- From the Principal
- From the Head of Campus: Welcome back!
- From the Head of Campus: Car Park Safety
- From the Head of Staffing / VCE Coordinator
- Year 7-12 Parent–Student–Teacher Interviews 2019
- Woodleigh approved as an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme candidate school
- Sport News
- Woodleigh Triathlon – Term 1 News
- Greetings from Patagonia in southern Chile – Mr Young
- Important Changes for Students Using Public Transport
- Homestead Night – Tuesday 12 February 7pm
- Join us! Parent Lunch – Friday 22 February
From the Principal
Welcome back to 2019. We hope that you have had a wonderfully refreshing break and an opportunity to connect properly with family and friends over the festive season.
We very much look forward to the year ahead with much excitement around our official recognition as an IB Candidate School for the PYP and MYP Programmes. This will be a great opportunity for the school to strengthen the structure of our learning programs and place a particular emphasis on experiential and holistic learning.
I would like to acknowledge the work of our Maintenance teams over the break, who have upgraded facilities on all campuses with a new fence around the ECC at Minimbah Campus, new toilets for students at Penbank Campus, and the commencement of complete repainting of the whole Senior Campus. In addition, we have a new gymnasium floor surface at the Senior Campus, a further roll out of more air-conditioning for learning spaces and a new wifi network across the school providing speedier access for students and staff.
Class of 2018
As you will recall I wrote to you all in December acknowledging our outstanding VCE results. I am delighted to advise that Ruby Crofts is our Dux of 2018 with a score of 99.2 – and we were delighted that over 44% of our cohort received an ATAR of 80 or above. I am also pleased to advise that the VCAA have acknowledged a number of our students in their Seasons of Excellence exhibitions. Liv Mauerhofer, Maddy Kaindel and Ellie Norman have had their work shortlisted for the upcoming 2019 Top Arts Exhibition at the NGV. Ellie Norman has also had her Visual Communication folio shortlisted for the Top Designs exhibition that will run at the Melbourne Museum from Saturday 30 March to Sunday 14 July. The Melbourne Recital Centre stage will feature Oly Bugg performing his VCE Music Drum piece, John Coltrane’s Equinox at the Top Class MUSIC concert on Tuesday 19 March, whilst Griffin Imer's interactive Media Studies folio piece will be displayed at the Top Designs exhibition at the Melbourne Museum from Saturday 30 March to Sunday 14 July.
We welcome a number of new staff to our school this year as we move to implement the MYP and PYP International Baccalaureate Programmes. I am delighted to announce the leadership of these areas with the appointment of Jodie Kirchner as Deputy Head of Teaching and Learning – PYP Coordinator. Jodie will work across both Minimbah and Penbank campuses leading the academic learning program in this part of our school. Also joining our team is Lucy Kane, the Deputy Head of Teaching and Learning – MYP Coordinator. Lucy will be leading the academic learning program in Years 7-9 at our Senior Campus and working in conjunction with both Jodie and our Head of Teaching and Learning, Dr Richard Owens, to implement the IB framework which promises to provide a strengthening of the structures around the learning within our school and further support the experiential delivery of the learning programs. We also welcome Amy White, Deputy Head of Teaching and Learning – Senior Secondary. Amy will work on the development of the senior secondary pathways which we look forward to expanding in order to acknowledge students' passions and interests in line with our development of a more personalised education for our students.
We also welcome at Minimbah Jonathan Crouch, Alexis Tame and Jacqui Wishart to the teaching team, supported by Tahlia Irvine and Heather Whitehead, ECC Assistants, and Jo Jillett, Educational Support Assistant.
At Senior Campus we welcome David Benton as our new Head of Science, Billie McCarthy – AFL Trainee, Bernadette Piekacz – Administration Support, Megan Temby – Provisional Psychologist, Indra Townsend – Provisional Psychologist, Julianna Wyld – Educational Support Assistant and Michelle Parry – Laboratory Manager.
