SENIOR CAMPUS – CREATIVE, CONTEMPORARY, REAL
Today, students need more than just a strong academic base – they need transferable skills – adaptability, self-motivation and confidence. They need the ability to build strong relationships and work collaboratively, to solve problems creatively, to integrate and navigate new media literacies and think critically about issues at a local and global level.
Academic study at Woodleigh is innovative, targeted and structured to consolidate core literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills. It complements an intentionally broad and challenging range of co-curricular studies and experiences. Our assessment is purposeful and learning opportunities are personalised to engage every individual in a journey that excites them.
Strong connections exist between our Pastoral and Academic Programs. The relationships students form with their teachers and Homestead tutors are vital. These relationships and understandings encourage meaningful dialogue about goal setting, growth, achievement and self-awareness.
At Woodleigh, we have an essential faith in young people, a positive expectation that in most situations good will emerge. We strive to avoid all unnecessary confrontation with students, instead endeavouring to work with cooperation and good will. Ours in an environment where students feel valued and respected. They are encouraged to develop a healthy sense of their own self-worth and discover that they have something to say about the world that is worthwhile.
The middle years are a time of great change, challenge and growth for all students. At Woodleigh these are years where students grow as individuals, develop their own interests and talents, and face and overcome all manner of educational and social hurdles unique to their age and peer groupings.
From Years 7–9, the curriculum at Woodleigh School is broad and comprehensive, providing a journey of discovery – of oneself and of the world. Based on core subjects and enriched as students progress through the school, it leads students to the acquisition of knowledge, the development of ideas and skills, and personal growth.
As a school of moderate size, Woodleigh School’s style of operation can remain personal and flexible. By knowing our students very well, Woodleigh is able to design learning programs that cater for a broad range of student needs. Extension and remedial programs in many subject areas cater for all learning ages and styles, and work toward achieving the best academic result for each student. The sense of comfort and personal safety one gets in a smaller environment, where one has a greater sense of being ‘known’, are also vital precursors to effective education.
In the middle secondary years, Woodleigh aims to develop personal competencies in students – confidence, independence, determination – which will see them able to make a smooth transition through VCE and on to adult life, tertiary education and employment.
The senior years at Woodleigh, Years 10, 11 and 12, are the business end – where our unique ‘V’ curriculum of increasing leadership, responsibility and independence prepares students for success in their VCE studies and in life beyond school. At senior level, balance between academic and co-curricular studies is maintained through the continuing Homestead and Activities (to Year 11) Programs. Leadership opportunities abound in all areas of school life and all students are encouraged to participate, be it through sport, Service, Homestead, Activities or other co-curricular programs.
In the senior years we develop a variety of individual learning pathways for our students. Subject options include a full range of Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) units, together with Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) subjects, school based apprenticeships and accelerated University studies to meet individual student needs.
Our Year 10 curriculum provides a strong foundation for VCE through a balanced, individually tailored academic and co-curricular program. VCE acceleration units are available to students who have shown sufficient ability and maturity in their studies.
Careers counselling enables students to clarify career aspirations, investigate career options and develop job skills. Career education is integrated within the total curriculum with attention focused on the world of work at Year 10 level. At VCE level, particular emphasis is placed upon selection of appropriate subjects and preparation for tertiary study or employment. Many students have also discovered vocational interests through the Activities Program.
Woodleigh School VCE Results 2021 – Resilient – Talented – Hard-Working
After a VCE journey defined by lockdowns, remote learning, and the constant challenges and pivots this has necessitated, I couldn't be more proud of our 2021 Graduates.
95+ ATAR achievers – LtoR: Haydn Flanagan – Head of Senior Homestead, David Baker – Principal, Ben Fewster, Bella Gosling, Alexei Guy-Toogood (held by Bella), Ned Murdoch, Ainsley Paton, Isabel Allen, Jack Shalekoff (held by Izzy), Alyssa Schneider and Nat McLennan – Head of Senior Campus.
This cohort was supposed to have a better year in 2021. Instead, their VCE comprised six lockdown periods, constant flip-flopping from onsite to online, and dealing with the stress, loneliness and difficulties this constant change presented, all while trying to focus on study
The work done by both teachers and students in the past two years has been exceptional, so to be able to share the news that their drive and persistence has been rewarded fills me with pride.
This year's VCE results celebrate the efforts of the Class of 2021. As educators, we see students grow into themselves as they move through the years, gaining confidence and ability. When we farewell them, we know they are taking a wide variety of real-life experiences to draw on in their lives. They leave with so much more than a list of academic achievements; they leave with communication and problem-solving skills, empathy and an understanding that they can impact a situation based on their attitude and contribution.
An ATAR does not tell the whole story of any Woodleigh student. And, given the diverse abilities and aspirations of our students, it is wonderful to see those whose paths require a high ATAR will achieve this, and so much more along the way, at our school.
The Class of 2021 performed brilliantly. Our 2021 Dux is Bella Gosling, who achieved the most impressive ATAR of 99.35. Jack Shalekoff also excelled, achieving an ATAR of 98.3, while Ben Fewster, Alexei Guy-Toogood, Ned Murdoch, Ainsley Paton, Isabel Allen and Alyssa Scheider must also be lauded for their efforts, each achieving outstanding academic results, with ATARs above 95.
