Penbank Letter Home

The last of our camps for the term concluded last week with our Year 3 and 4 students heading to Alexander Adventure Resort. What a term! So wonderful to see our older children learn from these experiences that extend their learning and understanding. Critical to these experiences are the units of inquiry and learner profiles that develop our children to be culturally and socially strong in our effort to create a harmonious and better world.

Learning Who We Are provides opportunities for role modelling and taking responsibility for self and others. The children in Years 3 and 4 are beginning their experiences of camps through a structured camp environment with facilities and instructors enabling children to learn to lead, follow, problem-solve and discover their capabilities as independent and resilient learners and participants.

Where We Are in Place and Time has had considerable impact for students in Year 5 and 6. Experiencing the 1850s in Ballarat through the interactive Sovereign Hill Museum enabled children to explore the impact of migration and its effect on communities. Likewise, the Year 6 students learned about the migration of communities in Arnhem Land due to the impact of white colonisation and cattle farming. Conceptually, children experienced the importance of storytelling in building connections, compassion, and understanding.

In the younger year levels, children have been involved in the Unit of Inquiry, How We Organise Ourselves. Planning an event created the opportunity for children to experience this process. They were delighted to arrange a visit by the Year 1 and 2 children from Minimbah to join their Expo on Friday. Making the arrangements for their Expo and sharing their learning with their Minimbah friends gave purpose to their inquiry into how we organise ourselves. Britt’s Group also celebrated 100 days of Prep recently. Dressing up as elderly citizens, the children thoroughly enjoyed learning about anything to do with 100. Such a memorable day for these little ones.

The Early Learning Centre continues to develop children through play. Learning concepts of respect and sharing, their play experiences, planned and facilitated by our wonderful team, enable the children to explore and make sense of the world around them. Daily, they are developing skills and gaining confidence to engage with friends, new experiences, and the environment. Always a beautiful day to be had by all!

Wugubank NT – So good!

Our recent Wugubank NT experience for Year 6 students was the first time the Wugularr and Penbank children have come together in three years. It was such a thrill to see the immediate engagement of kids and the warm welcome we received upon our arrival in the community. We were officially welcomed by Wugularr School Council members Selena Ashley and Lorraine Bennett who performed a symbolic Smoking Ceremony. Traditional food of damper and kangaroo tail cooked in a bush oven was served. We all tried the food and especially loved the damper with lashings of butter, honey, and jam. School staff prepared a delicious sausage sizzle including salads – such a generous welcome.

Thank you Wugularr School and Beswick community.

Due to COVID, our connection with the Wugularr/Beswick community has certainly been disrupted, especially for the children. However, even with this lack of continuity, the communication has been strong, keeping us together. With this recent Wugubank experience, we can now look forward to sharing special times again. When together, all children are a part of the experience, so we will look forward to the Wugularr children visiting us next March. The plan is they will be at Penbank during Cultural Diversity Week 2023.

Wugubank Mindstorm

About Wugubank

The purpose of the Wugubank collaboration aims to provide an educative experience through relationship building and school visits. It is based on the premise that young children naturally interact with each other and are not unduly affected by barriers of culture or language. Children are generally free from prejudice and purely love to play and learn. In a school setting and through structured and appropriate educational exchanges Wugubank enables the children from each school to understand and influence each other about their world. Wugubank aims to develop long-term relationships over time thus establishing trust, personal respect, and connections with the view of broadening horizons for all.

The Wugubank collaboration is flourishing in every respect. All children, along with their adult carers and organisers, anticipate the arrival of their distant friends with relish. It is a happy and heartfelt relationship based on genuine affection and care. The opportunity to learn together is extraordinary. It is true reconciliation in action creating opportunities, possibilities, dreams and pathways. We were so delighted to be finally meeting up again following a 3-year break for the children.

The Year 6 students will be presenting their Wugubank experience at School Meeting in the final week of term. We invite you all to attend.

Music Making

It was a pleasure to be a part of the audience at last week’s Bunjil Concert. A low-key event, the Bunjil concerts are for budding musicians. Performances included violin, piano, cello, drums and voice. A little shy and nervous, these concerts are a wonderful starting point for beginners to gain confidence to perform in front of a very encouraging audience. Thank you for being there.

The next concert is the Soiree during the last week of the term. Our instrumental ensembles and choirs will be performing at this next concert.

