MAC News 1 2021
Welcome to 2021. For those new to Mount Alexander College, the MAC News is normally published every three weeks during terms. This is the first newsletter for the year and due to circumstances beyond our control, it is later than normal. We hope you enjoy the newsletter.
Dear MAC Community
It has been a very busy start to the year. We have welcomed 140 Entry students; the largest cohort of students in two decades! It has been pleasing to see students settling well into the school; establishing friendships and relationships with teachers; managing a new environment, new subjects, different lesson times, no bells; remembering locker combinations and dealing with tricky locks! I had the pleasure of attending the Entry Camp and was impressed by the maturity of the group, their enthusiasm to be participate in all activities, and their cooperation and respectful behaviour towards each other and the staff. I am equally impressed by the students’ willingness to become involved in school events such as the Swimming Carnival. The Entry students stood out on the day, both in and out of the pool. It was wonderful to see high rates of participation in the novelty events, house singing, dancing and cheering of their peers and, not forgetting, some incredibly creative costumes!
We have also welcomed 30 new students across Above Entry to Year 12. Our current enrolment is approximately 600. The school continues to go from strength to strength as evidenced by continued interest in the school and the number of families registering for school tours.
Thank you to the Entry students and Claire Runci and her staff for hosting the Entry and new families’ BBQ. It was wonderful to hear from our Entry students and about their experiences at MAC so far and to meet the families. A big thank you to the PFA for their efforts in cooking the BBQ!
We ended 2020 with some wonderful student achievements including outstanding VCE results. I would like to once again congratulate the 2020 Graduates all of whom successfully completed their Senior Certificate. All VCE and VCAL students who applied through VTAC have received an offer. Those who applied directly to tertiary institutions have also secured a place. I would like to thank Alison Lovett, Careers and Pathways Coordinator, and Michael Buckingham, Senior School Academic Advisor, for their hard work in supporting and guiding our students through this process.
Families will be receiving fee statements in the coming weeks. Fees are itemised as compulsory and optional/voluntary. The school relies on the collection of optional/voluntary fees to fund the running costs and delivery of programs that are not adequately funded by the DET. For instance, the Science Optional Fee pays for the consumables needed for practical classes that are an integral part of Science learning. Optional fees contribute to the upkeep of the buildings, grounds and maintenance, also not adequately funded by DET. It is imperative that the essential items are purchased as this will impact greatly on the students’ capacity to engage in their chosen subjects. Families who are experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to contact Laura Sandham, Business Manager to discuss their particular circumstances.
Over summer, two double story portables were placed on the school grounds to cater for the growing enrolments. These are a temporary measure and will be removed once the new building is completed. The grassed area, which was excavated during the works, has now been levelled and grass seedlings sown. We have temporary fencing around the permitter to allow the grass to grow, we hope that the fencing will be removed next term. This area was generally underutilised by students as it was uneven and mostly dirt. We hope that once the grass has grown it will provide an additional space for students to recreate.
As mentioned in previous communications, the school has been allocated $24.77 million in State Government funding for a new building which will increase the schools enrolment capacity to 900. Kosloff Architects have been appointed by the Victorian Schools Building Authority and have been working with the staff and students in developing preliminary designs. An information session will be held for parents later this term.
I would like to thank the parents and students who have nominated for School Council. A reminder that nominations close on Wednesday 3 March at 4pm. Nominations forms are available at the General Office.
Ms Dani Angelico, Principal
Inside this issue
- School Council Nominations
- Swimming Carnival
- Student Leadership
- Update on the Flemington Pocket Park
- Student Wellbeing
- News from the Resource Centre
- Entry News
- Meet A Scientist
- MAC Parents and Friends
- Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund Applications
- 2021 Course Confirmation Reminder
- Community News and Advertising
School Council Nominations
Nominations for School Council membership are open. There are 4 parent and 2 student member vacancies. The tenure of these positions is two years.
Nomination forms can be collected from the General Office. Parents may self-nominate or nominate a parent member. Students can also self-nominate or nominate another student member.
