Instrumental Music Program 2020

Fitzroy High’s Instrumental Music Program is well and truely underway. We have a great lineup of ensembles again this year and some new faces that have joined the team. I would like to introduce Matt Sheers our new Strings teacher who is leading both The String Ensemble and Filharmonica and teaching violin, viola and the Uke. Another new face is myself, Emily Wearne! Taking the lead from Matthew Hovell who did a terrific job last year coordinating the Instrumental Program, I will be answering your emails, facilitating performances and helping out in anyway possible to ensure a smooth year of lessons and performances, if anyone has any suggestions or questions regarding the program please contact me at this email , and I will endeavour to help where possible. 

For this year we hope to have a few external and internal concerts to showcase the hard work put in by both student and teacher to learn an instrument and play in an ensemble. I encourage staff, friends and family to attend these events and support students in their extra curricular activity. That is it for now, I hope everyone is settling into the new year with ease and we can all have a fab 2020!!

Emily Wearne

VCAL visit to Lentil as Anything

On September 5 the Year 12 VCAL student cohort visited Lentil As Anything in Thornbury. After a successful work experience placement at the cafe, one of the students, Dan Ilsley, decided to create an artwork as a “thank you”. Dan worked closely with integration staff in the school’s Hands On Learning program to complete the project over a 4 month period. Dan enjoyed being involved in all aspects of the project and is very excited to know that his work will be displayed for everyone to appreciate. The visit included a tour of the venue, a group lunch, and a presentation to the cafe’s Manager by Dan and Linda Mitchell, Fitzroy High School’s Acting Principal.

Blue EDGE Pilot Program

After much success in Queensland, the Blue EDGE program is being piloted at Fitzroy High School two mornings a week in term two and will continue into term three. Blue EDGE (Educate, Develop, Grow, Empower) is a program of physical training designed to extend a young person’s mind and physical capability. The program also includes career education, motivational speakers and mentoring with a view to having youth actualise their potential.

Outcomes include personal relationships and rapport being built between Police, Blue Light Volunteers and the young people and their families. The intention of the program is to grow and develop the skills and attitudes young people need to take part in society, now and in the future. We believe that interacting with young people will encourage participants to be receptive to good guidance and have respect and trust in the police as they mature. We believe that the interaction between young people, the Police and Blue Light is making a positive and sustainable difference in people’s lives.

Cathy Williams, Blue EDGE Metro Program Coordinator had the following to say:

‘We’ve had a really good first run of the Blue EDGE Pilot at Fitzroy High School this term. A consistent group of eight year 10 students have attended each week – Mondays and Fridays, starting at 7.30am – showing keen enthusiasm and engagement. The feedback from our trainer Aaron has been that the boys are “outstanding, well mannered, open and relaxed”. It is commendable to see their commitment given the early start! Aaron has been tailoring the sessions according to what he observes with the group and individuals and there will be more team building in Term 3 with small and big group activities, encouraging different styles of leadership.

We’ve had some great wellbeing workshops as well in the second half of the sessions – some sports insights from Joe Costa (Yarra Leisure Manager) and Aaron Curtis. The facilitators from Chin Up boys got some great discussions happening with the group around Identity, Masculinity, Communication, and Conflict Resolution.’

The photos show a training session in action, with two of the participating police officers from Fitzroy, along with Aaron who works for Yarra Leisure, who runs the fitness sessions.

Blue EDGE is looking to include more student participants next term from years 9 & 10. Please speak to Vanessa, Paul or Andrea if you are keen to join. The program will recommence in week two.

Future Makers – Bogong Camp

On the 23rd of April 2019, we set off on the trip to the camp, which was roughly 5 hours away in Bogong Village (north of Mount Beauty). When we arrived, we divided into two smaller groups and went on a tour around the camp. Group 1 met Rich and Cal, who were our group leaders, while Group 2 met JP and Tamsyn and then got settled in. The next few days were spent doing normal camp activities and preparing for the five day hike that was fast approaching.

On ANZAC Day, we woke up bright and early to go to the dawn service in Falls Creek. Later that day, we began packing for the hike and the nerves started to kick in.

Before we knew it, we were leaving for the hike. During the hike, the Group 1 leaders were Zoe and Cal, and Erin (teacher from Fitzroy High) came along with us. Group 2 was led by Jamie and Tamsyn on the hike. The bus ride was one of the most exciting and nerve wracking experiences of the camp. It was pouring down with rain and we were not looking forward to walking in the freezing cold, wet weather.

Group 1 walked roughly 6 km to Edmundsons Hut. The feeling when we finally reached our destination was amazing. We spent our night by the open fire and occasionally dashing inside the hut. Falling asleep was freezing but we were all happy to finally have a rest after a long, challenging day.

The next day we left to go to our second destination, this was our last night with a hut and drop toilet. It wasn’t nearly as cold but the walk was still very challenging either way. We spent our night inside the hut and having fun with old and new friends. The night was much warmer but still very cold. We packed up and departed our campsite in the morning and set off to the “Helipad”.

The third day was very challenging but one of the highlights of the whole hike. We had to all cross a river, take off our packs, and use teamwork to get them across. We finally reached the Helipad and the view was nothing less than amazing. We set up our tents and spent the rest of the night spending time together, heading off to bed as we had an early start the next morning.

Day four was definitely the most challenging and rewarding day of them all. We departed for our hike that day at 7:00 am, luckily without our heavy packs. We reached the summit of Mount Bogong by 11:30am and were lucky enough to see Group 2 while there. Safe to say we were exhausted by the end.

Our final day was our longest day but not the most difficult. Seeing the bus at the end of our journey was one of the most rewarding parts. For the last few days, we did some more camp activities and made the most of our time left.


Fancy a tune?  The Fitzroy High School Vocal Group rehearse every Tuesday morning at 8:30am in Music room CG15 and sing everything from Rn’B to the classics. Good people, good harmonies, good times.

Hands On Learning – Nov

Pizza Oven and Planter Boxes


As part of the City of Yarra sustainability grant, students from Hands on Learning helped to design and build a pizza oven and planter boxes near the canteen and outdoor seating area at the back of the school.  The planter boxes include fruit trees and herbs and are designed to be self-watering.

Students enjoyed the experience:

“Mixing concrete was fun”

“Brick laying was so fun, I love brick laying”

“It was a really good experience”

“I enjoyed helping make the planter boxes – we worked well as a good team”


Penelope Stray

Hands on Learning

Fitzroy High School

Nov 2016

Hands on Learning – Pizza Oven – May

Hands on Learning students have been working on building the Pizza Oven with some help from professional Tradesmen. We have learnt lots of new skills,   including, excavation, concrete boxing and pouring, levelling of concrete, how to break a brick into even halves, brick laying, mixing cement render and rendering. We have also been able to use some maths skills to count the number of bricks we needed, measure and divide the spaces, work out some circle sizes and how to make a dome. We have decorated the pizza oven with ceramic fruits that we made last winter. We are about to embark on some pizza making once the oven has cured and the cement is fully dry. Several small fires have already been lit to help this process along.

We have  had to work as a team to make this project happen, we worked through recess and lunch on several occasions as wet cement waits for no-one, it has been a lot of fun and we can’t wait to try our first Pizza.

Penelope Stray

Hands on Learning

Fitzroy High School

May 2016