City Issue 18

From the Learning Pit to squeezing lemons, students are learning to strengthen their mindset and skills—and teachers worldwide celebrate their special day.

CEO | Principal's Report

This week’s return to school of Year 12 students and of our Year 11s for their Units 3 and 4 subjects is most welcome.

The Year 12s have been outstanding in managing their way through their final two years of school that have obviously been quite different to what they would have anticipated. They have, of course, been assisted by the brilliant teaching staff who have committed to providing every possible support to help Haileybury students achieve.

The focus over the next three weeks is on providing as much classroom time with Units 3 and 4 students in the lead-up to the exams, and doing all we can to provide memorable end-of-school events for the Year 12s. We will be holding a full Graduation after the examinations have been completed in November.

We are looking forward to the rest of our students across all year levels returning from week three to week five. While we are very pleased with student progress due to the strong academic online program delivery, we are well aware that students have missed the social and co-curricular aspects of school. So, within health guidelines, we will be building the widest range of activities that we can provide to all year levels as students return.

During the past few months, we have been investigating a range of additional ways to protect and increase the safety of our school community as we plan for the return to onsite learning and working. The School has sought expert advice and investigated ways to reduce the potential for the indoor air in our buildings to contribute to the development or spread of illness. Key initiatives and changes you will see implemented during Term 4 will be:

  • Monitor CO2 levels
  • Increase ventilation (either mechanically or naturally)
  • Switch to 100% outside air where possible
  • Improve filtration
  • Rapid antigen testing kits
  • Commence mechanical ventilation at least two hours before school starts
  • Portable HEPA Filtration Units
  • Review of existing systems.

We are fully committed to the health and welfare of our students and staff. It is mandatory for all Haileybury staff to be vaccinated and I have been delighted with the staff support for this. Similarly, we have been pleased to see Years 11 and 12 students getting vaccinated in large numbers.

Haileybury is fully supportive of the vaccination program. It is clear that it is the quickest way to open up our society and for us to provide a safe school environment for staff and students. We encourage all families with children eligible for the vaccination to have it done.

Derek Scott

CEO | Principal

Campus News

A Warm Welcome

I look forward to warmly welcoming all our students, staff and families back to City campus this term. Our Senior School students will be the first to return and then there will be a staggered return for the Early Learning Centre, Junior School, Middle School and the remainder of Senior School.

In the meantime, we continue to keep learning in our remote classrooms with our brilliant teachers. We trust you have enjoyed a restful break and are looking forward to the final term of 2021.

Sharing Language and Strategies

At City, we value the partnership we share with parents in the academic, social, emotional and physical development of children and young people. As educators, we understand the importance of empowering our community with the shared language and strategies that we use at Haileybury City to cultivate our students’ mindsets and skillsets.

At City, we value the partnership we share with parents in the academic, social, emotional and physical development of children and young people. As educators, we understand the importance of empowering our community with the shared language and strategies that we use at Haileybury City to cultivate our students’ mindsets and skillsets.

In ELC, we are learning to ‘squeeze lemons’ and manage big emotions with new skills and tools. Our Junior School students are understanding the importance of being in the ‘Learning Pit’ and working hard to climb out the other side with practice, focus and determination.

In Middle School, we have been learning tenacity and gratitude by focusing on excellence in all that we do.

To our Senior School students, we wish you every success in your upcoming exams. Finally, we send our best wishes to our Year 12 2021 Graduates during their final term at Haileybury City.

Early Learning Centre

Mindfulness in the ELC

Children in Reception and Pre-Prep have engaged in a range of mindful activities as we continue to expand our cognitive toolkits to support emotional regulation.

Ms Olivia Cosgrave, our Haileybury City psychologist, ran a mindfulness session for Pre-Prep children. She introduced breathing routines and Pre-Preps learned to trace a ‘figure 8’ with their finger—inhaling for one half of the figure 8 and exhaling for the other half.

Children have also been squeezing lemons. By pretending to hold and squeeze a large lemon, children have been assisted in releasing muscle tension and supporting emotional regulation.

