Mr. Kenny Answers Your Questions

News date: 


Thank you to all those who recently participated in our 'Ask Mr. Kenny' campaign. It was great to see many members of the Marymede Community provide their feedback and input on topics which are important to our families.

Mr. Kenny has responded to each parent directly via email and we are happy to share with all members of the Marymede Community the following responses:

Would you reconsider the Grade 6 Camp to Canberra to take place somewhere closer? Sandra

Hi Sandra, this trip has been an annual event in the School Calendar each year and one in which our Year 6 students look forward to with great enthusiasm. This Camp also links in strongly with student studies in ‘Civics and Citizenship’ which includes a topic on Government. Therefore at this stage we do not have any plans to relocate the Camp, however as is common with all of our teaching and learning programs, this will be reviewed on an annual basis, based on changes in our curriculum along with a view to providing the best possible opportunities available for our students at the time.

Can you please advise why Marymede students conclude Term 4 usually one week before most other primary schools (this includes Catholic and state schools) and also often commence each term a day or two later than other primary schools? This puts an additional burden on working parents as this can mean that our children are having about 6-7 weeks of holidays during the Christmas/New Year break and childcare arrangements can be difficult to arrange. Natalie

Hi Natalie, I am of the belief that in a Prep to Year 12 School it is important to retain equality, where possible, across all year levels in order to maintain balance and fairness to all families, many of whom have children in both Primary and Secondary years. Therefore we try to keep the difference between end of year conclusion dates to a minimum. As a result students in Secondary years often conclude slightly later than many of their counterparts whilst students in Primary years conclude a week or so earlier. Teaching Staff will then use the final week to conduct planning amongst their teaching teams as the early days of Term 1 are often set aside for programs such as one-to-one Literacy and Numeracy Testing.

With regards to our students commencing term a day or two later than other Schools – we believe that this is the most appropriate time to conduct our annual P-12 Staff Professional Development sessions as opposed to these sessions being scattered throughout mid-week dates across the term. These Professional Development sessions are required for Staff and they are extremely beneficial in providing engaging, challenging and innovative teaching and learning programs for our students.

It is nice to know the School will start a new Kindergarten program. Great effort. I am interested to  find out if any Education Support Staff will be required for these programs. I am keen to submit my Resume and be considered for any opportunity to participate within the Kindergarten Program in 2018. Prashanthy

Hi Prashanthy, in the coming weeks, Marymede Early Learning Centre will advertise for a range of positions to commence in 2018. These roles will be advertised via a number of mediums one of which includes the Marymede Catholic College website 
( additionally, you are welcome to submit your expression of interest to me via

Will there be more secure fencing and security around the School once the Marymede Station development is complete? Sandra

Hi Sandra, I am able to confirm that the College will implement a range of new security/surveillance resources around our perimeter. We will also monitor the impact of the Station to College grounds in the early years to ensure that any additions/developments to security are made as required. It is my intention to ensure that all students and families at Marymede Catholic College feel safe within our environment at all times. Additionally, I am of the understanding that Marymede Station itself will also be equipped with a range of surveillance and security resources within the area. 

When you took over at Marymede Catholic College, one of the fast changes you made was to finish all year levels at 3.15pm. This was justified by the required hours Secondary students needed to complete their studies. However, as a parent who does pickup everyday, this created major traffic and safety issues. When finish times in the past were staggered by 7 minutes I found the traffic flow was better, creating a much safer environment for the children.  In a perfect world we have enough car parks, wider lanes, and enough staff to supervise the kids around the campus.  But in reality we need to make small changes that will create a safer environment for the children. Creating a peak time of 3.15pm when prep to 12 all come out at once is not the safest solution. I know Marymede has engaged expert traffic surveys in the past for these issues. I believe the safety of children is the highest priority. I would like to know how Marymede is looking at the possibility of easing the 3.15pm gridlock. Anthony

Hi Anthony, in reference to your question regarding the finish time of our students - in addition to students meeting the minimum time requirements for face to face learning, I am also of the belief that in a P-12 College it is important to maintain equality where possible across all year levels. Another important benefit in having one standard and consistent timetable has been the availability of Secondary Teaching Staff to teach students in our Primary years throughout a range of specialist subjects. Most recently, as part of the rotational elective program which is run in Years 5 and 6. These curriculum programs not only work to provide a unique learning opportunity to our younger students but also play an integral role in the transition of these students through to their Secondary education here at the College. This is made possible by having one consistent/standard timetable across all year levels. 

With regard to traffic management, the College will be developing a brand new 130+ space car park zone within Gate A as part of the new Marymede Early Learning Centre project. This development will also see a roadway constructed from Gate A around the rear perimeter of the College through to Gate G. We believe this will greatly improve traffic flow for our families. Additionally, we anticipate that some families may also opt to use new drop-off facilities located across the road at Marymede Station once this area is open and operative. This will help to contribute to reduced congestion within our own drop-off/pick-up zones and assist with traffic management around the area.

Could you please change the time for signing in the mornings. I would like to see a change to 8.55am - 9.00am due to Train Station construction and roadworks. Shine

Hi Shine, I can understand and appreciate that the ongoing construction works that are part of the Marymede Station development project will place additional demands on families who are dropping their children off to School in the morning and collecting them in the afternoon. 

