- From the Principal
- From the Head of Campus – our assembly with Henri Korn
- From the Head of Staffing and VCE Coordinator
- Reflections on Resilience: Why are some people more resilient than others?
- Gen Z: Mind Shifters 2019 Round Square Conference at Woodleigh
- Hattah 2019
- Women’s AFL in New Zealand
- Mountain Biking
- Coming to a Reserve near you!
- Woodleigh School Field Gnats
- Scholarships for Year 5 & YEAR 7 entry in 2021
- MOTHER'S DAY OUT 2019
- Y12 DRAMA PERFORMANCE - WHODUNNIT... TO THE PUNNET?
- Term 2 Parents' Lunch – Pier 10, Shoreham
From the Principal
Images: Our students making the most of real-life learning – a sneak peek at what's been happening on City Bound; Gen Z Mind Shifters Round Square Conference at Woodleigh.
Welcome back to Term 2, everyone. This is genuinely the hard-work term for us at school, setting up the rest of the year for all of our learning programs. We encourage students to strive for their very best performance in everything that they do every day. With regular major assessments now occurring for senior students in particular, we emphasise the need to commit to a regular routine of study so as to consolidate knowledge and skills and be ready to show us what you know and can do.
This week has also seen the start of the Year 9 City Bound program. The week commenced for a number of students with a visit to Peter Hitchener from Channel 9 News – he was effusive in his praise of the students, remarking how intelligent and mature they were and that he really enjoyed the opportunity to visit with them and hear about their ideas for the world, their positive mindset for the future and the extent to which they were embracing the learning opportunities available to them. He remarked that they were “absolutely and utterly terrific, the best group he had ever had visit him”. I look forward to being with Parents to celebrate the learning achievements at the Year 9 Expo next Friday night.
It is a busy time too at our Junior Campuses with both Penbank and Minimbah groups undertaking their Year 6 Canberra learning immersion over this fortnight.
This week, we also have a group of students from our Minimbah Campus (accompanied by Rod Davies, Jo Smart and Jacqui Stocker) at the Round Square East Asian Conference hosted at the British School, Jakarta. This is proving to be a fascinating insight for our students to learn alongside others from different parts of the globe and share their understanding of different cultures from right around the world.
I would also like to mention that we have two very talented students who have both received scholarships to the Monash University Faculty of Engineering, and this achievement is being formally celebrated next week. Tom Poyser and Isaac Yeong both graduated Woodleigh in 2018 and we are delighted in their progress at Monash so far. Woodleigh staff will be attending to support them at next week's celebration.
The Senior Campus normally conducts an ‘ANZAC Assembly’ at this time of year, a reflective service to recognise the sacrifice of those who served as well as share thoughts on the horror of war through an exploration of the impact of armed conflict. We usually conclude this assembly with a minute’s silence and the playing of the Last Post.
This year we did something very different.
Thanks to the support of the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Elsternwick (with whom Woodleigh has had a long partnership) we were honoured to hear from Henri Korn, a child survivor of the Holocaust. This was a significant moment for Woodleigh as it is very unusual for an entire school to be visited and spoken to by a Holocaust survivor.
Henri’s story is a fascinating one of displacement, identity loss and survival in Nazi-occupied Europe against the odds.
He was born in Germany, the son of Jewish-Polish immigrants and smuggled into Belgium in June 1939. His survival during the war was never certain, not even when in hiding for over two years in a children’s home run by the terrifying Madame Jacqmotte, who pressured him to convert to Catholicism.
Henri had never spoken to such a large audience before and to do so in his fifth language is an incredible testament to him. He has only been speaking about his experiences since 1990 as he felt it was of no interest to anyone, but has now written three books and regularly volunteers for the Jewish Holocaust Centre. A portrait of him has been entered to this year’s Archibald Prize.
We wanted Henri to share his story to help our students understand the impact of intolerance, religious and racial hatred. There is evidence of a rise in anti-Semitism in Australia and worldwide. No school is immune from this; I highlighted to the students that even our school has encountered offensive graffiti.
