumper which look terrific. Just a reminder that if a student cannot wear an item of their uniform on any given day they must bring a note from home and exchange this for a uniform pass from a member of their Sub School team. As the cooler weather starts to approach, we wish to remind all students and parents that ’hoodies’ are not to be worn as an alternative uniform item. If a student has a genuine uniform emergency and is unable to wear their school jumper or jacket on any given day, we request that they wear a plain windcheater or jumper (without a hood) and provide a signed note from their parent or guardian explaining the reason for this as mentioned above. The school has a supply of spare jumpers and jackets for students to borrow if necessary. Our classrooms are heated. We understand that transition to and from school as well as Recess and Lunch breaks can be chilly. We advise that students consider wearing a plain white T-shirt under their school shirt for extra warmth. Students who wear trousers may wish to wear stockings or skins under their pants and students are encouraged to wear a school cap for warmth.

          Donations of Clothing
          We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of members of our community who continue to donate uniform items that are no longer needed by their children. This clothing has been in great condition, freshly laundered and ready to be distributed to students and families that need a helping hand. Thank you for your on-going support. Families wishing to seek uniform assistance are asked to contact Ms. Kath Middleton or Nicole Costa on 9760 4900.

          Lockers, valuables and mobile phones
          We would like to remind parents and secondary students that it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they have a padlock to secure their locker. Students who have not arranged to supply a suitable padlock for their locker will need to purchase one from the General Office. It is important that students who bring laptops to school keep their devices very secure. The same applies to students who choose to bring mobile phones to school: these must be kept in lockers and not on the individual student’s person. The intention behind the Department of Education’s rigorous mobile phone policy is to produce positive and supportive learning environments, which have minimal disruptions to student learning. Staff at Boronia have seen a distinct improvement in student class focus and participation with the absence of mobile phone distractions. If parents have an urgent need to contact their child over the course of the day, they can leave a message at the school office.

          The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) assesses literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will participate in NAPLAN tests include Reading, Writing, Conventions of Language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy early in term 2. Testing will occur over a nine day period from May 10th – 19th and for the first time will be completed online by our students.

          NAPLAN is useful in the following ways:
          • Students and Parents can use individual results to discuss progress with teachers.
          • Teachers are able to use the results to identify students who may require extra support or further challenges in their learning.
          • Schools can use NAPLAN results to identify strengths and weaknesses in the teaching and learning programs, and also for goal setting in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy.
          • The Year 9 NAPLAN results may be used as part of the application process during Year 10 course selection for students wishing to apply to undertake a VCE Unit.
          Parents wishing to request an exemption or withdrawal of their child from the NAPLAN testing cycle will be provided with details about this process at the beginning of Term 2.

          School Photos
          Proofing of photos has been completed and the printing process has started. AR Photos have provided an individualised flyer for each student, each with a unique code allowing parents/guardians to register online to access their child’s school photos. These flyers have been distributed by class teachers (Junior) and Learning Mentors (Secondary). The General Office also has a copy of family codes for those who have misplaced this flyer. For any questions regarding school photos please contact our office staff or contact Arthur Reed Photography directly.
          Kathryn Middleton
          Secondary Assistant Principal


          Year 9 Art

          This term, the Year 9 artists have focussed on the concept of appropriating (borrowing) imagery from other artists and adapting it to make it their own. They practised using acrylic paints to explore this concept and were able to create final artworks, showing interesting interpretations of well-known artworks.

          9. Miranda Skevington
          9. Henry Willis
          9. Jayde Costa
          9. Emily McKergow

          Year 10 Art

          The Year 10 artists started the year exploring the theme of “The Everyday” by following the stages of a studio process. They practised different techniques for working with watercolour and oil paints, then chose one to further refine their skills. They developed creative still-life arrangements, which incorporated objects from their everyday and they look brilliant!
          10. Ashlee Evans
          10. Charlotte Dowsett
          10. Suesana Plitas
          10. Vinice Bonganay


          3 Year old Group

          The bamboo water channels and stands were used this week to create water paths when we were pouring water from the top end. We needed to be careful not to lean on them as they topple over easily. We took turns and shared the play space and had to negotiate with one another to ensure we all had a turn at pouring and collecting the water at the bottom. Trial and error was a concept we explored here as we had to move the channels very carefully around so they could catch the water from one pipe to the next to eventually reach the bottom. Lots of WOW moments were had here as you can see from these photos.

