A School for Adventurous Minds

​A Woodleigh education provides more than just an excellent academic preparation for the future. It offers a journey of experiential learning and discovery which prepares each individual for the challenges of life beyond school.

Woodleigh School is a place that encourages students to be adventurous with their learning. It affirms openness, independence, creativity, self-motivation and initiative; elements which you can sense as soon as you enter the school. Our three unique campuses, Minimbah, Penbank and Senior Campus, are entirely coeducational and committed to the belief that this is the only suitable setting to educate both boys and girls for adult life.

We see the development of academic learning, personal wellbeing, and student engagement as being interdependent. As a result, we promote the development of student outcomes across the essential elements of learning: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastery of skills, the development of productive attitudes, and the ability to perform meaningful tasks in real world settings. We understand that such deep learning is best cultivated in safe, supportive and respectful environments where students can take risks, question their assumptions, respond creatively, and explore new ways of thinking. For this reason, our approach to teaching is paced to students' learning needs, tailored to their learning preferences, and built around their specific interests as learners. 


We are the hub of a dynamic learning community. We aim to develop independent, resilient, creative and compassionate individuals who can find personal success in life, while making a positive contribution to the communities in which they live. At Woodleigh, students discover and follow passions, grow in a culture of mutual respect, cultural freedom and inclusion.


  • We are a global leader in personalised learning.


  • Respect for self, respect for others and respect for the environment.
  • The determination to strive for personal best.
  • A willingness to innovate.
  • A commitment to encourage and develop creativity.


  • We care for and support each individual and their learning.
  • We provide a positive and collaborative working environment.
  • We aspire to be our best in every situation.
  • We celebrate diversity and promote intercultural understanding.
  • We serve others and work hard to make a positive contribution to the world.
  • We embrace a sustainable future, whilst striving to reduce our impact on the natural environment.
  • We embrace change positively, foster independence and nurture curiosity, empathy and innovation.
  • We encourage, support and empower students to become lifelong self-directed learners.

A Focus on Future – Our Strategic Direction

This document is intended to inform the development of our school as we evolve to meet the changing needs of our students, faculty and community over the next five years. It builds on a strong history of research-based approaches to student-centred education and frames important decisions about facilities, faculty and policy.

A Woodleigh education provides more than just an excellent academic preparation for the future. It offers a journey of experiential learning and discovery which prepares each individual for the challenges of life beyond school. 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.

"It is critical that we at Woodleigh School continue to evolve so as to best equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life beyond school. This strategic plan formalises our commitment to the pursuit of best practice contemporary education and the holistic development of all students. "

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.

It is critical that we at Woodleigh School continue to evolve so as to best equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life beyond school. This strategic plan formalises our commitment to the pursuit of best practice contemporary education and the holistic development of all students.

Woodleigh School Strategic Plan Update

In 2016, we launched our strategic plan – A Focus on Future. It represented a chart for our course toward becoming a global leader in personalised learning. This document provides an update on the progress made from 2016 until today.

No Growth Without Struggle

"We ought never to do for young people what they, with a struggle, could be expected to be doing for themselves. With our encouragement, our urging and our insistence they can learn to manage."


The Heart is the Key

Sound education can only take place in an environment where students feel safe, valued and respected.

At Woodleigh School, students are encouraged to develop a healthy sense of self-worth, including an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. It is this environment that encourages students to engage in learning with increased enthusiasm and confidence.


Vital to the success of education at Woodleigh School is balance; aiming to educate the whole person to reach full potential through an enriching range of programs and activities which develop an inquiring mind, initiative, independence, character and personality.

We value diversity, respect individual differences and seek to celebrate the intrinsic dignity and integrity of every individual.

High Expectations

We support every student to strive for their individual best every day.

A Passion for Life

We believe it is essential that young people operate in an environment that is positive and essentially optimistic about human nature and the world in which we live.

Education Happens Best in a Community

The sense of belonging, of being engaged in a harmonious community where personal relationships matter, is central to student life at Woodleigh School. As the School is of moderate size, the child remains the focus. However, Woodleigh School is large enough to provide adequate choice and diversity.

A Life-Long Passion for Learning

Woodleigh School aims to provide its students with the critical skills, knowledge and attitudes to meet the challenges of life beyond school. Our students face the challenges of tertiary study and adult life with confidence and optimism.

The Whole Student

We care about the total development of the student. We value and support high academic achievement, but our program encourages balanced growth in all areas of life – academic, social, physical and emotional.

Woodleigh School seeks to provide an environment where students are stimulated and challenged; where education can be a joy.


Woodleigh seeks to prepare students for their futures by delivering the best in contemporary, personalised education. We equip students with the ability to learn independently, to deal with change, to be adaptive and resilient so that they may live fulfilling, sustainable lives.

Creativity & Skills

At Woodleigh, we encourage students to step off the production line, push the boundaries of expression, and respond in interesting and different ways to the challenges they face in the world.  

