Penbank Letter Home
Well, the end of year is upon us! Congratulations to all on a most successful year of learning and adventures.
The work that happens in schools each year is phenomenal! Acknowledging the achievements of students, it is teachers that are central in providing the quality of programs that inspire our young people to learn and grow.
Recent celebrations involving the Arts have highlighted the tenacity and commitment of staff in their effort to incorporate creativity and purpose into the learning environment.
Teaching is an incredibly responsible profession, and it is with thanks to our team that the benefits to all are abundant. So, this is why we teach!
1. No two days are the same
We love the variety - working through new programs, participating in broader school experiences and working with new children and teachers each year.
2. We learn as well as teach
We dedicate ourselves to lifelong learning. We share knowledge and think deeply about ideas and concepts. We do our best to stay on top of new technologies, and learn through the experiences we provide to children. We believe in action!
3. Teaching makes a difference, with visible results
Our teachers make a real difference in students’ lives. We love kids! We love seeing the spark of understanding when we see that a child ‘gets it’! The experiences we provide can change the course of a young person’s life.
4. We have independence and autonomy
Teachers are in charge of their own classroom and specialist areas, making decisions and crafting the learning regarding what’s best for children.
5. Teaching is a highly social job
We know it’s so important to be a reliable team player and be there for children, parents and community members.
6. Teachers can work all over the world
We live and learn wherever we go, in our country or in the world.
We need the time off to develop our experiences, skills and knowledge; to prepare for the term ahead and recharge our batteries, and of course, be with our families.
8. It’s more than just a job!
We love our work because of the difference we make in the lives of the many children we teach. Through interacting with students, parents and communities from a range of different backgrounds, we gain greater understanding of our own society and experience personal growth while making a real contribution to the world we live in.
A huge thank you to all Woodleigh teachers – the Senior Campus, Minimbah and Penbank! Stunning work all round!
And for students… You all deserve a wonderful holiday too!
So… Some tips for you!
1. Be independent
Get up, washed and dressed without being reminded. Make your bed. Eat a healthy breakfast and clear away your dishes.
2. Be a helper
Take the dog for a walk (your own or a neighbour's). Do a household chore such as stacking the dishwasher.
3. Be healthy
Get some exercise; swim, surf, ride your bike, go for a walk, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and drink lots of water. Be active!
4. Be sociable
Invite a friend or friends for a play, go to a movie; play hide and seek or a board game.
5. Keep learning
Read a book most days, do a drawing, write special messages on a card, play scrabble or Uno, visit a special place like a museum, park, sporting centre or concert.
6. Have a holiday
Relax, enjoy the festivities of the season, and as with the teachers, recharge your batteries!
7. Be safe, fair and kind
Be thoughtful, grateful and respectful – be a giver!
A huge thanks to our children and families for your contribution and hard work throughout the year. In particular, I wish our Year 6 students the very best of success as they venture into the secondary years of their education.
On behalf of the Penbank team, I sincerely thank all members of our school community for your support and dedication to this wonderful school! May you all enjoy the festivities of the season, plenty of relaxation and a safe and happy holiday.
My warmest regards,
I recently travelled to the Nueva School in California to attend our first Site Director’s meeting as a member of the Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC). The MTC is an international collective of progressive schools committed to reinventing how students prepare for tertiary study, career and life. A core focus for the MTC is to reimagine the traditional secondary school transcript so that it reflects the unique skills, strengths and interests of each learner. MTC are also active advocates who are committed to changing how universities have traditionally approached student admission, with the aim of moving beyond the reduction of learning to a single metric upon completion of Year 12, in favour of a more holistic recognition of the unique learning journey of each student.
The meeting was a great opportunity to learn more about the work of the collective and connect with leaders from other progressive schools in the region. It was also fascinating to see the work that has been completed to date with the development of a digital folio that will be used to support student entry into the workforce and higher study. A particular strength of the prototype presented in the workshop was its ability to be customised to our unique context and interests as a school. In this way, the work coming out of our work with MTC will help support the eventual creation of a Woodleigh School Certificate, a digital transcript that will capture the essential elements of a Woodleigh education – the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastery of skills, the development of productive attitudes, and the ability to perform meaningful tasks in real world settings.
