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Alpha News 2022, Term 4, Week 6

Term 4, Week 6 2022

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From the Principal

Moana Jr – Year 6 Musical

As we head into the final 4 weeks of this academic year, how wonderful to start the festive countdown with the Year 6 Production Moana JR.  Following the rescheduling of the production due to COVID restrictions in Semester 1, our Year 6 students were able to perform in front of family and friends the heart-warming musical adaptation of the Disney classic.

The costumes, the scenery and the music transported us to the Pacific Islands and a journey of self-discovery with messages of bravery and selflessness as Moana mustered up all the strength within to try to save her village from dying. What a great message as we face our own challenges and dangers.

Congratulations to all our Year 6 students on their commitment to rehearsals over many weeks to bring this Disney production alive. A special thank you to our Musical Director, Ms Stephanie Atwa, the Music and Performing Arts Team, Mrs Priya Wilson, Mr Ewen Baker and Ms Felicity Wallace, the Year 6 Teachers, Mr Luke Barnewall, Ms Georgia Vrakas and Ms Erin Longuet, our Maintenance Team, Mr Andrew Bunton and Mr Sam Droscher and, our Music Administrator, Ms Kate Salvatore.

RockStar Family Night

Although we have had to shelve many of the usual opportunities to gather and celebrate as one community over the last few years, restrictions on school events have now started to lift. Our Parents and Friends Association has organised a wonderful family night to bring in the festive season and celebrate the end of this academic year.  

The Rock Star Family Night is the last major event for this year for all families to come join in the fun. Hosted by the PFA the event will be held in the Andrianakos Centre from 6:30 to 10:00 PM on Friday the 25th of November. These themed nights are always great for families, and the Rock Star Family Night promises to be an enjoyable time for families to spend together. 

The event will feature live music, dinner, and activities, all included in the ticket price. Adult drinks will be available for purchase on the night. We ask everyone to organise their tables or purchase their family tickets promptly so planning and catering can be locked in.

Purchase your tickets now via this link.

Dr Vivianne Nikou
Principal
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IMG_0087 Recolour

From the Assistant Principal, Head of Secondary

Adolescent Mental Health – How to Thrive Film Screening

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on mental health and the effects of poor mental health on our young. Despite a heightened awareness of these issues, mental health continues to carry a stigma and sufferers can still experience discrimination and isolation. 

At AGS, we strive to create an environment where students feel safe, accepted, and included. The size of our school and the care that our staff continually provide our students has put us in a really good position to support the health of our community members. However, this is something that we all need to continually work on. Mental health is likely one of the biggest issues we as educators face in our modern society; it is something that we are always adapting to so we can continue to provide transformational support to our students and empower them to face the challenges life will throw at them.

Here are some key facts from World Health Organization that puts this issue into perspective:

  • Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder, accounting for 13% of the global burden of disease in this age group.
  • Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
  • The consequences of failing to address adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.

Everyone is affected by this in one way or another, which is why on Wednesday this week the AGS Parents and Friends Association organised a screening of the film How to Thrive, which was attended by a group of parents, staff and students. The film follows the journey of 7 people suffering from mental illnesses who participated in a transformative program led by positive psychotherapist, Marie McLeod. The core questions behind the journey that the participants navigated is: what is happiness and how do we find it? How do we learn to thrive? It is a fascinating film, and we were lucky enough to have a question-and-answer session with Marie McLeod, the director Duy Huynh and one of the participants, Kate.

One of the most interesting messages in the film is that there is no way of avoiding challenges in life; these challenges are part of the human condition. However, there is a way of preparing our young people to adapt and change to face these challenges without damaging their self-concept and self-esteem. This process is a team effort. Now more than ever parents and The School need to be reinforcing this message.

We all know someone who is suffering through their own battles with mental health and the movie really reinforced how important it is for us all to be kind, to be inclusive and to listen to each other. I will leave a link below to the website where you can watch a trailer and learn more about the film.

https://www.howtothrivefilm.com

VCE Exams

The Year 12 students have been thoroughly prepared for the exams that they are currently sitting, so thankfully they have coped extremely well with the pressures of this period. All of the staff are proud of them. We have only 4 more days of exams until they can celebrate their achievements and prepare themselves for ‘Schoolies’. I would like to take this opportunity to remind our Year 12 students that they are not defined by their ATAR score. If they are happy with the effort they have dedicated to their studies then we as teachers, and you as parents, can only congratulate them and support them as they begin the next phase of their journey.

Mr Lukas Silver
Assistant Principal, Head of Secondary
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From the Secondary School

Year 10 and 11 Wellness Program

For the last few years, the Secondary Sport program has included a Wellness Program focusing on the health and wellbeing of our students in areas related to friendships, relationships, healthy living and mental health. This year, our Years 10 and 11 cohort were treated to guest speakers from The Pat Cronin Foundation, Red Frogs Australia and The Butterfly Foundation.

