- From the Principal
- From the Board Chair
- Woodleigh – working towards Reconciliation
- From the VCE Coordinator and Head of Staffing
- What’s good for our WELLBEING? A visit to a GALLERY or MUSEUM!
- SIS Cross Country
- Vic College Basketball Championships
- Woodleigh's War On Waste!
- Callout for Cuttlefish!
- Beanie Festival 2019 – get involved!
From the Principal
It has been a great privilege to lead Woodleigh School over the last nine years. I have loved the community, its energy, creative spirit and authentic student-centred focus. As a consequence, it was a difficult decision to choose to leave to take up this new opportunity for me as the Principal of Carey Grammar School from January 2020.
For me personally, I have grown so much throughout the journey. The Principalship has afforded me the opportunity to develop my leadership style into one which is open and inclusive, which has enabled me to embrace the collective talents of the community and the incredible staff team which I have been fortunate enough to build within our school.
I am very grateful for the opportunity we have had to reimagine the learning programs at Woodleigh and find a way to articulate an exciting vision for the future, and I have treasured the opportunity to work with members of the Board, staff and students to redevelop the Homesteads progressively over the years.
I believe that we have a forward-facing education, one which is an inspiration point for so many other educators around the world. I am pleased about the work we have undertaken as a school to link with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop a genuine and heart-felt connection which is building appreciation, understanding and friendship which ultimately will lead towards genuine reconciliation. I too am very pleased with the strengthening of the range of experiential immersion learning experiences which have resulted in a broadening and deepening of the academic offering. The introduction of the PYP and MYP is embedding a culture of collaboration between staff across the school which will support our ongoing efforts to develop and strengthen the academic learning programs of our school.
I am most proud of the embedded ethos of service which is now in place at the school. This sees so many of our students leaving school not only with the skills but also the desire to make a contribution to the world beyond themselves. To have a learning culture which supports the emergence of each individual’s talents and clarify and put into action their own values and beliefs is something we can all be very proud of, and something I hope the school can nurture into the future. I am enormously optimistic for the future of Woodleigh School and look forward to celebrating the achievements of our students over the next six months, before supporting the new Principal, once appointed, to transition into their role.
Thank you all for your support in my time as Principal of Woodleigh School, it has been a fabulous journey.
Jonathan Walter Principal
Dear Woodleigh Community,
I am writing to share the news that at the end of 2019, Jonathan Walter will be finishing his tenure with Woodleigh to take up a new opportunity as Principal of Carey Baptist Grammar School.
For the last nine years Jonathan has been an inspiring leader and has been willing to challenge and be challenged. He has built on Woodleigh’s strong educational and co-curricular foundations and enhanced our holistic approach to educating children.
One of Jonathan’s legacies is the leadership team he has built. They are a group of highly experienced and innovative educators that have collectively, with the staff of the school and under Jonathan’s leadership, continued to implement the strategic vision of the school.
Jonathan’s achievements during his nine year tenure have been many. He has overseen the Homestead rebuild, creating innovative learning spaces that remain true to their original intention of providing a “homely” space for students and staff to connect. He has strengthened our approach to personalised learning, understanding that every student has their own learning journey and he has been a leader in the conversation around the changing face of education. With the support of the Board he has been committed to the community scholarship programs, which we all know enrich our community enormously.
I would sincerely like to thank Jonathan for his dedication to Woodleigh. He has always represented our school proudly and has showcased its achievements both nationally and internationally. There will be many opportunities, in the next six months, for the community to celebrate his achievements and contributions and I look forward to being a part of them with you.
Change is a sometimes difficult but necessary part of all organisations and although it can be challenging, I prefer to see it as an opportunity to enhance and broaden what has already been established and well embedded.
Appointing a new Principal is the most important role a school Board has to undertake. We also understand the importance of listening to the community’s voice. With this in mind, we have engaged the expertise of professionals with vast experience in the education sector and the ability to consult with all stakeholders. We will keep you informed of the process as it progresses.
Woodleigh is a unique school, offering a forward-facing education. One that inspires students to find their passion, explore many paths and ultimately shape their own journey. We are well placed to attract and engage an inspiring, innovative, community minded leader to take us on the next stage of our journey.
