Message from the Principal

Dear parents, carers and guardians

On behalf of our school, I want to say a big thank you to all our students, parents and carers for your continued resilience and support during Term 3. I know remote and flexible learning has not always been easy, but through our collective efforts, our students have continued to make valuable progress in their learning. You can be confident that our school will support any student who has fallen behind to catch up.

Term 4 is important for every Victorian student, and our teachers will strive to deliver high-quality learning for everyone. Whether we’re teaching remotely or face-to-face, our focus for Term 4 is on making sure that every student is supported in their wellbeing, learning and transition needs.

The Victorian Government has outlined the staged return to on-site schooling as part of its gradual roadmap towards reopening. All Victorian schools will continue to provide remote and flexible learning for the remainder of Term 3, except specialist schools in rural and regional Victoria, who will continue on-site schooling consistent with current arrangements.

Term 4 on-site schooling arrangements for students:

Subject to the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has released a staged approach for students to return to on-site schooling. The purpose of the plan is to get students back in the classroom as soon and as safely as possible without putting at risk all that has been achieved through the period of restrictions to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). To achieve both these aims, the return to onsite learning needs to be staged, just as the easing of all other restrictions is staged.

There are two reasons for this:

The first is that in metropolitan Melbourne, health authorities need to monitor the impact of students and parents beginning to move across the city again before schools move to a full return. Having one million students return to school all at once could compromise the ability to monitor this impact.

The second reason is that VCE students must return in week one of Term 4 and must be able to complete the three-hour General Achievement Test (GAT) that week. In order to ensure the focus is on these students and the appropriate safety measures are in place, this means no other students can be on-site on our secondary or P-12 campuses the week before the GAT.

This is the best way to ensure the ongoing safety of the whole community.

59 October (first week of Term 4)

  • remote and flexible learning will continue for all students
  • VCE and VCAL students can only attend on-site for essential assessments, including the General Achievement Test (GAT) on Wednesday 7 October
  • on-site supervision for children of permitted workers and vulnerable students will continue to be provided, consistent with existing guidelines.  

From 12 October (second week of Term 4)

  • students in Prep to Grade 2 will return to full-time on-site schooling. The existing remote learning program will not continue for these year levels
  • Year 11 and 12 students will attend on-site schooling full time. Year 10 students enrolled in a VCE or VCAL program will attend for those units only
  • remote and flexible learning will continue for all students in Grade 3 to Year 10 (except Year 10 students studying VCE and VCAL units)
  • on-site supervision will remain available for students in Grade 3 to Year 10 who are the children of permitted workers and vulnerable students.

This will continue until a date is set for the return of all students to on-site learning, based on health advice.

Health and safety measures

The Term 3 remote and flexible learning arrangements were put in place to significantly reduce the movement of more than one million students and their families across Victoria, to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Thanks to you and your family for contributing to this on behalf of our school community.

As on-site schooling resumes, we will continue to have in place strong measures to protect the health and safety of students, staff, families and the community. This includes staggering start and finish times, restricting parent access to school grounds and continued emphasis on hand hygiene and physical distancing where possible.

Whether your child is, or children are, returning to face-to-face learning or will be continuing with remote and flexible learning, please be assured we will be focused on three key priorities in Term 4:

Mental health and wellbeing

Our highest priority will be the wellbeing, particularly the mental health, of every student and member of staff. This means effectively mobilising all available resources to support our most vulnerable students and enabling staff to access the relevant support services.

Learning and excellence

Some of our students have thrived in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their learning progress, and some have fallen behind, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers. Our priority will be supporting both those who need it to catch up and those who have progressed to continue to extend their learning.

Transitions

We will make every effort to ensure successful transitions for children moving from kindergarten into Prep, the Grade 6s moving into Year 7, and the Year 12s moving into employment or further education and training.

We know some families are worried that their child may have to repeat a year due to the disruptions of coronavirus (COVID-19). There is little evidence to support the benefits of repeating a year to catch up. Instead, schools will use teaching strategies that draw on the best evidence available to help students meet their learning needs. 

Parents, families and carers can be confident that the best option for almost every child is to stay with their peer group, whether that is moving from kindergarten into Prep, or moving from Grade 6 into Year 7 at secondary school, or students moving up any year level in between.

