A Warm Welcome to Term 2!
Greeting families, staff, students and friends,
I extend a very warm welcome to all who are a part of the Penbank and broader Woodleigh community for Term 2.
Following a very positive Term 1, we successfully managed the quota of COVID cases that affected both families and staff. I thank all parents and staff for following the guidelines that enabled us to keep our school functioning well for the complete term, including all planned events, camps and excursions.
PYP Authorisation – A very big congratulations!
During the last week of Term 1, we were also excited to be informed that the International Baccalaureate Organisation approved our school for authorisation to offer the Primary Years Program across our junior campuses. The report was comprehensive and affirming of our structures and practices recognising the strength of the school’s philosophy, values and overall educational setting.
A quote from the report:
‘Observations of learning spaces and environments across both campuses demonstrate rich opportunities and support for the implementation of the programme. All children have access to extensive outdoor and natural spaces, sport, additional language and art facilities and well-resourced libraries. Learners have ready access to a range of information technologies to support their learning. Inclusivity teachers describe a range of assistive technologies that are available for students with specific needs. The learning environments are welcoming and support diversity.’
Overall, it has been a huge project and one that continues as the PYP evolves. I congratulate all teachers on their amazing work implementing the PYP across our campuses – a huge task when you consider all that was required in bringing curriculum and staff together, especially during the past COVID two years. Change can be very challenging and requires persistence, stamina, and commitment to bring people along. I congratulate Jodie Kirchner, as PYP leader, for her expert knowledge and delivery of the PYP at Penbank and Minimbah. A terrific accomplishment.
Signs of ‘Normality’!
During the latter weeks of Term 1, we welcomed small groups of parents back into the school as volunteers and visitors at School Meeting. This term, we are delighted to be resuming school with fewer regulations. We are looking forward to seeing all parents participating in School Meeting and other events that have been planned for Term 2 and were so delighted to welcome all of our Mums, Aunties and Nannas to our second School Meeting in celebration of Mother’s Day. Many of them ventured onto a Woodleigh Mother’s Day Luncheon at the Merricks Store, which was a much needed coming together of our mums. Such a treat!
Masks are now only required for students and staff who are a close contact, but other than that, it feels like a more ‘normal’ back to Penbank. So refreshing!
Holiday happenings were an anticipated pleasure for school families. At our first School Meeting, we looked at the many destinations our families travelled across our vast land.
All states were visited, and there were families who ventured across the water, even as far away as South Africa. Many children shared their enjoyment of going to Melbourne and northern parts of the state, such as Bright. In all, this time of year is a delightful holiday time. It was also an opportunity for many families to catch up with each other. Having been apart for way too long, I trust you all enjoyed a most relaxing and enjoyable break.
For me, I was delighted to spend a week with the Beswick community and Wugularr School. I was especially excited to introduce our Principal, David Baker, to the community and school staff. Together, we were able to plan our visit to Wugularr for our Year 6 students and set in motion both schools’ aspirations to proceed with our school exchanges. Meetings with Wugularr School Council members and staff affirmed the values the schools share in providing opportunities that broaden horizons for all. David also shared the experience with his daughter, Amy, which was undoubtedly an awe-inspiring adventure.
As you read this Letter Home, our Year 6 teachers and students will have just returned from their Canberra Study Tour. Expeditions and camps such as the visit to Canberra, promote personal development and extend learning when students move from their everyday environment to a place of experience, growth and understanding. These times build character and explore personal boundaries and interactions that extend friendships and build better relationships. The Canberra Study Tour and Wugubank NT are incredibly powerful experiences for our students. We are delighted they are back!
All Woodleigh staff participated in a Cultural Immersion Training with Tasneem Chopra at the commencement of the term. Tasneem is an experienced Cross-Cultural Consultant and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainer. Passionate about female representation and an anti-racism champion, Tasneem’s work has been widely published in journals and anthologies. Tasneem often presents on national television, radio, and significant events providing expert perspectives related to diversity, gender, people of colour, and social justice and cohesion.
Significantly impacted by Tasneem’s presentation, as a school, we aspire to provide an inclusive space for students, ensuring feelings of acceptance, value and self-worth as an individual, being seen, listened to and heard.
In doing so, we look forward to IDAHOBT Day and National Reconciliation Week this term.
IDAHOBIT Day – Rainbows in Schools
This week, Thursday, 19th May, Woodleigh School is celebrating IDAHOBIT Day.
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia.