Up and coming Woodleigh Arts

The beginning of Term 4 commences with a whole school celebration of the Arts. As we move towards the end of the year, we will begin preparing for our Penbank End of Year Showcase. Sarah Fleming leads our dance and drama program and is very excited to be working towards this whole school performance. This night will be presented as a school expo; the inquiry, ‘How We Express Ourselves’ through music, art, theatre, and dance. It will reflect our experiences and learning throughout the year and is always an inspiring conclusion to the year. This wonderful night will be held in the Bunjil area on 24 November at 7.30 pm.

Staff News and Acknowledgements

We were delighted to welcome baby Bonnie Charlotte to Matt Chambers’ growing family. Matt is one of our Year 5 teachers and it was with great excitement that we received the news that little Bonnie had arrived safe and well. We congratulate Matt and Nat on another gorgeous addition to the family.

Term 3 has been a busy time for being out and about. It has been a joy to be able to involve the children and staff in field trips, excursions, and camps once again. You realise how much they have missed by the excitement of the children in the lead up to these experiences.

I wish to thank all staff for their enthusiasm and commitment to the many activities they have led this term. While on camps, all staff pull together, encouraging our children to engage in the many experiences that are so important to the development of their skills and understandings. The Wugubank team worked tirelessly to ensure the experience enriched the lives of all who they met. Back at school, we could depend on Katherine, Justin and Tessa to steer the Penbank ship. It was an amazing contribution by all staff who enable these experiences to flourish and indeed our students to thrive.

Thank you so much to a fantastic Penbank team.

Learning to Thrive Launch Event

We are all very proud of our next direction as a school – our strategic direction 2022 to 2030, 'Learning to Thrive'.

At the centre of this document is our vision, ‘the purposeful development of creative, compassionate, skillful, and resilient young people who can thrive in an ever-changing world.’

Our values, commitments and goals are reflected in this document, and it is with pleasure the Principal, David Baker, is eager to share this next direction with the Penbank community Tuesday 31 August from 7.00 pm. Please come along! Good food and drinks will be served along, and it's another opportunity to get to know parents and staff of the school.

Please RSVP for catering purposes here.

Messages from Admin


The speed limit in the driveway is walking pace. Children and wildlife are always around, and neither are very good with road rules. Please keep your entry into the driveway at a walking pace.

The turning circle is a No Parking area. If you need to get out of your car for any reason – clicking children into car-seats, organising play dates, chatting to the teacher - we ask that you park in the car park. Many thanks for your support.

Parents and Friends Group (PFG)

Our PFG is slowly coming back together. If you are interested in being a class rep or volunteering, please contact reception. The first PFG campus event in a long time is the Penbank Rock Quiz, Friday 9 September at 7.00 pm. Always a hilarious night, we invite you to this evening of fun and laughter including a range of music by the fabulous Woodleigh music staff.

Class Reps are in the process of arranging tables – let’s get the house rocking!

Tickets can be purchased here.

Other events for your calendars

A Family Brekkie - Fun with Fathers, Friends and Footy – Thursday 1 September

Book Week – Dreaming with Eyes Open – sausage sizzle for kids Thursday 8 September

Soiree – Wednesday 14 September 7.00 pm


We are so thankful to be able to welcome parent helpers back onto campus. When you are volunteering, please sign in at reception. On your first visit, you will need to bring your WWCC card and spend 15 minutes running through a child-safety induction with Andy or Vivienne. We ask that you communicate with the office prior to your first visit to ensure they are available for the induction.


A term’s notice in writing is required if you are withdrawing your child from the school. Please notify us if your plans are likely to change. The interest in the school is very positive. A

As we move to two groups in Year 5 there are still some places available at Year 5 level for next year. Spread the word!

Communication Procedures
  • Campus and regular reminders are posted to the Woodleigh App.
  • Class-specific information is sent via email.
  • Whole school and campus newsletters - the Messenger and Penbank Letter Home - are emailed fortnightly on a Sunday morning.
  • Learning updates from teaching staff are posted to SeeSaw.
  • Medical information and permission forms are posted through Operoo (Foundation to Year 6 only)

Please see Reception if you are experiencing any technical difficulties.

Absence from School

If your child is unwell, please keep them at home to rest and recover. If your child has been vomiting or had diarrhoea, they must be kept home for 48-hours after their last event. Please email or call reception prior to 9.00 am if your child won't be attending school.

We do understand the occasional appointment during school hours is unavoidable and ask that families not schedule regular meetings or activities that conflict with your child’s schooling, if possible. If you do need to collect your child early from school, please notify your child’s teacher first thing in the morning, and then wait in reception for your child to be collected from their classroom.

Many thanks for your support – we’re all looking forward to the upcoming gatherings that will bring us together.

Sincerely grateful,

Head of Penbank Campus