From the Principal
Dear Parents, I want to express my gratitude to all of the staff involved in designing and facilitating another series of immersion learning experiences throughout Activities Week. An enormous variety of learning experiences was again on offer for our students, with stories of fabulous learning experiences filtering through in the week since. I hope the images here will give you an insight into the variety of opportunities available to our students.
I have recently completed the final interviews for the Mock Interview Process for our Year 9 students. This is a wonderful learning opportunity for students to develop their curriculum vitae’s and go through an interview cycle for a range of potential jobs. We are very grateful for the support of a number of parents and community members who assisted in this part of our Careers Education process by donating their time to interview and shortlist our students, with the final group of candidates presenting to me. As always, these students were exceptionally impressive and I will announce the winner of the Mock Interview process at the last Assembly of this Term.
I also congratulate the huge number of staff and students involved in this year's musical production, Legally Blonde. This has been a massive undertaking, with seven months of work in rehearsal to prepare for the performances this week. I am very much looking forward to experiencing first hand the culmination of all that hard work and effort.
Jonathan Walter Principal
Second Round of Parent–Student–Teacher Interviews and VCE Assessments
Just a reminder that 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 Interviews 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.
- Year 12 English SAC 9.00am – 10.30am
- Year 11 English Outcome 11.30am – 1.00 pm
- Specialist Math SAC 1.00pm – 3.15pm
Open areas for Year 12 students to work:
- PDT workshop open until 5pm Thursday
- Drama Studio open until 4pm Thursday and 4-8pm on Tuesday
- Senior Studio and A2 open until 4pm Thursday
- French Oral practice arranged directly with students on Thursday
2020 Subject Selection
During Activities Week, the Timetable Committee have worked on generating blocks and looked at staffing needs for 2020. We were able to create a best fit grid that has catered for the requests of the vast majority of our VCE students (no Year 12s had issues and only a very small number of Year 11s needed to use reserves). We are now in the process of contacting those students/parents who need to reconsider their choices. Once this work is finalised, all students who will be in Years 9-12 in 2020 will be emailed a confirmation of subjects and will be given the opportunity to follow up concerns and/or make changes within the constraints of the 2020 Subject Grid.
VCE Attendance Requirements
All VCE studies at Woodleigh School have a minimum attendance requirement of 80%. This can ONLY be varied where a student is “approved” as absent.
Taken from our VCE Attendance Policy:
Due to the coursework requirements in all studies, it is imperative that students are in class to demonstrate the achievement of learning outcomes. We will be expecting that all VCE students attend at least 80% of scheduled classes.
The only exception to this rule is for students with ongoing chronic conditions or for legitimate, documented reasons (absence with medical certificate, school excursions, sport etc).
Please note that we do require medical certificates to be provided where students fall below the 80% minimum AND whenever a student misses a SAC/SAT due date.
VCE Examination Related Information
Year 12 Practice Exam Week
During Week 5 (Activities Week for Year 7-11 students), our Year 12 students all sat 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 End of Year written examinations - they commence on Wednesday 30 October (with English). All students have been issued with the VCAA Examination Dates and parents may wish to check this timetable here:
Students completing Oral and/or Performance Examinations have all been notified of the date/time and venue for these examinations.
Final English Practice Examination
On Monday 7 October (Term 4 Staff Work Day), we will be holding a final VCE English Practice Examination. It is compulsory for all students (who are sitting final examinations) to attend on this day. The examination begins at 9.00am and concludes at 12.15pm – they will be held in V6/7. Buses will run in the morning ONLY on this day.
Holiday help times for VCE Unit 3 and 4 studies
VCE students should not be planning too much ‘holidaying’ during the upcoming term break. During the two-week term break it will be vital for VCE students to be spending a large proportion of their time on revision, completing past examination papers and timed practice examinations. All staff will be providing students with material to assist in their revision programs. Many staff will also be offering extra help in the lead up to the final examinations. I am in the process now of creating a timetable for the upcoming holiday break to advertise the full list of offerings. These sessions will include general help, subject-specific exam revision lectures, Practice Examination opportunities etc. Whilst these sessions are optional for students to attend, it would be great to see many students taking up this opportunity for extra help, especially as staff are volunteering their time and expertise.
