Go gluten-free with confidence

You only need to look at the 10,000 Victorians who attended last month’s annual Gluten Free Expo in Melbourne to realise the huge interest in gluten-free lifestyles. Yet there still appears to be a lack of knowledge of gluten-free standards in the food industry.


Experts say that the single most important thing you can do to ensure the safe delivery of gluten-free food is to improve training and knowledge about gluten-free food practices. Chisholm attended the expo and hosted a live cooking demonstration, serving up a nourishing tempura calamari and sweet potato with fennel salad, and next year it’s launching Gluten Free Short Courses to meet the needs of the food industry as well as at-home cooks.

Some might think a gluten-free lifestyle is just the latest health or diet fad, but for the one in 70 Australians who have coeliac disease and the thousands who have non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, it’s a necessity. While “gluten-free” and “GF” have become commonplace on food labels and menus, results from a 2017 City of Melbourne food sampling program found that nearly 10 per cent of foods tested were not compliant with the FSANZ definition of gluten-free. In the same study, only 10 per cent of food service staff had good knowledge of the gluten-free standards of the FSANZ code. This is bad news for gluten-free consumers and bad for business.

More than ever, it is vitally important to become informed about proper gluten-free food practices and put them into action. Chisholm can show you how. Sign up and express your interest in Chisholm’s Gluten Free Short Courses at chisholm.edu.au/glutenfree to receive updates about Chisholm’s gluten-free training so that you can go gluten-free with confidence.


Peninsula Grammar uses technology to transform education


Director of Innovation and Learning Technology Dean Pearman and Junior Years Teacher Georgina Bishop have both recently been selected again as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts, joining more than 7600 educators in the MIE Expert program worldwide. Each year, Microsoft selects innovative educators to share ideas, try new approaches and learn from each other as a global community dedicated to improving student outcomes through technology. 

As MIE Experts, Dean for the third year and Georgina for the second year running continue to build their capacity to use technology in both the classroom and curriculum to improve student learning.  They are both inspired by the opportunity to transform teaching and learning, harnessing technology to help students achieve their full potential.
“Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts are inspiring examples of educators applying new ways of teaching and learning in their classrooms that motivate students and empower them to achieve more,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft.    

Students at Peninsula Grammar learn by doing, engaging in various activities together that seek to develop the noncognitive skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, problem finding and solving. Technology is a great leveller — it doesn’t discriminate, it empowers all learners to do things they couldn’t do before. Peninsula Grammar seamlessly integrates technology into the classroom environment so students can continue to learn, grow and flourish.

To find out more about how students benefit from specialised teaching and holistic leading-edge curriculum, visit www.peninsulagrammar.vic.edu.au; for more information about how Peninsula Grammar is using technology to transform education, visit blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/austeachers/2018/08/28/peninsula-grammar-amplifies-learning-impact-by-applying-technology-to-evidence-backed-pedagogy/

Pop-up salon a real beauty

2084_0918_Runway Room A frame_fa.jpg

Melbourne’s premier providers of hair and make-up services and courses have teamed up to deliver affordable luxury to the residents of Frankston and the Peninsula community with their pop-up Student Training Salon. For a limited time, Chisholm Institute and Runway Room have opened the student training salon at the Frankston campus on the corner of Fletcher St and Beach Rd. 

Timed perfectly for the Spring Racing Carnival and school formals, the salon will be offering hair styling and make-up application for $99, with $50 redeemable on Runway Room products to take home. Chisholm hair and beauty students will be given industry experience by immersing them in salon life and providing the opportunity to learn from industry experts overseeing the salon service. 

Runway Room founder Alex Fevola said: “Having grown up in Frankston, I am super excited to bring our ‘affordable luxury’ services and products to the local community.  The opportunity for Chisholm students to gain real hands-on experience is invaluable and is the best possible way to launch a career in make-up. We are super proud to be able to offer this as part of their education program.”

Open on Saturdays from 10am-5pm, the salon will be operational until December 8.  Bookings can be made on 8578 2699 or at [email protected]

Open Day at Peninsula Grammar reveals a world of possibilities


‘Quod Bonum Tenete: Hold fast that which is good’. This timeless motto sits proudly on our school crest to remind our school community to not only consider the past but to also strive for personal excellence now and into the future.

We are proudly co-educational from K-12 with leading-edge programs and targeted teaching to meet individual needs. We also offer day and boarding facilities for local and international students.

Our dedicated teachers nurture and inspire each of our students to be their individual best. Our academic excellence is complemented by a wide array of co-curricular activities tailored to enable students to learn, grow and flourish.

Our positive learning environment and engaging personalised programs are spread across four key learning areas: Junior Years (3YO Kindergarten-Year 4), Middle Years (Years 5-8), Pre Senior Year (Year 9) and Senior Years (Years 10-12), with single gender classes in Years 7-9 for Maths and English.

Music plays a central role in the educational and cultural life of Peninsula Grammar. We offer a contemporary music education that is both stimulating and relevant to each child. Directed by Dr Richard Vaudrey, Peninsula Grammar’s music department presents over 30 concerts per year, including the incredibly popular Peninsula Grammar Presents concert series which brings leading artists from around Australia and the world to our very own Performing Arts Centre on campus:  peninsulagrammarmusic.com/.

Peninsula Grammar has an enviable reputation in sport, delivering a program that creates opportunity for all. Our sporting program encourages multisport participation in a fun, engaging and progressively challenging atmosphere. We offer quality coaching at all age levels and develop fundamental skills that can transfer between sports. Our Director of Sport, Shona Middleton, inspires a generation of students who love sport. Students are also provided with an avenue to fulfil their own athletic potential.

Our teachers and students are active members of our community. We invest in students’ personal growth and well-being and we encourage each of our students to diligently pursue their passions.

Our Open Day on October 17 from 9-11am is student-led and provides a great opportunity for visitors to experience our vibrant co-educational school environment.

As soon as you enter our school gates you will be able to feel our community spirit, see our collaborative and creative classrooms and be able to enjoy our innovative facilities and green landscape. 

To experience our Open Day on October 17, bookings are preferred. Please register your interest via our website at www.peninsulagrammar.vic.edu.au or call us on 9788 7702.

We look forward to welcoming you to Peninsula Grammar.



Maddison cooks up a storm at AUSTAFE final


A second-year commercial cookery apprentice at Peninsula Private Hospital has taken out the annual Chisholm AUSTAFE regional final competition at Chisholm’s Frankston campus.

Langwarrin’s Maddison Cochrane, who competed as a first-year apprentice last year, won Section 2 of the competition on her way to being named overall winner and will join Cameron Peirce (Section 1 winner), Daniel Rischitelli (Section 3) and Rebecca Raphael (Section 4) at the state finals in Melbourne this month. There they will vie for the chance to compete at the national finals in Canberra in a bid to be crowned National Champion Apprentice Chef. Bianca Ross, Naomi Cheeseman, Dale Villella and Ruling Huang were runners-up in sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively at the regional final on Tuesday, August 7.

The competition was divided into four sections for first, second and third-year apprentices, with Section 4 for cooks and culinary students. All competitors were required to produce an omelette, while Section 2 competitors also had to produce an entrée made from a boned chicken and those in sections 3 and 4 had to make a sweet based on yoghurt.

Commercial cookery trainer and event organiser Michael Villani said: “We have been running the AUSTAFE competition for 12 years. It allows students the opportunity to hone their professional skills under pressure with industry judges. Competitions like these are critical for students to be prepared for the pressure of industry. Students participating in the competition are potentially putting themselves forward as the next generation of industry frontrunners. It really is a confidence booster for students who compete. The day couldn’t be run without the support of sponsors like Gemini Catering, Krio Krush, Prestige Foods, and Aquanas Seafoods.”

Keep an eye on Mornington Peninsula Magazine for the results of the AUSTAFE state and national finals.