Crazy Hair Disco

With a trip to the hairdresser not being possible due to COVID-19, City ELC organised a ‘Crazy Hair Disco’. Children in Reception and Pre-Prep expressed themselves and were very creative as they danced the day away.

Following the huge success of the Middle School musical, and with a number of our ELC children attending the online premiere, songs from The Lion King were a popular disco request. Children boogied to Baby Shark and Let it Go with the cast of Frozen, in an active and exciting day.

Junior School

A Year of Growth

As we begin the last term of 2021, we can reflect on an excellent year of growth in the Junior School. Our students have been cultivating their mindset and skillset for three terms and will continue to do so in Term 4. 

Our Junior School students have embraced James Nottingham’s Learning Pit and are recognising that learning often involves confusion, challenges or thinking you know the answer. In addition to this, the language of needing to work hard and using support networks to achieve success has become commonplace in the Junior School.

This understanding of the learning process, coupled with their commitment to grow and improve, will provide our students with the ability to continue to cultivate their mindset and skillset this term.  

World Teachers' Day

Our Junior School students appreciate the work that our teachers do each and every day. There are many ways in which our students show their appreciation—sometimes it’s a simple ‘thank you’ and other times, it’s a smile. 

Tuesday, 5 October, is World Teachers’ Day and it provides students with another opportunity to show gratitude and thanks to their teachers. We know our teachers appreciate kind messages from their students and we look forward to all that this day brings. 

Middle School

Term 4 Learning and Celebrations

We hope that you enjoyed a relaxing break and the opportunity to switch off from devices for at least some of the holiday. With the announcement of a staggered return to the classroom, we are very much looking forward to welcoming the Middle School back to campus in the coming weeks. 

This term promises to be another exciting one as we host our Girls’ Night In and BMS Games night, move into 2022 classes on Up Day and farewell our Year 8s as they graduate from the Middle School and move to the Senior School.

Teachers in the Spotlight

Tuesday, 5 October, is World Teachers’ Day—a day to recognise the hard work of teachers all over the world. We would like to take this opportunity to show our sincere gratitude to the City Middle School staff for their ongoing commitment and dedication to their students.

Below is a short message written by Middle School Captains Bhuvi Diwakar and Maximus Trinder to the Middle School teaching staff:  

We know that at Haileybury, we are so fortunate to be educated and inspired by the most dedicated and caring teachers. Every day you manage to weave your teacher magic into our lessons, where you inspire us, empower us and enable us to find our voice, passions, resilience and courage.  
From the Middle School to you, thank you so, so much! The support and passion you have provided us with is incomparable, especially in uncharted territories like these. We can proudly say that, throughout our lockdown experience, we didn’t miss an opportunity, an assignment or any knowledge we would have gained in the face-to-face environment. 
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”
Alexandra K. Trenfor

Caroline Merrick
Head of City

Haileybury Parents & Friends City (HPF City)

Cocktail Party Rescheduled

Hoping all our families had a rest during the low-key school holidays. It’s wonderful that our students will soon be back on campus in Term 4! This will be very welcome for students, parents and teachers alike!

Fishing out the school uniforms may reveal some short pants or dresses. However, we are unable to provide a pop-up Secondhand Uniform Shop on campus at this time. Our SHUS Coordinator Extraordinaire, Alice Johnson, has a list of all items available and we are exploring contact-free options. 

Our Cocktail Party has been rescheduled several times and is now pencilled in for Friday, 19 November. We are hoping to be able to enjoy the City Rooftop. Please watch out for more information on the myHaileybury app as we have some great auction items available on the night. Our thanks to Michelle White for collating all items donated by our families.

HPF City is also proud to continue our annual donation of $1,500 to each of the schools on campus to purchase items specific for their area. We are also working towards a larger body of work to raise funds for gymnasium equipment for all students.

COVID has caused much disruption to all of our lives, however, we are indebted to the amazing teachers and staff at Haileybury City. We would like to recognise their excellent work over the past two terms of online learning. We encourage families to support our HPF City initiative and find out more on the myHaileybury app.

