- From the Principal
- From the VCE Coordinator / Head of Staffing
- Year 7-12 Parent–Student–Teacher Interviews 2019
- The Risky Business of Teenagers
- SIS Athletics Carnival
- SIS Intermediate Girls Indoor Cricket
- Basketball Summer Season - sign up now!
- Ampilatwatja 2019 - apply now!
- THE ARTY MARKET: Friday 29 November 4-8pm
From the Principal
Following on from a sensational Production Week with Legally Blonde at the Senior Campus, we also celebrated the Performing Arts at Minimbah Campus with the Year 6 Production of Time After Time. I would like to congratulate all of the Year 6 students as well as their Director, Serena Wong, Assistant Director, Sarah Thomas, and class teachers Andy Hicks and Jacqui Stocker for ensuring such a memorable occasion.
We also congratulate Alice Bertram who is the recent awardee of the Roy Ward Leadership Prize from the Peninsula Chapter of Order of Australia. Alice’s fine contributions over her years as a senior student at Woodleigh School have been acknowledged and she spoke beautifully at the presentation function with Order of Australia members at Safety Beach last week. It is fabulous for our community to be acknowledging today’s extraordinary youth and it gives us all great hope for the future to see such fine individuals making their mark in positive ways in our world.
Over the course of last week, we put a focus on Mental Health through Mental Health Awareness Week at Woodleigh School. I am very grateful to Belinda Schmidt for her leadership in this area, running a variety of programs to raise awareness amongst the students and staff which involved showing appreciation and gratitude to others, mindfulness, spontaneous acts of kindness and support of Bonnie Daniello’s picnic fundraiser for the children’s cancer charity “My Room”.
This week has also seen our Year 9s finally manage to get off on their Outdoor Education experience, following the interruption to this program as a result of the bushfires earlier in the year. This new experience for 2019 sees students undertaking a walking and climbing journey in the Flinders Ranges National Park. This promises to be an exciting adventure into a new part of the country and we are very grateful for the support of the Outdoor Education Group in offering this new experience.
It was great to see so many fathers at each of the Junior Campuses for our Father’s Day breakfasts last week. We hope that all families enjoyed some great time together over the weekend.
Second Round of Parent-Student-Teacher Interviews
Just a reminder that we have a second round of Parent–Student–Teacher Interviews coming up for all year levels over the latter part of Term 3.
The second round of Interviews will be held on:
- Thursday 12 September 9.00am - 8.30pm
- Tuesday 17 September 4.00pm – 8.30pm
Normal classes will NOT run on Thursday 12 September for Years 7-12 students.
However, concurrently to the full day of Interviews, we will be running some COMPULSORY SACs/Outcomes including a Year 12 English SAC, a Year 11 English Outcome and a Year 12 Specialist Math SAC.
- Year 12 English SAC 9.00am - 10.30am
- Year 11 English Outcome 11.30am - 1.00 pm
- Specialist Math SAC 1.00pm – 3.15pm
Open areas for Year 12 students to work:
- PDT Workshop open until 5pm Thursday
- Drama Studio open until 4pm Thursday and 4-8pm on Tuesday
- Senior Studio and A2 open until 4pm Thursday
- French Oral practice arranged directly with students on Thursday
2020 Subject Selection
During Activities Week the Timetable Committee worked on generating blocks and looked at staffing needs for 2020. We were able to create a grid that met the requests of our Year 12 students and almost all of our Year 9-11s. Once this work is finalised, all students who will be in Years 9-12 in 2020 will be emailed a confirmation of subjects and will be given the opportunity to follow up concerns and/or make changes within the constraints of the 2020 Subject grid.
VCE Attendance Requirements
All VCE studies at Woodleigh School have a minimum attendance requirement of 80%. This can ONLY be varied when a student is “approved” as absent.
Taken from our VCE Attendance Policy:
Due to the coursework requirements in all studies, it is imperative that students are in class to demonstrate the achievement of learning outcomes. We will be expecting that all VCE students attend at least 80% of scheduled classes.
The only exception to this rule is for students with ongoing chronic conditions or for legitimate, documented reasons (absence with medical certificate, school excursions, sport etc).
Please note that we do require medical certificates to be provided when students fall below the 80% minimum AND whenever a student misses a SAC/SAT due date.
VCE Examination Related Information
Year 12 Practice Exam Week
During Week 5 (Activities Week 2 for Year 7-11 students), our Unit 3 and 4 students all sat practice written examinations in each of their subjects. Staff have marked (and graded) these examinations and have provided feedback on areas for improvement.
Unit 3 and 4 studies all have End of Year written examinations - these commence on Wednesday 30 October (English Exam). All students have access to the VCAA Examination dates and parents may wish to check this timetable here.
