From the Principals' Desk 

Tracey Mackin - Assistant Principal

Another Term Navigated!

We are nearing the end of Term 3,  and with it the end of the active learning phase for our Year 12 students and the beginning of their transition to the world outside of Nossal.  While they still have some hurdles to jump before the end of the year, they can and should be proud of the work they have done so far.  

I hope that all of our students will take advantage of the various opportunities presented by the release of reports, our upcoming parent/student/teacher conferences and indeed the additional time granted by the holidays themselves, to reflect on their successes, and to note how far they have come since the start of the year. 

Learning By Doing: A Cause of Celebration!

As you will see in some of the articles later in this newsletter (and, I suspect, the next one, since some of these results are very recent!), our students have continued to enthusiastically pursue their passions and embrace a range of challenges this term. Specifically, many of them have immersed themselves in opportunities to apply the theoretical work they have been doing in the classroom and to enhance both their skills and confidence.


Our debaters did an outstanding job this year, and their efforts recently culminated in the participation of a Year 10 team in the playoffs for the Debaters Association of Victoria's finals season. Also in the world of words, our language students have participated successfully in the Frankston Susono Friendship Association Japanese Language competition (Mukesh Kanniyappan, Rivindi Fonseka & Ayaan Kazi), the annual JLTAV Competition (again for students of Japanese, including Lavanya Jyothis, Kai Groves, Cecila Liu and Minuki Satharasinghe) and the Alliance Francais - Berthe Mouchette Competition. Special congratulations go to Lola Sargasso and Kertik Hariharan , who will progress to the finals of the Oral Examination for the Alliance Francais, and to Harvey Lam who has qualified for the finals of the Written Examination.


In other fields of applied knowledge, our athletics team won the recent Division Athletics competition, and a large number of them will be progressing to the Regional competition, and two teams from Nossal recently participated in the Rotary Club's annual Model United Nations Competition, where they acquitted themselves admirably. Finally, as you will see later, our Business Management students finally put their learning into practice in their long-awaited Market Day, raising a considerable amount of money for a range of worthy causes.

Beyond Disciplinary Learning

Some years ago our patron and namesake Sir Gus Nossal warned our students against becoming "unidimensional nerds" and instead encouraged them to engage broadly with the world and its offerings. It's a pleasure to see our students taking every opportunity to live up to this expectation and explore areas of interest that do not fit neatly into any particular subject area. Our readers and our creative writers revelled in a large range of activities throughout Book Week (22 - 26 August), which included their excited involvement in the annual opportunity to come to school dressed as either a favourite book character, or in their national dress. 

Earlier in the term, Nossal's Environment and Sustainability Team successfully held their annual summit in person for the first time since COVID entered our experience. A group of interested students also recently attended a seminar exploring the World of Work hosted by the Young Workers Centre.  Finally a group of Nossal Students recently volunteered to undertake an exchange with their counterparts at MacRobertsons' Girls School. While Nossal students attended classes at MacRob, MacRob students participated in a full day of classes - including a House Performing Arts rehearsal! - with their Nossal peers, enriching both schools' understanding of the different ways in which learning can be approached.

House Performing Arts Festival

No report on the life of the school this term would be complete without a pause to celebrate the success of this year's House Performing Arts Festival. For our Year 9, 10 and 11 students, this was the first HPAF that had ever happened, and they all experienced a very impressive version of this event. It was a pleasure to once again see our students take command of both the space and the organisation of Robert Blackwood Hall, and use it to create performances which kept the audience happily engaged. The complexity of this task can hardly be understated - supported by members of Nossal's teaching and education support staff, students have to learn and deploy a range of skills - both technical and performance - while collaborating in large and small groups to create the finished product. It is one of the most impressive examples of the Synthesising Mind at work in the school, and also demonstrates very ways in which mastery of specific disciplines underpins such work. There are far too many individuals involved in making this event the success that it is, but all participants deserve our congratulations and pride.

Reports and Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

This newsletter will be published after the electronic arrival of the Term 3 reports. I would like to take this opportunity to remind our families that Nossal's reports were deliberately designed to prompt and enable conversation between students, teachers and parents. No report can hope to capture the all of the ways in which our students learn and develop across the course of the term, so instead we try to provide a snapshot of those five dimensions which we think are most vital for any learner to succeed. Each student's participation, reflection and study habits combine to enable an approach to learning which permits the acquisition of knowledge and the development of skills.  At this time, it is useful for our students to reflect on these dimensions in particular and to consider how successful their approach has been to date, and whether establishing some new habits in Term 4 might be useful as a precursor to both the end of year examination period, and the following year's work.


To enable this reflection, we will once again be holding Parent/Student/Teacher conferences on the final days of Term 3. Parents are invited to book via Compass before 2pm on Wednesday 14 September, and will be meeting our teachers online on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 September.  

Holiday Homework and the Non-Contact Period

The term has, as usual, been very busy, and our regular message encouraging our students to rest and to enjoy a range of activities that have nothing to do with academic learning is once again a point of emphasis. 


For our Year 12 students, however, this holiday break also typically comes at the moment when their teachers have finished the presentation of new material in class, and the start of the revision period. Students in Year 12 return for only two weeks of classes in Term 4, and these classes are dedicated almost entirely to exam preparation. In line with this, most teachers will be expecting our Year 12 students to spend some time over the holidays organising their notes and beginning the revision and consolidation process. This expectation does not negate the need for our Year 12 students to rest and recharge before the high-energy focus of the end of year examination period in Term 4. In fact, our best advice for these students is that they be very explicit in identify which days they will NOT be working, and in sticking to this plan. After the rigours of Term 3, no student will be able to work throughout the holidays, and they should not try to do so. Instead, targetted periods of revision in one half of the holidays is recommended, with a solid break in the other half to ensure that they return to school feeling as capable as we know them to be.

Our Broader Community

Finally, I am grateful to have this opportunity to commend the members of our broader school community who contribute so effectively to making Nossal HS a lovely place to spend time. 


Amongst many other initiatives undertaken by the PFA this year, it has recently been a pleasure to watch the development of the recent PFA Badminton Competition which concluded on Saturday 3 September after exciting rounds in the two preceding weeks. This competition was enabled by the collaboration of PFA members with Nossal staff, and was a wonderful opportunity for our parents and students to get together and enjoy some friendly rivalry (and to show off some impressive on-court skills!). Many thanks to Shankar Ramadas, Fiona Vanstan and Kane Armistead, in particular, for their organisational work, and to all the participants and supporters who made each round so successful and enjoyable.


Finally, I commend to your attention the update on our campaign to raise money for a commemorative statue in honour of Sir Gus. There is now a QR code which can be used to make donating easier, and our student groups are already actively contributing to this significant project. 

Happy Holidays!

I wish all members of our community a restful break. As the weather improves, I hope that you find many opportunities to feel the sun and smell the flowers (or to do whatever else makes you happy!) between now and the start of Term 4. Many thanks for your ongoing support of the school. As usual, we have much to be grateful for, including the fact that we will have some time in the near future in which to reflect on these sources of joy and satisfaction!


Tracey Mackin

Assistant Principal