Woodleigh School is located on the estate of the Mayone Balug clan of the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people and is proud of its connection and relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our recent Reconciliation Week was a wonderful celebration of this connection but also a reminder of the journey still left to travel as we work towards genuine reconciliation.
In partnership with Reconciliation Australia, Woodleigh School has committed to implement a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to advance the process of reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as Indigenous Australians, and non-Indigenous Australians. Our student Reconciliation Group, under the leadership of Carey Saunders, will also be involved in the development of our RAP as will our broader school community. At the Reconciliation Dinner, held at the Minimbah Campus recently, we started the process of adding the voice of the community to the RAP process.
At a Senior Campus assembly during Reconciliation Week, AJ Williams-Tchen, Director of the Girraway Ganyi Consultancy, highlighted the ongoing ‘gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians as well as his own personal story of family separation. It was a timely reminder of the work still to be done as we work towards the goal of genuine reconciliation. AJ will be working closely with the school next term as a consultant to help us review and strengthen the support we provide to our Indigenous students here at the school as well as helping us to review our curriculum. We are very keen to build on the incredible legacy of Peter Aldenhoven and Jeanette Kaindel, further strengthening our Indigenous Education Program as well as work towards the goal of reconciliation. The introduction of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme here at Senior Campus provides a further vehicle to strengthen this commitment.
Images: Beanie Festival 2018
One aspect of our Indigenous Education Program is our relationship with the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place in Hastings. Peter Aldenhoven is now Executive Officer of Willum Warrain and we are thrilled to announce that Peter will be opening our school’s Beanie Festival here at the Senior Campus on Saturday 27 July. The festival has been developed over the last few years by a dedicated group of parents led by Cathy Norman, Jacki Bisset and Marnie Simpson with the intention to build our community and raise money and awareness for our school's Indigenous Community Partnerships. We are keen to involve Willum Warrain this year as we have in the past and use the festival as a means to advocate for reconciliation.
Information has been sent out to families recently on how you can get involved and we would love to see students wearing a beanie to support ‘Beanie Day’ at the end of term, as well as seeing you all at the festival itself next term.
Here’s a video of last year’s event to get you excited!
Head of Senior Campus
Staffing Changes Term 3 2019
We have two staffing changes that will occur at the start of Term 3.
In the last Newsletter we acknowledged Ms Danielle McDonald who leaves us to take a teaching position at the American International School of Bucharest. Her academic classes will be taken by Mrs Irene Balder and her tutor group by Ms Veronique Lapierre. We wish Danielle all the very best in her new school (and look forward to her return in 18 months’ time).
Mr Nick Donaldson is taking six months family leave during Semester 2. Nick’s academic classes will be taken by Ms Claire Wearne who will be joining us with teaching experience in English, Literature and Drama from her current role at Mentone Girls' Grammar. Claire will be taking Nick’s two Year 7 English classes, his Year 10 English class and his Year 7 Drama class from the start of Semester 2.
Mrs Rosemary Cian will be Acting Homestead 1 Coordinator and in turn her tutor group will be taken by Ms Casey Hall. We wish Nick well for his extended family leave.
Parent-Student-Teacher Interviews Term 3
A reminder about the dates of Interviews for Semester 2 for all Years 7–12:
- Thursday 12 September, 9.00am – 8.30pm
- Tuesday 17 September, 4.00pm – 8.30pm
Concurrently to the full day of Interviews, on Thursday 12 September, we will be running some SACs/Outcomes including a Year 12 English SAC (9.00–10.30am), a Year 11 English Outcome (11.30am–1.00pm) and Year 12 Specialist Math SAC in the afternoon. We also plan to have Open Studio for Art and VCD students, Open Workshop for PDT students, Open Drama Room and Music Performance area for students rehearsing for their upcoming VCAA Performance examinations as well as looking into the possibly of providing LOTE Oral Examination Practice opportunities. On the evening of Tuesday 17 September, the Drama Studio will also be open for solo rehearsals.
