Changing Culture, Focusing on Core Priorities

Ensuring we meet the needs of every student

The 2023 school year has commenced with a positive ‘vibe’. Vibe: meaning ‘the atmosphere of the place’. If you’ve ever seen the film ‘The Castle’ you will recall Denis Denuto talking about ‘it’s the vibe of the thing’ – something intangible that you can’t necessarily see, but something you can definitely feel. Our students have returned refreshed, re-invigorated, ready to learn and in full school uniform. It has been a pleasure to see our students endeavouring to uphold our school values, Excellence, Integrity and Respect and take their learning in and out of the class seriously.

Equally, our staff have also returned refreshed and re-invigorated for an exciting year ahead. We have now held two Staff Professional Learning Days where all staff have participated in a range of professional learning strategies aimed at ensuring the needs of every student at Warrandyte High School are met, through implementing the actions in our 2023 Annual Implementation Plan. To improve both student outcomes and student wellbeing, Warrandyte High School will be focusing on three core elements: improving literacy of our students through a focus on writing across all curriculum areas, improving the numeracy of our students with a focus on ‘Number and Algebra’ supported by targeted lessons for all Year 7 and 8 students in this area, and our partnership with Real Schools (which is mentioned later in my report).

This term we welcomed six new staff to the Warrandyte High School team: Nicole Barravecchio who is our new Business Manager, Samantha Burton who has joined the Mathematics team, Darren Grubb who has joined our Mathematics team, Ally Leota who has joined the English/Humanities team, Cassandra Parsons who has joined us in Year 11 Psychology, Humanities and Health, Lisa White, who has joined the Art/Technology faculty, and Catt Vingerhoets who has joined both the Science and English teams. We warmly welcome all of our new staff and look forward to an exciting year with them working here at Warrandyte High School.

We also welcome all of the new students who commenced with us at Warrandyte High, and their families – including all of our Year 7 students, as well as students at all other year levels.

Planning for our Discovery Night, on March 21, is well underway and we are looking forward to bringing to life our exciting new initiatives planned for 2024, including our ‘Trails of Discovery Program’. This night is always a highlight of our school calendar, and I am looking forward to the participation of many of our students on the night. Please note that no classes will be running on the day.

Commencing March 16, we have our 2023 Year 7 and Year 9 NAPLAN testing. This is an important way for schools to gather solid data on how our students are tracking with their literacy and numeracy skills and understanding. It is important that all students endeavour to do their best on these tests as this provides us a great snapshot of the areas we need to work on. Of course, NAPLAN might only be one test on one given day, but the data it provides us about your child is extremely important to school improvement. I am sure parents/carers would agree that children are at school to continually learn and improve and that having strong literacy and numeracy skills are imperative in the 21st century. Our teachers will be using the data from this year’s NAPLAN to develop our learning program for the remainder of the year so I ask that all students give it their best shot.
I thank everyone in our school community for a fantastic start to the 2023 school year. Enjoy this first newsletter – we have already had so many wonderful things happening!

Real Schools Partnership: 2023 – 2025

Our school has made a very important decision to become a Restorative School. Using Restorative Practices isn’t something we take lightly. We’ve been watching what’s been happening in the world of education when it comes to creating a strong school culture, to building effective relationships, to resolving conflict and to improving student behaviour and bullying. The bottom line is that we think there’s a better way.

Restorative Practices is that way. Working restoratively is really all about asking the right questions of students when things go wrong. You see, most approaches have us putting our detective hats on and focusing everything in the past. It really doesn’t get us very far because we never get to the present or the future.

Put simply, we’ll be asking your children questions like:
• What happened?
• How has that made people feel?
• And what action needs to be taken to make that better?

It’s all about teaching responsibility for your actions and knowing that nobody is going to do it for you. Our job is to help them do just that … better and better and better.

Are you interested in finding out more about our Instrumental Music Program?

If you/your child has always had an interest in music, we offer a wide range of lessons including:
 Voice, Guitar, Piano, Brass/Woodwind, Drums/percussion

Please come to the General Office to collect an enrolment form and find out more!

Performing Arts at Warrandyte High School

We are extremely excited to be presenting to the community our school production for 2023,

Matilda – The Musical

Casting has now been completed and our rehearsals are well underway. We are really pleased to have Gavin D. Andrew working with us again as our Director and Andrea Houchen as our Assistant Director and Choreographer. This production is sure to see Warrandyte High School return to doing one of the things it does best – produce brilliant theatre with breathtaking performances. Tickets will be available early Term 2, with our performances commencing from June 16. This will be a night not to miss!