An added benefit of travelling to the meeting was the opportunity to visit the highly regarded Nueva School. The school recently celebrated its 50th year of operation and is acknowledged as a pioneering school in the USA in relation to social emotional learning and gifted education. The school has a focus on ‘learning by doing’ and ‘learning by caring’, with their programs having a strong emphasis on student-driven inquiry, project-based learning and a deep engagement with social justice. It was interesting to note the many similarities between our two schools in this regard, with the visit being a great chance to examine closely what innovation looks like in their dynamic learning environment.
It was an honour to be invited to speak last week at the 19th UNESCO-APEID Conference in Bangkok. The conference explored a central theme of Effective School Leadership in the 21st Century, with a particular interest in school innovation, collaborative practices and educational transformation. The event was attended by government ministers, national and regional executives, non-government organisations, school administrators, teachers and business leaders from around the world. A particular feature of the conference was its diversity, with the lectures, seminars and workshops providing a fascinating global insight into current trends, patterns, challenges and advances in each of the key focus areas.
My presentation explored new models of distributed and collaborative leadership, and the ways a collective commitment to deep learning, shared reflection and peer dialogue can help create generative spaces for experimentation, learning and change. While drawing upon a number of school and regional case studies, it was great to be able to present the practices and approaches at the heart of our work at Woodleigh School. The presentation was well received and has generated a significant amount of interest in the school, as well as an expanded scope for the development of new partnerships to support our learning programs. While we continue to grow and evolve as a school, it was great to see Woodleigh take a step forward in its vision to become a global leader in personalised learning through our contribution to this important event.
Dr Richard Owens
Head of Teaching and Learning
Congratulations to Sarah Fleming and her partner, Dutch, on the arrival of their baby daughter, Liana. All are enjoying the beautiful times together as a family.
We have more baby news with Sophie Powell and Mel Roper expecting babies early Term 2 of next year. Sophie will be a little ahead of Mel, so will commence Maternity Leave at the beginning of next year. Mel plans to commence Maternity Leave at the beginning of Term 2. Replacement staff for Sophie and Mel will be arranged early next year. Congratulations, Sophie and Mel!
What a fantastic end to Term 4! The Art Room has been buzzing with students from Year 5 visiting the Art Room at lunch times making and creating fabulous car tracks.
The Arty Market was a very successful evening and I would like to congratulate all the team at the Senior Campus for a fantastic event and to all students who contributed by making fabulous artwork.
Next year, we are planning an art exhibition to celebrate both Minimbah and Penbank children’s artworks. It will be curated by Year 11 students with an opening in the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Gallery. This will be a very exciting event, celebrating the Art curriculum at our three campuses.
Wishing all the families a restful and safe holiday,
It was great to host some senior Year 8 and Year 9 students to run workshops across the school on Friday 16th November. The senior students always do a great job engaging the Penbank children, and by the end of the day, they begin to appreciate some of the complexities of teaching! The senior students were generous with their time – playing games and face-painting during both recess and lunch.
Once again, all students were able to experience some authentic Indonesian food at Bunjil. It is always a fun-filled day to round off the language learning for the year.
Selamat hari Natal!
Thanks to Year 6 for finishing the year with some charitable book wrapping for Reading out of Poverty.
We wrapped over 200 books that will be gifted to families who are not as fortunate as us in being able to access good books.
Congratulations to the Winner and Runners-up of our Front Cover Design Competition for Reading Australia!
Year 3: Judd, Frankie and Rhyden
Year 4: Emma, Essie, Daisy and Maya
Year 5L: Jade, Emma and Tom
Year 5M: Cate, Aurelia and Tom
Our early years have enjoyed some festive reading over the last couple of weeks. Thank you to the Year 2s for making our literary love heart decorations for our celebration tree; they look beautiful!
Happy holidays, everyone; it’s been a terrific term.
P.S. Don’t forget that this Summer, after the beach, between the pages of a book, is also a lovely place to be!
Where has the year gone?!
