Principal Report

Principal’s Report

Welcome to this month’s edition of the W-Files. What a busy and eventful term it has been so far. Our students have been actively participating in events such as the Film and Print Festival, Art, Design and Technology Exhibitions, Year 11 Silent Disco, student leadership applications, Halloween celebrations at both campuses, Waves of Willi Radio Club “Be Like Her” live FM recording, Bunurong Story community afternoon at Bayview, Youth Forums, Year 12 Celebration Day and, at present, our Year 12 students are undertaking their final examinations.

There is so much more for students at WHS than simply attending regular classes. These value-add experiences contribute to the development of our students by increasing their sense of belonging and connectedness, which greatly impacts their learning and wellbeing growth. Please take the time to read, reflect and discuss these wonderful activities with your families as this too will contribute to strengthening that sense of belonging to the WHS community we all value so highly.

In the coming weeks the Year 9, 10 and 11 students will commence their exam program and conclude the year having successfully completed the 2023 Headstart program, which supports and prepares students for their next year of study.

We are also concluding our advertising for staffing positions and pleasingly, despite the shortages in the education system at present, we continue to attract quality applicants with appropriate qualifications for all our positions. This will allow our timetables created by student elective/subject choices to be staffed with subject qualified staff and ensure we have a smooth start to 2023.

We are also excited to be looking ahead as we finish off the year in celebrating the many achievements of our students at events such as the return of our end-of-year whole school awards assembly at Williamstown Town Hall, the Year 12 Awards Night and other year-level celebration events.

Our Year 12 students recently enjoyed celebrating their final two days of formal attendance with jumper signings and dress-ups as well as a year-level excursion to Funfields. A particular highlight other than a personal “Hold fast cat 22” signing of all Year 12 jumpers plus one request for a “don’t drift” (see school history for context) was one of our current students in Year 12, Pippi Grigg, proudly wearing the blazer of her mum, a former student, Melanie Cordell, from 1994. Pippi was very excited to finish off her own schooling with such a beautiful tribute to both her mum and the history of WHS.

Pippi wearing mum’s 1994 blazer.
A sample of our student talent on display
Office staff member Julia getting into the Halloween spirit
Year 11 students dancing at the silent disco.
VCAL student led presentations

Performing Arts and Study Centre Building Update

I am now in a position to provide you with an update on the modernisation project that will upgrade our Year 12 study centre and complete the Centenary Theatre complex.

As you may be aware, construction has been delayed as defects were identified in the floor slabs to both buildings. Exploratory works have been undertaken in recent months to investigate the extent of the issue and to determine the appropriate remediation works.

I am pleased to let you know that we now have a way forward for the project and construction works are forecast for completion in Quarter 4, 2023.I look forward to being able to welcome students, staff and the school community into our new spaces.

In the interim, we are currently working with the design team to finalise the landscape design, which aligns with the landscaping masterplan we have developed for the whole school.

As part of the landscaping process, a workshop was recently held with the school, landscape architect and members of the student leadership team to gather student feedback and input that will help form the final landscape design.

The Victorian School Building Authority will work closely with our school to ensure our community continues to be updated as the project progresses. I look forward to sharing more details with you soon.

If you have any further questions about the works at Williamstown High School, you can phone the VSBA on 1800 896 950, email or visit the website:

Hold fast

Gino Catalano

Bayview Campus Principal Report

Bayview Campus Principal Report

Dear parents and carers

As we reach the midway point of this term, we are all challenging and supporting our students to achieve as much learning growth as possible. We are also beginning to confirm courses for 2023 and plan our ‘commencement’ programs - our students stepping up into the next year level for a day (and longer for our Year 9 students at Pasco).

Our learning environment

We are continuing to work on maintaining and improving learning environments for our students. This has included replacement of ‘door mats’ inside B Wing, painting of classrooms and particular doorways and similar to promote greater visibility and safety. Please speak with your child about respecting our environment and encouraging them to be a responsible member of our school community by making an appropriate choice for their litter. We will continue to address this issue as a school and as part of the local community.

Parents of current Year 7-9 students were invited to join us for a special event last Wednesday, in lieu somewhat of the Term 1 barbeque events that pandemic restrictions disallowed for three years. Kobi Sainty, language and education officer with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, was invited and spoke with us about the Bunurong Story and facets of Indigenous history and culture relevant to this area. Kobi spoke about native cherries, gum wattle and the murnong yam daisy that were used daily and that we are now able to learn more about.

Mabu Mabu, a catering and restaurant business owned and run by Nornie Berios from Mer Island in the Torres Strait, provided afternoon tea including pickled mushroom and wattle seed tarts, Bunga nut and yam dip, and damper. Principal Class teams from Williamstown Primary School, Bayside P-12 College and Altona College also attended. We are hoping that this event is the first of many of this kind.