Creativity is not solely the preserve of the arts, or indeed, artists. Some of the most creative thinkers of the modern world are the scientists and researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs, the thought leaders, mathematicians and politicians. To be creative does not mean that one has to be able to draw, dance or hold a tune. Put simply, creativity is a higher form of intelligence, one that helps us to solve problems – and it can be taught.

"All children start their school careers with sparkling imaginations, fertile minds, and a willingness to take risks with what they think."

From the play and enquiry-based programs in our Early Learning Centres at Minimbah and Penbank, through to our VCE years, ours is an environment that supports original, creative thought and focuses on the development of increasingly complex and sophisticated processes of thinking.

At Woodleigh, learning tasks are designed to elicit the highest level of creative thinking from our students. We encourage students to tackle problems and investigations in innovative ways, to test theories and engage in the process of pushing their own boundaries to break through to deeper levels of understanding.

No-one can predict what today's student will need to know in ten or twenty years time.

As the learning landscape changes, our capacity to be creative, solve problems and think analytically grows in importance. As a school it is paramount that we equip students with the skills they need to thrive in their working lives.

At Woodleigh, we educate students for their futures – not our past.

Valuing Childhood

Childhood is special, unique and fleeting. We believe in letting children be children; knowing the educational and social importance of play and discovery – the value of imagination and struggle.

It is the development of individual learning programs that challenge and engage. Where students’ best efforts are expected and acknowledged, both in and beyond the classroom.

At Woodleigh, we offer a broad palette of specialist and experiential programs that combine to create a holistic education and a fun, positive environment for our next generation of leaders.

Discover how a Woodleigh education offers more for your child by exploring this website and touring our campuses.

For more information about our Penbank Campus in Moorooduc, contact Vivienne Wearne – Deputy Principal and Head of Penbank Campus on (03) 5978 8425  or email

For more information about our Minimbah Campus in Frankston South, contact Rod Davies – Deputy Principal and Head of Minimbah Campus on (03) 9788 6488  or email

For more information about enrolments, or to tour our Senior Campus in Langwarrin South, contact Sally Hicks – Director of Enrolments on (03) 5971 6100  or email

Why Co-Ed Works

Woodleigh is a proud, confident, coeducational School, and has been for over 160 years. We see coeducation as natural; the most normal and healthy setting for learning to occur. Our Minimbah Campus is the oldest coeducational independent primary school in Victoria, and our Penbank and Woodleigh Campuses were developed as a coeducational environments from the earliest stage of their planning.

We aim to provide a broad range of activities and experiences, tailored to meet the developmental needs of the widest possible range of individuals, whether they be girls or boys. Our programs have our students learning in and through a range of mixed-gender experiences. The level of our students’ achievements in all parts of the School’s program is testament to the success of our co-ed philosophies and practices.

Our Staff

Education is a continually evolving practice. New technology, research-based methods and learning areas mean that continuous, strategic skill development is a must for our staff. Woodleigh School is committed to the growth of every teacher through collaborative processes, innovation and research.


Mr David Baker has been appointed as the sixth Principal of Woodleigh School. He will commence this position at the end of Term 1, 2020.

The Principal is appointed by the Woodleigh School Board and is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day management of the School. He may be contacted by phone on 5971 6100 or via email on

The Principal is supported by an extensive senior team.

Minimbah Campus

The Head of Minimbah Campus, Mr Rod Davies, is assisted by the Deputy Head of Minimbah Campus (Administration), Mrs Kate Bird, together with a team of area and level coordinators and specialist teachers.

Penbank Campus

The Head of Penbank Campus, Mrs Vivienne Wearne, is assisted by the Deputy Head of Penbank Campus, Andrea Khoza.

Senior Campus

The senior team at the Senior Campus is comprised as follows:

  • Deputy Principal, Mrs Natalie McLennan who is also Head of the Senior Campus
  • Deputy Head of Campus – Student Wellbeing, Ms Tracey Glen
  • Directors of Junior Homestead, MsGab O'Loghlen and Mr Craig Azzopardi
  • Acting Head of Staff, Ms Christina Brown
  • Acting VCE Coordinator, Mr Bryn Bowen
  • Head of Teaching and Learning, Dr Richard Owens
  • Director of Senior Homestead (Years 11 & 12), Mr Haydn Flanagan
  • Director of Digital Technologies, Mr Lance Pilgrim

There is also an extensive pastoral care team, led by Ms Tracey Glen, which includes:

  • Pathways – Director of Wellbeing and Counselling, Ms Donna Nairn
  • Pathways – Director of Personalised Learning, Ms Emma Hall
  • Two School Psychologists
  • Minimbah Campus Counsellor – Creative Arts Therapist
  • Six Homestead Coordinators, the Director of Senior Homestead and a large team of Homestead Tutors

In terms of academic programs, there is a senior team of Heads of Faculty (led by the Director of Teaching and Learning) and in terms of co-curricular and other special school programs, there is a senior team of Directors of various areas (such as Activities, Camps (Activities Weeks), Sport, Music, Drama, Debating, etc.).