Congratulations again to Bella Gosling, who received a perfect study score of 50 in Literature.
I also recognise the work of Alyssa Schneider and Laura Jarvis, who have been shortlisted for the Top Arts at the NGV, VCAA Season of Excellence Exhibition.
- 12% of Woodleigh students achieved an ATAR of 95 or more.
- 21% of Woodleigh students achieved an ATAR of 90 or more.
- 42% of Woodleigh students achieved an ATAR of 80 or more.
- Our median study score was 32.
- Our median ATAR was 77.4
Excellence comes in many forms for Woodleigh students, and we applaud the entire cohort for what they have achieved and, most importantly, for the amazing young adults they have become.
I wish all students from the Class of 2021 the very best for next year as they move on to tertiary studies and work, or for some, a well-earned gap year. All the best.
DAVID BAKER Principal
Woodleigh places great emphasis on the care and development of all its students.
At the Senior Campus, pastoral care is the concern of all teachers, but it finds a special focus in the Homestead program. The focus of Homestead life is Pastoral Care; that is, knowing and helping each of its members. Central to Homestead is the notion of it being a ‘home’ where students belong, feel accepted and appreciated. Like a home, it is responsible for the nurturing and growth of each of its members.
Homesteads are where students store their books, socialise at break times, play games and listen to music. A Homestead consists of four groups of between 16–18 students each from Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. Each group has a Tutor who is their main pastoral carer. Each Homestead has a Homestead Coordinator.
Homestead is also an area which develops a sense of community. The members of this community are responsible for their environment. Students contribute ideas towards improving their environment and then are encouraged to do work associated with this. Gardening and cleaning are part of the students’ responsibilities.
Senior Homestead Charter
We take pride in looking after our school and our environment. We strive to create a space that is environmentally responsible and reflects our values. We show respect for ourselves,
for others, and the environment.
We empower and celebrate individuality and diversity in all its forms. We are community-minded and committed to inclusivity. We show respect to everyone in our learning community and create positive connections with others. We respect the difference in each other’s circumstances and practise empathy.
We take pride in our actions, and we praise the contribution and effort we see others making. We celebrate personal growth and aspire to be our best.
We plan for success and come to class with an energetic approach to learning. We recognise that success is achieved through dedication, patience, and persistence. We strive for personal excellence.
These principles are our starting point: our goal is to share these values with the world.
Woodleigh School's Activities Program is uniquely designed to provide students in Years 7-11 with a broad range of challenging experiences beyond the core academic curriculum. Our staff, instructors and people with expertise outside of the immediate school community offer Activities that they are enthusiastic about and committed to.
For three lessons a week, students participate in an Activity they have selected from a huge range of options.
‘Activities’ is active learning – vivid experiences, not just information gathering. It allows students to access learning opportunities, especially hands-on style learning, in a much wider range than could be provided in programs with normal class sizes and restrictions. Experiences vary from snorkeling and open water diving certifications, yoga and self-defence classes, aviation, painting and sculpture, academic competitions, animal husbandry and construction projects.
Diverse areas, such as Academic Enrichment, the Visual & Performing Arts, Sport & Physical Development, Health, Lifestyle and Practical Skills, Information & Communication Technology and Community & School Partnerships are all represented in each Activities Unit.
The Woodleigh School Activities Program is a place where passions are born. It is adventures and fun, grit and determination, centred and calm.
Choose widely. Choose wisely.
The Activities Program has always been part of the Woodleigh experience. As we continue to move forward with Activities, our extensive offerings continue to grow.
We encouarge each student to discuss and reflect with Tutors, parents and peers and make wide and wise choices, to gain experiences in a diverse range of offerings and categories.
The Activities Program aims to:
- widen and deepen the range of experiences offered to students beyond the traditional academic subjects.
- provide additional opportunities for academic enrichment, remediation and challenge.
- provide students with the opportunity to make real decisions involving their education and take responsibility for these decisions.
Why do we have Activities?
Some of the many features and benefits of the Activities Program are:
Allows learning, especially hands-on style learning, in a much wider range than could be provided in a program with normal class sizes and restrictions. Staff are also able to contribute to learning in areas of interest and expertise wider than their normal teaching areas. Outside experts and students also contribute to areas of learning not covered by staff.
Extension / Remediation
Allows alternative grouping of students with common interests or needs, enabling them to more readily pursue those interests.
Education for Leisure
Many Activities provide students with the type of skills that can later be used to meaningfully fill their leisure time.
Decision-making is an important life skill. New Activity Units, each half term, provide students with frequent opportunities to make informed choices and to reflect on and live with the consequences of those choices. Also, doing something that they have chosen to do makes for happier students.
Some students have pursued careers they first became interested in through an Activity; e.g. Jewellery Making, Photography, Social Welfare, Horticulture, Aviation.
Many Activities cater for and attract a wide range of ages, and this cross-age contact helps offset the artificial break up into year levels that the academic curriculum requires.
Students can gain certificates in a variety of areas, including: Hospitality, Aviation, Diving, Marine, Level 1 First Aid.
A small number of Activities will be gender specific. This will enable girls or boys with similar interests to work together.
