Middle School Report

Message from the Director of Learning

- Mr. Tom Tahos

Year 9 students have just completed their interviews with people from the Department regarding the ‘Morrisby Report’.  This report that students completed online earlier in the year, indicates skills and aptitudes each student has, and was the basis for a discussion about future possible careers and pathways.  


Well done to Year 10 students who are currently on work experience this week. We are receiving some positive feedback from employers and from visiting staff on the great attitude and work ethic our students are displaying.


We are now at that stage of the year where all students will be making important decisions about subjects they would like to do in 2020. We have assemblies and information nights about subject selections. Please start having conversations with your children about this as course selection interviews are scheduled for next term. Students must read course handbooks carefully and make choices based on interest and requirements for further studies.


As the mid-year break approaches, I would like to wish all students, their families and staff a wonderful and safe holiday.


Mr. Tom Tahos

Year 10 Monash University Experience


Year 10 students had a fantastic experience at Monash University, Clayton campus.


Monash University mentors supported them with valuable information and insights to what life at a University would be like.


Mentors shared what type of courses and degrees are available and how to go about getting a place at University. Students had a chance to ask questions to various mentors about University life. We then had an opportunity to do a site visit, which involved mentors taking groups of students around the University to look at the different faculties. Students also participated in a treasure hunt type of challenge, which again gave students another opportunity to explore the University. Each student came away with a greater insight of how a University operates.


Mr. Tom Tahos

Director of Learning - Middle School

Year 10 Science


Our Year 10 students have been investigating the chemistry behind the movement of electrons within the atom. They have been experimenting with ionic compounds of a metal and a non-metal and observing the flame colours produced.


Flame colours are produced from the movement of electrons in the metal ions present in compounds. When the ionic compound is heated, the electrons gain heat energy and jump to a higher energy level. Because the electrons are unstable at a higher energy level, they tend to fall back to their original ground state energy level. When electrons fall, energy is released in the form of light. The exact sizes of the possible jumps in energy terms vary from one metal ion to another. This means that each different metal ion will have a different pattern of spectral lines with different wavelengths, and so producing a different flame colour for each metal compound when placed in the flame of the Bunsen burner.


Ms. Amy Kerwick

STEM Learning Specialist

Important Note:


2020 Year 11

Information Night

We have an important night coming up on Tuesday July 23rd for parents of our Year 10 students, who will be going into Year 11 in 2020. This a good opportunity for parents to obtain information on the options available to students at the senior school level, and the expectations that come with entering their senior years at the College.


Hopefully you have already begun conversations with your child about what type of pathways and careers may interest them as this is an important aspect to consider when choosing which certificate and subjects are best suited for your child. Students will have received plenty of information that they can share with you before this night and if there any questions about any of the information, students are encouraged to see Ms. Geraldine, Careers and Pathways Advisor, Mr. Tahos, Director of Learning: Middle School, or Mr. Roberts, Director of Learning: Senior School. We look forward to seeing you all on the night of July 23rd.


Mr. Jonathan Roberts

Director of Learning- Senior School

Year 9 Global Literacy:  Shrine of Remembrance Excursion


Year 9 students have been learning about the First World War in Global Literacy this term. On Monday the 27th of May, all Year 9s visited the Shrine of Remembrance in the city. Students participated in a guided tour to enrich their understanding of the experiences of key Victorian people involved in the First World War. Here are some reflections on the day from the students:


“The excursion was a success, I have accomplished a lot of things just by walking around, seeing the objects and listening to the guide. Moreover, the story of the youngest soldier who served in World War One was very moving. He was just fourteen years old, the same age as me, but he had to go to the battlefront, from a very young age. Like other unlucky soldiers, he sacrificed his life. However, he will always be remembered by the Shrine of Remembrance itself and other people that have heard about him. He was such a brave boy and a true soldier.” – Vivian


“When we went to the Shrine of Remembrance I learnt a lot of interesting facts about the war, the people, the objects and how the war began, which was really good. I felt blessed to be part of this trip to the city. I think the encouragement from my friends and my teacher was what made me finally make up my mind to join them. I would have missed out on this chance yesterday.” – Rayleen


After the excursion, students wrote poems that captured the experience of Indigenous soldiers in World War One:


“I am a solider with no recognition

I wonder if there is a Stolen Generation

I hear there’s a lot of discrimination

I see soldier’s unnamed graves

I want to really rage

I am really outraged at the treatment in historie's page”

Written by Zayan - Year 9


Ms. Sian Moore

Humanities Teacher

Bridging EAL Mock Interviews


Did you know what you wanted to do when you were 15? Last Wednesday the 5th of June, our Year 9 and Year 10 Bridging EAL students heard from guest speakers about the different career paths they had taken and how much they had changed from what they thought at 15.


The students went into the city to the offices of the charity Teach for Australia, to participate in mock job interviews, meet mentors in a variety of different jobs and learn about working in an office environment.


To prepare, these students developed a job application folio, including a resume, cover letter and a description of their ideal job. The jobs chosen ranged from a doctor to an automotive mechanic to a pastry chef.


The students commented that they learnt to:

  • “Have a plan for your job and set a goal,” (Lucy);
  • “Do what you love,” (Ana);
  • “Take your time in a job interview,” (Steve); and
  • “I know more about the subjects I want to study in the future,” (Cindy).


Well done to all the students who participated in their preparation and made such a great effort!


Ms. Laura Good

EAL Teacher

Forensic Science Excursion -

Westall Murder Mystery


On June 12th, the Year 9/10 Forensic Science class went to Monash University with Mr. Richard Vi and Mrs. Susan Blias to solve a murder mystery. Equipped with knowledge on the topics of Blood, Crime Scene Protocols, Evidence and Forgery, the class was ready to face the challenge. Upon arriving at the Monash University bus loop the students realized that they were now in an unfamiliar environment of tall buildings, tertiary students and staff.


After navigating through the campus, the students were greeted at the front doors of the First Year Chemistry Laboratory by the Monash Forensics Team. The students were assigned into groups with a Team Leader and were all given lab coats and safety goggles. After a quick meet and greet with their team leader, the students were debriefed on the murder case and was familiarized with the suspects. The areas that the students must investigate include, Blood Spatter Analysis, DNA Analysis, Infrared Spectroscopy of an unknown white powder, Ultra Violet Spectroscopy of Plasma in human blood, Fingerprinting and Blood Typing Analysis.


The first activity was Blood Spatter Analysis which required the students to wear a plastic bodysuit and to recreate the murder scene using fake blood and a weapon. In this activity, students are required to investigate the handedness of the killer, the movement of the killer and victim and the number of blows that occurred at the crime scene. The second activity involved taking a sample of DNA that was found at the crime scene and separating the DNA strands by using a technique called Gel Electrophoresis. The students learned how to properly pipette and dispense samples into vials as well as learning about how DNA is separated and interpreting the results.


Activity three and four required advanced knowledge chemistry to interpret data from Infrared and UV spectroscopy. The students all learned something valuable about the techniques involved and some organic chemistry. Activity five was Blood Typing which involved mixing blood and chemicals to identify the blood type through precipitation. The last activity of the day was Fingerprinting in which the students needed to match the suspect’s fingerprints with prints found at the crime scene. The students learned about the different patterns on the fingertip and the different techniques used to extract and process the prints. 


The Year 9/10 Forensic class all agreed that the excursion was very useful because everyone walked away with more knowledge of chemistry in forensic science, laboratory procedures and protocols and most importantly a day experience of life as a university student.


Mr. Richard Vi

Science Teacher