School Council
Principal’s Report – December 2023

As I write this December edition of my Principal’s Report, it is amazing to look back and reflect on the year that we have had. Although it has zoomed by in a flash, the Warrandyte High School community – our staff, our students, our parents, our School Council and wider community have worked extremely hard to build upon our improvement journey. While our improvement journey is far from over – and we certainly look ahead to 2024 with hope, excitement and positivity for the future – it is also important to celebrate all that has been achieved throughout this year. I would like to thank our wonderful School Council for all of their support of our initiatives in 2023 and their hard work and dedication through being serving members and giving up their time to attend our meetings. It has been a strong and committed School Council and I look forward to our continued work next year.

It feels like only yesterday we welcomed back our staff on Day 1 of 2023 back in January – where we came together to learn, prepare for the year ahead and continue to build our positive and collaborative culture with a staff team-building afternoon. It was the very next day that we began to welcome back our students and parent community – setting everyone up for what we hoped would be a successful year. Like all schools however, there certainly were challenges – staffing shortages continued to be one of the main concerns and despite our best efforts we did fall short in a few key areas. I thank our students and our community however for having trust in our school, and our staff, that we would continue to provide first-class education and support to our students. With our two key focus points for the year: Teaching & Learning Excellence and High Expectations – we built a strong culture around supporting all students in their learning and wellbeing. Much of the work in the background throughout the year will shine through in 2024 and we are looking forward to sharing this with you early in the new year.

Some of the great highlights throughout 2023 have included the completion of our Art/Technology Building which is set to have a long-lasting positive impact for many years to come for all of our students that come through our doors. We undertook an extensive review of our school uniform – including surveys of staff, students and parents – and look forward to introducing our exciting range of new items in Term 2 of 2024. Behind the scenes, we built the capacity of our staff to include literacy strategies in their teaching program – across all subjects – so that the literacy outcomes of our students will continue to improve. We also built the capacity of our Maths teachers so that they are not just working on improving mathematical knowledge and skill development with our students, but so that they are also working on improving numeracy acquisition. Our staff worked closely with our Student Voice Council and we completed two key frameworks that will drive our school improvement journey: our WHS Instructional Model which is now reviewed and renewed and provides both teachers and students with a core framework for the teaching and learning program each and every lesson. Last week we were extremely pleased to have completed the development of our second key framework – our WHS Wellbeing Framework which has been designed to drive our improvements in supporting all of our students in four key areas: Connection, Inclusion, Support & Encouragement. I share a copy of this with you below:

Throughout the year, staff have been working on key aspects of this Framework – including building their understanding of, and capacity to, make connections with their students, facilitate peer relationships and most recently our work has focused on ways that students will co-construct the development of clear classroom expectations. This work throughout Semester 2 has been developed to ensure we focus on what really matters in 2024 – ensuring every student that comes to WHS has both a successful education that helps them to grow, while nurturing and supporting them to be happy, healthy and resilient young people. It has been great to see our students be such an integral part of this journey and we can’t wait to see this come to life in 2024.

The year of 2023 was no doubt a year of change – a year of reflection on what we needed to do to improve our school, a year of development and a year of collaboration. Next year families and students will be immersed in these changes and be part of our new school direction. This will, of course, include our exciting new ‘Trails of Discovery Program’ which will build upon the huge success of both our AFL and Basketball Academies, the introduction of our STEM Centre and STEM classes and a focus on what really matters – ensuring that each of our students have an enjoyable and successful learning experience that prepares them for not only academic success but also to be part of the global community they will enter upon completing their secondary school studies.

There have also been many other highlights throughout the year which have given me great pride to be the Principal of our wonderful school – including participation and success in a range of inter-school sports, athletics, our VET Sport & Recreation Program – including many camps, our Year 7 Camp, our amazing production of ‘Matilda the Musical’, AFL and Basketball Academy matches, ‘WHS Got Talent’, our Student Voice Council and their fantastic student-led dress up/fundraising days (Italian Day and our Pink/Teal/White Day just to name a few!), the great fun our Year 12 students have had throughout the year and so much more. It is such a great time to lead this great school, to be part of this school community and there is so much more to look forward to.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank our 2023 School Captains: Curtis Konynenburg, Matilda Mee and Rhianna Cummings for their great contributions to our school community, our School Improvement Team, Student Voice Council and the many events which they led and supported our school. Thank you to all of our students for being such great advocates for Warrandyte High School – walking the school grounds now shows the dedication to our uniform, to the beautiful grounds and environment in which you spend a lot of your day and to your education. One of the greatest highlights for me this year has been walking into any classroom and seeing so many of our students focused on their learning and seeking to improve. You have all done yourselves proud and I look forward to witnessing what is to come from you all next year. Lastly to our incredibly dedicated team of staff – including both our teaching staff members and our Education Support Staff members. It has been a challenging year of change and I thank you for always putting our students first, and for also putting your trust in my and our leadership team to ensure that our school initiatives are well focused and supported. While 2023 has been a great year, I have no doubt that looking ahead – 2024 will be even bigger and better.

To all of our Warrandyte High School community – I wish you a very happy and safe Christmas and break and we all look forward to welcoming you back in January.

Rachel Lynch

Thank You

Congratulations to all students on making it to the end of the 2023 school year. Another year is done and dusted, and it is now time to take a break to reset and relax with your families and friends!

I wanted to say a big thankyou to all of the students, parents and community members for the well wishes when I went on maternity leave, early in term 2. I now have a 6-month-old son, Shiloh, who has made a few appearances at Warrandyte High School, since being born to meet WHS students and staff.