Nominations close at 4pm on Wednesday 3 March 2021. Late nominations cannot be accepted.
Should we receive more nominations than the number of vacancies, we will require a ballot. The ballot will close on 4pm on Wednesday 17 March, 2021.
School Council plays a key role in supporting the school in enhancing the educational opportunities for students, building on the successes of the school and promoting the school’s vision and continued growth.
I would like to sincerely thank the outgoing council members for their commitment and work on council.
Richard Frazer has served as School Council President since 2015. Richard along with Matthew Hammond, Treasurer, with the then council, Principal Wayne Haworth and College staff set about transforming the school to a school of choice for the local community and they have well and truly succeeded. Their vision, drive and passion has been relentless. We thank them for their leadership, commitment and service.
We would also like our student leaders, Alexander Langley 2020 College Captain and Ella Klassen 2019 College for their outstanding representation of the student body at council and their valuable insights and contributions. We wish them well in their studies and future endeavours.
Thank you to Linda Crisci and Jo-zanne Owen for their work on council for the last two years. We thank you for your enthusiasm and contribution.
We also farewell Emily O’Halloran and Emma Kearney from The Huddle who joined council last year as Community Representatives.
I look forward to continuing to work with council members continuing in their roles, and of course welcoming new members next month.
Dani Angelico, Principal
Whole School Assembly
It was with great excitement that we held our first official whole school assembly for the year on February 2nd was the official welcoming of the 2021 Student Leadership Team to the college. Guest speakers included Alex Langley, last year’s College Captain and College DUX. Alex offered his insights into setting and achieving personal goals and finding the balance between achieving greatness in academic results and also managing a social life. We also had guest speakers Kate from The Huddle and Barbara from Tritogether. Congratulations to all 2021 student leaders. Our student leadership team will be meeting for a whole day workshop on March 10 to discuss our plans for 2021.
Student Consultation with Kosloff Architects
On Tuesday February 23 the student leadership team met with Kosloff Architects to view the draft plans for the new building. Students were consulted on the plans for the new building as well as give their voice on the outdoor spaces to the landscape architects.
The students worked in small groups to discuss the outdoor spaces and offer their insights into what they love, what they would like to improve and ideas outside the box. We are excited to hear how the architects use the students ideas to create amazing outdoor spaces for our new building.
Gnurad Gundidj Update
As you can see from the photos Maya, Lucas, Hannah, Ambrose and Alex are having an amazing time at Gnurad Gundidj School for Student Leadership. The term-long experience offers students the opportunity to develop their leadership, as well as social and emotional skills in an alternative school setting. So far they have been working on building a strong team, inclusiveness, connections and how to be a positive role model.
We look forward to their return so that we can hear all about their experiences.
Kate Stevanovic, Leading Teacher Student Leadership & Empowerment
Update on the Flemington Pocket Park
The Moonee Valley City Design Team have been very busy behind the scenes finalising the Concept Design for the Flemington Pocket Park. See below for the concept drawings.
SchoolTV – School Transitions
Whether it is starting school for the first time, moving up to a higher grade or embarking on a journey through secondary school, there is no doubt that any school transition is a very exciting time for children and parents. It means that the children are growing up!
However, for many it may also be a very anxious and stressful time for both parents and children. Parents need to be aware of their child’s feelings during any school transition and minimise anxiety so the process is an enjoyable experience for all. It is important for children to attend transition or orientation programs offered by schools. Familiarisation is often key to reducing stress levels. It is also important for parents to talk to their children about their expectations and being more responsible for their own needs. Learn more about supporting your child transition to school by clicking on link: https://mountalexandercollege.vic.schooltv.me/newsletter/school-transitions
Carmel Nielsen, Student Wellbeing Coordinator, Student Wellbeing Team
Sleep is important for the health of our body and mind. Lack of sleep can cause fatigue, poor concentration, and mood changes.
