Gratitude Gets Us Places
As we move toward the midway point of Term 1, I look back with gratitude for the start of the 2022 school year we have had here at Minimbah. It was wonderful to welcome all students back to school and to see how quickly the children settled into their new classes. I have been grateful for your support of the COVID rapid antigen testing surveillance program, which has seen relatively few positive cases emerge across the campus.
The Victorian Government recently announced the surveillance program would continue through to the end of Term 1. COVID Safe settings in schools will remain relatively unchanged. This does mean that the current protocols and restrictions will continue, at least until the holidays.
I am so looking forward to the day when we can welcome you back onto campus again in a Parent Support role and in a less restricted fashion. To see you volunteering and supporting our programs and working alongside us here at school will complete the magic of our Minimbah Community Spirit.
Tomorrow, we welcome a verification team from the International Baccalaureate who will spend the next three days with us: visiting classrooms speaking with parents, teachers, and students. Following their visit, they will provide feedback on our process to date as we work towards authorisation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, effectively delivering the Primary Years Program (PYP).
The IB PYP for children, nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants on a lifelong globally-aware learning journey.
The PYP offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework that builds conceptual understanding. In our setting, this student-centred approach to education provides us with a learning framework from ECC to Year 6. It prepares the children for the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) offered at the Senior Campus from Year 7 to 9. It reflects the best educational research, encourages teamwork and leadership, and deeper thinking and learning experiences, as derived from IB World Schools.
The PYP has evolved to become a world leader in future-focused education and is an example of best educational practice globally, responding to young students' challenges and opportunities in our rapidly changing world.
I commend the work of our staff across the last three years under the leadership of Jodie Kirchner. Under highly challenging circumstances across two years of 'pandemic-imposed' teaching and learning environments, our staff have collaborated, planned, and implemented the PYP framework brilliantly. I am incredibly grateful for their dedication and perseverance in reaching this milestone in our PYP journey.
We look forward to welcoming the verification team and responding to their report on our progress and journey toward accreditation.
Assembled Once More
Despite not being able to join us onsite for assemblies, Year 3 kicked us off recently with our first assembly for the year, focusing on the IB's Learner Profile Attributes. The children shared their understanding of being 'principled' and delighted us with a dramatised rendition of the book 'Willow Finds a Way' by Lana Button. Our protagonist, Willow, handled a challenging social situation as a bystander by acting in a principled way, making a wise decision that honourably and ultimately changed the attitudes of her peers and her classroom dynamic.
In Years 5 and 6, the children began the year by 'getting to know' one another through a portrait painting exercise. Partnered up, the children interviewed one another before attempting to represent their classmate in paint on canvas. Minimbah's own' Brush With Fame' culminated with an en masse reveal, which you can view in the video below. The children's discoveries about one another helped build relationships by recognising and identifying shared interests and discovering new interests, similarities, and differences too. The activity was a big empathy builder too!
At other year levels, the common Unit of Inquiry, as we commenced the new School year, has been 'Who We Are'. Each class, however, has focused on a different key concept, including: personal identity and cultural background, roles and responsibilities, change, and belonging.
Let's not forget to practise gratitude together. Who is someone you are grateful for? Tell them today! Choose a kind thing to say to someone at home, work, or school this week! They'll feel great, and so will you.
Deputy Principal – Head of Minimbah Campus
As 2021 drew to a close, the focus for children, parents, carers, and educators alike was getting schooling back on track by re-establishing familiar routines, rebuilding social connections, strengthening a sense of belonging, and promoting positive wellbeing.
Here are three reflections from three educational experts from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education who were asked to review the year 2021 and make comment regarding what we’ll need to do next.
DR ANNIE GOWING - Senior Lecturer and Student Wellbeing Specialisation Leader in the Master of Education program
School closures caused by COVID-19 have affected the education and wellbeing of children and young people worldwide; however, those impacts haven’t been experienced in the same way by all, and a more nuanced analysis invites consideration of age, place, community resources, individual and family circumstances and personal histories.
The pandemic has magnified some inequalities and revealed others that may have been previously invisible. Those most affected, including young people with additional learning needs and disabilities, are likely to carry the pandemic wellbeing burden for longer than their less impacted peers.
