Senior School Report

Message from the Director of Learning - Mr Jason Tickner

In this our first edition of the Westall newsletter this year, I would like to welcome new parents and families to senior school for 2021. I would also like to acknowledge new staff who have joined the senior team this year: Ms. Tanuja Muthukuda (VCAL), Ms. Betty Roberts (Literacy Support) and Ms. Summer Bao (Chinese).


As this is the first edition of the newsletter, I would also like to introduce the Senior School Management Team for 2020:


Assistant Principal (Yr10-12) – Ms. Sue Simadri

Director of Learning – Mr. Jason Tickner

Year 12 Year Level Coordinator – Mr. Jared Bandara

Year 11 Year Level Coordinator – Ms. Lee Read

VCAL Coordinator - Ms. Ngarelle Gordon

Senior School Education Support – Ms. Vicky Karayiannis

Careers & Pathways – Ms. Geraldine Borgonha


Senior student leaders were presented with their leadership badges at our last sub-school assembly in acknowledgement of the roles for this year. The senior student leaders for 2021 are:


School Captains – Krystal Nguyen & Krista Puia

College Vice Captains – Akhilesh Dadwal & Nicholas Rusmin

Arts Captain – Soanna Carnahan

Wellbeing Captain – Jessica Dang

International Captain – Scarlet Nguyen

VCAL Captains – Alex Goldring & Rahama Bi


We have enjoyed a positive and productive start to the academic year in senior school. Our VCE students have now completed a majority of their first round of SACs & SATs, whilst our VCAL students continue to work hard in all aspects of their program, both in and out of the classroom. After the COVID-interrupted 2020, our dedicated senior teachers have focussed on adapting curriculum to meet the needs of our students while providing the learning tools for students to achieve academic success.


Our senior students have participated in a range of curricular and extra-curricular activities and programs that have included: study camp, internal/external mentoring, subject-specific excursions, and student-led activities and training for senior sport which will occur later in the term. Our Yr12 students are excited at participating in their final House Athletics and Swimming Carnivals that are coming in Wk8 and Wk10 respectively, this term. It is my hope that our senior students approach every aspect of their school life with enthusiasm and a desire to succeed. It is particularly important for our VCE students that they create a home-study program that balances all time commitments including school and part-time work. A key to success in a student’s final years of school is consistency in study and organisation at home and at school.


Our web-based school management system Compass continues to be an effective tool for teachers, students and importantly parents to access. Using Compass allows parents and families to access up-to-date and meaningful information about our school and your son/daughter’s progress. Compass includes many different features, including the ability to: 

  • Monitor your student’s attendance, and enter an explanation for absence or lateness
  • View your student’s timetable and the school calendar
  • Communicate with your student’s teachers
  • Update your family contact details
  • Download and view your student’s semester reports

If you are not accessing Compass, please make sure that you download the app onto your phone and get your son/daughter to show you its features and how it can be used. 


Key Reminders for Parents/Guardians & Students

  • Parent contact is to be made with school when students are absent. This can be done by phoning WSC general office who will then direct your call to senior sub-school office. Alternatively, parents can email Ms.Karayiannis who records and monitors all student attendance at a senior level. A reminder that VCE/VCAL students must maintain a 90% attendance standard throughout the year to ensure coursework can be authenticated. 
  • If a VCE student is absent for a SAC task a medical certificate is required. An alternative SAC task will be re-scheduled and completed the following Wednesday after school from 3.30pm-4.30pm. This session is supervised by either the Director of Learning (Senior School) or a Year Level Coordinators. Students cannot be graded for a SAC or SAT without an approved absence.
  • Although we have seen a general improvement in the standard of uniform from senior students, I would encourage all parents to ensure your son/daughter is wearing the correct uniform to school. Dress length, fake eyelashes and the wearing of non-Westall tops are the main issues with our senior students to this point in the year. Parent/Guardian assistance will ensure student compliance in this area.
  • Please ensure that both parents/guardians and students are checking Compass on a regular basis. Students should be accessing lessons plans and school news on a daily basis as well as checking feedback provided on school-based assessments and coursework. Parents/Guardians can access all of the above information and use Compass to approved events and excursions.