Our school, working with you, has shown it can be flexible and adaptable in responding to the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to meet student needs as we look towards the end of the 2020 school year and ahead to 2021.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report, August 2020

Dear families

I want to thank you all for your hard work these last few months. It has been a trying time for many people in many different ways. The Learning from Home surveys that students and parents completed in June gave the school some real insights into what was working and what could be improved, with the majority of feedback overwhelmingly positive. The staff has utilised the feedback to apply to the current round of remote learning, taking into account that it is somewhat more difficult at times this time around. I want to thank all of the students who have persisted in their efforts; reached out for help; and generally done very well, considering that they have spent more time in remote learning this year than face to face! Many of you will have received the green Compass posts acknowledging students’ efforts with regard to the School Wide Positive Behaviour remote learning matrix. It has been wonderful for me as Principal to open my Compass and see all of the positive posts about students doing their best. I also want to thank and acknowledge all of the staff who have done an incredible job this year. Many of them have been working from home with children of their own; many others have come into school to assist with operational tasks that cannot be completed from home or to support vulnerable students attending onsite.

School Council has been very busy this year and I also want to thank them for their amazing work, especially Ralph Saubern, the School Council president. I recommend his latest President’s Report to you; it can be found in the August newsletter and on the website. School Council was very involved in the school review in Term 1 and has subsequently worked with me on how the new Strategic Plan can be enacted through some of the sub committees and working parties. The DNA, if you like, of the Strategic Plan, is partnerships and collaboration: students and teachers, teachers and parents, students and parents, students and students, teachers and teachers, parents and parents. In order to achieve our goals we need to work together, especially in the current climate and the potentially challenging years ahead for our young people.

The 2019 Annual Report to the school community is on the website. I am planning to hold an open virtual meeting in the last week of term and will invite members of the school community to attend. This will give people the opportunity to discuss the Annual Report, the Strategic Plan and the future of the school. You will also see a separate article updating you on the Gasworks Senior Secondary Campus. This is the first of many newsletter articles to come, keeping the community updated on this exciting venture.

I would like to congratulate Jamie Bishop, who has been selected through an externally advertised process as the Mental Health Practitioner. This role is funded by the Department of Education at 0.5, meaning that Jamie can continue doing the great work he has been as a psychologist while also remaining on the teaching staff for the other part of his employment. We have also advertised an additional psychologist role at 0.4. Both of these roles will complement the rest of the wellbeing support that Fitzroy High School offers students, something that will be increasingly important during this time.

I will update you on the return to onsite learning once I have the information from the Department of Education, which I assume will be released after the Premier speaks on Sunday.

Kind regards,

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

2020 review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005

Dear staff, parents and carers,


The Disability Standards for Education 2005 are currently being reviewed by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

As part of the 2020 review, an extensive community consultation process is currently underway to seek feedback about whether the standards are effective or if any improvements can be made.

Current, former and prospective students with disability, their families and carers, advocates, educators, and other members of the public are invited to share their experiences, views and ideas to inform the review of the standards.


Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, engagement activities will mostly be held online via a dedicated 2020 review Consultation Hub. The hub offers a range of different ways that participants can share their views and ideas, and will be open until 11.59pm on Friday 25 September.

A series of webinars is also available for interested participants to share their experiences and opinions.

The webinars will be fully accessible, and will include Auslan translation and captioning. The webinars are open to the public, and each will have a different theme. These are:

For more information about the upcoming webinars visit the frequently asked questions page.

discussion paper has been developed with guiding questions to help interested participants have their say.

For more information email engage@thesocialdeck.comFind out more

For more information on how to get involved contact the Social Deck via:

Linda Mitchell
Principal

Update on FHS Dress Code Policy Review

June 2020

Background

In late 2019, the Fitzroy High School Feminist Collective wrote to the School Council to voice a number of concerns about the school dress code and request a review of the dress code policy.  The School Council considered the issues raised and agreed that it was timely to review the school dress code policy.  A working group was established to undertake a review of the dress code, consult with the school community and make recommendations to the School Council and leadership regarding any changes to the school dress code.  

Consultation Process

School councils are responsible for developing and reviewing school dress codes in close consultation with their school community to ensure the code reflects the values of the school community and that there is a balance between the rights of individual students and the best interests of the whole school community, which includes the community in which the school operates (e.g. local residents and businesses).  