Staff farewells and welcomes

We have welcomed Soula Sapounakis to our library and also science and humanities teacher, Kelly Constance, who is now teaching science as Wei Lee is on leave.

We are currently in the Buath Gurru season of the annual Eastern Kulin Seasonal Calendar, as described by Woiwurrung traditions: Grass Flowering Season. The elements of this time evident at Bayview Street are warm weather, regular rain and the male Common Brown Butterfly is flying. We also had this visitor to the A Wing decking - please let us know if you can confirm the type!

Karen Anderson

Pasco Campus Principal Report

Pasco Campus Principal Report

Term 4 has started well and has been a busy and exciting time on many fronts. All Year 10, 11 and 12 students have been finalising their assessments and coursework for their studies with most students also undertaking their end-of-year examinations.

As I write this, the Year 12 cohort are in the middle of the VCAA examination period and I want to acknowledge the hard work that students and families have done to be prepared for this important part of their schooling. Students do seem well prepared for these exams and I’m sure there will be many fantastic results achieved. On behalf of the school we wish everyone the best of luck through this period and encourage students to do their best.

All students and families are encouraged to reach out to the school for support as it is needed. Exams and the starting of new programs constitute a busy period here at school and we aim to support every student through their journey.

Our Year 12 cohort are finishing their time at WHS. It is an exciting time yet also one for reflection of the 13 years of schooling that have been completed. As a school we were able to celebrate their final day appropriately with a fantastic trip to Funfields, where I had the pleasure of chatting to the group about their achievements and future plans. They are a terrific bunch of people and we’ll look forward to seeing them at the Graduation and Formal.

The Headstart programs, where students begin their 2023 programs, will commence later in the term. It is essential for all students to attend - in full school uniform - ready to learn. Assessable course content will be delivered throughout the program and this material will not be retaught next year. Appropriate amounts of homework for the holiday period will be given to students during this time.

The 2022 Year 9 students will join us at the senior campus during Headstart and I extend a warm welcome to them and their families as they make the transition to the Pasco Campus. We look forward to meeting you all in the coming weeks.

Strategic Assistant Principal Report

Strategic Assistant Principal Report

Nora, Ava and Sienna share their experiences at GHD

Year 10 students Sienna Broekman, Nora Thein and Ava Schofield were selected to undertake a STEM Pathways program at GHD, a global network of multi-disciplinary professionals committed to addressing the world’s biggest challenges in the areas of water, energy and communities. The objective of the STEM program is to provide students with exposure to career pathways in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The three students undertook a weeklong intensive placement at GHD from 12-16 September. Please see each student’s thoughts on the amazing experience below:

Nora Thein (10D)

1. What were your daily tasks and activities?

At the start of the program, we were assigned an engineering discipline and buddies to help us learn more about engineering. I had two engineering disciplines: Heritage Planner and Urban Design, which I, to be honest, didn’t know existed before I started the work experience. For the Heritage Planner discipline, my tasks mainly included research about Indigenous Australian history and writing summaries on what I had learnt. One of the activities that I got to do for this was going to an excavation site of an old underground pub located in the city which was really cool. For the Urban Design discipline, I learnt how to create maps of areas using a software called QGIS, which allowed me to view an urban area from an aerial view. That was a little complicated but really interesting.

2. What did you learn about GHD and their organisation?

Being a diverse company is one of their top priorities. They were all so open-minded to learning about people from different cultures and made sure to acknowledge the traditional owners of Australia in every presentation they made. The company also cares a lot about the wellbeing of their employees. They had adjustable computer monitors, standing desks and chairs to make sure that employees were comfortable while working, which I thought was very thoughtful.

3. What is it like to be in a workplace like GHD?

You get to work in a supportive environment with people from all engineering backgrounds to create designs and products for clients. Everyone working at GHD has an amazing work ethic, which is really admirable.

4. What was the most enjoyable part of the experience?

Being able to make new friends was definitely one of the best parts about the experience because it was so nice to be around like-minded people who had aspirations to become something great. Everyone who was working there was so sweet, especially my buddies who made the experience really fun and forever memorable.

5. What was a challenging aspect of the experience?

I would say the hardest part of the experience was learning about all the engineering disciplines because there are so many and they each have their own purpose and work.

6. Will you continue to pursue a career in STEM after your experience?

Yes, I would like to continue pursuing a career in STEM after this experience.

Ava Schofield (10F)

1. What were your daily tasks and activities?

At the beginning of the program, I was assigned to a discipline and given buddies who taught me about their area of engineering and how they got there. My assigned discipline was Environmental Management and throughout the week I had three main focuses, environmental impacts, greenhouse gases and pollution modelling. Within these focuses I had to consider how the development of a site could affect the environment and modelling, who would be affected in the surrounding area, and finding possible solutions, as well as calculating the CO2 being emitted and how we could reduce or offset emissions, which was really interesting.

2. What did you learn about GHD and their organisation?

They have a strong commitment to upholding their values of safety, teamwork, respect and integrity, and to ensuring sustainability in their workplace and in their projects. They also make sure they are considerate to everyone they work with and near. They also have a big focus on acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and are very open to learning more about different cultures. They are employee-owned and are very conscious of their employees' wellbeing.

3. What is it like to be in a workplace like GHD?

They have created a very supportive environment; everyone has a different story and they're very enthusiastic about their jobs. It is fun and encouraging. There are always chances to learn new things from the wide variety of people working in different departments within engineering and in the same place, creating designs for the same set of clients.

4. What was the most enjoyable part of the experience?

The highlight of the program for me was meeting new people, like the other people participating in the program and others who were at different stages of their careers - some who had already accomplished so much and others who had just started out but had big ambitions. I also really enjoyed spending time with my buddies, who were so sweet and looked after me the whole week.

5. What was a challenging aspect of the experience?

I wouldn’t say anything was overly challenging but some of the information was hard to wrap my head around as we had been taught so much in a small amount of time.

6. Will you continue to pursue a career in STEM after your experience?

I was already considering a STEM career and this gave me an insight into some of the disciplines within engineering and a bit more of an idea of what I might consider pursuing.

Sienna Broekman (10E)

1. What were your daily tasks activities?

At the beginning of the week, we were all assigned to different disciplines within GHD, where we’d all work on different parts of the same project. During our designated task time, we would all split off and head to our desks to sit with our buddies from each discipline. I was in Digital Design for the week, and my tasks included making a 3D model of the building (then scrapping it once the architect team finished their design), adding windows, walls, stairs and support beams within the building, and creating a floor plan.

We had a lot of group activities throughout the week as well, which all students in the program undertook. We went on-site to the location of the project we were all working on, had presentations about different areas of engineering, and a “client lunch,” in which we spoke to people from within and outside of GHD about their areas of work. It was a really great way to learn about all different areas of engineering outside of the discipline I was working in. At the end of the week, we each gave a presentation about our experience at GHD and what we worked on. There were a lot of people watching (both in-person and on Zoom), so it was a good experience in public speaking.

2. What did you learn about GHD and their organisation?

I learnt that GHD has people working in a lot of different disciplines - not even just engineers - and that there are so many factors that go into just one project. They’ve got over 10,000 people working across 200 offices globally. It really just goes to show how many opportunities there are in STEM and engineering.

3. What is it like to be in a workplace like GHD?

It's really great. You're surrounded by really friendly people, and it was a nice office with good facilities.

4. What was the most enjoyable part of the experience?

The unlimited free hot chocolate…(Just kidding.) I really liked the client lunch, where we got to speak with industry professionals about their different areas of work. It was great to just sit down and have a conversation with them, and get answers to questions about their jobs that I wouldn’t be able to get online. For example, I now know the full process of what a noise engineer does, what they work on and why, and how they complete a project from start to finish. This wasn’t one of the options for the disciplines we could work in for the week, so it was really great that I still got a chance to learn about it.

5. What was a challenging aspect of the experience?

I think every student who took part in this work experience will agree that the presentation was the most nerve-racking part. From the very first day, people who helped out with the course were being invited to watch our presentations on the Friday, which we hadn’t even been aware of at the time.

We began preparing on Thursday after work, and had some time to work on our slides on Friday. The presentation was only short, but I knew it was going to be difficult because I hadn’t had much time to memorise it beforehand and there were a lot of people watching, both in-person and on Zoom. In the end, it all worked out. I presented first so that I could get it out of the way quickly. We all talked about our experiences and the work we did throughout the week, and it was great to hear what other people had been doing and how all the disciplines contributed to the same project.

6. Will you continue to pursue a career in STEM after your experience?

I’m definitely going to pursue a career in STEM, especially after this experience; it’s opened my eyes to new opportunities I didn’t even know existed. Getting hands-on experience in these jobs has given me so much more insight into what being an engineer involves. I’m so grateful for my week at GHD; I appreciate it was a very big coordination effort on the behalf of the company to increase awareness and participation in STEM jobs. They were very generous in the time and effort they put into this program.

Thank you and well done to students.

