Letter Home

Dear Parents, Caregivers, families and friends,

​Here we are at the end of Semester 1! Thus far, many rewards, experiences and achievements by students have been acknowledged due to each student’s dedication to improve their skills and extend understandings. Well done to you all!

I have recently completed reading all students reports. A time-consuming task, I always enjoy reading about each child. I get very excited when reading about their progress that reflects their personality and special interests. We do have the privilege of spending considerable time with your children – I expect you have read your child’s report that was emailed on Friday afternoon.

Thank you, teachers and admin staff, for the hours of work that is involved in this process.

Teaching children to be good people – a very important job!

Teaching children values is one of our most important jobs. Values are the internal mechanisms that guide our behaviour. They help us to make choices, and to make judgements about what is right and wrong, good or bad, fair or unfair. While cultures differ in the emphasis they place on particular values, all people strive to live in communities where there is harmony, respect, understanding, consideration and kindness.

Learning how to develop and understand relationships is lifelong and is a big part of developing personal values. As adults, we continue to interpret and improve our interactions with others, and as parents, have a huge responsibility, as role models for our children. 

As educators, we work together to create a respectful and inclusive environment, facilitating honest and open connections with the children in our school. Conversations occur with individual children, in small groups and during class meetings. Relationship building is embedded in all elements of teaching - listening to others, in an ensemble or choir, sporting team, project work, camps, small teaching groups with children with likeminded capabilities and interests. The whole school environment provides continual practice for children to learn how to navigate their world with respect at the forefront.

We all know that parents are children’s first teachers, so it is to be expected that children will naturally turn to parents and caregivers when certain circumstances are not quite right. Children also need other reliable people in their lives, and teachers play a key role. For parents, it is important to encourage children to speak with teachers when a difficulty arises, as issues are best dealt with at the time, rather than simmering away in the background. Working together to understand situations and empower our children to make good choices, is of utmost importance.

I thank all parents and teachers for your involvement this semester. Many parents comment on the school focuses at School Meeting that provide a springboard for discussion at school and home. They are always values based, addressing school and community perspectives and issues – aspirational concepts to enable our students to be discerning and considerate of others, while striving for a better world.

Regarding our age-group at Penbank, it is just the beginning. Learning continues as students enter the adolescent years at the Senior Campus. Working in collaboration continues to be a prominent feature of their work, while developing a social conscience for the greater good .

Having two daughters go through Penbank and the Senior Campus, and now a boy in Year 12, I can only commend the school on the values that are now within them. In addition to family, the Woodleigh experience has undoubtedly shaped and influenced their decision-making, sense of self and the ability to live purposeful adult lives.

Time for a break, I congratulate and thank students and staff for their hard work. A dynamic learning community, continued development is clearly evident every day.

Relax, refresh and enjoy!

Warmest regards,