Our students listened to Henri with full attention, demonstrating great respect towards him. Unbelievably, Henri (who is now nearly 90 years old) was able to stand and speak for an hour. He was incredibly complimentary of the school afterwards and said that he would be happy to retain contact with us. He greatly enjoyed lunch with Year 11 and 12 History students afterwards. Henri kindly donated copies of his book to us and these can be borrowed from the library, or purchased online.
I sent an email out of the students after the assembly, asking if any wished to write to Henri after hearing his story. Excerpts from the reply I received from Year 11 student Darcy Simpson are shown below.
My name is Darcy Simpson and I’m in Year 11 at Woodleigh School, I was present at the assembly you spoke at earlier today. I was moved by your incredible story, it was such a powerful and, I must say too, scary story too. I study History as I am not only fascinated by it, but because there is much to be learnt from history, in how we treat ourselves and each other. I particularly study it because I believe that in history lies a part of myself…
...Only until I heard similar stories to yours at the Jewish Holocaust Museum in Elsternwick last year that I realised the enormity of the issue and the messages about tolerance, acceptance, peace and love. Thank you for speaking today, to have been able to have heard you speak today was an indescribable honour and I value and respect the messages and lessons you’ve given to us in telling your story.
Thank you, truly.
Sincerely, Darcy Simpson
Head of Senior Campus
Welcome to Term 2. I hope that all families were able to enjoy the beautiful weather during our Easter break. While all VCE students will have had holiday homework tasks to complete – to help prepare them for the Term 2 learning journey ahead – I hope they too have returned refreshed and energised for a really positive term ahead.
Change of date – VCE results and ATAR 2019
The VCAA and VTAC have recently changed the results release date from Friday 13 December to Thursday 12 December, 2019. As always, Gina and I will be available to work with VCE students on this day and during the subsequent change of preference days.
The GAT for all students completing any VCE Unit 3/4 studies or scored VETiS programs in 2019
ALL students completing at least one Unit 3 and 4 VCE study MUST sit the GAT (General Achievement Test) on Wednesday 12 June. All students involved will receive a personalised printout outlining this examination expectation. Students with SEA (Special Examination Arrangements) will also receive a copy of their approved SEA over the next few weeks. The GAT begins at 10am and runs through until 1.15pm. Students sitting the GAT are excused from Lesson 1 classes. A shortened Lesson 4 will start at 1.50pm and Lesson 5 will run as normal.
NOTE: All VCE students completing at least one Unit 3 and 4 study MUST sit the GAT even if:
- They’ve done the GAT before (for example, in 2018).
- They are completing an unscored VCE (i.e. not sitting other subject examinations).
All students will soon be issued with a GAT brochure – this will explain the content, timing and exam rules in place for the GAT. Previous years' GATs are available on the VCAA website – I also have many hardcopies of the 2018 GAT that I will offer to students when we hold our GAT Rules and Information briefing later this term.
It is in every student’s best interest to ensure that they:
- Perform as well as possible on the GAT.
- Do not breach VCAA examination rules.
- Arrive on time and have the correct equipment with them (a blue/black pen, pencil, eraser, dictionary – NO thesaurus allowed).
The closing date for Special Examination Arrangements for known illnesses, learning difficulties etc. passed in March. We are still able to make applications for newly diagnosed conditions throughout the year, but otherwise we are expected to have met this deadline. If you have any questions or concerns at all, please contact me.
Mid-year Examinations for Year 11 students
Year 11 Mid-year Examinations begin on Tuesday 4 June and conclude on Wednesday 12 June. Details about the Year 11 Examinations, including the examination timetable, will be issued to students closer to exam time.
Year 11 students completing an unscored VCE should be planning now to complete Work Experience during Exam Week. These plans should be discussed with me, Mr Allsop or Mrs Bolch, and all paperwork completed at least two weeks prior to the examination period. Unscored students will receive a reminder about this via email.
Year 12 classes will be running as normal during Year 11 Exam Week – Year 11s doing a Year 12 subject MUST be in these classes unless they have a Year 11 examination at the same time as the Year 12 class.
Mr Bryn Bowen is in charge of running Year 11 examinations.
