​Woodleigh School's Activities Program is uniquely designed to provide students in Years 7-11 with a broad range of challenging experiences beyond the core academic curriculum. Our staff, instructors and people with expertise outside of the immediate school community offer Activities that they are enthusiastic about and committed to.

For three lessons a week, students participate in an Activity they have selected from a huge range of options.

‘Activities’ is active learning – vivid experiences, not just information gathering. It allows students to access learning opportunities, especially hands-on style learning, in a much wider range than could be provided in programs with normal class sizes and restrictions. Experiences vary from snorkeling and open water diving certifications, yoga and self-defence classes, aviation, painting and sculpture, academic competitions, animal husbandry and construction projects.

Diverse areas, such as Academic Enrichment, the Visual & Performing Arts, Sport & Physical Development, Health, Lifestyle and Practical Skills, Information & Communication Technology and Community & School Partnerships are all represented in each Activities Unit.

The Woodleigh School Activities Program is a place where passions are born. It is adventures and fun, grit and determination, centred and calm.

"We learned from the beginning that a good many young people are deeply in need of quiet patches built into the school timetable for stress-free encounters with adults and with peers. We must, I believe, learn to pause in our schools. We must set aside the precious taxonomies of syllabus objectives which blanket our days, and cease sometimes from our gung-ho bell-ringing and note-taking and ball-kicking, and drop our professional status and just be with each other as people - teachers as people and children as people. Listening. "

Choose widely. Choose wisely.

The Activities Program has always been part of the Woodleigh experience. As we continue to move forward with Activities, our extensive offerings continue to grow.

We encouarge each student to discuss and reflect with Tutors, parents and peers and make wide and wise choices, to gain experiences in a diverse range of offerings and categories.

The Activities Program aims to:

  • widen and deepen the range of experiences offered to students beyond the traditional academic subjects.
  • provide additional opportunities for academic enrichment, remediation and challenge.
  • provide students with the opportunity to make real decisions involving their education and take responsibility for these decisions.

Why do we have Activities?

Some of the many features and benefits of the Activities Program are:

Wider Learning

Allows learning, especially hands-on style learning, in a much wider range than could be provided in a program with normal class sizes and restrictions. Staff are also able to contribute to learning in areas of interest and expertise wider than their normal teaching areas. Outside experts and students also contribute to areas of learning not covered by staff.

Extension / Remediation

Allows alternative grouping of students with common interests or needs, enabling them to more readily pursue those interests.

Education for Leisure

Many Activities provide students with the type of skills that can later be used to meaningfully fill their leisure time.


Decision-making is an important life skill. New Activity Units, each half term, provide students with frequent opportunities to make informed choices and to reflect on and live with the consequences of those choices. Also, doing something that they have chosen to do makes for happier students.


Some students have pursued careers they first became interested in through an Activity; e.g. Jewellery Making, Photography, Social Welfare, Horticulture, Aviation.

Cross-Age Contact

Many Activities cater for and attract a wide range of ages, and this cross-age contact helps offset the artificial break up into year levels that the academic curriculum requires.


Students can gain certificates in a variety of areas, including: Hospitality, Aviation, Diving, Marine, Level 1 First Aid.


A small number of Activities will be gender specific. This will enable girls or boys with similar interests to work together.

Pastoral Care

Smaller groups and more relaxed relationships between staff and students helps assist the development of pastoral care based around a common interest.

Self Esteem

Success in chosen Activities helps students’ self-esteem and is especially helpful for some students who have difficulty in other areas of the curriculum. They find themselves excelling at specific Activities.

Voluntary Sport

By placing some sport within the Activities program it is possible to make it optional and thus avoid the worst aspects of compulsory sport that many other schools experience.

Woodleigh Development

Some Activities allow students to play a part in developing the school. This includes landscaping, working in the Sustainability Centre, Brian Henderson Reserve and with other students and animals at the Ag Hort Centre. This gives students a sense of attachment to the school.


Aviation Program


The Woodleigh Aviation program gives students the opportunity to study and experience flying as part of the Activities program. Three times per week students will travel by bus to the Tyabb Airfield to fly a Cessna 152 single engine training aircraft or when not flying, study the principles of flight and aeronautical knowledge.

Some students have a strong desire to become commercial pilots and are looking for a head start into a career in aviation, while others are interested in aviation as a recreational activity. Students have also been known to join the Activity to help overcome a fear of heights. Any student at the school from Year 7 to 12 is able to have a trial introductory flight to see if flying is of interest to them.

Depending on the number of flying training hours that a student has completed, they can conceivably have their Private Pilots Licence (PPL) before they finish at Woodleigh. With enough training, as assessed by the Flying Instructors, a student can fly solo at the age of 15 – before they are even allowed to drive a car.

The Peninsula Aero Club in Tyabb conducts all the flying training for Woodleigh students. All PAC Instructors are qualified and train student pilots in accordance with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR). For more information on the Peninsula Aero Club, go to


The PPL can lead to many areas within the aviation industry. It is the first step to a commercial licence enabling pilots to be employed within the regular public transport system. Air Traffic control has many prerequisites, however those with a Pilot Licence are looked on very favourably and will normally be given credit towards some of the aviation degrees and diplomas available in the tertiary institutions.

  • Students have the opportunity to experience a career in aviation early
  • Job ready earlier than commencing after Year 12
  • Pathway into a Higher Education course


In the lead up to the Recreational Pilots Licence, the student undertakes their first solo flight both within the circuit and the training area.

After the RPL, the student will be able to commence navigation training. The navigation exercises teach the practical skills and airmanship required for flying safely to distant locations plus management of fuel and flight logs, radio communication and transition through different airspace, control zones, unplanned diversions due to weather etc., and circuits at distant locations with landings on different types of surfaces.

The Recreational Pilot may choose to continue training and add endorsements to their licence, or they may choose to progress to the Private Pilot Licence.

Prior to undertaking the PPL test, you must have acquired at least 40 hours of flight time as a pilot that includes: 

  • 5 hours of general flight time as pilot in command
  • 5 hours of cross country flight time as pilot in command
  • 2 hours of instrument flight time

Whilst it is difficult to give an accurate figure with regards to the cost of the course, it is possible to give minimums and averages. The licences are by necessity competency based and therefore whilst some students may come in well under the average others may take significantly longer.

It is important to remember the following:

  • The course is discounted whilst at Woodleigh
  • You pay as you go (by the hour the prop is spinning) and are always in control of the costs.
  • You are NOT signing up to a full course. Students can drop in and out as they wish, although consistent training does work out cheaper in the long run.
  • The course we have structured gets students in the air and with a licence as soon as possible. The experience gained through the earlier licence ensures cost savings and greater competence, as the student gets older.


Whilst it is true that flying is a whole lot of fun, students who undertake this Activity will be required to take on some theory as well; it’s not ALL fun and games.

Most work is undertaken during Activity time, however in order to ensure individual students are maximizing their chances of success, extra time is sometimes required and negotiated on a case by case basis. The course is flexible and staff are available to assist almost anytime, after school, on weekends and during holidays.


Fly Solo from the age of 15 in training for:

RPL (Recreational Pilots Licence)
  • 16 years old
  • Enables a student to fly solo with up to 3 passengers within the training area. (Class 1 or 2 medical certificate required)
  • Various endorsements can be added
    e.g.: Cross country, Aircraft type, Controlled airspace etc.
PPL (Private Pilots Licence)
  • Enables a student to fly anywhere in the world with passengers
  • Pre-requisite for Commercial Licence

You must also pass a theory examination, which covers flight rules and air law, navigation, performance and flight planning, meteorology and principles of flight.

The average pilot is ready to attempt the Private Pilot Licence flight test after about 55 hours. You can undertake the PPL flight test while still 16, however, you cannot be issued with the licence until you are 17 years old.

The PPL is recognised anywhere in the world.

For further information, please contact:

Michael Scott
Aviation Coordinator – Woodleigh School or 5971 6100