VCE Interview Night – for Year 10 students and parents – 18 July, 2019
The Year 10s have been working their way through a structured Careers Program with their Tutor Teacher during this term. They will also have a Careers Appointment with Gina Bolch either during Term 2 or in the first weeks of Term 3. There is one further opportunity for one-on-one advice to Year 10s prior to making their final subject choices. It is in the form of a Parent–Student–Teacher Interview to be held from 4.00–5.30pm on Thursday 18 July. There is no compulsion to attend and the night is really designed for those students trying to decide between a few equally appealing studies. The reply slip is due by Friday 21 June.
Congratulations to all students who sat the GAT on Wednesday 12 June. The VCAA supervisors were all very complimentary about your impeccable behaviour and respect for each other during this examination.
Year 12 English and Literature Practice Examination
On Tuesday 16 July, we will be running a compulsory Practice Examination for Year 12 English students. The exam will start at 9.00am and will conclude at 12.15pm. Buses will run IN THE MORNING ONLY on this day. Further Practice Examinations will be held during Year 7–11 Activities Week from 12–16 August and also at the start of Term 4 on Monday 7 October. Unscored students are excused from sitting these examinations.
Change of Subjects Unit 2 and Year 9/10 Semester 2
Straight after the Year 11 mid-year exams we commenced all of our VCE Unit 2 studies. There may still be some opportunity for students to make changes to their Year 11 Program but this needs to occur NOW, prior to the mid-year break. See Mrs Bolch or Ms Agar to discuss VCE Unit 2 subject changes.
After the mid-year holiday, we will also begin Semester 2 electives for Year 9 and 10, so students in Years 9 or 10 wishing to make changes should be looking in to this also PRIOR to the end of Term 2. Any students who would like to enquire about changing their Year 9 or 10 program should speak with Ms Tracey Glen (Year 9) or Mrs Gina Bolch (Year 10).
SAC Absence Reminders
Just a reminder that parents must notify Woodleigh Reception as early as possible on the day their daughter/son is absent from school – this includes all senior students. Senior students who will miss a Unit 3 and 4 SAC or SAT due to absence MUST have a Medical Certificate (or similar) and present it to me as soon as they return to school so that Special Provision arrangements can be put into place. Students who know they will miss a SAC because of sport, excursions or OES trips etc., MUST see me prior to the event to organise a change of date and to complete the required VCAA paperwork.
Thank you for your assistance with these matters.
VCE Coordinator and Head of Staffing
As we lean in to the final week of term, looking forward to the holiday break, I encourage you to consider a visit to a gallery or museum as a means to reset and restore the wellbeing of yourself and your families.
By definition, wellbeing is not just the absence of disease or illness. It is a complex combination of a person's physical, mental, emotional and social health factors that contributes to feeling good and functioning well and is strongly linked to happiness and life satisfaction. In short, wellbeing could be described as how we feel about ourselves and our life.
As someone who’s top character strength is the appreciation of beauty and excellence I was very pleased to unearth this piece of new health and wellbeing research carried out by a team from the University of Melbourne and Museums Victoria which suggests that;
Another study conducted in Norway analysed data gathered from more than 130,000 Norwegians ages 13 and up. They question more than 50,000 men and women about how often they participate in cultural events and activities such as going to galleries and museums, watching movies, going to the theatre and similar.
This research concluded that viewing art in a gallery or a museum can positively impact your health and wellbeing in several essential ways;
- lowers symptoms of anxiety and depression
- boosts critical thinking skills
- improves empathy
- can help you mimic the physical sensation of falling in love
When we enter the quiet sanctuary of a gallery or museum, we are separated from the whirl of everyday life. Time becomes non-linear and people experience objects and ambiences that have their own stories and histories. Visitors thread their way through, making meaning and creating associations that are complex and unpredictable. I know this to be true for myself and I often feel genuine affection towards other people, both familiar and unknown, whom I observe whilst sharing the same space and experience with me.
The fact is there is a growing body of evidence that shows museums can bring benefits to individual and community health and wellbeing in their role as public forums for debate and learning, their work with specific audiences through targeted programs, and by contributing to positive wellbeing and resilience by helping people to make sense of the world and their place within it.