Smaller groups and more relaxed relationships between staff and students helps assist the development of pastoral care based around a common interest.
Success in chosen Activities helps students’ self-esteem and is especially helpful for some students who have difficulty in other areas of the curriculum. They find themselves excelling at specific Activities.
By placing some sport within the Activities program it is possible to make it optional and thus avoid the worst aspects of compulsory sport that many other schools experience.
Some Activities allow students to play a part in developing the school. This includes landscaping, working in the Sustainability Centre, Brian Henderson Reserve and with other students and animals at the Ag Hort Centre. This gives students a sense of attachment to the school.
The gradual development of life skills through the Outdoor Education program is an essential part of growing up at Woodleigh. Activities Weeks offer a balance to the academic program and assist in developing good relationships between staff and students – building initiative, independence, character and personality in all students.
For Year 7s, the thought of managing away from home for eight or nine days, as happens in the Year 9 Outward Bound and Year 10 Hattah programs, may seem daunting. But as they complete a number of camps in Years 7 and 8, a strong sense of achievement develops, as does a sense of being able to manage as an individual and as a member of a group.
Activities Week Camps
Two Activities Weeks are held during each school year. The normal School timetable is suspended and students are involved in planned activities both at and away from the school property.
Semester 1 Activities Week
In Semester 1, we conduct Homestead Camps for Year 7 and 8 students and an Outdoor Education Program for Year 9 and Year 10. One important aim of the Homestead Camp is to give students and staff the chance to practise living and working together as a small community. Homestead Camp weeks are also designed to help students develop a range of basic outdoor leisure skills in different environments. We employ outside experts with skills relevant to each Homestead’s program, to work with staff in conducting challenging educational activities, which incorporate the development of leisure skills such as abseiling, orienteering, surfing and lightweight camping. Each Homestead chooses a coastal location for their camp, which has something special to offer in terms of possible activities as well as other historical and natural attractions.
Year 9 students participate in an Outward Bound adventure for nine days in the Snowy River area and Year 10 students are involved in the Hattah Lakes Expedition for a full week, toward the end of Term 1.
Enjoy this one-minute slice of Outward Bound!
Hattah: Desert. Dust. Discovery.
Senior Homestead Camps
Senior Homestead students (Years 11 and 12) ballot for a range of camps and curriculum-based programs. All of these are off-campus. Recent camps have included Cradle Mountain Bushwalk, High Country Horse Riding, Gippsland Lakes Sailing, Creative Retreat, Social Service, Sydney Cultural Experience, Melbourne Arts, Tasmanian Adventure Tour, Scuba Diving, Murray Paddle and White Water Rafting.
Semester 2 Activities Week Camps
In Semester 2, Years 7–11 students are able to participate in another Activities Week when again the normal timetable is suspended. Students can elect to take part in Outdoor Education Camps such as Cross Country Skiing, Horse Riding on the High Plains, Rock Climbing and Abseiling, and Skindiving or in cultural or service-based camps. A range of school-based activities relating to the Arts, in particular drama, music, painting, ceramics and sculpture are also offered. All activities are cross-age, intensive and programmed for at least five days.
(In Semester 2, Year 12 students do not attend Activities Week Camps. This week is used to study for and sit practice exams.)
The capacity to be creative, and to think creatively, is an essential skill in this 21st Century. But creativity isn’t simple, and it takes courage to be innovative.
Self-expression through the Visual and Performing Arts enhances our understanding of ourselves and others as unique individuals, and develops our confidence, just as experience builds skills.
Drama, Art and Music are all significant features of the Woodleigh curriculum.
All students participate in a range of performing and expressive arts within the curriculum.
These experiences are further enhanced by the annual week-long Arts Festival, regular music performances and drama productions, a visiting artists’ program and many other opportunities for participation and involvement in the Arts.
Music groups at each campus include orchestras, choirs, small and large ensembles, groups and rock bands.
At Woodleigh, we believe that a wide range of sports should be made accessible to all individuals for widening personal experiences. It is due to this belief that we have created a multi-sport program to enable all students an opportunity to participate.
Competitive sport at Woodleigh follows traditional patterns and is non-compulsory. All interested students are given as much support and encouragement as possible to participate in a wide variety of sports. All major carnivals and team sports are for both boys and girls unless otherwise stated in the following outlines.
Homestead Sport Carnivals
Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics Carnivals are held each year for students in Year 7-10, with an emphasis on maximum participation from each Homestead group.
SIS Sport Carnivals
Being a member of the Southern Independent Schools Association (SIS) enables us to compete in a wide variety of traditional sports. Major Carnivals are held for Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country.
A compulsory Activity unit will run during Term 1 for Year 7-9 students keen on representing the school at SIS level.
A full range of events, both traditional and novelty, makes our carnival both competitive and enjoyable. This full day event currently takes place in Term 1 and is held at Pines Aquatic Centre, with the emphasis on mass participation for this carnival. Student performance in this event is one criterion from which the SIS Squad is selected.
