College Principal Report

Welcome to the final W-Files of 2023. It has been pleasing to see a large number of events, activities and end-of-year excursions take place during this busy time. This includes arts and media showcases, music concerts, transition events, Year 9 Immersion project expo, exams and Headstart programs. We welcomed new families with our Year 6-to-7 orientation evening followed by an orientation day for our next cohort of students.

Unfortunately, this year we were unable to hold our whole school assembly in the town hall due to poor weather. However, we quickly reorganised and held two campus-based assemblies in the Centenary Theatre and Bayview Gym, where we celebrated student achievements, showcased our programs and presented reflections and plans for the future.

In my address to the students, I spoke about many highlights from the year that was, such as the new Disability Inclusion model and improvements completed at both campuses, as well as plans for 2024 - including the completion by the end of Term 1 of our new study centre and stage two of the performing arts space! Students were also excited to hear we are introducing a new addition to our wellbeing team, a youth worker who will work with students and staff to support student wellbeing.

New Award

I also announced a new major award at the assembly. An award I was inspired to introduce based on a recent letter I received from one of our Year 12s, thanking me and the staff for the belief, opportunities and support received during their time at WHS. This, they said, allowed them to overcome personal challenges over a number of years to complete Year 12 and now be in a position to pursue their lifelong career passions even though it would have been much easier to have given up.

What was shared in this letter was personal so I am unable to go into details, but it was thoroughly moving to have been given the privilege of insight into this young person’s journey. The new award will forever (privately) be dedicated to them: the Williamstown High School Principal’s Hold Fast Award. It will be awarded to three students each year: a Bayview and Pasco student at our end-of-year assemblies, and to a Year 12 student at graduation. It aims to recognise their efforts for staying the course, overcoming challenges and embracing opportunities.

The criteria for this award stem from our wonderful school motto and reflects the journey many of our students have had in recent years. An honour board will be put up in each campus office area highlighting these achievements and expounding the meaning behind “Hold Fast”.

Year12 Class of 2023
Year12 Class of 2023
90+ ATAR Students
90+ ATAR Students

WHS Hold Fast Award winners: Andrea Vaquero, Ella Bloxham & Isaac Makitae Marlow.

Andrea Vaquero
Principal's Holdfast Award - Andrea Vaquero
Ella Bloxham
Principal's Holdfast Award - Ella Bloxham
Principal's Holdfast Award - Isaac Makitae Marlow
Principal's Holdfast Award - Isaac Makitae Marlow

PFA and School Council

I would like to recognise and acknowledge all members of our School Council and Parents and Friends Association for their time, energy and support this year. Early in 2024, I will be calling for nominations for a number of vacated School Council positions. I certainly encourage everyone to consider joining.

2024 Student Captains

Congratulations to our 2024 Student Captains, who were announced and proudly presented at the recent year-level assemblies:

2024 Pasco School Captains Indy Readsmith & Lachlan Patterson
2024 Pasco School Captains Indy Readsmith & Lachlan Patterson
2024 Pasco Vice Captains Avina Hoang & Thomas Hughes
2024 Pasco Vice Captains Avina Hoang & Thomas Hughes

2024 Bayview School Captains Nayimah Falzon & Astrid Bishop (not pictured)
2024 Bayview School Captains Nayimah Falzon & Astrid Bishop (not pictured)

Bayview School Vice Captains Alexandra Trigger & Shelby Harnden
2024 Bayview School Vice Captains Alexandra Trigger & Shelby Harnden

The Class of 2023

The class of 2023 will indeed be remembered fondly for many reasons. The bittersweet faces as they concluded their schooling on jumper signing day will remain with us for some time to come. They have been an extremely talented and vibrant cohort. Thank you to the fantastic team of Year 12 teachers and the Year Level Coordinators, Angus Rodda and David Urwin, for their great leadership and care. The support from parents, guardians and families during their final year of schooling is a vital component and something that is appreciated by all staff members at Williamstown High School.

We were pleasantly surprised to be asked by the premier’s office to host the Hon. Jacinta Allan MP as well as two state ministers, the Hon. Gayle Tierney MLC and the Hon. Melissa Horne MP, on Monday, 11 December. The premier chose the school as the place to send out her media message of congratulations to all Year 12 students across the state, as well as to our very own class of 2023. WHS is highly regarded as a school that provides excellence in pathway opportunities for our students with acknowledgement made of both our VCE and VCE-VM student achievements.

It was very pleasing to be able to finish the year with our Year 12 Graduation Night, held at the Town Hall. Students and staff were able to celebrate the many successes and reminisce about the challenges in both a relaxed and formal setting. We set a record for WHS with 12 percent of our students’ study scores being over 40. An ATAR of over 90 was achieved by 28 students, and 65 percent received an ATAR over 70. We had perfect study scores of 50 in English Literature, Media, Outdoor & Environmental Studies, and Creative & Digital Media (VCE VET). Sophie Page was named the 2023 Dux with an ATAR of 99.15. The school also attained a median study score of 32.

