Out and about

Each year the staff and a small group of student leaders from the four selective high schools are given the opportunity to meet, this year it was Suzanne Cory’s turn to host. For many of us it was a longer commute than usual but we were so warmly welcomed it compensated for the early start.

IMG_7604

The keynote speaker, Mark Donaldson VC told of his experiences in the Afghanistan  war and what lead him into a military life. It was honest account and he stressed his ability to focus and think under pressure. These attributes literally lead to his survival, and to him saving the lives of others. It is hard to impress a room of over 500 teachers but he did it.

Mark holding his biography, The Crossroad, signed for a student.

It was with a great deal of pride students from Suzanne Cory also took teachers on tours, sharing the highlights of learning at their school.

 

The day included the opportunity for faculties to meet. For the library team it was especially delightful to visit another library, to share ideas and concerns. Paul Byrne, Head of Library at Suzanne Cory ran a practical session on encouraging wider reading using games and  fun activities. He had us participate in a student  activity,  matching the book cover with the blurb. Most of us will be taking this idea and using it this term as it resulted in lots of discussion and interaction.

Concluding the day we were challenged by Prof. Shirely Alexander, Vice Chancellor of University of Technology Sydney, who discussed the University’s radical change to their approach to learning. The motivation behind this change is a focus on the skills and knowledge students of the future will need for an ever changing workforce. We were amused by the list of job titles she showed us for jobs of the future and a few librarians among us could see us using our skills to become Nostalgists; helping people sort their collections/memorabilia and telling their story.

IMG_7620

 

We wish to extend our thanks to our host school and the many presenters and facilitators. Thank you also to those who attended from other schools – it was lovely to see you.

Delving into the history of MHS

The Library Assistants were recently invited to visit the Melbourne High School archives. The students who journeyed to the top of the school share their reflections.

Last week, I took part in the school Archive Tour, where we learned about the history of the school. We visited the Archive Room to look at historic items and climbed to the very top of the ‘castle’ to gaze at the spectacular views below. Among the many interesting things I learned was that there is an underground river tunnel under the school (rumoured to be used as a bunker during WW2) and that there was a fire at the back of memorial hall, which luckily didn’t cause much damage. Overall, I would recommend going on the Archive Tour to give yourself an insight into the history of the school.

Ilyas Year 11

Archive 2

It was fascinating to explore a part of the school that isn’t accessible to us most of the time. The rooms and staircases were steeped in history; the musty smell was quite pleasing and to be on the very top of the school was quite an experience. Thanks to all who made this possible.

Jian Year 10

Archive 4

It was like taking a stroll up memory lane, with all the nooks and crannies teeming with secret stairways, underground hideouts, and the workings of the now antiquated Melbourne High School campus. I can’t imagine myself being one of the students to ring a mechanical bell every period of the day, or opening up the floorboards in T30 to find a wondrous cavern, but these memories are the foundations of what we live and breathe today. In history it has gone down, as will we one day, and I can say that it was an honour to witness the substance and character that makes MHS what it truly is – a school of wonders.

Jainam Year 10

Luke, the volunteer school archivist, came in and gave us a tour of the archives. It was a very insightful experience, especially in regards to the history of the school. The most interesting part of the tour for me, were the architectural plans and models. The original architectural plans of the T Building showed many secrets of the school, including some of the passageways hidden below the school. The scale model of the N building was also of interest, with Luke telling us all about the missing room on the top floor. Overall it was a great experience, and I am grateful for him taking the time to give us a tour.

Bernard Year 10

Archive 1

The archive tour was simply fantastic; it really felt like we were getting a bite of the history of Melbourne High. During the tour we got the chance to look at the architectural plans of the school. The things we learnt were fascinating! For example, did you know that during World War 2 trenches were dug on the school oval, because of fears that the school would be accidentally bombed by the Japanese? Did you know that the Q-store and the armoury were used to store sensitive and important documents when the school was occupied by the Navy from 1942 to 1944? I had never known that the history of the school was so rich! If you are interested in learning about the school come along on the next archive tour!