This enriching program provided an opportunity for our students to discuss topics including empowering young people to make positive life choices, physical safety, safe alcohol and drug use, body image, and anxiety and depression awareness. With a focus on building resilience and rapport in a team environment, the students also learned some valuable skills during the self-defense classes hosted by Elite Training.

The 2022 Wellness Program concluded with an exciting and energetic ice-skating excursion which was enjoyed by all.

We look forward to presenting a new selection of guest speakers and activities in the 2023 Senior Wellness Program!

Ms Olivia Rahme
Head of PE, Sport and Health

 

Ms Jessica Orreal
School Nurse
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From the Primary School

From the Acting Deputy Head of Primary

Primary ICAS Competition winners  

We have received some great results in the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) which involved testing in Science, English, Digital Technologies, Writing and Mathematics at Years 2 and 6 levels for selected students. 

·         Top 1% of students receive a High Distinction 

·         The next top 10% of students receive a Distinction 

·         The following 25% of students receive a Credit 

·         The next 10% of students receive a Merit Certificate 

We are delighted to announce that the following students have received an award: 

Digital Technologies awards 

Anthony Benci (Year 5) High Distinction

Willem Griffioen (Year 5) High Distinction 

Eric Wang (Year 4) – Distinction

William Yu (Year 5) – Credit

Juliana Evmorfias (Year 4)  – Credit

Payne Lu (Year 4) – Credit

Colton Scott (Year 4) –  Credit

Corbin Scott (Year 6) – Credit

Emma Ooi (Year 5) – Merit  

Rory Davis (Year 5) _ Merit

Timothy Bassett (Year 4) – Merit

English Awards

Anthony Benci (Year 5) High Distinction

Willem Griffioen (Year 5) Distinction

Tiffany Christidis (Year 5) – Credit

Elijah Grills (Year 5) – Credit

Anvee Khan (Year 5) – Credit

Collin Scott (Year 2) – Credit

Juliana Evmorfias (Year 4)- Credit

Payne Lu (Year 4) – Credit

Eric Wang (Year 4) – Credit

Emma Ooi (Year 5 ) – Merit

William Lu (Year 5) – Merit

Isaac Kondys (Year 2) – Merit

Science Awards

Anthony Benci (Year 5) High Distinction

Payne Lu (Year 4) High Distinction

Willem Griffioen (Year 5) Distinction

Juliana Evmorfias (Year 4) Distinction

Eric Wang (Year 4) – Distinction

Phillip Ioannidis (Year 3) – Distinction

Corbin Scott (Year 6)- Credit

Emma Ooi (Year 5) – Credit

Colton Scott (Year 4) – Credit

Writing Awards

Eric Wang (Year 4) – High Distinction

Jiaya Alexiou (Year 5) – Credit

Anvee Khan (Year 5) – Credit

Emma Ooi (Year 5) – Credit

William Yu (Year 5) – Credit

Juliana Evmorfias (Year 4) Credit

Payne Lu (Year 4) – Credit

Victoria Scicluna (Year 4)  – Credit

Willem Griffioen (Year 5) – Merit

Maths Awards

Eric Wang (Year 4) – High Distinction

Phillip Ioannidis (Year 3) – High Distinction

Corbin Scott (Year 6) – Distinction

Anthony Benci (Year 5) – Distinction

William Yu (Year 5) – Distinction

Payne Lu (Year 4) – Distinction

Yashar Assaran Darban (Year 3) – Distinction

Yuti Samadhiya (Year 2)- Distinction

Rory Davis (Year 5) – Credit

Willem Griffioen (Year 5)- Credit

Anvee Khan (Year 5) – Credit

Juliana Evmorfias (Year 4) Credit

Ella Burns (Year 3) – Credit

Collin Scott (Year 2) – Credit

Isaac Kondys (Year 2) – Credit

Yitong Zhou (Year 6) – Credit

Emma Ooi (Year 5) – Merit

Michael Koljatic (Year 4) – Merit

Congratulations to all students that entered the competitions!

Ms Dianne Downey
Acting Deputy Head of Primary, Primary ICT Numeracy and ASPIRE Coordinator
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DreamCity Excursion

On Thursday 3rd November the Years 5 and 6 students visited DreamCity, a brand-new high-tech city where children are inspired to learn through fun career activities. Our students rotated through several engaging activities, which saw them morph from surgeons to pilots and many other careers in between. Entering the creative world of the futuristic virtual reality studio was defiantly a highlight for most of the students.

The live unboxing of secret objects during our podcasting session was fun and the kids had a great laugh when hearing their voices played back to them. Programming robotics saw cars driving around a small circuit which the students needed to pre-program. Some stayed on track and others…well, not so much! Speaking of staying on track, many of us found that driving a plane was in fact a pretty tricky task that required precision and a well-focused mind. I wouldn’t recommend flying on Alphington Grammar Airlines just yet!

Finally, some of us had the chance to be TV News and Weather presenters, learning about cameras, lighting and green screens. The hands-on nature of these activities meant the kids were engaged throughout their learning and really had a wonderful time. They were disappointed when our time there had ended.