The community consultation will be facilitated by the working group, including through:

  • Surveys
  • Public meetings
  • Student meetings
  • Focus groups

Key issues for consultation will include:

  • Purpose
  • Community expectations and values
  • Human rights and anti-discrimination requirements
  • Health and safety considerations
  • Exemptions
  • Communication
  • Implementation and enforcement

The review will be guided by the Department of Education policy on Developing and Reviewing Dress Codes.

Membership of the working group

The working group will be led by Sharlene Farrugia, parent and Community Subcommittee member.  FHS parents, teachers and students are invited to join the working group.

Please email sharlenef@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au if you are interested in joining the working group. All members of the school community will be notified of opportunities for consultation early next term.

Term

The consultation  will be undertaken during Term 3, 2020 and finalised by the end of Term 4, 2020.

Outcomes

The working group will prepare a report and draft reviewed Dress Code Policy for School Council and school leadership summarising the outcomes of the community consultation and making recommendations regarding any changes to the school dress code.

School Council will then communicate the reviewed Dress Code Policy to the whole school community.

Linda Mitchell
Principal
Fitzroy High School

Initial information regarding the phased return to on-site schooling

Dear parents, guardians, carers and students,

Thank you for all your support during these past few weeks of remote and flexible learning.

Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a phased return to on-site schooling.

In the first stage, students in Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2, senior secondary (Year 11 and 12 VCAL and VCE) students will return to school from Tuesday 26th May.

Year 10 students undertaking VCE studies, including VCE VET studies, should also attend school for those classes where practicable. If this is not possible for your child/children, our teachers will make sure the work provided to students attending at school is also provided to your child/children.

To support all school staff to prepare for this transition, Monday 25th May will be a pupil-free day.

In the second stage of our return to on-site schooling, all other year levels will return to school from Wednesday 10th June. (NB. Tuesday 9th June is already scheduled as a pupil free/report writing day for both Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College).

For vulnerable children and those students who learn from home, the existing model of on-site schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26th May to Wednesday 10th June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which on-site schooling is required will continue for this two-week period. Please ensure that the correct form is completed, signed and returned to myself or the office.

All other students in these grades and year levels will continue learning from home until Wednesday 10th June.

Once your child’s year level has returned, they will be expected to attend school as normal. This means if you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to on-site schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home.

This does not apply to children who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact us so we can make an appropriate plan.

This same approach is being taken by all government schools in Victoria.
To support the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff, our school will continue an enhanced cleaning routine and will encourage frequent hand washing.

If your child is ill or is feeling unwell, they must not attend school. They must remain home and seek medical advice.

While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice to all schools that is available. This will apply until further notice. I will provide more detail about our local school context as soon as possible, but it is important to note that changes may include:
arrangements for drop off and pick up, including possible staggered school start and finish times;
restrictions on access to the school site for anyone other than immediate school staff and students;
the way we conduct parent-teacher meetings and interviews
We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. I can assure you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.

More information about the return to school and coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the Department’s website, which will continue to be updated:
https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom.

Yours sincerely,

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report April 2020

Dear students, staff and families

Thank you for your ongoing support and communication during these unprecedented times. I hope that, in general, you are traveling well, and enjoying time with each other, especially in this cold weather where working from home can provide warmth and comfort.

Remote Learning

As promised in the Compass post before the beginning of Term 2, after two weeks of remote learning, the school has reviewed how things are going with remote learning and adjusting how we manage a range of issues. We have begun with feedback from staff members, who have been regularly checking in with students. Based on this feedback, we are adjusting the content of the lessons, in recognition of how much extra time is required for both the teachers and the learners. We have provided a little more asynchronous time for students to work independently while maintaining the synchronous (live) contact that is so important for student engagement and learning. We have also continued to work through technical issues and provide assistance and devices to families who need them. We are in the process of tweaking our management and recording of attendance, in recognition of the fact that some students are struggling with remote learning or possibly having internet connection problems. The Year 7-9 and Year 9-10 Team Leaders will also be running a weekly Homework Club/Catch-up which will be open to students who require support in order to catch up work that they have missed or with which they are struggling. Anna P and Paul C will send communication about that via Compass.