Live local, learn local, dine local


The Casuarina Student Restaurant is open for three-course lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with an additional lunch service to run on Thursdays throughout spring. The restaurant showcases all the Peninsula has to offer by sourcing local produce that’s cooked and served by students who work, study and reside in the region.

Chisholm trainer and chef William Harmelin says: “The meals are wholesome and reflect seasonal availability. The food is a contemporary blend of classics and modern meals; all our produce is proudly sourced locally through our partnerships with local farmers and producers.”

Restaurant chefs are either apprentices from some of the best regional Mornington Peninsula restaurants, cafés and wineries or full-time commercial cookery students on industry placement studying a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery. While the chefs run the kitchen, lunch service is provided by students studying a Certificate II or III in Hospitality specialising in front of house skills.

“Our live restaurant offers a realistic environment to showcase the talent and skills our students have developed during their course and provide them with the confidence and experience to take into industry and beyond,” William says. “Our students learn in a restaurant offering a classic setting that combines modern influences in service and food.”  

Casuarina can cater for corporate or social group functions of up to 45 people. The venue has AV equipment and venue hire is complementary when you book a function with catering. Chefs can discuss any event requirements, dates, menu options and prices.

Let Chisholm Hospitality students wine and dine you with a delicious three-course lunch service on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon-2pm. Bookings are essential on 5950 2000 or email [email protected] 

Casuarina Restaurant is at Chisholm Institute Campus, Building A, cnr Boneo Rd and Henry Wilson Drive, Rosebud. Community, seniors and industry group bookings are welcome.


Free science activities at Coolart

Calling all curious children, nature-loving adults and adventurous families: become platypus protectors, search for bird habitats or join an ecology tour of the Coolart Wetlands and Homestead reserve as part of National Science Week 2018.

Coolart Science in the Park 2018.jpg

The third annual Science in the Park: Wildlife Counts event will be the focus of a variety of free and accessible science activities for all ages on Sunday, August 12, from 10am to 4pm at the Coolart Wetlands and Homestead in Somers. The event will be opened by a Welcome to Country Smoking Ceremony by an elder from the Bunurong Land Council.

PrimeSCI! Swinburne University of Technology, along with Parks Victoria, EPA Victoria, Birdlife Mornington Peninsula, Friends of Coolart, and many other organisations will host science presentations, tours of the reserve and fun hands-on science activities. The science seminars on the day will feature keynote speakers Ian Temby and Dr Andrea Hinwood, Victoria’s first Chief Environmental Scientist. Tours of the reserve will include an ecology tour with Gidja Walker. Leading up to the event, the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society has an astro-photography exhibition in the homestead.

Ranger Jenny says: “It’s great to be able to work with PrimeSCI! Swinburne University of Technology to bring this event to Coolart for National Science Week.  One of the most important things in managing our parks is research and monitoring — to understand what we have and how we are going to protect it.  Gathering this information can not only be done by professional scientists but also the community using ‘citizen science’. This event will be a chance for people to see how science is used in our parks and how they can be involved.”

National Science Week is Australia’s annual opportunity to meet scientists, discuss the hot topics, do science and celebrate its cultural and economic impact on society, and runs from August 11-19. For more information on the Coolart event, follow scienceintheparkcoolart on Facebook.

Preparation for a ‘good life’ starts early at Balcombe


Spend a few minutes talking to students at Balcombe and you will notice their authentic confidence. The students know that they are valued for who they are and they actively seek opportunities to extend their skills and knowledge. While the staff at Balcombe place high value on numeracy and literacy, we need to go beyond these foundational skills to prepare our students for the exciting and enriching futures we envision for them.

We need to prepare students for a ‘good life’; a life with friends, meaningful work and diverse leisure. This requires an ability to know yourself and others. Learning to be emotionally intelligent, to be able to understand and manage the full range of emotions one experiences throughout life starts early at Balcombe. Working with families, we continue to offer opportunities that scaffold emotional intelligence. Students develop vocabulary to express how they’re feeling, while also allowing them to develop a rich understanding of others. They are intentionally placed in increasingly complex social situations to practise these skills in real situations. This insight might be gained through working collaboratively with friends, planning and running a small business or through studying abroad.

To truly live ‘your best life’, the life that fits your goals and abilities, you must also develop courage. This is more than being fearless. In fact, the absence of fear is fundamentally unintelligent. Fear can keep us safe and alert us to potential dangers; in this way, it’s a very useful emotion. But if fear stops us doing the things that matter to us, then it is unlikely we will realise our full potential.

Giving students experiences that allow them to feel nervous, to practise feeling unsure, is a shared responsibility of schools and families. This might be their first school camp or auditioning for the school production.  Every day at Balcombe, students have many opportunities to try something, big or small, that makes them nervous. When they fall, there are plenty of people to encourage them to get back up and keep going. When they succeed in uncertain situations, they feel deep joy, having achieved something difficult. In this way, students develop courage.

Confident and courageous people have the freedom to be creative; to explore novel approaches, to form elegant solutions to problems. Creativity requires a departure from the familiar. Balcombe students enjoy and utilise modern equipment and resources as tools to produce creative work. On other occasions, students’ resources and equipment is intentionally limited. Limited resources compel students to practise ingenuity and resourcefulness.

‘Enterprising’ is the word we use at Balcombe to describe the resilience, the confidence, the resourcefulness and the determination to keep learning.  Societies have a responsibility to raise children into capable, enterprising adults. We take this responsibility seriously and work hard with families to form young adults who lean confidently into their futures — graduates who have the courage to set their sights high, who are resourceful and courageous, who continue to learn and develop throughout their lives.

MATTHEW DODD — Principal


Premier’s Awards for VCE Excellence

Three students of Peninsula Grammar’s graduating Class of 2017 were recently presented with their Premier’s VCE Awards at the prestigious award ceremony.


More than 1100 guests attended the ceremony, where Victoria’s top-performing VCE students from 2017 were recognised for their outstanding academic results. A total of 302 awards were presented to 274 students.

Charlotte Holland was one of 23 students to receive a Top All-Round VCE High Achievers Award for attaining study scores of 46 or higher across at least five subjects and was the only student on the Mornington Peninsula to receive this coveted award. Charlotte’s 14-year journey at Peninsula Grammar commenced in Kinder and her unwavering commitment to her studies throughout this time ensured this meritorious achievement.

Daniel Pham was one of only three students to receive the International Student Award. Daniel’s determination and dedication to his studies are a testament to his ability, making Daniel a most deserving recipient of his award. 

Grace O’Sullivan was the recipient of a Study Award for Drama. Her score of 50 in Drama was phenomenal, as was her ATAR result. In 2017 Grace combined her enthusiasm for Performing Arts with a diligent study routine whilst at the same time fulfilling her responsibilities as Head of School.

Peninsula Grammar’s Class of 2017 achieved an exemplary set of VCE scores through their unrelenting determination to make the most of every opportunity afforded to them during their time at the School. 

By providing a nurturing environment and the best quality teachers, students at Peninsula Grammar are able to learn, grow and flourish.


VCAL students have an appetite for volunteering By Loretta Lloyd


I pulled up at The Rye Community House to find our 15 VCAL students, most of whom have never worked or volunteered in any capacity before, standing in the cold, dressed immaculately and appropriately to food safety standards. It was moving, as their teacher, to see them all ready and waiting as asked of them.

For eight weeks the Chisholm Mornington Peninsula campus VCAL students teamed up with a group of amazing volunteers from the Peninsula community. They created soup recipes, sourced local ‘seconds’ and donated produce, learnt about food and nutrition, and worked with a volunteer team. They took the soup to a local school to serve. This school has identified that a large percentage of children are experiencing absenteeism due to parents not having lunch to send to school or are unable to focus or learn due to not getting the nutrition they need. 

This program was only able to run with a dedicated volunteer team and they were ecstatic to have it run its first time thanks to our VCAL students offering their help. On our first visit serving at the school, one of the children exclaimed while getting his second cup of broccoli soup:  “Yum! I never get to have hot food.” The students affected by the experience were determined to find bread donations to go with the soup, an initiative entirely created by the VCAL students and much appreciated by the volunteers and the school.

It is having a most positive, holistic impact on my VCAL group, who are currently doing a research assignment on local volunteer organisations. They are developing invaluable skills for their own use in a kitchen, such as nutrition, recipe planning, food safety and hygiene.  They are obtaining a work ethic and work skills, having to run a full work day, uniforms, signing in and out, strict breaks etc. They are now, three weeks in, experiencing the “feel good” confidence that comes with community work and giving to others.

There has been a lot of discussion and feedback from them regarding looking outside of their own lives and challenges, how they perceive the community they live in and how the community they live in perceives them.  They have also developed a great empathy for the children and awareness of some of the issues going on in their community.

Tilly McClaren: “I thought the soup kitchen would be really boring … I feel really good at the end of the day when we have fed the primary kids. I leave with a smile.”

Brucie Renee Turner: “Being involved makes me feel really good knowing I am helping others.”

Jake Chant: “The vibe is great and everyone is super keen to meet and serve the kids. I think it’s great what volunteers are doing.”

Global Citizens. Global Connections.

Global Learning Peninsula Grammar’s partner school opens in Malaysia


In forging a new path with its commitment to a truly global education, Peninsula Grammar celebrated the opening of its partner school Peninsula International School Australia (PISA), Malaysia earlier this month. The school, located in Setia Alam, Selangor, is designed to provide students with a world-class learning experience, replicating the unique curriculum designs of Peninsula Grammar.

Principal, Mr. Stuart Johnston, attended the opening ceremony and in his speech captured the importance of this new relationship. He noted that the building of an identity does not simply arrive when a new school opens, it is fostered through the development of a community with a shared vision and passion for authentic learning. He remarked on the facilities, stating that the world-class pool, FIFA-approved soccer field and rooftop basketball courts are indicative of the PISA commitment to the success of every student.

In recognising that the 21st century learner requires opportunities to learn in diverse and unique cultures, it is hoped that the bond between the schools will see student exchanges and intercultural expeditions take place in the coming years. In implementing the Victorian Curriculum, PISA will be the first school in Malaysia to offer the Victorian Certificate of Education next year. It is an exciting time for both schools.

Peninsula Grammar is renowned for its willingness to explore new paths and discover new opportunities, to ensure every student will, through the choices afforded to them, Learn. Grow. Flourish.

Peninsula Grammar is also holding an information session on Monday, June 18, for its Year 10 to 12 Inspiring Me program, which includes information on its excellent VCE Curriculum. For more information about Peninsula Grammar and its Inspiring Me program, please visit www.peninsulagrammar.vic.edu.au or call 9788 7777.



Peninsula chefs cook their way to Bocuse d’Or grand final

Caption 2.jpg

Chisholm TAFE commercial cookery student Laura Skvor and Georgie Bass head chef Michael Cole will represent Australia at the Bocuse d’Or grand final in France next year after a stunning performance at the 2018 Asia Pacific heats.

The pair not only won their way through to the final in Lyon, Laura also picked up the Best Commis award at the heats in Guangzhou, China. The combination is certainly proving to be a winning recipe — after Michael chose Laura as his commis chef last year, they made the final of Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific 2017 in Singapore.

Laura has been cooking since she was a young girl and started her first job in the kitchen as a baker’s/patisserie assistant at the age of 15. Her passion for food and cookery was fuelled when she and her brother, Mitch, featured on MKR in 2016, which she described as “an incredible experience that awakened my desire to be a great chef”.

Laura’s mentor at the Asia Pacific heats was Chisholm trainer Michael Simmons. “He is teaching solid foundations of cookery as well as inspiring us to continually be creative in our culinary endeavours and excel in our work kitchens,” Laura said.

Michael is equally proud of his students’ success. “Without the work of Chisholm’s commercial cookery and hospitality team, we would not have had the industry links for this to occur.

“I have been lucky enough to meet one of my heroes, Jerome Bocuse, the son of the great Paul Bocuse, as well as Pierre Rossi, who at 80 still works in his self-titled restaurant,” Michael added. “We are making great friends with world-famous chefs and competitors alike as we move through the competition.”

With chefs in hot demand, a growing restaurant trade and a nationwide skills shortage of qualified chefs, there’s never been a better time to enrol in a commercial cookery or hospitality course at Chisholm TAFE.


Food for thought at Peninsula Grammar in 2018

This year, Peninsula Grammar introduced a new and innovative Food Technology program in state-of-the-art facilities for its Years 7 to 10 students. “As a school committed to 21st Century learning, it is the interdisciplinary learning opportunities that our Food Technology Centre gives our students that is the most exciting aspect,” said Principal, Mr Stuart Johnston.


A critical component of the program is the appointment of the right Food Technology teacher and Peninsula is pleased to say they’ve recruited one of the best. Mrs Renae Knight joined Peninsula at the beginning of the year with a Bachelor in Consumer Science and a Diploma of Education.

“I think learning about food is incredibly important. It’s not just about the life skills and learning how to cook – although this is clearly a benefit,” she said. “Our young people need to understand the social, ethical, economic and sustainability considerations in the development of food products. It enables them to be informed citizens on so many levels.”

Renae has developed a broad-based Food Technology program encompassing hospitality, food science, nutrition and community engagement and the students are thoroughly enjoying it. 

“Parent feedback has also been very positive,” laughs Renae. “Especially when the students take home their creations to share the outcome of their work — this has been very popular, even when they don’t always get it quite right!”

Peninsula Grammar has invested in a brand new purpose-built state-of-the-art Food Technology space featuring top-of-the-range cooking facilities and a co-located classroom for theory and discussion.

“The kitchen facility is the best I have taught in,” said Renae. “It has been designed extremely well, with collaborative learning in mind.”

Food Technology is set to grow at Peninsula Grammar, with more specialised elective classes that cover areas such as international cuisine, café-style food and meals suitable for entertaining. In 2019, Peninsula Grammar also plans to offer VCE Food Studies.

To find out more about Peninsula Grammar’s Food Technology program, visit www.peninsulagrammar.vic.edu.au or call them on 9788 7777.



Peninsula Grammar recruits netball champ as head coach


Peninsula Grammar has appointed former England and Tactix coach Sue Hawkins as its Head Coach of Netball.

Ms Hawkins helped Australia to victory in the 1983 Netball World Cup and coached England to the 2011 World Cup before taking the reins of the New Zealand franchise for three years in the ANZ Championship. She is a member of the International Netball Federation Coaching Advisory Panel and was appointed Netball Australia’s first high-performance manager in 1999.

“My aim is to create a challenging, inclusive, professional high-performance program, one that will motivate our players and coaches to be better tomorrow than they were today,” she said of her new role. “It is critical that this program has a balance between performance, recovery loading and fun. I am teacher trained so am thrilled to be returning to school to work with the students at Peninsula Grammar.”

Principal Stuart Johnston said Ms Hawkins’ appointment clearly demonstrates the school’s commitment to a first-class sports program. “We know that the best coaches get the most out of their players, and Ms Hawkins’ career to date shows her dedication both professionally and personally to her team members drives them to excel.”

Peninsula Grammar’s Director of Sport, Shona Middleton, said Ms Hawkins would be an invaluable addition to the school’s elite development coaching team.


Peninsula Grammar Presents Concert Series 2018

LIOR approved image 2017 CREDT - Claudio Raschella.jpg

After much anticipation, Peninsula Grammar is pleased to announce the line-up for its Peninsula Grammar Presents concert series.

Featuring both local and international quality musical acts, the concert series offers a range of professional performances of all music styles. Now in its third full year, this diverse and astounding series has already impressed over 2000 music lovers across the Peninsula.

Head of Instrumental Music at Peninsula Grammar and curator of the series, Dr Richard Vaudrey is extremely proud of the line-up for 2018.

"Our team has worked hard to get some of Australia's most talented musicians to play; it is going to be a fantastic series," he said.

The series offers an opportunity for the community, students and families to experience performances typically only found in large city environments in a more intimate and welcoming space within the school.

"Each year we open our doors and invite the community into our school to enjoy the talent that these amazing musicians have to offer. It’s all about inspiring and delighting people."

This year's line-up includes:

·      Thursday, March 1 - Kyran and New Flower Garden

·      Thursday, March 22 - Kristian Winther

·      Thursday, May 3 - Monash University Australian Jazz Ensemble

·      Wednesday, June 20 - Amy Lehpalmer (pictured

·      Thursday, July 26 - Lior

·      Wednesday, September 19 - Vaudrey with Howard Penny

·      Thursday, October 25 - Dania Cornelius

·      Thursday, November 29 - Alum (former Peninsula Grammar students)

"This program complements our music program so well. As part of the series, before each performance our students work with the musicians in a masterclass gaining valuable tips on technique and insights into the industry."

To find out more about the Peninsula Grammar Presents program or learn about Peninsula Grammar's exemplary music program, visit www.peninsulagrammar.vic.edu.au or call 9788 7777. 


The race of a lifetime


Congratulations to the Peninsula Grammar HPV team that came a noble 20th place in the overall standings of the 2017 Annual RACV Energy Breakthrough Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) Challenge. 

The 12 Year 6 students, including six girls and six boys, spent many months preparing for this event, which has become a much-loved tradition for Peninsula Grammar. 

Held from November 22-25, the Challenge provided an opportunity for students, teachers, parents and local businesses to work together to design and construct a HPV machine and to demonstrate innovation and efficient uses of energy while considering their impact on humans and the environment.  

HPV program co-ordinator Robert Ogle has been running this program at Peninsula Grammar for more than 10 years, and the improvement each year in the competition and vehicles is remarkable. 

“It takes over six months of preparation to run a professional program, and our students certainly developed an extraordinary team spirit, challenging their resilience and grit, while considerably broadening their educational horizons,” Mr Ogle said. “They also get to have a great deal of fun! Undoubtedly this endures as a major highlight of the year.

“Planning for next year has already commenced, and we are looking forward to trying to improve even further in 2018.”

Peninsula Grammar ran a Trisled composite fibreglass, kevlar and carbon fibre vehicle in the race, carrying the name of ‘Mistral’.

“The vehicle we run for the HPV program is second to none. It uses carbon fibre in its structure, meaning we can keep the weight of the vehicle down but also keep it structurally strong.” 

The Peninsula Grammar HPV team finished the gruelling race in an amazing 15th place in a field of 92 vehicles, covering 334 laps or the equivalent of 367.4km. Other elements of the Challenge, such as the presentation, gave them a final placing of 20th overall – a wonderful result.

To find out more about the Year 6 HPV program, part of the Becoming Me years, please contact Peninsula Grammar on 9788 7777 or visit www.peninsulagrammar.vic.edu.au for more information. Peninsula Grammar runs tours every Thursday from 9.30am.


Two years are better than one

A recent report released by the Mitchell Institute highlights the substantial benefits children receive from access to two years of preschool. The report finds that starting early and staying in for longer is beneficial for most children and that high-quality early learning programs help grow curious minds and develop emotional wellbeing.

The Early Learning Program at Toorak College provides the best educational start for your child.

Toorak_College_MP mag_Dec.jpg

“As a young child grows, so does their identity and sense of self,” says Mrs Mandy Whitworth, Head of Wardle House. “We pride ourselves on having an Early Learning Program that has been designed to meet the cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs of preschool children.”

A typical day for students in Toorak College’s Early Learning Program includes play, music, art, movement, science, reading, and math activities. “Our teachers design learning activities based on the needs and attention spans of three and four-year-olds,” says Mrs Whitworth. “These experiences are then delivered in small groups throughout the day to ensure students are actively learning.”

