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Learning at Woodleigh School

I hope this article finds you and your family settling well into the new academic year at Woodleigh School. At the start of each year, Woodleigh staff reconnect with each other, and welcome new teachers and leaders into our community, as part of a four-day professional learning program. Along with practical planning for the commencement of classes, and the completion of essential training in areas like first aid, the staff from all three campuses spent time this year examining what is means to be a teacher at Woodleigh School. Teachers were engaged with the examination of our teaching and learning model, and reflection upon how our current practices help us achieve what we value as a community, as well as the consideration of what new practices may assist us to further this goal.

The learning model in use at Woodleigh School is based on the belief that all students can learn, but will do so at their own pace and in their own way. The school is committed to supporting all students to find success in their learning through a personalised approach that places an emphasis on the following five elements:

1. Real-world Learning: The active involvement of students in authentic learning experiences that build deep understanding through the process of investigation and inquiry

2. Formative feedback and reflection: The continuous use of assessment to monitor and inform what each student knows, feels, understands and can do at different stages of their learning

3. Capabilities for living and learning: The development of values, skills and dispositions needed to thrive at and beyond school

4. Student agency, coaching and mentoring: The development of a capacity to independently take initiative and self-regulate behaviour for academic learning, personal growth and social development

5. Wellbeing and engagement: The nurturing of wellbeing by building resilience, self-efficacy and the personal capacity to engage with the real world and its challenges with confidence.

As a school, we believe that when students are engaged intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically and soulfully, the learning feels authentic, personalised and relevant for their current and future experiences. We focus on designing powerful learning experiences that promote exploration, experimentation, collaboration, reflection and deep learning in complex, real-world contexts. We understand that such an approach provides students with excellent academic preparation for the future, while fostering a sense of identity and character that helps prepare each individual for the challenges of life within and beyond school. For these reasons, in the year ahead, you will be able to notice a twin focus at the school on learning by doing (an emphasis on learning through experience, inquiry and the application of knowledge, skills and understanding) and learning by caring (an emphasis on social-emotional learning, collaboration and the development of positive relationships).

The school has a strong commitment to becoming a dynamic learning hub for all members of its community. For this reason, we look forward to launching ourWoodleigh Explores series later in the term. Woodleigh Explores is a year-long series of workshops that will provide opportunities for both junior and secondary school parents to join in with this discussion, develop their understanding of our curriculum, programs and practices, and help build positive partnership between school and home to nurture student learning. Further details about the Woodleigh Explore series will be released later in the term through newsletters.

DR RICHARD OWENS
Director of Learning, Strategy and Innovation - Senior Campus