Over the course of the past few weeks, we have been ensuring that our use of the G Suite (including Google classroom and Google Meet) meets the requirements for privacy and security according to the Department of Education guidelines and the ICT team has reviewed our Privacy Impact Assessment. We have also been learning as we go about best practice for teachers and students in order to avoid practices or behaviors that might impact negatively on classes or individuals. As a result, we have revised, and will continue to update, the Remote Learning Protocols (incorporating School Wide Positive Behaviors) to reflect what we have learned. We have recognized the desire for students to be able to use cameras within Google Meet, especially for one on one meetings between teachers and advisors, and to be able to show their work. Next week we are trialing this in Year 11 and 12 only. By no means is it obligatory for students to use cameras, as some are not comfortable doing so, but rather we are providing clear guidelines for students and teachers to do so should they wish. We will be collecting feedback the use of cameras in Years 11 and 12 next week with the intention of introducing the use of cameras in Years 7-10 soon afterwards.

Student and Parent Feedback and Support

So far the feedback from families and students has been very positive and encouraging. We would now like to gain a more holistic picture of how people are travelling and what suggestions people might have to improve our  understanding and practice. Therefore School Council representatives are assisting me in creating Student and Parent surveys which will be ready to send to families within the next week or so. This feedback will assist the school in reviewing the next two-week cycle and making any adjustments that are necessary. School Council has also created a post named “COVID-19: How can I help”. I have received several offers of assistance from parents with specific skills and expertise. This process invites the whole school community to consider whether there are things that they can offer, with School Council taking a lead in managing the process in order to support the school.

Wellbeing and Careers Support

Team and level leaders, as well as advisors, are working through any wellbeing concerns and I would like to remind you that referrals to the wellbeing team can be made through these leaders. As well as my Compass post about wellbeing on March 24, which contained some resources and contacts for support, I would like to draw your attention to some resources posted on the website and contained in this newsletter:

Wellbeing posted on website COVID-19: List of resources

Health – what teachers should look for (also good for parents)

Factsheet for parents: Sending nudes and sexting

If you have any wellbeing concerns please contact Linda Ekman, our Wellbeing Leader, directly on lindae@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au

I would like to remind you that careers work still happening through conference calls and you are welcome to contact Tyson Day, our Careers Counsellor, directly on tysond@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au

Activities and Opportunities

In order to keep our school community connected to each other and the rest of the world, I would like to draw your attention to some upcoming events.

Firstly, we have decided to have a Virtual House Cross Country from May 16-24, allowing students to participate and compete from home. Shannon G, our Sport Coordinator, will be sending more details and creating Compass events for consent. This consent will cover students being able to practice walking jogging or running outside the home without supervision. It is not compulsory but we hope that most of the school community will participate, including teachers and family members. We have included the weekends either side of the week to allow for more family participation.

I have also posted about two other events which families might like to get involved in, and which we will be following up as a school:

Hangout for the Homeless Saturday May 23

National Reconciliation Week May 27-June 3

Hands on Learning will be posting a range of weekly activities that can be done by anyone at home. This week there is the Owl Sculpture and the Environmental Art competition. Please contact Penny S if you are interested in the competition. We will be displaying the submitted work at school and sending photos to the community.

Last but not least, we are planning to have a Virtual Open Day for those families who want to learn more about the school, particularly for those making decisions about Year 7 2021. More information about this to follow in the next few weeks.

I would like to thank all of the staff for their wonderful work over the past few weeks and extend my best wishes to all students and families. As always, please feel free to contact me directly on lindam@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au at any time.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report, March 2020

Dear families

I hope you have had a successful start to the school year and, for Year 7 families, I trust that your children are settling gradually into high school. Reports from the Year 7s so far are very promising. They really enjoyed the camp at Lady Northcote and they have already shown us what keen and able students they are. I hope that other students new to the school have also settled in well and encourage any families who need extra support with transition to contact their advisors, year level leaders or team leaders.

Senior Programs Results and Destinations

As promised in the last Principal’s report, we are proud to share with you some of the results and destinations of last year’s Year 12 students.

In 2019 we saw Year 12 students achieve fantastic results, with100% completion rate in VCE and many students completing VCAL and VET certificates.

As mentioned in the previous report, our Dux of Year 12, 2019 was Massimo Codognotto-Parry with an ATAR of 97.55. He was also awarded the University of Melbourne Principal’s Scholarship and has gone on to study Mathematics. In a new tradition for Fitzroy High School, Massimo received a Dux certificate at our recent whole school assembly. He also spoke to the students, providing some valuable tips and insights into his learning and development story.  