At the Junior Campuses, IDAHOBIT provides an opportunity to encourage children to reflect, share and discuss the diversity that they already engage with in their school, families and broader community. It engages with the school’s values of respect for self and others. It provides an opportunity to build understanding and knowledge about inequality and the processes that lead to discrimination and exclusion. Expressed through colours of the rainbow, we will host a dress-up day that will include badge making and heartfelt art. Dress ups may include colourful ribbons, rainbow designs or colourful clothes and shoes.
National Reconciliation Week – 27 May to 3 June
The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, ‘Be Brave. Make Change’ is a challenge to all Australians – individuals, families, communities, organisations and government – to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation, so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.
It is with pleasure Woodleigh School will be hosting a number of events across the week. I am very excited that we will be launching the School’s Reconciliation Action Plan RAP at an event held at the Senior Campus on Wednesday 1 June. Including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guests, speakers and artists. We are looking forward to involving our school community in this very important commitment to reconciliation. A time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia, I encourage you to put this important date into your calendar.
Cross Country Events – Change to Penbank Cross Country date NOW Monday 16 May
Term 2 is a time for lots of running. A very big thank you to PE teacher, Peter McGettigan for arranging PERCY, the Penbank Running Club. These gatherings on a Tuesday and Thursday morning before school, are enabling keen runners, both parents and kids, to prepare for these events. We have a date change for the Penbank Cross Country due to NAPLAN clashes – change from Tuesday 17 May to Monday 16 May.
NAPLAN is an annual assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It tests the types of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. The tests cover skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy. The assessments are undertaken every year in the second full week in May. At Penbank, NAPLAN commenced Tuesday 10 May for students in Year 3 and Year 5 and concludes this week, Wednesday 18 May.
On behalf of the Penbank staff and community, I welcome all new families and children who have joined our campus this term. It has been a terrific first few weeks of the term with children loving being at school and making new friends.
We look forward to involving you in the upcoming events and school programs.
Deputy Principal – Head of Penbank Campus
Conveyance Allowance only applies to students attending the Woodleigh Campus located at Langwarrin South and students attending the Penbank Campus located at Moorooduc. These families can get help with the cost of transporting their children to their nearest school or campus. The conveyance allowance is a contribution towards transport costs and is not intended to cover the full cost and is available to students travelling by public transport, private car and private bus.
The Victorian Minister for Education has amended the definition of the closest appropriate school/campus (Instrument of Specification). This may impact some of our families who have been unable to make a claim in the past or deemed ineligible.
Both Woodleigh School and Bayside Christian College are registered the same and classified as same type schools. Therefore, previously if you lived closer to Bayside Christian College you would have been deemed ineligible to receive the conveyance allowance. However, parents can now apply for consideration by providing a “signed letter” to the school why the closest school of the same denomination is not appropriate for their child. You must include your child’s name and demonstrate the below points:
- The student does not belong to, or associate with, the school’s particular religion, or engage in religious activity associated with the school’s religious doctrines; and
- The relevant school’s compulsorily requires its students to engage in religious activity associated with that religion or religious doctrines.
The Department of Education and Training will review individual applications on their merits. Please note that you must still meet the main criteria listed below.
Completed conveyance application forms must be signed by the parent or guardian (page 4) must and submitted to the School.
If you have previously submitted a form and there is no change to mode of transport or address details you are not required to complete a new form for 2022.
New forms must be completed for students attending the School for the first time or existing conveyance allowance claimants who have a change of circumstances affecting eligibility. For example:
- Moving residence or changing their mode of transport;
- Changing schools/campuses. Ie Penbank Campus to Senior Campus
The Department of Education and Training’s main criteria for student eligibility is:
- The School attended is the nearest appropriate school. (or attach a supporting letter as per above)
- The student resides more than 4.8kms from the school by the shortest practicable route.
- Students are of school age 5 – 18 years and enrolled at school for 3 or more days per week.
To apply for a conveyance allowance, parents are required to complete the appropriate forms.
- Travel by contract bus: “Conveyance Allowance Application – Private Bus Travel”
- Travel by myki bus: “Conveyance Allowance Application – Public Transport Travel". Must provide prove of purchase ie copy of receipt or ticket.
- Travel by car: “Conveyance Allowance Application – Private Car Travel” will need to be completed for each student, listing all students travelling in the nominated vehicle.
- Combined travel: Each appropriate form will need to be completed as above, e.g. drive further than 4.8km to catch public transport (Private Car/Public Transport).
Please note for Woodleigh Campus families: If you live within 4.8km of public transport (ie one of our myki buses) and choose to travel by private bus or car you will not be eligible to claim the conveyance allowance.
The School will lodge 4 claims a year (1 per Term) with the Department of Education and Training. The Department will reimburse the school and the allowance will be credited to your fee account in instalments. Completed applications need to be received by Friday May 20, 2022 to be included in the first claim.
