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Finishing in Style

I can't believe we are at 'that' time of year again. As you receive this week's Messenger, our students are completing 2020 assessments, and the staff is well and truly in the swing of finalising students' reports. Our VCE cohort only has a matter of days left as we prepare to farewell them at their upcoming Valedictory celebration on Thursday, 3 December onsite at Woodleigh. The current Year 10 and 11s are about to embark on 'O' Week and move into their 2021 classes. Our Years 7, 8, and 9 students will remain in their 2020 timetabled classes until 8 December. The Homestead session on the final day of the term will be dedicated to celebrating a challenging year.

Enjoy the Perberkoong Celebration and Cambodian Fundraiser

I encourage students and their families to positively reflect on 2020 and look forward to what this year has prepared them for 2021. Recently, we conducted our Student-Parent-Teacher Interviews. These interviews allowed parents and students to meet with staff to discuss progress within specific subject areas. You will notice the inclusion of the word 'student' in this title. We recognise the importance of student attendance at these interviews to be involved in the ongoing discussions and consequent actions about their learning journey. Students must start to take ownership of their learning. The teaching staff has a range of strategies to support learning and enable high-quality student outcomes. We believe that if teachers, students, and parents build strong relationships, they can work together to improve learning outcomes. 

Last week, our students wrote personal reflections, which will be included in the Semester 2 Reports. We asked our students to consider the following prompts when reflecting on their year:

This year I started…
This year I have grown in the area of…
I'm proud of the way I have…
I'm surprised by how…
I want to improve…
One area I think I could focus on…
I noticed that I…
I enjoyed…
The best thing this year…
I can't wait until….

We would encourage you to sit down and discuss your child's' reflection with them over the coming weeks and ask them what they were proud of and what area they would like to improve in 2021. 

This week, I also want to remind students to finish their year 'in style.' Continue to seize the opportunities that enrich their Woodleigh experience. It involves maintaining a positive attitude, a solid work ethic in and out of the classroom to maximise the potential that lies beyond Woodleigh. Work hard. Aim high. Achieve big. It sounds simple….but it takes a lot of energy and effort. At this time of year, students can sometimes find it difficult to prioritise, organise and find a balance as the pressure builds as they move through the assessment period ad towards the end of a big year. Ensure your child has a quiet place to study and get involved with the development of their schedule. They should be planning for all time commitments during the week – this includes part-time work, social media access, sport, and 'downtime' (even television time). Students must aim to achieve a balance between work and play. I stumbled over the following passage on the staff member's desk wall during the week that I would like to share with you:

10 Tips for Self-Care:

  • Give yourself a treat
  • Take some exercise
  • Eat well
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Find time to relax
  • Be around someone positive
  • Write a journal
  • Breathe slowly
  • Smile
  • Notice the sparkling moments in every day

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your warm welcome at the beginning of Term 3 – I feel connected and part of the Woodleigh Community. I wish you a safe and happy festive season and look forward to seeing you upon our return in 2021.

NATALIE McLENNAN
Deputy Principal – Head of Senior Campus