McKinnon Secondary College

Respect - Integrity - Resilience - Community - Creativity - Success


McKinnon Secondary College lives by its motto ‘Wisdom and Service’. We foster a love of learning and respect for diversity. We strive to nurture empathetic, creative and confident young people who are connected to our community and Indigenous heritage. We want our students to embrace opportunities for continuous improvement and accept the challenges of a complex and globalised world.


Reading in the Age of TikTok and Fortnite 
Since the 1980s in Australia, there has been conflict over the best ways to teach reading. The main question has been whether schools teach the “whole language” approach or go down the path of “structured literacy” that teaches students phonics. While primary schools primarily dictate which approach to adopt, there has recently been a rise in the debate around reading instruction in the media, sparking renewed political interest in what our students are taught. In February this year, the ABC reported on the Grattan Institute’s findings that one third of Australian school children can’t read properly. They also estimate that this will cost our Australian economy $40 billion dollars over time. However, the report highlighted compelling evidence of enhanced reading proficiency among students who participate in "structured literacy" programs. It found that at least 90 percent of students achieved proficient reading skills following explicit instruction in this approach. Fortunately, the McKinnon community has relatively low levels of reading difficulties. However, for our students who struggle with reading decoding and comprehension, we have a fantastic literacy intervention program led by the incredible Georgina Tsitas and we have seen a significant amount of growth through the many interventions that students engage in.  So, how does reading relate to our broader community, and why are we talking about it?  Our goal: to foster a love of reading for each and every student! This year, researchers from Deakin University published a report titled Discovering a Good Read: Exploring Book Discovery and Reading for Pleasure Among Australian Teens which was based on a survey of around 12,000 teenagers from various states in Australia, examining their reading habits. The report found that one third of teenagers surveyed were classified as ‘book abstainers’ for they don’t read books for pleasure at all or have neutral to negative feelings about reading.  While it's easy to argue that reading is beneficial, to truly believe it, we must turn our attention to the evidence:A mere 6 minutes of silent reading can reduce stress levels by 68%.Engaging in only 30 minutes of reading daily can extend one's lifespan by an average of two years.Regular book lovers tend to report higher levels of life satisfaction, happiness and a sense of purpose.Active readers are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimers or dementia. Students who read for pleasure not only excel academically, but also achieve greater success in their careers. Research says that we must allocate time during the school day for teenagers to engage in reading. Therefore, at McKinnon, the first 10 minutes of every English class for grades 7 through 10 are designated for wide reading. During this time, students are encouraged to explore a variety of reading materials according to their preferences. Whether it's novels spanning different genres, non-fiction works, comic books, autobiographies, or newspapers, the emphasis lies on granting students the opportunity to immerse themselves in reading that resonates with them. Ultimately, the aim is to cultivate a genuine passion for reading among students. As a society, we want our youth to find joy and inspiration in reading for pleasure, yet the pervasive reliance and addiction to technology have posed significant barriers to this desired outcome. Luckily, there are practical strategies readily available for all of us to incorporate into our lives, aimed at enhancing our kids' engagement in reading for pleasure.  As outlined in Deakin’s report, there are many research-backed recommendations; support teens to find their next great read and let them follow their interests, invest in school libraries and librarians, parents should be encouraged to model reading behaviour, make reading social through discussions about books with friends and family, carve out time for teens to read at school and at home.  Finally, as highlighted by a government survey, the rate of students engaging in recreational reading has seen a decline, falling from 79% in 2018 to 72% in 2022. Yet, within our vibrant community, there exists a wealth of individuals dedicated to enhancing the well-being of our students. Let's champion the joy of reading and amplify the profound satisfaction it brings to us as human beings!  Annabel BartonLiteracy Learning Specialist
East Campus Mural