Our History

The school opened its doors in 1856 as a small independent coeducational primary school, known as St. Paul’s School. It was one of the earliest schools in the Colony of Victoria, is the oldest independent coeducational school in Victoria and was the first on the Mornington Peninsula.

The primary school was originally housed in a small wooden hall in the grounds of the Anglican Church on High Street, Frankston. It played an important part in the early days of the 19th Century Victorian Colony – providing a focus for the small, rapidly growing community.

Early settlers paid one shilling each week to have their children receive a ‘sound moral education’ to counter the effects of ‘larrikinism’ after the Gold Rush.

In 1970, the school moved to 3.5 hectares of land off Seaview Road in Frankston South. This primary campus was called Minimbah – an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of learning’.

In the early seventies, the feasibility of establishing a secondary school was investigated. In 1975, the Senior Campus was opened on 12.5 hectares of bushland in Langwarrin South. This campus retained the name of the original farm property, “Woodleigh”. In 1989, 1997 and 2001, further land was acquired, increasing the area of the Senior Campus to 22 hectares.

An aerial view of the original ‘Woodleigh’ flower farm – circa 1973

"I was greatly impressed by what I saw as the fundamental emphases in the educational lifestyle of St Paul’s School at Minimbah. First it was a community of people who acknowledged their sense of continuity with Christian tradition, but were not totally bound by tradition. They were open to the future… they were game. They were prepared to commit themselves to a struggle and an adventure in education."

From the beginning of 1999, the name of the combined campuses became Woodleigh School, with the Junior Campus continuing to be referred to as Minimbah. At Minimbah and Woodleigh, emphasis has been placed on maintaining and developing the native vegetation. At the Senior Campus, the original bushland has, wherever possible, been preserved. Rather than constructing large formal classroom blocks, multi-purpose classrooms are set into the bush.

The establishment of the Woodleigh Sustainability Centre and the Brian Henderson Wildlife Reserve at Senior Campus, further the School’s work to educate students in the care, preservation and conservation of our environment.

In 2015, Woodleigh School merged with Penbank School, an independent coeducational primary school in Moorooduc.

Penbank School was established in 1974 by a group of enthusiastic parents. The school was originally known as the Mornington Peninsula Community School and was located in a house in Queen Street, Mornington. The founding families were aware of a need for a school that provided a close relationship between children, teachers and parents, within an innovative and progressive educational framework.

In 1977, a new site was found to cater for the increasing population of the school, and to provide an environment that would allow exciting educational innovations to be implemented. With a substantial contribution from the Schools Commission, an open plan school was constructed during 1977 and 1978. In 1990, the school adopted the name Penbank, the former name given to the property by its Welsh settlers.

During March 2003, the Board made a decision to purchase a further 26 acres, a neighbouring farm, 'The Springs'.

In 2009, supported by the school and the Federal Government's BER Project (Building the Education Revolution), the school again refurbished the facilities creating new learning areas for older students, an addition to the library and new multi-purpose hall/gym.

In 2014, Penbank and Woodleigh School explored the possibility of a joint future. Following a thorough investigation and due diligence of this proposed merger, Penbank and Woodleigh officially became one school – 22nd December 2014.

Throughout the years, Penbank has developed a comprehensive educational program and continues to provide a supportive and caring environment where children love to learn.

The addition of a second junior campus with an enrolment of just over 200 students, means our School now cares for just over 1000 students.

Woodleigh School: Three Unique Campuses. One Shared Vision.

Board & Governance


I am a paediatrician who is passionate about equity in healthcare and providing access for all, to good paediatric care. I have three children at Woodleigh, two at the Senior campus and one at the Penbank campus. I have been involved with the school for the past 10 years, initially as part of the PFG and for the past six years at a Board level.

I am also a Board member with a philanthropic trust set up to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including refugees, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and homeless children, access educational opportunities. It is a great privilege to be involved at the Board level at Woodleigh and to Chair such a dynamic, cohesive and forward-thinking Board. Woodleigh is well placed to meet the challenges that our students face in the future. It embraces change which enables it to continue to be a leader in education. 

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ is not afraid to stand out. It is a mind that is willing to take journeys, follow new paths, that are sometimes unchartered but always lead to discovery and possibility. It can swim against the tide and strive to achieve goals that at times seem unattainable. It is innovative, willing to explore, lateral thinking but above all is happy in its own skin. 


I served almost 20 years in the Australian Navy before working for companies such as Linfox and BHP Billiton, and since then have been consulting to a wide range of businesses in logistics, project management, strategic thinking and general problem-solving.

