A message from the Head of Campus

Walking in my neighbourhood on the weekend, and being at Woodleigh’s Senior Campus on Saturday for the Beanie Festival, were timely reminders of the stunning natural environments that we are immersed in every day. We do live in a beautiful part of the world. Welcome to Term 3, everyone!

We can be most grateful for the beauty of each Woodleigh setting including the diverse range of experiences that enable us as a learning community to positively care for country with humane and environmental sensitivity and action. Congratulations to all involved in the recent Beanie Festival; an occasion inspired by the Alice Springs Beanie Festival - a community arts event that provides opportunities for artists from remote Indigenous communities and the wider community to make, exhibit and sell beanies. At Woodleigh, the local community, including students, parents, friends and the local Aboriginal organisation, Willum Warrain, gathered together in the spirit of Reconciliation. 

Understanding our country, its people, history and environment are fundamental concepts that children learn from the time they enter the world. Whether it be from family, friends, stories, movie/technology, pre-school or school environments, children are influenced every day in the decisions they make and the actions they choose. 

Terrific to be back!

Term 3 involves many of these experiences. Beginning with a two-day International Baccalaureate  Primary Years Programme (PYP) training, staff continued their inquiry into concept-based learning within an integrated and transdisciplinary curriculum. We look forward to sharing the learning with parents at a PYP Workshop for Parents organised by Jodie Kirchner (PYP Co-ordinator – Minimbah and Penbank) on Wednesday 6 August. More information is included in this Letter Home.

Launching into the first week, I had the pleasure of joining the Year 5s on their camp to Sovereign Hill. Bringing to life the excitement and significance to Australia of the goldfield days, the students were able to engage in a comprehensive 1850s experience. 

The children explored many different environments, participated in role plays and re-enactments, and discovered the impact on the environment and the personal implications for the local Aboriginal Wathaurung tribes and the many migrants who ventured to Ballarat to seek their fortune. Our young gold miners discovered real gold to be panned, ventured down gold mines, observed the skilled craftsmen at work in the blacksmith’s forge, the candle works, the wheelwright’s plant, the coach builder’s and the confectionery factory. They also visited the Gold Museum that displayed a most informative exhibition of gold and Ballarat history. Consistent with previous expeditions to the goldfields, excellent accommodation in the Barracks and good food at a number of old-style cafes and lounges, ensured the three days away were a truly experiential endeavour.

Looking back on the chilly days together, immersed in the beautiful wintery atmosphere of Sovereign Hill, it was a pleasure to be with such interested and engaged students. Well done to all, and thank you to the Year 5 team for planning such a meaningful experience that is already informing some excellent research and ideas back at school.

Coming up, the Year 6 students head to Wugularr NT for their next Wugubank adventure. Later in the term, Year 3 & 4 head to Camp Jungai, a camp with an Indigenous focus - all wonderful experiences that develop ideas, provoke thinking and develop understandings. 

And next week… approximately 70 students from Prep to Year 6, with their Minimbah counterparts, venture to the city to perform in the Boite Schools Choir. The Beanie Festival provided a lovely opportunity for the children to perform some of the songs to be presented at the choral performance next week. Terrific to see the enthusiasm and collaboration of staff and students. Congratulations!

Literacy, a constant feature in all elements of our work, will be celebrated during Book Week. The theme: ‘Reading is my Secret Power’ will certainly inspire the imagination and interest in reading, writing, drawing, storytelling and creating!

I am delighted that Lorraine Ford has returned to school with a much-improved arm! I also welcome the Swales Family to Penbank. Little Skip has joined Britt’s Prep Group.

A term ahead complete with sport programs, music events and lots more, I encourage you to jump in and make the most of our wonderful school environment... and with this quote in mind...

"As we infuse technology further into students' lives, we must hold tight to the fact that personal relationships, face-to-face interactions, and quiet reflection will always be essential to a happy life—and that the convenience and excitement of technology should enhance—but never outweigh—the value of authentic human experiences."

Take care... look to the skies, into the trees, across the water and dream good thoughts!

My warmest regards,