The SIS Carnival and the SIS Relay Championships are our major competitions. Training takes place before school during Term 4 and Term 1 as preparation for these events in addition to the Activity unit in Term 1. The SIS Relay Carnival is held at Pines Aquatic Centre in Term 1 and the SIS Swimming Carnival is held at MSAC early in Term 2. Outstanding individual performances at the SIS Carnival can result in students being selected to represent the SIS at the VSAC (Victorian School Associations Competition) held at MSAC in Term 2. Woodleigh currently competes in Division A at the SIS Swimming Carnival.
This carnival takes place here at the Woodleigh Senior Campus in Term 2 utilising the vast expanses of the school property. The emphasis is on mass participation and working with others. Student performance in this event is one criterion from which the SIS Squad is selected.
The SIS Cross Country Carnival is our main competition and takes place at Baxter Park in the middle of Term 2. Students have the opportunity to prepare for this event during the Cross Country Activity which runs throughout the first half of Term 2 and also utilise the Morning Fitness Club to build their fitness base. Keen runners are encouraged and supported to participate in the Victoria All Schools Individual & Relay Cross Country Championships.
A wide range of traditional events plus novelty events makes for both a competitive and enjoyable day where all students have the opportunity to be involved. This event takes place during Term 1 at Casey Athletics Track. Student performance in this event is one criterion from which the SIS Squad is selected.
The SIS Athletics Carnival takes place at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park in Term 3. An activities unit runs during Term 3 where students will have a number of sessions to train, prepare and compete for a place on the school team. Students can also make use of the Morning Fitness Club and build their fitness base by attending these sessions. Our strongest athletes are supported to go on and compete in Athletics Victoria run competitions.
The Sports Aerobics Team competes in several competitions throughout the year culminating in the State and National Titles. Training is held on a weekly basis at our Minimbah Campus after school.
This is played as part of the SIS weekly sports program in Term 4 and is open to all Year 9–10 Boys.
Students at all year levels have the opportunity to represent the school in SIS competitions throughout the year. We send representative teams to compete in the Victorian College Basketball Championships. We have a number of teams that compete in the Frankston & District Basketball Association competition during the week throughout the school year.
There are SIS competitions for Year 7–8 Boys in Term 4, and Year 9–10 Boys in Term 1. During Term 2 there is an SIS Indoor Cricket competition for Year 9-10 Girls and in Term 3 a similar competition for Year 7-8 Girls. Training for these teams is held at lunchtime and in conjunction with the Activities Program.
The school has a representative Equestrian team that competes in the Victorian Equestrian Interschool Series throughout the year. Events include Show Jumping and Dressage.
Students from Year 7-12 have the opportunity to represent the school in football. All teams play during weekly SIS Sport with Senior Girls, Senior Boys and Intermediate Boys competitions taking place during Term 2, and Junior Boys and Junior Girls teams competing in Term 3. Training for these teams is held at lunchtime and in conjunction with the Activities Program.
Year 9–10 Boys and Girls compete in the SIS competitions as part of the Weekly Sports roster in Term 1.
There are SIS weekly competitions for Year 7–8 Girls in Term 2, with Year 9–10 Girls and Year 7-8 Boys competing in Term 3. Woodleigh enters teams into the Frankston & District Netball Association Competition held every Friday night at Jubilee Park throughout the school year. We also send teams to compete in the Netball Victoria Schools Championships and the Gold Coast Netball Carnival mid-year (bi-annually).
We train our Sailing squad at Mornington Yacht Club after school during Term 4 and Term 1 over summer. These students also have the opportunity to represent the school in a competition at Davey’s Bay that runs after school midweek across several rounds during summer. We also select a team to compete in the Victorian School Team Sailing State Championships in Term 1.
Skiing and Snowboarding have been popular activities for many years at Woodleigh. The school competes annually in the Interschool Snow Sports Championships and, in recent years, teams and individuals have gone on to compete at the Australian Interschool Championships.
Soccer is offered during weekly SIS Sport to Year 7–8 Boys and Girls in Term 4, Year 9–10 Boys and Girls in Term 3, and Year 11–12 Boys and Girls in Term 1. Training is held at lunchtimes and also in conjunction with the Activities Program.
Softball is offered to Year 7-8 Girls in Term 2 and Year 9-10 Girls during Term 4 as part of the SIS weekly sport program.
Several events are entered each year including the Victorian Independent School Team Surfing Titles. Group training sessions are held in Term 1 in preparation for these events.
Table Tennis is offered during SIS weekly sport to Year 7–8 students in Term 2.
Tennis is offered to Year 7-8 students in Term 4 as part of the SIS weekly sports program.
Touch Rugby is offered to Year 7-8 Boys in Term 2 and Year 9-10 Boys in Term 3.
This sport is offered to Year 9–10 Girls during Term 1, Year 7-8 Boys in Term 2 and Year 7-8 Girls in Term 4 as part of the SIS weekly sports program.
*Participation in some of the above sports may incur transport and entry costs.
Coaching, Umpiring or Just Getting Involved
As well as giving students the opportunity to participate in a team, we also encourage students to assist with teams in many different ways. Whether as a coach, umpire, official or general assistant, students are given the opportunity to gain a wide range of skills associated with their chosen sport. These opportunities are extensive and students can make use of their individual talents and run a specific Activity within the Activities Program.
Sports Club Program
Student involvement in the Sports Club Program incurs a cost of $30 per student per term, in addition to any game and registration fees that may be charged by external organisations. This fee entitles a student to be involved in as many Sports Club Programs as they choose.