Warrandyte Festival – March 18 and 19

Warrandyte High Friends and Families – Warrandyte Festival stall… and beyond!
Our first event of the year is the biggest and the best!

This year the Warrandyte Festival is being held on Saturday March 18 and Sunday March 19. Our wonderful ‘Warrandyte High Friends and Families’ group have again organised a stall where they will be selling Vietnamese Rolls. This year we are also lucky enough to have some of our staff and students producing and selling some wonderful wooden planter boxes. Our Instrumental Music students will also be performing on the Saturday. All money raised from the day will be going towards supporting our 2023 school production. The Warrandyte Festival is always a fantastic weekend, and a really good fundraiser for the school and I encourage all of our families to come along, enjoy the fun and support our school community.

gang gang

Introducing the 2023 Warrandyte School Captains

Left to right: Rhianna Cummings, Matilda Mee and Curtis Konynenburg, all in Year 12

Why do you want to be school captain?
Curtis: Over my last five years here at Warrandyte High School, I have gained more confidence, discipline and done things I never thought I’d be able to do. I see the role of school captain as my way of giving back to the school however possible.
Matilda: I feel very strongly about a good core leadership within the school, I believe I have the
abilities to help make this school an even better place for the community.

What do you hope to achieve in your role? / What are your priorities?
Rhianna: My priorities in this role are to be a part of the exciting work being done towards strengthening student connectedness and well-being.
Curtis: My priorities include a push for further student voice in our school’s decision making.

How do you intend to go about achieving your priorities?
Rhianna: I’m strongly encouraging students to participate in school clubs and activities, of which we have a variety which are being held at lunchtimes. The Student Voice Council is another forum I am encouraging participation.
Matilda: Connecting with other students from different year levels, groups etc.
Curtis: My idea was immediately endorsed of having myself and my two fellow Year 12 school captains facilitate the Student Voice Council meetings. This will allow students to feel more comfortable expressing their ideas.

What is your favourite colour?
Curtis: Definitely purple.
Matilda: Light blue
Rhianna: My favourite colour is red – specifically the colour of the dirt in the outback as I love road trips!

Do you prefer hamburgers or pizza?
Curtis: Hamburgers- they usually come with chips!
Matilda: Pizza

What are you most passionate about? Why?
Rhianna: I’m most passionate about musical theatre – I love watching productions and I love performing in them. We’re currently rehearsing for our production of Matilda at Warrandyte High, which I invite each and every one of you to come and watch! It will be great fun!!
Curtis: I have always had a passion for working with animals. Like people, I love being able to help those around me. The difference to me is that an animal will always let you know how they really feel, whether you want them to or not!
Matilda: Probably mental health, I’ve always been very passionate about others’ feelings and

What skills do you bring to the role of school captain?
Matilda: I have great public speaking skills which is always a must in these roles, I always have a
very open mind to new ideas and skills on how to incorporate them
Curtis: I believe I am considerate and respectful to those around me and I have built connections with people of all ages in my life. From these experiences, I have gathered many insights and opinions which allow me to consider all aspects of an issue brought before the leadership. It is this insight I hope to share as school captain.
Rhianna: I bring the skills of leadership, responsibility, respect and organisation to the role of school captain. I’m also very friendly and love to have a chat with other students as their representative about whatever they may need.

How do you want to be remembered when your period as School Captain ends?
Curtis: My aim at Warrandyte is to provide the student body with the ability to make change and have a say in this school’s decision making. So long as the students are still able to have their voice heard when I’ve left, I do not need to be remembered.
Matilda: I want to be remembered as a kind person who people could come to talk to about
anything, also as a captain who had a positive and strong impact on the school.

What is your favourite ABBA song?
Curtis: Dancing Queen, we learnt some dance moves for it in one of our productions!
Matilda: Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie
Rhianna: I’d have to go with the classic – Dancing Queen!

Do you prefer cats or dogs?
Rhianna: Definitely dogs – I have a one year old labradoodle named Jackson – but I used to be absolutely terrified of them!
Curtis: Dogs – but don’t tell my 2 cats I said that!
Matilda: Cats

What’s your advice to students who want to achieve a high ATAR score?
Matilda: Balance and self-discipline
Rhianna: My advice would be to firstly choose the subjects you love, as those will be the ones you will actually want to complete and do well in. You also need to set rules for yourself and create some sort of a study timetable, and study in a quiet environment to maximise your learning ability.
Curtis: A summary book for each subject would be my advice on how to retain as much content as you can, since you can add new content into them while it’s still fresh in your head, and in a way you will understand.