Sachila Year 9

A great experience uncovering the astonishing heritage of the Melbourne High School. Weather it may be the dark abandoned passages underneath the traditional building, or the mechanical old school bell, MHS has kept fascinating us and will keep fascinating us.

Het Year 10

Archive 6

A very insightful and interesting tour about the history of the school. Also, the view from the top of the tower was astounding.

Taha Year 10

Archive 5

The history was very enjoyable and enlightening, especially the access to the otherwise restricted areas of the school. We were able to learn about the fascinating history of the school and other interesting stories from its past.

Thanks to all who made the tour a possibility.

Aahidh Year 10

Archive 3

Archive 7

“How to read a poem” by Mr Blair Mahoney on World Poetry Day #tenminutetuesdays

To celebrate World Poetry Day, Mr Blair Mahoney talked about “how to read a poem” today as part of our Ten Minute Tuesdays series at recess.

He started with the poem “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins:

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Mr Mahoney encouraged us to enjoy the poem without having to understand all of it.

“The Windhover” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-

dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding

Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding

High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing

In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,

As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding

Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding

Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here

Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion

Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

  No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion

Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,

Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.      

Mr Mahoney read “Cartoon Physics, part 1” by Nick Flynn after he talked about poems sometimes having personal meaning for people at different times of their lives.

Children under, say, ten, shouldn’t know

that the universe is ever-expanding,

inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies

swallowed by galaxies, whole

solar systems collapsing, all of it

acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning

the rules of cartoon animation,

that if a man draws a door on a rock

only he can pass through it.

Anyone else who tries

will crash into the rock. Ten-year-olds

should stick with burning houses, car wrecks,

ships going down—earthbound, tangible

disasters, arenas

where they can be heroes. You can run

back into a burning house, sinking ships

have lifeboats, the trucks will come

with their ladders, if you jump

you will be saved. A child

places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,

& drives across a city of sand. She knows

the exact spot it will skid, at which point

the bridge will give, who will swim to safety

& who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn

that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff

he will not fall

until he notices his mistake.

 

After sharing some tips for reading poetry out loud, Mr Mahoney read out “In the Park” by Gwen Harwood, demonstrating paying attention to punctuation and run-on sentences.

She sits in the park. Her clothes are out of date.

Two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt.

A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt

Someone she loved once passed by – too lateto feign indifference to that casual nod.

“How nice” et cetera. “Time holds great surprises.”

From his neat head unquestionably rises

a small balloon…”but for the grace of God…”They stand a while in flickering light, rehearsing

the children’s names and birthdays. “It’s so sweet

to hear their chatter, watch them grow and thrive, ”

she says to his departing smile. Then, nursing

the youngest child, sits staring at her feet.

To the wind she says, “They have eaten me alive.”

 

Thanks to Mr Mahoney for his engaging session and expertise. Thanks to all who came; I’m sure you got the most out of ten minutes of your recess on World Poetry Day.

10 minute Tuesdays have started!

c320e322939ce068192621db592c3e3a

This year the library is running short topical sessions in the GLC at recess on Tuesdays. About 10 minutes long, the topics are varied, so we’re certain you’ll find something of interest. As a special consideration we are permitting food to be eaten during this session.

We kicked off the series last Tuesday with my presentation on “How to Spot Fake News” which was well received (as far as I could tell) – something we hear a lot about these days, sadly.

These sessions will sometimes take a lecture-style format, and other times they will be more interactive. They will all be short and sweet so please come and sample.

Next Tuesday March 14 we have a session from Ms Morton on “What’s your goal? Setting your study goals.