In 2019 we had 7 students who achieved ATAR excellence in the 90s, which equalled 10% of the VCE cohort, an increase in the last 3 years by 3%. 19.73% of students had an ATAR in the 80s and above, 38.15% of students had an ATAR in the 70s or above with 53.94% of students with an ATAR in the 60s or higher.

We have received many exciting and good news stories from last year’s cohort, with 81.3% of students receiving December round offers into further study, and a total of 93.3% of students receiving an offer so far. We are currently working with the students who have not received an offer to ensure that they feel confident in their direction after Fitzroy High School.

There are students taking up opportunities in many different fields, both in Melbourne and across the globe, including Kievan Van Dyke-Goodman, who will be attending college in the US, to pursue his passion for politics with an offer and scholarship at Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon.  

Again the theme of amazing achievement carried through our Arts community, with students achieving top results and offers. Eve Quartermaine, whose work made it into Top Arts, has also been accepted into RMIT for Visual Arts. Camille Allen was accepted into the Visual Arts stream at VCA Fine Arts alongside Leon Tran, who received a scholarship for the Animation stream. Finn Milne was another standout: as well his own composition being chosen for Top Sounds, Finn received a December round offer to Music at The University of Melbourne, College of the Arts. 

Since the last report, three more students have been confirmed in the VCAA Season of Excellence: Matilda Komene and Tallulah Thorton-Lawrence have been selected for Top Acts due to their amazing Theatre Studies monologues. They completed Year 12 Theratre Studies in Year 11 and are continuing their Year 12 studies this year. We also congratulate Ivy Windred-Wornes, a Collingwood student who did Media Studies at Fitzroy High School, and who was chosen for Top Screen for her incredible music video “Lies”. This is available on YouTube if people are interested to have a look. Along with the other students already mentioned in the last report, this makes a total of six students chosen for VCAA Season of Excellence, a first in the history of the school and something of which to be extremely proud.

Molly Blood is another student following her dreams, gaining entry into Biomedicine through the Aspire Program at LaTrobe University. Molly has been active in her community for some time and was rewarded with an offer in December. She was also one of the first students on School Council and we thank her for her passionate work.

In our VCAL cohort we have Masina Taule’alo following his passion at Swinburne University in Screen and Media, and other VCAL students landing apprenticeships and a range of further study offers. Other students who completed their Intermediate VCAL certificates in Year 11 are continuing onto Year 12 to complete their Senior certificates, while others are taking their time to complete certificates over three years.

The above students represent only a handful of achievements captured from the cohort of 2019. The school community is confident that all members of the student cohort will thrive in their chosen field in the knowledge that they have the continued support of the school beyond their graduation year.  

School Review

I thank the students and parents who have been involved in focus groups over the past few weeks. There will be further opportunities to be involved during March. As part of the review, there will be members of the review panel, including principals from other schools, visiting classrooms and talking to students and staff about their experiences. There will also be another parent focus group which I will inform you about when details come to hand.

School Dress Code Review

Separate to the School Review, School Council will be leading a review of the FHS Dress Code. Late last year the Feminist Collective approached School Council about some issues with the implementation of the Dress Code and School Council responded to say that it will conduct a review. This is by legislation part of the role of School Council and needs to involve a wide range of stakeholders and input from all members of the school community. It will be happening soon and you will be invited to take part.

Bogong Outdoor School Extension Programs

Students in Year 9 are given the opportunity to participate in the Bogong Outdoor School camp. This year, five Fitzroy High School students have been accepted into a range of extension programs offered by the Outdoor School. They are all great candidates and we are excited that they are able to further extend their learning with the Outdoor School. Delilah Hart and Erasmus Toscano have been accepted into the Summit to Sea program; Gypsy La Rocca Mitchell into the Nepal CEDA program; Nevenka Thomas-Rezo and Peru Renkin into the Kimberley program. We look forward to hearing from these students later in the year.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report Term 1

Dear families,

Welcome to 2020! I hope you had a relaxing and productive break, despite some very
difficult and troubling events that have been occurring in the world.

The updates on Compass about the coronavirus are sent to us by the Department of
Education. I thank you in advance for keeping up with these and informing the school as
required. To reiterate the most recent advice, posted on Compass:

What if my child is well, and returning to school after being in Hubei province, China or
other countries with cases in the last 14 days?

All students and staff members who have travelled to Hubei Province, China, are advised
to stay at home and avoid public settings, including attendance at schools and early
learning centres, until 14 days after last being in Hubei province, China.