VCE Special Provision
SEAS: Medical Conditions and difficult circumstances
All VCE families should be aware of the special consideration available to students diagnosed with illness or undergoing difficult circumstances. The options include Examination Special Arrangements (for illness, including mental health) and SEAS (Special Entry Access Schemes). It is important that issues that arise are discussed with me 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 applications with supporting evidence is Friday 11 October at 5pm.
Mrs Gina Bolch will raise SEAS with all Year 12s during their Careers appointment this term so that they understand the process and determine if they are eligible to apply. Many staff, including Pak, tutors, Pathways staff and myself are ready 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 go to: www.vtac.edu.au/who/seas
Derived Examination Scores
Students who are ill or experience any severe adverse circumstances within 14 days of their written/oral or performance examinations may apply for a Derived Examination Score. Application forms are available from me. Students MUST be able to supply appropriate (medical) evidence to apply – this evidence must be provided at the time and cannot be backdated. These applications are processed directly by VCAA and MUST be made by students (I cannot make applications on a student’s behalf). Students have all been handed a brochure outlining this process called the VCE Exams Navigator 2019.
PLEASE contact me if you have any concerns at all around exam time and I will advise you on your options. For example, with serious illness or injury we may be able to apply for Emergency Examination Special Arrangements as well as making a DES Application. All students are advised to sit every examination unless it is against medical advice to do so. Note that the individual closing dates for all DES Applications are listed on the student personal exam timetable.
Contact with teaching staff
Parents are always welcome to make phone contact with me, or any other teachers that you may wish to speak with, via phone wherever 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 by phoning via Woodleigh Reception.
VCE Coordinator / Head of Staffing
Legally Blonde opened last night with
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.
Bookings are now open for Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews. You should have received an email with details on how to access the PT Online booking system.
These are due to be held on:
Year 7-12: 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 PT Online 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.
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
Mental Health and Wellbeing Week is next week at Woodleigh.
The student Health and Wellbeing Committee have been working very hard to organise this week. This week is aimed to raise public awareness of mental health issues community-wide by encouraging people to take personal ownership of their own mental health and wellbeing.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood.
We need to engage in positive mental health practices as this is important when dealing with and managing challenging experiences. Every day during this week there will be a specific focus aimed at building resilience and practising a range of strategies that everyone can use at any stage in their life. We encourage the Woodleigh Community to talk openly about mental health and ask families to get involved in these activities prompting unfiltered dialogue about this important issue.
Monday – Awareness and Appreciation Day
Show your appreciation to someone who did something nice. Say:
- "It was really kind of you to…"
- "It really helped me out when you…"
- "You did me a big favour when…"
- "Thank you for listening when…"
- "I really appreciated it when you taught me…", or
- "Thank you for being there when…"
You can also write your gratitude in a letter.
- Lunchtime Wellbeing Festival in Agora
- Mornington Peninsula Youth Services will be visiting
- Music in Agora as well as food stalls – money raised will go towards Youth Beyond Blue
Tuesday – Gratitude Day
Ability to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have.
How to practise gratitude:
- Write down three things that went well during the day.
- One thing you are looking forward to most about tomorrow.
- Who am I most grateful for today, and why?
- What am I most looking forward to about tomorrow?
There will be a GRATITUDE BOARD at the entrance of the library. People are welcome to add to this vision board – it's all about you, your experiences, and things in your life that make you feel grateful and appreciative.
Wednesday – Spontaneous Acts of Kindness Day
Sharing random acts of kindness is one of the best methods for increased mental wellness.
It’s proven to improve your mental state and is a basic requirement of being a good human.
All-school picnic on the oval.