On March 21 we have “How to read poetry” by Mr Mahoney

On March 28 Ms Morton is running a session on “What’s the difference between homework and study?

fake-news-invasion
Image source: A Social Media Marketing blog

Blind Date with a Book #LibraryLoversDay

blinddatewithabook

February 14th is not only Valentine’s Day, but also Library Lovers’ Day. Libraries and their users all around the world are celebrating loving their library. Here at the MHS library, we decided to celebrate by having a ‘Blind Date with a Book’. You never know what you might check out…

First of all, have a look at what’s available…

p1020593

Look at all these lovelies (with a chocolate as a sweetener)…!

p1020584

16473711_10155063360123281_2244493315795074039_n

 

So many to choose from!

“I think you’d like this one”

p1020589

No Angus, you can’t see through the paper!

p1020590

By recess, quite a number of dates had been taken out…

p1020591

At the end of the day only the desperate and dateless were left….

p1020610

Happy reading!

p1020611

Happy Library Lovers’ Day!

Swimming Carnival 2017

Another great swimming carnival at the most beautiful sports venue in Melbourne.

Waterloo were the winners, followed by Yarra, Forrest, and Como. Well done everyone who participated in the events, and thank you also to those who helped out as martials, with photography, or cheering on your house in the stands.

Our friendly and hard-working officials.

 

 

Rich tapestry of difference – Focus on diversity in MHS Sport program

[Photo by pasukaru76] found in Jesse Stommel’s article on Hybrid Pedagogy

Melbourne High School teachers are more than just subject teachers – which is the same for teachers everywhere. Sometimes we forget that teachers not only teach in their area of expertise but are also people whose beliefs and values ‘teach’ students in a very different way, shaping them and their understanding of life and their role as citizens of the world.

In this post I’m highlighting the first paragraph of the report written for the Unicorn magazine by our Director of Sport, Olivia Doherty.

We are so fortunate at Melbourne High School to be surrounded by an abundance of diversity. Our staff and students share different cultures, religions, beliefs, values, perspectives, visions, needs and interests. It is my duty to understand this rich tapestry of difference and piece together a Sport program that inspires maximum participation.

At Melbourne High School we strive to make sport safe and enjoyable so that all students can reap the rewards that sport can provide. Through sport we can improve our cardiovascular health, muscular strength, flexibility, coordination and kinesthetic awareness. We can learn discipline, communication, organisation, leadership, goal setting and achievement. We can expand our social connectedness with peers and mentors. Sport can alleviate emotional stress and anxiety. It has the capacity to develop self-confidence, self-respect and an understanding of personal and social responsibility. Finally, research shows that physical activity and physical fitness can improve learning and academic success.

 

Olivia Doherty, Director of Sport (Melbourne High School)

Katherine Brabon, winner of The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award for her first novel, The Memory Artist, launches Laureate 2016

On Wednesday, 24 November members of the school community celebrated the launch of the 2015–16 edition of the English Faculty’s literary magazine, Laureate.

In what was a very special occasion, staff, students and parents gathered in the school library to recognise the outstanding creative writing and artworks of Melbourne High School students. Australian author and winner of the 2016 Vogel’s Award for her novel The Memory Artist, Katherine Brabon, presented copies of the 2015–16 Laureate to those students whose work appeared in the magazine. In her speech, Katherine noted how impressed she was by the imagination and flair displayed by MHS writers and she commended them for their dedication to the craft of writing.

The English Faculty extends its congratulations to the students whose work appeared in the 2015–16 edition of Laureate.

Appreciation should also go to the English teachers for their tireless work in nurturing the students in their creative endeavours, providing them with advice and feedback, and also for proofreading the work submitted for this publication.

Special mention and a big thank you must go to Sam Bryant who has continued in his role as editor for the 2015–16 edition. Sam has spent many months co-ordinating, collecting, collating, reading, and editing the student work, as well as designing the layout and assembly of the magazine.

The Melbourne High School community extends its appreciation and recognition to Sam and all English staff for their dedication and commitment in showcasing and immortalising our students’ talents. In Horace’s words the English Faculty has created a ‘monumentum aere perennius’ (‘a monument more enduring than bronze’).