Mid-year Examinations for Year 10 students
The Year 10 Mid-year examinations will be held concurrently with the Year 11 examination period from 4–7 June. A timetable for these examinations will be issued closer to this time. Mr Bryn Bowen is in charge of running Year 10 examinations.
Change of Subjects Unit 2
After the Year 11 examination period and the GAT, on Thursday 13 June we will commence VCE Unit 2 studies. There will be an opportunity for students to make changes to their Year 11 program at this time. Any students who would like to enquire about changing their program should speak with Mrs Bolch or me as soon as possible.
Note that our school based cut-off date for Unit 1 and 3 subject changes passed some time ago now. As all VCE courses require a minimum of 50 hours teaching there is no chance now to catch up on what has been missed. Of course, there may be good reasons why changes need to be discussed. In this case, the VCAA dates which MUST be met are:
- Monday 6 May* – final date to enrol or withdraw from Unit 3 and 4 sequences
- Monday 22 July* – final date to withdraw from Unit 4
- 11 November – final date to enrol or withdraw from Unit 1 and 2 studies
*Changes after these dates can occur on Compassionate Grounds.
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.
Illness and the VCE
Last year, unfortunately, we had quite a number of students diagnosed with the flu. Many other students were unwell for extended periods of time with colds etc.
Whilst vaccinations are most definitely family decisions, I’d like to give a timely reminder that flu vaccinations are now available and families may consider this as being a sensible decision in a year when missing time can create additional stress. When students are unwell, we can reschedule tasks, so please encourage ill students to stay at home and (hopefully) recover more quickly.
As affected families have already been made aware, we welcome back from their Term 1 Long Service Leave Ms Lucy Wharington and Mr Michael Paxino. Ms Debs Kesterson also had a short period of Long Service leave at the end of Term 1 and Mr David Baxter has returned after recovering well from his medical leave. Finally, we are also very relieved to have Ms Kristen Guthrie back after a short period of medical leave.
We also welcome Mr Malcom Huddle (Music) who replaces Mr Hayden Brown, and welcome back to an ongoing and expanding role Ms Casey Hall. Casey has picked up two Year 7 Drama classes from Carey Saunders and is also team teaching Year 12 English with Mrs Ruth Ogier. Sadly (for us), Ruth will be leaving Woodleigh to explore external Special Education opportunities at the end of Week 5 this term. We are very fortunate to have Casey on staff to pick up Ruth’s load and to begin working with her now to ensure that this is a seamless transition. We will take the opportunity closer to the time to farewell and thank Ruth for her work with us over many years.
Head of Staffing and VCE Coordinator
Are you the type of parent who wants to…
A: Remove all obstacles in your child's path (AKA a lawnmower parent).
B: Micro-manage every part of your child’s experience to ensure they are a “success” by your own definition (AKA the helicopter parent).
C: Grow a resilient child (AKA courageous parent).
It is with hope and optimism, as a parent, I chose C. Not because I have never done A or B but because I want them to be brave, to develop resilience, to keep presenting, or in the words of Brené Brown, to “step into the arena”. I need to lead by example or less I fail them.
People can only learn to be resilient by falling down, so to speak, so they (can) learn how to get up again. To learn this most significant life skill, one needs to keep presenting. We cannot always “win”, be “the best”, achieve “perfection” and so on but we can learn to choose how we respond when we have such experiences.
Trying to create “perfect conditions” for our children is a false economy. It fosters a risk-adverse attitude and limits the development of a growth mindset. If not now, when and how do our children learn to be resilient? No one goes through life without experiencing some kind of adversity or trauma. It is impossible.
However, this article is not meant to be a critique of parenting styles, rather it is to reflect upon the nature of resilience that was brought into focus as part of the observance of Anzac Day, and how we might learn from adversity and teach resilience to our children.
In addition to the many stories of courage and bravery that you may have heard via different media platforms, last Friday at Woodleigh we had the privilege of listening to Henri Korn, a child Holocaust survivor. His personal story of being displaced and persecuted by the Nazi regime, bearing witness to atrocities, and expressions of gratitude for lifesaving acts of courage and kindness, deeply impacted everyone who attended the assembly. Henri generously afforded our students an insight into his reflections on resilience through his own lived experience which can be personified in a quote from an article published in The Age on the eve of Anzac Day, written by Kerrie Sackville.