The Dunkley Shield
On the first day of term, we were pleased to host Chris Crewther, MP, who came to the school to present the Dunkley Shield. The Dunkley Shield recognises the outstanding contribution of a student to the life of the school and encourages leadership and community involvement. We were delighted to award this shield to Charlotte Swayn (Year 10, 2019).
Parent Information Evenings
As we commence the year, I would encourage all parents to attend the campus information nights with the first of these on Thursday 7 February at Penbank Campus, followed by Monday 11 February at Minimbah Campus and Homestead Night on Tuesday 12 February at Senior Campus. These are critical evenings for parents to hear about the upcoming program for the year ahead. They also provide a wonderful opportunity to meet staff and other members of the community with whom you are sharing the educational journey of your children.
Communicating with you in the case of an emergency
Please note that we have a number of ways in which we will be able to communicate with you in the instance of an emergency:
- Via our website: www.woodleigh.vic.edu.au
- Via a bulk email or SMS notification (if we have your email addresses/mobile numbers).
- Notifications on Facebook.
- Via our Emergency Telephone Information Line (5971 6155). This is a recorded service only and will contain key information in the case of an emergency, such as a bushfire.
IMPORTANT: BUSHFIRE SAFETY PROCEDURES
As we are all very aware, the risk of bushfire is again high this summer. The system to rate fire danger is now consistent across Australia. In particular, the top Fire Danger Rating (FDR – see details below) is ‘Code Red’ with no qualification.
Fire Danger Rating
The Fire Danger Rating predicts how a fire would behave if one started, including how difficult it would be to put out – the higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions. The rating is your trigger to act, so to stay safe you need to stay aware of the Fire Danger Rating in your district.
During the fire season, the Fire Danger Rating will feature in weather forecasts and be broadcast on radio and TV and appear in some newspapers. It can also be found on the CFA home page (www.cfa.vic.gov.au) and on the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Bureau of Meteorology websites or by calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 226 226.
The school takes part in annual audits of its fire safety preparedness. All of our campuses are in or are surrounded by tracts of bush that expose us to elevated risk on ‘Code Red’ and ‘Catastrophic’ days. Furthermore, most of our bus routes travel through fire prone areas and many families live in fire prone areas, and the Mornington Peninsula is generally rated a high risk zone.
All campuses of Woodleigh School will be closed on any day in which a ‘Code Red’ fire warning is declared for the Central Forecast District in Victoria. NO services will be provided on such days (i.e. there will be no teaching staff in attendance) and each family will need to make their own decisions about what to do on the basis of their own specific circumstances (e.g. families in rural areas may consider relocating their children into safer urban areas, possibly off the Peninsula). Please advise your workplaces that on these days you will need to be making arrangements to accommodate your children.
This will happen automatically whenever a ‘Code Red’ day is called for the Central District. You must remain alert to media announcements on days where there is a potential risk, and you should NOT assume the school will contact you to confirm this: the closure will be automatic. It is important to check that the ‘Code Red’ applies to the Central Forecast District (which includes Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula) and not other districts.
On days of ‘Extreme’ Fire Danger (one level down from ‘Code Red’) for the Central Forecast District, the school will remain open but may have modified programs at some or all levels.
On days of lower danger (e.g. ‘Severe’ or lower), the School will operate normal programs. If, however, an emergency situation should develop unexpectedly during any day, we have detailed procedures in place to deal with this – set out below. It is most important you discuss your family’s personal bushfire plans with your children.
In providing this information, I don’t wish to seem alarmist, but the bushfire threat on the Peninsula is real. I hope this information reassures you that we have detailed procedures in place for your children’s safety.
We will also rehearse emergency fire drills with all students in the early days of the school year and again once a term during the year, so that all know exactly what to do in the case of a real threat.
In an emergency during the school day, Minimbah students will evacuate to the Hall initially, where they can take cover or be bussed out, depending on the situation. Similarly, Woodleigh and Penbank students will evacuate to the campus Gymnasium. We will keep students in our care until released into parents’ care or until we are advised by the authorities that the danger is over, however long this may take.