Final English Practice Examination
On Monday 7 October (Term 4 Staff Work Day), we will be holding a final VCE English Practice Exam. It is compulsory for all scored VCE students to attend on this day. The examination begins at 9.00am and concludes at 12.15pm – and will be held in V6/7. Buses will run in the morning ONLY on this day.
Holiday help times for VCE Unit 3 and 4 studies
During the upcoming holiday break, a number of VCE staff are voluntarily offering their time to assist students with end-of-year examination preparation.
The offerings vary, but include exam preparation, practice examinations, exam marking, exam tips, general help and advice and PDT workshop time.
Most of the offerings are listed in the timetable below. A few staff are yet to confirm their own (family) holiday plans but when they are able to, there will be some additions made to this timetable.
All students completing at least one Unit 3 and 4 study will soon be handed a personal copy of their timetable for the end-of year examination period. They have already received a copy of the Examination Navigator 2019 (the rule and information book published by the VCAA).
For performance/oral examinations (which begin in October), students have already received personal ‘Advice Slips’ - these include date, time and venue information as well as any additional requirements regarding repertoire and necessary identification that must be produced.
VCE Special Provision
- SEAS: Medical Conditions and difficult circumstances
All VCE families should be aware of the special consideration available to students diagnosed with illness or undergoing difficult circumstances. The options include Examination Special Arrangements (for illness, including mental health) and SEAS (Special Entry Access Schemes). It is important that issues that arise are discussed with me so I can advise the best possible course of action, and I can put supports in place where they are needed.
Many students will qualify to put in SEAS Applications – these are submitted online after a student has submitted their VTAC preferences – the closing date for applications with supporting evidence is 11 October at 5pm.
Mrs Gina Bolch will raise SEAS with all Year 12s during their Careers appointment this term so that they understand the process and determine if they are eligible to apply. Many staff, including Pak, tutors, Pathways staff and myself are ready to provide the supporting statements that students need to provide as evidence for a Difficult Circumstances application. Applications on grounds of Medical Conditions must be supported by appropriate Medical Practitioners – it can take time to get these medical appointments/statements so please plan well in advance. To read more details about SEAS please go to: http://www.vtac.edu.au/who/seas.html
- Derived Examination Scores
Students who are ill or experience any severe adverse circumstances within 14 days of their written/oral or performance examinations may apply for a Derived Examination Score. Application forms are available from me. Students MUST be able to supply appropriate (medical) evidence to apply – this evidence must be provided at the time and cannot be backdated. These applications are processed directly by VCAA and MUST be made by students (I cannot make applications on a student’s behalf). Prior to the final examinations all students will receive a brochure outlining this process called the VCE Exams Navigator 2019. PLEASE contact me if you have any concerns at all around exam time and I will advise you on your options. For example, with serious illness or injury we may be able to apply for Emergency Examination Special Arrangements as well as making a DES Application. All students are advised to sit every examination unless it is against medical advice to do so. Note that the individual closing dates for all DES Applications are listed on the student personal exam timetable and MUST be strictly adhered to.
VCE Coordinator / Head of Staffing
Bookings are now open for Parent–Student–Teacher Interviews. You should have received an email with details on how to access the PT Online booking system.
These are due to be held on:
Semester 2 – Year 7-12:
- Thursday 12 September, 9.00am – 8.30pm and/or*
- Tuesday 17 September. 4.00pm - 8.30pm
Note that students will NOT be required at school for classes on the full day(s) of interviews.
At all year levels, we will be using the PT Online system for booking interviews.
More information explaining the system is included in the email, as is your unique login name and code. We have also included a location map so that you can decide if you wish to factor in breaks between your interviews.
Please ensure you book early if you have specific availability requirements.
All bookings are done on a “first in” basis. If you find that a teacher is fully booked, please contact the school so we can arrange an alternative contact time for you. All families that are registered to receive separate mail outs will be sent separate letters and individual login codes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Bookings close this Friday 6 September 12 noon.
Lucy Kane and Amy White
Deputy Heads of Teaching and Learning
Why do teenagers take risks?
It is normal for teenagers to push boundaries and take risks. It is an important part of their journey in finding their identities and becoming independent young adults.
During adolescence there are changes in the brain that make teenagers more focused on the reward they feel when they are admired by their friends, and the positive reinforcement they get by being included. This is why friends and peers become incredibly important during the teenage years, and why they feel real distress if they don’t have friends or are socially rejected.
The areas that handle impulse control and planning also don’t completely mature until about age 25. This means teenagers are more likely than adults to make quick and risky decisions.
On top of this, your child’s friends will now have a larger influence on their behaviour. This is why if their friends are inclined towards risk-taking, it’s likely your child will be to.
For example, in a computerised driving test, researchers found that early adolescents were more likely to engage in risky driving when friends were present. Late adolescents were also somewhat more risky in their driving when they were with friends.