She went on to write, “As a Jewish person, I grew up in a community populated by Holocaust survivors and their families. Some survivors were deeply and permanently damaged by the unspeakable horrors they experienced, passing down their trauma to the next generations. Others thrived in their new lives in Australia, and lived with joy and optimism despite their horrendous pasts.”
So why do some people cope with adversity and trauma so much better than others?
According to Emma Markezic, author of Curveballs, a memoir and self-help book about resilience:
Experts have noted strategies that include:
- Acknowledge and challenge limiting beliefs
- Practise kindness and gratitude
- Social media blackouts
The subjective nature of adversity and trauma is another theme. For example, how similar experiences are perceived completely differently by different people. One person may be deeply traumatised by a minor car crash, whereas another person can survive a major disaster virtually unscathed.
The key lies not in the objective nature of the experience, but in the person’s ongoing, subjective relationship with that experience.
The most resilient people do not always "get over" their experiences, rather, they get past them, and move on with their lives.
To this end, if you are not familiar with the work of Brené Brown I would strongly encourage you to check out her latest offering on Netflix, The Call to Courage, for another perspective in cultivating resilience.
In this documentary Brown shares her wisdom garnered from years of professional research interwoven with personal storytelling, to articulately and humorously frame the need to keep presenting to “step into the arena”. Brown acknowledges that courage requires being vulnerable and being brave simultaneously, it involves taking risks, and in the words of Theodore Roosevelt that proved to be the cornerstone of her inspiration, it means “daring greatly”.
None of us will know how resilient we really are until we are faced with adversity. And given that so much of our wellbeing depends on how we handle trauma, we should all work on our resilience and that of our children before it's actually needed. We need to work on our coping skills, practise gratitude and fortitude, and teach our kids to manage challenges, disappointments, rejections, failures, imperfections, and conflict (that are age appropriate), in order to learn to be resilient, to flourish and to live adventurous lives no matter what the future holds.
Yours in supporting and promoting positive student wellbeing,
Director of Counselling
Acknowledgements and further reading:
I was lucky enough to be a Student Leader at the Gen Z: Mind Shifters 2019 Round Square Conference. I signed up when we were first told about the conference and have been helping to plan it ever since. I was really intrigued by the conference as I had never really heard about Round Square conferences, but I thought that the idea was so interesting and very different to anything that I have seen before.
The conference was a bit of a challenge, as I have never been in a leadership role but I really, really enjoyed it. At first it was a bit daunting, having to tell all of the students what to do and trying to control them but by the end I felt so much more confident and comfortable. My Baraza group was so enthusiastic and loved talking and getting involved with any games we played or any discussions that we had. It was really good as we learnt a lot about how different countries operate, how differently people interpret things, and about how different people’s opinions can be. All of the students that attended the conference were so open-minded and outgoing which made it much more enjoyable for everyone. The fact that everyone really embraced the experience and wanted to learn and participate in everything made the whole thing so worthwhile.
We heard from such interesting key note speakers, and I really enjoyed all of the workshops that I participated in. Monash University’s Precious Plastics machine was really interesting to watch and I enjoyed getting to see how it operated. Another thing that I thought was really inclusive and that allowed people to open up while having fun, was the Making Music from Junk activity. We were able to all write a song together which I think all of the students really enjoyed, and by the end of the activity everyone felt really comfortable around each other. I think that each day you were able to take something away and learn something about the environment, yourself, or the people surrounding you. I am very glad and thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of the conference.
At the end of last term, Year 12 students Jemma Lewis and Amelia Fithall went to Auckland, New Zealand, to represent the MPJFL (Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League) in two matches against the U/18 New Zealand National Football team.
The girls got the opportunity to play at QBE Stadium and performed strongly. Jemma was awarded ‘Player of the Match’ in Game 1 whilst also receiving the MPJFL ANZAC Spirit trophy for ‘Player of the Series’ for on and off field conduct.
Despite losing both matches to a much older and stronger opposition, both Jemma and Amelia had an excellent trip and will take plenty away from the experience.