Continue to stay safe and well and we look forward to seeing happy faces back on campus soon.

Nina Brooks and Nadine Bissland

Co-Presidents, Haileybury Parents & Friends City

Discover more Insight updates


Performing Arts and Music students finesse their skills in preparation for VCE examinations and VCD students complete their SAT folios.

Performing Arts

Holidays for Some

Despite the lack of professional theatre happening in and around Melbourne, I have been lucky enough to watch some outstanding live dance and monologue performances as our senior students prepare for their examinations.

Our dancers are at the point where fine tuning and making sure the narrative is clear and matching their statement of intention are the focus. Our actors have responded well to a little bit of rest and have been able to come in to school to work with set pieces and props.

The challenge in Theatre Studies is to establish the world of the play—showing that you understand the context and what has gone before and what is to follow. It is always exciting to see an actor grow into a role as they grasp the language in action.

Stewart Bell
Director of Performing Arts


One VCE Music Journey Nears the End and Another Begins

While our most senior VCE Music students complete their final preparations to take Unit 4 Performance exams next week, Year 5 Brighton students begin their instrumental journey. They are receiving Band instruments in preparation for practical instrumental classes that begin online this week.

At Brighton, Berwick and City, all Year 5 students now participate in a semester of instrumental tuition on Band instruments—trumpet, trombone, euphonium, flute, clarinet, saxophone and percussion.

Delivered as a classroom program, each student learns one of these instruments alongside their peers in a fun and engaging setting that features many smiles, giggles, discoveries and, of course, instrumental success. Following a semester in the classroom program, students are encouraged to enrol in individual tuition and to continue their music journey at school.

VCE Rehearsals Taking Shape

At the time of recording the video links below, in the last week of Term 3, most VCE ensembles had only been able to have three rehearsals together in preparation for upcoming October final exams.

For the exams, each assessed student is required to perform a 25-minute recital program. As always, students who take the formal VCE assessments will be brilliantly supported by their peers who are not enrolled in Units 3 and 4. Special thanks must go to these wonderful people!

Aaron Nazaretian (Music Performance)

In the first link below, Aaron Nazaretian (Year 11) is rehearsing the first movement of Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto (RV425). While you can clearly hear the complexity in Aaron’s guitar part, a significant challenge for the ensemble rests in keeping the timing together while carefully matching the changing dynamics across the work.

Vivaldi's Mandolin Concerto - Rehearsal Link

Performers: Aaron Nazaretian (Guitar), Nathan Gu (Violin), Sam Koh (Violin), Sarah Tan (Viola), Elliot Guo (Cello) and Dr Christina Chao (Harpsichord).

Jacinta Bennett (Music Performance)

In the second link below, vocalist/keyboardist Jacinta Bennett (Year 11) works through a Laufey Lin song, Someone New. Performing comfortably on two instruments simultaneously is a sophisticated skill that requires many hours of practice. In addition to focusing on coordinating her own performance, Jacinta must at all times lead the remainder of the ensemble in terms of phrasing, balance and intensity. Similarly, the ensemble must listen carefully to Jacinta to follow the nuances of her interpretation of this lovely song.

Someone's New - Rehearsal Link

Performers: Jacinta Bennett (Vocal/Piano), Harry Marshall (Bass), Fraser Elvins (Drums) and String Section (Alicia Robertson, Rowena Ng, Harry Sun, Nathan Su).

Olivia Van Der Heyden (Music Investigation)/Harry Marshall (Music Performance)

The final rehearsal video below is a work that will be used by two students in separate VCE exams. This complicated tune, Run For Cover, requires considerable individual skill as well as a strong understanding of ensemble cohesion—meaning the musicians’ ability to accurately perform their own part while focusing on the collective rhythmic and stylistic cohesion.

The extended performance techniques also warrant mention. Olivia Van Der Heyden (Year 12) performs much of the work in the upper register of the alto saxophone. In fact, many of the notes you can hear are technically beyond the range of the instrument! Olivia has also developed a contemporary alto saxophone sound/tone that is well beyond what would be expected of someone her age.

