- Building Community
- Car Park Safety
- From the VCE Coordinator and Head of Staffing
- Subject Selection
- BOOSTING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE’S WELLBEING BY PROMOTING SELF CARE
- Beanie Festival – this Saturday! See you there!
- Gold Coast Netball Carnival
- Mt Rothwell Community Partnership Weekend, 15–16 June
- Our Trip To thankyou and STREAT
- COMEDY NIGHT #8 – SATURDAY 10 AUGUST
- Parents' Lunch @ Barn & Co. – Friday 9 August, 12-3pm
- Parent Social Evening – Thursday 15 August @ Rare Hare
- Vic Interschool Cycling Series
- LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL – 21-24 AUGUST
Images: Big Buy Back; Big Sleep Out
The Woodleigh Beanie Festival this Saturday promises to be a great event and we are looking forward to seeing you all there. Now in its fourth year, the Beanie Festival is based on the Alice Springs event and is designed to bring together students, parents, staff and friends from all three campuses of Woodleigh School, together with local Indigenous groups, collaborating to promote reconciliation and the arts whilst raising funds to support Woodleigh School’s Indigenous Community Partnerships.
One aspect of the festival that we are really excited about is our strengthening relationship with the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place in Hastings. Peter Aldenhoven, the Executive Officer of Willum Warrain, will be opening the festival on Saturday, and we would encourage you to visit the Willum Warrain marquee near the entrance. Former student Jake Finnis will also be returning to the school in his role as Event Ambassador, maintaining his connection to our community.
The Beanie Festival is just one of a range of programs and events currently taking place with the aim of developing community connections whilst also raising money or awareness of social disadvantage. On Tuesday this week, Year 8 students were involved in the Community Partnerships program, involved in a range of activities including environmental restoration in the Edithvale Wetlands and our Brian Henderson Reserve, volunteering at the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre in Dandenong, working with students from the Mornington Special Development School, Spring Park Primary School as well as both of Woodleigh's primary campuses, Minimbah and Penbank. Many of our Year 8s are basing their ‘Courage Creates Change’ projects on these experiences, while others are raising awareness around a range of other issues in partnership with other community organisations.
Images: Beanie Festival 2018
Our senior students are also leading the charge for community engagement, with Maks Nosiara (Year 12) and Francesca Puleio (Year 11) driving a ‘War on Waste’ through the ‘Big Buy Back’ event which took place on Monday. Whilst last night, the Big Sleep Out organised by Dylan Bolch (Year 12) and Raia Flinos (Year 10) helped raise awareness for homelessness. The students have also been wonderfully supported by teams of teachers under the leadership of Gareth Bolch and Gina Bolch.
Further opportunities to build community come hot on the heels of Saturday’s Beanie Festival, with the Comedy Night on Saturday 10 August, our Parent Social Evening at Rare Hare on August 15 and our ‘Legally Blonde’ production in late August. We would love to see you there too!
Deputy Principal – 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Many thanks for your support.
Deputy Principal – Head of Senior Campus
Semester 2 staffing changes
As detailed fully in the last Newsletter, we have a number of staff changes for Semester 2.
We welcome to the Woodleigh School Community Ms Irene Balder. Irene has taken over Ms Danielle McDonald's role. We also welcome Ms Claire Wearne who is taking Mr Nick Donaldson’s classes during his Semester 2 Long Service Leave.
Holiday Homework letters
VCE parents may have received correspondence about overdue holiday homework over the past week. In all VCE studies, staff do set holiday homework each holiday break. This work provides essential preparation and/or revision over the VCE years. We would really appreciate your support in ensuring students complete and submit this overdue set work.
Year 12 English Practice Examination
On Tuesday 16 July, we ran a Practice Examination for Year 12 English students. These exams are being marked and feedback will be provided soon. Further Practice Examinations will be held during Year 7-11 Activities Week from 12-16 August and also at the start of Term 4 on Monday 6 October.
Change of Subjects Unit 2 and Year 9/10 Semester 2
Straight after the Year 11 mid-year exams (last term) we commenced all of our VCE Unit 2 studies; Unit 2 subject changes should all now be finalised.
After the mid-year holiday, we began Semester 2 electives for Year 9 and 10, so students in Years 9 or 10 wishing to make changes to their electives should do so asap. Any students who would like to enquire about changing their Year 9 or 10 program should speak with Ms Tracey Glen (Year 9) or Mrs Gina Bolch (Year 10).
Year 12 Practice Exam Week 12-16 August
During Week 5 (Activities Week 2 for Year 7-11 students), our Year 12 students will all sit practice written examinations in each of their subjects. Staff will mark (and grade) these examinations as well as provide feedback on areas for improvement. Unit 3 and 4 studies all have written examinations – they commence on Wednesday 30 October (with the English examination). All students have access to the VCAA Examination Dates and parents may also wish to check this timetable.
