Immersed, and loving it!

It's been Activities Camp Week at Senior Campus this week, and it's been huge, for staff and students alike. Our camps and co-curricular programs are a time for the regular timetable to be suspended, where small groups of students can take part in all sorts of mind-expanding opportunities right across the state.

The courage to try something new and be challenged, are some of the benefits of our extensive co-curricular program. Students can be far from the comforts of home, and well beyond their comfort zone. Dynamic learning, new connections, and new experiences abound – it is one of those weeks that truly sets Woodleigh apart.

Activities Week aligns with our School values of Respect for Self, Respect for Others, and Respect for the Environment. One of the most significant things we can take from the week is the ability to interact with others positively. In a family, a culture of positive relationships can have impact, but experience in a group situation for an extended time is a different way to learn and practice interpersonal skills.

We've had some wild weather this week, and some periods of discomfort - I'm sure those who went surfing bore the brunt! Even those not mad enough to get in the water would have felt wet, cold, unsure, or uncomfortable... but they survive, many thrive, and all develop their relationships, and an ability to adapt to different circumstances, build their independence and a greater ability to operate on their own or with different people, than if they didn't have such experiences.

The deep connections and breadth of skills students build in an immersive experience with other students and staff cannot be replicated at home or in the four walls of a classroom. Students have developed new friendships and happy long-lasting memories from last week. I’m sure you will agree that Woodleigh continues to provide our students the chance to get involved in a wide range of learning in a variety of contexts. As I have said in the past, I wish my personal experience of secondary school had been more aligned to Woodleigh's and I had been given the opportunity for such dynamic experiences in the everyday.

Production Time!

After a week of rehearsing during Activities Week, The Senior School Production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, moves into dress rehearsals next week, and straight onto opening night, August 24. I could not be prouder of the young people and staff who give their time, dedication and energy to such outstanding performances in this school. It is an enormous undertaking, as parents, teachers and students all know, and clear to see how much time and love is poured in.

Student-Parent-Teacher Interviews

Our Semester 2 Student-Parent-Teacher Interviews are scheduled for Tuesday 5 September and Wednesday 6 September. Parents and students can meet with staff to discuss any questions or progress within specific learning areas. Teaching staff have a range of strategies to differentiate learning and enable high-quality student outcomes. During these interviews, staff discuss the Learning Behaviours exhibited by your child and the importance of developing these attributes to establish an independent, confident learner. I encourage both parents and students to continue to ask staff for feedback and strategies on how they can improve in all subject areas. I would also recommend that an ongoing conversation at home around the strategies discussed is important for continued student progress.

Spring is on the way...

Spring is near but it hasn't quite sprung - we can't get complacent, there are still viruses lurking. There is a trend across schools during Term 3 for an increase in student and staff absences so if your child presents with any symptoms of ill-health, try to keep them at home until they are symptom-free.

I wish you the best for the last few weeks of Term 3 – stay safe and take care.

Nat McLennan