Newsletter Term 4 – Week 10

Important Dates

Friday December 16Last Day of School – 2016
Return Dates for 2017Friday 27 January: Staff return for Term 1 2017
Monday 30 January: Years 7, 11, 12 + Peer Support Leaders return to school
Tuesday 31 January: Years 8, 9 & 10 return to school

View and download PDF version of Newsletter here

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday!

Another year over and once again, I get to this point and feel absolutely privileged to be Principal of Kariong Mountains High School. In the space of one year, there has been so much growth and opportunities for students to engage with learning, inside and outside the classroom.

Our values of Unity Knowledge Respect continue to drive our practice and I am certain that there is not a staff member or student in the school who does not know and can relate to these values; that is a reflection of how important they are to the school’s vision for success.

It is a time of reflection on all that we have achieved and a time to reflect of the contributions of our staff, students and families (a big thank you to our P&C) in creating such a vibrant, supportive school culture of which we can all be proud.

To the students, well done on your efforts in the classroom, as school representatives in a variety of teams and competitions and as volunteers in a range of endeavours.

To our parents, industry partners and learning community primary schools thank you for your support of the school, so that we really embody the ideal of being a collaborative learning community.

And of course, thank you to our staff who have not only provided a quality learning environment, but also given up their time to offer students a range of activities outside the classroom curriculum. Unfortunately, life is about change and sadly, we must say farewell to some staff members who are moving on to new endeavours. Thank you, to Mr Allen, Mr Furey and Mr Quinn for their contribution to student learning, engagement and wellbeing. They will, all, be very much missed.

I would like to finish with some verses from a poem…

We’ve watched your child learn and grow
And change from day to day
We hope that all the things we’ve done
Have helped in some small way

So it’s with happy memories
We send them out the door
With great hope and expectations
For what next year holds in store.

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday break and will see you in 2017 ready to engage in another exciting learning adventure.

Ms Anne Vine

From the Deputy’s Desk

I wish all students and their families a happy and safe holiday. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2017 for another productive year.

Mr Scott White
Deputy Principal


Making the most of yearly exams

Congratulations to all students in Years 7 – 10 who recently completed their writing and reading examinations in English. All classes have been taking the last few weeks to make the most of the learning opportunity provided by exams and have been self-evaluating their results and working on redrafting their original work to improve on their skills in literacy and composition. Having observed multiple classes have real conversations about what they did and did not do well, as opposed to just asking ‘what mark they got’ reinforces the power of feedback and the value we all can gain trying to always strive to complete work to the best of our ability.

A positive start to the HSC

It has been pleasing to see most of our Year 11 students make such a positive transition into the HSC course. The first assessment task of the HSC year is upon us and students have been working hard with the ALARM process to consolidate their learning and prepare to respond to the challenging questions we often see in English Standard and Advanced papers. The English Advanced class has also been making the most of our recent weather, taking their study of The Tempest to the Mt Penang Parklands to study by the water and under the trees.

Year 11 English students taking their study of ‘The Tempest’ to the outdoors
English literature in Mt Penang Parklands
English Advanced class making the most of the weather

Theatre Sports Competition

On the 25th November Kariong Mountains High School ran its second annual Theatre Sports competition for students in Years 7 – 8. Congratulations, to all the students involved and for standing up and performing in front of such a large audience. The performances were outstanding and everybody had a fantastic time.

Project Based Assessment for Learning (PBaL)

Kariong Mountains High School is currently transitioning some of our programs to the PBaL model, which allows students to learn course content by designing and creating their own major projects. The English Faculty has been trialling PBaL in Mr Crum and Miss Thompson’s classes and the results are amazing. In Mr Crum’s class, students are working on a design project of their choice, with podcasts, websites, t-shirt designs and picture books all being constructed for various organisations and businesses of the future. In Miss Thompson’s Year 9 class, students are working on the hypothetical scenario Snap-Town, a dystopian world in the future where technology ceases to exist. Students are researching and preparing to run workshops for other Year 9 students, where they will learn about how to survive without technology – including skills in cooking, communicating, playing traditional games and resource management. Both classes are to be commended for the enthusiasim and commitment they have put into their projects and we look forward to celebrating with them at the end of the term.