I have had close ties with Woodleigh, with Peta, my wife who is a past student and an active member of the PFG, as well as sending our three children to Woodleigh over the last ten years. I joined the Board just over a year ago and was motivated to join because our children have received so much from their time at Woodleigh that I wanted to give something back. I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity of serving the Woodleigh community and participating in the Board activities, and particularly looking forward to some of the exciting initiatives that the school is putting into place. 

Curiosity and passion ignite the ‘Adventurous Mind’ to explore in areas previously undiscovered, enabling vigorous learning and growth.


I am a consultant specialising in providing corporate finance advice to the owners of substantial private businesses. In addition, I am an experienced executive and non-executive director across various industries including retail, property, media, financial, and children’s disability services.

My three children were destined for “traditional” private school education until my wife and I discovered Woodleigh and thought about how best to equip our two daughters and son with the values, energy and skills they will need for an exciting, but uncertain future. It is a pleasure to be involved with the passionate and skilled team on the Woodleigh Board as we manage the present, chart the way forward and continue to develop and deliver the best possible academic, social and experiential education for our children’s futures.

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ is energetic, not bounded by convention, courageous, strategic, passionate, analytical and collegiate. Change is not a threat, it is stimulating and an opportunity.


I am an accredited business law specialist and registered trade mark attorney with around 20 years’ experience as a commercial lawyer in private practice.

Despite a traditional education, I was broadminded enough to marry a Woodleigh girl (Louise Mace, class of ’89) and am now fully converted, with three children growing up at Woodleigh.

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ looks beyond what is to what could be, has the vision and drive to explore those possibilities and is willing to experiment, learn and enjoy the journey.


Having worked in the property industry for around 30 years, I initially joined the Woodleigh School Board in 2011 to offer my skills in property development and project management as the school was about to embark on the development of a masterplan for the school and in particular the redevelopment of the Homesteads.

After working for several property development and management consulting companies for most of my career, I formed my own business at the beginning of 2016. 

I have a son who completed Year 12 at Woodleigh in 2015, a daughter who finished in 2017 and two further children at Senior Campus and Minimbah. We are a committed Woodleigh family who enjoys being a part of the community in various ways. As a Board member and father I feel proud to be involved in a school that develops its educational ideas in new and innovative ways.

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ finds new ways to tackle problems and find solutions, pushes the boundaries to explore different pathways and grows as a learner while doing so. They are not afraid to challenge normal conventions.


I am a Physiotherapist working for almost 30 years in the areas of adult neurology and disability. My work caseload includes varied and complex client programs, many of which are managed by large multi-disciplinary health teams.

My work is extremely fulfilling as it allows me to assist clients work towards their goals and reach their potentials.

My husband Brad and I have two children who have been extremely fortunate to attend Woodleigh since three year old ECC, with our eldest finishing year 12 last year (2018). A private school education was something we were aspiring to for our children’s secondary schooling, but after a tour of Minimbah we changed our minds and enrolled both children for ECC and primary at Woodleigh.

The association we have had with Woodleigh has lived up to all we could have hoped for and much, much more. Woodleigh is incredibly special to our family and is a place where the staff know and understand our children. It is a place where young people can work hard and stretch themselves in a supported and positive environment that provides individuals the self esteem and confidence to try new things, make mistakes and try again.

Woodleigh is a place of thinking outside the square, doing things differently, keeping people interested and inspired – the perfect place to nurture Adventurous Minds.

For our family, Woodleigh is not just a school, it has been a way of life. Being able to serve the Woodleigh community through my position on the Board is a huge honour and a way in which I can give back to this very special community.


I have worked in the Financial Markets for over 30 years in various roles including treasury management, systems implementations, project management and consulting and I now head up a Compliance team in one of the major banks. I have also been a director of a number of not for profit organisations across the Peninsula.

I have two boys who have thoroughly enjoyed the Woodleigh experience with one just completing VCE in 2020 and the other in 2021. There has never been a time during their period at Woodleigh where we have questioned: "Is this the right school?" There has only been thanks for having the privilege of being able to experience such a special school – from its environment, to its students, staff and community.

An Adventurous Mind is one of curiosity with awareness, flexibility and looking for opportunities. One that is  prepared to take risks and will answer with "When?" not "Why?"

​The Nominations Committee of the Board is responsible for making recommendations to the Board regarding new members. The Committee makes recommendations based on skills criteria, having regard to gender balance and current vacancies.

The Board welcomes expressions of interest on an ongoing basis from interested and suitably qualified people from within the Woodleigh community and from the wider community. Expressions of interest will be added to the pool of potential candidates for the Board to consider when vacancies become available.

The Board is open to expressions of interest from people with governance experience and competencies in one or more of the following areas

  • Governance, compliance and legal
  • Organisational development and culture
  • Finance, accounting and risk management
  • Property and development
  • Brand and marketing
  • Education
  • Strategy and business development
  • Information technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability

All Board members must declare conflicts of interest. No Board member receives any remuneration or reimbursement of expenses in their role as a Board member. All positions are voluntary. Woodleigh is an unlisted public charitable company limited by guarantee and administered by ASIC and the ACNC. Directors of Woodleigh are subject to the same obligations as directors of public companies, including obligations of confidentiality and good faith.