I sincerely hope none of this is needed in the months ahead.
I very much look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming information sessions and wish you all a great start to 2019.
Welcome back, everyone! It’s been a wonderful start to the year, and at our first Assembly last Friday we celebrated the smooth start that our Year 7s have made in particular. It was fantastic to see their participation in the Junior Homestead Swimming Carnival on Monday, and also to see the support of all students for the day.
I was lucky enough to spend most of the holidays in Europe, supporting the French exchange program. During my time in France I reflected on the incredible range and scope of our end-of-year programs and I wanted to spend some time at the start of our new school year in celebrating that. The French exchange program was just one of a range of ‘Broadening Horizons’ experiences on offer at the end of the year. At our staff briefing on Wednesday, Mark Adams shared a short film made by student Griffin O’Neill documenting his time in Cambodia and Woodleigh’s partnership with the Chumkriel Language School, which continues to deepen and strengthen. Simultaneously we had students participating in our inaugural NASA trip, the Ampilatwatja immersion in the Northern Territory and Middle Kinglake camp as well as a host of other camps. Woodleigh’s ongoing relationship with Middle Kinglake is particularly poignant as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday fires this week. Many of our end-of-year initiatives are new or recent innovations but we finished the year with a bang with the Arty Market, ‘Life Through a Lens’ program, STEM Day for Years 7 and 8, Leadership Day for Year 9s, and the ‘Perberkoong’ service – all highly successful.
Last Friday’s Assembly with students was an opportunity to welcome our new arrivals as well as to highlight just some of the opportunities our students have here. We are currently joined by a number of students from schools in Peru, South Africa, Canada and Germany as part of the Round Square exchange program. This is yet another incredible opportunity for our students as their exchange buddies reciprocate the visits. While I was in Europe I enjoyed sharing the Woodleigh story in multiple forums and schools, including ‘Ecolint’, the International School of Geneva. This is an exciting time for the school, as we heard in December from the International Baccalaureate that we have now formally been accepted for candidacy as an IB World School. Our Director of Outdoor Education, Andrew Peach, and I have also been asked to present to a global audience at the IB Regional Conference in Hong Kong in March. This is a huge achievement for a school not yet at candidate stage and a massive tribute to our programs.
We look forward to seeing you all at Homestead Night on Tuesday to help officially launch 2019. We have made some changes to the format of the evening to help support parents of Year 7 and 8 students particularly, with some sessions on camps but also concurrent workshops on the ‘Flourishing at School Survey’, ‘Support at School/Use of SEQTA’ and ‘Strength-based parenting’.
I'd also like to congratulate Lachie Waite and Adam Liddiard, as the Hattah: Desert, Dust, Discovery video produced last year was short-listed for Best Documentary at the Peninsula Film Festival. Unfortunately they didn't win, but the nomination is a great credit to their talent and Woodleigh's outstanding Camps Program.
Finally, I ask all parents to please read the guidance on school drop off and pick ups.
Many thanks and see you on Tuesday evening.
Head of Senior Campus
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As we have a number of new families joining our community, I would like to provide guidance on the school drop off and pick up arrangements to help ensure the safety of everyone. Your support of our procedures is crucial so we ask that you please read and support these guidelines. We also ask that drivers follow the instructions of staff on duty at the crossings at all times.
Please adhere to the general procedures for school drop off and pick up:
- We request that parents and students please limit their speed to 10kph in the driveway and 5kph across Cruden Oval.
- For parents using the car parking adjacent to Cruden Oval, please take note of the cones that staff on duty will deploy at these peak times.
- Please do not park out on Golf Links Road – this is dangerous as it forces students to be crossing a busy road at pick-up time, which is totally unnecessary. We know it is more time-consuming to come into the school, but the road outside is actually quite complex at times with cars waiting to turn into the school and this presents a real danger to students. As there is no crossing outside the school, we do not supervise this area.