This year, Physical and Outdoor Education has seen many amazing events, including: District Sports (Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics), Summer and Winter Lightning Premierships, Penbank and Minimbah Sport Day, Bike Education, Swimming lessons, PMP, as well as the unbelievable camping experiences such as Wilsons Prom, Canberra, Sovereign Hill, Wugubank and Golden Valley.
I am very lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive community to assist in the organisation, participation and running of these events, so a huge THANK YOU to everyone for their efforts throughout the year.
I am very much looking forward to all of these events and more next year. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and good luck to the Year 6 students in their future endeavours.
PE & Outdoor Ed Coordinator
Thank you to everyone for coming out in support of our children. I hope you agree that each of the performers at our Arts for Children @ Penbank Finale were outstanding.
The growth in confidence of the children over the weeks leading up to the Finale is evidence of the effort that the children put in. As I watched from side stage, I found myself reflecting on how the children owned every aspect of the performance. The stage-crew ran our backstage with precision and efficiency. While the on-stage performers enjoyed the lights on their faces and basked in the excitement of performing in front of a live audience.
Thank you to our wonderfully dedicated staff who ran electives and mentored the students through the development of their presentations. Your support, week in and week out, and your willingness to jump in to do anything, is most appreciated.
Bravo to all of our performers and a heartfelt thank you to all the parents who offered their skills in costuming, props and make-up.
Congratulations to the students for a wonderful, productive, beautiful music-making year!
There have been so many magical moments, with the last performances of CREATE, Perberkoong and Graduation being a wonderful representation of the creativity, persistence and fantastic teamwork that music making requires.
The Music team wish all students and families a well-deserved break! Time to go out and enjoy the festivities and music making around our wonderful city of Melbourne that provides us with so many wonderful opportunities to experience a diverse repertoire of art.
We have already had students show a desire to start private music lessons next year. We have changed the forms to be in line with our other permission forms, and have added them to CareMonkey.
Both the Private Music Tuition form and Instrumental Hire Agreement can be found in Care Central in the Form Library section of CareMonkey (top right-hand corner). It is a self-service form so will not appear in your permission form list. From the Form Library, you click on the appropriate form, complete and submit it. The relevant instrumental teacher will then be in contact to let you know when your child will be starting lessons.
Children already doing private music lessons and wish to continue next year do not need to complete a form.
Thanks and best wishes,
New school uniform Penbank and Minimbah - don’t forget your Christmas shopping!
The Penbank PE uniform will remain the same.
All for sale in The Bounty Shop NOW!
To help clear our old uniform, The Bounty Shop has lots of discounts.
- All sports uniforms
- Penbank tunics
And 20% off all Navy Penbank Schoolbags.
Dates are subject to change
- SLT return – Thursday 17 & Friday 18 January
- New staff begin (Induction) – Monday 21 & Tuesday 22 January
- All staff commence – Thursday 24 January