Sleep hygiene means habits that help you to have a good night’s sleep. Common sleeping problems such as insomnia are often caused by bad habits reinforces over many years or even decades. You can dramatically improve your sleep quality by making a few minor adjustments to lifestyle and attitude.
Sleep-Wake Cycle of sleep
The body’s alternating sleep-wake cycle is controlled by an internal ‘clock’ within the brain. Most bodily processes (such as temperature and brain states) are synchronised to this 24-hour physiological clock. Getting a good sleep means working with your body clock, not against it. Suggestions include:
- Get up at the same time every day. Soon this strict routine will help to ‘set’ your body clock and you’ll find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night.
- Don’t ignore tiredness. Go to bed when your body tells you it’s ready.
- Don’t go to bed if you don’t feel tired. You will only reinforce bad habits such as lying awake.
- Get enough early morning sunshine. Exposure to light during early waking hours helps to set your body clock.
How much sleep do you need?
Hours per night:
5 – 13 years
|10 – 12 hours|
|14 – 17 years||
8 – 10 hours
7 – 9 hours
General suggestions to improve sleep
Good sleep is more likely if your bedroom feels restful and comfortable. Suggestions include:
- Invest in a mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft.
- Make sure the room is at the right temperature.
- Ensure the room is dark enough.
- Exercise every day, but not close to bedtime and try not to overheat yourself – your body needs time to wind down.
- Try not to engage in mentally stimulating activities close to bedtime. Use the last hour or so before sleep to relax your mind. Turn of the TV, phone, laptop at least 30-60mins before bed.
- Don’t take afternoon naps.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks (like tea, coffee, cola or chocolate) close to bedtime. Instead, have a warm, milky drink, since milk contains a sleep-enhancing amino acid.
- Take a warm bath.
- Turn your alarm clock to the wall. Watching the minutes tick by is a sure way to keep yourself awake.
- If you can’t fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time, get out of bed and do something else for half an hour or so, such as reading a book.
- If you have tried and failed to improve your sleep, you may like to consider professional help. See your doctor for information and referral.
References and further information
Michelle Hynson, Health Promotion Nurse, Monday & Tuesday
News from the Resource Centre
Welcome back! Unfortunately, I have been absent for a few weeks but am now back and excited to meet all the new students. Students will most likely have met Elizabeth Cassar who works in the Resource Centre on Fridays.
Hopefully most students have familiarised themselves with the books and the Library Catalogue. I have some Library Catalogue Orientation Booklets for students who would like to learn how to use the Library Catalogue. Come into the Resource Centre to pick one up or download one here
Students will have begun to receive reminders that they have an overdue book. They can renew it themselves in the Library Catalogue, return it into the Book Returns box in the Resource Centre or see me during the Borrowing Hours to renew it.
Some students still need to return books from 2020. It is essential that these books are returned this week or a charge for a replacement book will be placed on the school fees. Please log into the Library Catalogue to see which books are outstanding and return them or let us know if they have been lost.
Change of borrowing hours
There is a slight change to the hours that you can borrow books this year. Please see below for the current borrowing hours. The most important thing is that the is no capacity at the moment to borrow books during lunch time.
- After school – 3.20-3.50
- Before school – 8.30-8.55
- After school – 3.20-3.50
Don’t forget to reserve books through the Library Catalogue. Once the book is located, it should be available to borrow the next day. You will receive an email telling you when your book is ready for you to borrow.
I am looking at starting Book Club up again soon. It will most likely run before or after school. Let me know if you are interested in joining by filling out this form. I have a bunch of copies of a new book Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston that will be our first book.
Meg Dunley, Resource Centre, Communications and Marketing Manager
Entry Level News
Despite it only being a month since our Entry students arrived, they have made a significant impression on the staff and the school as a whole. Many teachers have commented on how quirky, thoughtful, eager and curious the students are and I have really enjoyed getting to know them. We started the year with orientation, finally being able to have the whole cohort on site and after last year, it was incredibly exciting to see 140 beautiful faces (with masks on) in the same place at the same time. Since then, we held our Entry camp, saw a huge number of Entry students get involved in the Swimming sports and had some delightful student speakers at our annual Entry Evening. I am in the difficult but equally delightful process of selecting four Entry Leaders from a raft of very impressive applications. This year promises to be a lot of fun and I am so excited for the many Entry events to come, including our Inquiry expo at the end of term 2.