Children and staff who are well and have travelled to other provinces in China, or any other
areas where there have been reported cases, are NOT recommended to be excluded from
schools and child care services unless the following applies:

• The person is a confirmed case of novel coronavirus
• The person is a close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the past 14
days
What if my child feels sick now or within 14 days of being in Hubei Province, China or
another part of China?
• If your child has a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, they must be excluded from
school and be reviewed by a doctor.
• Seek medical attention but first place a mask on the student if you have one and call the
doctor or hospital before you attend. Tell them your child has been in Hubei province,
China, or the location of travel within China.
• When you get to the hospital or doctor’s clinic, tell them where your child has travelled in
China and whether this included Hubei Province. Ensure a mask is placed on your child
before or as soon as you arrive at the medical facility.

Other News

As mentioned in the December newsletter, this term we have a school review as part of the
usual four-year Strategic Plan cycle. This is part of the normal cycle of school improvement
and all stakeholders will be given opportunities to reflect on the past four years and to
contribute to future plans. I am now inviting parents and students to become involved in
focus groups over the next few weeks. The focus groups will look at school data and
elements of the DET FISO (Framework for Improving Student Outcomes) continuum. If you
are interested in contributing please email me on lindam@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au.

There will also be briefings for staff, students and families about the development of the
Gasworks senior campus project. These will be held by the architects and the Victorian
Schools Building Authority. There will be more information to follow as we find out dates
and times.

I would like to welcome some new staff:
Anna Pilkington, Team Leader Indigo 7 and 8
Sara-Jane Smith, Drama/English, Indigo 7 leader
Lucy Marshall, Team Leader Scarlet 11 and 12
Julian Stickland, VCAL and Production Coordinator, Scarlet team
Kylie Easterbrook, Italian/English, Indigo team
Rebecca McAllan, Phys Ed/Sport, Jet team
Emma Jones, English/Media, Scarlet 10 team, replacing Travis McKenzie for Term 1.
Suat Osman, our new IT technician and Bill Theodoropoulos, our new Science technician.
Both of these roles are shared with Collingwood College as we move towards developing
common practice and the new Gasworks senior campus.

I would also like to welcome back Olie Balestra and Nellie Morales from leave, as well as
Lucy Honan, Mac Humphries, Elizabeth Campbell and Adrian Pattinson, who are replacing
staff currently on leave. Kathryn Taylor will continue to work in the library on Mondays and
Emily Wearne is taking over from Matthew Hovell as the Instrumental Music Coordinator. I
would like to thank Matt for his work in the role over the past year.

Tyson Day will be continuing his work as a Careers counsellor throughout the year. He will
be at school on Tuesdays and other days depending on requirements. Many students have
expressed their appreciation of Tyson’s knowledge and approach and we welcome him back
to our school. James Hardie, one of our Food Technology teachers and an ex-chef, will be
featured in the DET “In Our Classrooms” February 5th edition. The link is as follows:
https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/classrooms/Pages/default.aspx

We will be sharing details of the 2019 VCE, VET and VCAL results and destinations with you
shortly. A large number of students have been successful in gaining tertiary places at their
preferred institutions. In the meantime, I am very pleased and proud to announce our Dux
of Year 12, 2019, Massimo Codognotto-Parry, who was also the recipient of the University of
Melbourne Principal’s Scholarship. I also congratulate Ingrid Borrell, Year 11 this year, who
was awarded the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Class of 2021 by the University of
Melbourne.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Season of Excellence directly supports
the VCAA’s goal to support high quality education, recognise student achievement and best
practice for teaching, and encourage students to move into allied work areas and further
study. I have received invitations to several performances and showing of works by students
from Fitzroy High School who have been chosen for their work in Year 12 last year. These
include Finn Milne, whose original jazz composition written for VCE Music Styles and
Composition has been chosen for Top Class Sounds; Eve Quartermaine, whose artwork for
VCE Studio Arts has been chosen for Top Arts; and Harriet Norman, whose original dance
piece has been chosen for Top Class Dance. There may be others to come and I will let you
know about these in the next newsletter. Congratulations to these students, their families
and their teachers on being selected for such prestigious events.

Kind regards
Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report, December 2019

Dear families

Timetable Changes

I am writing to let you know that we are implementing changes to the school timetable structure commencing in 2020. There are several reasons for the change which are outlined in this message.