          4 Year old group

          We have enjoyed exploring lots of different experiences to take care of our mind and body on our Wellbeing Wednesdays. Once of our most recent explorations has been about mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply noticing what is happening right now. Taking notice of how our body feels and what we see, smell and taste. Here are some of our responses to some reflective prompts after a mindfulness session:

          What is mindfulness?
          “It means you have to do something very quiet”
          “If you feel sad, it means you start crying”
          What could you hear when you were being mindful?
          “My head, I could hear sleeping and snoring”
          “I could hear music like night time”
          “I could hear scraping and yelling kids”
          How did it make you feel?
          “I could fall asleep”
          “Sharing the love”
          “Sad I miss my Mum”
          “When I feel sad I like to be alone”

          Our Zones of Regulation journey continued with us making our own Zones poster to have and use at home. We got creative with our hands to make a reference tool to use with our families at home. Each coloured zone has a description of what you may be feeling whilst in the zone. It’s a fantastic conversation starter to prompt a discussion at home about our feelings and emotions and how we can move between the different zones using a range of strategies. We are learning to recognise how we feel in different situations throughout the kinder day. We also sing our Zones of Regulation song too.


          What a significant term it has been - our return to full onsite learning since 2020. Although there have been challenges, the importance to being back onsite cannot be underestimated. As we develop our teaching and learning stamina, as students navigate their way around social relationships, as parent routines return to a somewhat normal role, we set our community up for the future of 2022.

          Like every year, Term One is always a very busy time for the Wellbeing Team. It is a time we set up our plan for the year ahead. In 2022 the Wellbeing Team is Nicole Costa the Counselling Leader, James Latu the Youth Worker, Joseph Ting the Chaplain, counselling students from Monash University and Adrienne Tanner as the Assistant Principal of Wellbeing and Inclusion. This year we have created a new position called Student Engagement Counsellor.

          As our team grows it is important that there is clarity around our roles and responsibilities:

          Adrienne Tanner – Assistant Principal of Wellbeing and Inclusion
          • Oversee Disability and Inclusion Profile, Out of Home Care and Koorie students.
          • Working with Berry Street Educational Model, EACH, Knox Youth Services to secure learning and engagement opportunities.
          • Oversee the Adolescent Health Nurse and Doctors in Secondary School's Program
          • Provide support for disengaged students through reengagement strategies.
          • As both a teacher and leader of Wellbeing I can provide the educational connection between the two.
          • Engage with community organisations to provide additional opportunities for our students and parents to feel connected and engaged within our community.
          • The implementation of Respectful Relationships and a trauma-informed learning framework.
          Nicole Costa - Counselling Leader
          • Counsellor (crisis, short term, referral pathways and group work).
          • Assessment of mental health concerns and Organising group activities - meeting needs of the cohort.
          • Support the implementation of the Berry Street Educational Model within the classrooms.
          • Developing and supporting the implementation of targeted cohort programs.
          • Oversee responsibilities for students in out of home care.
          James Latu – Youth Worker
          • Mentoring students through building resilience, focusing on self-esteem and conflict resolution strategies.
          • Organising group activities (according to the needs of the cohort).
          • In the classroom and on the ground support for students.
          Joseph Ting – Chaplain
          • Supporting students through minor life issues such as friendship, conflict resolution and emotional regulation.
          • Supporting students and their families with engagement and welfare needs.
          • Running programs and small groups to meet the needs of the cohort .
          • Welfare (uniform assistance, breakfast club and linking with community agencies).
          Monash Counselling Students
          • Supporting students through minor life issues such as friendship, conflict resolution and emotional regulation.
          • Running programs and small groups to meet the needs of the cohort.
          • Supervised under the wellbeing team and an external supervisor through the university.
          Deborah Ellis – Adolescent Health Nurse
          The school nurse has the ability to assist the school community to:
          • encourage healthier school communities
          • enhance the health of students
          • support students to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing
          • develop greater connections for students at school, home and in the wider community
          • work with teachers to deliver health education sessions
          • support transition for students from primary to secondary school year levels and for students changing schools
          • facilitate student wellbeing programs to improve student’s health and wellbeing (LGBTIQ+)
          Sochetta Chhim – Student Engagement Counsellor
          • Short term counselling, triaging cases and referrals.
          • Working with students that are at risk of disengagement or disengaged with education.
          • Supporting students through goal setting and positive coping strategies to be ready to learn in the classroom.
          • Supporting students with transition within the school (year level to year level).
          Amy Hayman – Mental Health Practitioner
          • Amy holds a Bachelor of Education/Outdoor Recreation and a Masters of Social Work.
          • Registered under the Australian Association Social Workers.
          • Amy can provide direct counselling support to students and other early intervention services.
          • Coordination of supports for students with more complex needs.
          • Contributing to whole-school approaches to health prevention and promotion.
          In 2021 the Wellbeing Team launched the Wellbeing Hub on the Boronia K-12 College website for all things Wellbeing. We developed it for all members of the community to be able to access support information, latest updates on Wellbeing events and much, much more. We really encourage you to have a look.