Claire Runci, Junior School Programs and Transition Leader
Entry Camp at The Summit 1-3 February
Though much earlier that usual, this year’s Entry camp proved to be an excellent way for students to get to know each other and the staff. I could tell you all about it but Isabell from Quest 5 has done a much better job that I ever could. – Claire Runci
Only a few days ago, all of the Year 7s went to the summit camp. I hadn’t been there before and I didn’t know most of the people there so I was unsure how it would go but the idea of going somewhere new and with lots of great activities seemed so fun.
I got onto the bus in the morning and sat next to my friend, we talked our way through the bus trip and soon enough, we were there!
We started by doing a scavenger hunt, which involved dunking our heads in the river, much to the dislike of my (then) dry shirt. We did another activity, then dinner and after that was the talent show, which turned out to be more crazy than expected as it ranged from soulful songs to viral internet dances.
In the nights, the generous number of ‘wildlife’ in our cabins didn’t help to settle down the already sugar high 12-year-olds. Our eardrums didn’t quite recover after a little mouse, (or, known to some as a ‘massive rat’) paid us a visit.
The next day went by quickly and at the end of the day, we had the monster course, where we went neck deep in mud under barbed wires, went down in slippery mud pools, each one with a drop to the next, and much more, all while carrying tires the whole way. Then…we did the whole thing again! To finish off the run, we went into the lake to wash some of the mud off.
One of my favourite things at the camp was the giant swing and the leap of faith. I went up on the giant swing with my friend and at first I was gonna try and call out for to take me down but I realized that no one would be able to hear me. So, up I went and I had to close my eyes at the top because I got too scared. Then boom, that gut dropping feeling I had been waiting for, l let out a fully fledged screech as we wooshed across, so loud that the sheep in the paddock next to the camp probably covered their ears.
One of the last things that we did on camp was watching a tank run over a car, which was pretty epic. Even some lucky kids got to ride inside the tank.
After that we headed home, exhausted, ready to get a good night’s sleep.
From the crew at The Summit
What a way to start 2021, with the students and teachers from Mount Alexander College (MAC) bracing us with their presence for the first camp of the year. The energy was electric as everyone was glad to be at camp and not at home or school.
The first thing that needed to be done was to form a tribe identity and name. With only 2 days of knowing some people, it was amazing to see everyone embrace this and really come together. Potato Tribe, Free Real Estate, Big Family Tree, Bravo, CCI, Winning Wolves, Big Nerds, The Best, and Daymo were the tribe names.
Throughout camp, there were many tribe challenges. Here are the results from each challenge.
Snowy River Challenge: Daymo came in third with a time of 32.14, second went to Bravo in a time of 31.42 and winning was CCI who completed the course in a time of 29.36. Well done CCI for a great effort.
The Monster Course was a true demonstration of resilience when facing a second lap. Results were as follows: Winning Wolves improved by 13.51 to come in third, the best improved by 18.46 to take second but winning the monster course was Big Family Tree who improved by 22.00. What a spectacular effort from everyone but especially our top three tribes.
At the end of camp, each tribe voted for someone in their tribe who lived by The Summit’s “5 keys”. The person who got the most votes would be rewarded with a ride in The Summit’s Army Tank. Well done Ivy, Kate, Monumad, Mariama, Carla, Harvey V, Asher, Raph, and Jack D who were each tribe’s Values winners.
Thank you again to everyone who came to The Summit from MAC. We all look forward to seeing you back in the near future.