- In order to ease traffic congestion at pick-up times please adhere to the no right turn instructions for cars at school pick-up time (3.45–4.15pm) to help reduce congestion. We request that parents turn left and utilise the Warrandyte Rd/Baxter-Tooradin Rd roundabout please.
- We also request that students are not dropped off or collected outside the Gym.
- We would like to encourage parents waiting for students during drop-off and pick-up to please switch off your engines as you wait. You may be aware that the federal government is considering introducing anti-idling laws proposed to cut harmful vehicle emissions. In light of our core values of Respect for Self, Others and the Environment, we encourage parents to turn their engines off to help reduce the levels of noxious chemicals, including sulphur and diesel particles.
- Drive into one of the angled slots, pick up, and use the slip lane to get out quickly.
- If the angled slots are taken, drive forward to the top and park in the indicated parallel lane. Move forward into an angled slot when possible, or drive forward and out when you are able to.
- If all parking spots are taken please find a space in the rear car park. Alternatively make a circuit until an angled parking spot becomes available.
- Please do not block the driveway entrance as our buses need to enter without obstruction in order to pick up our students, and they have a tight schedule to maintain.
- We ask students to all use the pedestrian crossing for drop off in the morning and pick up at night. Can we please request that parents encourage their children to use the crossing too.
Many thanks for your support.
Head of Senior Campus
My very best wishes to all Woodleigh VCE students (and parents) for a successful and rewarding year ahead.
During the Year 11 and 12 Orientation Week last year all VCE students began their 2019 studies and were set holiday homework tasks to complete ready for submission Day 0, 2019. The first official day for all VCE Unit 3 and 4 students was Thursday 31 January. On this day we ran a special 6-lesson timetable so that students had one lesson in each of their subjects.
During the first weeks of 2019 I will update all senior students about VCE rules, policies and terminology etc. and direct them to the VCE Manual (published on SEQTA). We will also complete official VCE Enrolment forms and related paperwork.
I have summarised a number of the most important issues below and will address some of the main issues at the upcoming Homestead Night – Tuesday 12 February:
SACs and SATs
All studies include, as part of their assessment, SACs (School Assessed Coursework) and/or SATs (School Assessed Tasks – only in studies where models or products are produced). Both SACs and SATs are internally set and marked. In addition, all studies have externally set and marked examination(s). SACs are moderated against examination performance to ensure equality across schools. The ‘achievement of outcomes’ is used to determine satisfactory completion in all studies; all studies have 4–6 outcomes that must be ‘achieved’ to a ‘minimum standard’. SACs are completed mainly during class time. This means that it is very important for students to be in class both to satisfy outcomes and to complete scheduled SACs.
A calendar of dates, including SACs, SATs and examinations will be published and distributed to all VCE Unit 3 and 4 students during Week 1, Term 1. It will also go up on SEQTA.
Students and parents should be aware of the following policies (in particular) in relation to the VCE.
VCE students are expected to attend at least 80% of scheduled classes (the only exception to this will be for legitimate, documented reasons, for example ongoing illness). Students who do not attend enough classes may not be eligible for an ‘S’ rating in the subject involved. The usual method for notifying the school of an absence, that is ringing Reception on the morning of the absence, is necessary at all year levels. This is especially important if a student will be absent on the day of a scheduled SAC/SAT (see following).
Special Provision Policy
At Units 3 and 4, school-based Special Provision for missed SACs/SATs will be granted only for those students who have a Medical Certificate (or similar official documentation) that covers the class(es) missed. Students should see me as soon as they return to school to make arrangements to complete the SAC/SAT missed. At Units 1 and 2, students may apply for an extension of time for an assessment task so long as we have official parent notification that covers the class(es) missed. Teaching staff will ensure that students have written advice on important assessment dates and so will be able to satisfy these conditions for Special Provision.