Second round of Parent–Student-Teacher Interviews and VCE Assessments
We have a second round of Parent-Student-Teacher Interviews coming up for all year levels over the latter part of Term 3.
The second round of Interview opportunities will be held on:
- Thursday 12 September 9.00am - 8.30pm
- Tuesday 17 September 4.00pm – 8.30pm
Normal classes will NOT run on Thursday 12 September for Years 7-12 students.
However, concurrently to the full day of Interviews, we will be running some COMPULSORY SACs/Outcomes including a Year 12 English SAC, a Year 11 English Outcome and a Year 12 Specialist Math SAC. We also plan to have Open Studio for Art and VCD students, Open Workshop for PDT students, Open Drama Room and Music Performance area for students rehearsing for their upcoming VCAA Performance examinations as well as looking into the possibly of providing LOTE Oral Examination Practice opportunities.
SAC Absence Reminders
Just a reminder that parents must notify Woodleigh Reception as early as possible on the day their daughter/son is absent from school – this includes all senior students. Senior students who will miss a Unit 3 and 4 SAC or SAT due to absence MUST have a Medical Certificate (or similar) and present it to me as soon as they return to school so that Special Provision arrangements can be put into place. Students who know they will miss a SAC because of sport, excursions or OES trips etc., MUST see me prior to the event to organise a change of date and to complete the required VCAA paperwork. The SAC/SAT Calendar is available on SEQTA documents.
Illness and difficult circumstances
It is important that all VCE families are aware of the special consideration available to students diagnosed with illness or undergoing difficult circumstances. The options include SEA (Special Examination Arrangements) and SEAS (Special Entry Access Schemes). If issues arise please let me know so I can advise the best possible course of action, and I can put supports in place where they are needed.
Many students will qualify to put in SEAS Applications – these are submitted online after a student has submitted their VTAC preferences – the closing date for SEAS applications with supporting evidence is 11 October.
Mrs Gina Bolch will raise SEAS with all Year 12s during their Careers appointment this term so that they understand the process and assist them to open an application if they are eligible to apply. Many staff, including Pak, tutors, Pathways staff and myself are able to provide the supporting statements that students need to provide as evidence for a Difficult Circumstances application. Applications on grounds of Medical Conditions must be supported by appropriate Medical Practitioners – it can take time to get these medical appointments/statements so please plan well in advance. To read more details about SEAS, please click here.
Contact with VCE staff
I invite parents to make phone contact with me, or other VCE teachers that you may wish to contact, via phone whenever possible. Emails sometimes end up in staff junk email boxes or are not seen early enough to be acted upon in a timely matter – so if the matter is urgent, or you wish to discuss something that is concerning you, please do make contact with staff by calling Reception.
VCE Coordinator and Head of Staffing
This is a friendly reminder that all subject selections for Year 9-12, 2020, are due by Tuesday July 30, 2019.
This includes making selections online, and returning the parent-signed receipt that acknowledges the selections that have been made. Any students requesting to accelerate in a VCE study must also have completed and submitted the relevant application form by this date.
If your child has not received a web preferences email, please ask them to contact Ms Brown to assist with this process.
If you need to refer to the Subject Handbooks to assist your children when making decisions around Subject Selection, please refer to the links below.
Amy White and Lucy Kane
Deputy Heads of Teaching and Learning
Knowing how to manage emotions and comfort ourselves when we are unhappy or distressed is a skill that can take a long time to learn. It takes self-perception and perseverance to find strategies that truly work, because we are always growing and evolving as human beings.
Self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of enhancing energy, restoring health and reducing stress. There are many ways to do this and self-care is something that can be personalised for every individual. Self-care can also be about processing emotional reactions to our life and doing things that we might find difficult, like asking for help.
Being mentally healthy and living well is important to every single one of us. It’s about enjoying life and fulfilling our potential. It’s having the ability to cope with stresses and sadness, and it’s about being connected to friends, family, community and culture.
Young people are prone to looking externally instead of looking internally, they often copy the self-care strategies of others. They may look at what their peers do, family members, other respected adults, admired celebrities and/or Instagram influencers. They can lament, wishing they were someone else, or somewhere else, instead of truly nurturing themselves and being honest about who they are and what fills them with joy.
How we self-care changes according to the stage of life that we are in. That means that self-care for a two-year-old is very different to self-care for a 12-year-old and a 30-year-old. Renegotiating what self-care looks like in each stage of your life requires a reassessment of what is working and what is not working.
