Headspace: Connecting and Communicating with Your Young Person – Parent/Carer Webinar

Headspace National, are presenting a webinar for parents and carers of young people.

Information presented will cover:

  • Understanding your young person, and recognising mental health difficulties
  • Managing the challenges of parenting young people today
  • Having better conversations with your young person
  • Connecting your young person with the right help and support

The webinar will consist of a presentation on mental health, with a focus on noticing mental health difficulties in young people and supporting them to open up and communicate with you about their challenges, in order to seek help if needed. The flyer attached contains the date, registration details and further contact details for those interested.

Gameplan PEERS Programs 2022

Gameplan Education Strategies is a special educational and speech pathology practice in Brunswick East. They are currently organising their PEERS programs for 2022 – a social skills program for adolescents – and are currently hoping to spread the word in our community in order to reach out to those students and families who would be interested in participating in this evidence-based program.

There will be a PEERS Online Information Session on November 9th at 5:00pm and extend the invitation to anyone who would be interested in learning more about this program. Please find information regarding the Information Session attached. If you would like to find out more about this program or register your attendance for the information evening please click on the following link: https://bit.ly/gameplan-peers

Dyslexia Awareness Week

October 5, 2021 – October 11, 2021
Dyslexia Awareness Week aims to build an understanding of what dyslexia is and how we can
support those with dyslexia. In fact, dyslexia can take many forms. For some, dyslexia just slows
down the pace of reading and writing, however others experience visual interruptions, such as
words and letters appearing blurry and illegible. Dyslexia Awareness Week aims to improve the lives
of those with dyslexia – no matter the severity.

What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty faced by people when reading and writing. It disrupts their
phonological awareness, which can make it difficult to understand words on a page. Although
around one in ten people have dyslexia, it’s still very misunderstood. Lots of people assume that it
affects intelligence, which is untrue. In fact, people with dyslexia often have slightly larger brains,
and are very creative. However, due to this misunderstanding, many people with dyslexia also
struggle with low self-confidence, especially in schools.

How can I get involved in Dyslexia Awareness Week?
Chances are you know a few dyslexic people, so one of the best ways to get involved with Dyslexia
Awareness Week is to show them support! Ensure that you’re always patient when reading with
others, so that no one feels rushed or stupid for reading a little more slowly. If you’re a teacher, you
could put all your teaching materials in dyslexic-friendly fonts, to help improve accessibility and
inclusivity. Or simply have a conversation with someone dyslexic, to find out what their life is like,
and how best to support them.

Help spread the word 
The Australian Dyslexia Association (ADA) estimates that dyslexia affects 10 per cent of our
population. In other English-speaking countries, this is closer to 20 per cent.
Albert Einstein, Walt Disney and Leonardo da Vinci are some of the many famous people diagnosed
with dyslexia. Others include Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, John Lennon, Whoopi
Goldberg and Steven Spielberg.

Sir David Attenborough and the BBC need your help!

Fitzroy High School was recently contacted by a researcher at the BBC Natural History Unit working on the upcoming documentary series ‘Planet Earth III’ which will be narrated by Sir David Attenborough and broadcast around the world in 2023.

The plan is to film the behaviour of tawny frogmouths in the suburbs of Melbourne. The BBC would like to film adult tawny frogmouths using artificial lighting to catch prey and feed their growing chicks. They will also follow the moments that chicks venture into the urban jungle alone.

In order to find key filming locations in advance of their shoot in November 2021 the BBC are looking for students to assist in:

  • monitoring your own backyards for frogmouth nesting behaviour.
  • tracking the progress of these nests.
  • mapping locations where you have seen adults hunting.

For further information on how you can do this, you can listen to the following interview from ABC Breakfast radio here.

The BBC researcher has also offered to respond to any of your questions that you may have regarding how the BBC films wildlife documentaries (what tools they use to tell their stories,  how they research beforehand, how they work with scientists, and any questions you may have about frogmouths too).  So if you have any questions please fill in this form – we will send them to the researchers and they will film their responses getting back to you soon.

Help your teen make and keep friends

Lockdown has not stopped us from assisting our teens with social communication challenges to transform their lives by improving their meaningful interactions with others.

Gameplan is one of the few practices in Australia delivering the highly renowned PEERS program.  We’ve just completed our PEERS for Adolescents Program for 2021!! It was a knock-out success and congratulations to our 2021 graduates; we are so proud of you.

The PEERS program is an online 2 x 8-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated teens in secondary settings who are interested in learning new ways of making and keeping friends.  Parents attend separate sessions at the same time and are taught how to assist their teens in making and keeping friends.

A free online information session for families and professionals wanting to know more about Gameplan’s PEERS programs for 2022 is being held from 5.00 – 6.30pm Tuesday 9 November.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the PEERS program, how it could help your teenager, and to register your attendance at the information session, then check out the details via https://bit.ly/gameplan-peers.