We are extremely proud of the efforts of all our students and staff, and all of their achievements. Additional information relating to student achievement will be published in the W-Files next year. We wish the class of 2023 the best of luck as they venture beyond the school walls, and we look forward to hearing about their future successes in the years that follow.

I would like to wish the whole school community a happy and safe holiday and I look forward to an exciting 2024.

Hold fast!

Williamstown High School.

Gino Catalano | Principal

Campus Principal Report - Bayview

Dear parents and carers

As we reach the conclusion of the academic year, we look forward to each of our year levels progressing. Our Year 9 students began the Headstart program at the senior campus last Monday and our Year 8 and 7 students will begin work with their homegroup teachers and Year Level Coordinators shortly.

On Tuesday, 12 December, we also welcome Year 6 students to the school as the Year 7 cohort for 2024. We have students joining us from 25 primary schools and are looking forward to seeing them in their primary school uniforms and becoming acquainted. We appreciate that change is not always straightforward but have planned to support all of our students to make successful transitions.

To support all students, part of our work this year has involved us working with Williamstown Primary School and Williamstown North Primary School in a Community of Practice with a focus on Disability Inclusion and students on the autism spectrum. We have worked with regional staff to undertake professional learning, in regards to the new model, and confirming what we believe good classrooms look like and how we need to go about optimising learning outcomes for all students. It also enables us to work with our primary colleagues to collaborate to improve teaching and learning in Hobsons Bay. This work is due to continue next year.

Our learning environment

We are continuing to work to improve student bathrooms in the A Wing. Work on this will continue during our break and we are planning for these to be ready for our Year 7s at the beginning of next year.

Replacement of our synthetic surface is due to be complete, ready for the beginning of Term 1. Through our master planning, you may also begin to see some changes to the area between the end of the gymnasium and the Horticulture Centre.

Further development of our Engagement and Wellbeing area will continue over the break, with our uniform supplier due to move to a new, purpose built space alongside our black Instrumental Music spaces, just off the footpath of Bayview Street. This change will also enable us to develop the area at the end of the library to include an indoor space for students and at least two staff workspaces/meeting spaces.

Please angle for ‘nude’ food to be brought to school as much as possible. We see waste brought from home including muesli bar packets, biscuit/potato chip packets, zip lock bags, foil and cling film. Please encourage your child to leave their waste in their lunchbox/bag and return home with it. We are also seeing lots of discarded chewing gum - please do not allow your child to bring gum to school. Discarded gum is unsanitary and too often ends up somewhere other than a bin. Gum is difficult and costly to remove and visually detracts from our physical and learning environments. We are looking to spend significant funds to remove gum from our hard surfaces. This is money we would prefer to be investing in improved facilities as opposed to cleaning the existing ones. We will continue to address this issue as a school and as part of the local community.

We are currently in the Garrawang season of the annual Eastern Kulin Seasonal Calendar, as described by Woiwurrung traditions: Kangaroo-apple Season. The elements of this time evident at Bayview Campus are changeable, thundery weather, and long days.

End of Term 4 and break

Sincere thanks to you for supporting high quality teaching and learning at our school this year. All the best wishes to you for the break and looking forward to seeing you on 30 January, 2024.

Karen Anderson

Campus Principal Report - Pasco

Year 10-12 Headstart

Congratulations to all 2024 Year 10-12s who have completed their Headstart program. I was especially impressed with the commitment to learning shown by all students. There was an air of excitement amongst the study body as they embraced the challenges of their 2024 classes. On behalf of the school, I would also like to welcome our new students to Willi High. We're looking forward to you being part of our community and am sure you will enjoy studying with us.

VCE/ATAR Results 2023

Congratulations to all students who undertook a scored Unit 3/4 subject in 2023, as well as their teachers. Some fantastic results were achieved and we are very proud of your efforts. Further information is available to the school community via the school website. Williamstown High is a great place to learn and achieve the highest of scores. Excitingly many students will receive an offer at their chosen university. The hard work, commitment, and perseverance has paid off and you deserve every success.

Year 12 Graduation

The class of 2023 have participated in their final event for the year. A wonderful night was had at Graduation, being able to celebrate those students who achieved exceptional success throughout the year. It’s a very proud moment to address the graduating class each year, and we wish all our graduates well for the future. You have done your families, school and - most importantly - yourselves proud. Enjoy the success that will come your way and make the most of the opportunities that are afforded to you. Please remember to pop into your ‘old’ school from time to time as we love hearing about how life is going for our ex-students.

Pasco Overview

Our staff are busy preparing for next year and will participate in the Curriculum Area Team planning days. Those new staff joining us in 2024 will also attend these days to ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum is in place from day one. Facility upgrades are continuing into 2024, these upgrades will ensure WHS has outstanding facilities for our students.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer break, spend precious time with family and friends, and I will look forward to working with you in what, no doubt, will be a busy school year in 2024.

Hold fast.

