Middle Years 

Middle Years Update 

How many friends do you have? 50? 100? 150?

Facebook, Instagram and Social Media in general, have changed our understanding of the word 'friend'.

Social media followers are very loosely called 'friends' and for some teenagers there is significant status in the number of 'followers' or 'friends' they can acquire.  


Real friendships are far more difficult for some young people as they face the challenges of adolescence.


To some young people, making friends comes naturally. They are confident and many have been exposed to mixing with a wide range of other young people in environments in which they excel, such as sporting clubs, drama groups, youth clubs, scouts or guides.


There are however, many adolescents who struggle, and often this can become more obvious when they move from Primary to Secondary School. Sometimes they can be  overwhelmed by the sheer number of  students.


How can this hurdle be overcome? There is no easy quick fix.


For students who are basically shy, a starting point can be to learn how to chat to people they don't know very well. A starting point that has worked for some is to ask the other person questions: 

  • Did you do anything exciting over the weekend?
  • How did your cricket team go? Did you make any runs? Take any wickets?
  • What kind of music do you like? Who is your favourite artist?

The actual questions don't matter much, it is the fact that you are showing an interest in the other person, starting a conversation and listening respectfully.


We cannot expect instant results in our attempts to make friends. We need to realise that there will be some people who simply do not want to be our friends, so it is wise to accept that fact and move on. Don't be discouraged by knock backs, there are plenty of other people who will be grateful for the friendship you offer.


Adopt the policy of treating other people the way you would like to be treated. Try to include others in your group activities. Don't be afraid to chat to the kid who always seems to be left out. If someone is left on the edge of a group, try to be the one who says "Come and join us."  Try to become aware of other students who might be struggling to find new friends. 


Overall the value of a smiling friendly nature should never be underrated. In addition if we can treat others, including those we don't necessarily like, with respect, we too will gain respect and hopefully friends. Real friends!


Legally Blonde the Musical

I would like to congratulate all the students who were part of the production of Legally Blonde the Musical. We had so many Year 8 students involved, both  on stage and as part of the crew. The future is very bright with our very talented Middle School students.


I have always enjoyed performing. So that’s why when I saw my first Koonung Musical “The Wedding Singer” (2016), I knew that was what I was going to do. So as you can imagine, I was quite excited when I found out I had landed a spot in this year’s  "Legally Blonde the Musical". I wasn’t alone in this, there were eight other Year 8s with me, several from my own class, 8D. I felt really welcomed by all the older kids in the cast, everyone was so kind, it really felt like we were all part of one big family. We rehearsed every Wednesday from 3:30pm to 9:00pm. Over the long rehearsal I as able to meet other kids, even Year 8s, that I wouldn’t have talked to otherwise, and I really cherish these new friends I’ve made through  my involvement in the musical. We've made many memories together, rehearsing and performing. I am now really looking forward to next year's musical. 

Katinka Schmid 8D


L-R Keira Singleton, Imogen Adams, Sarah Croyden, Katinka Schmid 


Middle School Interact Club 

The Middle School Interact Club are organising a pizza lunch on Thursday  22 August to raise money for the 'Books for Homes Campaign.  Pizza slices will be available for $2 per slice in the Amphitheatre.




Breakfast Club




Friday mornings from 8am in the MYC




Homework Club



A homework club is now available to students.  It is held every Monday  in the library from 3:30pm to 4:15pm.


Uniform reminders

  • Blazers are to be worn to and from school
  • Scarves must be plain black or navy  
  • Spray jackets are for PE and Sport Education classes
  • Everyone must be wearing a tie 





Allira Howe

Director of Learning: Middle Years

Congratulations Max Dooley 

Max Dooley (9E) has been nominated as Whitehorse Young Person of the Month.  Well done Max!



Andrew Mangonis

Maths Teacher

Year 9 Live Life  


On 17 July two members from Scope came to visit our class to teach us on how to interact confidently with people with disabilities. They explained  how to approach and help people with disabilities and to see the person before the disability. We learned some strategies to help people with vision impairment, hearing impairment and physical disability.  We also learned that people with disabilities want to be treated the same as everyone else, and examples of how to offer polite and respectful assistance were provided. 


A week later on 24 July we went to visit the Endeavour Foundation to assist the workers. The factory packaged and shipped different food products.  Our class split into groups to help in different areas of the factory. My group’s task was to help pack the spices and we worked together with two male workers. There were four flavours of spices and we had to to pack them into cardboard boxes in a certain order and then push it off to the workers for them to seal. We lunched with everyone and were able to interact with many different people.  Everyone was kind and welcoming and always willing to help us if we didn’t know what we were doing. We now have a good understanding of how to treat people with disability, how hardworking and friendly they are and how we need to always see the person before the disability. 

Zoe Keys 9A





On Wednesday 24 July our Live Life Community group went ice skating with people with disabilities. When we arrived we were given a pair of skates to practice on the ice. Everyone really struggled to ice skate at first. When the participants arrived we found it easier to ice skate with them, as the wheelchairs helped with balance.   Everyone took turns at helping the participants in wheelchairs around the rink.   One of the participants was named Josh. When Josh first started to ice skate last year, he had to do it in a wheelchair and was set on being able to ice skate by himself. With help, courage and persistence, he is now able to skate on his own, with just the help of a frame.  It was really great to see how much the participants enjoyed their time on the ice.  Once they had gone, we were able to skate for ourselves. Everyone had an amazing time ice skating and enjoying the company of the participants. 