Stay safe and stay strong,

Olivia Connelly

E: olivia@gameplanhq.com.au
A: c/- Bloom Coworking, 140 Weston Street, Brunswick East 3057

Fitzroy Baseball Club’s Junior Program

This year they are developing a strong program to engage junior players (boys & girls aged 4-18) in community baseball.  Baseball teaches key life skills and builds confidence and fair play for all in a safe environment.

The Youth Vote Podcast episode 1 is live!

During Semester 1 this year, the students in our Podcast Excel worked with professional podcaster Joel Martin to create 8 episodes of ‘The Youth Vote’ – a series that amplifies the voices of young people as they converse with leading figures in the spaces they care about.

The new website hosting the series (designed by Parker D) just went live, so head over there and check out episode 1 in which Maya K & Sholto M interview Will Kostakis, an award-winning YA and MG writer. In the episode they discuss getting published at a young age, the issues queer people face in the industry and more.

New episodes will go live every Monday for the next 7 weeks and will be available on all your favourite podcast platforms. 

A massive thank you to all the students involved, as well as Joel Martin, Laura Wild, the team at Regional Arts Victoria, Gully T for the music and Sara-Jane Smith who kept the educational wheels turning despite all the lockdown madness!


Travis McKenzie, Excel coordinator

Announcement of name for the new senior secondary campus for Collingwood College and Fitzroy High School (formerly the Gasworks campus)

We are delighted to let you know that Wurun Senior Campus has been announced as the name of our new senior secondary campus for Collingwood College and Fitzroy High School.

Wurun Senior Campus is located on the traditional land of the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung people, on Queens Parade Fitzroy North, the historic Fitzroy Gasworks siteThe Department of Education and Training consulted with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation along with representatives from Collingwood College and Fitzroy High School on the campus name.  Use of the name ‘Wurun’ for the campus has been approved by the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. Wurun (pronunced wuh-RUN) is a Woi wurrung word of the Wurundjeri people meaning river white gum. Our senior campus will also feature an embedded Indigenous narrative developed  in collaboration with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. Examples of these interpretative elements include native planting with Woi wurrung languagenaming at the courtyard entry; a 25-metre concourse mural depicting a linear narrative of the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung people’s history and culture and the wayfinding colour palette informed by the manna gum. Having an Indigenous name for our campus and these design elements as part of our campus fabric will build on the indigenous perspectives within our curriculums and help ensure carriage of the local Indigenous culture well into the future. 

Linda Mitchell

Principal’s Report August 2021

Dear students, staff, parents, guardians and carers

Amidst the turbulence of our times, I want to express a heartfelt appreciation of our school community. Many people, not least myself as the Principal, are realising the true value of schools, not only to provide education, but also to bring people together and to support individuals.

The UNESCO Report, Education in a Post Covid World: Nine Ideas for Action, makes nine points, but I want to particularly mention the first one, which speaks to the Education State’s objective to balance excellence and equity:

Commit to strengthen education as a common good. Education is a bulwark against inequalities. In education as in health, we are safe when everybody is safe; we flourish when everybody flourishes. 

I have also been reflecting on how apt the first paragraph of Fitzroy High School’s vision is:

Fitzroy High School values children as individual learners who are full of potential and capable of excellence. Our students will be lifelong learners, reflective and creative thinkers, responsible and active citizens, and resilient and adaptable problem solvers able to navigate through an uncertain and constantly changing future.

Bright Spots
Last week was Book Week, which ended on Friday with a wonderful collage of students and staff showcasing their attire for both Book Week and Wear it Purple day! Part of Book Week was the Senior Students Vs Staff Reading Challenge, which was a lot of fun. Some younger students also participated in the Write a Book in a Day challenge. They completed their book last Monday – all 4873 words of it – and have thus far raised $1030 for the Kids’ Cancer Project. If you would like to get behind them, head to this website. Thankyou to Imogen, Clare, Tim, Annie and many others for supporting these wonderful initiatives and creating opportunities for us all.

There has also been the Virtual Challenge (Run/Ride/Skate/Walk) which has kept many students and staff active. Thankyou to Shannon and the Health and Phys Ed team for sharing this with everyone.

Another bright spot has been the year 10 to 11 and the year 11 to 12 subject selection interviews. I was lucky enough to be a panel member for some of these interviews. Every year I enjoy being part of these interviews, where I often see the best in our students. This year in particular, I was impressed and humbled by the courage and honesty, as well as the level of deep self reflection, that students exhibited, as they talked about their hopes, their dreams, in some cases their fears. I was reminded of how impressive our advisory and careers program is, along with the recently redeveloped personal learning plan and the work done in year 10 Discover. Thankyou to Paul, Vanessa, Lucy, Louise, Tyson and the rest of Scarlet 10 and Scarlet teams.