What do you hope to be doing in 2024?
Curtis: I’m after a high enough ATAR to start studying to become a vet. Luckily there are many more achievable options, such as a Bachelor of Science, from which I can transfer into vet studies after a year or so. I’ll see how I go!
Rhianna: My goal for 2024 is to be doing a Law/Science Bachelor’s Degree at university, or another which is similar.
Matilda: Studying social work at university and continuing to work

What is your message to the new students joining WHS in Year 7 in 2023?
Matilda: Never take a moment for granted! High school can be hard and great at the same time but
in the end, I promise, you will always look back on those special moments – so make sure you
enjoy them
Curtis: Remember you can always join a group such as the musical production, the football program, the basketball program or one of the many lunchtime clubs so you can be around like-minded people, if you so wish!
Rhianna: I hope you have lots of fun here at Warrandyte High. Make the most of everything that our school has to offer. Expect to make lots of friends and memories, but also remember to knuckle down with your studies!

What has been your favourite high school experiences so far at WHS?
Rhianna: It’s tough having to choose just one… I would say opening night for all of the musical productions I’ve done at WHS; the nerves and excitement beat anything else! But also, just some of the conversations we have as a class – getting to know the teachers and having fun with my friends!
Curtis: Definitely the year 11 Kakadu trip! It was so great to travel and see so much of Australia. Also being with my peers, I got to see a whole new side to people I would never have seen otherwise.
Matilda: All the sporting days! I love being able to participate in such fun events with all my friends.

2023 at Warrandyte High School is in very exciting, safe and caring hands with our 3 awesome school captains.

J. Caruana
Assistant Principal

Year 7 Camp

Recently, our Year 7 students, VET Sport and Recreation students and eager staff members ventured into Roses Gap Recreation Centre in the Grampians for a fun filled 3-day camp. What an amazing trip it was and such a great start to the students’ high school journey. Camp was an awesome way for students to create new friendships, whilst reinforcing ones that had just begun. We had such amazing, sunny weather the whole time we were there with it peaking at 38 degrees on the day we left.

Whilst on camp students rotated through a series of activities including; low ropes, giant swing, canoeing, raft building, bushwalking, crate stack challenge and abseiling. The students should be commended for challenging themselves on the scary height related obstacles and enthusiastically taking part in all the activities. Excitingly, Rhys Eilermann, one of our Year 7 students broke the Roses Gap record on the crate stack challenge climbing 28 milk crates high.

The VET Sport and Recreation students did an amazing job stepping up and taking on the role of camp leaders for the 3 days. They ran night time activities with the Year 7 students including a range of hands-on games and a trivia night, with lots of prizes to be won for all. The leaders should be congratulated for their maturity, kindness and enthusiasm the entire camp.

A big thank-you to the staff at Roses Gap, as always, they were super accommodating, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and charismatic.

Ms Zammit
7/8 Co-ordinator

VET Sport and Recreation at Year 7 Camp

In February, the Unit 3&4 VET Sport and Recreation students attended the Rear 7 camp as part of their practical assessment for Plan and Conduct Programs and Facilitate Groups. As part of this, students were required to plan and then run different activities for the year 7 students whilst on camp. Students were split into small groups and were in charge of a group of approximately 12 year 7 students for all activities. In addition to this they also helped out at the camp to facilitate the group, ensuring they were encouraging each other to conquer some of their fears (especially on the high rope activities and abseiling) and to also connect with the year 7 students to support them. The experience was a great success with all students developing their skills throughout the camp. The key things the students reflected upon was how much they learnt regarding connecting with students, importance of clear communication and gaining confidence in projecting their voice and being organised. All students did a fantastic job in developing a range of different skills which they will now be able to apply the theory to.

The feedback from camp staff was a highlight and showed the impact this group of students had. They were simply amazed with the professionalism of the VET REC students and offered any of them work experience if they wanted to pursue a career in camp leadership.

By the end of the week of camp the VET Sport and Recreation students left camp extremely tired, having achieved great successes and with a greater appreciation of what teachers do. Many comments were made such as ‘how do you this this everyday’, ‘you make it look so easy’, ‘I now appreciate the teachers so much more’. I wish to congratulate all the VET REC students on their efforts throughout the entire week. They stepped up and proved themselves to be very capable leaders.

Well done to all students. You made a massive impact on camp to both the year 7 students but also the staff who attended. The skills you developed you will keep for life and you have all proved your capabilities. I look forward to working with you for the remainder of the year as you complete your certificate III in Sport and Recreation.