Thursday – Mindfulness Day
Practise mindfulness. This exercise is as simple as becoming aware of your here and now experience, both internally and in the external world around you and gives you a space in the present moment. Ability to shut off disruptive thoughts.
Friday – Feel Good Friday
This day is for everyone to connect with people around you, reflect on the week and share with each other ways that you are going to look after yourself on the weekend and create a Self-Care Toolbox.
All staff and students are encouraged to wear RAINBOW Colours.
- Recap of the week
- Taking a moment to breathe
- Surround yourself with friends and family
- Take a relaxing bath with bubbles
- Participate in activities for fun and enjoyment
Click here for 3 Mindful Things to Do to Start Your Day
Teacher of Health and Teacher of Physical Education
“Adolescence can be a risky period for mental health problems. On top of environment and genes, teenagers go through many changes and challenges in a short period of time. This all happens while teenage brains are still maturing.”
Mental health is a way of describing social and emotional wellbeing. Your child needs good mental health to develop in a healthy way, build strong relationships, adapt to change and deal with life’s challenges.
Pre-teens and teenagers who have good mental health often:
- feel happier and more positive about themselves and enjoy life
- have healthier relationships with family and friends
- do physical activity and eat a healthy diet
- get involved in activities
- have a sense of achievement
- can relax and get a good night’s sleep
- feel like they belong to their communities.
Your love and support and a strong relationship with you as a parent can have a direct and positive impact on your child’s mental health. It can even reduce the chances of your child experiencing mental health problems.
Here are some ideas to promote your child’s mental health and wellbeing:
- Show love, affection and care for your child.
- Show that you’re interested in what’s happening in your child’s life. Praise their efforts as well as their good points and achievements and value their ideas.
- Enjoy spending time together one-on-one with your child, and also as a family.
- Encourage your child to talk about feelings with you. It’s important for your child to feel they don't have to go through things on their own and that you can work together to find solutions to problems.
- Deal with problems as they arise, rather than letting them build up.
- Talk to trusted family members, friends, other parents or teachers if you have any concerns. If you feel you need more help, speak to your GP or another health professional.
Physical health is a big part of mental health. To help your child stay emotionally and physically healthy, encourage your child to do the following:
- Keep active. Physical fitness will help your child stay healthy, have more energy, feel confident, manage stress and sleep well.
- Develop and maintain healthy eating habits.
- Get lots of regular sleep. Quality sleep will help your child to manage a busy life, stress and responsibilities.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs.
Talking with your child about mental health
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, start by talking to your child. This might feel uncomfortable – you might even be waiting for the problem to go away. But talking to your child about how they are feeling shows them they are not alone and that you care. Also, your child might need your help to get professional support.
Here are some ideas to encourage your child to talk to you about how they are feeling:
- Say that even adults have problems they can’t sort out on their own. Point out that it’s easier to get help when you have someone else’s support.
- Tell your child that it’s not unusual for young people to feel worried, stressed or sad. Also tell them that opening up about personal thoughts and feelings can be scary.
- Tell your child that talking about a problem can often help put things into perspective and make feelings clearer. Someone with more or different experience – like an adult – might be able to suggest options your child hasn’t thought of.
- Suggest some other people your child could talk to if he doesn’t want to talk to you – for example, aunts or uncles, close family friends, a trusted sports coach or community leader, or your GP.
- Let your child know that talking with a GP or other health professional is confidential. They can’t tell anyone else, unless they’re worried about your child’s safety or someone else’s safety.
- Emphasise that your child isn’t alone. You’ll be there whenever they are ready to talk.
If you raise your concerns with your child, they might refuse any help or say there’s nothing wrong. Many young people won’t seek help themselves. So you might need to say that you’re worried about him and you’ll be trying to get professional advice. It’s a good idea to encourage your child to come with you. If he won’t, you might need to go on your own.
If you’re not sure what to do, a GP or school counsellor is a good place to start.
Boosting teenage wellbeing: tips
Here are some ideas for fostering different aspects of teenage wellbeing.