Daniel Pearce

Pasco Campus Principal

Strategic Assistant Principal Report

Room 13 ‘goings on’

The project to incorporate STEAM into Year 7 Humanities and Year 8 English via the classroom environment and equipment is continuing at full steam (!) with our Facilities Manager overseeing and organising the tasks and trades needed for the changes.

Bayview’s Room 13 is a uniquely shaped room, with a huge u-shaped bench that has supported ICT students and their desktop machines for several years. The bench is being removed to make way for a space that can double as a regular English and Humanities classroom when necessary, but also allow for quick transformation as STEAM activities and lessons are integrated into the curriculum.

Daniel Marshall and the ICT Robotics classes will next year operate out of Room 7 in the A Wing, with more powerful computers to boot. Students walking past Room 13 will probably hear and/or see this change taking place, and the work will continue over the holidays to be ready for Term 1 in 2024.

In some other exciting news, the team that attended the Edutech Conference back in August busied themselves entering competitions for the school in between the seminars and it has paid off - we won a 75-inch interactive LCD touch panel! This is going to be another great addition to Room 13 along with the 26 virtual reality headsets that students will be using. Can’t wait to see this transformation take place!

Gino Catalano investigating the Room 13 space and how students can get the most out of it.
Gino Catalano investigating the Room 13 space and how students can get the most out of it.

STEM Girls Outreach Opportunity For Y8 Girls

In the last W-Files, Liila Webster and Saffron Rabbidge shared their reflections about their trip to the University of Melbourne, and at the recent end-of-year celebration assembly, along with Middle Years Science Leader Kelly Constance, Liila and Saffron spoke about the experience to the entire Year 7-9 student cohort. Well done and thanks for sharing your insights.

WHS Term Planner/Calendar

Each year, every family at Williamstown High School receives a hard copy of the School Term Planner. This is a handy double-sided term-by-term resource that includes important dates on the school calendar, and usefully shows a range of local, statewide, national and international events. These will be distributed to families next year at our Year Level information evenings, but a digital version will be made available on the school website before the last day of school.

Best wishes to all over the summer break as we ‘steam’ towards 2024!

Gavin Clifford

Strategic Assistant Principal


Williamstown High School is a dynamic and inclusive community committed to the personal, social and emotional wellbeing of each student.

We recognise the intrinsic link between wellbeing and effective learning and have adopted a whole-school tiered approach to support all students.

Ann Hyland

With the school holidays approaching, some students may find the change to their daily routine makes them feel stressed, isolated and alone. Below is some information from headspace that parents can use to support young people to stay in a healthy headspace during the school holidays.

Tip 1

Williamstown High School has a long-standing relationship with Western Chances and we would like to thank them for the support they have provided to our recipients. It has enabled the students to have resources and opportunities that help them to reach their full potential.

Ann Goller and Ann Hyland

Student Wellbeing Coordinators

School Council Report

Just as John Lennon sang “So this is Christmas”, if you’re like me, you are pondering how did the end of the year come around so fast? I don’t think I’m alone. I keep hearing from people the refrain of not being ready for the end of the year and everything that entails: shopping for presents, Christmas lunch menus and work deadlines. Not to mention, School Council reports (sorry Jenny).

As I consider the end of the year, my thoughts go to our Year 12s who are leaving us and commencing the next phase of their life. While, understandably, the last few months the focus has been about supporting them through their exams, I’d like to give some thought to the parents and carers of our Year 12 students. This is a big milestone for you as well. With the last 13 years having been, academically speaking at least, somewhat straightforward. At some point over that journey there was the decision of which school to choose, and the public or private debate may have been a consideration. Either way, clearly you all chose wisely by sending your child to Williamstown High.

Those decisions notwithstanding, the last 13 years were relatively prescribed: kindergarten, primary school, then high school. These decisions, largely made by you, the parent or carer. As our children enter the last few years of school, they begin to push boundaries, express more autonomy with their preferences, subject choices and so on. And now, not being kids anymore but young adults, they are choosing their own path academically and vocationally.

Even though our young adult children may think otherwise, they will still need us as life throws new and different challenges at them. The ATAR may not be what they wanted, or perhaps it was higher than they anticipated and are rethinking their preferences, or their selected course or career may not meet their expectations. Or maybe they are thinking of taking a gap year. All this lies ahead of them, and for you. Our role will change, as will our relationship with them, which means we’ve done an OK job. So, at the end of this school year, take a minute to contemplate what has passed and all of what is to come, and savour that moment.

An event that is worth sharing in this final newsletter for the year is the parents’ information session on cyber safety, which was held in November. The session was presented by Susan McClean, who is an expert on the matter and she consults and lectures on cyber safety nationally. The session was, quite frankly, confronting. While using technology is part of our everyday lives, the risks to our children from technology can come from anywhere and at any time. The reality is that our children being confronted by a cyber threat is about when, not if.

The session covered areas of risk, apps that are of a particular danger and topics such as online grooming and cyberbullying. Possibly the biggest eye opener for me was the speaker’s thoughts on digital access, namely that unless a child is doing homework then they shouldn’t have digital access in private rooms at home, such as the bedroom. For someone like me, who wants to encourage agency and independence for my children, restricting access was thought provoking.

