Letter Home

We conclude the semester having experienced some wonderful times together. In all groups, children have had the opportunity to learn well through their specific units of inquiry that support the development of foundational skills in English and Maths. I also have enjoyed the opportunity to work with teachers to reflect on our approaches to teaching.

Sharing across campuses likewise has provided important professional connections. For children and teachers a continuity of curriculum and teaching strategies ensures consistency of practice, routines and expectations. Participation in the specialist areas has also seen children challenging themselves through sport and the Arts. There have been some amazing achievements on the sports field and numerous first-time performances at the recent Bunjil Concert. Well done to everyone!

Be a Voice for Generations

National Reconciliation Week with the theme, Be a Voice for Generations, was a wonderful celebration across the whole school. A Gathering of staff, parents and friends was held at Penbank to acknowledge this important time. All three campuses showcased their connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities; our school’s collaborations both local and interstate continue to be very strong. From a Penbank perspective, we were delighted to have the short documentary, Belong Wugubank, featured. It beautifully captures the Wugubank story that commenced September 2009. Adam Liddiard and his team produced the movie, which we hope to promote broadly soon. Thank you, Adam, and team. We also welcomed musician, Monica Weightman, as a guest speaker for the evening. Additionally, Monica worked with students at Minimbah and Penbank throughout the week.

Shortly following National Reconciliation Week, I had a quick visit to Beswick to meet with Wugularr staff to discuss our plans for the Year 6 Wugubank NT experience. The children are all looking forward to us being with them once again. I left the staff behind completing their reports and was able to add to my visit a day at the Barunga Festival. It was a fantastic celebration of culture, sport, the arts, and community. I was delighted to see the children that were with us in March, proudly a part of the welcoming corroboree that involved numerous elders and dignitaries. It was the 35th year of the Barunga Festival and a timely reminder of the Barunga Statement, 1988 – an important painted document that was presented to the Prime Minister calling on him and his government to recognise the rights of Aboriginal people. Their request, this Barunga Festival, was to recognise and support the Voice to Parliament to achieve what was requested in 1988.

Wrapping it up!

The semester wrapped up with an entrepreneurial and sustainable focus including the Year 5 Marketplace, Year 3 and 4 Trashion Show and the PFG /Year 6 sausage sizzle to fundraise for the Mornington Community Support Centre. Our Year 6 Environmental Action team met with the PFG to discuss ways to ensure all food is served with minimal and environmentally sustainable packaging. Maddy S, Year 5, initiated a Rubbish Warriors Group earlier in the term. She successfully established a little team in support of a clean school and environment. Well done and thank you, Year 6 Environmentalists and Maddy!

“You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!”

Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Understandably, many families are making the most of this mid-year holiday period to embark on an adventure. I am one of them! It seems that for so long, we’ve been restricted in making plans, but now it’s time to take off! And for some families, holiday time is being extended.

If you are away for an extended length of time, do remember to factor in time for some reading, writing, and working things out. Keeping a journal of your adventure including drawings, lists, brief notes, and general information including the country you’re on; maps, calculations of distances, and differences in climate and terrain can be documented along the way. And when you get back, it’s a beautiful document to keep and share.

What’s next ...

We return to our next semester with further exciting opportunities for all. Book Week is always a colourful and creative week immersed in literature, and camps to Jungai, Sovereign Hill and Wugularr for students in Year 3 to 6 are quite amazing learning experiences. For parents, staff and friends, the Penbank Rock Quiz on Friday 1 September is a terrific event to look forward to, so do add the date to your diary!

My thanks to all staff for a hugely busy and productive semester. I am immeasurably grateful for your work and commitment to the school. To parents, we have loved having you in! Thanks for the reading, help on excursions, cooking and being with us for all sporting events, music concerts and School Meeting. Truly appreciate all that you do!

Take care and keep safe on your travels or wherever you may be.

Kindest regards,

Head of Penbank Campus