Gavin Clifford

Student Engagement and Wellbeing Report - Bayview Campus

Student Engagement and Wellbeing Report - Bayview Campus

In the blink of an eye, Term 4 is already halfway over. Students and staff have been busy in their work, completing and delivering important learning in their respective areas.

  • Year 7 students attended one of Project Rockit’s incursions on bullying. Here, students learnt ways to be respectful in both the online and real world, as well as learning how to be an ‘upstander’.

  • The Year 8s will soon find out their subject electives for 2023. This is an exciting time, where students begin to explore their passions and interests as the breadth of subject options really open up to them progressing toward senior years.

  • The Year 9s have hit the ground running, focusing on their studies in preparation for exams. This forms an early but important learning experience, giving students the opportunity to become familiar with good study habits and exam writing skills. Advance students enjoyed their two-day excursion, attending sailing school in Geelong. We also welcomed back to the campus our Year 9 students who attended the School for Student Leadership for the whole of Term 3 - it has been great to hear the experiences of these students and how much they gained from such a unique, immersive program.

On Friday 28 October, students and staff enjoyed dressing up for Halloween and donated funds to an important cause. Well done to the Student Leadership team for their work in setting up a great event.

The Art & Tech exhibition was also held at Bayview, showcasing all the incredible work that our students have been completing in these subject areas. For the families and friends who were able to visit the exhibition after school, I’m sure you were also blown away by the creativity and skill of our students.

Finally, the Student Engagement and Wellbeing Team (SEWT) has been working hard behind the scenes to set up end-of-year excursions for students, providing a fun opportunity to celebrate the school year with classmates and teachers. Excursions include ice skating, tenpin bowling, laser tag, arcade, Bounce Inc., Luna Park and Adventure Park Geelong.

We are looking forward to the fun of the end of the year, celebrating the year that was.

Tyson Hartwig | Student Engagement and Wellbeing Leader, Bayview Campus

Student Engagement and Wellbeing Report - Pasco Campus

Student Engagement and Wellbeing - Pasco

Students have been busy studying, preparing for and completing examinations. Term 4 is always an important time for students to consider their options for the future with our Year 12 students soon to graduate and the Year 10 and 11 students beginning their Headstart programs after commencement of their exams.

Year 12 VCAL students should have completed their coursework and competencies whilst those in VCE are completing their final exams. Year 12 students were reminded of the importance of celebrating safely, including looking after friends and making smart decisions during a Party Safe incursion with guest presenter Sonya Karras.

Year 12 students had the opportunity to celebrate their final official school day with a trip to Funfields and a BBQ lunch. We look forward to enjoying the Formal on 2 December at Marvel Stadium, as well as the Graduation Ceremony on 14 December at the Williamstown Town Hall, with students feeling more relaxed with their exams and coursework behind them.

We would like to congratulate the Year 12s on their efforts to date, and the Year 12 SMLs, David Urwin and Melissa English, for all the support they have given to the students throughout the year.

Year 10 and 11 students had special guest presenters to learn more about the effects and risks of vaping to encourage more informed decision making and choices. The Year 11 cohort also enjoyed a fun, silent disco as a way to celebrate their time together before completing their final week of Year 11 classes. Students were enthusiastic about it with many suggesting it should become a regular event.

Vaping Incursion
Year 11 students dancing at the silent disco.
Year 11 students dancing at the silent disco.

Year 10 students also had a presentation from Living Positive to raise awareness on safe sexual practices as well as a workshop with Responsible Gambling Victoria to build informed attitudes to gambling through providing insights and developing awareness. They also participated in a cultural awareness lesson designed by students participating in the Youth Change Makers Program (Avina Hoang, Mariam Hassan, Oscar Nguyen, Tobie Chapman and Sam Khosrowshahi), involving thought-provoking questions and a quiz with prizes.

To celebrate their final homegroup lesson together as Year 10s and to celebrate the end of their Year 10 classes, students were provided with a lunch pack to enjoy with their peers.

We wish everyone all the best on their exams and look forward to seeing the Year 10 and 11 students at their important Headstart programs.

Sarina Meusburger

Student Leadership - Bayview

Student Leadership @ Bayview

The Bayview campus has been full of action in Terms 3 and 4. It has been wonderful to see projects, activities and events being created, planned and conducted by our wonderful students. They have been making a difference in their school community but have also extended this work to their local community.

The Events Committee has been extra busy with organising both a character dress-up day in Term 3 and Halloween dress-up day in Term 4. Both of these events were a great way to bring the Bayview campus together through a range of activities at recess and lunchtime breaks. Activities included a best-dressed competition, dance party, face painting, Kahoot quiz and much more. In addition to the activities, funds were also raised that were donated to the WHS Centenary Theatre Fund and a local charity, ‘Reaching Out in the Inner West’. Well done to all student leaders that helped put together these wonderful events.

