Learning is not Bound by Four Walls

This week, I have had the pleasure of listening to many stories about the Senior Campus Activities Camp Week, from both staff and students. Our camps and co-curricular programs play an integral role in developing important life skills and consolidating students’ learning in a range of different contexts.

Improved social skills are one of the bonuses of co-curricular experiences. Students interact with each other in different environments to help improve their social skills. Spending 8-hours a day at school is one thing, but eating meals together, travelling together, and sharing accommodation teaches children the worth of collaboration and treating others with respect. This aligns with our School values of respect for self, respect for others, and respect for the environment. One of the most important life lessons is the ability to interact with others in a positive way. In a family this can be taught to a degree, but being immersed in a group situation for an extended period of time is a great way to learn and practice these skills.

At times, our students would have faced challenges last week – they possibly felt wet or cold, were forced to make new friends, had to navigate different living arrangements and were encouraged to make decisions as part of their camp experience. These challenges are designed purposefully. They develop resilience and an ability to adapt to different circumstances, all whilst building more obvious skills, whether that be riding a wave, using a blow torch, or navigating public transport. It is important for students to have time on camps and programs to build their independence and ability to operate on their own or with different people. A school camp places your child in a position where they have to make decisions about how their day unfolds. For example; what shall I wear? how much can I eat? when should I brush my teeth? are decisions some children have never made on their own, especially post-COVID lockdowns. Co-curricular activities will nurture your child to grow and develop greater independence and capabilities to thrive in a world beyond school.

The deep connections and breadth of skills students build in an immersive experience with other students and staff cannot be replicated at home or within the four walls of a classroom. Students have developed new friendships and happy long-lasting memories from last week. I’m sure you will agree that Woodleigh continues to provide our students the chance to get involved in a wide range of learning in a variety of contexts. Most days, I wish that my personal experience of secondary school reflected what these students get the opportunity to experience every day.

Student-Parent-Teacher Interviews

Our Semester 2 Student-Parent-Teacher Interviews are scheduled for September 6 and 7, 2022. These interviews are an opportunity for parents and students to meet with staff to discuss progress within specific learning areas. Teaching staff have a range of strategies to differentiate learning and enable high-quality student outcomes. We believe that if teachers, students, and parents build strong relationships, they can work together to improve learning outcomes. During these interviews, staff will have discussed the Learning Behaviours exhibited by your child and the importance of developing these attributes to establish an independent, confident learner.

I encourage both parents and students to continue to ask staff for feedback and strategies on how they can improve in all subject areas. I would also recommend that an ongoing conversation at home around the strategies discussed is important for continued student progress.

Our First Live Production in 3 Years

It was wonderful to witness our first live full-scale production since 2019 this past week. I could not be prouder of the young people and staff that give their time, dedication, and energy to such an outstanding performance. Preparation and rehearsals have been underway since the beginning of the year and the perseverance for excellence in the Performing Arts has once again been showcased in this year’s production.

My sincere thanks go to Carey Saunders with the help of Lucy Wharington and the team for such a wonderful performance. I would like to congratulate all involved and acknowledge the following students for their outstanding commitment to Almost, Maine:


Imogen Cottee: Narrator

Zac Moore: Pete

Zoe Heffernan: Ginette

Hunter Barrett: East

Pippin Seagren Hughes: Glory

Cody Hammock: Jimmy

Eliza Cooney: Sandrine

Alex Mathews: Waitress

Chloe Pollerd: Marvalyn

Willoby Sheezel: Steve

Tsomo Lakatsang: Gayle

Stella Sampieri: Lendall

Ben Ireland: Randy

Al Jones: Chad

Pat Cummin: Phil

Bridget Richards: Marci

Lou Lou Burton: Hope

Toby Newgreen: Man

Tabitha Plummer: Suzette, lead understudy

Ella Jones: Rhonda

Charlie Spicer: Dave


Amelia Evenden: Student Musical Director, composer, arranger, violin, flute, piano, chimes, vocals

Tayla Basso: Electric guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vibes, vocals, cello

Tabitha Plummer: Piano, vibes, vocals, clarinet, bass guitar

Rani Jones: Cello, ukulele, vocals, vibes

Milla Lee: Double bass, bass guitar, vocals, “Love You So” composer


Beth Elphinstone: Stage Manager, Poster Artwork, set painting, Bake Sale

Ella Adam: Backstage Manager

Maya Stubbs: Prop Master & Set Construction, Tattoo Artist

Anika Gay: Assistant Stage Manager

Oscar Morton: Lighting Operator

Tommy Lewis: Sound Operator

Harry Holder: AV Operator

Adelie Marshall: Animations, Fog Master

Lou Lou Burton: Fog Mistress

Cody Hammock: Fog Master

Indra Stubbs: Wardrobe Coordinator

Phoebe Azzopardi: Publicity, Marketing, Hoodie coordination, FOH usher

Bella King: Poster Artwork, FOH usher, set painting, stagehand

James Stuart Acknowledgement of Country voice over, FOH

Jake Aronleigh: Northern lights slides, Bake Sale poster design, prop & QR code design

Zac Moore: Filming, Microphone Technician

Pippin Seagren Hughes: Microphone Technician

Eliza Cooney: Catering

Lou Lou Burton: Student Photographer

True Sheridan-Grubb: Slide photoshop

Jacomo Dwyer-Morris: Student rehearsal prompt

Jet Rogers: FOH usher


Carey Saunders: Director, Producer

Lucy Wharington: Director, Musical Director

Kylie Stevenson: Technical Producer

Anthony Bingham: Audio Engineer, Technical coordinator

Amy White: Show recording for streaming, Kissing clips

Liam Matthews: Photoshop and projection clips, Hall tech

Donna Nairn: Production support, snow cradle

Marcus Butler: Set support

Alphonse Landman: Set support

Emma Cleine: Photoshop support

Adam Liddiard: Marketing, Poster support, Program

Harrison Robertson: Photographs

Winter Health

As you are aware, there is a range of viruses circulating throughout the community, and this is not unusual for this time of year. Schools find that student and staff absences increase during Term 3 as a result of illness. If your child presents with any symptoms of ill health, we would appreciate it if you could keep them at home until they are symptom-free.

We are continuing to strongly encourage the use of masks, as per the recommendation from the State Education Department and Independent Schools Victoria. For VCE students, it is particularly important to pay attention to personal hygiene, nutrition, sleep, and wearing a mask as we move towards the ‘business-end’ of the year.

I wish you the best for the last few weeks of Term 3 – stay safe and take care.

Deputy Principal – Head of Senior Campus