The key changes are:

  • There will still be four periods per day.
  • Instead of 30 minutes of Advisory and three 90-minute subject sessions there will be four 75-minute sessions per day.
  • Advisory will no longer run every day – instead, students will have longer (75 minute) Advisory sessions, allowing more time to focus deeply on learning.
  • Recess will begin 30 minutes later (11.15-11.45) and lunch 15 minutes later (1-1.45).

What stays the same?

  • There is no change to the start and finish times of the day (8.45am to 3pm).
  • There is still two sessions before recess, one session between recess and lunch and one session after lunch.
  • The role of the Advisor as the key contact for students does not change. In years 7-10 the Advisors will continue to teach their Advisory for at least one other subject, as has been the practice.

Session Times for 2020

  • Session 1: 8.45-10am
  • Session 2: 10-11.15am
  • Recess: 11.15-11.45am
  • Session 3: 11.45am-1.00pm
  • Lunch: 1.00-1.45pm
  • Session 4: 1.45-3.00pm

Why are we changing?

The key reasons for the change are to benefit the languages, Health and Physical Education, and Advisory learning outcomes. We expect that these changes will not only give more time to the study of Languages and Health and Physical Education, but will also help the school to improve attendance and punctuality, as well as student engagement.

In my October Principal’s Report, I outlined the work of the Languages Working Group, which developed a vision for languages in the school and how to foster greater participation in the learning of Italian. The frequency of language classes was raised as an important component of engagement and sense of progress for students learning a language.

The school was also keen to enable more Health and Physical Education time for students, which will have the additional benefit of including the health curriculum in that subject, rather than in Advisory sessions. 

This will mean that Advisory teachers can use the Advisory time to focus on the student’s Personal Learning Plan and developing the strengths of individuals as well as the group as a whole.

Senior School Considerations

For years 11-12 the Advisors will also continue in their current role of being the key contact and will also focus on the Personal Learning Plan. Senior students will also have a weekly ‘Tutorial’ session, which will cover topics such as study skills, exam preparation, workshops on particular learning areas, and so on.

Our Senior Program is run in partnership with Collingwood College. Collingwood has also reviewed its times of the day and our timetables will now align which has benefits for Senior students travelling between Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College.

There will be no need to travel between sessions 1 and 2, just as there hasn’t been up until now. The bus will be provided as usual so that students who choose to travel this way and who purchase a bus pass will be able to move between campuses at recess and lunchtime.

Questions?

We have been talking to students about the changes and receiving feedback. School Council and Education sub-committee have also been considering the changes and their impacts. The response so far has been extremely encouraging. Parents are welcome to contact any member of School Council or the school leadership team with comments or questions. 

Other News

In Term 1 2020, the school will have a school review of its four-year Strategic Plan. This is part of the normal cycle of school improvement and all stakeholders will be given opportunities to reflect on the past four years and to contribute to future plans. At the beginning of the year we will be asking parents to become involved in focus groups.

Andrea Thompson will be continuing as Acting Assistant Principal next year and Paul Cahill as Acting Team Leader for Years 9 and 10. Congratulations to Chris Millard, Senior Programs Leading Teacher across Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College, who is now Acting Assistant Principal in that role. I would also like to thank Rainer Parker-Stebbing for his work in the role of Indigo Team Leader and John Hinman for his work in the role of Scarlet Team Leader for the past three years.

Congratulations to Neil McLean and the other staff for the highly successful Great Victorian Bike Ride, which had the greatest number of students ever, including year 12 students. Congratulations also to the Senior Arts team on the combined art show and media night. The quality of the work was astounding and we will be hearing early next year about students whose work was chosen for the VCE Season of Excellence. Congratulations to all year 12 students who have finished VCE exams or completed VCAL.

Thanks to all of the staff who have worked hard to see our students through to the end of the year and I wish all families a safe and happy festive season.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report – October 2019

Dear families

Firstly I want to thank you all for your warm response to my appointment as the substantive principal of the school after the selection process in September. I also want to acknowledge the work of my predecessor Pauline Rice, who remains in the role of Senior Education Improvement Leader for the network, including our school. School Council and leadership are working towards a farewell for Pauline which will allow staff, families and students to thank her in person and wish her well. I would also like to thank Andrea Thompson, who is continuing in the role of Acting Assistant Principal this term and Paul Cahill, who is continuing in the role of Acting Team Leader for Years 9 and 10. Sandra Dickins has been asked to stay in the central office of the Department of Education for another term.