From everybody in the English Faculty, we wish everybody a fantastic festive season and a well deserved break. We hope all students take a chance to read something they enjoy over the summer holidays and we look forward to seeing everybody back in 2017.

Mr Jai Lester
Head Teacher English



On the 19th October, Mr Quinn and 8 Year 8 students led a group of Years 5 and 6 students from our partner primary schools (Central Mangrove PS, Kariong PS, Kulnura PS, Peats Ridge PS, Somersby PS) in a robotics day at Kariong Public School, focusing on “sumo fighting robots”.

The primary students were asked to build a robot that they thought was strong enough to go into battle against another robot. Then, after building their robots, they sent them into battle and continued to refine their design each time that it broke or failed.

The day focused on the engineering design process of “build-test-repeat”. All students showed that they could communicate and work as a team and created some weird and wonderful robots, as can be seen in the photos.

The Year 8 student mentors were excellent leaders for their groups and were impeccable ambassadors for Kariong Mountains High School. Judging by the smiling faces in the room (and the tired faces by the end of the day), the day was a great success!

Mathematics and Robotics at KMHS
Robot building in progress
Having fun building robots
Final touches before the robot battle commences
Team work and battle come together with all the robots lined up

Maths Faculty Excursion to Luna Park

On Monday 17th October, Mr Quinn and Ms Lincoln took a group of Years 9 and 10 Mathematics 5.3 students to Sydney’s Luna Park. The Mathematical Association of NSW (MANSW) has prepared resources for students to complete while on this excursion. MANSW’s workbook makes the students complete activities using their “working mathematically” skills.

This is a fun way to show how maths really can be found everywhere. On top of this work, which had to completed, the students did manage to have lots of fun. Even the drizzling rain for the entire day could not dampen the excitement of spinning around in the Rotar or running through the Haunted House, trying to defy gravity as they fell from the sky on the Hair Raiser and trying hard not to squash the person on the outside of the Tango Train. All students met up for a Dodgem Car challenge against the teachers. Let’s hope the stunts performed during this activity stay off the road! The students who attended this excursion were great ambassadors for our school; they displayed fantastic manners, followed instructions and their behaviour was outstanding.

KMHS Maths Faculty excursion to Luna Park
KMHS students enjoying maths in a seriously fun environment
Dogem Car challenge – teachers vs students

Mr Michael Riley
Head Teacher Maths

Creative and Performing Arts – CAPA

Visual Arts
Year 7

Year 7 has finished their assessment tasks and the students were very excited about presenting their works in the very popular ‘Evening of Excellence’ exhibition. It is a great experience for our students to show off their work to their families and the community and this is always a great night that our students look forward to. This year, our Year 7 Visual Arts students have practised a wide variety of artmaking media, including realistic drawing, expressive painting, ceramics, mixed media, printmaking and they are finishing off the year with some Adobe Photoshop. We hope to see many of our current Year 7 students in one of the Year 9 electives in the years to come.

Years 11 and 12

Year 11 Visual Arts students have now moved into their Year 12 studies AND … drumroll… most of them have started their Body of Work. Never before have I seen a collective of students that is so far advanced into their artmaking at this time!!! I am incredibly excited to see what these creative geniuses are going to deliver. Each student is unique in their investigation and development of an idea and their preferred media; so far we have filmmaking, large scale drawings and paintings, etching, printmaking, photomedia, cartoons, mixed media and design work. Watch this space and we’ll keep you updated on their progress!!

Year 9 Visual Arts/ Photographic and Digital Media

Following a portraiture and surrealist painting unit, Year 9 students have been working on a photographic and digital media unit. They are currently creating chemograms; that is, using chemicals to create a photographic image. The students have also created photograms, using acetate and other materials, and used the dark room to develop images.

Storm Year 9, Visual Arts – Photogram
Year 9 Visual Arts – Chemogram
Year 9 Visual Arts – Chemogram

Year 10 Visual Arts

Year 10 students are currently completing the Body of Work. The Body of Work provides students with the opportunity to work in a media of their choice and on a topic of their interest. This has translated to a broad range of media being chosen, including painting, drawing, photographs, digital imaging and a mosaic image.