As our children are about to complete another year of school and head off for summer holidays, the issue of cyber safety doesn’t take a break - it is always on and so we need to be vigilant. The best thing we can do is have open conversations with our children. Our kids need to know that if and when they are confronted online, they need to be able to speak to their parents. I encourage each of you to review the resources below and start the conversation with your children these school holidays.

Resources for cyber safety can be found at:

Finally, as the year draws to a close, I would like to thank all the people who have volunteered their time this year to assist the school. Volunteering is a very rewarding experience so if you believe you can help the wider school community, when the call goes out, please consider putting your hand up. Of course, many people volunteer in other aspects of life, such as sporting clubs and community groups. Without volunteers these simply could not operate. So to all of you who chip in, formally or informally, I thank you.

I would also like to acknowledge all the staff at Williamstown High School. To all academic, administrative and support staff, I thank you for the ongoing care and commitment you have provided this year.

To everyone, have a great and safe holiday.


Kane Harnden

School Council President

Grade 6 Transition Day

Today we welcomed our grade 6 students to the school on statewide transition day. This follows many informal visits by students, primary school teachers and families.

During the day they played get to know you activities with their teachers, got their bearings at school, completed some fun activities in Maths and English before a wonderful performance by our Instrumental music students including returning Year 12 students. We would like to thank all of our Year 7 helpers today.

It will be wonderful to welcome back our students in 2024 all wearing their Williamstown High School uniform with pride.

Rachel Roberts (Transitions Coordinator),

Isabella O’Malley and James Riccobene (Year 7 Coordinators 2024)

Grade 6 Transition Day
Grade 6 Transition Day
Grade 6 Transition Day
Grade 6 Transition Day

Year 7 Report

Just over a year ago a group of students entered the school on their transition day to high school. Today they leave Year 7 and formally become Year 8 students. We would like to say congratulations on reaching the end of your first year at high school. We would like to say thank you to the students for their focus on their studies. Thank you to parents and carers for all of your support. We ended the school year with an enjoyable outing to Adventure Park Geelong.

Adventure park Geelong

Last week we completed Seed Workshops in preparation for transition to Year 8. Please continue to have conversations with your child about the topics discussed as outlined below. The topics can be difficult but are necessary for students’ understanding of the world around them.

Next year the Leading Teacher at Year 8 is Stewart Wilson ( and Jenny Fsadni ( will be following them up as Year 8 Coordinator.

We would like to thank the Year 7 team for their fantastic support of students this year and the continued support of your child next year. These were Mat Grossman, Felicity Christmass, Manny Agustin, Holly Defina, Grace Robertson, Warren Patterson, Sarah Barry, Anita Gatti, Kerri Wangeman, Garret Drago, Dale Chapman, Ezra Bangun, Marie Glass, Kelly Constance, Rachelle Capitano, Margaret Ross, Meava Landais and Doug Leckie. We would also like to thank the other teachers and staff for their support throughout the year.

Wishing all families a well deserved restful break.

Isabella O’Malley and Jenny Fsadni

Year 7 Coordinators

Seed workshop content outlined below:

Group 1

Group 2

Media Wise:

Once considered a mostly female issue, research shows body image anxiety is the number one issue facing many teen boys today. We uncover the tricks of the trade, encourage students to be discerning media consumers, and empower them to see and embrace their own style - inside and out.

Respectful Relationships Part 1:

Gender Bender - Using a variety of genres from pop culture as exploration tools, we discover how limiting gender stereotypes can be, and how sexism plays out in the media, politics, and at times in the students' own lives. We challenge boys to redefine the social construction of masculinity, power and success, and encourage them to seek out helpful role models and supportive mentors.

Media Wise:

Using a variety of genres from pop culture as exploration tools, we discover how limiting gender stereotypes can be, and how sexism plays out in the media, politics, and at times in the students' own lives. We look at the media’s influence, including how it often presents narrow, unobtainable beauty ideals for girls and women. We uncover the tricks of the trade and empower students to see and embrace their own beauty and style - inside and out, giving them the tools to become more critical and discerning consumers of media messaging.

Respectful Relationships Part 2:

With particular focus on consent, your students will learn how to navigate relationships successfully and respectfully, and how to set and respect boundaries - online and off.

Respectful Relationships - Assert Yourself:

One of the first words we learn to say is 'No’, yet as we grow up we sometimes find it difficult to assert ourselves. Using a variety of scenarios, we teach students how to get themselves out of some tricky situations. With lots of hints and tips and some simple and effective self-defence techniques, students will be armed with the tools to set their boundaries, understand consent, and develop effective personal safety strategies - online and off.

Talking the Talk:

Vincent Van Gogh said, “If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘you are not a painter’, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” Using art therapy to create a special take-home keepsake alongside group conversation, students will discover the power of positive identity and self-talk as they reflect on what’s important to them.