Updated Dress Code Policy
After many months of consultation with various stakeholders and careful redrafting, School Council has completed work on the Dress Code policy. The school recognises that it is important to discuss elements of the policy with staff and students, so it will be communicated early next term when we hope to be back in person. Time will be spent in staff meetings and advisories going through the policy and ensuring its smooth and consistent implementation. Although the policy is based around free dress and no uniform, student focus groups have indicated that there is interest in the school offering some optional items of clothing that incorporate the school colours and logo, rather like the sports shirt. The senior student focus groups at both Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College have expressed that they would also like some optional garments that identify them with the newsenior campus. We will be calling on students early in  Term 4 to discuss possibilities so that we can order garments in time for purchase in 2022.

Student Achievements
The year 7 and 9 NAPLAN results have arrived at the school this week. All students who participated will be posted their results and certificates, including a year 9 certificate of achievement for eligible students, the first time that this has been provided by the VCAA. I will report on the results once we have gone through the data and analysed more precisely where we are at as a school, however I can say that I am very pleased with many of the results, which have  excellent learning growth.

The Tutor Learning Initiative is another area where I have seen terrific learning growth, whether it is from the students in the Quicksmart literacy program; the students being supported by an additional teacher in the Maths classroom; or the senior students receiving one on one or small group support for specific VCE and VCAL subjects and skills. Today I participated in a review of this important DET initiative, conducted by Deloitte. Schools are eagerly awaiting news of whether the initiative will continue next year; I will keep you updated. In the meantime, I would like to thank all of staff, as well as the participants in the Tutor Learning Initiative, and I wish them well.

I would also like to wish the year 12 students well as they embark on their final weeks of learning before exams. I know that they are supported by a hard-working and dedicated team of teachers, as well as by parents, guardians and carers who have often gone above and beyond. I would like to remind everyone that, as much as we want our students to do as well as possible in their year 12 endeavours, those results, those study scores, those ATARs are only one element of a much bigger picture of what every individual can achieve in life. It is very important to put year 12 into
perspective when we are dealing with as much turmoil as we are at the moment in the world.

Staff Appointments
The school has recently appointed Louie Dalzell as Science and Outdoor Education teacher; Sean Vah, physical education and health teacher; as well as Caleb Schultz, Humanities teacher. Maria Foster has moved on to other ventures and we thank her for her many years of service at Fitzroy High School.

Upcoming events
On Monday September 6, there will be an Indigo Creators and Makers Day, a chance for our Year 7 and 8 students, families and staff to engage in some creative time away from screens, devices and Google Meet, as well as an opportunity to foster wellbeing and community engagement. We want to remind our students that they are part of a vibrant creative community and we want to acknowledge the same of our staff. Thankyou to the Indigo team for organising this and I very much look forward to seeing what is created!

Three way conferences were held for the senior students earlier this term. Thankyou to those teachers and families that participated in this important feedback opportunity. We have decided to delay the three way conferences for year 7-10 students due to the situation we are currently in. We will proceed with these early next term and will let you know as soon as we have more certainty about the return to onsite learning. In the meantime, teachers have been completing feedback on student progress in the learning tasks on Compass, some of which have needed to be modified because of the recent lockdown and its impact on specific subject areas.

The year 9 camp, which was to happen just before we went into lockdown, has been rescheduled for the end of the year. We are unsure at this stage whether we will be able to hold a year 8 camp.

Another event to look forward to is the Arts Party in mid November. Students have signed up for various contributing Excels; Specialist and CRE8 classes will also be represented as part of the offerings. The Arts Party is in place of the school production which would normally have been held this year, as well as an acknowledgement that the school cabaret last year was an online event instead of a live one. We are very hopeful that this year we can have a festive, live event, which will showcase the creative work in all of the arts and from all year levels. This will be a wonderful
opportunity for people to get together and to celebrate, after what has been a difficult time for us.

As I sign off, I want to remind you of the many opportunities for wellbeing support that are available to you. Many of these are posted regularly on Compass and the website. Other supports are given through individual student-parent-teacher-wellbeing team contact, which I know lately has been even more of a focus than usual. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need to. Thankyou to all of the people who make this happen every day, especially Linda and Jamie.

Lastly I want to acknowledge the people who are onsite at school, supporting vulnerable students and children of authorised workers where this is allowed. Ross, Rachel, Ian, Melissa, Amanda, Molly, William, Bianca, the IT staff and our leadership team, all contribute to making Fitzroy High School a comfortable and welcoming space. We can all look forward to some spring sunshine and longer, warmer days.

Kind regards
Linda Mitchell, Principal

High School Innovation Challenge

Fitzroy High School is being represented in this year’s High School Innovation Challenge on the 22nd – 24th November by the following five Year 10 students:

  • Kiki B
  • Zoja D
  • Lottie G
  • Mohammed A
  • Sholto M

All the best to our fabulous team! We’re looking forward to what will be a thrilling 3 days of STEM!

Thuy Linh Nguyen