- Staff PL Program – Thursday 24 – Thursday 31 January
- Australia Day Holiday – Monday 28 January
- ELG/3 Introductory sessions – Wednesday 30 January
- ELG/4 & Prep Introductory sessions – Thursday 31 January
- Year 7 & 12 students commence - Thursday 31 January
- All other students begin – Friday 1 February 8.45 am
- PFG Welcome Morning Tea – Friday 1 February 9.00 am
- Penbank Information Evening – Thursday 7 February 7.00 pm
- Minimbah Information Night – Monday 11 February
- Woodleigh Senior Campus Homestead Night – Tuesday 12 February
- PFG Meeting – Tuesday 12 February 9:00 am
- Penbank Swimming Carnival – Thursday 14 Feb @ Crib Point/ Pines (TBC)
- Wilsons Prom Camp Set-up – Friday 15 February
- Year 12 OEC Wilsons Prom – Friday 15 – Sunday 17 February
WEEK 4 - Wilsons Prom Camp Week
- Wilsons Prom Camp Year 5 – Monday 19 – Friday 22 February
- Parent/Teacher interviews – Thursday 21 February
- Woodleigh Scholarship Tests – Saturday 23 February
- Parent/Teacher interviews – Tuesday 26 February
- Hackathon – Saturday 2 March
WEEK 6 – Senior Campus Homestead Camps
- District Swimming Carnival – Wednesday 6 March
- Labour Day Holiday – Monday 11 March
- PFG Meeting – Wednesday 13 March 9.00 am
- Division Swimming Carnival – Wednesday 13 March @ Pines
WEEK 8 – Cultural Diversity Week / Wugubank Week – Penbank/Miwatj visit
- Wugularr Mob arrive – Sunday 17 March
- Golden Valley Ranch Camp Year 3 & 4 – Monday 18 – Wednesday 20 March
- Harmony Day – Thursday 21 March
- Harmony Day School Meeting – Thursday 21 March 8.50 am
- Harmony Day Twilight Picnic – Thursday 21 March 5.00 – 9.00 pm
- Werribee Zoo – Wugubank Mob - Friday 22 March
- Minimbah Fair – Friday 22 March
- Wugularr Mob depart – Sunday 24 March
- Regional Swimming – Wednesday 27 March @ Pines
- Summer Lightning Premiership, Years 5 & 6 – Wednesday 3 April
- Hot Cross Bun Morning Tea – Thursday 4 April
- Cross Campus Sports Carnival – Friday 5 April
- Term 1 Ends – Friday 5 April
- Round Square Conference – Sunday 7 April – Thursday 11 April
- Good Friday – 19 April
- Easter Monday – 22 April
- Staff Professional Learning Day – Tuesday 23 April
- Term 2 commences for students – Wednesday 24 April
- ANZAC Day Holiday – Thursday 25 April
- Division Tennis Trials – Friday 26 April
WEEK 2 – Canberra Camp Year 6
- Canberra Camp Year 6 – Monday 29 April – Friday 3 May
- Body Safety Australia – Family Information Session – Tuesday 30 April 7.00–8.00 pm
- Basketball State Team Trials – Tuesday 30 April
- Netball State Team Trials – Wednesday 1 May
- AFL State Team Trials – Thursday 2 May
- Soccer State Team Trials – Friday 3 May
- Minimbah - Canberra – Monday 6 May
- WL Tour - 3–6 – Tuesday 7 May
- Body Safety Australia – Year 3–6 Tuesday 7 May
- Body Safety Australia – Prep–Year 2 Wednesday 8 May
- PFG Meeting – Tuesday 7 May 9.00 am
WEEK 4 – NAPLAN
- Mother’s Day – Sunday 12 May
- NAPLAN – Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15, Thursday 16 May
- Body Safety Australia – Year 3–6 Tuesday 14 May
- Body Safety Australia – Prep–Year 2 Wednesday 15 May
- Mothers' & Ladies' Day School Meeting – Thursday 16 May
- PFG Mothers' and Ladies' Day Out – Thursday 16 May
- Penbank Cross Country – Friday 17 May
- Body Safety Australia Year 3-6 – Tuesday 21 May
- Body Safety Australia Prep–Year 2 – Wednesday 22 May
- District Cross Country, Penbank – Wednesday 22 May
WEEK 6 – National Reconciliation Week
- Body Safety Australia – Year 3-6 – Tuesday 28 May
- Reconciliation School Meeting – Thursday 30 May 8.50 am
- Reconciliation Dinner – Thursday 30 May 7.00 pm
- Reports Correction Day – Friday 31 May
- Girls AFL / Boys Netball Gala Day – Monday 3 June
- Body Safety Australia Year 5–6 – Tuesday 4 June
- Division Cross Country, Hastings – Wednesday 5 June
- Barunga Festival NT – Friday 7 – Monday 10 June
- Queen’s Birthday Holiday – Monday 10 June
- PFG Meeting – Tuesday 11 June 9.00 am
- Student Reports distributed – Friday 14 June
- Winter Lightning Premiership, Year 5 & 6 – Monday 17 June
- Parent/Teacher Interviews – Tuesday 18 June
- Minimbah Musicale – Tuesday 18 June
- Woodleigh Musicale – Thursday 20 June
- Regional Cross Country, Hastings – Thursday 20 June
- Term 2 Ends – Friday 21 June
- Staff Professional Learning Day – Monday 15 July
- Students Commence Term 3 – Tuesday 16 July
- Sovereign Hill Camp Year 5 – Wednesday 17 – Friday 19 July
- WLP playoffs – 23–26 July
- Beanie Festival – Saturday 27 July TBC
WEEK 3 – Maths Week
- PFG Meeting – Tuesday 30 July 9.00am
- Year 12 Dinner Dance – Friday 2 August
- Penbank Year 6 and Woodleigh SC students leave for NT – Friday 9 August
WEEK 5 – Activities Week & Wugubank Week NT
- Students return from NT – Friday 16 August
WEEK 6 – Snowsports & Book Week
- Senior Campus production – Wednesday 21 August
- Book Week School Meeting – Thursday 22 August 8.50 am
- Father’s & Men’s Breakfast and School Meeting – Thursday 29 August
- Minimbah Production – Thursday 29 August
- Father’s Day – Sunday 1 September
- PFG Meeting – Tuesday 3 September 9.00am
- Camp Jungai Year 3 & 4 – Wednesday 4 – Friday 6 September
- District Athletics, Ballam Park – Thursday 12 Sept
- Parent/Teacher Interviews – Thursday 12 September
- WL Tour F–2 – Friday 13 September
- Penbank Soiree – TBC
- Parent/Teacher Interviews – Tuesday 17 September
- Year 10 Formal – Wednesday 18 September
- AFL 9s – Wed 18 September
- Term 3 Ends – Friday 20 September
- World Teachers’ Day – Saturday 5 October
- Staff Professional Learning Day – Monday 7 October
- Students Commence Term 4 – Tuesday 8 October
- Paul Dillon at Woodleigh – Tuesday 8 October
- Division Athletics, Ballam Park – 9 October
WEEK 2 – Woodleigh Arts
- Senior Campus Arts Opening – Monday 14 October
- PFG Meeting – Tuesday 15 October 9.00am
- School Meeting – Opening Arts @ Penbank – Thursday 17 October 8.50 am
- Regional Athletics, Casey Fields – Thursday 17 October
- Penbank Rock Quiz – Saturday 19 October 7.00pm
- WLP playoffs – 22–25 October
- Year 12 last day – Tuesday 22 October
- Year 12 Reflection – Wednesday 23 October 8.00 am
- Year 2 Sleepover – Thursday 24 October
- VCE Exams begin – Wednesday 30 October
- WL Tour 3 to 6 – Thursday 31 October
- PE district planning meeting – Friday 1 November
WEEK 5 – Cup Week
- Mid-Term Break – Monday 4 November
- Melbourne Cup Holiday – Tuesday 5 November
- Senior Campus Spring Musicale – Thursday 7 November
- Reports Correction Day – Friday 8 November
WEEK 6 – Penbank Arts Preparation Week
WEEK 7 – Arts @ Penbank
- Penbank Arts Finale –Wednesday 20 November 7.30pm
- Woodleigh Valedictory – Thursday 21 November
WEEK 8 – Orientation Week
- New Parents Evening (PFG Leaders to attend) – Monday 25 November 7.00pm
- Student Orientation – Tuesday 26 November 10.00 am – 11.00 am
- PFG Morning Tea for New Parents – Tuesday 26 November 9.00 am
- PFG Final Meeting – Wednesday 27 November 1.00 pm
- Perberkoong – Woodleigh End of Year Celebration – Wednesday 27 November
- Woodleigh Arty Market – Friday 29 November 4pm
- Penbank Year 6 Graduation – Wednesday 4 December 7pm
- Final School Meeting – Thursday 5 December
- ELG/4 Break-up Party – Thursday 5 December
- ELG/3 Break-up Party – Friday 6 December
- School Break-up, PFG Lunch – Friday 6 December
- Term 4 Ends – Friday 6 December
- Staff PL Day – Monday 9 December
- Staff PL Day – Tuesday 10 December
- Term 4 Ends – Wednesday 11 December