Thank you,

Mr Jason Tickner


Year 11 Camp from a VCAL Perspective


On the 1st of February 2021 until the 3rd of February 2021, we had an amazing few days with many activities that were held at Westall Secondary College. We all learnt so much over the 3 days, such as yoga, eating healthy food as well as enjoying the food that we are always craving. 


I got the opportunity along with Mary Rose and Ana to run a team sports activity for the Year 11 VCAL students. I enjoyed this because it encouraged me to become more confident in running activities amongst my peers, and I love playing sport, so it was nice to get outside and bond with my class mates outside the classroom. Most Year 11 VCAL students enjoyed their time at the camp, even though some of the student were not participating in all activities.  


We had some external people come into Westall SC who ran three different activities, especially for us. I think the VCAL students enjoyed the yoga the most, because it was relaxing for everyone.  


By Kameti Jarso


Year 12 City Camp from a VCAL Perspective


The city camp was an experience I won’t forget to say the least. The day started by climbing 9 flights of stairs to our rooms. Once we got to our rooms we spent 15 minutes going over house rules, and then the VCAL students went off into the CBD to complete an Amazing Race around the city.


My group ended up going from Docklands, to the Sea Life Aquarium, then up to Parliament House, filling out questions as we go. Sometimes we were asking the people who worked at the specific locations questions about the buildings, so that we could complete our booklets. When we had completed our journey, we raced back to the accommodation at CYC.


Day 2 we all went for a beach walk which was about 30 to 45 min from the Sandringham Station to Black Rock pier, where there was a sunken submarine. This walk was enjoyable and had some great spots for photos. Along our walk we had to complete 5 different photos with our team members as a challenge.


Day 3 we went to the Immigration Museum and went through an interactive display about ‘belonging’. The Museum was really cool, and we found out about Australia’s history, different family traditions, and what made Australia what it is today. We got the chance to take an ‘Australia citizen test’ and got to look at all the different passport covers from all around the world. 


Overall City Camp was really chill, and being one of the VCAL captains, it was good just to see everyone not worried about school work, but just enjoying being in the moment, spending time together and making memories. I think VCAL is all about being present in the moment and making memories, we can carry with us throughout our journey of life after school.


By Alex Goldring


Year 11 Camp


The 2021 Year 11s experienced a busy few days at the start of Term 1 at their “study camp".  Linh Nguyen and Lucy Tran, gave these comments in their reflection:

  • “The Presenters were engaging and the worksheets well written”
  • “On the first day of camp we had “Coach Approach”, we met a retired footballer, he taught us how to become a successful person and to follow your dreams, it was extremely meaningful to me. I learnt how to overcome tough situations and gain strength through persistence”
  • “We played games about Teamwork”
  • “We learnt about nutrition and balancing our lunch boxes “
  • “We learnt how to hip hop dance, some students danced well but for most it was awkward.
  • “We learnt how to improve our study habits and time management through Elevate Education”
  • “We did yoga, meditations and mindfulness, it was relaxing and we learnt how to reduce stress”
  • “We identified our character strengths and met people from Monash University”
  • “We watched a video of a student who had just finished Year 12, he gave us advice on how to study, I felt inspired afterwards”
  • “At the end of the camp we had pizza, everyone enjoyed chatting to others”
  • “The phrase Study Camp conjures up many happy memories for me”
  • “We learnt how to develop ourselves not from just the outside but the inside as well”
  • “I enjoyed the section on Striving and Thriving”
  • “Overall the whole camp was a good experience for me”
  • “We learnt to strive for excellence”
  • “We learnt to set up specific and realistic goals that are achievable”
  • “I am glad the school gave us the opportunity to improve ourselves”

Careers, Pathways and Transitions



In relation to the Class of 2020, they have been busy enrolling into their new courses at TAFE and University, managing full-time work and apprenticeships and some of them working two jobs in hospitality.  We are so proud of all our Graduates, a very tough year and they not only survived but thrived on challenges.