The seven students that attended the School for Student Leadership in the Yarra Valley have now returned and are transitioning back into life at Bayview. They have come back with many stories of their experiences, personal accomplishments and areas they wish to continue working on. The team have also been working on a community learning project, choosing the topic of homelessness and food insecurity. They connected with Reaching Out in the Inner West, with the aim to raise funds for them to help people in our community that may require support and essential items. The students also reached out to Newport Lakes Primary School, who agreed to run an event with their proceeds going to this charity. Congratulations and welcome back to Tyler Sutton, Dash Edwards, Lucy Smith, Jack Johnson, Zahara Rediger-Jones, Leo Church and Lily Keegan.

The Junior School Council has been working on implementing a new sports equipment borrowing system. They have been doing this in partnership with the library, who have provided the venue for this to take place as well as some of the personnel. So far we have seen lots of students taking up this opportunity and look forward to expanding it in 2023.

Our WHS team, consisting of students from both the Bayview and Pasco campuses, have been working with Hobsons Bay Youth Services on a Youth Change Makers Challenge. They created a project that focuses on making a change in the WHS community. They chose the topic of cultural awareness, creating a homegroup lesson and lunchtime Kahoot quiz competition. They also had a budget to spend on some resources and have chosen to purchase some flag bunting (covering all 195 countries of the world) and some prayer mats.

Our students proudly presented their final project and reflections at the Hobsons Bay Council Chambers in front of the mayor, Cr Peter Hemphill. Congratulations to Avina Hoang, Mariam Hassan, Oscar Nguyen, Tobie Chapman and Sam Khosrowshahi. Thank you also to the Pasco Student Leadership Coordinator Martyn van Reyk, who has worked with these students and accompanied them to the event.

The process for selecting our 2023 student leaders is under way. There are many leadership opportunities on offer for students from Years 7-9. Formal leadership positions include School Captains, House Captains, Events Committee, Junior School Council, Curriculum Captains and Homegroup Representatives. Students should keep an eye out for announcements for each of these positions.

Students can also get involved in other ways during 2023 and can assist with any number of projects and events throughout the year. Undertaking a more informal role can be a great step in developing leadership capacity and sometimes give an insight into a more formal role for future years.

Amy Curran

Bayview Student Leadership Coordinator

Student Leadership - Pasco

Student Leadership - Pasco

As the 2022 school year draws close to its end, the Pasco Student Leadership Team have had a busy few weeks of returning to school, finishing up the final content for their subjects, and completing final assessments and exams. As their year wraps up, and for the Year 12s, their time as Student Leaders almost over, we have begun the process of finding our next capable group of Students to form the 2023 Student Leadership Team.

At the end of Term 3, applications were opened to the current crop of Year 9 - 11 Students, to represent their peers during their final year of school. Students were able to apply through a Google Form requiring responses to 4-5 prompts on the qualities and skills they could add to the Student Leadership Team. A total of 56 students have applied for positions, with 8 of those applying specifically to be the 2023 School Captains.

The School Captain applicants were also asked to upload a short campaign video with their application, which has since been shown to all students across Years 9, 10 and 11 (next year’s Pasco students). These students were then given the opportunity to vote for the two students who they would most like to see representing them in 2023. At time of writing. The final part of the application process for the School Captains is a Panel Interview, which took place during Week 3 of this term. The successful candidates will be announced soon.

Term 4 also saw the culmination of the Hobsons Bay Youth Services Youth Changemakers Challenge, in which a team of five Williamstown High School students participated. Avina Hoang, Mariam Hassan, Oscar Nguyen, Tobie Chapman and Sam Khosrowshahi have been working with a team from Hobsons Bay Youth Services for the past few months on a project of their choice which they believe can make change in the Williamstown High School community. They chose the topic of cultural diversity

This led to a lunchtime forum being held at the Bayview Campus where over 50 students (and some staff) attended and competed in a Kahoot on Cultural Diversity. The team also developed a lesson on Cultural Diversity which was run with all Year 10 Homegroups (and to my understanding, some Bayview classes as well).

Our students presented their project at a forum at the Hobsons Bay Council Chambers - quite a formal and intimidating setting - in front of the Hobsons Bay Mayor, Cr Peter Hemphill, and three other school groups. Our students spoke very confidently and represented the school admirably.

Martyn van Reyk

Pasco Student Leadership Coordinator

Curriculum Report - Bayview

Curriculum Report

Bayview Campus

As the school year quickly draws to a close, curriculum and assessment come to the fore.