Aiden Lord 9C


Nicole Moussi and Kate Hindell 

Live Life Coordinators

Global Village Speech Competition 

Keiko Rice (9F), Su-Su Leeding (9D) and Tahlia Williams (9D) recently competed in the 11th Global Village Chinese Speech Competition.  Their speeches were excellent and insightful so we have included the student reflections  and their speeches in our newsletter for you to read.  



From Keiko, Su-Su and Tahlia:

We competed in the 11th Global Village Chinese speech competition on 26 July at Melbourne Grammar. Over 80 students from private and government schools participated in this great event. We worked very hard to complete our speeches over the holidays and during the first two weeks of term, the hard work definitely paid off. Although we did not make it through to the next round of the competition, we found it was a very educational experience for all of us. We would definitely recommend this opportunity or a similar one to others in the future.


"China in my eyes"


China is a beautiful country. Having lived in Hong Kong for a year and a half, I was lucky to experience being and living in China. Walking down small alleyways, bargaining, eating delicious food in tiny shops, you name it, I’ve done it all! My experience in Hong Kong was a very enjoyable one, although it was very humid and hot at times. I especially enjoyed the Lantern Festival. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed a night out, gazing at the enormous lanterns crowding the market. The Mid-Autumn Festival was also very fun, with colourful mooncakes and delicious food. Although I have had amazing experiences in China, my favourite was by far the celebrations of the New Year. The food was absolutely scrumptious as I watched red-clothed dancers parade the streets. Red can be seen everywhere and the music goes on well after midnight. Beforehand, my Chinese teacher had given me a red packet, with a little bit of money inside. In western culture, this does not happen at all, so it was much to my surprise and enjoyment when I opened the packets and found 5 dollars.

China, in my eyes, is a beautiful place, although some of the culture remains a mystery to me. My experience there was very amazing and fun, and I hope to go back there someday.



My name is Tahlia Williams. I attend Koonung Secondary College. What is ‘China in my eyes’? My view of China is mainly based on stereotypes as I am not experienced Chinese culture in China. Instead, I will speak about what I know about Chinese culture as an Australian.

Chinese culture is a blend of tradition, modern and international influences. This is shown in the mix of skyscrapers and heritage buildings and also through the contrast of western fashion with the traditional qipao dress. This means that their culture represents their history and also everything that is happening in China right now and in the future. I can only imagine that Chinese culture will become richer as years, decades and centuries pass. Even in Australia, many Chinese families bring their culture with them.

For Chinese people, food is important as it brings together families over a good meal. Meals such as hot pot is a way to bring together friends and family. Although I am not Chinese, I frequently go out to eat Chinese food for lunch with my friends. If Chinese families did not come to Australia and bring their food and culture with them, there would not be such a variety of Chinese food to choose from when I am choosing what to eat.

I know that there is a variety of religions in China but the most common is Buddhism so I will speak about that. I think Buddhism is a good insight into Chinese culture and also cultures from many other Asian countries. Most Buddhists share a goal of overcoming suffering by finding peace and enlightenment. Even in a busy city such as Beijing, people living there can still find peace.

In conclusion, China in my eyes is a culture with many different influences. I believe that family, culture, food, peace and religion are very important to the average Chinese person. 




Hello my name is SuSu, I go to Koonung and this is China in my eyes.

Although I have never been to China myself, I have always wanted to go. In my eyes the country looks to be a beautiful country in their infrastructure, nature, culture and the people themselves.

First the infrastructure, China is home to the second tallest building in the world: the Shanghai Tower. China also has many other buildings that are listed on the list of the world’s tallest buildings. One of the most famous places in the China,and probably the world, is the Great Wall of China. I have seen many pictures of this historical wall, and want to be able to walk along the wall and to take pictures there one day.

The nature in China through my eyes is very ethereal. Although I have not been to visit places like Guilin or Kunming, these places look to be a calm and relaxing environment to spend time in. The animals in China are quite cute. The giant panda in particular is one of my favourites. I feel that China is a place where you could get lost in the natural surroundings but still enjoy it.                The culture in China has also fascinated me, such as festivals like the mid-autumn festival. Although we are in Melbourne, this festival is still celebrated each year, and in China it is most likely celebrated on a bigger scale. With lanterns, the eating of mooncakes and the tales of the jade rabbit or the legend of Chang E. Family culture in china appears to be a big part of the Chinese people’s lives. I have seen the close family bonds, especially between different generations. I have listened to Chinese music and watched Chinese dramas one of which being, ‘put your head on my shoulder’ which was one of my favourites to watch.

Lastly, the food in China through my eyes. I’m a huge foodie and my favourite foods are Chinese foods. I personally feel that china has the best food in the world. I have watched many videos online about foods in China, and all the foods shown all look delicious. The Chinese have an amazing cuisine from hot pot to chicken feet. One of things I have seen with Chinese foods is that it gives a really homely feel. In my eyes food in China is really important especially during special events, such as Chinese new year. I can picture a big table with a family around enjoying and celebrating Chinese new year.

Overall China in my eyes is an amazing place, filled with amazing things. A place with many people with kind and welcoming personalities. Delicious tasting foods, a unique culture and innovative infrastructure. Thank you.




Ning Zhang 

Chinese Teacher