Stress Less:

With unprecedented levels of anxiety and stress amongst young people today, it has never before been so important to help them recognise, understand and manage stress. We promote positive mental health by providing a range of practical, proven stress busting techniques for students to use in their daily lives to increase wellbeing and facilitate better learning outcomes.

The Best of Friends:

Most teenagers claim their most important relationships are with their friends. We help students develop the skills to create and maintain healthy relationships with their friends and peers. Through role play and positive affirmation, your students will learn how to find and be a good friend, how to recognise and manage toxic relationships, build resilience, and respectfully resolve conflict.

Seed workshops
Seed workshops
Seed workshops
Seed workshops

Year 8 Report

As another academic year ends, it’s time to reflect on the journey you have had in Year 8 at Williamstown High School. It has been a bustling year with lots of different opportunities and numerous achievements. Make sure you take a moment to reflect on the growth you have made this year.

Year 8s have not only excelled academically but also shown athletic prowess on the sporting field with multiple teams and individuals representing the school at a state level.

We had a final opportunity to connect with our homegroups this year on Tuesday during the homegroup excursion day. A just reward for the dedication students have brought to the year.

We wish everyone a restful break and look forward to seeing you in Year 9 next year.

Year 9 Report

And that’s a wrap! Year 9 is done and dusted for 2023.

In the final few weeks of term, our Year 9s explored and started planning for 2024 Work Experience placements, as well as completing their final learning tasks and preparing for end-of-semester exams. Ms Wiseman and I were both genuinely impressed by the efforts of students during this exam period and it was great to see the cohort celebrate their achievements from the year, through both the whole school assembly and Funfields excursion.

Extraordinary weather forced WHS’s whole school, end-of-year assembly from the Williamstown Town Hall to the Bayview and Pasco gymnasiums. Despite the last minute change of plans, we were honoured to still be joined by many parents and guests. As per the table below, we were able to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of some outstanding students.

Parents and Friends Association Award

Sadie Derrig

Marcus Kolevski

Ex-Students Association Scholarship

Malea Peda

Gemma Ferguson

‘60 Years On’ Scholarship

Mirka Cumming

Melissa Horne Social Justice Award

Hayden Galea

Tim Watts Book Prize

Vicky Lin

Significant Sport Achievement Award

Sebastian Dabner

Hold Fast Award

Ella Bloxham

Positive Acknowledgement Awards:

At a recent Year 9 assembly, Marcus Kolevski, Mirka Cumming and Archer Russell were each presented with an award for having the most ‘Positive Acknowledgement’ Compass entries, written by teachers across the year.

100% Attendance Awards:
Henry Nguyen and Max Dmytrenko were the winners of the Term 4 attendance awards, from a draw of 22 students who all had 100 percent for the term.

On Monday, 4 December, our Year 9s suddenly became Year 10s and began their 2024 Headstart program at the Pasco Campus. On day one, students had an obvious look of excitement on their faces as they began imagining and taking part in the next stage of their high school career, where many more milestones will be achieved, no doubt.

Wishing all of our students and families a safe and happy summer break.

Funfields Excursion
Funfields Excursion

Tyson Hartwig & Carmen Wiseman | Year 9 Coordinators

Year 10 Report

As we edge closer and closer to the end of the year, we look back on what was a big Term 4!

We started the term by finishing our work with the MAPSS project. We also had an incursion from Elevate Educate for our VCE students to help develop their study skills to prepare for their VCE classes, whilst the students taking the VCE-VM pathway undertook workshops to help them prepare for work placement. We wrapped up the final week of Year 10 classes with a Year Level BBQ - it was great to see the students relaxing and enjoying a pleasant afternoon before they sat their exams.

The exam period was a big success, with high levels of attendance and engagement. It was pleasing to see so many students studying diligently, and meeting with their teachers for support before each exam. We are sure that this experience will serve them well in preparation for future exams, particularly at the end of Year 12.

This was followed by Headstart, which felt like a complete reset for everyone. Students were able to try out their new VCE and VCE-VM classes, meet their new teachers, and make a good start on next year’s work.

That brings us to a close for the 2023 school year. Unfortunately, we will not be coordinating this cohort next year, but know the students will be in good hands. We are sure they will enjoy some fresh faces in Mr Patchell and Mr Bernadi, who will be taking care of them in Year 11.

We want to thank the Year 10s for such a wonderful year, in which we have thoroughly enjoyed both coordinating and getting to know the cohort. We wish them all the best with their future education.

Demi Geary and Ian Hume

Year 10 Year Level Coordinators

Year 11 Report

As an English teacher I am fully aware of the clichéd nature of this statement, but it only feels like yesterday I was writing the first W-Files of 2023 and now we are at the end of what has been a fantastic year of learning and achievement for Year 11 students and their teachers. I feel all students have laid a solid foundation this year to enable them to navigate Year 12 smoothly, and achieve to the best of their ability across all subjects.

