Week 4 Remote Learning Update

Keep an eye on our Newsletter link for weekly updates about our Remote Learning Program.

Please follow this link for a message from our Principal Melissa Gould,  https://youtu.be/5NIwDgxcHfQ

We are currently organising a virtual information evening for our new 2021 Year 7 students, please let anyone you know to keep an eye on our Facebook page for details.

Happy Mother’s Day to all our beautiful mums!!



Term 2 Arrangements

The situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve.

The Victorian Government has now advised that all schools will move to remote and flexible learning when students return for Term 2 on Wednesday 15 April.

This means that all students who can learn at home must learn from home. This is a very clear directive by the Victorian Government based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer.

All students will be learning from home, except for children on days when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made. If your child needs to attend Rochester Secondary College, please complete the Google form https://forms.gle/DN3LnZCkB9217K8t6 to assist with planning. You must notify the College before sending your child to school.

This is not an action being taken lightly, and I understand it may cause you and your family concern and stress. Please know this step is being taken to slow the spread of the virus and ensure the health and safety of all Victorians.

Most of our teachers will also be working from home. All of them have been working hard to put curriculum plans in place to ensure continuity of learning and to support the wellbeing of all our students.

The Department of Education and Training’s Learning from Home website also provides information and resources for parents and carers: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/parents/learning/Pages/home-learning.aspx

Further information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and schools can be found on the Department’s website, which will continue to be updated as the situation evolves: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

We will continue to update our community as information becomes available. We encourage all our students, staff and community to practice good hygiene and to be kind to one another. We are all in this together, stay safe and stay positive.

Coronavirus Update


The Minister of Education has announced additional pupil-free days. The first will be the last day of Term 1 – Friday 27th of March.

This means the last day of Term will be this Thursday the 26th of March.  On Wednesday the 25th of March only Year 12 classes and VET classes will be running, students not in these classes will not be required to attend school on this day.

The Minister has also announced that the second added student free day will be Tuesday 14th of April – this day follows Easter Monday.


You may be aware that Education Ministers met to discuss the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and the implications for schools.  They have decided that NAPLAN testing will not proceed for 2020.

This decision was made in recognition of the disruption caused to schools by coronavirus (COVID-19). This has created additional work as teachers prepare for the possibility that schools will need to move to more flexible learning programs, including remote learning.


The Government announced new social-distancing measures, among a range of other measures to support our communities as we continue to deal with the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

On the recommendation of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the National Cabinet also determined that early childhood settings, schools and higher education institutions remain exempt from these requirements.

We will continue to follow the recommendations of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, and if the advice changes, we will move to implement that advice as quickly as possible.

Based on this advice, schools will continue to be open next week.   We understand, however, that the new social-distancing measures might increase the level of anxiety in our school community.

We want to reassure our parents and students that next week, Victorian Government schools will remain open and will continue to provide the full range of classroom teaching, learning and social activities that are so important for our students.

Please continue to take care of each other and be kind.

Melissa Gould | Principal

Rochester Secondary College

Coronavirus Update 16th March

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will keep our community informed with regular updates.  We seek your support in keeping your child home if they are displaying signs of illness.

The latest advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer regarding the importance of our schools remaining open for now is attached. In essence, schools will remain open until further notice.

Rochester Secondary College is making the necessary preparations to support students who cannot attend school at this time and to ensure the continuity of learning in the event of school closure.

All camps and excursions outside the school have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. The Year 12 camp to Melbourne in term 2 has been cancelled. Due to many businesses unable to commit to taking on work experience students, we have cancelled the Year 11 work experience in term 3.

We will continue to update our community as information becomes available.


2020 Lions Youth of the Year

We were very privileged to have our four school captains, Yazmin Hayes, Emma Palmer, Ben Atley and Emma Palmer represent our College at the 2020 Rochester Lions Club Lions Youth of the Year Competition.  Our students submitted written applications and were interviewed by a panel of judges, contestants were scored based on the following categories: Initiatives taken at school, activities and involvement outside of school, school academic achievements, academic and general knowledge and presentation during the interview.

Students then participated in the public speaking section in front of a gathering of Rochester Lions Club members, family and guests.  Students were required to answer to impromptu questions “How could you survive without social media for a day?” and “How is the older generation failing the younger generation?”  All the students were able to reply with well thought out articulate responses to the questions.

Each student then presented a five minute prepared speech, Ben spoke about the volunteer fire fighters and argued there work deserved monetary compensation, Emma spoke about Mental Health concerns in the younger generation and the impact of social media, Charlie spoke about his love for the community of Colbinabbin and what sets it aside from other small communities and Yazmin spoke about the increasing issue of obesity and presented some frightening statistics that are significantly different for regional areas compared to metropolitan areas.

Ben Atley was declared winner of the Public Speaking section and Yazmin Hayes was declared the overall winner of the 2020 Lions Youth of the Year.  The judges pointed out how close the decision was for all four contestants and made many comments about the outstanding qualities of the four contestants.  Yazmin now progresses to the Regional Finals in Echuca on the 22nd of March.

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: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus

For national updates: https://www.health.gov.au/news/latest-information-about-novel-coronavirus

For international updates: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus

WHO resources  https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus