I write this week's Messenger Article four days into seven days of quarantine after contracting COVID sometime early last week. While I've been lucky and had only mild cold symptoms, being locked in the bottom end of our house and having food left at the door three times a day has not been a fulfilling experience. This lacklustre time has been further amplified by the lack of televisions in this part of our house and, to top it off, poor quality wifi. I need to own the internet issue... my daughters have complained about the internet down here for years, and I've done precious little to fix the problem.
Tom Ryan's Y8 Humanities Class Exploring the history of the Battle of Hastings
During my time incarcerated with the Labradors, I've been disappointed to miss out on key events during the last two weeks of term. However, it has given me the chance to reflect on our term here at Woodleigh.
I was beginning to celebrate my first lockdown-free term at Woodleigh, thinking that the great state of Victoria would not consider such measures again. However, I sadly overlooked my own circumstances, and as such, my dream of an uninterrupted term continues to elude me. Nonetheless, I hope to return to School this week, healthy and COVID-free, to defend the honour of the Senior Campus staff in the Fight MND staff-student netball game happening Thursday at lunchtime. I can already feel my calves and hamstrings twinging.
Staff vs Students Netball Match. Raising funds for Motor Neurone Disease Research
A Very Successful Term 1
Outside of my short spasms of self-pity, I managed to reflect on what has been an incredibly positive term for our School. Despite a rapid surge in COVID numbers, our weekly case numbers have remained relatively controlled. My colleagues at other schools have endured far greater positive cases in staff and students. We have also managed to run an almost normal calendar of events. While some slight variations were made to minimise risk, we managed to conduct Camps, Activities, Inter-School Sports, Excursions, Incursions, School Meetings, Assemblies and large community gatherings – all of which were incredibly successful and healing for our community.
I have particularly enjoyed spending time with our students as they move away from their virtual worlds and re-engage with each other and the School in the physical world. Our children seem more appreciative of these opportunities than ever before – each experience bringing a joy and excitement that many of us have not seen or felt for some time.
4Y0 Early Childhood Students working with Lionel Lauch from Living Culture
Relationships and Experiences Set Us Apart
I have often said that relationships and experiences give meaning and purpose to our School. The full range of experiences offered during Term 1 have enhanced and developed our students' relationships with their peers and teachers alike.
As parents, teachers and school leaders, we all have a moral purpose to do the best for the students in our care. To encourage them, support them and guide them to be the best person they can be. Every day across our campuses, I see wonderful young people who love learning, love interacting, and want to be the best version of themselves. I also see teachers and staff members working alongside our students, encouraging them and supporting their growth and development. As a Principal and a teacher, nothing is more inspiring, which is why I come to work at Woodleigh every day
Charlie Stevering Y10 completed the World's Greatest Shave, raising nearly $1400 to go toward beating blood cancer.
Happy to be at School
Our students and community have a new sense of appreciation for school, the experiences we all take part in, and our relationships with each other.
I want to thank and congratulate our students for being themselves and engaging with our school in such a positive and purposeful manner. I also want to thank our families for continuing to support our school and entrust us with your children's education. The old adage, 'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree,' is very true at Woodleigh. Great kids come from great families.
Thank you to our staff, who have worked tirelessly to ensure our students have had as normal a term as possible. They have covered for each other when we have often experienced staff shortages. They have planned for and implemented great learning experiences to ensure our students are engaged and motivated. Most importantly, they continue to be committed professionals who love their students and love working at Woodleigh.
I would like to wish every member of our community a very restful holiday period with friends and family, and I hope to see all of our students again in Term 2, safe and well.
Take care over the break,
DAVID BAKER Principal