On the electric bass, Harry Marshall (Year 11) uses the slap bass guitar technique of hammering and thumping the lower strings while percussively plucking the upper strings. This not only contributes melodic content to the bass line but also captures that funky rhythmic quality at the heart of this contemporary performance style.

Run For Cover - Rehearsal Link

Performers: Olivia Van Der Heyden (Alto Saxophone), Harry Marshall (Electric Bass), Tommy Caspers (Drums), Marcus Beyer (Keyboard) and Mr Kim May (Electric Guitar).

Rod Marshall

Head of Haileybury Music

Creative Industries

In Search of Architectural Excellence

Visual Communication Design (VCD) students have finally completed the enormous task that is their SAT folio. This creative process has been well underway since Term 1. After creating a hypothetical client and addressing their needs through design, all Units 3 and 4 students have successfully produced a body of work that demonstrates a range of manual and digital skills.

Daniel Vereker (Year 12, City) has produced an architectural design of university standard, with a range of renders that address the needs of his Bayside client.

“I designed a home for my client, Fedagio, an architectural developer who also requested that promotional material be made using renders of the house. Since the home was to be situated among heritage listed properties in the Port Phillip area, it was essential that I incorporated Victorian era stylistic features such as arches into the contemporary design. These images are the result of the architectural design process where they’ll then be used in marketing material to promotes the build.”

Karl Sebire

Head of Creative Industries

Sports Report

An Old Haileyburian plays in the AFL Grand Final and students and families can stay fit and well with the support of the Sport Department.

AFL Grand Final

Cody Weightman (OH ’19) played on the largest AFL stage of the year as he represented the Western Bulldogs against Melbourne in the AFL Grand Final. The former First XVIII Captain has already established a reputation as a dynamic player, although this year, the Premiership flag ended up with the Demons after a hard-fought game.

Family Fitness

Students are encouraged to take a break from screens and to strike the balance between rest and activity. To support this, the Sport department is running initiatives to keep families active.

Students have been provided with a variety of wellbeing options including yoga, Pilates, strength training, information on sleep, cardio and mindfulness sessions. We are encouraging families to set goals and participate in these sessions together.

A suggested goal may be to complete at least two sessions per week from the available suite of instructional media. Students can register their attendance or their family’s attendance by scanning a QR code and they will receive a code upon completion.

Data will be collated and the achievements of families celebrated. Stay well!  

Sean Allcock

Director of Haileybury Sport

Old Haileyburians Association

Another Old Haileyburian discusses their professional and personal experiences so far and what they have learned along the way.

Closing a Business and Coming Out the Other Side

Join the OHA as we sit down with Christina Hewawissa (OH 2015) as she bravely shares her personal journey with depression, the tough decision to close her clothing brand and the exciting new opportunities that lay ahead.

Stay Connected Podcast

#stayconnected #oha #alumni #podcast @theplantfamily_official

OHA News

To keep up-to-date with all OHA News, visit and enjoy recent articles on:

  • Where are they Now—Elise Nash (OH 2014)
  • Where are they Now—Will Stock (OH 2015)
  • Where are they Now—George Botros (OH 2010)
  • Where are they Now—Emily McLean (OH 2011)
  • Full Spark Series
  • In Loving Memory Tributes to Rob Whiteway (OH ’50) and Malcolm Evans (OH ’55)

Hayley Denny

Development & Alumni Manager


Keeping You up to Date

The latest edition of Foundation News can be found here.

This edition contains information on:

  • Haileybury Foundation Scholarships for 2022
  • News of scholarship offerings to the Afghani community
  • The success of the Haileybury Workplace Giving program.

Thank You

Donations to Haileybury Foundation continue to stream in. Our students are incredibly fortunate to be in receipt of such a high-quality education that would otherwise be out of reach.

All gifts to Haileybury Foundation are tax deductible. Our donors are having enormous impact and we have been delighted with the involvement of our community–from past parents, alumni and staff to current parents and former staff.

Donations can be made at

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