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.
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
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