- Contract Bus Reimbursement is determined on the basis of the shortest practicable route from the student’s residence to the school and not the actual distance travelled in the bus.
- Public Transport The cost of fares are fully refundable.
- Private Car Reimbursement is made on the basis of the one-way distance travelled per vehicle and the number of students in that vehicle. Payment is made to the family operating the vehicle.
If you have any queries please contact Robyn Kent on 5971 6100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are motivational speakers, and then there's Mandy McCracken.
A simple bug resulted in the sepsis that took Mandy's limbs. Waking from a coma as a quadruple amputee, it would have been understandable had she fallen in a heap. But she chose a different mindset.
"I decided to laugh my way through. I named each thing that I had attached to me. My tracheotomy was Trevor, my bed, Harley because it had wheels, and down the track, I named my arms Alana and Alan after my prosthetists. My new legs are Stan Ding and Neil Ling."
Mandy visited our Penbank Year 3 and 4 students last week to talk with them about how innovations in technology change the way people live, her own experience, her zest for life, and why mindset is an important part of how we live our lives.
Thank you, Mandy, for sharing your stories with us and for sharing Alana and Alan too.
We're proud to be Friends of Mandy.
We like hands-on, experiential learning here at Woodleigh.
So when our Penbank Preps are looking at How The World Works for their Term 2 Unit of Inquiry, it makes sense that we'd organise a visit from Hands On Science to help us unravel the scientific mysteries of nature's life cycles.
Inquiry-based, experiential learning is the perfect way to nurture passions and talents in young children.
Words can be hurtful. They can be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, or discriminatory. Yet the use of derogatory and offensive language on the streets, on social media and streaming services, and in music lyrics can normalise, glamorise, and sanitise their meaning. For young people, this influence can be significant, and if left unchecked, that influence can be quite damaging.
The use of derogatory language or the act of swearing at someone or about someone is a form of verbal violence. It transgresses the usual rules of social interaction by affecting an individual's self-image and sense of dignity. Therefore, many schools enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding such language.
Parents and carers play an important role in building an understanding of language use and its effect by monitoring what their children are exposed to and discussing the use of words and their origin. This can help prevent inappropriate or disrespectful language from being used at school, online and in other situations.
Whilst some students may use offensive and derogatory language for attention-seeking purposes, others may use it simply because they are still learning how to moderate their language. As young people develop their language skills, they need to clearly understand the impact of their choice of words on others and how their words can impact other people's perspective of them - an important and essential skill to learn as they progress in their personal and professional development.
The everyday indignities, insults, and subtle acts of exclusion that members of marginalised groups endure in their routine interactions with people from all walks of life, including at school, are also known as microaggressions. Microaggressions come in many forms; verbal & non -verbal, overt & covert, direct & indirect.
Microaggressions can target any marginalised group identity, such as race, socioeconomic, gender, sexuality, nationality, citizenship, ability, etc. and can cause students to experience serious cognitive, behavioural, and emotional reactions, making it very difficult for them to learn.
These remarks and behaviours happen casually and often without any intended harm, but they do demonstrate that the initiator harbours an unconscious bias. Meanwhile, the person on the receiving end who belongs to the group discriminated against – be it because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religion – is often left to suffer in silence.
As someone who wants to be a good ally to marginalised groups of young people who, as evidence reports, are overrepresented in their experiences of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide compared to the general population, how can we do better as a community?
- How do i/you/we apologise after committing a microaggression?
- How and when should i/you /we try to make amends?
- And what's the best way to ensure that i/you/we do better in the future?
Be aware of implicit bias and stereotypes & where that can lead.
Calling In vs Calling Out
There are moments when "calling someone out" is appropriate to stop words or actions that are actively hurting someone. But, often, it's effective to instead "call someone in." When we call someone in, we acknowledge we all make mistakes. We help someone discover why their behaviour is harmful and how to change it. And we do it with compassion, kindness and patience.
These conversations can be difficult, but I have come across a 5-step communications approach -- the B.U.I.L.D model – to help navigate these challenging conversations.
The first step of calling someone in is to have their best interest in hand while holding them accountable. Approach the conversation with respect and kindness yet remain firm in communicating the impact of their actions.
This approach helps create psychological safety. People feel respected and not on guard, thus more open to feedback and change. By giving them the benefit of the doubt, they know you have their back. You create the climate for vulnerability, mutual trust and respect. This is the foundation of inclusive communication.
Practice deep listening to understand the facts of the situation, as well as the feelings and values of the individual. This will help you gain insight into the intentions behind their actions. This step requires listening in a way we don't often do in everyday life. As you listen, also be aware of your own biases and assumptions, as they can affect your understanding of the other person's intensions, feelings, and values.