The Sports Club Program consists of:
After School Basketball
Woodleigh enters school teams into community competitions in the Frankston District Basketball Association. We provide a coach and after school training for all teams. Teams train after school on Tuesday and Wednesday in the school gym from 4:00–5:15 pm.
After School Netball
Woodleigh enters school teams into the Frankston and District Netball Association competition at Jubilee Park on Friday evenings. We provide a coach and after school training for all teams. Training takes place on Thursday’s after school in the school gym from 4:00-5:15 pm.
Morning Fitness Club
Is a before school program that runs year-round. The sessions run from 7:30–8:30 am and provide students with the opportunity to improve their general fitness. Activities include weights programs, cardiovascular workouts, circuit training, running, ball games and much more.
Training for our keen swimmers runs one morning per week throughout Term 1 and 4. The sessions are run at Somerville Health and Aquatic Centre from 7.15–8.15am. Students are then returned to school by staff in time for the school day. These sessions are designed with specific training programs and individual coaching in mind.
Sport Leadership Program
The aim of the Woodleigh Sports Leadership Program is to encourage students with a strong interest in sport to develop their leadership skills. The program aims to develop skills such as coaching, public speaking, organisational skills, teamwork and confidence, promotion of sport within the school and a greater appreciation of sport and all its dimensions. Students involved in this program will have the opportunity to be a voice for students in developing the Woodleigh Sports Program.
The program may include but is not limited to:
- Working towards achieving a Level 1 Coaching/Umpiring Accreditation in their chosen sport.
- Public Speaking – Assembly, Homestead Carnival Presentations etc.
- Participating in an Activities unit based on Sport Leadership.
- Coaching teams/students (where applicable) – through the Activities Program, SIS sport and after school sport.
- Attend sport leadership meetings.
- Assist in developing the Woodleigh Sport Program by providing input and feedback.
- Supporting younger students to develop skills and a love of sport.
In the rapidly changing world around us it is vital to respond to the needs of our students in a holistic manner by offering a range of evidence based wellbeing strategies and programs, that enhance resilience, promote optimism, and develop skills to cope with the expected and unexpected challenges of everyday life, in this ever-changing world in which we live.
Woodleigh School offers a whole school approach to student wellbeing that purposefully caters to the needs of all students. We respond to the needs of our community as identified by referral and assessment processes and by adopting evidence-based practices that include the social, psychological, cognitive and physical development of our students. It is our aim and firm intention to maximise each student’s capacity to flourish, foster resilience and reach their full potential in our contemporary teaching and learning environment that is founded on the 3Rs.
Our mission is:
To promote and support positive student wellbeing by building resilience and the personal capacity to meet challenges confidently, now and in the future.
Evidence-based data that includes:
- Student, staff & parent feedback
- The growing challenges of mental health in young people
- The role of school culture in encouraging help-seeking behaviour whilst developing and strengthening resilience
- The belief that it is the right of every child to know and understand how to flourish
- Current trends in wellbeing that best fits the contemporary learning environment of Woodleigh
To achieve this, we will:
- Provide a clear referral pathway for staff and families to access appropriate wellbeing support.
- Champion evidence-based programs and frameworks that promote positive education skills to strengthen student resilience
- Work with all staff to build professional capacity to respond to the wellbeing needs of students within a contemporary teaching & learning environment
- Promote a culture within the school community that encourages and normalises help-seeking behaviour and the wellbeing of all (including staff and families)
- Develop evidence-based, positive programs that respond to the developmental needs of all of our students.
L to R: Henry Bell, Donna Nairn, Alison Behrend and Aviv Gerszonovicz.
Donna Nairn – Director of Counselling
Donna is an experienced educator, counsellor, and creative arts therapist who has worked with young people for over 25 years in schools, community settings in Australia and abroad. She is passionate about the relationship between wellbeing and the arts and believes that student wellbeing is about supporting and promoting optimism, advocating and articulating the needs for and with students and their families in a manner that demonstrates mutual respect, understanding and collaboration. Donna knows that student wellbeing is intrinsic to developing students’ ability to foster resilience, fulfil potential and flourish. With this purpose in mind, Donna considers herself to be a lifelong learner who continues to enhance her own knowledge and capabilities through mentoring, ongoing professional development and direct experience.
Henry Bell is a psychologist, a member of the APS and a member of the college of Educational and Developmental Psychologists. Prior to joining the Woodleigh team, Henry has worked for the Department of Education, with primary and secondary students, their parents, teachers and support staff. As a psychologist, Henry is able to provide a range of services to support the development and learning of students, including counselling, assessment and guidance. Outside of work, Henry enjoys exercising, photography and reading.
Alison Behrend is an educational and developmental psychologist who works across Penbank and Woodleigh campuses. She has worked in the education setting for the past nine years, including working as a secondary teacher and as a psychologist at a number of primary schools. Alison completed her clinical placement at Woodleigh in 2013, before joining the staff in 2015. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, parents and families, and has a strong interest in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in children and adolescents. She is experienced in supporting the social, emotional and learning development of children and adolescents. At Penbank, she is working as a key member of the KidsMatter team to implement programs and initiatives to encourage and promote positive mental health in our primary-aged students.