Board members ensure good governance of the school, oversee strategic direction, ensure compliance, set the budget and must maintain confidentiality. The Board members must understand the separation of governance and management.

Board meetings are held approximately 8 times a year and the Finance and Executive Committee meet an additional 8-10 times a year. Nominations and Project Control Committee meet when required. Board members are elected for a 3 year term.

Expressions of interest can be forwarded to

Please include your connection to Woodleigh, employment history, any previous director or governance roles, your skill set and your CV.

The Minimum Standards for registration of schools require that the programs and teaching at Woodleigh School must support and promote the principles and practice of Australian democracy.

These include a commitment to:

  • elected government;
  • the rule of law;
  • equal rights for all before the law;
  • freedom of religion;
  • freedom of speech and association; and
  • the values of openness and tolerance.
As stated in the Standards, the requirements of the above commitment are not intended to affect the rights accorded to, or the compliance with any obligation imposed on, the School under a law of the State or of the Commonwealth.

Statement of Democratic Principles

Woodleigh School is committed to the principles of a liberal democracy.​

  • We believe in an accountable, democratically elected government
  • We respect and observe the rule of law, and believe that no person is above the law
  • We believe in equal rights for all before the law, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, or other attributes
  • We believe in the freedom of religion and the need to practice tolerance and understanding others’ beliefs
  • We believe in the value of freedom of speech and freedom of association. We also acknowledge that we have the responsibility not to abuse this freedom
  • We believe in the values of openness and tolerance. We value and respect all Woodleigh School community members regardless of background.

This Statement of Democratic Principles is communicated to all staff, students, parents and guardians, and the wider Woodleigh School community.

Woodleigh School is a company limited by guarantee. The Board of Directors of Woodleigh School comprises 5-12 members and is responsible for the governance of the School, while the Principal, who is appointed by the Board, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the School. The Board operates pursuant to the School’s current Constitution.

Following is an extract from the Woodleigh School Board Member - Position Description which explains the role of the Board:

The Board’s role is to govern the School and not to be involved in its day-to-day management. It is senior management’s role to manage the School in accordance with the strategic goals set by the Board and under its direction. The Board does not have a management function.

Without limiting the generality of the Board’s role, its principal functions in relation to the School are to:

  • Set goals and provide strategic direction;
  • Appoint the Principal;
  • Assist in determining policies governing the School’s operations;
  • Approve the annual budget and any long-term budgets;
  • Recommend to the Company’s Annual General Meeting the appointment of auditors;
  • Make decisions about the School’s capital works program;
  • Manage the School’s borrowings;
  • Ensure appropriate risk management strategies are in place and monitored;
  • Approve material expenditure outside the approved budget;
  • Review the performance of the Principal and the Board from time to time as appropriate;
  • Establish and oversee the powers and function of Board committees such as the Finance & Executive Committee, the Projects Control Group, and the Board Nominations Committee;
  • Ensure that Board member succession plans are in place;
  • Ensure controls and processes are in place to ensure compliance with relevant legal requirements;
  • Undertake diligent analysis of all proposals placed before the Board.

The Board’s Composition is skills based as outlined in the selection process document.

The Board meets approximately eight times per year for standard Board Meetings and each of these meetings is usually preceded about two weeks earlier by a meeting of the Finance & Executive Committee. The Board also holds at least one Board Conference each year to focus on more strategic or complex issues.

In May each year the Board holds an Annual General Meeting at which it reports on its operations for the previous year, including its audited annual financial accounts.

The current Chair of the Board is Dr Vanessa Gabriel. She is a paediatrician and current school parent with children at both Penbank and Woodleigh Campuses. Any members of the School community wishing to contact her about matters to do with policy, strategic directions, or other appropriate governance matters may do so via email:

Please note: all matters to do with the day-to-day operation of the School or management issues should be referred to the relevant senior staff member or ultimately to the Acting Principal, David Burton, who can be contacted on – phone 5971 6100 or email

The Board does not involve itself in specific management issues (such as discipline, the details of curriculum, staff concerns, or the payment of fees).



1. Positive Attitude Toward Teaching: a 'vocation'

  • a belief in the value of teaching & education
  • committed to high quality, excellence, & innovation
  • supportive of the development of the profession.

2. Supportive of Woodleigh School:

  • Staff at Woodleigh understand and embrace the organisation’s key values (e.g. total education, balance, independence, personal responsibility, etc.)
  • In particular, staff subscribe to the “3R’s”: respect for self, respect for others, & respect for the environment
  • Woodleigh staff are well informed on key school policies, especially the School’s Teaching and Learning Philosophies
  • Woodleigh staff are supportive of the school in public (i.e. outside the School). While active and free debate between staff on educational and organisational matters is encouraged, staff keep confidential business or criticisms to appropriate forums within the School
  • Staff are prepared to contribute to the general life of the School and are interested in the achievements, challenges, and issues of the wider School community.