Ms Cook

House Swimming Sports 2023

Recently, we awoke to a beautiful, hot, sunny day perfect for the annual Warrandyte High School House swimming carnival. Warrandyte High School students and teachers dressed in house colours, amazing costumes and cheering loudly descended on Boroondara Sports Complex ready to take out victory in the pool. The day was extremely successful with lots of students full of loud voices ready to swim and cheer their houses to victory. The hot weather made perfect conditions for students competing in swimming events, cheering, participating in the annual bomb contest and relaxing around the pool. It was great to see students giving it a go whether competing or simply for the fun and in the spirit of gaining house points. A highlight for most of the students was the annual bombing contest from the 3m diving board which provided spectators with a wonderful display of different bombing techniques. You could hear the splash and the agony of some of the impact from the other end of the pool. Lots of support was provided for students a little nervous jumping from the 3m board. The noodle race was also highly popular with students and earned valuable house points.
In the end Stiggant were awarded Swimming House Champions.

The final points tally was:
Stiggant – 436
Anderson – 296
Michel – 250
Newman – 248

In addition a House Swimming Champion Trophy was awarded to one student from each house. These students were recognized for gaining the most number of points for their house and for their eager participation on the day.

The House Swimming Champions were:
Stiggant – Grace Synhur (year 10)
Anderson – Adam Kamphuis (year 7)
Michel – Angus Evans (year 12)
Newman – Jayden Lynch (year 10)

A special mention to Jack Brennan who broke the 14yr old male 50m breaststroke record (which had stood since 2002) and to Coco Whelan who broke the 100m freestyle record (which had stood since 2009). These are fantastic individual achievements from both these students.

The day is not only about recognising swimming success but also about building house spirit, leadership and cross year level friendships for all students as well as students and teachers building relationship outside the classroom setting. As part of this, students were awarded prizes for best dressed. This year the competition was at its highest with many fantastic costumes being made. The eventual winners of the competition were

Toy story – Bec (Slinky), Tiannah (Bo Peep), Ava (Mr Potato Head), Gina (Jesse), Anna (T Rex), Ellie (Alien), Lucia (Sheep), Amber (Buzz) and Lahni (Woodie)
In addition to these awards multiple students were recognised for their efforts with their costumes which included Alvin and Chipmunks (Tanny, Nye-Ann and Cameron), Crocodile Hunter (Koko), M&M’s (Rhiannon, Amber and Jade), Monkeys in suits (Patrick, Josh, Caiden,
Ethan and Tyler) and a mass of hippies There were also a range of other characters dressed to suit their house colours. It was great to see so many students embrace the opportunity to express their creativity and I look forward to seeing this replicated at the athletics sports.

The 6 house captains and 1 school captain (Lachlan Guymer, Josh Evans, Dillon Vidanapathirana, Angus Evans, Lahni Weeks, Gina Di Mauro and Curtis Konynenburg) did a fantastic job in promoting the day, encouraging students, ensuring teams were ready for relay races and developing house spirit. We also welcomed as house captains Josh Spitiri and Cruz Robinson who throughout the day took on the initiative to challenge themselves to take on the house captain position.

The day finished off with the traditional house versus staff inflatable crocodile relay which was fiercely contested. Whilst there was much sabotage undertaken by all houses, the teachers came out victorious by using a range of different strategies to overcome, with Ms Degering utilising another team’s crocodile on the finish line to touch first. Congratulations to all students and staff who involved themselves in this event. It was fantastic to see the comradery between the staff and students.
All students should be congratulated on their efforts and behaviour on the day. A big thank you also goes to all the staff who contributed to making the 2023 House Swimming Carnival a successful and enjoyable day

Ms Cook
Sports Leader

International students participate in Swimming Day

On the lovely Thursday morning, all the international students took the bus to start their water-splash experience day. They enjoyed watching the water activities.

Qihang (Brian) Zhang 9.1 wrote the following piece:

School Swimming Day
On Thursday, I went with my friends and classmates to the swimming sports. This is my second time going to the swimming pool. I like swimming, I think the swimming pool activity is ok, but on Thursday it is very hot for all students and teachers. Many students have gone to swim in the swimming pool but I did not swim in the swimming pool.
In the afternoon, most students stay at the other diving swimming pool. This swimming pool is used for people to jump into. I support school by doing any activity on a good weather day. Many students
are happy to dump in the water. I also think dumping in water is good.

At last, I hope that all the international students would have more opportunities to be involved in whole-school activities and local community.
Enjoy your time!