As part of the three-year-old program, students are encouraged to explore and play both indoors and outdoors. They begin to learn early literacy and numeracy concepts and how to collaborate and co-operate with others. Recently, the students were paired up with buddies from the Senior School and together they explored number sequencing and number patterns.

Students in Toorak College’s four-year-old program build on their cognitive, social and emotional skills. They work independently and in groups to develop their reading, writing and problem-solving skills. Specialist art, music, library and science classes expose students to the wider school environment and ensure they are prepared for the next big leap at Toorak College – Prep!

“When children start school we want them to thrive, flourish and enjoy the challenges they are presented. This is why we provide many opportunities for our ELC students to experience the whole school,” says Mrs Whitworth. “These experiences make school seem less scary and intimidating as the children begin their next learning journey.”

To learn more about the Early Learning program at Toorak College, visit toorakcollege.vic.edu.au or call 9788 7234 to arrange a tour.

Service learning at the heart of Year 9 at Peninsula Grammar

Year 9 at Peninsula Grammar is an exciting time for students, who take part in the innovative “Challenging Me” program based on extensive research on how best to cater for the needs of adolescent learners.


During Year 9, students have the opportunity to learn about and understand the importance of investing in social capital to benefit and support our community. This year with an increased focus on service learning across the School, the program grew to include an option to undertake a trip to Cambodia to help build a home for a local family.

“2017 saw the inaugural overseas service learning expedition to Cambodia,” said Sue Barlow, Head of Pre Senior Year 9, the driving force behind this new initiative.  “A few days enjoying the cultural delights of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh were superseded by an amazing five days spent in the floating village of Prek Toal.

“In this small village, the students stayed with local families and worked alongside tradesmen building a traditional house for a family in need, integrating with children in the village school playing games to help them with their English.”

Year 9 student Harry had a life-changing experience. “During and after the trip I saw and realised how much I had changed.  I have found new motivation; I now know how fortunate I am to have everything I have in my life and how lucky I am to have such an amazing education and teachers that are always willing to help. I am so much more grateful for everything in my life now and I wish that I could do more for others in the world.”

For more information about Peninsula Grammar and its unique service learning-based “Challenging Me” program, go to www.peninsulagrammar.vic.edu.au or call 9788 7777.


A: 20 Wooralla Drive, Mount Eliza

T: 9788 7777

W: www.peninsulagrammar.vic.edu.au

Scientists in the making

Toorak College provides the best educational start for your child; inspiring students to dream big and aim high, with quality teachers who develop the students’ passions wherever they may lie.


In the early years, Toorak College values the importance of having a strong foundation in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. It encourages exploration, curiosity and problem solving.

Last year the Government released the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and under the initiative ‘Inspiring all Australians in Digital Literacy, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics’ a plan to develop STEM knowledge in early childhood was launched.

“It is important to encourage STEM thinking in very young children,” says Mrs Mandy Whitworth, Head of Wardle House. “The secret is to tap into their natural and innate curiosity about the living world. By simply allowing children to investigate, and encouraging them to ask questions about the real world, you are engaging them in STEM. Research tells us that an enhanced and integrated understanding of STEM disciplines will assist our students to be the entrepreneurs and innovators of the future.”

As part of the Early Learning program at Toorak College, students have access to the school’s state-of- the-art facilities, including DIGI (Design, Innovate, Gamify Inspire) Zone. DIGI Zone is a place for learners to problem solve, collaborate, design and create. Most recently, three and four-year-old students have been creating stop-motion movies on tablets and experiencing new technology using the beebots, sphero balls and virtual reality equipment. Later this year, they will be working on a student-directed animated story where they will use different objects and environments to tell a story of what life is like in the Early Learning Centre. These experiences enable the children to develop a solid understanding of digital technologies before commencing primary school.    

“A vibrant Australia depends upon a foundation of STEM education, so we need to encourage STEM learning during our children’s early years, rather than wait until they get to school,” says Mrs Whitworth.

To learn more about the Early Learning program at Toorak College, visit toorakcollege.vic.edu.au or call 9788 7234.