Students should refer to the SAC/SAT Calendar as this calendar will allow all students (and parents) to see exactly when assessment is scheduled to take place, and, if necessary, to obtain the necessary medical documents to apply for Special Provision (see above). The calendar will be updated periodically (as needed) and placed on SEQTA.
Ongoing Special Provision
*If you believe that any medical, physical, emotional or environmental situation has, or will, disadvantage you/your student in the completion of the VCE please come and speak to me ASAP. It is essential that I be kept up to date on issues – this way I can ensure that students receive support and are aware of all options regarding Special Provision.
VCAA Special Provision: SEA (Special Examination Arrangements)
*SEA (Special Examination Arrangements) may be granted for students who have Severe Health Impairments, Physical Disability or Language/Learning Disorders that may impact on examination performance. Please see me ASAP if you wish to discuss the relevant requirements. These applications are due to VCAA by 1 March. I have sent all students I think will qualify an email already (at the end of 2018) and will continue to follow up.
VCE Subject Changes
All VCE subject changes MUST be made through Mrs Bolch or me. Subject changes do require students to bring a signed note from home before we process the change. Students must continue to attend their allocated class until this paperwork is completed. Late subject changes are not recommended due to the requirement that students catch up on any missed SACs/SATs as well as all subject material they may have missed etc. If a student is unsure that they have made a wise subject choice they should speak with Mrs Bolch or myself ASAP. Note that the VCAA has strict cut off dates for subject changes – these are listed in the student manuals. All subject changes for Semester 1 must be completed by the end of Week 4 at the very latest.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or you wish to discuss any VCE matters.
Year 9-10 Subject Changes
Ms Tracey Glen is handling all subject changes for students at Years 9-10 level. Please contact her if you wish to investigate any possible subject changes at these year levels.
VCE Results 2018
We celebrate the achievements of every one of our 2018 Year 12 students. For some of these students it was the completion of an unscored VCE, for some a transition to an Apprenticeship, a TAFE course and for many, a scored VCE (and resulting ATAR) were what they required to undertake the next part of their learning journey.
Student wellbeing and meeting the personalised needs of each individual is our key focus throughout the entire secondary journey, including Year 12, and so being able to celebrate the fact that so many of our students achieved highly (as was their goal) is part of the VCE success picture.
I want to acknowledge all of the Year 7-10 and VCE teachers who have worked with our students. There were some truly outstanding achievements and not all of these are represented by the top scores. My gratitude, in particular, extends to all of these staff who have worked with our unscored students, not only this year but over their full secondary journey, to ensure they successfully completed their VCE.
I also must pay tribute to Gina Bolch. Gina spent multiple full days once results were released ringing every student in our Year 12 co-hort to offer her help and advice through the Change of Preference process. There were only a few students who did not already have a sufficient back up plan in place thanks to the one-on-one interviews she has with every student throughout Term 3, however, when this was the case, she helped them plan a new pathway. Gina’s care for our students is simply awesome – and she is the one who has the difficult conversations with students when their ATAR outcome is not what they had hoped for. Her efforts extend well beyond what I believe that any other school does and I thank her profusely.
I look forward to supporting all students, but particularly our Senior students through their secondary journey.
Very best wishes for a great 2019.
Staffing Term 1, 2019
We have a number of staff on leave during Term 1. All parents and students have been advised by email of the arrangements in place to cover the following staff:
Michael Paxino – Long Service Leave – we thank Bill Higgins, Sam Lewis, Danielle McDonald and Debs Kesterson for covering the majority of Michael’s load.
Lucy Wharington – Long Service Leave – covered by Carey Saunders, Head of Drama.
Deb Agar – Long Service Leave – Weeks 1-5 of Term 1. Thank you to Christina Brown, Head of Maths, for covering my class and to Laurent Julicher, Director of Senior Homestead, for covering the SAC rescheduling. I will still be in one day a week over this time to ensure that VCE paperwork and other coordination duties are completed, however, please bear with me if email replies are slow, and contact Reception if your query is urgent.