However, not all risk-taking has negative consequences – encouraging your teenager to practise positive risk-taking can be a safe outlet to help them develop their decision-making skills.
Positive risk-taking is about learning new things and exploring unfamiliar territory. The risk is positive because, while it still evokes a feeling of uncertainty or fear, you develop a new skill or there’s a possibility of a positive outcome.
If they are looking for thrills, support them to take on hobbies or engage in activities like:
- Sports: rock-climbing, mountain biking, martial arts, competitive team sports like basketball or football, or performance sports like dance or gymnastics.
- Arts: joining the school play or band.
- Volunteering: getting involved in a social or political cause, running for a school committee.
- Education: getting involved in a maths or spelling competition.
Encouraging your child to take positive risks is a good skill for life and they’ll learn things about themselves and their abilities in a safe and rewarding way.
Whether your child is actively making risky choices or you are worried about it happening, it’s important to have a conversation with them about it. For some more ways you can help and support your child around risk-taking, check out our things to try to support positive risk-taking.
Peer pressure and risk-taking
Being around friends and peers can lead your child to take negative risks, which can have harmful consequences on a teenager’s health, safety and wellbeing. You can figure out who your teenager’s peers are by paying attention to who they socialise with and speak about. Supporting your child to recognise teen peer pressure, and when it helps and hinders them, is an important role for parents to play.
One way you can support them in the moment is to help them come up with some creative ways to say no to peer pressure.
Common risky behaviour in teenagers
Negative risks can have harmful consequences on a teenager’s health, safety and wellbeing. So, why do they do it? In short, because the impulse and consequences feel good.
Common negative risks include:
- experimenting with alcohol and other drugs
- having unprotected sex
- skipping school
- getting a lift with someone who has been drinking
Yours in supporting positive student wellbeing,
Director of Counselling
Woodleigh competed in Division A at the SIS Athletics Carnival held at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park on Tuesday 27 August. We had in excess of 100 committed students as we filled every single one of the 144 events across the program. The commitment and effort displayed against strong opposition was impressive to see as each student gave it their best shot. Some students even stepped up in age groups to fill events despite not being overly comfortable about it. The willingness of our athletes to help the team all day was commendable and they should be really proud of themselves.
Congratulations to the following students who won individual events on the day:
- Charlie Edis Open Javelin – 40.46m
- Sophie Graeme U/13 Shot Put – 8.59m
- Ayah Gillespie-McCallum U/14 Discus – 21.45m
- Darcy Close U/14 Javelin – 22.66m
- Alexei Guy-Toogood U/16 Javelin – 23.53m
Finally, thank you to our Year 12 students for their commitment and contribution to our Athletics Program over many years. Congratulations to team captains Riley Divincenzo and Zoe White for their leadership and performance.
Assistant to the Director of Sport
Congratulations to the Intermediate Girls Indoor Cricket team for winning the SIS Pennant in the Term 3 season. The girls played five games and went through the season undefeated.
As a team the group gelled from the very first training and also showed an impressive desire to improve each week. Well done to everyone who contributed each week in what was a fabulous season – and a special mention to the team captain, Molly Harnett, who led from the front all term.
Team: Lally Penna, Tealia Holmes, Cara Eades, Lila McDonagh, Morgan Storm, Molly Harnett, Charlize Thomas, Lucia Puleio, Momo Guest
Assistant to the Director of Sport
As part of Broadening Horizons Week (1–7 December) there are a few places available for students in Years 9-11 to visit Ampilatwatja, a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory, approximately four hours north east of Alice Springs.
Woodleigh School has an 11-year relationship with Ampilatwatja School and community. This is an amazing opportunity to visit a remote Aboriginal community that is not accessible to tourists. Students with an interest in Aboriginal culture and reconciliation are encouraged to apply.
For more details contact Carey Saunders: firstname.lastname@example.org
Woodleigh’s annual twilight makers' market
Friday 29 November 4–8pm
A highlight of the school year, the market features over 100 stalls, selling handmade, unique and ethically sourced items, many of which have been made by Woodleigh students, staff, alumni and parents!
If you are a member of the Woodleigh community and would like to sell your handmade products, including jewellery, food, clothing, artworks, collectables and other new* goods, please email Kristen Guthrie email@example.com for a stall booking form or for more information.
Stalls are free to book, however we request a donation to our Community Partnerships Program on the evening of the market. Each stall will have a donation envelope on their table.
Of course, if you’d just like to come along and join the fun, pencil Friday 29 November 4–8pm into your diary. There will be music, delicious food and lots of lovely things to fill the Christmas stockings.
*We welcome repurposed and recycled goods, but request that secondhand goods, including clothing, are not sold at the market. Our focus is on handmade and artisan products.