Entry and New Families evening
It was a pleasure to host our new Entry students and their families at our BBQ last night, 1 March. Embracing COVID restrictions and the pleasant Melbourne summer evening, we congregated (safely) outside to listen to some very keen student speakers who talked about what their first month of High school has been like, what they have been doing in their core subjects and their electives. Then, students, parents and staff got to know each other over a casual sausage. Many thanks to the Parents and Friends Association for helping us with the BBQ and to Entry families and staff for their attendance. An extra special thank you to my fantastic student helpers and speakers, Claudia, Estelle, Amelia K, Ivy FB, Rim, Jasmine, Kalifala, Isla B and Tara.
Claire Runci, Junior School Programs and Transition Leader
Meet A Scientist
February 11 was The United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In celebration of the exciting day, the Royal Women’s Hospital held an online event to provide an opportunity for the next generation to meet some of the inspiring and passionate women working in the STEM fields.
This event took place over a course of two hours where young women all around Australia, including us at MAC, were privileged to reflect and inspire from the contributions females have provided STEM.
During the event we heard from four speakers: Dr Ellen Menkhorst – a reproductive biology research fellow, Dr Amanada Kwong – Paediatric Physiotherapist and Researcher, Pamela McCalman- Registered Midwife and Research Officer and Dr Elizabeth Baker – Neonatal Trainee and Research Fellow. The presenters shared their lives stories with us, giving us an insight on how they ended up to pursue a career in science. They’ve also given us a glimpse into how their week looks like while working in the important field of women’s health.
We heard about an innovative research and treatment development of the placenta, detection of early cerebral palsy, use of cell therapy to help vulnerable preterm babies breathe and research about the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are having a baby in Victoria.
With this male dominated area more women begin to rise to their truest potential in leaving a mark on the world. This event showed me, how women are beyond capable of undertaking the same and arguably more tasks than men. This occasion opened up a new perspective on the way we perceive the growth of women in today’s society. I believe if more female representation in STEM were highlighted, it could encourage more young ladies to join. – Bilhah Ryan, Year 10
Miriam Berkovich, Science Teaching and Learning Leader
MAC Parents & Friends
The Parents & Friends Association are next meeting on Monday 1 May at 6.00 pm in the Resource Centre. All parents are welcome to attend.
Please take time to remind yourself of the school’s collection statement, found on our website.
Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund Applications
The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities.
If you have a valid means-tested concession card, such as a Veterans Affairs Gold Card, Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible. There is also a special consideration category for asylum seeker and refugee families.
Payment amounts this year are $125 for eligible primary school students and $225 for eligible secondary school students [remove primary/secondary as necessary]. Payments are made direct to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions and sporting activities for the benefit of your child.
If you applied for CSEF through our school last year, you do not need to complete an application form this year, unless there has been a change in your family circumstances.
If you would like to apply for the first time, please contact the school office on 9376 1622 and ask for an application form.
You can also download the form, and find out more about the program and eligibility, on the Department of Education and Training’s Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund web page.
Check with the school office if you are unsure, and please return completed forms to the school office as soon as possible.
2021 Course Confirmation Reminder
Families that have not yet completed the 2021 Course Confirmation please do so as a matter of urgency. Course Confirmation includes important agreements that must be completed annually.
Please see directions below on how to complete the Course Confirmation:
- Log in using your parent portal
- Click on ‘Course Confirmation/ School Payments’ which will appear on your dashboard. You can also locate it under the ‘Organisation’ menu >’ Student Management’
- Select ‘2021 Course Confirmation’ with the corresponding student name
- Here you will notice a list of your child’s subjects. Read the information and proceed by clicking ‘next’
- Proceed through the five agreements with your child present.
If you prefer to pay your fees at the General Office, via Centrepay (if eligible) or by payment plan outside of Compass, please select “Pay in person at the school” on the payment page.
If you have any further questions or if you need your Parent Compass password re set, please call the school on 9376 1622.
Community News and Advertising
We advertise and support local organisations that reside in our catchment area. These suburbs include Flemington, Kensington, Ascot Vale, Moonee Ponds, Maribyrnong, West Brunswick, North Melbourne and Parkville.