It was fantastic last Wednesday to see the Year 12 students engage with their last day of classes with grace and good humour. The two assemblies, the first with the Year 12 students and staff from Collingwood College and the second with all students and staff of Fitzroy High School, demonstrated a sincere appreciation of the Year 12s’ time at school and the relationships that they have formed with their fellow students and teachers. The Valedictory Dinner that night was also a wonderful event where many students received recognition of their achievements, both in subject areas and across the school. Although the following list does not account for all of the awards given, they are the main areas awards presented on the night.

These awards are for students who have given to the area over time, have performed consistently or are deserving of such an award. The recipients are chosen by a consensus process – this includes the subject teachers and advisors. We have considered students who have achieved broadly and in some cases across two to three years of VCE, VCAL and VET study.


Art and Design – Camille Allen
The art and design award celebrates excellence in creativity, and innovation showcasing the technical skill, creative prowess and aesthetic qualities of a student’s work. This award is given to a student who excels across all aspects of art and design.


English and Literature – Atifa Holden-Jeffrey

The English and Literature award recognises the dedication and brilliance of an individual in the area of extensive textual analysis, communication skills and an advanced understanding of the literary world. This award celebrates creativity, precision and strength in crafting and shaping the written word.


Health, Sport & Physical Education – Billie Kennedy
The Health, Sport and Physical Education award recognises athletic ability, sportspersonship and leadership both on and off the field. This award recognises a consistent applied effort in the sporting and health arenas.

Humanities – Daimian Galbraith
The Humanities award recognises the strength and ability of a student to traverse the political, historical, social, geographical and sometimes spiritual and psychological realms. This award celebrates a sophisticated ability to critically reflect across these domains.


Mathematics – Massimo Codognotto-Parry 
The Mathematics award recognises great skill and the ability to see and understand the world through numerical means. This award celebrates logic and intuition, analysis and construction, generality and individuality.


Performing Arts – Cormac Alves-Perini
This award celebrates excellence in creativity, in organisation, direction and theatrical vision, using their body, voice and brain to an exemplary degree when treading the boards. This award is given to a student who excels across all aspects of the performing arts.


School Spirit: Nil Sine Labore – Jacob Stenson
The School Spirit award recognises a student who is the living embodiment of what it means to be an FHS graduate. Through deed and action, they have exemplified the values of the school and have acted with the interests of the community at heart.


Science – Lily Sinclair
The Science award celebrates the search for a possible truth, the purity of knowledge, and the ability to dissect things for fun. This award recognises a student who has consistently performed admirably across the chemical, biological and life sciences.  


Vocational Education Award – Zoe Coull
The recipient of this award is recognised as a leader in their cohort. They have consistently achieved outstanding results in their VET studies and secured long-term work experience placement at a prestigious state institution. They have been both a vocal and proud advocate for Vocational Education, and they have been instrumental in creating a positive and creative VCAL culture in the school.


Young Leader Award – Sam Dakin
This award celebrates a student who has brought people together, been a leader amongst their peer group, and brought about change via their positive social influence within the school.


The Principal’s award – Molly Blood
This award is given at the discretion of the school Principal to highlight excellence and provide opportunity. This award recognises a student who is accomplished, resilient, committed and mature. The principal’s award is bestowed upon a student who demonstrates achievement and maturity, and shows great promise stemming from a base of honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and hard work.


I would also like to acknowledge and thank Molly for being one of our first students on School Council as well as the Education Sub Committee.


I wish all of the year 12 students the very best with their exams and finishing their year safely and wisely.

Last week we had Italian week, where there was a celebration of all kinds, including performances, food and sport. I would like to thank the team, especially Vanessa Paciocco, the LOTE Professional Learning Community Leader. It was fantastic to see everyone involved. 


The Languages Working Group, a group of staff, parents and students, has worked towards a vision for languages in the school and fostering greater participation in the learning of Italian. As a result, there will be more time in the timetable dedicated to Italian and greater opportunities to continue the study into VCE. This, and other considerations, such as enabling more Health and Physical Education time, has caused the school to look at the timetable and the way that curriculum time is used across the week. At the moment, there is consultation and communication with staff about the changes and this will extend to families and students within the next week. You will be invited to participate in focus groups and will also be given more detailed information about the proposed changes.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell

Principal