Physical health. When your child takes care of themselves physically, it’s good for their wellbeing. For example, being active, having a break from technology, getting outside and getting enough sleep can help your child’s mood and improve their physical fitness.
Mental and emotional health. Good mental and emotional health is important for teenage wellbeing. For example, teenagers with good mental and emotional health can develop resilience to cope better with difficult situations. If your child develops resilience, they can ‘bounce back’ when things go wrong, which will boost their wellbeing.
Good emotional health also includes being aware that it’s normal and OK to sometimes feel sad, embarrassed, angry and frustrated – but these feelings usually pass.
A positive focus. If your child can notice and appreciate the good things in his life, they're more likely to feel positive. This can also help them keep difficult times in perspective, so they don’t become overwhelming.
Your child can do this by just taking a few moments each day to focus on what they are grateful for. You could even make this a family activity by asking everyone at the dinner table to name one thing they’re grateful for. You can be grateful for all sorts of things, like being together at dinner, the sun shining after a week of rain, having good health, being part of a great group of friends and so on.
Different activities. Trying new things and getting involved in different activities keeps your child’s options open, and can build their confidence and sense of self-worth. You can encourage your child by helping them find activities they might be interested in. It’s also important to praise them for being open to new things and willing to have a go.
Relationships and social connections. Relationships and social connections are vital for teenage wellbeing. Your child needs close and supportive family and friends. Good parent-child relationships tend to lead to good teenage friendships.
Meaning in life. Meaning in life can come from doing good things for others. Your child could look for everyday ways to help family or friends – for example, giving someone their seat on the bus, or helping someone pick up papers they’ve dropped in the street. Or they could get involved in community activity. This type of ‘giving’ lights up the reward centre in the brain, which makes your child feel good.
Feeling connected to something bigger can also help to give your child’s life a sense of purpose. Meaning might come from spirituality, life philosophy, or a commitment to a cause like the environment. People with meaning have less stress and get more out of what they do.
Goals and achievement. If your child has goals that fit with their values, are fun and attainable, and let them use their strengths, it can give them a sense of purpose and achievement.
I would like to congratulate all our Year 10 students who successfully completed the accredited training in teen mental health first aid, delivered by the friendly & professional staff from the Mornington Peninsula Youth Services.
Mental health & wellbeing is a priority for us all.
For further reading & resources check out the link below and get in touch when needed.
Yours in promoting positive mental health & wellbeing for all!
Director of Counselling
Image: the Woodleigh Snow Ski Race Team in front of the RAN- Navy Ski Club
We got up to Mt Buller on Sunday afternoon, luckily it had just snowed the week before. The conditions were alright each day and we had race training from 9 to 1, which was fun with our instructors.
For training we practised going through flags because most of us were doing interschools racing the next week, but also learned to do a few cool tricks and overall learnt better technique. Luckily there were few injuries apart from Seb when he fell over doing a boardslide down a round rail and hurt his rib and ended up in the medical centre. He ended up being ok though.
Thursday was the best with sun out and there were clear skies – the snow was pretty good too, but the coverage wasn’t the best. Tuesday night we went to the Buller Air Zone which had trampolines, air bag, rock climbing and an obstacle course. Wednesday night we went out for dinner to the Popo Kitchen and then Thursday night we went out to the movies to see Lion King. If you aren’t sure on which camp to go on and are decent on skis or a board, I would really recommend this camp.
- Georgia Jones, Ned Murdoch, Harrison Carter and Finn Loader skiing in a lesson on the Summit.
- Ned Murdoch practising his starts.
- Archer Morcom snowboard jumping.
- Lenny Leufgens, Harrison Carter, Ned Murdoch and Hannah Jones during a skiing lesson.
- First ski run of the day: ‘A drop down Standard Run’ - Van Garnham with “thumbs up”, Clea White in pink, Rhett Clark on left, Jacomo Dwyer-Morris on the right.