A special thank you to Ms Debbie Kirmos and Ms Eva Wang who supported our students on the day.

Ms Nicole McCulloch, Mr Drew Cox, and Ms Erin Longuet.
Year 5/6 Teachers
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Moana Jr Performance

This week our Year 6 students performed their production of Moana to two sold out crowds. Both performances showcased just how talented our Year 6 cohort is in singing, acting and dancing. They were phenomenal and we could not be prouder of our cast. 

Please enjoy a selection of reflections from members of the cast below.

Ms Steph Atwa
Primary and Secondary Music Teacher

“Yesterday we performed Disney’s Moana, it was an amazing experience I will surely not forget soon. Special thanks to Ms Atwa for making it happen.” – Zander Ioannou (Chief Tui)

“We had a very fun time practising week after week to perfect our production of Moana. We were always so excited to have music and would take any opportunity to practise.” – Christina Lablache (Chief Ancestor)

“I really enjoyed performing Moana. I loved it, it was a really lovely experience.” – Anastasia Moses (Gramma Tala)

“This semester I had the privilege of playing Moana. Throughout our time rehearsing, we have learned skills such as vocal control, dance and teamwork. A special thank you to all the teachers and helpers involved.” – Yara Al Asaad (Moana)

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School Recycling Initiative

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been seeing extensive amounts of recycling. With some new recycling bins located near the front office we’re encouraging students and parents of the AGS community to continue recycling. The four bins include batteries, dental products, bread clips and stationery.

Recycling Progress:

Reminders:
As we head towards the end of the year, we have a great opportunity to clear our empty textas, pens and whiteout.

Thank you to the people who have been actively participating in this initiative. Thank you for playing this leadership role in your community by reducing, reusing and recycling wherever you can, and while you are at it, help to spread the word!

Special thanks to Jessica Anderson for helping to set up this initiative.

Rafe Roberts
Year 6 Aristotle, Environment Captain
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Whole School

From the LOTE Department

28 October Assembly

Congratulations to all our wonderful students for their contribution to this year’s 28 October Assembly. It was the first time in two years that we were able to gather as a school and commemorate this historic day in the Greek calendar. 28 October marks the day Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas refused to allow the Axis forces to overrun his country and began a 6 month battle to defend Greece’s borders.

It was also an opportunity to mark 100 years since the tragic events of the Asia Minor Catastrophe and also to mark the one year passing of internationally renowned Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis.

Our MCs Lydia Mitromara (Socrates, Year 11) and Ryan Paraskevas (Socrates, Year 11) spoke about these three events and introduced the array of items, including the laying of wreaths, poems, songs, dance and Greek and Latin band items. All the music in the assembly was composed by Mikis Theodorakis and gave just a sample of the huge body of work he produced in his lifetime.

Ζήτω! ( Zito! )

Greek Student Film Festival

Well done to all Year 5 and Year 7 students for their creativity and passion in producing a short Greek film for this year’s Greek Student Film Festival, organised under the auspices of the Greek Film Festival in Melbourne.

The theme was ‘Returning’ and students were asked to include a spinning top as a motif. Students were very creative in incorporating the top, whether as a visual which connected scenes, or as a vehicle to time travel.

It was lovely to be invited to the screening on Sunday 23 October and exciting to see the students’ work on the big screen at Cinema Como.

We are looking forward to more original projects next year!

Australian Hellenic Memorial Competition

Year 7 students also had the option to take part in a writing competition organised by the Australian Hellenic Memorial Foundation. The Memorial is located in the garden at King’s Domain and honours Australian and Greek friendship during the Greek campaign in World War 2.

Students were asked to write poems, essays and stories on the symbolism of the memorial or the history behind the events of World War 2.

Well done to all entrants and especially to Benjamin Spaziani (Pericles, Year 7), who received an Encouragement Award in the Years 7-9 category. The award ceremony took place last Sunday at the Memorial, and was attended by many schools and other community organisations. All participants will receive a certificate and commemorative pin.

Alphington Grammar School – Voula High School

This past week saw our Year 9 Level 1 Greek class meet their peers at Voula High School in Athens via Teams. The twin school project has been running for many years, with projects, reciprocal visits and many friendships formed.

On Tuesday, students were able to present aspects of their city in Greek, after having made their introductions at an earlier stage. Well done to all students for their wonderful descriptions of Melbourne and for your articulate Greek – many students were assumed to be from Greece, such was their level of fluency!

We look forward to the continuation of this program.

Ms Effie Bindevis
Primary Greek Coordinator
Ms Denise Diakodimitriou
Head of LOTE
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Updates and Reminders

From the Finance Office

The finance team would like to remind families that have not yet submitted their payments to please do so as soon as possible.

Please see below for the CSEF financial assistance program information sheet and application form.

Upcoming Events

Rock Star Family Night

Term Dates 2022

Term Dates 2023