Copies of the Laureate 2015–16 and our past editions are available for borrowing from the school library. Access to electronic copies are available on the ‘news’ page of the English website.

– George Marotous, Head of English

It was wonderful to see so many parents attending!

A great opportunity to catch up with former students (2015)

Contributing student authors were presented with a copy of Laureate.

We are so fortunate to be supported by our assistant principals at such events!

Thank you to Katherine Brabon for inspiring our student writers!

Great job, Mr Sam Bryant! Keeping our literary publication alive and enabling our student writers to be published.

3rd Annual MHS Tea Duel

Time once again for our gentlemen to show their mettle. The tea brewed and, after the ‘Biscuitgate’ fiasco of 2015, we reverted to the tried and tested ‘Cows’. Tony Thompson – visiting author – gamely signed up to duel despite having no clue as to what he would be doing. Well played, good sir, well played.

The duellers,and many of the spectators, were conversant with the rules of Tea Duelling which ensured fair play and good spirit, as well as healthy competition. Tactics were discussed, debated and argued.

Thank you to the ‘Cosies’ who ably assisted the Tiffin Mistress (and to Ms Buckland who inadvertently became our chief Keg washer), and to Eric of 9K, Ms Morton and Ms Hainstock for being our photographers.

Congratulations to Jacob [11N] our 2016 Tea Duel Champion, and to Angus [10K] the runner-up.                                                                                                                                          Aside from a few splashes, splatters and splodges, it was a good, clean fight. gg everyone.

14716099_10154663678308281_2852753674920520147_n

Setting up

14520513_10154663678493281_873049484925491001_n

Setting up

 

Let the games begin….

capture10

Our visiting author looks perplexed!

img_5697

Tea Duelling is a serious sport

capture13

Tea Duelling is a serious sport

capture03

Tea Duelling is a serious sport

Some of us weren’t taking it that seriously…

capture09

Heats over, now it gets really serious

capture06capture04p1000155p1000172

After the quarters it was down to the final four Jacob v. Nathan and Angus v. Firdavis:

capture05capture06capture08p1000206p1000196p1000188

And now the final…. Jacob v Angus.

p1000203

It was a short, sharp final with Jacob the winner – splatter beating splash

capture12

Jacob the victor…

capture11

Angus – Tea and Biscuit

capture14

A gallant second place

capture01

Winners…

capture02

… are grinners

capture15

Jacob and Angus with the Tiffin Mistress and Tony Thompson

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Thompson visits MHS

Reading Assembly

prizewinners4

A celebration of reading and writing was a focus of last Junior Assembly. We were fortunate to have a visit from Melbourne author, Tony Thompson who shared his own journey to the dream job of being an author. No doubt many of our boys would have felt inspired by Tony’s evident love of literature and passion for writing. During Assembly Tony presented Reading Awards to the following students for sustained and balanced reading, across a range of genres and including some very interesting and challenging reads.

Patrick Phung, 9C                                                       Xavier Kelly 9F
Nikhil Chalisgaonkar, 9F                                             Sean Wong 9G
John Li, 9J                                                                   Noel Augustine 9K
Callum Wigg, 9L

Kevin Kim 10A                                                           Vaibhav Malhotra, 10A
Sam Loh, 10J                                                             Nick Wang 10K
Mahen Pathirana, 10L

Writing workshop

Many of our keen writers signed up for a double period workshop with Tony focussing on the challenging aspect of interacting characters with settings. In a series of carefully constructed writing activities students produced some very engaging and intricate story lines. Equally impressive was their delight and generosity in sharing unedited first drafts with the group and with us:

Activity 1: Creating a setting

workshop41

 