In viewing the pandemic as a natural disaster, there will be impacts on social-emotional development for all young people. Those living in households and communities with elevated economic and social impacts and those with pre-existing mental health concerns are likely to be more seriously affected. For all, there has been an uplift in uncertainty and anxiety as the predictability, safety and stability of their world has shifted.
The ruptured connections with teachers and peers, particularly those at key transition points like preschool settings into primary school and primary school into secondary school, have translated into a loss of relatedness that will take time to rebuild.
Particular attention needs to be directed to the youngest students who have had their foundational learning in literacy and numeracy disrupted, along with their social development, particularly in forming their student identities.
The duration of these effects will vary, and the capacity of young people to be resilient in the face of these challenges will heavily depend on the capacity of their families, communities, and schools to prioritise restoring wellbeing in the short and longer-term.
Schools will need to hold on to the flexibility and adaptability they discovered over the past two years as their students will require finely calibrated and differentiated interventions to rebuild their socio-emotional and cognitive wellbeing.
The wellbeing of teachers must also be rebuilt as they have endured the same challenges as the whole population but with the additional occupational stress of teaching and supporting their students for extended periods of time in the online environment.
PROFESSOR YONG ZHAO Professor in Educational Leadership & PROFESSOR JIM WATTERSTON Enterprise Professor and Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education
COVID-19 occupied our thoughts this year, but it’s far from the major issue for our children’s futures. To thrive in a world that is drastically transformed by technology and globalisation, children need to become independent, critical, entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative.
When jobs are replaced by machines or outsourced, our children will need to become job creators instead of job finders. We need to rethink the purpose of education: it isn’t to prepare children to be ready for the future because they are the creators of the future.
Our job is to help them develop the skills and perspectives to develop a better future for all human beings.
Education should be a strength-based and passion-driven process to help each child develop their strengths and find their passions. Education should also help each student learn to use their unique talents and passions to serve others and the world.
To create such education is to give children more freedom to exercise their right to self-determination and lead their own education. We need to pay a lot more attention to the growth of children than the content of the curriculum. We should provide a broad and flexible curriculum and engage students in real-life learning on a global scale.
BELONGING AT SCHOOL
Fundamental to getting back on track and in full flow mode as a community where we can all thrive and flourish is our need for belongingness (Maslow & Rogers). As humans, we are motivated to belong, but this will only emerge when we feel safe.
School belonging is underpinned by feelings of being accepted, respected, included, supported and valued by others within the school environment, and it has been well documented that school belonging is both a predictor of academic success and positive wellbeing, and adaptive behaviours.
It is not a surprise that a student’s sense of belonging tends to decrease during “transitions”, and Covid has created more of these moments than ever before and continues to do so whilst perpetuating a landscape of uncertainty that has multiple lenses to it.
Hence, with respect to school belonging, research suggests that the relationships students have with teachers, peers and parents are central to fostering positive connections with the school.
Perhaps camps, activities and extra-curricular opportunities have never been more important or needed. It is these opportunities where we learn more about ourselves and others, what interests we have in common, what are our strengths, how to gain confidence to be who we are, to find the right fit and not to just fit in.
Parents and teachers will need to remain alert (not alarmed), observant (not spying), adaptable and responsive (whilst maintaining clear boundaries) to ensure our young people can thrive as best they can to a range of challenges – not just COVID-19 – in a world that’s found a new way of getting through this unexpected moment in history. We can support our young people, by reminding them of their strengths [albeit] to be brave, kind, curious, forgiving, etc. and encourage perspective, patience, and perseverance when theirs may be limited or wane.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to share information and/or seek advice as needed.
Director of Counselling
WEDNESDAY 2 MARCH 7PM (VIA ZOOM)
In 2021 Chanel Contos instigated an online petition calling for young women to come forward if subjected to sexual assault while still at school. The petition subsequently went viral, with thousands signing or sharing stories that, in many cases, were deeply upsetting.
Chanel's petition has delivered a change in the way sex education, particularly consent education, is taught in schools. Her broad and strong call for change has made schools and policy-makers reassess their sex and life education curriculum to help protect young people across the nation.
Chanel will join us to share insights into her call for action and offer parents guidance around normalising the topic of consent to ensure all young people experience healthy and respectful relationships.BOOK NOW
Every Victorian child should have access to the world of learning opportunities that exist beyond the classroom. The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps ensure that no student will miss out on the opportunity to join their classmates for important, educational and fun activities. It is part of making Victoria the Education State and the Government’s commitment to breaking the link between a student’s background and their outcomes. \
The Woodleigh App is available for Apple and Android devices and it's a great way to access the most up-to-date information about what’s going on or what’s coming up at the three campuses of Woodleigh School. With the ability to receive notifications and filter updates, you can be up-to-date with all the latest Campus news.DOWNLOAD FROM THE APP STOREDOWNLOAD FROM GOOGLE PLAY
Conveyance Allowance only applies to students attending the Woodleigh Campus located at Langwarrin South and students attending the Penbank Campus located at Moorooduc. These families can get help with the cost of transporting their children to their nearest school or campus. The conveyance allowance is a contribution towards transport costs and is not intended to cover the full cost and is available to students travelling by public transport, private car and private bus.
The Victorian Minister for Education has amended the definition of the closest appropriate school/campus (Instrument of Specification). This may impact some of our families who have been unable to make a claim in the past or deemed ineligible.
Both Woodleigh School and Bayside Christian College are registered the same and classified as same type schools. Therefore, previously if you lived closer to Bayside Christian College you would have been deemed ineligible to receive the conveyance allowance. However, parents can now apply for consideration by providing a “signed letter” to the school why the closest school of the same denomination is not appropriate for their child. You must include your child’s name and demonstrate the below points:
- The student does not belong to, or associate with, the school’s particular religion, or engage in religious activity associated with the school’s religious doctrines; and
- The relevant school’s compulsorily requires its students to engage in religious activity associated with that religion or religious doctrines.
The Department of Education and Training will review individual applications on their merits. Please note that you must still meet the main criteria listed below.
Completed conveyance application forms must be signed by the parent or guardian (page 4) must and submitted to the School.
If you have previously submitted a form and there is no change to mode of transport or address details you are not required to complete a new form for 2022.
New forms must be completed for students attending the School for the first time or existing conveyance allowance claimants who have a change of circumstances affecting eligibility. For example:
- Moving residence or changing their mode of transport;
- Changing schools/campuses. Ie Penbank Campus to Senior Campus
The Department of Education and Training’s main criteria for student eligibility is:
- The School attended is the nearest appropriate school. (or attach a supporting letter as per above)
- The student resides more than 4.8kms from the school by the shortest practicable route.
- Students are of school age 5 – 18 years and enrolled at school for 3 or more days per week.
To apply for a conveyance allowance, parents are required to complete the appropriate forms.
- Travel by contract bus: “Conveyance Allowance Application – Private Bus Travel”
- Travel by myki bus: “Conveyance Allowance Application – Public Transport Travel". Must provide prove of purchase ie copy of receipt or ticket.
- Travel by car: “Conveyance Allowance Application – Private Car Travel” will need to be completed for each student, listing all students travelling in the nominated vehicle.
- Combined travel: Each appropriate form will need to be completed as above, e.g. drive further than 4.8km to catch public transport (Private Car/Public Transport).
Please note for Woodleigh Campus families: If you live within 4.8km of public transport (ie one of our myki buses) and choose to travel by private bus or car you will not be eligible to claim the conveyance allowance.
The School will lodge 4 claims a year (1 per Term) with the Department of Education and Training. The Department will reimburse the school and the allowance will be credited to your fee account in instalments. Completed applications need to be received by Friday March 4 2022 to be included in the first claim.
- Contract Bus Reimbursement is determined on the basis of the shortest practicable route from the student’s residence to the school and not the actual distance travelled in the bus.
- Public Transport The cost of fares are fully refundable.
- Private Car Reimbursement is made on the basis of the one-way distance travelled per vehicle and the number of students in that vehicle. Payment is made to the family operating the vehicle.
If you have any queries please contact Robyn Kent on 5971 6100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Then, add your student name and a unique email.
- If they don't have their own email address, you can put their name @sck.com, e.g. email@example.com.
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If you need any help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0405 110 407.