Head of Staffing and VCE Co-ordinator
You will receive (by email) closer to Camp Week, invitations to attend the relevant year level Parent–Student–Teacher Interview afternoon(s)/evening. These are due to be held on:
- Thursday 21 March 9.00am – 8.30pm and/or*
- Tuesday 26 March 4.00pm – 8.30pm
- Thursday 12 September 9.00am – 8.30pm and/or*
- Tuesday 17 September 4.00pm – 8.30pm
Note that students will NOT be required at school for classes on the full day(s) of interviews.
At all year levels, we will be using the PTOnline system for booking interviews.
More information explaining the system will be included in the email, as will your unique login name and code. We will include a location map so that you can decide if you wish to factor in breaks between your interviews.
Please ensure you book early if you have specific availability requirements.
We will open all bookings on the same date – most likely 1 March at 9am – this way you will be able to go online once to make the bookings for all of your children. All bookings are done on a “first in” basis. If you find that a teacher is fully booked please contact the school so we can arrange an alternative contact time for you. All families that are registered to receive separate mail outs will be sent separate letters and individual login codes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Lucy Kane and Amy White
Deputy Heads of Teaching and Learning
At the end of 2018, Woodleigh received the exciting news that we have been approved as a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP). The IB MYP is an internationally accredited framework and network for learning that shares best practice for students in the middle years of schooling. The focus on developing the whole person, encouraging international mindedness and placing the student at the centre of the learning align closely with Woodleigh’s values and vision to be a global leader in personalised learning.
Students will be introduced to language that supports their thinking and learning through the year, and increasingly think about the attributes that make a great learner as well as specific approaches that support their learning.
Central to the IB MYP and the Woodleigh teaching and learning philosophy is the notion that students learn best in authentic, real world settings. Students at Year 8 began this process when they explored some of the language of the IB during the “Life Through a Lens” program and collaborated to create short films following a series of immersion activities in their local area. Year 8s and 9s will explore the concepts and language of the IB through existing programs such as Courage Creates Change and Year 9 City Bound.
Teachers will engage in Professional Learning throughout the year and collaboratively plan in faculties to further develop curriculum using IB MYP frameworks.
I look forward to working with the Woodleigh Community and sharing our successes in an international context. There will be further opportunities to learn more about the IB MYP through Messenger and other forums in the year ahead.
Deputy Head of Teaching and Learning
Welcome back to the 2019 school year. Sport offerings at Woodleigh are already well underway for Term 1 and students are encouraged to get involved in our programs. There is something for everyone from competitive team sport to general fitness activities.
Key Sport Dates – Term 1
30 January – FDBA Summer Season resumes
4 February – Homestead Swimming Carnival – Pines Aquatic Centre
5 February – FDBA Basketball Boys training starts
6 February – FDBA Basketball Girls training starts
7 February – FDNA Netball training starts
12 February – Breakfast Club – Swim training commences
14 February – Breakfast Club – Gym sessions commence
14 February – SIS Senior Weekly Sport commences
15 February – SIS Intermediate Weekly Sport commences
15 February – FDNA Term 1 Netball Season commences
25 February – Homestead Athletics Carnival – Casey Fields
15 March – SIS Swim Relay Carnival – Pines Aquatic Centre
Over the school holidays the Gym had extensive work done on the surface and the results look great.
FDBA Summer Season
Summer Season matches have resumed after the school holiday break. This season continues right through to the end of Term 1 with Grand Finals taking place between the 1–6 April. The Winter Season will commence in Term 2. Students are strongly encouraged to come along to training to work on both individual skills and team skills as well as developing their fitness and game awareness. Students keen to join a team for the Winter Season are also welcome to attend Term 1 training.
Boys’ Training – Tuesdays 4.00pm – 5.15pm
Girls' Training – Wednesdays 4.00pm – 5.15pm
Key contact - Ben Davenport (Basketball Coordinator)
FDNA Netball – Term 1 Season
The Term 1 competition will commence on Friday 15 February. Training will take place in the Gym on Thursdays after school from 4.00pm – 5.15pm during Term 1.
