GTAC Incursion

On Monday February 17, educators from the Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC), a specialist education centre based in Melbourne, facilitated education programs with Year 10 students studying Genetics and Evolution and Year 12 students studying Biology. The Year 10 students investigated the genetics of sickle cell disease, while the Year 12 students investigated mitochondrial disease. Both groups were able to participate in a restriction enzyme digest of DNA to produce strands of different lengths which were then separated by gel electrophoresis.

Primary school students from Rochester, Elmore, Lockington and Nanneella also participated in a session about applying biomimicry to design thinking. This included looking at pollen grains of different types of flowers under powerful stereo microscopes.

All sessions were at no cost and enabled students to be tutored by specialist educators and use equipment they would not normally have access to.

Coronavirus Advice

Last updated 29 January 2020

An outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was detected in Wuhan, China in late December 2019. Cases have been reported predominantly in the city of Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China, as well as some other Chinese cities and countries, including two confirmed cases in Victoria, Australia.

What is this virus?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The virus seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It has not been detected before this outbreak. Most people infected live in, or travelled to, Hubei Province, China. There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in other Chinese provinces and other countries. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is now evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to develop.

What if my child is well, and returning to school after being in Hubei province, China or other countries with cases in the last 14 days?

All students and staff members who have travelled to Hubei Province, China, are advised to stay at home and avoid public settings, including attendance at schools and early learning centres, until 14 days after last being in Hubei province, China.

Children and staff who are well and have travelled to other provinces in China, or any other areas where there have been reported cases, are NOT recommended to be excluded from schools and child care services unless the following applies:

  • The person is a confirmed case of novel coronavirus
  • The person is a close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the past 14 days

What if my child feels sick now or within 14 days of being in Hubei Province, China or another part of China?

  • If your child has a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, they must be excluded from school and be reviewed by a doctor.
  • Seek medical attention but first place a mask on the student if you have one and call the doctor or hospital before you attend. Tell them your child has been in Hubei province, China, or the location of travel within China.
  • When you get to the hospital or doctor’s clinic, tell them where your child has travelled in China and whether this included Hubei Province. Ensure a mask is placed on your child before or as soon as you arrive at the medical facility.

If your child has severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath:

  • Call 000 and request an ambulance, and
  • Inform the paramedics where your child has been in China.

How can I help prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence. The most important actions are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow

Where can I get more information?

For Victorian updates to the current incident, go to:

For national updates:

For international updates:

WHO resources

2020 Bell Times

2020 Bell Times
Semester 1
8:55 9:00 Lockers
9:00 9:06 Home Group
9:07 9:56 Period 1
9:56 10:45 Period 2
10:45 11:05 Recess 20 mins
11:05 11:10 Lockers
11:10 11:59 Period 3
11:59 12:48 Period 4
12:48 1:18 Lunch 30 mins
1:18 1:38 Lunch 20 mins
1:38 1:42 Lockers
1:42 2:31 Period 5
2:31 3:20 Period 6

All students will attend Home Group each morning.

Investigative Science

John Atley visited the school and spoke to students about his background and the progression of his career within the police force. He is a former student of Rochester Secondary College.

He also spoke about the many careers in the police, both as sworn officers and unsworn personnel, before showing students the sort of equipment he uses, explaining investigative techniques and demonstrating how finger printing was done. There was also an opportunity for students to look inside the crime scene van to see the great diversity of equipment inside.

Cows Create Careers

Phil Candy who works at Fonterra in Stanhope is the industry advocate for the Cows Create Careers project this year. Recently he spoke to Year 10 students studying Investigative Science about his qualifications and what his role at Fonterra involves, the many careers in the dairy industry and how to properly care for the calves.

Engineers Without Borders Workshops

On Thursday 25th of July Engineering students from the University of Melbourne and Engineers Without Borders came to Rochester Secondary College and ran workshops with the Year 7 and 8 students. The workshops were aimed at inspiring students about Humanitarian Engineering and Global Challenges such as water, sanitation, construction and climate change. The workshops were designed to develop problem solving and time management skills in students whilst also promoting careers in engineering and provided discussion around university pathways.

The students had to develop a house that was adapted to water changes due to climate change, they had a budget to buy equipment and a short time to build. Students whose houses successfully held the most marbles were the winners. All the classes had a great time with the activity and came up with some really creative and effective designs.