          This year we plan to continue to take a proactive approach to Wellbeing and to build the capacity of our students and staff. We plan to deliver a series of activities and programs that respond to the needs of our cohorts. Here are a sample of the programs we aim to deliver to both staff and students.
          • Journey Tracks
          • I Can
          • Respectful Relationships
          • Community Days at each cohort level
          • Kimochis
          • Healthy Eating
          The Highlights of Term One:
          This term we have continued to embed trauma-informed strategies in our classrooms. The Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) is a set of strategies, used to provide safe, predictable, inclusive and positive learning environments, that build strong and real relationships with all students. In term one several staff have chosen to be champions of the practice using it extensively in their teaching. As we continue, we will see relationships between staff and students grow, engagement with learning deepen, and a growth mindset to flourish. From this we hope to see student outcomes improve.

          As part of our cultural inclusion program several of our students attended Journey Tracks Cultural Leadership workshops. The workshops were an opportunity for students from Grade 5 to Year 10 to join other students from Knox and Maroondah schools to celebrate culture. From story- telling, dance and music, art and sport the students were able to build skills around leadership which they will hopefully be able to transfer into their lives. We want to acknowledge the work of Vanessa Murdoch from EACH who creates every opportunity for our students to engage.
          Journey Tracks3crop
          Journey Tracks1crop
          Journey Tracks2crop
          The Year 12 Energize Day in February was a great opportunity to connect with our Year 12 students through a series of workshops. We invited Elephant Ed to discuss the challenging topic of Privilege, a Yoga teacher to show our students different ways to relax and finished off with a trip to Rush. We want to commend the way in which the group embraced every activity. They were engaged, respectful and we were very proud of the way they conducted themselves.
          The Doctors in School Program has been a huge success this term. The Headspace Knox Youth GP clinic has connected with our students and families in such a positive way. Each Monday the clinic is fully booked so we decided to increase their opening hours to allow more students access.

          The Wellbeing team looks forward to working with the whole community. We want to provide opportunities that we respond to the needs of our students and families. Please feel free to contact us either through the Office or our Website if you require any support around the social and emotional wellbeing of your child.

          Adrienne Tanner
          Assistant Principal Wellbeing and Inclusion


          Year 1/2

          Guess what the Grade 1/2 students have been learning about? That’s right! They have been discovering the Transdisciplinary theme of ‘Where we are in Place in Time’. Students unpacked the Central Idea ‘Understanding the past helps us understand who we are today’ and created some wonderings which they were eager to solve throughout the unit. We’ve been lucky enough to have some artefacts for the students to look at such as a floppy disc, Walkman, an older milk jug, butter paddles and an old leather mail bag which was used to carry mail by horse back in Yakkandandah. It’s been great listening to the students trying to work out what each artefact is and its purpose. The students will also be visiting Miller’s Homestead and we are so excited to see them make some connections with their learning.

          Last week Mrs Carlos drove her Morris model 1100 car to school and the Grade 1/2 students were astonished with its historical features as it was 58 years old. We were able to discuss some of the similarities and differences between the cars in the past to the cars we have on the road today. There were some great questions asked: Quinn observed that the Morris didn’t have a glove box or somewhere to put your sunglasses. Noah thought that the gear stick looked pretty cool and Cooper observed that there was only one long seat at the front and back.