Students are strongly encouraged to come along to training, where we will be working on skills, game awareness, strategy and fitness. We will be taking a team(s) to the Gold Coast Netball Carnival during the Term 2 school holidays this year. More information about this opportunity will be communicated during Term 1.
Key contact – Rhys Elmi (Netball Coordinator)
SIS Weekly Sport
The following sports are on offer during Term 1:
Senior (Year 11/12)
- Girls Soccer (Rhys Elmi)
- Boys Soccer (Ben Davenport)
Intermediate (Year 9/10)
- Girls Handball (Deb Kesterson)
- Girls Volleyball (Ben Davenport)
- Boys Cricket (Rhys Elmi)
- Boys Handball (Bill Higgins)
These interschool competitions commence in Week 3 Term 1.
Homestead Swimming Carnival 2019
The Homestead Swimming Carnival has already taken place for 2019. We made the move from Term 4 in 2018 to Term 1 this year and the outcome was very positive with a great turn out, high levels of participation and near perfect weather. The format of this year's carnival was a little different, the Year 7s came down before the rest of Homestead and had the opportunity to get into the water and compete in some events before the Year 8-10 students arrived. There was also an increase in the number of novelty events which gave more students the opportunity to get involved. It really was fantastic to see so many students decked out in their Homestead colours and supporting one another. I was taken aback at the courage so many of our students showed to swim events that were really challenging to them, and equally pleased with the wonderful support they received from the sidelines.
One of the highlights of the program was the male and female 50m Freestyle Invitational events where our fastest swimmers from each year level (on the day) were pitted against each other. For the third consecutive year Tealia Holmes (Year 9) finished in 1st place and Olivia Marshall (Year 10) finished 2nd. Holly McConnell (Year 7) swam a great race to finish in 3rd. Benny McConnell (Year 9) made it back-to-back wins dominating the boys race, with Merrick Imer (Year 9) and Ben Reynolds (Year 10) filling the podium. Well done to all the students who qualified for this event.
The overall event was tightly contested all day with Homestead 4 narrowly taking out the day, bringing to an end an astonishing 12-year winning sequence by Homestead 3. The Year Level awards were shared between Homestead 3 (Year 8 and Year 9) and Homestead 4 (Year 7 and Year 10).
Year Level awards
We now move into our preparation for the SIS Swimming Carnivals. There is an Activity running during Unit 1 for our Swim Squad and also before school training taking place at Somerville YMCA on Tuesday mornings from 7:00am.
Homestead Athletics Carnival
The Homestead Athletics Carnival will be held at Casey Fields on Monday 25 February. Performances on this day will be taken into consideration when selecting the SIS Athletics Squad later in the year. There will also be a range of novelty events including tug-of-war and the sack race. Parents are welcome to attend on this day.
SIS Swimming Carnivals
The SIS Swim Relay Carnival will be held at Pines Aquatic Centre on Friday 15 March. This session is used as practice for the SIS Swimming Carnival which will be held as a daytime carnival at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre on Thursday 2 May. There is plenty of seating available at MSAC and parents are most welcome to attend this event. There is also an SIS Swim Squad Activity running throughout Unit 1 and all of our swimmers are strongly encouraged to do this Activity.
Key contacts – Cam Macindoe and Belinda Schmidt (Swimming Coordinators)
Breakfast Club (Fitness & Swim Training)
Breakfast Club will be running year round in 2019. In Term 1, Tuesday sessions will consist of Swim Training from 7.00-8.00am, for competent swimmers, held at Somerville YMCA, Grant Road, Somerville. Students will then be transported back to school where they will enjoy a breakfast. Thursday mornings will run from 7:00-8:00am in the Gym mezzanine at Woodleigh, with the opportunity to do cardio, weights and circuit under the supervision of staff. Breakfast will follow at the canteen. The cost of this program is $30 per term as part of our Sport Club program – if you are already playing after school Basketball or Netball there will be no additional charge for attending Breakfast Club.