However I do not believe that an amendment to our current timetable is in the best interests of our students. A change in our bell time will significantly decrease the time available for students in Homeroom and Pastoral Care each morning – a period which allows students to adequately prepare for their days’ learning. There is also the risk that a later commencement time may cause disruption to Period 1 teaching and learning which commences at 9.00am. Whilst the development of this new station may cause some temporary disruption to our families over the next 12 months, we are excited about the long term opportunities it will provide to both our students and families in the coming years and I thank your family and our parents for their understanding and patience during this process.

Is it possible to publish the general average VCE results for subjects and overall ATAR scores achieved by Marymede  Catholic College students? There is no other way of comparing school performance than this. Phil

Our College publishes detailed information on our VCE results in the first edition of our Newsletter each year. Additionally, extensive data around study scores and average ATAR information is published for all Victorian Schools in the Herald Sun at the conclusion of each year. Data can also be found on the ‘MySchools’ and ‘Better Education’ websites.

What will be done regarding car parking for drop off/pick ups in the future, and should parents that are picking their children up through the express lanes, be actually getting out of their cars/leaving their cars parked in the lanes? This contributes to a lot of time spent in the lanes/congestion. Brian

In regards to car parking facilities in the future, the College will be developing a brand new 130+ space car park zone within Gate A as part of the new Marymede Early Learning Centre project. This development will also see a roadway built from Gate A around the rear perimeter of the College through to Gate G. We believe this will greatly improve traffic flow for our families. Additionally, we anticipate that some families may also opt to use new drop-off facilities located across the road at Marymede Station once the area is complete and operational. This will help to contribute to reduced congestion within our own drop-off/pick-up zones and assist with traffic management. 

Parents who opt to use the drop-off/pick-up lane in Gate B should not be leaving their vehicle at any time. I agree that this is a major factor in congestion. Car park etiquette is something which I have included in my Newsletter articles throughout the year. Where feasible, Staff on Yard Duty will also request that parents follow the guidelines for this zone however in a School of this size it is important that we have the full co-operation of all parents to ensure the safety of our children during morning and afternoon pick up times.

Are the rumours of an aquatic styled building being built by the School correct? Brian

With regards to the development of an aquatic space at the College, many families may not be aware that in 2016 the College purchased a small parcel of land along Williamsons Road (Opposite Gate C). As part of our long term development plans, there will be several new buildings constructed on this site – one of which has been earmarked as an aquatic facility. However, no commencement year or timeline has yet been put into place for this specific facility and again I wish to reiterate that this forms part of our long-term development Masterplan.

I believe that the Uniform Policy should allow our Year 12 students to wear their Year 12 jumpers at all times in their final year of School. It’s something simple that allows them to show the hard work they have done to get to their final year of schooling and to showcase to the entire community that they are in Year 12 at Marymede Catholic College. Melissa

In reference to your feedback regarding the Year 12 jumper - my firm belief is that our School Uniform sets a standard for our own personal grooming expectations both internally and within our wider local Community. 

I am a big supporter of our School Uniform and for our most senior students to act as role models to their younger peers in the wearing of our uniform. There are many Schools which do not allow for their Year 12 garment to be worn at all during School time and so we work in compromise with our Year 12 students to allow them to wear this garment one day a week – I feel this arrangement provides a fair balance between the celebration/achievement of reaching Year 12 whilst maintaining the importance of a focused and diligent approach to their final year of studies. At this stage I do not support the Year 12 jumper replacing their uniform for any longer than the current period. Thank you for your input.

Mr Kenny have you had thoughts about introducing Driver Safety seminars/ lessons as part of the School curriculum (similar to the USA). With the increased focus on safety on our roads and safe driving standards, it is a vital age to give our children practice which they may not recieve elsewhere. Aaron

I am always open to providing our students with additional learning opportunities which benefit them whilst at School and once they leave the Marymede Community. I will speak to our Deputy Principal Learning & Teaching P-12, Ms Tracey Kift about this concept and the possibility of its introduction at Marymede Catholic College. Additionally we have previously offered a range of seminar experiences to students regarding road safety and driver’s education such as the ‘Keys Please’ program and we hope that these will continue in the future.

If possible I would like to see a more structured and better Tennis Program at the College with staff that take the sport and commitment seriously. If there is any help I can provide to the program, this can include taking the training after school I am happy to provide this. Tony

I am keen to create an engaging and challenging Tennis program here at the College which encourages students who have an interest in the sport to take part. 

In addition to raising your concerns with our Sport Department, we currently work in partnership with ‘Vassallo Tennis’ to conduct our weekly morning ‘Hot Shots’ Coaching Program – I will also engage in discussion with them around ways in which we can improve the Tennis program in the senior years here at the College. I will keep you updated on any changes. It has been pleasing to see the growth and success across our P-12 sporting programs in recent years and it would be fantastic to see these achievements expand to Tennis in the future.

Are there plans for all Year levels to be involved in an inter-school competition each year in both summer and winter sports? For example, Years 8 students do not compete in inter-school AFL. Aaron

The inter-school competitive sport program is organised via the ‘Sports Association of Catholic Coeducational Secondary Schools’, also known as ‘SACCSS’. Unfortunately the current SACCSS schedule sees Years 7 & 9 teams compete during winter months (Terms 2 and 3) of which AFL is included as a sport, and Years 8 & 10 teams competing during summer months (Terms 1 and 4) in which Cricket is included as a sport. This schedule would apply to all Schools participating within the SACCSS competition.

We look forward to the Marymede Community's feedback in future 'Ask Mr. Kenny' campaigns in the future!