Engineers Without Borders is a volunteer-based organisation which promotes humanitarian engineering globally.


SRC Congress in Melbourne

On the 9th July, 2019  –  Haylee Banfield and I had the opportunity to attend the SRC Congress at Ormond College in Melbourne.

This Congress is basically a student led and student focussed conference. It brings together Secondary students from Year’s 7 to 12 form all around Victoria.

Haylee and I stayed at the College for three days and we loved every second of it, we would encourage everyone to participate if you get the opportunity, it was amazing experience.

We learnt how to have a say in what you would like to change in your schooling and  how to make school a better learning experience.

It honestly changed my life, I learnt so much from this experience and will definitely be going back in 2020.

By Georgia Matthews


 Year 11 Work Experience 

The Year 11’s have successfully completed their Melbourne Work Experience from 21st to 26th July, whilst staying South Yarra.   The students arrived eagerly on Sunday for the trip down to practise using Melbourne public transport before getting to work on Monday.  Monday saw 38 students head off to work with many needing to get up early with 9 out of the door by 7 am, the earliest few by 5am.  Students completed work experience across a range of areas including fitness, primary education, social welfare, building, real estate, hospitality, airplane maintenance, mechanics, golf courses, a specialist school, graphic design and others.

Feedback from our employers was very positive and allows the school to continue offering this program to future year 11’s.  Many of our work placements were cold calls by students in the past and such positive student experiences have turned these into regular arrangements and this year students continue with this tradition of impressing employers.  This year is no different. The camp offers more than just work experience, with students needing to budget and manage money for meals, deal with transport timetables, routes and delays.  Activities after work included going to the Queen Victoria Night Market, to the movies and shopping.

Thanks to all those staff and others involved in supporting this major undertaking especially Hayley Gray, Mr Gosai and Mrs Pelligrino who attended during the week.  Special thanks to Christine Hooppell and Mr Huddy who helped organise the placements and paperwork.

Matthew Callaway – Year 11 Coordinator

“I along with two other students completed our Work Experience at the Metropolitan Golf Club. We were lucky enough to experience a number of different tasks working alongside with the trained employees ranging from mowing and cleaning greens, cleaning bunkers, plantation and cutting new holes in greens.” Alex, Nash and Mitchell.

“I did my work placement at Global International Travel, a luxury travel agency in South Yarra. My time around the office was mostly spent filing and organising business cards, or holidays. I also observed the creation of clients’ itineraries and occasionally either making phone-calls or researching hotels in destinations such as Mykonos  –  Greece, Israel or Singapore. Everyone in the office was very friendly and welcoming which was great to ease the nerves on the first day. I enjoyed my time in Melbourne and at Global International Travel.” Emma

“During the week I completed work experience with Ubris. I enjoyed the experience and found it fun trying to find my way through Melbourne.” Rhys H

“We travelled to Melbourne to complete our Year 11 Work Experience in July. I was completing this at Cricket Victoria. I really enjoyed the week and it was a great experience. I enjoyed the freedom as we had a few hours every day to explore Melbourne and go out for dinner. Overall I thought it was one of the better camps I have been on and it was a great week.”  Charles R

“It was a good experience to live as a Melbourne person and work in an area where we are not familiar. Lots of people were nervous about finding their way and working with a team they have never worked with before. Overall the experience was amazing and it was good to get a taste of the city life for a week. If I had the chance I would do it again. I would encourage the Year 11s of 2020 and those students in the following years to take this opportunity and use it to their advantage. You will learn so much when you are participating in this camp. There are very few schools that give their students an opportunity like this one, we are fortunate to have the chance to attend the Work Experience Camp.” Rose McK


National School Trees Day

Rochester Secondary College participated in National Schools Tree Day on Friday 2nd of August.  Students wore green to show their support for the day and our environment.

Members of the RSC Student Green Team who are working to promote sustainability at the College along with students from 7B planted 100 native plants and trees around the ground to increase biodiversity.

Students participated in a lunchtime art activity painting trees and others watched the movie “The Lorax” about protecting the environment.

Many thanks to Rochester Nursery and the Shire of Campaspe who provided the native seedlings for our planting day.