Well done to both girls on outstanding performances.
Assistant to the Director of Sport
Images: Felix Davis in 2nd place; Felix Davis on course; Joe Victory on course.
Over the school holidays several Woodleigh students competed in the 2019 Mountain Bike Australia National and Oceania Championships which were held in Bright, Victoria.
The boys involved competed in multiple events, with their best results being:
- Felix Davis (Year 7) finished in 2nd place in the Under 15 Boys National Championships in the Cross Country event. Felix won the silver medal finishing just five seconds behind the winner in a time of 43:26.05 in a strong field of 27 competitors.
- Joe Victory (Year 7) finished in 22nd position in the same race.
- Jed Stanton (Year 8) finished in 12th place in the Under 15 Boys Nationals Downhill.
- Freddie Jillett (Year 7) finished in 5th place in the Under 15 Boys Oceania Downhill event.
- Jack Williams (Year 7) finished in 26th place in the XCC Under 15 Boys race.
A fantastic effort by all boys involved.
Director of Sport
The Brian Henderson Wildlife Reserve is going to become home to a population of Fat-tailed Dunnarts (Sminthopsis crassicaudata). These delightful little creatures are a relative of the Eastern Quoll and are a short-lived (about two years) marsupial carnivore (insectivore) that was once widespread through south-eastern Australia’s grasslands and Grassy Woodlands. It is in decline and considered threatened in Victoria where the extensive use of chemicals to control insects on agricultural land has been linked to its demise.
The Australasian carnivore group are known as the Dasyuromorphia and include many extinct and extant species including the Tasmanian Tiger, Tasmanian Devil, the many species of Quoll including the Tiger and Eastern Quolls which we’ve kept at school in the past and the smaller Phascogales, Antechinus, Numbats and Dunnarts.
These Dunnarts have been part of a PhD research project by Emily Scicluna at La Trobe University. She has been studying personality and cognitive assessment of individuals as a conservation tool for improving reintroduction/translocation success, using Fat-tailed Dunnart as a model species. But, with her research coming to a close, it is time to find a home for her many animals. That’s where we come in. We’ll be releasing some into the Reserve that will hopefully set up a self-sustaining population and holding some on display in our pens for students to learn about and work with them.
Very exciting news!
Dr Gary Simpson
Director of the Brian Henderson Wildlife Reserve
Image: An Activity group endeavouring to conquer the "stink wort" weed in the Reserve!
Are you interested in conservation of our environment? Do you like working in nature with animals?
The Field Gnats meet Monday and Friday lunchtimes in the Brian Henderson Wildlife Reserve and work on lots of different tasks to manage the Reserve – feeding the animals, planting, weeding, building tracks and conducting other projects. We also visit Mt Rothwell three weekends each year, Tiverton during the Autumn and Spring holidays and work with Zoos Victoria on a number of their community campaigns.
Interested? Visit Doc in H/S 1, drop into the Reserve on Monday or Friday or drop him a line – email@example.com
Woodleigh's Adventurous Minds Scholarships for Year 5 and Year 7 entry in 2021 open on Monday 15 July 2019. Applications are welcome from current Woodleigh students entering Year 5 and Year 7 in 2021 as well as other students from the wider community.
- Scholarship Applications OPEN: Monday 15 July 2019
- Scholarship Applications CLOSE: Thursday 5 September 2019
- Examination Day: Thursday 12 September 2019
Attention Mothers, Grandmothers and Special Ladies!
You are invited to a beautiful day out with fellow Woodleigh ladies from all campuses of our school.
8:50am – Come and watch a very special School Assembly dedicated to Mums (at both the Minimbah and Penbank Campuses). Always a heartfelt occasion; come and join in the fun!
10:30am – Jump on the bus! (Buses depart from Minimbah, Penbank and Senior campuses.)
This year we are heading to Merricks General Store. Enjoy a tour of the Merricks House Gallery, followed by a delicious sit-down lunch.
3:00pm – Arrive back on campus in time for school pick up.
Cost: $80 per person
RSVP by Monday 13 May
Places are limited to 120 – so be quick!PURCHASE TICKETS HERE!