- From the Head of Campus
- From the Head of Teaching and Learning
- From the Head of Studies
- Beware The Pain of Perfectionism – Don’t pass it on!
- AVIATION - my first flight
- Kids and Maths on the Woodleigh Farm
- Year 12 Dinner Dance 2017
- FOOTY COLOURS DAY – FRIDAY 15 SEPT
- ROCK QUIZ
- WOODLEIGH GOLF DAY - 17 NOVEMBER 2017
- School Holiday Soccer Camps
From the Head of Campus
Recognising the support of our families
We are very grateful for the ongoing and continued support we receive from our school families. Earlier this week we were delighted to be able to host volunteers from the Woodleigh Parents and Friends Group (PFG) and Mothers of Past Students (MOPS) at the school.
At a morning tea on Wednesday, the PFG and MOPS presented cheques to various projects supported by the school, including the Scholarship Community Fund, the Homework and Learning Club (supporting Sudanese and South Sudanese families), and the Middle Kinglake Broadening Horizons Group.
The PFG also raised more than $7000 to support our partnership with Indigenous communities as a result of the recent Beanie Festival. PFG funds will also help kick start the development of a ‘mindfulness garden’ at school as well as contribute to the purchase of furniture and play equipment for Homesteads 4 and 7. Support will also be provided for the Mountain Bike and Aviation teams, while funds from the MOPS has enabled the Science Faculty to buy state of the art microscopes to support student learning in the classroom.
Woodleigh School's MOPS group LtoR: Peta Gogan (PFG Coordinator), Jan Isbister, Val Cole, Pam Julicher, Adam Liddiard, Jennifer Christmas (PFG Secretary), Judy Ong, Eleanor Masterton and David Burton.
We are very grateful for the continued support of our parent groups and we would love to see more parents at PFG meetings and social functions throughout the year. Please keep an eye out for details, including regular updates in the Messenger.
Many thanks to the parents who attended the International Baccalaureate (IB) information session on Monday evening, and for the very useful feedback. The IB investigation continues, and parents wishing to find out more about the IB Middle Years Programme currently being considered by the Woodleigh campus, can refer to this factsheet produced by the IB.
We look forward to seeing you all at the Parent-Student-Teacher meetings next week.
Head of Woodleigh Campus
Introducing the PYP and MYP
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the parents who attended our recent Information Evening on the PYP and MYP. The event presented an opportunity to provide insight into the key elements and features of the two programmes, as well as the process for investigating their potential fit for the school. Special thanks are given to our guest speaker on the evening, Dr Marcia Behrenbruch, the IB’s Regional Development and Recognition Officer, for her informative presentation. Parent feedback from the evening will be used to help inform the evaluation of the programmes, in terms of their alignment with the philosophy and aspirations of our school. A final decision about the possible adoption of the programmes will be made towards the end of Term 3, with parents to be notified in due course.
Reflection on a learning journey
Earlier this term, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit a number of leading education institutions in the United States and Singapore, as part of a study tour. The tour began with an extended workshop that was facilitated by two Senior Lecturers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Drs Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer. Peter and Otto are hugely influential figures in the area of organisational learning, with much of their recent work focused on leading innovation in the area of education. The workshop brought together a diverse collection of participants to explore the challenges of leading effective collaboration for sustainable change. The event provided plenty of inspiration, along with lots of practical insight into recent work being conducted around the world with the development of ‘learning ecosystems’ to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. The learning from the workshop will help to inform the ongoing development of the school’s educational programs and networks, as well as the learning opportunities for our students, in the year ahead.
Another highlight of the trip was a visit to the Centre for Educational Development at Republic Polytechnic in Singapore. Republic Polytechnic provides innovative diploma programs for students aged 16 and up in Singapore through the use of problem-based learning (PBL). The Polytechnic’s highly successful PBL approach involves students each day in collaboratively solving real-world problems, as related to their specialised studies in areas from engineering and environmental science to hospitality and management. The final year of each diploma sees students immersed in authentic settings through their completion of an extended, real-world project for a host business or organisation. The creative approach adopted by the Polytechnic offers considerable insight into the next wave of educational reform internationally, and a strong reference point for our ongoing development as a school.
Dr Richard Owens
Head of Teaching and Learning
Second round of Parent-Student-Teacher Interviews
On 16 August we emailed out to all families the booking information for our upcoming second round of Parent-Student-Teacher Interviews for all year levels.
The second round of Interviews will be held on:
- Tuesday 12 September 9.00am – 8.30pm
- Wednesday 20 September 4.00pm – 8.30pm
Please, if you have specific time requests you need to book now. It’s very difficult to slot people in late, and especially if you have limited time availability.
- Normal classes will NOT run on Tuesday 12 September. We will be holding a Year 12 English SAC from 9.00–11.15am and a Year 12 Specialist Math SAC from 12.30–2.45pm. We will also be holding a Year 11 English Outcome Writing Task from 9.00-11.15am. Other offerings for VCE students include: Drama Open Studio (for solo rehearsals), LOTE Indonesian (oral rehearsals), Product Design and Technology (open workshop).