Museums are social spaces that can engage multiple generations, where everyone can find something of interest and relevance to them and where people can engage at many levels and in many roles. Hence, museums and galleries have the potential to make an enormous contribution to improving people’s lives and enhancing physical health and mental wellbeing.
So during these holidays, albeit local, regional, national or international, I encourage you all to visit a gallery or museum as it will provide many opportunities to observe positive, mindful wellbeing in action – and experience better wellbeing for yourselves.
Yours in supporting and promoting positive wellbeing,
Director of Counselling
- The University of Melbourne: Museums: They're good for your health
- The Guardian: Forget yoga, under-30s use museums and galleries to de-stress
- Park West Gallery: Art and Health: The Real-World Benefits of Viewing Art
On Tuesday 28 May at Baxter Park, Woodleigh competed in the Division A SIS Cross Country Carnival. With rain pouring for most of the morning, some would say it was perfect Cross Country running conditions. The course was wet, slippery and muddy; tough conditions for an already challenging event. Our students were exceptional on the day, they competed with a great sense of team, supporting each other around the course and greeting one another as they reached the finish line.
There were some outstanding individual performances on the day, including; Imogen Tabacco (4th place Under 13), Ziggy Nosiara (3rd place Under 13), Ted Meysztowich (9th place Under 13), Amelia Evenden (1st place Under 14), Harry Lawson (4th place Under 14), Callum Lee-Smith (3rd place Under 15), Lexie Guy-Toogood (4th place Under 16), Ben Reynolds (6th place Under 16), Jussy Poyser (3rd place Under 17), Jazzy Evenden (4th place Under 17) and Fletcher Morgan (9th place Under 21).
It was the contribution of each and every one of our runners that completed the course that resulted in us finishing in 3rd place overall. We also won the Merit Award which is awarded to the Best Performed School in terms of school population and results. Well done to all involved and a special mention to our team captains Maybel Gardner and Joey Butland who spent the entire day warming up and encouraging our junior teams before their races.
Director of Sport
Photos courtesy of Cornish College
On Wednesday 29 May, Woodleigh sent two teams of Intermediate aged students to compete in the Victorian College Basketball Championships held at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna.
Students selected had made it through two selection sessions that were hotly contested by a large pool of talented basketball players in Year 9/10. The day consisted of a Round Robin tournament for both Intermediate Boys sides where they each played four games against different schools across the region. The Woodleigh White side managed to record two wins and two losses and were well coached by Year 11 student Levon Woodward who impressed taking on this leadership opportunity.
Woodleigh White: Aidan Bolch, Charlie Bond, Rex Thorpe, Joven Gill, Noah Barnes, Tom Keating, Walter Johnson and Levon Woodward (coach)
The Woodleigh Grey team dominated the first three games they played winning by a combined 100 points, before facing Flinders in their final match where the winner would play off in the Grand Final. It was the match of the day, a fast-paced game with both sides shooting at high percentages. Flinders managed to record a close victory, and go on to win the tournament, but the boys should be extremely proud of their efforts as the game brought high praise from the Flinders coach afterwards. Well done to all boys involved on the way they went about representing the school at this competition.
Woodleigh Grey: Nick Gordon, Lachie Marshall, Asher Magree, Tom Lewis, Jacomo Dwyer-Morris, Joel Quick, Ben Fewster and Ben Davenport (coach)
Director of Sport
I’d like to give a Shout-Out to Maks (Year 12) and Francesca (Year 11) for offering some much needed leadership in Woodleigh’s War on Waste. When one thinks of leadership, it’s easy to think of the charismatic individual in the spotlight. However, leadership doesn’t always have that glamour. Sometimes leadership is standing up to be counted and saying things that are unpopular. That is the kind of leadership that takes guts. That’s the kind of leadership we’re seeing right now from these young people.
Lit from inside, with the fire burning, our new Homesteads look inviting and welcoming. The opposite is true of the lost property box. It’s uninviting, in the freezing breezeway – and the lid is lethal. Getting students to care about its contents is a thankless task. People like clean clothes; better still, new clothes and easy access. So pulling out all that unwanted gear, weighing it and then getting people to care about the horrific cost that this degree of careless neglect has on the environment is not a popular task.