3. Professional Skills

3.1 Committed to knowing subject(s) (or area of expertise)

3.2 Committed to knowing and implementing the craft of teaching (pedagogy):

  • Woodleigh teachers strive to teach well, understand how students learn, engage students, and maintain a safe, appropriate, & challenging learning environment

3.3 Up to date on relevant developments/and prepared to continually extend/improve/upgrade

  • believe in life long learning for self as well as students
  • committed to personal pursuit of learning & excellence
  • committed to ongoing professional development
  • prepared to embrace new learning technologies as appropriate (intranet, internet, email, key software, etc.)

3.4 Committed to knowing students and to aiming to cater for the individual

  • know students well/treat as individuals/respect individual differences
  • interested in students’ welfare as well as their learning
  • empathetic/flexible/caring
  • embrace social/total learning as well as subject
  • up-to-date on available information on students.

3.5 Able to communicate appropriately and in a timely manner (with students, parents, staff)

4. Key Professional Qualities of Teachers

4.1 Understands “professional distance”

  • Maintains proper relationships with students
  • Friendly – but a teacher, not a friend
  • Keeps professional/private boundaries clear
  • Able to avoid becoming unduly emotionally involved in stressful situations – able to keep objectivity

4.2 Focused on providing for the educational needs of our students

  • As professionals, avoid personal feelings and private agendas getting in the way of providing for our students
  • Committed to a high quality educational product and prepared to work effectively and diligently to this end

4.3 Balanced

  • While focused on providing the best possible outcome for students while at work, Woodleigh staff nevertheless strive to maintain a healthy balance in their lives: between work and private life, between serious endeavour and relaxation and fun. Balance in one’s life is a valid objective in itself; it also enables staff to remain fit and objective and thus able to function well at work.

4.4 Open to feedback and constructive criticism

  • Keen to improve and open to suggestions
  • Admits when wrong/doesn’t know something/could do better and not defensive
  • Reflective, self analytical

4.5 Committed to work collaboratively with others

  • Woodleigh staff are team players (when appropriate)
  • prepared to share/collaborate/cooperate/trust
  • treat colleagues with respect and value their input
  • prepared to facilitate team work by putting in/being on time/meeting deadlines/valuing others’ opinions/adopting a courteous and appropriate manner
  • doesn’t interrupt colleagues’ classes/programs without adequate warning/justification/due process or add to colleagues’ workloads unnecessarily
  • only absent with due cause
  • support one another professionally and personally – celebrating achievements and big events and helping out when colleagues face professional or personal challenges

4.6 Committed to working in partnership with parents

  • Woodleigh teachers work cooperatively and respectfully with parents as partners in the educational process and are committed to appropriate communication, feedback and consultation with parents as required
  • At the same time, teachers have professional skills and insights which they bring to any given situation which they expect to be respected and valued by parents
  • Teachers are in a professional relationship with parents, which should be respectful & where possible friendly – but their role is not one of personal friend.

4.7 Prepared to do the hard things when necessary

  • The real mark of a professional teacher is how he or she reacts in difficult situations – e.g. difficult disciplinary situations, situations where there is conflict with others (students/colleagues/parents), situations where doing the right thing isn’t necessarily going to be easy/popular/well received.

4.8 As a professional, expect a degree of latitude/personal responsibility

  • Professionals are personally responsible for monitoring their own performance and should not require too much supervision if meeting standards

5. Personal Qualities of Teachers

5.1 Approaches other staff and students with respect

5.2 Demonstrates personal integrity (honesty, fairness, consistency, trustworthiness, operate according to a moral codes, try to be objective & unbiased)

5.3 Empathetic

5.4 Generally positive (in manner and attitude to challenges)

5.5 Has an acceptable personal manner when dealing with others

  • as a minimum : courteous/polite/not rude/controls temper and mood
  • hopefully also : approachable, pleasant, friendly, supportive
  • understands and uses appropriate methods to resolve disputes

5.6 Flexible/adaptable

5.7 Responsible

5.8 Has a positive attitude towards young people generally and able to work with students that he/she may not personally like.

6. Professional Conduct: Specifics

6.1 Punctual for classes, meetings, functions, etc.
(on a regular basis; not late without good reason)

6.2 Prepared and organised
plans and prepares well

6.3 Gets the core routine tasks done well/in timely manner/without drama

  • returns homework in a reasonable time frame for the task
  • meets deadlines – esp. assessment & reporting
  • returns calls, letters, etc promptly
  • attends meetings as required
  • leaves work for extras wherever possible
  • keeps adequate records
6.4 Pays particular attention to fulfilling specific legal duties


  • duty of care
  • supervision
  • attendance records

6.5 Committed to the School’s organisational procedures

  • knows what is required and implements as appropriate
  • if aware of deficiencies, works to remedy them or to provide
    constructive advice.