- We strongly urge all students to attend the Interviews with their parents.
- If you are able to attend during the day, PLEASE make your bookings for Tuesday 12 September during the day.
For all Interviews we strongly suggest that you check the Staff Location List and Map below which is provided to determine if you wish to leave gaps between any interviews. Interviews will be located in Homestead 1 and Homestead 2, which are close but a short walk away.
2018 Subject Selection
During Activities Week the Timetable Committee worked on generating blocks and looked at staffing needs for 2018. We were able to create a grid that met the needs of all of our Year 12 students and almost all of our Year 9–11s. Once this work is finalised, all students who will be in Years 9-12 in 2018 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 2018 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 as student misses a SAC/SAT due date.
VCE Examination Related Information
Year 12 Practice Exam Week
During Week 5 (Activities Week 2 for Year 7-11 students), our Year 12 students all sat practice written examinations in each of their subjects. Staff have marked (and graded) these examinations as well as providing feedback on areas for improvement. As parents now have access to SEQTA, you are able to check the progress of your daughter/son online.
Unit 3 and 4 studies all have End of Year written examinations – these commence on Wednesday 1 November (with English). All students have access to the VCAA Examination Dates and parents may also wish to check this timetable.
Final English Practice Examination
On Monday 9 October (Term 4 Staff Work Day), we will be holding a final VCE English Practice Examination; there will also be a Practice Literature Examination on this day for students not completing English Units 3 and 4. It is compulsory for all students (who are sitting final examinations) to attend on this day. The examinations begin at 9.00am and conclude at 12.15pm (or 11.15am for Literature) – they will be held in the Senior Common Room. 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.
All students completing at least one Unit 3 and 4 study will soon be handed a personal copy of their timetable for the end-of year examination period – they will also receive a copy of the Examination Navigator 2017 (the rule and information book published by the VCAA). For performance/oral examinations (which begin in October), students have already received personal ‘Advice Slips’ – these include date, time and venue information as well as any additional requirements regarding repertoire and necessary identification that must be produced.
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 10 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: http://www.vtac.edu.au/who/seas.html
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). Prior to the final examinations all students will receive a brochure outlining this process called the VCE Exams Navigator 2017.
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 and MUST be strictly adhered to.
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 on 5971 6100.
Head of Studies
How ironic – and sad – that the very longing that stems from wanting to be the best can actually send our sense of self-worth into the pits and keep us from producing anything at all! But that’s what happens when we fall prey to perfectionism. As parents, carers and teachers of students who get caught up in being the best rather than doing their best, we need to reflect on what messages we are passing on.
For students to hear that they are not living up to “expectations”, or “fulfilling their potential”, that they are “wasting their talent” and are “capable of much more”, does not promote a positive mindset especially if they are a “perfectionist”.
When you’re caught in its grip, perfectionism leads you to:
- Overemphasise your setbacks and shortcomings
- Focus on and criticise flaws, mistakes and shortcomings in yourself and others
- Believe that you’re inadequate, that you don’t measure up
- Be immobilised by fear of both failure and success
- Suffer from heightened stress, problems with physical and mental health
Changing Mindsets: Being Good vs Getting Better
Heidi Halvorson, Ph.D., author of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals and leader in the field of motivational mindsets, promotes an awareness of the difference between two mindsets that she calls “being good” and “getting better.”
Perfectionists tend to look at the world through the “being good” lens. Their emphasis is on validating themselves—on proving how smart they are, how talented, how skilled, how good-looking, how successful.
When students take a class, those with a “be good” mindset want to get an A to prove how smart they are. When they produce a great report at work, it’s to prove how talented they are. By comparison, students who look at the world through the “getting better” mindset, on the other hand, see their goals as a way to develop their abilities and master new skills. To them, the A in school means they learned a lot. Each new work task gives them a chance to develop their talent.
It’s all a matter of where you put your attention, Halvorson says. Are you looking for information about how you compare to others or to some external standard? Or are you looking for information that you can use to improve yourself, seeing others as a source of learning and expertise?
What’s interesting about these two mindsets is the result they generate when times get tough. People with “be good” mindsets get anxious and withdraw in the face of setbacks or failure. People with “get better” mindsets roll up their sleeves and get to work.
The “get better” mindset allows people to be more cooperative with others, to be more responsive, sensitive and supportive too. It allows people to see everyone as having value. Hence, they build more connections in the world, and keep gathering information that contributes to their own development and success. All their experiences become fodder for their growth.
The good news is that we can teach ourselves to switch lenses, to adopt the “getting better” mindset more frequently in our lives.
Shelving the Perfectionist Lens
The “be good” lenses can serve us well sometimes. In some situations, a strong competitive spirit is exactly what we need. But for the most part, enjoyment of life is derived more often when we:
- are open to a broader range of experiences
- form more and better relationships
- reach higher levels of success
- are more motivated
- have more resilience when looking at the world through a “getting better” lens
Here’s how to reset the lens:
- Strive for balance. Nobody’s telling you to stop wanting things to be better. Valid criticism has its place. The key is to recognise that few errors are fatal. While excellence is a worthy goal, in a whole lot of cases, good enough is good enough. It really is okay to let the small stuff slide. Remember the Pareto Principle: “Of the things you do during your day, only 20 percent really matter. Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things.”
- Become aware of your criticisms and complaints. Becoming aware of an automatic behavior is always the first step to changing it. Set an intention to notice when you’ve put on your critic’s hat. Set up little triggers to help you remember it.
- Try asking yourself positive affirmative questions: “Why am I noticing so many good things now?” “Why am I seeing so many strong points now?” “Why am I appreciating myself so much now?
- Work on boosting your positivity ratio. When you notice that you’re focusing on mistakes, faults, or shortcomings – stop. Just stop, midstream. That’s a first step — and it may take some practice to master. Your critical focus is a habit and breaking it means stepping outside your comfort zone. But you’ll be trading that small discomfort for the big rewards of a broader, happier, more productive world. Then, as soon as you halt your critical statement or thought, look for three good things, three strengths, three qualities you can appreciate or enjoy.
- Exercise your self-compassion. Remind yourself that it’s human to make mistakes. How you do is not who you are. You, like all the rest of us, are learning as you go. And that’s not only okay, it’s healthy and wonderful and leads to a richer, greater life.
- If you need to be perfect at something, become a perfect experiencer. Let yourself feel the whole range of human emotions — even the disappointment of failure, or loss, or of only winning the bronze. There’s real joy to be found in letting go of perfectionism. Let yourself experience appreciation for our incompleteness, to be touched by how hard we try, to be thrilled by the process of mastering and excited about becoming more each day. Be in the journey. It’s where the treasures are.
Yours in supporting and promoting positive student wellbeing,
Director of Counselling
Adapted extract from Positive Living Now: 6 Positive Tips for Overcoming Perfectionism
Other related articles:
On the 1st of September 2017, I participated in the Woodleigh Aviation program and as a result flew a plane for the first time.
In the beginning, we went through a series of processes checking the plane for damage, checking fuel levels, fuel purity and observing the overall health of the plane. Once we had the ‘all clear’ we began to taxi. Throughout this part of the exhibition, I was in charge of the direction of the plane by using the foot controls that I was newly exposed to. The seemingly easy task of driving a vehicle on a straight line proved to be more of a challenge than expected. After taxiing a distance much further than expected, we took off. The instructor encouraged me to get a feel for what he was doing with the controls and resultant altitude and angle of the plane but not physically act on it. Once we were airborne we spent about five minutes cruising around enjoying the stunning views that the Mornington Peninsula has to offer.
Then my time came. The instructor asked me to turn the plane left, right and make the nose move up and down. I was very surprised as to how little you had to move the controls in order to get a sufficient turn or lift. The instructor then took control once again and we came back down to land. Overall, this was a very unique experience and I hope to continue with the program in the future.
In the last week of August, Moon and Luna, the two Angora goats at the Woodleigh farm, gave birth. Moon gave birth to twins – one male (named Comet) and one female (named Meeniyan) and Luna had a little boy (named Eclipse). The babies are referred to as 'kids' with the girls called does and the boys called bucks. They are very inquisitive and adventurous and these cute little animals don’t mind the attention they attract.
Whilst monitoring their early growth and development, the kids are being weighed each day. The birth was great timing for Mr Bowen’s Year 9 Mathematics class who are currently studying Linear Graphs. They have been able to visit the farm during class, weigh the kids and use this data to develop a model that can be used to predict the weights for the following week.
The kids can be seen out playing in their pen area from the back of the oval but if you want a closer interaction, feel free to drop by the farm and pay them a visit.
Bring a gold coin and come dressed in your favourite footy colours on Friday 15 September to support the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Fight Cancer Foundation.
There will be a longest kick competition (no cost) and sausage sizzle at lunchtime on the oval. Bring some loose change to help support an amazing cause.
Please contact Tilly Hiscock, Ella Waite or Anna Van Vliet (in Senior HS) for more info.
Join us at the picturesque Flinders Golf Club for a fun and active afternoon of golf, networking and hospitality!
Open to our entire Woodleigh Community (and friends) past, present and future, we will be playing Ambrose style in groups of 4 (if booking as a group, please follow the prompts when booking).
Following golf, join Principal Jonathan Walter and other Woodleigh staff members as we host drinks and nibbles in the club house.
Prizes will be on offer including nearest the pin and longest drive – as well as the inaugural trophy being awarded to the winning group.
What a great way to tee off the weekend and get to know other Woodleigh people!
Please feel free to contact me for further details – firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0409 663 212.
Director of Alumni and School Development