Joanna Wu
International Student Co-ordinator

AFL Program

Big things are happening with the WHS AFL Academy this term! We have organised our first ever competitive match against Diamond Valley College, which will take place on our beautiful oval on the 30th of March. In addition to this, we have brand new playing jerseys on the way, which all of our players will get to keep, and have a practice match against some of the P.E students organised for next week.

Moreover, we look forward to having some special guests from the Eastern Ranges and AFL/W coming in next term as the students prepare for their local seasons ahead. The players have embraced the challenges and new ideas that I have thrown their way and we can not wait to see them in action as a team.

Mr Paramanathan
AFL Academy 


In February this year, Warrandyte High School successfully participated in a whole school Emergency Management practice drill.

We first entered into Bushfire Alert Mode; this is where teaching in classrooms continues with no student movement outside of the classroom allowed. We then practised our evacuation procedure into our Shelter-in-Place building. Year 7-9 students and staff evacuated into our theatre whilst Year 10-12 students and staff evacuated into our gym.

Debriefing plays an important role in our ongoing emergency management program. We conducted a debriefing to refine our processes further. Warrandyte High School – committed to the safety of your child; committed to rolling emergency management practice procedures.

Mr Caruana
Assistant Principal

Tuning into Teens Program for parents

Headspace in Malvern and Greensborough are offering the Tuning Into Teens: Emotionally intelligent parenting programs for parents/carers. Feedback from participants in the program includes:

“I felt we were growing apart, but now we are better connected and talking more often”
“I was more easily able to stay connected with my 14-year-old during a very stressful time”
“I was able to be more calm and able to handle stressful situations that happened. I have a better idea of how to handle emotions effectively”

Limited places are available. If you would like more information, please contact Jim Dellis, Family Therapist at headspace Malvern, or call 9006 6550
To register for the group held in Greensborough: email or call 9433 7200

Ms Formoso
Mental Health Practitioner


The secondary school years are a time when young people experience many physical, mental, emotional, and social changes. As parents / carers it can be common to have doubts and worries about the best way to parent during times of concern.

Adolescent issues can range from things like, teenage behaviours and development, family relationships, learning, friendships, and parental stress. They can be worries where access to correct information will guide you or, more complex mental health and wellbeing concerns where more ongoing support is needed.
Free, confidential, evidenced based parental advice and support for children from birth to 18 years is available from Parentline and Raising Children Network.
Parentline provides a free confidential and anonymous phone counselling and support on parenting issues by qualified professionals.

Available 8am to midnight, 7 days a week, including public holidays

Qualified counsellors are available to:
Talk about any issues with parenting and your relationships with your child.
Assist you with ways to cope and be a positive parent.
Help with your family’s wellbeing and resilience.

Raising Children Network is an Australian website launched in 2006. It is funded by Government of Australia as a means to produce and maintain educational tools and resources for families raising children in Australia.
The site has a comprehensive section dedicated to Adolescent mental health and wellbeing.
Teen mental health & wellbeing | Raising Children Network

Ms Keech
Adolescent Health Nurse
Monday & Tuesday @ Warrandyte High School

Seussical Jr

Come and join the Diamond Valley Singers Youth production for the 8-performance season of “Seussical Jr”

A musical perfect for the whole family, “Seussical Jr” (performed by ages 8 to 18) takes us into the world of Dr. Seuss, where we revisit beloved characters including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie, and JoJo. The Cat in the Hat guides us into the Jungle of Nool where we see Horton, the kind-hearted elephant, who discovers a speck of dust containing Whoville. He meets JoJo, a Who child reprimanded for thinking too many “thinks.” ….the rest of the story awaits you on stage at Warrandyte High School!

From our Co Director, Lexi Patman: “I am excited to be co directing with Tommy Murphy, Seussical Jr with DVS. I have previously performed in Youth productions with DVS and have now come full circle. I am really honoured to be moving into a creative role with this wonderful company.”

“Acting locally and thinking Globally” Diamond Valley Singers will donate proceeds from the performances to International Needs Australia and Open House in Macleod.

Performance Details:
All Performances are at the Warrandyte High School Theatre, Alexander Road, Warrandyte:

Friday 24 March 2023 – 7.00pm
Saturday 25 March 2023 – 2.00pm and 6.00pm
Sunday 26 March 2023 – 2.00pm and 6.00pm
Friday 31 March 2023 – 7.00pm
Saturday 1 April 2023 – 2.00pm and 6.00pm

TRY Booking ticket link:

Web Site: