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The first day of school is all about connections. It's the sharing of stories – tall tales and true. A day of hugs and high-fives, laughs and in-jokes – the rekindling of old friendships and lots of groundwork to build new links.
For some, it's a day of firsts, with new faces, spaces and places to make sense of, and for others, it's the start of their final year of a nine-year journey through our Junior Campuses. Comfortable, sure! But purposeful too, and ready to share their knowledge and experience with their younger peers.
On the first day of school, there are nerves, excitement... and smiles for miles.
Welcome back, Minimbah and Penbank.
Have a great Year!
Today we welcomed a new batch of Woodleigh kids to Senior Campus, our class of 2028. Today is Day Zero for this Year 7 cohort, and the first of their 6-year Senior Campus journey.
Along with our Year 12 cohort, they’ve got the whole Senior Campus to themselves to settle in, learn the lay of the land, and get amongst it. Our advice to them? Squeeze the lemon. Take every opportunity that comes your way. Surprise yourself. Take risks. Be courageous. Be kind.
Welcome to Woodleigh!
90+ ATAR achievers – LtoR: David Baker – Principal, Tealia Holmes (held by David), Lally Penna, Momo Guest (held by Lally), Ben Black, Nikki Sartori (held by Ben), Lou Lou Burton, Milan Castan (held by Lou Lou), Jacomo Dwyer-Morris, Callum Lee-Smith (held by Jacomo), Nick Morrison, Bridget Richards (held by Nick and Nat), Nat McLennan – Head of Senior Campus and Haydn Flanagan – Head of Pastoral Care and Administration, Senior Years
Every year in November, we farewell a group of Year 12s, and every year we are delighted (if not surprised) at their maturity, their wisdom and worldliness. Woodleigh graduates, while each unique, have a certain way of walking in the world; full of surety, quietly confident, tuned in. You can spot a Woodleigh graduate. They are our finest achievement; wise beyond their years, caring, with a deep well of integrity.
We are incredibly proud of the efforts of our 2022 Year 12 cohort. The run-up to their VCE journey included two brutal years of pandemic education. They have persisted and applied themselves, returning to school with a renewed determination to make up for lost time.
2022 has been three years in one. While life was turned down to a simmer in 2020 and 2021, with lockdown after lockdown, 2022 has been all burners firing, full bore, all the time. These students have managed that load with grace, adaptability, and a sense of perspective, still showing up to make the most of the opportunities that have once again been offered to them. Navigating that load of study, extracurricular commitments, and part-time work, while not being at full match fitness has been a challenge they have risen to.
The Dux of The Class of 2022 is Momo Guest, who achieved the most impressive ATAR of 97.65. Jacomo Dwyer-Morris also excelled, achieving an ATAR of 96.15, and Callum Lee-Smith scored 95.4. In 2022:
- Our highest ATAR was 97.65
- 16% of Woodleigh students achieved an ATAR of 90 or more
- 31% of Woodleigh students received early offers of tertiary placement
Of the 31% who have already received tertiary offers, these offers are in fields as diverse as psychological sciences, law, nursing, media, business, sports management, design, teaching, and outdoor recreation. Enormous thanks must also go to the teaching staff and families who supported these young people through a very big year. This work happens in the background, online and in-person, from home, at odd hours, and sometimes on weekends and holidays, too, because the VCE clock never really stops ticking. We see you, and we value you, our sherpas who help these young people carry their load up the summit. To our 2022 graduates, go forth, confident in the knowledge that you have the skills, the nouse, and the tenacity to accomplish truly good things in your lifetime and make a lasting, valuable contribution to any community you choose to call home. You will always have a home here at Woodleigh.
Congratulations and good luck Penbank mob!
Penbank Year 6s have travelled a long way this year - from the Peninsula to the Northern Territory and back. But perhaps their most significant steps were through the guard of honour formed by their folks and teachers at graduation this week. A fitting send off for a fantastic group who are more than ready to spread their wings at senior campus next year.
Minimbah is not a place you drive past.
It’s more like a hidden island, with natives as friendly as you like: curious, kind, calm.
Last night the Senior Campus Hall was taken over by the Minimbah Year 6s for their graduation. They’ve all grown too big for this little island and the mainland of Senior Campus is calling.
Each student shared a graduation speech reflecting on their school journey. They spoke bravely of friendships, learning difficulties, Covid interruption and identity. The overwhelming message was how their school helped them to feel relaxed, calm and understood. It sounds simple, but not all students are lucky enough to have that at school.
These kids know that, and are terribly grateful.
3, 2, 1 … leap! Whether on the Giant Swing at Camp Licola, singing on stage at school production, or the countless other chances these guys have been offered, leaping has been the theme of 2022 for this Year 6 crew. But not all leaps are scary! Some leave you sopping wet, but with smiles for miles. After their final assembly, Friday was their last leap – the Minimbah Pool Jump - before they take the biggest leap of their young lives, straight into Year 7 at Senior Campus. They’re ready!
Clothes, haircuts, plants, ceramics, artwork, homewares, spices and baked treats (for humans, and for dogs): with over 70 stalls, there was something for everyone at this year’s Arty Market. With the youngest seller in Year 2, and the oldest a Woodleigh grandparent, there was also something BY everyone.
Sure, you can make and sell things online. But there’s something special about making something with your hands, in your bedroom or your dining table, and then bringing it to a real-life market. There’s the ideas, the planning, the branding, the build-up, the spruiking, the 1001 tiny decisions, and finally … sweet relief, as your product hits other people’s hands. And if the stars align, a tidy little profit as reward for going out on a limb.
Got an idea for a stall? Take a punt and be sure to sign up next year!
The Senior Campus hall was full to the brim last week, as the extended Woodleigh community came together for our Annual Cambodian Music Night to raise vital funds for our friends Chumkriel Language School, in Kampot, Cambodia.
Woodleigh School’s partnership with CLS goes back to 2008. CLS provides free education in English and Khmer, as well as family support, including basic housing sanitation, water, recreation and health/hygiene activities.
The Cambodian trip is an important part of Woodleigh’s Broadening Horizons, where four staff and around a dozen Year 10 and 11 students travel to Kampot to be involved in teaching alongside CLS staff, developing the school’s vegetable garden, teaching in the salt fields schoolhouse and observations at the Night School centre.
A massive thank you to the amazing staff who helped put the night together, to the student performers for putting on a great show, and to the wider community for their donations of raffle items and money. A whopping $6000 was raised on the night, and will go toward the purchase of 16 new laptop computers for our friends at Chumkriel.
Thanks also go to Frankston North Rotary Club for their generous donation to CLS.
Modern Australia is a place of many backgrounds, cultures and faiths, and our school is no exception. No matter your faith, there’s a lot to celebrate come this time of year.
Perberkoong is a Boon Wurrung word meaning ‘unite’ or ‘come together’, and it’s under this banner that we meet at the end of each school year, paying our respects to the country on which we live and learn, and to the different folks that belong to our school community. In the words of the late Archie Roach, we gotta Let Love Rule.
Minimbah Year 6s have been putting in the hard yards recently as they prepare for their graduation speeches next week. You can't have that much reflection and introspection without some mindless, good old-fashioned silliness to keep things in perspective.
The Minimbah PFG and Parents put their coconuts together to plan and prepare an epic Year 6 luau celebration last Friday night, including games, limbo, dancing, and gourmet pizza cooked up by some uber-talented papas.
You couldn't ask for finer weather, or finer company, as the kids danced the sun down under the festoon lights.
Massive thanks to Jo and Katherine for their super organisational skills, and all the parent helpers. A great night was had by all - except maybe the dinosaurs. We all know how that story ends.