6.6 Discreet

  • maintains students’/other staff members’ confidences
  • reveals private information about students/staff only on a “need to know” basis.

6.7 Models appropriate language and material

(and avoids language and material inappropriate to the situation)

6.8 Presents him/herself appropriately for the situation

(acknowledging that Woodleigh generally embraces a more casual style in its day-to-day activities than traditional independent schools)

  • in particular, avoids clothing that is overly sexual/revealing/provocative.

7. Sets Appropriate Priorities Under Pressure

  • Teachers are human and will not always be able to achieve all the above, but they will aim to. When pressed, they will set priorities which reflect the core values of the profession and of the School.
  • When they have made an error of judgement, they will take responsibility and try to rectify the situation in an appropriate way.
  • In doing so, they can expect the good will and support of their colleagues and the School whenever they are acting in good faith.

Woodleigh is a school where students and staff are provided with the opportunity, encouragement and resources to be the best they can be. This is achieved through an approach to education that emphasises academic achievement in an environment of respect for oneself, for others and for the environment, underpinned by a set of the values recognised as the Woodleigh Way.

It is expected that all Woodleigh School teaching staff are skilled and passionate classroom practitioners with a desire to deliver engaging and relevant educational experiences.

A strong professional team approach

Woodleigh encourages staff to become highly involved in all facets of school life. We have a strong, happy team of teaching and support staff who collaborate extensively, support one another professionally, and who, through the school's extensive Activities, Camps, Co-curricular and Sporting Programs, are able to lead students in the field, subject or activity about which they are passionate.

The Peninsula lifestyle

The Mornington Peninsula offers residents a relaxed, safe lifestyle, with beaches and bushland, fewer traffic hassles and housing costs which are lower than those of metropolitan Melbourne. It is a great place to bring up a family.

Staff Welfare

Woodleigh School takes a caring and compassionate approach to staff welfare and personal issues. We offer flexibility and an environment which supports you in your professional and personal growth, with excellent opportunities to be involved in co-curricular activities (integrated into your allotment).

All Staff must

  • endorse Woodleigh School's particular values and philosophies (descriptions of which are readily available in other areas of this website)
  • be well skilled in ICT
  • have at least Level 1 First Aid Training (or be prepared to undertake training)
  • be committed to continuous learning
  • be prepared to be involved in the full life of the School community and a wide range of interactions with students, in line with our School's values.

This Includes

  • pastoral care roles
  • involvement in co-curricular activities, including through the Activities Program
  • involvement in the School's Activity Weeks Program in Terms 1 and 3 (this includes a wide range of camps and workshops)
  • extensive PD opportunities
  • registration with the VIT and a current police check (i.e. no more than 12 months old)


  • Salaries will be negotiated depending on the skills and experience of the applicant.
  • Please note that part-time positions come with no guarantees with respect to a given number of days off per week.


  • All applications should be addressed to:
    Human Relations
    Woodleigh School, 485 Golf Links Road, Langwarrin South, Vic 3911
    or via email: by the closing date.
  • All applications should contain the name and contact details of three professional referees.


School policies cover every aspect of school life. Some of our most important policies are below for your reference. If you want to know our policy on something that is not listed, please contact the Principal’s office.

If you want to know our policy on something that is not listed, please contact the Principal’s office.

Term Dates


Term 1

  • Teaching staff return – Friday 22 January
  • Year 7, 12 and new students begin at Senior Campus – Friday 29 January
  • All other students begin – Monday 1 February
  • Homestead Camp Week at Senior Campus – Monday 1-Friday 5 March TBC
  • Labour Day – Monday 8 March
  • Term 1 Ends – Thursday 1 April

Term 2

  • Term 2 Begins for staff – Monday 19 April
  • Term 2 Begins for students – Tuesday 20 April
  • Report Writing Day (student free) – Friday 28 May TBC
  • Term 2 Ends – Friday 18 June

Term 3

  • Term 3 Begins for staff – Monday 12 July
  • Term 3 Begins for students – Tuesday 13 July
  • Activities Week at Senior Campus – Monday 16-Friday 20 August TBC
  • Term 3 Ends – Friday 17 September

Term 4

  • Term 4 Begins for teachers – Monday 4 October
  • Term 4 Begins for students – Tuesday 5 October
  • Mid-Term Break – Monday 1 November & Tuesday 2 November
  • Report Writing Day (student free) – Friday 5 November TBC
  • Term 4 Ends for ECC-Y9 students – Friday 10 December
  • Term 4 Ends for teachers – Tuesday 14 December


Term 1

  • Teaching staff return – Monday January 24
  • Year 7, 12 and new students begin at Senior Campus – Friday January 28
  • All other students begin – Monday January 31
  • Homestead Camp Week at Senior Campus – 7-11 March
  • Labour Day - Monday March 14
  • Term 1 Ends – Friday April 8