Key contacts – Cam Macindoe & Belinda Schmidt (Swim Training) and Bill Higgins & Belinda Schmidt (Gym Sessions)
Woodleigh will also be competing in Sailing, Equestrian, Triathlon and several other sporting events throughout the term. Details of these will be advertised at school as they come to hand.
Individual Student Success
Throughout 2019 I’d love to hear about the success our students are having with their sporting endeavours out in the community and at representative level. We are lucky to have a very talented student body across so many diverse sports.
If anyone has any enquiries about the Sport Program, please feel free to contact me.
Director of Sport
Triathlon training is on again this term with sessions held on Tuesday afternoons from 4pm to 5pm beginning Week 4. Students of all ages and abilities are welcome and can train to compete in their first race or simply just to improve their fitness. Sessions include swimming/running at Frankston Beach or using the school-owned road bikes for cycling.
Students can register their interest or seek further information from Mr Macindoe in HS 2 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Also coming up on Sunday 3 March is the Victorian Schools Triathlon Championships. Speak to Mr Macindoe for further details and also see http://www.victorianschoolstriathlonchampionships.com.au/ .
My parents weren’t readers. Which is not to say that they were illiterate. My mother’s avoidance of literature had everything to do with her juggling four children and nothing to do with her concluding her studies at the end of Year 11. Women at Blackburn High were encouraged to drop-out and have babies. We can be collectively thankful that education has come a long way since the 70s.
I rarely, if ever, caught a glimpse of my father reading. He spent long working days developing and running a successful design practice, before wrangling his feral children around the house and into bed. As a result, I only remember seeing him read the biographies of Bowie, Sting and Mandela.
Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t an avid reader during my high school years. Perhaps this is surprising for colleagues, students and parents of the Woodleigh community who now know me as Shinky, an English teacher with a passion for books. But I arrived at my love of reading after school and the modelling I had at home played a role in this.
Setting aside some time over the summer holidays to explore the research on the topic, I discovered three things that I thought were worth sharing as we begin another school year:
- Reading is not a natural process. It is totally unnatural. Unlike speaking, acquiring the skill to read is hard work and we need to remind not just ourselves, but students of this;
- 25 minutes is the magic number. 25 minutes per day at 200 words per minute for only 200 days of the year = 1 million words annually + exposure to 15,000 to 30,000 unfamiliar words + a quarter to half of their annual vocabulary growth should they define only 1 in 20 new words (Nagy & Harman, 1987);
- Modelling reading for pleasure at home plays an enormous role in encouraging children to read themselves.
Literacy is fundamental to an individual’s success in tomorrow’s world.
Given this importance, a small team from the English Faculty will be conducting a Community of Practice: Teaching Reading inquiry project to inform what we can be doing to best support our students to discover the joys and discipline of reading at school. We’ll keep you posted on what we find.
Have a wonderful year and may you find time to read a good book!
Adam and Claire Young at Torres del Paine
Greetings from Patagonia in southern Chile. I hope you are all having a wonderful start to the school year.
We are having an amazing time in South America, doing a lot of hiking and sightseeing. The southern parts of South America are quite incredible and we have visited some lovely national parks, including Torres del Paine, which many people consider to be the 8th natural wonder of the world.
As part of our sabbatical year, Claire and I are also visiting some Round Square schools. In mid-January, we visited Belgrano Day School in the beautiful suburbs of Buenos Aires. This is the school that Pip Chynoweth will be on exchange at later on in the year. We also hope that Giuliana is having a great time at Woodleigh and loving life as an Aussie for the time she is here. Michelle Kort from BDS took us on a tour of the school and it was great to talk about the similarities and differences between the two schools. BDS was founded in 1912 by a British teacher and now covers all year levels from Foundation/Kindergarten through to Senior School. The chance to build connections with a fellow Round Square school is one we feel fortunate to be a part of.
Have a great 2019 and I look forward to sending some more updates as our year of travel progresses.