A Well-Deserved Break

Dear Woodleigh Families. Having reached the end of term with only one hiccup along the way, it is with great enthusiasm and relief that I wish you all a very happy Easter break. Term 1 has been incredibly busy, and I know that our students, staff and parents are ready to pause and take stock of everything we have achieved so far.

Getting Away Brings Clarity

I'm writing this article, sitting in the dust at Hattah, enjoying some time with the Year 10 students as they navigate their way across the semi-desert expanse. To see these iconic Woodleigh experiences first-hand has been incredibly reassuring and exciting for me. When we talk about being a holistic school, we refer to the development of character that students experience as they make their way through the years. 

The adventures I have witnessed during Term 1 have consolidated my belief in the importance of Woodleigh's Outdoor Education and Camp experiences. This is where students learn about challenge, empathy, leadership and compassion. It is also where our students can have voice and time to express their opinions and fears and share their optimism for the future.

Speaking and Listening

Throughout this term, I have also had the opportunity to speak with many Senior Campus students, both in larger year level groups and in class. Often, I've been talking about our school culture and the 3R's – Respect for Self, Respect for Others and Respect for The Environment.

I spoke of how we all carry the responsibility to protect our culture and live the 3Rs, both at school and in our wider lives. 

For staff and parents, as the adult members of our learning community, we must not underestimate the impact that the past 12 months of tumult, both locally and globally, has had on the beliefs, feelings and behaviours of our students and society in general. 

For me, time spent speaking with students about the many issues currently portrayed in our media and opening up a dialogue about the minor issues we've recently seen at school has been time well spent. Leadership at Woodleigh is not dictated by formal structures. It shows in how we live our lives, how we interact with others and support the individuals and causes that require voice. So it gave me great joy to hear that students continued these conversations beyond their sessions with me. Likewise, I was most impressed to have students contact me directly to express their support and commitment to the concepts of selflessness and service.

Connecting with Community

I want to thank our Penbank staff and students for a fantastic Harmony Day Twilight Picnic. This event was a brilliant example of a community coming together to celebrate diversity and inclusion. Students were engaged in activities all day, and families danced the night away on what was a beautiful Autumnal evening. It was great to celebrate being together and also to provide a sense of connectedness for all. Unfortunately, due to the recent lockdown, we have not had the same opportunities at Senior Campus and Minimbah. However! We will look for opportunities to bring these groups of our community together again in Term 2.

Once again, I would like to wish you all a wonderful break, and offer my thanks to our staff, students and parents for what has been an amazing term.

Stay safe over the break,