Term 2

  • Term 2 Begins for staff – Tuesday April 26 (ANZAC Day on the Monday)
  • Term 2 Begins for students – Wednesday April 27
  • Term 2 Ends – Friday June 24 (9 wks)

Term 3

  • Term 3 Begins for staff – Monday July 18
  • Term 3 Begins for students – Tuesday July 19
  • Activities Week at Senior Campus – Monday 15 – Friday 19 August
  • Term 3 Ends – Friday 16 September

Term 4

  • Term 4 Begins for teachers – Monday 3 October
  • Term 4 Begins for students – Tuesday 4 October
  • Term 4 Ends for students ECC – Yr 9 – Friday 9 December
  • Term 4 Ends for teachers – Wednesday 14 December


The Woodleigh Institute is a dynamic innovation lab focused on promoting personalised, experiential learning for students, teachers, school administrators and system leaders. The Institute serves as a hub for professional and organisational learning at Woodleigh School, and provides leadership for transformative projects that explore new approaches to teaching and learning, organisational development and leadership. The Woodleigh Institute also partners with experts, institutions and organisations who are interested in furthering progressive approaches to education and offers a range of customised professional learning services to the wider educational community.

To learn more about the Institute's projects or services, please see below or contact Dr Richard Owens, Director - Woodleigh Institute, for further information.

Current projects at Woodleigh School

The Woodleigh Certificate

This project is focused on the development of a digital transcript for secondary students that reflects the authentic breadth and depth of student learning at Woodleigh School. The project will explore the use of digital technologies to produce a layered and easily searchable folio that can be used to support entry into the workforce and higher study. The final transcript will be designed to capture the essential elements of a Woodleigh Education – the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastery of skills, the development of productive attitudes, and the ability to perform meaningful tasks in real world settings. 

Capabilities for Living and Learning

This project is focused on the development, documentation and credentialing of cross disciplinary skills and knowledge. The project will explore the developmental nature of specific types of skills and knowledge, as well as the opportunities being presented through immersive experiences for students to adapt, apply and extend their learning in these areas. An important focus for the project will be supporting students to gain university-awarded credentials that recognise the skills, knowledge and capabilities they require for future work, further study and everyday success in the modern world. 

The Experiential Learning Project

The Experiential Learning Project (ELP) is a Year 13 course focused on real-world learning. The ELP nurtures student agency, creativity and resilience by providing a challenging, personalised pathway for students to pursue their interests and passions. The course helps students to develop transferable competencies in areas such as self-management, communication, teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking. A central feature of the ELP is the opportunity to gain professional work experience, exposure and expertise through the completion of an individual or team-based internship with a partner organisation. 

Professional learning services

Leadership Development

The Woodleigh Institute offers a range of tailored workshops and programs to support professional learning for leaders at each stage of their career development. We also craft specific professional development solutions to suit the learning needs of leadership teams. Past workshops and programs have focused on areas such as visioning, strategic planning, change management, staff evaluation, team learning and collaboration, personal mastery, creativity and innovation, and coaching.

Awareness-based System Leadership

  • Workshops/consultancy: The Institute provides a unique approach to professional and organisational learning through its offerings focused on Awareness-based System Leadership (ASL). ASL is an immersive method that challenges participants to explore how an integrated focus on self-development, team learning, generative dialogue and systems thinking can support school and system innovation, effectiveness and improvement. Awareness-based System Leadership is an approach that that draws upon Senge’s theories about organisational learning and Scharmer’s work on awareness-based change to address important questions about personal and collective capacity building, sustainable innovation, and effective change management. The approach provides a nurturing forum for educational leaders to revitalise a personal vision for their own development, while deeply examining the relational and transformational elements of their leadership role.
  • LEA/LESNW: The Institute is involved in a multi-year leadership project with Lutheran Education focused on the renewal of its national system of schools. The project explores how sustained, collaborative engagement with learning experiences that integrate a focus on self-development, team learning, generative dialogue and systems thinking can play a role in both leadership and system development. Intermediate outcomes from the project have shown a strong impact of collaborative knowledge creation and leadership practices at the executive level, along with a positive impact of the work on principals and schools. Research on the project has been shared in a variety of international forums, including UNESCO-APEID, ICSEI and uLead Conferences.

School and System Effectiveness and Improvement

We offer a range of customisable services to support school and school system effectiveness and improvement. The process typically involves the following steps: 

  1. Working with Principals or System Leader to identify key goals at a personal, team and/or organisational level.
  2. Facilitating collaboration with leadership teams to investigate challenges, identify preferred outcomes and develop a strategic approach to innovation and improvement.
  3. Advisory, mentoring, coaching and facilitation focused on supporting the change process.
  4. Leading evaluation and reflection to examine progress, achievements and next steps.


P. +613 5971 6100 
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