Penbank Letter Home

Dear Families and Friends,

The term has begun with great enthusiasm while venturing into new places and learning about important information that impacts our lives.

A short first week, we assembled twice to commemorate Anzac Day and to wish Mel Roper well with the upcoming birth of her baby.

ANZAC Commemoration

At each ANZAC Day Commemorative School Meeting, we learn about different aspects of that period to gain an understanding of why we observe this significant day.

As our Year 6s were to venture to Canberra the following week, it was an opportunity to introduce the students to some interesting facts. We learnt that at the time of World War 1, Australia had only been a country for 13 years. Words in songs and other contexts speak of the country being a young country, yet we know that in fact it is very old. We know our history is an ancient one, over 60,000 years old.

However, World War 1 is seen as an important moment in Australia’s history. There was a oneness that occurred during that time. It was a time where the Spirit of the Anzacs emerged. Through the sacrifices of people of Australia, the commonly held character traits of endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour and mateship transpired. We still strive for these characteristics to live on.

Commemorating ANZAC Day is a reminder that above all, we should be striving for freedom and peace for all people and all nations. Collectively, we acknowledged the sacrifices people made and still make for our country.

Farewell Mel and Welcome Britt and Julia

Coming together again to farewell Mel with the imminent birth of her baby, we expressed our sincere gratitude for the care and beautiful work she has brought to so many of our little Preppies over the past four years. Mel has been an exceptional teacher of our younger children and a most professional staff member.

It will be any day now that we will hear the news of the birth of her baby boy. At Mel’s final School Meeting, we brainstormed ideas for naming the baby. We found out that Mel has never taught a baby with this ‘mystery’ name. So, will it be… Geoffrey, Donald, Bunjil or Cash? We shall see!

Brittany French now takes on the role as Prep teacher. Along with Co-teacher Jenny Smith we have added Julia Swayne to the team. Julia’s professional background is in the area of Early Childhood education. For a number of years, Julia worked at St Leonard’s, Cornish Campus. Julia is also a Penbank/Woodleigh mum with Charlotte in Year 10, Lachie, Year 8, and Benjamin in Year 2. We warmly welcome Julia to the Penbank Campus.

Canberra Study Tour

It was my pleasure to accompany the Year 6 students to Canberra in Week 2. A week packed with many places to visit, this opportunity to learn through experience informed the children about our history and nation.

Every encounter with our guides began with an acknowledgment of the Ngunnawal clan groups, the first people of the country around the Canberra area. The students started their study tour learning about why Canberra was chosen as the site for our Capital City and how it was designed. Lake Burley Griffin was a feature providing a central place where you could clearly see the government buildings and places of interest.

Sitting in Parliament House, as though you were a parliamentarian, role playing the passing of a bill, and learning about Australia’s preferential system of voting, enabled the children to understand these sophisticated concepts in a hands-on way. Other special experiences included a morning at the War Memorial, Questacon Science Centre, the National Museum, National Gallery and the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport). A little recreation was also threaded through the week. A boat cruise and bike ride around Lake Burley was thoroughly enjoyed, along with lunch times eating in numerous beautiful parks, playing amongst the autumn leaves and kicking the footy with Mick and Pete.

In all, it was a pleasure being with the Year 6 students. I observed very engaged and interested students who fully co-operated and interacted with their teachers and guides. Always a big week to arrange, I thank Mick for his co-ordination of the program and Ashton, Franny and Pete for their diligent teaching, care and attention to the children while away.

Back at school, it is always terrific to have Troy return to take PE in Pete’s absence. Thanks Troy! Also, many thanks to Brenda K, Lorraine and staff for the support that allows us to provide such experiences to our students.


Heading into Winter, it’s time for warmer school clothing. Although there has been a delay with the new Winter pinafore, it should be in the Bounty Shop any day. Otherwise, all other items are in stock. We have been delighted with the uptake of the new Woodleigh uniform. A reminder that once the pinafore is in stock, the jumper and tights are to be worn with the pinafore only. Socks are to be worn with the skort. The feedback generally has been most positive. I thank you for supporting this change. All looking good!

To all of our beautiful, mums, nannas, grandmas and ladies who constantly spread the love and support in our lives, I do hope your Mother’s Day was a very joyful occasion. Special celebrations for Woodleigh mums and lovely ladies is to be held this Thursday. All the best for a great day out!

As Mandy Hale would say… ‘Love and live with a dash of sass!’ Enjoy!


Head of Penbank Campus