The man sat in the corner of the room looking towards the opposite wall. The room itself was silent, save for the shallow breathing of the man and the occasional rasping of chairs as he adjusted positions. The sun never slanted through the narrow grill in the top left corner, never tried. A dark puddle had formed a few feet away from the man, flies lazily buzzing above it; not even the flies would pay any attention to him. And yet the man kept looking, transfixed, towards the opposite end of the room. The ‘End’, they called it, the name of the man’s predicament. He himself had no home; it was easier to forget that way. Leo Year 9

workshop132

 

The room was of an explicit design, unlike anything I have ever seen before. A pristine chandelier hung low from the ceiling, while the walls were lined up with old furniture filled with cobwebs and a layer of fine dust on top of them. In the epi-centre of the room, an out-of-place object drew my attention. It was a workspace and a bed fused together. I touched the angular and odd shapes that made up most of this fusion, and a shock was instantly sent up my spine. This bed, no, this weird piece of furniture, looked like some high-tech death machine had been sent through time and space to this room. This room was an uncomprehendable blend of old and new. No, “out-of-worldly” would be a better, more accurate word to describe the room, and I was not sure if I liked it or not. I sat down quite cautiously on the bed. The blanket looked just like a regular one, except it felt like liquid in the form of a solid, giving a rather strange feeling. Fused to it beside the bed… Bryan, Year 10

workshop112

The room is quiet, with air of silent watching. The vivid colours of the painting sharply contrast with the dull colours of the walls behind them. The couches in the middle of the room are littered with whiney travellers and children who seem like they’ve been looking at the same thing for hours. The paintings look so real, like if you turned around they would pull a face at you… Noah, Year 9

Activity 2: Introducing a character

workshop72

The valley was bathed in darkness. It was too late to start a fire; the trees blocking out all the starlight. The travellers were becoming restless; they’d been warned by the occupants of the previous village of strange disappearances in nearby forests. First it was a small child, then a group of men. Now, with darkness playing tricks in their ears and eyes, slowly the travellers began to disintegrate. One ran off. Two collapsed. Only one remained standing, rooted to the spot. And that was just the beginning. It was too late to start a fire.   Leo, Yr 9

He was falling. The wind whistled as the clouds flew further and further away. The snow had faded into stone, melting into thunderous yet glorious falls. There was an air of freshness that eased his mind. The bright sun shone dimmer down here. His eyes closed as he fell into the soft hands of his giant father. Daniel, Year 9

workshop9

From a distance the primary school, unlike any other, looked like a fortress dwarfing all other buildings within close proximity. I strolled casually towards it, and the school soon pulled me as …, into the circle of buildings it dominated. I stood before the rusty gate which towered exactly one metre over me, and stared at it. I was expecting something to happen based on my experience, but it only stared back at me plainly, as if it was not acknowledging my presence at all. Hesitantly I touched the lock to open it and… Bryan, Year 10

workshop2

One had never been in this museum before, but had been in museums all around the world. He was used to the atmosphere that these places had. He quietly observed a painting by one of his favourite artists, Claude Monet. The use of colour and space and lighting that was always found in Monet’s artwork was astonishing. One looked around the room at some of the other paintings, then back at the painting in front of him. Something was different about it this time, not something he had not noticed, but as if the painting had moved by itself… Noah, Year 9

Activity 3: Streetscape description

workshop142

My street is a rather quiet one, which is strange considering I live in the bustling suburb of Glen Waverley, a popular destination and hub to which many immigrants from all over the world introduce their cultures and ways. In the court four giant houses dominate the rest, occupied by billionaire tycoons who spend every day salivating over the flow of the money river. Bryan, Year 10

The Melbourne skyline looked the same as it always had; big cranes, bigger buildings. The sunrise was immense with the hot air balloons coming up in front of it. Flinders Street Station was packed with the endless stream of people wanting to touch off their mykis. The boats of the Yarra coming in with the rich people and their exclusive parties. And there was Felix, no one noticed Felix. Not until he fell out of the sky… Noah, Year 9

workshop102

Thanks to Miss Morton for the photographs