Aviv Gerszonovicz is our Minimbah Campus Counsellor and also a counsellor at Woodleigh Senior Campus, having commenced in 2007. His background and expertise includes Education and Creative Arts Therapy. Aviv provides individuals with a safe and supportive environment and adopts a therapeutic approach which is student centred, strength based and caters to meet the needs of each individual.
If you wish to access our wellbeing team please contact your child’s classroom teacher/ tutor as a first point of contact.
Additional support service contacts:
Kids Help Line: 1800 331 859
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Grief line: 9935 7400
The Career Development program at Woodleigh School supports students in clarifying career aspirations, investigating career options, and developing 21st-century skills and capabilities. According to age and stage, career education is integrated within the curriculum with attention focused at each year level.
In Year 7 & 8, students are exposed to Government priority areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) and developing digital capabilities.
In Year 9, students are introduced to the world of work, focussing on building interview and job application skills. They are introduced to workplace rights and financial literacy.
In Year 10, students participate in an extensive Career Development program. Within this, students identify their skills and capabilities and complete Morrisby testing. They are interviewed by the Director of Careers, where particular emphasis is placed upon selecting appropriate subjects in preparation for tertiary study or employment.
At Year 11, students participate in an Industry Tour Immersion program tailored to their career goals and aspirations. Within this program, we engage with our industry partners to give students first-hand experience of what a job entails.
At Year 12, students are supported with consolidating their goals beyond Woodleigh. Each student is supported with completing applications to Apprenticeships/Traineeships, TAFE and University. Students can also gain assistance with GAP year opportunities, Interstate and International applications, SEAS and Scholarships.
Forward Thinking: Selecting an appropriate course
In the Middle School offerings, our elective programs are deliberately designed to allow students to explore a range of different subjects. Students are encouraged to keep options open and choose broadly across all learning areas.
The VCE is designed to be a two-year program and the following questions should be used to guide student choice:
- What subjects interest me most?
- In which studies am I most likely to succeed?
- What Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority (VCAA) requirements must I meet to complete my VCE, either scored or unscored?
- What studies are available at Woodleigh School?
- What VET studies should I consider?
- What prerequisite and recommended studies do I need to undertake for a particular career pathway? (To check the most up to date VTAC information, visit www.vtac.edu.au).
- What advice have I received from my parents/guardians, teachers and the careers counsellor?
- What co-curricular opportunities should I consider which will support my career development?
Students may select a program that has a specific orientation or one that has a more general focus. Whilst aside from English or Literature being a compulsory requirement, students are encouraged to study the most challenging level they can cope with (to ensure that many tertiary options are opened). The school strongly recommends that students select at least two units of Mathematics where possible. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to maintain studying a language if possible. All students are encouraged to select a program tailored to their passions as the most exciting and challenging way of completing VCE.
Woodleigh School also offers students access to Vocational Education and Training (VET) certificates as part of their subject offerings. In addition, students can complete a School-Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship.
To learn more about Careers at Woodleigh, visit our Woodleigh Careers website. If you have further questions, contact the Director of Careers, Gina Bolch, at email@example.com or call 5971 6100.
Woodleigh School's core values rest within the statement, 'Respect for self, Respect for others and Respect for the environment. One approach that fosters the 3 R's in both thinking and action is service learning, also referred to as Community Partnerships in the Woodleigh School context.
Community Partnerships at Woodleigh principal objective is to broaden, deepen and enrich our young people's experiences and those we partner with beyond our immediate community. Most importantly, students must feel empowered to make a difference and leave a positive legacy that enriches the lives of others.
At the Senior Campus, all Year 8 students are involved in connecting with our local community. Students are guided through a design-thinking routine and explore the concepts and challenges of social justice, volunteering and charity. Students then commit to one of the following categories in ongoing relationships during the year. These are usually focussed on Environmentalism (conservation of flora and fauna) and/or People (Primary School children, Aged care, disability, recently arrived Asylum seekers, local Indigenous community links, people of different abilities).
In addition, Woodleigh has a number many ongoing Community Partnerships with various groups that have been built over many years. These partnerships have evolved and are driven by communication and relationships. Many of the programs listed below require student leadership to be ongoing and sustained.
Staff and students are encouraged to explore new connections within the partnerships below.
In addition, students can propose a new Community Partnership within our school community. If interested, please download the application form here and email Mrs. Bolch to chat about your proposal. Remember that service can be offering your Time, Talents or Treasures to a community group that has a need.
|Asylum Seeker Centre||Australian Unity Aged Care||Blue Dragon|
|Bread Tags for Wheelchairs||Brian Henderson Reserve||Centra|
|CERES||Dolphin Research Centre||Eat Up|
|Edithvale Wetlands||Hampers for Hope||Jeans for Genes Day|
|Lost Property Clothing Buy Back||Mornington Special Development School||Mt Rothwell/Dunkeld & Tiverto|
|Orangesky||Mothers in Need||HoMie|
|RUOK Day?||Relay for Life||Riding for the Disabled|
|Rotary Indonesia||Spring Park Primary School||Staff v Students Games|
|Surfing with the Disabled||The Big Sleepout||WaterAid|
|Wear it Purple Day||Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place||World’s Greatest Shave|
...and many more!