Maks and Francesca have taken on this thankless task. It’s thanks to them that I know Woodleigh creates about a tonne of this ‘waste’ every year. It takes 10 000 litres of water to create 1kg of cotton (that’s from the CommonObjective website. I thought I’d cite my source because quite frankly it’s unbelievable) and that’s before dying and manufacturing. I’d need Christina Brown to work out how much water we used on the clothes we throw away! And, those clothes have probably travelled 1000s of kms (that information is from the World Economic Forum!) and if they are petrochemical based synthetics they will not break down in our life time. Or our great great grandchildren’s. Add to that the wages paid to the garment makers can be as low as $2.53 an hour (Sustainablebrands.com) and you start to see the true grimness of our lost property bin with its tonne of textiles. It represents us at our worst. Not something we want to be reminded about – ever!
All that ‘waste’ used to end up in land fill, but Maks and Francesca are set to change that. They are running an awareness campaign, forcing us to face up to the damage we are doing to the earth and its inhabitants for nothing. We’re not even using the textiles. They’ve inspired the staff of Woodleigh to wash and dry and iron all the lost property gathered so far this year (approximately 300 kg in one semester) and they’re going to show it to the school and offer us the chance to see those clothes as an opportunity to live our ideals, instead of the Kardashians’!
Apart from anything else, these clothes are in amazing condition. I washed over 70 hoodies as well as numerous other garments – and I only did part of the pile! I only found five garments that I thought were not in good condition… turns out it was only three. Amy White very kindly pointed out that the rips in the ones I discarded were intentional. It made them fashionable – who knew! I worked out that if each hoodie cost $100 then I had $7000 on my clothes line that weekend! Remember, that was just part of the pile.
We’ve had our influenza injections, can we prevent affluenza this season? Surely we don’t want to be that rich and that arrogant!
I’m Shouting Out to Maks and Francesca, I wish them all the best with their leadership. I think we need it. I’ll be supporting their initiatives in reducing the waste in our school. I might be an early follower, but I won’t be the only one.
Activities Week: Jewellery Workshop
This year, during Activities Week, students have the opportunity to make a range of jewellery pieces using different techniques. Along with resin, acrylic and polymer options, students will also have the chance to cast silver designs using the cuttlefish casting method.
We need cuttlefish bone!
It would be wonderful to have any donations of dry, cuttlefish bone (clean or covered in sand, we don’t mind). The students will need quite a few pieces that are thick and uncracked, to carve and create unique items.
If you come across any cuttlefish in your walks along the beach, we would love to take it off your hands! It can be dropped off at Senior Campus reception.
Many thanks from the Jewellery Workshop team!
The Woodleigh Beanie Festival is now in its fourth year and school leadership recognise the fit of this eclectic event with Woodleigh values and are keen to grow the Festival and make it a major fundraiser for the whole school.
It is based on the Alice Springs Beanie Festival and is designed to be a community building event that brings together students, parents, staff and friends from all three campuses, together with local Indigenous groups, collaborating to promote reconciliation and the arts whilst raising funds to support Woodleigh School’s Indigenous Community Partnerships.
The aim is to have fun and provide our community with the opportunity to be a beanie maker, wearer or supporter. The success of the Beanie Festival depends on the efforts of many.
We are seeking handmade, original beanies from students, staff, parents, grandparents and friends! Beanie entries close on Friday 19 July.
ADVERTISING IN THE PROGRAM
We are seeking the support of Woodleigh families to advertise their business in the Beanie Festival program. There are three ad sizes to choose from at $50, $150 and $300.
We are seeking the following donations:
- Businesses to donate goods or services for our silent auction
- Split firewood
- BBQ meat
- Pizza bases
- Milk for coffee stall
- Old knits, scarves, wool, fleece, lap rugs (knitted or crocheted) and any unwanted beanies (all shapes and sizes) for the yarn bombing installation!
We are seeking craftspeople (knitters, felters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, yarn bombers etc.) to run workshops or demonstrations on the day. We are also looking for volunteers to help with serving food/drinks, yarn bombing, setting up or packing up.