As parents we can get stuck seeing our teenagers like children and not allowing them the opportunity to explore self-care strategies for themselves. We might offer them the self-care strategies that used to work for them when they were younger, like staying home to rest or going out as a family. However, dictated methods of self-care are often meet with resistance. Learning self-care strategies works better, because self-directed actions bring reward or perceived reward.
Part of our WEL (Wellbeing Engagement & Learning) program at Woodleigh, is to provide students with self-care tools to manage their daily stress and anxiety, and that complements their academic potential and goals.
At the end of last term in our Year 9 WEL program, students engaged in an afternoon of sampling different forms of “mindfulness” activities, to add to their Self-care Toolkit. This included African Drumming, Martial Art Therapy, Environmental Art Making, and Strength Postcards to their Future Self.
During adolescence, young people have to experiment and find new ways of coping.
As parents we have to be flexible in allowing this process to happen. Sometimes we are too rigid and hold on to what worked for us when they were young. We can be working with the old game book even when they have written several updated editions.
I see great value in young people participating in self-care strategies that they may not currently identify with. Families may deliberately work self-care into their family’s daily routine for everyone’s benefit. For example, setting aside time to talk, share music, cooking healthy food or exercising together. Adding self-care strategies into a family routine enables them to broaden their self-care skills and adopt strategies that may be different than their own.
The basic premise to teach young people about self-care is that our emotions and thoughts move our mind and body in all sorts of ways. By practising self-care, we can influence where they move us. The trick is pre-determining where we want to move!
Some of the benefits of self-care include:
- greater capacity to manage stress
- increased resilience
- reduced symptoms of mental health problems
Here are some strategies that young people may see benefit from intentionally trying next time they need to self-care:
Comforting – Stroking a pet, playing with a stress ball, cuddling into a soft blanket, candlelight and taking a warm bath are all things that engage the sensors and calm us down.
Creating – Colouring in, drawing, making things, writing or playing music all provide a way to regulate emotions. For some, a daily creative practice is central to their daily self-care.
Socialising – Going to the movies, helping someone else, going to a public place and hanging with people you care about.
Constructive Thinking – Balancing out the emotional brain with some logic can be really powerful.
Organising – Reorganising your room, clothes, books, photos or even building something can be so soothing for some.
Moving – The benefits of movement can’t be ignored. Exercise will help relieve stress and clear the mind if practised regularly.
Quiet Time - Young people need ‘tech free’ quiet time, just to let their mind relax, refresh and get some time out. Social media detoxes, when they chose to put their phone away for a set amount of time, are always hard for young people but life changing once they have experienced them.
Meditation - Meditation is a practised skill that can benefit young people greatly. Some people use relaxation music to purposefully empty their minds. Yoga and mindfulness are all tools that young people can use to focus their energy. Check out the Smiling Mind and Breathe apps to get going.
Central to the long-term success of our individual and collective wellbeing is continuing to move towards normalising help-seeking behaviours for ourselves and towards others. A key challenge is getting our young people, especially young men, to practise and use the wellbeing strategies in their everyday life.
Research clearly supports that teaching wellbeing improves students’ learning experiences, and I am optimistic that it contributes to shaping a new generation of young people who know how to be resilient, motivated, focused and calm.
Yours in supporting and promoting positive student wellbeing,
Director of Counselling
Acknowledgements and further reading/resources:
During the last week of the school holidays, a group of nine enthusiastic Netball players participated in the World Sport Gold Coast Netball Carnival held in Queensland.
During Term 2 in the lead up to the Gold Coast Netball Carnival, the team worked extremely hard preparing for the trip, training for the experience and building friendships. They participated in an Activity Unit where each session they developed systems and skills to help them, to perform at the best of their ability. The girls were also very committed to playing together in the Friday night netball Year 9/10 Division 2 at Jubilee Park as part of their preparation. They remained undefeated in Term 2 which was a great effort given that five out of the nine girls were Year 8s.
The hard work and commitment to their preparation was outstanding and this has resulted in significant improvement across the board. Every girl on the team has lifted and improved not only their netball skills but their ability to work as a team. The team played a mixture of day and night time matches across four match days on the Gold Coast. The first two days of netball were qualifying rounds, where on the first day (Sunday) they won four out of five games, the only loss coming to an impressive New Zealand Revelations team. The second day (Tuesday) they were really tested by some strong teams, and despite playing more impressive netball the quality of the opposition proved too strong. We ended up making it through to a Semi Final against the Indigenous Budgies. We gave it our all but were outmatched on this occasion. All in all, we played 17 matches, finishing with 8 wins, 8 losses and a draw. We had the privilege of playing against teams from New Zealand, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and also Indigenous teams selected from around Australia. Our girls displayed exceptional sportsmanship, competed fiercely, shared tears and moments of jubilation. They gave their all and felt a sense of accomplishment in knowing that. Special mention to our team leaders Darcy Close and Sophie Denham who worked tirelessly to motivate, prepare and develop all players in the team. After each day, players and coaches voted for our best teammate of the day. Haylee Nash was our winner of this award in a very tight contest and was presented with a shirt by tournament organisers to acknowledge this.
