I welcome back the school community to what has been a smooth start to Term 3. Already the momentum is starting to build as we work towards VCE exams and our Spring Fair. The frequent warm winter days recently have been very unusual but welcomed by all.

I hope all parents received their child’s reports recently and it is important that you follow up the report with a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses mentioned. Use the report to celebrate the many achievements and use it to work with the children to set new goals (or lift the bar on some old ones).

Christine Doquile celebrated her 32 years of service at the end of Term 2.  Congratulations Christine on a fantastic career and your amazing 28 year stint at Collingwood College in particular makes you one of our Champions. Thank you.



I make this “….call to arms “ in the following context. Recently l was advised that Collingwood College is considered by the department to be over entitlement (too many classrooms and too few students). As much as we enjoy very spacious learning spaces the penalty we must endure because we do not have a school population of 1100 students is that we will receive no funding to refurbish our facilities for the next 5 years. We must therefore do all refurbishment works using our own community resources. I am currently working with the School Council to address this unfortunate and unfair situation. However, in the interim we must find ways of maintaining our precious learning spaces. Our budget barely covers the cost of our full time groundsman Trevor and Paul (Maintenance) for one day per week. We need your support to maintain the wonderful infrastructure that is the envy of many schools around us.

I ask all families to consider participation in the upcoming working bee. The only ways we can overcome the burden described above is band together and do the extra work needed ourselves. Please give thought to how you may be able to assist with the following projects.

  • Project 1 – The front primary school oval is desperate for some TLC. The turf was laid last year but unfortunately the wear and tear is taking its toll. Some general turf maintenance with sand, seed, soil and fertiliser may be used to regenerate this area.  A small section of the back oval may also be included if time permits. Shovels could be handy for this project.
  • Project 2 – The Kitchen Garden needs some garden beds to be rebuilt and raised. Two gate posts need to be installed. Shovels and concrete tools may be needed.
  • Project 3 – The Hoddle St fence line garden needs weeding. Gloves and gumboots (if you have them) might be best for this job.
  • Project 4 – The McCutcheon Way garden bed adjacent the Gym needs to be made tidy with rubbish removal and plants trimmed. Some plants may be relocated to other areas around the school. Again, gloves and gumboots might be best for this job. Someone is needed who has experience at driving a Kanga.
  • Project 5 – Garden paths to be resurfaced. Shovels may be handy for this project.
  • Project 6 – Assembly of outdoor wooden furniture installed on Mezzanine. Portable drills and general tools may be handy for this.
  • Project 7 – Assembly of planter boxes and fill with soil and plants (If time permits).


Year 9 Camp

At the end of semester 1, the Year 9 Steiner class embarked on their second major hike for the year. The Grampians, or Gariwerd, are an impressive range of mountains four hours west of Melbourne. The rock formations are incredible, and the entire landscape dramatic, with rugged vertical rock outcrops, beautiful waterfalls and panoramic vistas. The class walked about 40 km in four days with full packs, carrying all their own food, stoves, and sleeping under tarps or in caves. Challenges included having to tie our packs up in the trees to prevent local animals from eating into our packs searching for food, and keeping a positive attitude as we climbed the difficult peaks of the ranges. Highlights included sleeping in the caves, and also the amazing rock scrambling, hundreds of metres above the plateau of the surrounding western plains. And hats off to all those who took the minimal impact hiking ethos to the next level by drinking their own dishwater! Well done to all the intrepid class 9 hikers!






Three students particpated in  the All Schools Cross Country Final last week after winning their way through a series of heats over the previous month. Mohamud Mohamud of year 8 was injured during his final but Abdi NUR of year 8 finished 19th. Patrick FIYALKO of grade 6 finished 27th. Congratulations go out to all three boys for what is a fantastic achievement. Two top 30 placings for one school is a truly amazing result.

The Year 9/10 boys and girls Netball, Badminton and Basketball also play in the region finals this week along with year 8 Boys Netball. Good Luck teams.



Last week we launched the MCSSs at Melbourne University’s University House. 9 Primary schools attended to extend their support for this important initiative. The Science, Engineering and Education faculties have joined forces with Collingwood College to help support the development of this consortium with the intention of improving the delivery of Maths and Science programs across Australia. In the beginning our focus will be on primary programs  but we will extend this to the early years of secondary Maths and Science.

We hope to bridge Tertiary and Industry and create a working connection that supports teachers with access to leading science and technology initiatives.  The Education faculty announced that its new Maths and Science Specialist undergraduate for Masters students will operate next year and Collingwood College will be a lead school in its inagural year. Melbourne University also completed an application to the Federal Government  seeking over $2M to support this initiative. We will find out later this year if this application has been successful.

Our school is committed to developing a Science Hub in possibly our central building. We hope to seek some Key Industry partners and sponsors to create this facility which typically may include a robotics centre, a science fun room and a dedicated primary science laboratory.


Cake Stall Available

On Saturday August 10th the school has the opportunity to run a cake stall at the Collingwood Children’s Farm. This is usually a very profitable fundraiser. I offer this opportunity knowing that the Main Program 3/4 group of parents led by Fiona Morrison will use this day to sell their delicious Macarons. Fiona has kindly offered to setup and pack up on the day. If any other groups want to join Fiona’s team and use this day to sell their homemade cakes then please let me know.

To keep this fundraiser in line with policy, the proceeds will go into the disadvantaged student’s fund (used to assist students in attending camps). The money raised will then sponsor students in the classes  involved on this day. At this stage, this will be the Main Program 3/4 group if no other classes take up the offer. I ask other classes to give consideration to this opportunity to bake and sell goods at the market to raise money for needy disadvantaged students in their own classes.


Professional Development

The staff are over the few weeks are doing extra Professional learning in the evenings.  We will focus on the introduction of AUSVELS and curriculum mapping. This is an extensive task and due to the work bans earlier this year we had to put the implementation of AUSVELS on hold. The extra commitment by staff will be taken as time inlieu on the Monday pupil free day before Cup Day.



A group of parents (Tania Barry and Lisa Minogue) met with Jacinta, Liria, Courtney and myself to discuss Transition arrangements at Collingwood College. The meeting was very informative and it focussed on the following:

  • Perceptions of the secondary school
  • Communication – what is the message and how do we do this more effectively.
  • How do we make CC a more inclusive school
  • What works and what doesn’t work

If you would like to add to this discussion feel free to share your thoughts with any of the group members listed above.



The Annual report will be presented to the school community on Thursday, 29th August at 5.15pm in the meeting room 1.  A short Q & A will follow. The annual report can be downloaded now from the Myschool website.


China Trip 2014

Planning has begun for our Cultural and Language exchange program to China. We had our information evening last week which was well attended.

This will the 6th time we have visited our sister school  and the we now have a second Sister school to engage with. The program is open to students from years 7-11 with senior students undertaking a community service program in various parts of China.


Strategic Review

Zinta Pinda will start running focus groups with staff, parents and students as part of self assessment. We will then use this self assessment to form the basis of our next 4 year strategic plan. Zita will ring randomly selected families by phone to assist with the process.

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