Welcome back to term 3.  Hopefully everyone enjoyed the time with family and were able to share in activities together.  I know that a number of children have eagerly shared their time on holiday, camp, travelling or spending time with friends.  As I have spent time in classrooms this last week, it is obvious that students have returned eager to learn and teachers are passionate about providing a strong learning program. Reading (Daily 5), writing (seven steps), art and design, technology, drama, physical education, Japanese and library are just a few of the learning times that I managed to see during the week.  The presence of chickens hatching in a number of early years classrooms has also added to the learning in classrooms. Most seem to have had a 100% hatch rate.

Class Facebook pages and the Woodend Newsblog are the main forms of communication that will keep you up to date with the myriad of activities, events and learning experiences that your child/ren will get to experience this term. It will be a busy and exciting time for everyone at Woodend.

Congratulations to Angela Burrows who at the end of last term had to apply for the Finance – Business Manager position that she has held for the last 12 months. She was successful at winning the position permanently and being able to continue to support the school and Marion Coast Partnership in this role. The role also includes facilities, cleaning, budgeting and numerous other areas, so is quite a challenge to manage.

Trudi Engelhardt will now continue to provide additional Finance support in the front office.

School Camps / Canberra
We are starting with a very busy schedule of year 3,4,5 school camps to Aldinga. Nine classes will each be away for several days, learning about Bush Tucker, Wardli Building, Traditional Art work, Artefacts and games, traditional cooking and taking local walks through scrub land.  On their return parents will be able to access photos via their class Facebook page to share and enjoy.  Thanks to Karen Sheppard and her colleagues for the organisation that has gone into this.

Planning for Canberra has been taking place over the last 18 months. This is a complex planning process which culminates in the opportunity for all year 6 and year 7 students to visit our nation’s capital at the end of this term. All year 6/7 teachers have been working on areas of the curriculum related to this visit and from experience, we know that our students will be able to answer nearly all of the questions that are asked of them during that visit.  Woodend students always leave an excellent impression with the people who they meet while there.

MYOJO planning underway
Planning is underway for the 2020 MYOJO trip. There have been quite a number of expressions of interest made to Vinall Sensei which is very pleasing. There will be a limit to how many students we can accomodate, based on how many homestay families we can be matched with in Japan.  A blog post will soon be put out to parents regarding an information evening where all your questions can be answered.

Pupil Free Day
On the first Monday of this term, all teachers across the eight schools in our Partnership met at Sheidow Park to work together on;
– learning design with a focus on learning intentions and formative assessment
– feedback targeted towards stretch that moves learning forward, and,
– the power of students being owners of their own learning.
Teachers shared portfolios from a completed work unit to ensure that there was a common understanding of standards, both between teachers and between schools.
This is ongoing work that we are doing in order to improve the outcomes for all children in our schools. Tegan Reid, Courtney Mesecke, Melanie Gouldie and Denise Ogilvie each shared their classroom practice with other teachers in a workshop or seminar. It is great to see our teachers being role models for others in our Partnership.

Treating each other respectfully is an ongoing goal at all schools.  Woodend is no different and we acknowledge that some children require more practice than others in this area. Teachers include social skill teaching throughout every school day in many lessons.  Sometimes dedicated time is given to have a greater focus on specific skills.  This week has been such a time where teachers have worked on a number of programs to strengthen strategies for managing and dealing with teasing, how to keep themselves safe and be respectful to others. We have also revisited the definition of bullying as much of it is not actual bullying, but rather it is one off or small bouts of behaviour that require us to guide students in making stronger decisions when faced with other people’s behaviour or personal challenges.

Teachers and School Service Officers throughout the school all work on the same goal; to build the skills and resilience needed by all students.  Thankyou to all parents who work with us on this as well.  It is a team effort.


Steve Freeman