Year 9s will be undertaking their end-of-year examinations and PAT Maths and Reading assessments on 30 November and 1 December. These will take place in the same manner as the midyear exams, with students only required at school for their scheduled assessments and full school events during these days. Students are required to wear full academic uniform at all times during this assessment period.

Further details including an examination timetable will be published on Compass in the next couple of weeks.

On 1 December, the Year 8s will also be involved in a coordinated PAT testing program. The physical setup will allow the Year 8s to experience an online assessment in the gym for the first time, as part of NAPLAN 2023 preparations. The Year 8s will continue their NAPLAN preparation later in December. Sessions will involve students loading the 2023 lockdown browser onto their device and becoming familiar with the online platform. NAPLAN will be in March 2023. Further details will be published early 2023.

Year 7s will also be involved in a PAT testing program in mid-December.

On top of all these assessments, students will be completing their classwork, homework and Learning Tasks between now and when reports are released on 16 December.

Anita Gatti-Smith

Year 11 Student Management Report

Term 4 - Year 11

It has been a year of getting back to a new normal for our Year 11 cohort. Our students have adapted to the rigours of the VCE and VCAL and made some excellent choices for their Year 12 programs.

The focus for students this year was Moving Forward Together. This theme was launched early in Term 1 at the parent and student information evenings, with the message being the necessity to form a close partnership between parents, students and teachers in order to maximise achievement outcomes and good personal wellbeing.

In Term 1 Elevate Education came in and ran multiple study skill workshops with our students to set them up for the year. In term 3 it was time to talk to the students about safety on the roads, and a half-day seminar program called Fit2Drive gave all students some insight into how to avoid risks on the roads.

As the year progressed a major focus became career pathways. Students were privy to a two-day ‘University Experience’ excursion to the Careers Expo at the Melbourne Showgrounds and a trip to Victoria University (Footscray) and RMIT, which students found very useful and informative.

Students were also keen to have some fun as a cohort, given the disruptions to camps and activities in previous years. Throughout the year, students were entertained at lunchtimes with live music and sausage sizzles to bring people together. In Term 2 we organised a day of either high ropes or paint ball and in Term 4 we organised a silent disco. Their smiles and laughter at these events has been a highlight for us as their coordinators.

We wish students all the very best for the remainder of 2022 and their future studies as they come to the culmination of their high school education.

Brianna Murray and Ian Hume

Year 11 Student Management Leaders 2022

Learning Specialist Report

Supporting Students in Learning and Assessments

Earlier this term the additional educational needs coordinators and learning specialists from both Bayview and Pasco campuses gave a Professional Learning Teams presentation to staff on how best to support students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and auditory processing difficulties (APD).

The focus of the presentation was for staff to be aware of the needs of students with each diagnosis, to refer to the individual education plans of students, and to make small changes to their teaching and the classroom setup that would not single out students yet would support them in their learning.

Suggested changes for students with ASD included seating plans, structured classroom rules and procedures, recognition of sensory differences for some students, breaking larger tasks into smaller steps, being clear with time expectations and allowing rest breaks in class and in assessments.

For students with APDs, 70 percent of the school day involves listening: to teachers, to friends/peers, to presentations and devices. This can be exhausting for a student with an APD diagnosis. It is important that background noise does not impact learning. Students with this diagnosis should sit up the front of the classroom where they can clearly see the teacher’s face. Avoiding having a student with APD take notes whilst trying to listen and the importance of visuals to support understanding of concepts were also points shared with teachers.

For students with ADHD, the classroom supports examined included sitting students up the front of the classroom so that teachers can monitor their progress, not having students sit near distractions and, again, using visuals to support new learning. Deconstruction of tasks, giving short instructions and writing them on the board, allowing discrete fidget objects and the use of timers were other strategies that were looked at. Some students with ADHD have a pass to use headphones in class to help them focus and/or a pass to take a movement break. Provisions granted are based on the recommendations by the treating specialist.

I would like to acknowledge and thank Bradley Nicholls from the Bayview Campus for his follow-up in-depth presentation on ADHD during Professional Learning Week. Brad had additional strategies for teachers, including the best use of timers in the classroom. He also introduced us to “Time Timer,” which has a visual representation for students about how much time they have left to finish a task.

Melinda McKeegan

Inclusive Education Learning Specialist

AEN Coordinator, Pasco Campus

Languages Report

Languages - Bayview

What an incredible year it has been for languages as we finally went back to a full year of face-to-face teaching with some excursions happening and our Languages Week running after being off for two years! Students have shown so much resilience and they have been able to really engage with our French and Indonesian classes.