Year 12 Akhilesh DADWAL – VCE student talks about his School-based Traineeship in Allied Health Assistance 


"My SBAT in Allied Health Assistance through VFA Learning and U Train was a way to obtain extra points for my ATAR and get me a certification which would be useful in the medical line.  It gave me an overview of what it would be like to work in the Health industry.


The SBAT trained me for games like Footy but also taught me the way that everything is done properly with study guides.  I learnt how the health system works in Australia, moreover whilst I was doing the certification – I learnt that if I go into Nursing, I don’t need to do the full length of my Nursing Degree and I will get credits for Units I have completed.  It has paid me a wage, which for a VCE student, is well appreciated because I have had the ability to work, study and get paid.


It has taught me to balance my work life and school life with VCE subjects and because of COVID during 2020, I could not undertake work placement and only did my SBAT studies (online) but I am pleased to say that I finished 3 months earlier.


My employer U Train, Mr. Paul Campbell and Cranbourne East Football Club’s Trainer Ms Robyn and my parents and lastly Ms Geraldine at Westall have been a huge support in my success".


This year, Westall is delivering VET (Vocational Education and Training) Certificate II in Kitchen Operations through the  IVET Group for a group of our talented students under the expert direction of Mrs Leanne Read and Mrs Lynette Loczy.  In addition, we have 50 Senior School students attending external VET programs at either Kangan Docklands, Chisholm Dandenong, Foundation Learning Centre in Narre Warren, Holmesglen Moorabbin, Chadstone and Waverley Campuses and Hallam Senior College.  The programs they are enrolled in include:

  • Animal Services
  • Automotive (Mechanical) and Paint and Panel
  • Allied Health Assistance
  • Beauty
  • Building and Construction (Carpentry)
  • Business
  • Design Fundamentals
  • Early Education and Care
  • Engineering Studies
  • Fabrication
  • Horticulture
  • Screen and Media and Interior Decoration
  • Plumbing
  • Music Industry -  Sound Production
  • Salon Assistants
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Furniture Making Pathways in Hallam Senior College

VET subjects contribute to either the VCE or VCAL Certificate and can be undertaken by students in Years 10, 11 and 12 and mature Year 9s.  All VCAL students must undertake a VET subject.  VET is suitable for all students, whether it is to gain an early start to an apprenticeship, try out career options or boost their ATAR, or to get some skills that help their prospects in employment.


SBAT in VCAL and VCE. 

What is an SBAT? School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships prepare our students with a pathway whilst they are at school and beyond Year 12.  They learn and earn. 


We take this opportunity to thank our largest providers REECE, National Food Institute, VFA, and U Train for their support.


SBAT Horticulture


Today, we harvested lettuce, spring onion, and chillies.


We also transplanted spring onion from one section of the farm to another section.  This transplantation skill, in particular, gives the students valuable industry knowledge and skills in the horticulture space.


Ms Geraldine Borgonha


Year 12 Camp


The 2021 Year 12 Camp that ran at the beginning of the year was a great success, and the students and staff both gained value from the workshops and activities organised by different organisations and staff. Students visited RMIT and participated in workshops by Australian Catholic University, as well as obtained information about the VCAA and VCE/VCAL expectations and requirements. The students were also provided with strategies linked to hygiene, safe living, respectful relationships and study skills. This was also a great opportunity to build meaningful relationships with the students as they enter their final year at school and learn better ways to support themselves. Both teachers and students felt like the camp was a positive experience, and look forward to more enjoyable experiences together, such as, the Year 12 Formal and end-of-year celebration. 


Mr Jared Bandara

Year 12 Coordinator