The girls had a wonderful week and got to share an incredible experience! Now it’s back to Friday nights where we hope to showcase our improvement. Congratulations to Darcy Close (Captain), Sophie Denham (Vice Captain), Haylee Nash, Lucy Holder, Pippin Seagren-Hughes, Tealia Holmes, Nia Charlesworth, Ayah Gillespie-McCallum, Sassy Taylor and Billie McCarthy (Team Manager).
Mt Rothwell put on chilly but beautiful few days for our latest weekend of voluntary conservation work. We were very busy too! The Dingoes needed exercise and we needed to clean out all the breeding enclosures and feed the Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Eastern Quolls and the Bush-stone Curlews both days. More than 50 pens currently inhabited!
We scrubbed the concrete areas, removed all the faeces and cleaned water bowls and food bowls. All the Quoll pens needed some freshly-cut branches and mulch to help with enrichment. The best bit was visiting the other areas of the reserve to collect the mulch from the Red Box Woodland and cut branches from the Koala plantings.
This is now a 10-year partnership that has seen Woodleigh students do a lot of different and interesting jobs to help Mt Rothwell fight the extinction of significant Victorian species and to say thank you to Annette and her team for helping us set up the Brian Henderson Wildlife Reserve.
Hollie Hughes lead the student group, including her sister Hannah, Danae Fidele, Karen Fenton, Ava Drayton-Benson, Rose South, Indra and Maya Stubbs and Jackson Siepen. Hollie was supported by Callum Simpson and Tash James – original Field Gnats who graduated from Woodleigh in 2014 – and Jenny Emery and myself. We also had a surprise visit from Shona Janky and her partner, Brian, on Saturday afternoon.
A huge thank you to all of them for their hard work, a special thank you to Rose for her photography and a huge thank you to Annette, Sarah and all the team at Mt Rothwell.
Dr Gary Simpson
Director of the Brian Henderson Wildlife Reserve
On the last day of Term 2, the Economics, Accounting and Business Management classes went on an excursion to thankyou, known best for their thankyou water and their extreme marketing abilities, and another location called STREAT, best known for their food carts seen around the city.
Thankyou had taken up a modern approach to business, with adapting to social media platforms, free dress days, and an office filled with plants, art and a very adorable dog. Thankyou started off as a company that sold bottled water in an attempt to raise money to help less fortunate communities throughout the world, and still maintain this belief, as they donate 100% of all profits.
After a presentation by the staff at thankyou, the students were taken on a tour of the two-storey office, seeing the small group that leads the marketing, designing, financial and relations teams at thankyou. Thankyou has achieved its level of success by being a marketing machine, relying on the Australian community, risking everything with a book published where you choose to pay what you want, witty stunts, such as flying banners around the city promoting companies to buy their goods, and YouTube adverts. Thankyou has been able to establish itself as a reliable marketing team, with a good heart behind them.
After our trip to thankyou, we went to the organisation known as STREAT. STREAT aims to help aid those who have been placed in unfortunate positions, by training them with specific skills in catering, cooking, baking, as well as other skills. This aims to allow these people who have very little, to have a chance to take their lives back into their hands. We had a quick tour of the location and then a presentation, followed by a lovely lunch made by the people working at STREAT itself, ending on a high note for the day.
Altogether the day was enlightening, and a great way to end the term. Thank you to the teachers who organized it.
Alexander James Selkirk
Now in its eighth year, the Woodleigh School Comedy Night is the Minimbah Campus PFG's largest community fun(draising) event.BOOK TICKETS NOW!
Promote your business by donating goods and services to our live auctions and raffles!
YES! WE'D LOVE TO PROMOTE OUR BUSINESS!
Thank you for supporting this great fun night!
*Vegetarian and special meal options available.
Please include any dietary requirements you may have in your RSVP.
Barn & Co.
238 Myers Road, Balnarring
See you there!
Please contact Ben Davenport for more details.
Legally Blonde: the Musical chronicles the resilient rise of the effervescent Elle Woods, an ever-friendly, fashion-savvy sorority girl who finds her life turned upside down when she is dumped by her boyfriend Warner for not being ‘serious’ enough.
In an effort to prove to Warner that she is marriage-material, she follows him to Harvard Law (‘What, like it’s hard?’), where she struggles to fit into the conservative cliques. As she struggles to remain true to herself she finds new strengths and new friends.
A truly uplifting tale of the underdog showing Harvard Law a thing or two.