Year 7 is always an amazing year level to teach as our students’ curiosity and enthusiasm is at its peak. During Semester 2, our Indonesian and French learners were able to delve into the topics of friends, school and food for Indonesian whilst they learnt about family and sports in French. The excitement is palpable every time we do language games in class and they particularly love the little Indonesian or French treats they get if they win. Students also engaged really well with our lesson on the diverse Aboriginal languages we have in Australia and absolutely loved having a Crȇpe Van for Languages Week.

Year 8 students also enjoyed their first full year face-to-face in high school. It’s a pivotal year for languages as students choose to keep their language going to year 9. Our dedicated team always try to make their learning relevant and fun and we are thrilled to announce that we had more students choosing languages for next year, with one extra class of French in Year 9! Well done to all Year 8s who engaged in committing to learn and discover a new language and culture going forward. We are very proud of them all and we commend them for their continuing efforts and positive attitude.

Year 9 students have done so well this year. The difficulty level goes one notch higher and our students engaged so well with the new material. During Semester 2, Indonesian learners were to write a film review in Indonesian, which is such a milestone as they have only been learning the language for two and a half years. French learners worked on the topics of friends and media, building their grammar knowledge with a self-made book that they will be able to reuse in their senior years.

The Language Department is also excited to announce that thanks to our beautiful community of students and their fine taste for crepes, we raised $2,136 for Crêpes for Change, a non-profit organisation that works towards the reduction of youth homelessness. Thanks to the event, our school was able to support up to 42 hours of paid training for the young people that Crêpes for Change works with. We also brought the Year 9 French cohort to the French Film Festival where they could connect with French culture and watch a movie in its original version.

À très bientôt, sampai jumpa lagi!

Clementine Roussel | Languages Leader (Bayview Campus)

HAPE Report - Bayview

HAPE Report Bayview Campus

What a jam-packed Semester 2 students have experienced in Health and Physical Education. The students have embraced many opportunities to fully engage in Physical Education, Health classes, electives and the accelerated sports program. This term we have had a number of activities and programs that cover a diverse range of HAPE dimensions.

YEAR 7 - Swimming Program

This semester, the Year 7 cohort dived head first into their Aquatics unit, taking part in swimming lessons on a weekly basis at Victoria University. Students stepped (or should I say swam) outside of their normal classroom environment, and for some their comfort zone, practising their aquatic skills and learning valuable water safety knowledge.

YEAR 8 - Outdoor Education

This term, both Outdoor Education classes attended the Rubicon Outdoor School camp at Nayook. Students had the opportunity to have authentic outdoor experiences, participating in a range of activities incuding bush walking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and other team building activities. Students, although tired and excited to reunite with their own beds, commented that the experience was overall extremely worthwhile and challenged them physically, mentally and emotionally.

YEAR 9 - Fitness

Fitness students have been training hard in practical classes and learning how different athletes train for their specific sports. Some students' fitness was tested when completing the Ninja Warrior Course in Keilor Park earlier this year! Having students exposed to this curriculum sets them up for success when transitioning to senior Health, Physical Education and Health/Sport-related VET subjects.

The Health and Physical Education team are very proud of what all Bayview students have achieved in HAPE this year and are already planning for 2023. We are excited to see you all next year for another big year of learning, developing and experiencing success with all students.

Jaslyn Walker | HAPE Leader, Bayview Campus

HAPE Report - Pasco

HAPE Report Pasco

The HAPE department has enjoyed a busy semester with Outdoor Education camps to the snow, Otways and Grampians in addition to excursions for sailing, the gym (for boxing classes), Urban Surf and the Year 11 HHD virtual babies being adopted into families.

Currently, Year 12s studying Physical Education, Outdoor Education and Health and Human Development are preparing for their final exams (most to be completed by the publication of this issue) and the Year 10 and 11 students are busy completing final assessment tasks before starting their exam revision.

Please read on for a report from Year 10 students on their experience of Health this semester:

‘As we are coming to the end of this semester in Health, we have gained a better understanding of the five dimensions of health and wellbeing (which include physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual), and learning how Australia’s health system works. We have learnt a lot of information that may help us in our daily lives. This health class is so helpful to everyone even if they aren’t considering taking it as a VCE for the future. Sometimes we did a variety of fun activities that engaged students in our class. Students are also asked to contribute to what we want to do in class to engage more students.’

Mariam Hassan & Chantel Simon

Physics Report

Physics Report


On Wednesday 31 August, Unit 3-4 Physics students went on a journey of discovery by visiting the Australian Synchrotron in Clayton for the day.

What is a synchrotron, you ask? Good question. As one of the Physics students put it, it’s basically a high-powered torch … if you think of a torch that is 1,000,000 times brighter than the Sun!