Emily, Year 10 – Body of Work, Visual Arts
Sophie, Year 10 – Body of Work, Visual Arts

Year 10 Photographic and Digital Media

As with Visual Arts, this class is currently working on the Body of Work. Students have chosen a range of media to work in for their major work, including animation, video, digital still images and darkroom photography. Each student’s subject in their artwork is based on personal interest.

Olivia, Year 10 – Body of Work, Photographic and Digital Media

Year 11 Visual Design

The Visual Design class has now commenced their HSC course, beginning with a unit on cartooning and illustration. Students have learnt about the history of cartooning and influential cartoonist and are now developing their own cartoon characters, a story and story board, which will translate into a completed cartoon strip.

Ms Peta Werlemann & Ms Kim Skerritt
Visual Arts, Visual Design & PDM Teachers


It has been a busy time in Music with a lot happening both inside and outside the classroom. Year 8 is currently mid-way through their Film Music unit, where they are learning the fundamentals of analysing music in films. Year 9 has just completed their Music Technology unit where they learnt about the influence and uses for technology in music. Year 10 has just completed their Yearly Exams and students are working on composing their own film music. Year 11 has now successfully transitioned to Year 12, with students having just completed their first assessment task.

The Music Faculty has been very busy heading into the end of the year, with a host of students performing at various events, both in school and in the community.

Josie Tyndall, William Hudson, Mollie Emery, Seiya Ganeko and Billy Mackay performed exceptionally at the Mangrove Mountain Country Festival, whilst Josie also represented the school at the Central Coast Big Day Out held at KMHS. These students all did the school extremely proud.

In Week 8, a selection of our students performed a 90 minute concert, with students from Narara Valley High School in a cross-school concert, to the students of KMHS. Mollie Emery, William Hudson and Michelle Marquez also performed at the Evening of Excellence and again at the Gosford Regional Galley later in the week.

During Week 10, the Music Faculty will be on tour, with ten students selected to take a one hour concert on the road and perform it to Kariong Public School, Somersby Public School, Central Mangrove Public School, Peats Ridge Public School and Kulnura Public School over the course of two days. The students are very excited to perform and have been rehearsing hard to make it a success.

Year 11 Music students pose for a group photo between performances
Josie performing at the Kids Day Out
KMHS Music students perform with teacher Mr Burns

Well done to all of the amazing performers and hard working students in Music this year!

Mr Kane Burns
Music Teacher

Library Highlights

We have much cause to celebrate in the library this term!

Oliver Library Management System

We have a new library management system, Oliver, which went live for our school on Monday 22nd November. We are excited about this as Oliver is web-based system, has dramatically more functionality and ease for some customisation, and access for all users (students and staff) is incredibly enhanced. The integration of Oliver as a school library management system is a Department of Education initiative.

Year 7 Horticulture – Botanic Illustrations

This week, saw our first foray into supporting students in a Botanic Illustrations series of lessons, which forms part of the Bioscience Horticulture unit. Students were shown the Kariong Mountains High School Libguide on Botanic Illustrations and how they can access it, both at school and home, to guide their work during this unit. 7S students were extremely excited to start this unit, which involves choosing an Australian plant as the subject of their botanic illustration, using water colour pencils and artistic skills of shading and tone.

Year 12 Society and Culture – PIPS

The Society and Culture students’ Personal Interest Projects involves an incredible process of research on a topic and focus of personal interest to each student. The learning trajectory in the area of research for these students over the course of the next few terms will be phenomenal. Our KMHS Libguide / Society and Culture is a fantastic resource for students, supporting them in both the area of their PIP and in their content component of their course. We loved working with the class with the Libguide and its various components, including having the students apply for a State Library of NSW library card. Ben Abolins was the first student to receive his card in the mail and was proud to show it off in class.

KMHS Libguide – a fantastic resource for students

Year 12 Community and Family Studies – IRP

We have also worked with Year 12 CAFS, doing a number of activities to support them in their Independent Research Project. Again, our Libguides are an invaluable tool, which enable us to aggregate and customise information sources directly relevant to a course. The CAFS class had a wonderful learning experience as we taught them to navigate the CAFS Libguide and to use its various components.

Other Classes in the Library

The term has also seen English, the HSIE faculty and Science faculty using our expertise and resources in the library. Topics have varied from Australian literature, to natural hazards. Of course, we have our regular WRAD classes who come to the library for their sustained reading program.

Break Times – Reading, Research and Makerspace

We love it that our Library has a number of different types of spaces to offer our students. Students can choose which area they want to use, from the quiet reading room with comfy chairs and bean bags to the tables with makerspace activities.

We also help students with their research questions and computers are available for their use at break time, enabling them to complete homework and assessment tasks.

Some of our break activities that have been unique to this term include: completing a 1000 piece jigsaw, which showcased incredible collaboration between students, papier mache, paper art to create Christmas trees, use of LEDs to create cards and modern hand calligraphy. Students have also been involved in LEGO, knitting and chess. It is fantastic that we can use a breakout room which adjoins the Library for our chess students.

Research and fun activities in the KMHS Library
A giant jigsaw puzzle in progress
Break times for reading and activities in the library

Ms Lidia Jeffrey
Head Teacher Secondary Studies
Teacher Librarian


Year 8 Careers

Students have recently completed their ‘School to Work’ mock interview. In preparation for these interviews, students researched a variety of employment websites and chose their own job to apply for. Students diligently prepared a résumé and cover letter for their chosen job. During the interview process they were interviewed by a panel of three representatives from industry, where they answered questions about why they would be the most suitable applicant for the position. We were very fortunate in that we had over 35 industry volunteers give up their time to attend. They supported our students in becoming work ready for their future. We received positive feedback from both students and our industry volunteers.

Year 8 students all dressed up for the ‘School to Work’ mock interview day
Year 8 student partaking in ‘School to Work’ mock interview
Year 8 boys dressed to impress for their mock interviews

Years 10 and 11

Thirty five students recently attended the University of Newcastle ‘Schools Visit Day’ at Ourimbah campus. Students were able to immerse themselves in the university life by attending lectures and going on campus tours. Prior to the day students logged onto the University website and were able to tailor their day with lectures and tours that best suited their interest and future pathways. The day enabled the students to learn about opportunities, pathways and courses available through the University of Newcastle. Students were also able to navigate their own way to and from the campus. This was great transport training in working out the logistics in getting to and from our local university.

KMHS students at the University of Newcastle ‘Schools Visit Day’ at Ourimbah campus.

Ms Sara Cutting
Careers Teacher

Technical and Applied Science – TAS

2016 has been another jam packed, fun filled year in the KMHS TAS Faculty. From the very first practical space lessons in Year 7, all the way through to the completion of HSC major works, our students have been working hard creating, designing, planning and acquiring many other lifelong skills.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful TAS Faculty staff: Mrs McKay, Ms Loveday, Mrs Doherty, Dr Brooker, Mr Knowles and our lovely and very valuable kitchen assistant, Mrs Dunston, for all their hard work and dedication once again this year.

I would also like extend my congratulations to all of our fantastic students who have applied their best efforts to all aspects of their studies within the many courses we offer.

2016 has been a wonderfully fulfilling year and I would like to wish all our parents and carers a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year.

Mr Scott Bath
Head Teacher TAS


It has been a big year for Science and BioScience at Kariong Mountains High School. With the Federal government push for STEM in schools (STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), it has been pleasing to see the Science teachers embrace an inquiry approach to learning that has seen some very interesting learning projects developed.

Year 7, as part of their ‘forces’ topic, did an inquiry project around safely dropping an egg using a simple design. As I watched some of the classes, I was reminded of the many experiments in the late 1800s as the parachute was developed.

2017 will continue to see ‘Project Based Learning’ further entrenched in learning, which will see students engage in learning that is relevant and reflects their style of learning.

