Where do you find the energy and passion at Melbourne High School? Interest Groups Expo.

The annual Expo for MHS Interest Groups was unleashed on our new year 9s yesterday.Actually it kind of exploded. The library, dining hall and T29 were temporarily transformed into a bustling marketplace offering so many colourful, shiny things that you would have to excuse the new students if they ended up feeling overwhelmed.

The Interest Groups are the energy of the school. They represent passion, leadership opportunities, getting your hands dirty, figuring things out with your brothers, taking the initiative to do something great, getting passionate about a cause, expressing your political views, standing up for what you care about, having a lot of fun, taking part in life, getting inspired by your peers, collaborating across year levels, liaising with people outside the school, making things happen – the best intersection between play and learning.

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I hope our new year 9s enjoy taking part in their new communities. Thank you to those student leaders who represented their groups and inspired the year 9s.

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What’s most important for a successful year 12? Past students tell

Several of our 2015 year 12 students returned today to talk about their experiences in their final year as Melbourne High School students. It was great to see them again and chat about which pathways they have chosen for the next stage of their lives.

Challenging as it was to accommodate over 300 year 12 students in the library, it was obvious that the current year 12 cohort were keen to hear the words of wisdom from their more experienced brothers. Hopefully these messages have relieved some of the stresses associated with the final, all important year. Certainly the main message was for a work-life balance – including making the most of the large number of interest groups, enjoying the learning experiences (and not just focusing on ATAR calculation), and reliance on the support of friends. Some students stressed the importance of being flexible when unexpected (or even undesirable) things happened – and isn’t that unavoidable – so letting go of controlling every outcome would certainly minimize anxiety. Finally, students recommended joining study groups which offered companionship, moral support and collaborative learning.

We congratulate these students for their achievements and rejoice in their willingness to return and give back to their school community. What struck me the most was their generosity of spirit so whatever path they follow, they will have much to offer and the world will be enriched because of that.

 

And … we’re back! Year 9s’ first day.

We’re back on deck and it’s all about the year 9s today; it’s their first day! Welcome to you all! We hope you feel at home here. Certainly a large number of year 9 students have made themselves at home in the library this lunchtime. We’ve run out of UNO but there is also Lego, jigsaw puzzles, chess and more. Of course, there’s also getting to know people during these activities. Oh, and some students are even reading!

 

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the library

The MHS Library Assistants and the members of the MHS Writing Interest Group (WIG) – formerly known as Competition Writing – came together for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to celebrate the end of a great year. A huge thank you to Denise Beanland for making the gorgeous biscuits (see photos), themed table setting and lolly cups and, of course, TEA.

Being left-handed, Denise made a mixture of left- and right-handed cups and tea pots.

Eat me!

What’s a party without fairy bread?

The ancient craft of making fairy bread. Pictured: an apprentice (Jeremy Shen). Great job.

The spread

Oh, and the hats…

A shower cap is technically a hat.

Thank you all for coming! We hope you had a good time. See you next year.

 

 

 

 

 

Winding up for the end of the year

So it’s a curious time of year when the regular pace and routine are disrupted by wonderful messy projects such as the year 9 city scavenger hunt, the year 9 city project (research/documentary), for the first time the year 10 Innovation Project which gives students the opportunity to make significant changes in the school, presenting to a panel of professionals to be shortlisted for the successful three teams – and lots of singing in between (LOTS of singing!)

I wanted to share some photos of this busy, happy time.

Year 9s waiting to watch the winning Melbourne documentaries.

The winners receiving their accolades.

In between all of this the library is a hub of old fashioned activity.

Juggling

Games for people with tiny fingers.

GeoGuessr

Board games

Lego

Next Monday the library assistants and Writing Interest Group (WIG – formerly Competition Writing) are joining for a big party, The Madhatter’s Tea Party, to be precise.

And of course, there are always BOOKS!

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Where is learning happening in the school? #mhs #makerspace #spaces

In classrooms, naturally, but where else?

In the library study rooms.

Smaller, private spaces for collaborative learning. We see learning in process here, not just study. These boys said they enjoyed the quiet of a private space to work things out on the whiteboard. Large whiteboard wins over small textbook or ipad. There’s something about using your whole body in the learning process.

Informal, collaborative learning spaces also look like this:

Informal learning can be messy and messy is good.

Sometimes a makerspace can be just what you need to calm you down before an exam. This little guy was made only minutes before a VCE exam.

The library is a fluid space made up of smaller spaces where learning breaks out in different configurations.

We watch closely to understand how learning is taking place and how we can reconfigure our spaces, knowing that well thought out spaces will influence learning.

And speaking of learning, the library hosted its first staff meeting yesterday. This was an experiment to see if the library might be more suitable than the general staff room. My impression is that it made for a relaxed meeting, and since we hadn’t thought about a space for our principal class at the front, it resulted in distributed authority at least in terms of spatial hierarchy.

And lastly, a bit of news: we have an Instagram account! This is a companion to this blog, and will capture frequent photos around the place so that posts here are not as cluttered. Follow us! @melbhslibrary