Get off autopilot and engage with curiosity – not pre-judgement – as your guide.
Take on the mindset of an investigative journalist by asking non-leading "what" and "how" questions: "What was your intention when you said ...?"
"How might the other person view this situation?"
"Tell me more."
The goal of calling someone in is to help them evolve. Acknowledge that mistakes happen. Correcting them requires expanding our reference points and understanding different perspectives and experiences.
If someone calls you out, think before you react. First, thank the person for sharing this valuable feedback with you. Second, think about their input. What does it mean? What will you do with it? Third, respond positively. Fourth, act on what you learn.
This is when you put it all together into action. Often, the action includes providing constructive feedback and saying what needs to be said to the right person, at the right time and right place, respectfully, accurately, and clearly.
We can all benefit from being reminded that inclusion is a continuous, all-in practice, and "calling-in" conversations are one step forward in the right direction. Inclusion and belonging are key predictors of academic success and social and emotional resilience.
To develop and strengthen a culture that celebrates diversity and inclusion at Woodleigh, one where values and traditions learned through our community are shared, where social rules of behaviour and respect for self, others and the environment is the expectation, and not the exception, where everyone can flourish, let's call it in together.
Register for our upcoming Woodleigh P.E.P talk with Nevo Zisin on Wednesday 18th May @ 7pm (via zoom).
Director of Counselling
The cast and crew of this year’s senior production, ‘Almost, Maine’, are excited to be able to give you an update about the school play. We have achieved a great deal in just two months, and we are on track to film a version that can be screened (as a Covid backup). In addition to weekly rehearsals at lunchtimes and after school, students have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes. Traditionally, staff have been responsible for finding props, making and painting the set, making or sourcing costumes, and writing or arranging the music. In this production, we have set out to empower and mentor students to take on each of these roles.
Set and Props
Maya Stubbs Y10 has sourced all the set pieces and props, and in true Woodleigh style, the cast and crew all lent a hand in the last two weeks of term and had a lot of fun helping to paint everything.
Indra Stubbs Y10 has worked with staff and the cast to finalise the costumes needed for the show. She has left no stone unturned, sourcing snow boots, ski goggles, a moth-eaten jumper and a tatty old coat. A big thanks to Zoe Heffernen Y9 for lending us some of the more specialised snow gear.
Photoshop projected backdrop
Jake Aronleigh Y11 has sourced copyright-free images and manipulated them for the series of night sky and northern light projected backdrops. Emma Cleine has kindly supported this process, working in PhotoShop to enhance the snowy scene and vibrant light effects.
Carey Saunders and Kylie Stephenson have finalised the lighting design, creating the lighting states for each scene, ready for us to film.
Tommy Lewis Y11 has collected the majority of the sound effects for the show and is working with Anthony Bingham to create ambient bar noise for the ‘Sad and Glad’ scene.
The northern lights “Magical Moment” vocal music was composed partway through last term. The Hall Tech students recorded the student musicians and mixed the sound to create a magical motif.
Milly Evenden Y11 has worked incredibly hard as the Student Musical Director. She has used the weekly lunchtime music rehearsals to shape and polish the 14 pieces of music composed for the show. All the music is original and it features the incredible musical talents of Rani Jones Y9, Milla Lee Y9, Tabi Plummer Y10, and Tayla Basso Y12.
Milla Lee Y9 has also written the lyrics and melody to a very beautiful and catchy song, ‘Love You So’, that will be recorded in the next couple of weeks. Keep an ear out for it. It will be featured in an upcoming Messenger and will be able to be found on Woodleigh’s social media.
Amy White is creating a short montage of kisses (from film and television) that will be played each time a couple need to kiss in a scene. This allows the production to be COVID safe for the actors!
Adelie Marshall Y12 has almost completed the animated snow globe titles for each scene. These add an extra magical element to the play. Adelie has also created a fabulous short animation that we’ll use to promote the show later this term. Keep an eye out on social media for it.
This will be an uplifting performance that is rated PG, and we are excited to announce that tickets are now on sale! The students are incredibly proud of their work. Book your seats now and support live theatre.
CAREY SAUNDERS & LUCY WHARINGTON
Photos by Lou Lou Burton Y12BOOK NOW
Live theatre is back at Woodleigh!
The Year 12 Drama Class of 2022 is presenting their VCE Ensemble Drama performance,
‘Christmas Downunder’ is an original piece of theatre devised by the students. It is an entertaining, family-friendly show focusing on different perspectives of Christmas.
Seating is limited. Book your tickets today and don’t miss out!
Gold coin entry – all proceeds to our Community Partnerships.Book Now