On Tuesday afternoon, we celebrated the official opening of the East Campus Mural to huge success! Staff, students and the local community were all invited to participate in this event, to help us celebrate this milestone achievement for our school.Congratulations to all our Year 10 students, staff and the wider school community who helped us realise this incredible feat! Thank you again to our 2023 Artist Resident Anthony Breslin, and his team; Tara Strong, Emily Lowe, Carmel Laffan and Stephen Bills. As well as Paint Spot Carnegie and Smart Hire Carnegie for providing us with the tools and resources we needed to achieve this project.  Thank you to Peter Eglezos, the Head of Visual Arts, and the Visual Arts Team; Emma Butler, Su-Jin Chang, Maria Garcia, Tracy Griffith, Jackson Muir, Jessica Rogosic, Anna Bourke, Lynton Perry, Eliza Portelli, Amy Simpson, and our Visual Art Technician Leisa Hunt. A special thank you to Rebecca Johnson, Raphaella Roden and Katherine Sip for their work last year on this project.I would also like to thank Melinda Howard, who initiated this project, and the 2023 Year 9 Student Managers; Chris Pantelios, Katherine Cozens and Susan Wilken.  Finally thank you to the school’s Communications, Music Audio/Visual and Facilities team for their support of this project. This mural project marks the first of many Artist in Residence projects to be undertaken at MCK. I look forward to continuing to celebrate the school Visual Arts program with the community.  Michael KanPrincipal  The opening night for the East Campus Mural was a buzzing success! Students, staff, parents, artists and the local community came to help us celebrate. This mural saw all 400-plus Year 9 students (from 2023) contribute in some way shape or form to the project. Many painted the bugs, trees, and flowers that create the mural itself, many prepared the panels with undercoats of paint in preparation for painting, many refined and touched up existing designs.  Students were even involved in painting the wall blue and installing the artwork itself.Excitingly, the mural is also being promoted in a number of ways to the community. Anthony Breslin was recently interviewed by Raf Epstein at ABC Radio, Education Daily is also planning to cover the project in an upcoming publication, and our in-house documentary produced by Latham Films will also be released soon.  This mural, which is now a landmark of the South Drive Precinct, acts as the first of many Arts Projects the Visual Arts team will be undertaking in the upcoming years, and I am personally so excited to continue to enrich the school community with student-driven art projects. Thank you to Anthony Breslin and his team; Tara Strong, Emily Lowe, Carmel Laffan, as well as Stephen Bills from Lignum Furniture, Steve Altimari from Paint Spot Carnegie, and the team at Carnegie Smart Hire.Thank you to the Visual Arts team at McKinnon, Leisa Hunt, Anna Bourke, Emma Butler, Su-Jin Chang, Maria Garcia, Tracy Griffith, Jackson Muir, Lynton Perry, Eliza Portelli, Jessica Rogosic and Amy Simpson. As well as Rebecca Johnson, Monica Lo Presti, Raphaella Roden and Katherine Sip, who all helped realise this project.Thank you to Melinda Howard, Chris Pantelios, Katherine Cozens and Sue Wilken, who were the 2023 Year 9 Student Managers who helped plan this project.  Thank you to the School’s Communications, Music and Audio Visual and East Campus Facilities teams. And lastly, thank you to Michael Kan. This project would not have been possible without Michael’s investment and support of the Visual Arts. Peter EglezosLearning Area Manager - Visual Arts Check out the photo gallery  
Year 10 Informal
After weeks of anticipation the day of our Year 10 Informal finally came around. With the theme being Under the Stars, many students came to the informal wearing their cozy pyjamas accompanied by glow-in-the-dark accessories. The night opened with the Nothing Stuck band performing, which left many of us hyped and excited for the rest of the night. The Nothing Stuck band was then followed by a performance from our Principal Team which many of us also enjoyed.  We would love to thank both the bands for their amazing performances!! For the rest of the night, many of us danced to the music, even dancing to the Macarena and the Nutbush, and enjoyed the pizza, snacks, and ice cream that was provided. This night truly delivered the much-needed celebration and fun for all of us.  Prior to the Informal, it was our dedicated Informal committee that truly brought the night to life. The team first began by gathering information from the whole year level about what they wanted to see at their own Informal such as the theme and food. After collecting this information, we spent weeks planning and preparing to ensure this night was as successful as possible.  On behalf of everyone, we would like to thank this committee. We would also like to thank Mrs Fleming, Mr McCooke, Mrs Travitz as well as all the other teachers and the principal team for always supporting the informal committee and making this night as memorable as it was.  Truly, this night was full of fantastic experiences and memories that I’m sure many of us will cherish.  Maleesha Dharmadasa & Yeri Soung Year 10 StudentsCheck out our photo gallery