Students were given a guided tour to understand how electrons are accelerated close to the speed of light and then directed around a large circular track about the size of a football field. As the electrons continually change direction around the track, they emit electro-magnetic radiation ranging from infrared up to high-energy x-rays. This radiation is used in a range of practical applications and research in the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, forensics, art history and more.

Following the guided tour, students spent the afternoon in one of the light laboratories, undertaking a series of experiments relating to the last unit of study covered at school. All students enjoyed the day, getting an insight into STEM research being conducted in Australia, and using high quality lab equipment outside a school setting. Unfortunately there was no gift shop at the end of the tour, so some students were disappointed they couldn’t take away a sample box of Synchrotron electrons. Maybe next time

Drama Report

Drama Report

Mr What's His Name?

On 13 September the community enjoyed the Unit 2 Drama Studies showcase of Mr What’s His Name - a performance that goes beyond reality as it is lived. Unit 2 Drama Studies presented an evening of self-devised theatre, drawing on the style of Theatre of the Absurd. As a part of the VCE Drama Studies unit, students are to undertake not only the role of actor but other aspects of the production team: audio, set design and props, costume, make-up and, most importantly, direction. This production was entirely student directed.

Unit 4 Drama Studies students presented their VCE drama solo in Footscray on 3 October. The drama solo requires students to create, develop and perform a solo performance in response to a prescribed structure. Drama studies students are permitted school access to continue researching, writing and workshopping their original solo performances. (Unit 4 Drama Studies class photo and yr 12 students preparing makeup for their performance exam.)

Unit 4 Drama Show Case

Fame - The Musical 2023 Auditions

Mathematics Report

Mathematics Report

Hello parents, guardians, staff and students

I just wanted to quickly draw your attention to, and applaud, a number of our Year 9 students. Recently I have facilitated with our Mathematics teaching team a series of ‘10A Warm-Up’ classes. These short sessions have been running on Thursday mornings before school and were open to students planning to take the 10 Advanced Mathematics Course in 2023.

The purpose of these sessions are to expose students to some of the topics they will be working on in Year 10, and to support them in their transition to this higher level of mathematics. I have been so pleased to see more than 50 students take up this offer, attending these sessions ready to engage and attempt some pretty complicated concepts (before the school day starts!).

See the accompanying photos of these students in action in our Hub at the Bayview Campus.

Cory Duker

Parents and Friends Association Report

PFA Report

Darren Nicholas, assistant principal at the Bayview Campus, was guest speaker at the most recent PFA meeting - held as a hybrid online/in-person meeting for the very first time. Darren was very generous with his time, answering questions and leading discussions on a variety of topics including the delivery dates of new items of uniform, the impact of online learning and lockdown on students, tutoring initiatives and the importance of providing resources to support the wellbeing of students.

Thanks to all families who purchased tickets in our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Monster Scouts and Schools Raffle - hopefully some Willi High families have purchased winning tickets. Funds raised will continue to provide extra resources for WHS students, such as the ski helmet covers donated by the PFA for use at the Year 9 Snow Camp. These new covers will greatly assist teachers in identifying WHS students on the slopes.

The increase of online textbooks/subscriptions - and subsequent decline in physical textbooks - means that the PFA will not be running a second-hand book sale in 2022.

The last PFA meeting for 2022 will be held both online and on site at the Bayview Campus at 7:30pm on Tuesday, 15 November. Our guest speaker will be Anna Bovdis, the careers, pathways and transition leader at the Pasco Campus. Online meeting links will be made available closer to the date.

Williamstown High School W-Files Issue 7, 2022 - 11 Nov 2022

Parents and Friends Association Report

Cath Palin

Parents & Friends Association President


PFA Report

Darren Nicholas, assistant principal at the Bayview Campus, was guest speaker at the most recent PFA meeting - held as a hybrid online/in-person meeting for the very first time. Darren was very generous with his time, answering questions and leading discussions on a variety of topics including the delivery dates of new items of uniform, the impact of online learning and lockdown on students, tutoring initiatives and the importance of providing resources to support the wellbeing of students.

Thanks to all families who purchased tickets in our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Monster Scouts and Schools Raffle - hopefully some Willi High families have purchased winning tickets. Funds raised will continue to provide extra resources for WHS students, such as the ski helmet covers donated by the PFA for use at the Year 9 Snow Camp. These new covers will greatly assist teachers in identifying WHS students on the slopes.

The increase of online textbooks/subscriptions - and subsequent decline in physical textbooks - means that the PFA will not be running a second-hand book sale in 2022.

The last PFA meeting for 2022 will be held both online and on site at the Bayview Campus at 7:30pm on Tuesday, 15 November. Our guest speaker will be Anna Bovdis, the careers, pathways and transition leader at the Pasco Campus. Online meeting links will be made available closer to the date.