2016 has also been a big year with our LC primary schools, who are already starting to plan their learning for Term 1 next year to fit in with the Science week theme of ‘Towards Australia’s Sustainability’. We are currently working on a project logbook that will support the ‘Young Scientist Award’ endeavours undertaken by our selective science classes and support STEM projects in the school.

From the Science Faculty we look forward to engaging all of our students in Science in 2017.

Mr Jamie Cartner
Head Teacher Science/BioScience


It has been an exciting few weeks for students in the PDHPE faculty. As part of their unit on Leisure and Recreation, Week 4 saw Year 9 and 10 Physical Activity and Sport Studies students attend stand up paddle-boarding at Terrigal. From all reports, it was an excellent day and the students represented KMHS with distinction while learning the specialist skills associated with this new and extremely popular past time.

Week 8, was a very big one for excursions. The Outdoor Recreation students spent the day surfing at Umina Beach. Students had an amazing day learning to surf and become familiar with the fundamental skills involved with surfing, ready to transfer this knowledge to skateboarding as part of their ‘Wheels and Waves’ unit of work.

Year 9 and 10 Physical Activity and Sprots Studies students stand up paddle boarding at Terrigal
KMHS students learning stand up paddle boarding skills

Selected Year 7 and 8 students attended the Brisbane Water Zone annual Stage 4 Sport Gala Day. To be selected for this event, students needed to have demonstrated a commitment to the practical components of PDHPE and Sport. This day is not about trying to field our best team, but more about rewarding students for their ongoing efforts throughout the year. Both of these events were well received by students and the accompanying staff.

With all formal assessments finalised and reports having been completed, most courses are engaging in practical units until the end of term. Please be reminded that changing into sport uniform is a requirement for all lessons involving physical activity, including appropriate footwear, and that spray-on deodorant is banned at our school.

Outdoor Recreation students surfing at Umina Beach
Surf school at Umina Beach
All smiles while posing in the waves
Enjoying a day of surf and (small) waves at Umina Beach
Outdoor Recreation students showing off in-water posing skills
Surf school on the beach at Umina

Please also ensure that your child has the ability to adequately hydrate throughout the day, as it can be hot during Term 4. On days where they will be physically active, 3L of water is appropriate. Sunscreen is also available for students to apply during lessons that are held outdoors.

We look forward to being able to share our successes with you at the annual sports presentation to be held during the day on Monday 12th December.

Ms Kerry Smith
Head Teacher PDHPE and Sport


This term has been a busy term for our Wellbeing team. We have farewelled Year 12 and are starting to say hello to our Year 7 cohort for next year.

The Year 12 formal at the Springs was a very special event that celebrated a fantastic year group who have excelled academically, overcome many obstacles and have also become active citizens in our society. It is with great pride and sadness that we say goodbye to these students. Please stay in touch and let us know about your next adventures.

We are waiting in great anticipation as the new Year 7 cohort is preparing to join Kariong Mountains High School. Year 6 students have participated in an inaugural JumpStart program, where selected students have developed their confidence in coming to high school. All Year 6 students had the opportunity to participate in our annual orientation day, where they became more familiar with the school. It was fantastic watching the students ask inquisitive questions and be excited about their new schooling journey. As a parent, if you have any questions regarding your child’s start at high school, please do not hesitate to call us.

Rewards Day, held this year on Tuesday 13th December, was to recognise those students who have achieved multiple positive recommendations. This is an excellent initiative aimed to promote a positive attitude towards all aspects of school and it is pleasing to see so many students eligible to be involved in this day. This year Rewards Day involved a visit from the rangers at Walkabout World, who provided an expo on some of our native animals. Additionally, students were treated to a BBQ during WRAD and recess, which was free of charge. Afterwards, the entire school was involved in a student/teacher talent quest!

If you have any information regarding your child’s learning and wellbeing for 2017 please, do not hesitate to contact Mrs Pallas, Mrs Doyle or Mr Treece.

It has been a fantastic term and we look forward to continuing to support the students of Kariong Mountains High School in 2017. Have a very Merry Christmas and safe holidays.

Ms Monica Pallas
Head Teacher Student Wellbeing


Please see the attached PDF for School Trip Subsidy Changes