An integral part of the Woodleigh Way is to prepare students for life beyond School. Our key aim is to provide a dynamic, balanced, liberal education in a supportive environment. One element of this preparation for life is to help students develop an international perspective of their world.
How do we prepare our students for a highly interconnected, global world when they leave Woodleigh?
The Broadening Horizons initiative has been developed because we care. We care about building relationships within our own community and because we want to equip our students with the skills, the desire and the expectation to serve others. We also wish to work with our community partners to build their capacity in tangible ways that they choose. All of our Broadening Horizons opportunities aim to empower students to feel responsibility for running their own lives to the point where they want to make a real difference in the world. This may be through addressing local, national or global issues. These projects are one way we equip our students with the skills and attributes to make a difference. These are practical opportunities to further develop independence, resilience and initiative in more challenging environments and give experience of how individuals can make a difference.
The aims of the Broadening Horizons program include providing our students with an opportunity to “broaden horizons” and increase awareness of a range of issues that are not obvious in the safe, secure environment of the Peninsula. This is an opportunity for students to move beyond their current “world” into a different setting.
- Practical opportunities to further develop independence, resilience and initiative in more challenging environments and give experience of how individuals can make a difference.
- Preparation for life and experiences that will require courage, generosity, imagination, and resolution.
- Tangible ways to embrace the importance of service to others, responsibility and cultural understanding.
- An opportunity to build relationships, co-develop projects and tackle issues (whilst giving us the opportunity to provide appropriate experiences whilst ensuring tokenism/beliefs of superiority are confronted).
- The opportunity to foster understanding, goodwill, respect, and friendship between individuals involved in the program.
Three Interwoven Elements:
- International Exchange (international)
- Indigenous Community (national)
- Local exchange/Community Service (local)
International Exchange opportunities
France and India were selected as the first destinations for international exchange. It was decided that we would investigate “exchanges” with schools/organisations in Europe and Asia. France was an obvious choice as a European destination due to its long inclusion as a LOTE in the curriculum at Woodleigh. India was chosen as it perhaps provides the starkest contrast to the Mornington Peninsula! India is incredibly rich, diverse and chaotic. Manners, beliefs, customs, laws, language, art, religion, values, concept of self, family organisation, social organisation, government and behaviour all highlight to our students that people have different ideas and ways of thinking. Students also have the option to arrange an International Exchange through the vast network of Round Square schools.
There are at least 3 key components to the experiences:
- attendance at school
- involvement in the family and social life of the exchange family
- some cultural excursions/sightseeing in the local area.
Currently, our French exchange is not a school-to-school exchange. C.I.V.E.L. (a small organisation specialising in these type of exchanges) is responsible in Lyon for the placement of Woodleigh School students in appropriate schools and with appropriate families. A key outcome of the program has been the welcome that our students received whilst in Lyon – the host families really see themselves as having an extra member of their families. Another key element has of course been the improvement in our students’ language skills, especially their oral skills as they enter the later years of education.
Unlike the French exchange, this is a direct school-to-school exchange through the Round Square network. The students begin their connection to India in Year 9 when they have the option to host students from Daly College, Indore across City Bound. We have found that this experience greatly enhances the hosts’ City Bound experiences, enabling them to effectively see their city with fresh eyes. The students will then get an opportunity in Year 10 to go to the Daly College where they will experience school and cultural immersion and some collaborative community work.
Currently, we have a relationship with PSKD Mandiri, Jakarta. Each year, we host two Year 10 students for a period of two weeks. Due to DFAT restrictions, this program is not reciprocal. Currently, in conjunction with the Director of eLearning, we are investigating collaborative projects. As an alternative, we also offer a Language and Cultural Study Tour to Indonesia for VCE students.
The second of the three elements is engagement with Indigenous Australians. Our program is designed to be a cultural immersion journey with the essential question to our students “what does it mean to be an Indigenous Australian?”
Our students have little real experience of or personal engagement with Indigenous Australians or issues. Our challenge is how we can best help our students foster an understanding of Indigenous culture and some of the current issues facing Indigenous Australians. Our goal has been the development of sustainable, authentic relationships with a predominantly indigenous school/community.
We are committed to further developing a partnership that:
- is based on a sustainable, authentic relationship with a community and their students
- develops cultural awareness, community involvement and empathy in our students
- has benefit for indigenous students and their communities
- fosters mutual appreciation and support
- encourages students to become a positive voice in social justice and reconciliation
- will include a short “visit” (possibly 2 weeks) to an indigenous community that is hands on and practical
To this end we have established strong links with the communities of Yirrkala in northeast Arnhem Land and Ampilawatja in central Australia. This has involved exchange opportunities between students from Woodleigh and both communities.
Future directions for Indigenous initiatives include:
- To establish regular and on-going relationships with the local Indigenous community on the Mornington Peninsula, Frankston and surrounding areas.
- To permanently establish annual two way exchanges with Ampilawatja and Yirrkala/ or a Homeland community.
- To support the Student Reconciliation Group
- To embed Indigenous perspectives in the curriculum at all Year levels across both campuses.