I spoke with many students during Headstart about keeping the momentum going after the program finished, continuing a reduced study schedule for a couple of weeks to complete reading of English texts, and finalising any holiday homework so they could enjoy the festive period and then relax and recharge during January, ready to make a strong start to 2024 in early February. Checking back in with this study schedule in late January would also be beneficial, so that the return to school after two months away is not such a shock to the system.

The holiday period also serves as a brilliant opportunity for families to review any uniform items that need to be purchased over the summer. The school uniform and the method for purchasing items is linked on the school’s website and it is expected that every student will be in the correct uniform on the first day of school in 2024.

To celebrate the unofficial end of Year 11 the Year Level Coordinators hosted a Pizza Party in L-Block on the last day before Headstart. Approximately 70 pizzas were ordered, and it did not take long for the Year 11s to finish them all, with Mr Catalano and Ms Hall kindly offering their assistance in handing out pizza slices to students.

The final slices of pizza being handed out to Year 11s by Mr Catalano at the Pizza Party
The final slices of pizza being handed out to Year 11s by Mr Catalano at the Pizza Party

A Hot Wings Lunch was also organised for the winners of the Semester 2 Homegroup Challenge, 11F, during the final week of Headstart. With the assistance of their homegroup teacher, Ms Murray, 11F were able to hold off fierce competition from other homegroups to claim the top spot. A lunch of hot chips, chicken, greek salad and soft drinks was a great way to recognise their achievement.

11F enjoying their Hot Wings lunch after winning the Semester Two Homegroup Challenge
11F enjoying their Hot Wings lunch after winning the Semester Two Homegroup Challenge

The Year 12 jumpers for 2024 were finally moved out of the Year Level Coordinators’ Office and approximately 280 of them were arranged into alphabetical order in a nearby classroom so that students could collect them at the end of the exam period and wear them for the start of Headstart. The jumpers offer a variation on last year’s design and it was fantastic to see them being worn with pride around the school by so many students.

There has been a focus on attendance across the Pasco Campus this year, especially in Year 11. Some parents would have received communication from me with a breakdown of their child’s attendance for the year and the reasons for absence. A high level of attendance at school is one of the key factors that underpins learning and wellbeing, and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Chantel Simon and Christian Stojanovski for the incredible achievement of 100 percent attendance throughout the whole of Year 11. To recognise their perfect record for the year, Chantel and Christian were given a gift card and a box of chocolates.

Chantel Simon with her prize for 100% attendance in Year 11
Chantel Simon with her prize for 100% attendance in Year 11
Christian Stojanovski with his prize for 100% attendance in Year 11
Christian Stojanovski with his prize for 100% attendance in Year 11

I would like to congratulate the Year 11 students who received awards at the whole school end-of-year assembly held on the final day of Headstart. Seven students were recognised for their achievements across different areas of the school. The award winners are listed below:

Hold Fast Award

Andrea Vaquero

Ex-Students Association Scholarship Award

Elyse Rider -Receiving the Year 11 Academic Award feels incredibly rewarding as it reflects my effort and dedication to my subjects this year.”

Eva Bugeja -I'd like to say thank you to all my teachers who were a great inspiration and helped so much throughout the year :)”

Year 11 Parents and Friends Association Award

Isabel Clarkson - “I was incredibly honoured to be nominated for this award, and am so grateful that my academic growth and contributions to the school community have been acknowledged."

Joseph Iulianella -It was an honour to achieve this award as it felt like the school has recognised my commitment to learning and improving myself each day.”

Year 11 VCE-VM Parents and Friends Association Award

Henry Beanland - “I am thoroughly pleased to have been nominated for this award, and I greatly appreciate it.”

Luke Bell-Andrews - “I have really enjoyed the year, especially the more practical/hands-on tasks, working with others in a team and getting out and about in the community.”

I would also like to congratulate all the successful candidates for school leadership positions in 2024, especially our School Captains, Indy Readsmith and Lachlan Patterson. I was part of the interview proces, and it was extremely difficult to separate candidates with so many strong interviews and testimonies from teachers. I look forward to working closely with the six Year 11 Representatives in 2024 on programs and initiatives within the year level.

I would like to thank Simone Barlow for her tireless work in supporting students this year as one of the Year 11 Year Level Coordinators, particularly in the area of student engagement and wellbeing. Ms Barlow is taking up a new role as the Senior Years Inclusion Leader at the Pasco Campus and I wish her all the best in this role, where I know she will greatly assist students in attaining their educational goals. I welcome Andre Bernardi as a Year 11 Year Level Coordinator for 2024, who takes up the role Ms Barlow is vacating. I look forward to working with Mr Bernardi to assist the learning and wellbeing of all students.

I wish all members of the Williamstown High School community a relaxing and enjoyable holiday break. I look forward to welcoming the current Year 10s back to school in 2024 to lay the foundation for their VCE journey.