Some of the community already know this, but I won’t be returning to Warrandyte High School after my maternity leave ends. Because of this, I wanted to extend my deepest gratitude to all of you for the last four years. Coming in as a brand-new teacher in 2020, was extremely challenging due to the pandemic, but every student I have taught has taught me something that I will be able to use for the rest of my teaching career. It has been a privilege to be your teacher, coordinator and familiar face at Warrandyte High School, so thank-you for allowing me to be part of your schooling journey.

Stay safe over the break, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Miss Milenkovic

Senior School – Andrew Blair

It was during Term 2 that I welcomed the senior school students to the 2023 school year as I was taking over from Martika Milenkovic who had been in the role for the previous 18 months. I would firstly like to acknowledge the fantastic job that Miss Milenkovic did as Senior School leader and she will certainly be missed by the WHS community.

The Year 12s have now completed their official VCAA exams. Some eagerly awaiting their results while others have already commenced the next chapter in their life. This is the time when all the years’ worth of worry, studying and stress pay off and they receive their VCE certificate and/or ATAR result, which is a giant step in their next pathway.

On Tuesday the 21st of November I had the pleasure of congratulating year 12 students for the completion of their high school studies at the valedictory, held at the Karralyka Centre in Ringwood. The valedictory is a formal evening, giving all students a chance to celebrate and reflect across their secondary schooling. We wish them all the very best for their future pathways and hope for their every success along their journey.

We also had great successes this year, out of the classroom, where our senior students excelled across a range of different activities, such as: interschool sport, school production and music to name a few. I was so impressed with the level of leadership, dedication and fun that our senior students had throughout 2023, and am looking forward to some more memories next year.

The transition process for the 2024 school year is now in full swing and compulsory for all students. Many students are experiencing transition classes, being a VCE student for the first time. They are now being introduced to SACs, tests, work requirements and supervised study sessions and are meeting some teachers and students for the first time, for the classes next year.

I cannot wait to see all of the amazing things the class of 2024 achieve over the next twelve months, and to welcome in a new cohort into their VCE experience.

Thank you for such a great year, and best wishes for a successful 2024!


Sporting Update

Since our last sports update, sport has been a little quieter however there is always something going on behind the scenes. Dillon Vidanapathirana and Joel Denny competed at the All Schools Track and Field Championships. This event is open to all students from all schools in Victoria. Dillon competed in the U20 para 100m where he received silver in a time of 13.05, won gold in the para 400m in a time of 61.10 Dillon and ran in the 200m and 800m coming 2nd in both events. As a result Dillon has qualified to represent Victoria at the All Schools Athletics National Championships being held in Perth in December. He will be participating in the 100, 200 and 800m. This is an amazing achievement for Dillon as he has only been doing athletics competitively for 2 years. We wish Dillon the best of luck at the National Championships. Joel also had a great competition heat in the 1500m coming in 6th (out of 30) in a time of 4:26.93 progressing him to the finals. He then backed this up in the final the following day where overall he ran a fantastic race against some very quick competition finishing 6th overall in a time of 4:23.82. These results are a real testament to the hard work and dedication that both Dillon and Joel put into their training. Congratulations Dillon and Joel. The Warrandyte High School community are extremely proud of you and your achievements.

The year 7 and 8 students also had a gala day out playing in some alternate sports including Futsal, European Handball and Ultimate Frisbee. It was a great day out with all teams playing to their absolute best and supporting each of along the way. Overall Warrandyte dominated the European Handball. For a final sport day out, it was fantastic to see so many students getting involved, helping and supporting each other and taking on leadership positions in umpiring some games.

The sporting program at Warrandyte High School was further celebrated at the year 12 valedictory dinner where 2 students were selected by School Sport Victoria for the academic and sporting achievement medal. This is an external award which recognises the most outstanding students in your school who has achieved a high level academically, combined with a strong sporting contribution to the school. Congratulations to Josh Evans and Lachlan Guymer who were the recipients of this prestigious award.

With sport wrapped up for 2023 I am looking forward to another great year of sport and seeing both individual and team success in 2024.

Katie Cook

Click on an image below to enlarge and create a slideshow

Taking the Challenge: City Experience

This term our year students spent 5 days completing challenges to broaden their understanding of our vibrant city. In their groups, they completed a scavenger hunt to familiarise with significant landmarks and to develop more confidence with the public transport system. They participated in a Food and Cultural immersion where they explored Melbourne’s iconic laneway art and visited Footscray for a multicultural cuisine experience. Students also visited the Shrine of Remembrance, The Big Issue and ACMI before ending on a high note at Luna Park in St Kilda. It was fantastic to see our year 9’s becoming confident on the trains, buses and trams and with navigating the city.

Click on an image below to enlarge and create a slideshow


Students are welcome to borrow books over the holiday period. However, if you have a forgotten, long-term loan lying around your house, please return it to the library before the end of the year.

Enjoy your summer reading!

Jewellery Technology – 9/10

In the spirit of fostering creativity and hands-on learning, we’re thrilled to share an exciting venture that has unfolded within the walls of our school recently. Our talented students have been diving into the world of jewellery making, exploring the fascinating process of creating rings using copper and brass.

Students also embarked on a journey to design and craft their own custom pendants and key chains. This project not only allows for artistic expression but also introduces students to the intricate world of jewellery design and the versatile nature of resin as a crafting material.

Click on an image below to enlarge and create a slideshow


Over the term in Art our year 7 students have been using Design thinking to work on their PDBArt science and art projects by exploring a protein that sparked their curiosity. Students have explored proteins related to Covid 19, Green fluorescent jelly fish, influenza virus, happiness and sadness, height and growth, plants, cancer, dermatitis and more. They all selected their preferred art form and investigated what particular materials could do so they could make connections to the messages and meanings they were trying to convey. We can’t wait for all of them to finish their work so we can send it off to Europe for the 2024 showcase early next year!

Click on an image below to enlarge and create a slideshow