          Laura, Nat & Mairead


          Year 9 Buttercup Camp

          Thanks to Mrs McMillan and her connections in and around the High Country, every year our Year 9's are treated to an amazing experience, camping at Buttercup Camp in Merrijig. This year the road trip was longer (due to Covid precautions) with more stops for fresh air and footy. Campers set up their tents at Buttercup and hiked to Plain Creek Falls. That night the kids all cooked themselves dinner - some amazing meals!
          Day 1 Waterfall1
          Day 1 Waterfall4
          Day 1 camp groupedited2
          Day 1 Waterfall2
          Day 1 walk
          Day 1 sunset
          Day 1 meal
          Day 2 our Year 9 campers hiked the Mt Buller Summit Nature Trail. It's a steep climb to the top where students were able to take in the stunning views of the surrounding peaks and region, at times, they had their heads in the clouds!
          Day 3 was spent at Buttercup Camp where students participated in an initiative trail completing team building activities, some orienteering activities and horse riding, which for many was their first time doing so.
          Day 3 Initiative1
          Day 3 Initiative7
          After packing up camp on the last day, the students and teachers had an amazing time battling it out during Paintball, before heading back to school music pumping in the mini buses.
          The kids were all amazing!
          Day 4 Groupedited
          Day 4 Group Paintball
          Day 4 Paintball2
          Day 4 Paintball1
          Day 4 Paintball3
          Day 4 Paintball4
          Day 4 Group Paintball2


          Year 12 Energize Day

          Earlier this term, our Year 12 cohort was involved in our inaugural Year 12 Energize Day. This day focused on the health and wellbeing of our Year 12 students and involved a number of different sessions focusing on a healthy mind, body and soul, as well as the opportunity to have a bit of fun.

          The day kicked off with a healthy and nutritious breakfast being provided by the Senior Sub-School and Wellbeing team in the Senior Study Centre. This was followed by a presentation from the first of our guest presenters on the day – an organisation known as ‘Elephant Ed’ – who provided a fun and engaging session on relationships as part of the school’s Respectful Relationships program.

          The students then participated in a Yoga and Mindfulness session in the gym facilitated by Mel from Hark Yoga Studio in Ferntree Gully. The Downward Dog and some centred breathing activities, as well as a range of other exercises, were a feature of this session.
          Morning tea was then served in the Senior Study centre, followed by a session presented by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation – “When Gaming Meets Gambling” - which served to provide students with a better understanding of online games and the links in some areas with gambling-related themes.

          A change of pace was then the order of the day, as students boarded the bus and headed off to RUSH HQ (in Rowville) to participate in Indoor trampolining, dodge ball, and a range of team-building activities. Plenty of fun and excitement was had by all, including the teachers who accompanied the students, as they bounced, flipped and flung themselves on and around the trampolines, multi-level obstacle course, slam-dunk basketball lanes, rock-climbing walls and dodge-ball areas.

          The day was a great success with many students commenting on how much they enjoyed the day. According to Wilson M. “the day was really cool, especially getting to go to RUSH HQ” whilst Kyra B. commented that “it was awesome, I really enjoyed the Yoga and Mindfulness session as well as the activities at RUSH”.

          Off the back of the success of this year’s ENERGIZE DAY, the school is looking to make this a regular part of our Year 12 program in the future.

          Wayne Judge
          Director of Senior School


          This term has been a busy one for the careers department, with Year 9 students completing their Morrisby Profiles and meeting individually with a Morrisby councillor. Students found the meeting very helpful and were given some great insights into their own strengths, aptitudes and future career aspirations. The Year 9s also received a printed copy of their results to take home and discuss with parents. Morrisby results can be accessed online any time, by logging in, and will provide some very useful information when it comes time to select subjects later in the year.

          In other year levels I have had many wonderful conversations with students about future study options. Some common questions that come up centre around the difference between tafes, university and other training providers. There are some key differences to understand when looking for that perfect tertiary course.

          Universities usually offer degree courses, also know as Bachelor Degrees or Undergraduate Degrees. You will need this type of qualification to work as a professional. Jobs such as a lawyer, accountant, manager, teacher, engineer or physiotherapist will usually require a bachelor degree as a minimum.

          Tafes offer a combination of courses including some degrees, diplomas or certificates, but usually have a stronger focus on practical subjects including Design, ICT, health and trades.

          Apprenticeships and traineeships are another form of study that allows you to work and earn an income while you study. These are usually available for trades, childcare and some health and aged care industries.

          A great place to start looking for that perfect course is the VTAC website (, which allows you to search by key word. It’s important that students and parents engage in searches for post-secondary school options early so they can make informed decisions about subject selection and tertiary applications. It’s a good idea to visit universities and tafes on their open day to have a look at what they offer. Most open days are in August and September.

          Fiona Bennett
          Knox Youth Career Expo Poster 2022 v2


          Buy/Sell Second hand uniform

          With Winter approaching and the thought of warmer uniform options, a reminder to parents and carers that the College subscribes to the website Sustainable School Shop - Second hand Textbooks, Uniforms etc so that you can use the site for free. This site provides a buy/sell platform for our school community to sell and purchase second hand uniform items from other members of our school community.
          Music Bus school advertisement