Year 12 Report

On Thursday night we officially finished the Year 12 Marathon for the Class of 2023 at the Graduation & Awards Ceremony held at the Williamstown Town Hall. It was such a wonderful night hearing the stories and achievements of such a special cohort of individuals! It has been an incredible honour to support them this year and we were so happy to watch them receive their graduation packs as they crossed the finish line. In typical Marathon fashion, all participants received a Year 12 Marathon Finisher T-Shirt to commemorate their achievement. They were a special group who will not be forgotten. We are already looking forward to the 10-year reunion!

Mr. Rodda & Mr. Urwin

Pasco Curriculum Report

Curriculum Report

The break between Term 3 and 4 was a busy time for our Units 3&4 students, who attended revision lectures and trial examinations at school. This year also saw the first VCE English Masterclass delivered by the chief assessor of VCE English, Karen Graham, which was well received by all students.

VCE English Exam Revision
VCE English Exam Revision

The start of Term 4 saw the completion of the final school-based assessments (both SACs and SATs), before the focus was shifted to the end-of-year exams. For all students completing a scored Unit 4 subjects, the externally assessed VCAA exams are the final step in achieving a study score and/or an ATAR result. While there was a lot of nervous energy prior to the exams, it was clear that all students were prepared to give each exam their best effort.

VCE Headstart commenced in Week 7, which allowed the students to join their 2024 classes and have a proper feel for their VCE subjects before the holiday break. In Week 10 we welcomed the Year 9 students, who started their transition to the Pasco Campus. All students completed seven days of Year 10 classes, which gave them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the campus, meet their new teachers and trial their classes for 2024.

Hannah Vu | Curriculum Leader, Pasco Campus

Teaching & Learning

This term, teachers have been finalising the work they have completed across the year in their Professional Learning Teams to support quality teaching and learning practices.

PLTs have closely collaborated in regular meetings throughout the year and classroom peer observations to address a variety of focus areas. These have included:

  • Embedding literacy skills across the curriculum

  • Developing formative assessment tasks to measure student understanding and inform more effective teaching and learning

  • Creating rigorous developmental assessment resources to make learning more transparent and enhance student agency

  • Producing resources for new study designs to align with the SIMPLE Instructional Model and enable engaging and differentiated learning

  • Creating opportunities for effective collaborative learning and discussion in classes

  • Creating flipped classroom resources to enable students to independently revisit and refine learning

At the end of the year, teacher educator Bronwyn Ryrie Jones trained the curriculum and learning leaders across the college in responsive teaching strategies with the plan for different Curriculum Area Teams to adopt these in their classrooms in 2024. Responsive teaching is another way that teachers will be able to accurately and efficiently track students’ understanding regularly before the end of unit assessments to differentiate their teaching towards students’ individual needs.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers for their fantastic collaborative approach to improving teaching and learning across the school. We would also like to thank the students for their wonderful efforts and willingness to give feedback on their learning to enable best practice around the school.

Matt Grose, Grace Robertson and Bonnie Wong

Teaching and Learning Specialists 2023

Maths Report - Bayview

Congratulations to Owen Henderson (Year 7) and Harrison Child (Year 8) for receiving a High Distinction in Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) run by Australian Mathematics Trust. AMC is a competition run across Australia and internationally that has run since 1978. A High Distinction award is awarded to students in the top 3% of the state.

Congratulations as well to all students who is awarded Distinction (top 20%), Credit (top 55%)and Proficiency (>32 marks), and well done to all participants! Hope to see more Mathematics engagement next year.

Owen Henderson (Year 7) and Harrison Child (Year 8) for receiving a High Distinction in Australian Mathematics Competition
Owen Henderson (Year 7) and Harrison Child (Year 8) for receiving a High Distinction in Australian Mathematics Competition

Maths Report - Pasco

Senior Mathematics has had a busy year with new study designs introduced across all three VCE streams. Our teachers have worked tirelessly ensuring our students are aware of the new ideas covered and have the strongest command of them possible.

Term 4 is the term of transitions. Our new Year 11 and 12 students have just finished Headstart, having completed a Unit 3 & 4 exam as a VCE access subject. 25 of these Year 11s accelerated into General Maths Unit 3 & 4 and, despite girls only constituting less than 50 percent of the cohort, we had more than 50 percent represented in this pool of talent. Girls continue to thrive in mathematics at WHS. A photo of most of these wonderful students is below.

Unit 3&4 General Maths exam, yr 11's accellerating
Unit 3&4 General Maths exam, yr 11's accellerating

As I write, our new Year 10s have arrived at Pasco from the Bayview Campus and are settling in seamlessly. I have taken the opportunity to assist in the coordination of their year level during Headstart, while Demi Geary dedicates herself to World Challenge in Borneo. Our students are applying themselves well and setting a great impression.

For many Year 10s, their efforts are off the back of “10A Warm Up” sessions that were hosted over the last three Thursdays at 8am. It was impressive to have more than 45 students involved in the program, and speaks to the level of commitment students are showing to their studies. Mr Wong, Mr Child and Mr Craig ventured from the Pasco Campus to donate their time to the program, working in collaboration with Mr Bangun from Bayview.

Year 10 Math A warm up, 8am sessions!
Year 10 Math A warm up, 8am sessions!

Senior school Maths Coordinator

Brett Russell

Humanities Report - Bayview

This term, the Humanities team was excited to run the first Humanities Week at the Bayview Campus! Students delved into celebrating the diverse wonders of human history, culture, geography and politics.

One of the highlights of the week was the Teachers vs Students Trivia. The Bayview Library was abuzz with excitement as teachers and students faced off in a battle of wits. There were riveting questions about ancient civilizations, world flags and even bizarre laws. It was a joy to see everyone so involved, showcasing not only their knowledge but also their team spirit. Despite our teachers’ best efforts, ultimately a group of 7B students (see photo) claimed victory, proving perhaps that age does not make you any wiser...

7B Trivia Winners
7B Trivia Winners

Adding an element of mystery and fun, the “Guess the Teacher’s Favorite Historical Figure” activity had students putting on their detective hats. The creativity flowed in the “Design Your Own Flag Competition”, where students unleashed their artistic talents to craft symbols representing their unique perspectives on culture, unity and identity. This activity not only encouraged artistic expression but also prompted meaningful discussions about the importance of symbols and flags in understanding diverse cultures.

The fun and adventure continued in the Year 7s’ Liveability Fieldwork Excursion, where they collected data in Footscray and Docklands to determine which was more liveable. Hypotheses of the most liveable suburb were put to the test as students explored the vibrant culturally connected hub of Footsacry in sharp contrast to the now eerily ghostly Docklands. This excursion continues to be a highlight of the Year 7 calendar, where students are engaged and invested in seeing what they learnt in the classroom be used in the real world.

Year 7 Fieldwork Excursion
Year 7 Fieldwork Excursion

The Arts Report

It has been a busy few months in the Performing and Visual Arts on Pasco Campus. There are so many creative ventures that have evolved in this second half of the year in all the amazing forms we have to offer in our Arts classes.

Senior Art, Design & Media Exhibition - Newport Substation

What a success! We were lucky to have so many participants in this year’s senior Art Exhibition held at the Newport Substation in October. There were various mediums from ceramics, embroidery, oil and acrylic paint, multimedia and digital imagery.

Left to Right -
1. Übergang ‘Impending Antiutopia’ - 2. Alyssa Cunanan 'Real World' digital graphic novel - 3. Georgia Acaster - Ceramics Pieces
Left to Right 4. Romeo Butcher-Feary 'Sun on My Back, Blue Dusk Horizon' - 5. Amelie Sideris-Zammit ‘Sinister Ethereality’
Left to Right 4. Romeo Butcher-Feary 'Sun on My Back, Blue Dusk Horizon' - 5. Amelie Sideris-Zammit ‘Sinister Ethereality’

Senior Media Film Festival - Yarraville Sun Theatre

On a rainy Sunday afternoon in October we held the Senior Media Film Festival, where we showcased the Year 12 Media films. We had some amazing audio visual products from music video clips, to mockumentaries and short fictional narratives. Lots of beautiful film makers in our midst in 2023.

Film Festival Poster designed by Alyssa Cunanan
Film Festival Poster designed by Alyssa Cunanan

Summer Picnic Concert - Pasco Campus

Congratulations to all students involved in our Summer Picnic Concert last week! The rain held off and it was great to see so many families there to celebrate the end of the year with us.

Summer Picnic Concert
Summer Picnic Concert

Vocal and Guitar Night

Our Vocal and Guitar students performed in the Bayview Atrium on Wednesday, 6 December. Congratulations to students on your performances! Thank you to our Instrumental staff: Kathy Hinch, Elissa Rodger, Timothy Van Roon and Will Salisbury.

Lachlan Wyatt and Jamila Brogan

Vocal and Guitar Night
Vocal and Guitar Night

Vocal and Guitar Night
Vocal and Guitar Night


Thanks to Daniel Pearce, Pasco campus principal, and Angus Rodda, Year 12 leading teacher, who were the guest speakers at our final 2023 meeting. They spoke about the traditional owners and how the school is striving to include both the history of the traditional owners of our area and current awareness and understanding of First Nations people in a wide range of areas within the curriculum.

Coffee Van Thank You events

Over the last couple of weeks, the PFA has funded a coffee van to attend both campuses as a thank you to the teaching and non-teaching staff for doing so much for WHS students throughout the year.

Bayview coffee van and teachers
Bayview coffee van and teachers
Pasco coffee van - cakes
Pasco coffee van - cakes
Pasco coffee van and teachers
Pasco coffee van and teachers

Thanks to everyone who bought raffle tickets for the Monster Scout and School Raffle - WHS sold over $4500 of tickets, of which the PFA will receive 75 percent. We look forward to using this money to fulfil funding requests from teachers in 2024.

To avoid spending considerable time and effort fundraising, we ask that you make a voluntary $15 donation to support the PFA’s activities.

You can donate as part of your school fees, in the contribution payments, or any time in person at the school office.

Williamstown High School W-Files Issue 8, 2023 - 18 Dec 2023