- To have regular Reconciliation and NAIDOC week events at both campuses
Through several Woodleigh staff (and some families) we already have an informal connection with Chumkriel Language School, in Kampot. The first visit was in 2008 when a passionate teacher and her Tutor group raised money to build a hand washing facility and wrote letters to the students attending the school. Chumkriel had only just started as an English Language school in a very poor region of Kampot, near the salt fields. Since then the same teacher has been visiting every September and a number of teachers from both Minimbah and Senior Campus have visited and supported various projects, especially the teaching of English.
At this stage a detailed risk assessment is being finalised but the proposal would be to take a small number (no more than 8 Year 10 or 11 students) to primarily volunteer with Chumkriel Language School and the surrounding community.
The aim is to create an ongoing program that is primarily based on relationships, cultural awareness and service.
The Senior Campus is situated on 55 acres of peaceful native surroundings. Care has been taken in the development of all Woodleigh Campuses to ensure that the built environment does not overwhelm the surrounding natural environment, which is unique and special to our School.
Senior Campus Facilities
The Senior Campus in Langwarrin South has an impressive list of specialised facilities.
These include a fully fitted School Hall with lighting and sound rig. The Jago Centre for Performing Arts features multiple music performance/study spaces, a music technology centre, dance/drama studio, film studio and a post-production area. The Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Gallery is the centerpiece of the School’s Visual Arts facilities, which include a Computer Aided Design Studio as well as Junior and Senior Art classrooms.
Woodleigh’s award-winning Science Centre includes marine biology facilities and dedicated Chemistry, Physics and Biology classrooms for senior students. The campus also boasts a fully resourced library, careers centre, sustainability and agriculture/horticulture centre, multipurpose courts, sporting oval and gymnasium.
In 2015, Woodleigh opened the first three, of six, Homesteads as part of a learning spaces renewal program. The new Homesteads 1, 2 and 3 have received multiple awards from The Association for Learning Environments, and Architizer. Homestead 6 was opened in 2018 and Homestead 4 in 2022.
A new VCE centre incorporating classrooms, a dedicated exam space and student common room, opened in 2011.
Information Technology facilities include networked classrooms, dedicated computer labs and Interactive Whiteboards, which are used throughout the school.
All Senior Campus students are supplied with a 13" Apple MacBook Pro with a Retina Display and flash storage.
At Senior Campus, a Dress Code operates for students from Years 7-12.
The intention is to encourage the wearing of practical and inexpensive clothing and to help students develop responsibility for choosing and looking after their own clothing. The Dress and Appearance Policy is flexible enough to both allow and encourage individual style and to emphasise neatness and presentability.
Rather than focus on precise details of dress, students are encouraged to make good judgements based on the following principles:
- A SunSmart approach
- Cleanliness and hygiene
- Good repair
- Decency (e.g., no bare midriffs or visible underwear)
- Appropriateness for the occasion
- Appropriate for a school learning environment
- Regard for community expectations, especially extremes in appearance such as hairstyles and jewellery
Our aim is for students to learn to wear appropriate clothing for various situations. In this way students are making similar decisions about their clothing to when they leave school. Staff will work with students on interpreting these guidelines and will on occasions need to disagree and be insistent. It is expected that students will take responsibility for their school clothing needs and will ensure that they have organised their clothing for the week ahead.
The following should be observed by all students
- It is strongly recommended that students wear headwear which protects from the sun, especially in Terms 1 and 4.
- Footwear for Home Economics, Manual Arts and Science practical lessons needs to cover the top of feet, including toes. Students will not be able to participate in the practical components of these lessons if they are wearing inappropriate footwear.
- For health reasons all students are required to have a change of clothing for PE, sport and sport-based Activities as well as sports shoes. Students need to wear the official Woodleigh Senior Campus sport uniform during these sessions.
- All items of clothing should be named.
Physical Education and Sport Uniforms
For health reasons all students are required to have a change of clothing for PE. The Woodleigh School Sports polo shirt and gym shorts or girls compression tights are compulsory attire for all students.
Other official garments (teamwear or sports specific) are available for competition use.
Sports and PE Uniform Purchasing
Dear Parents and students of Woodleigh School. We have now moved our online uniform business to Bob Stewart, a third-generation family business, specialising in the supply and retailing of school uniforms.
The full Woodleigh School sports uniform range is available via the Bob Stewart online store, while a range of Sports Uniform items, including polos, shorts, hoodies, track jackets socks and hats are also available from The Bounty Shop in Frankston.
Orders made via the online store will incur a delivery fee of $14.95, to be delivered direct to your door.
Provision will be made for students to be able to try on uniforms at the Woodleigh campuses.
At Senior Campus, students will be able to try on uniform items during Monday lunchtimes in 'Even' weeks at the Gym.
The Bounty Shop can be found at 11 Thompson Street Frankston.
Please note: The sports uniform only applies to Minimbah and Senior Campuses.
The Senior Campus is situated on 55 beautiful acres in Langwarrin South. An extensive bus network brings students to the Senior Campus from all areas of the Mornington Peninsula.
Woodleigh School contract buses service Westernport townships, the Southern Peninsula, Mount Martha and the Pearcedale-Langwarrin areas.
Mornington, Mount Eliza and Frankston (including Frankston train station) are connected to the school by myki school buses.