Our Principal – Jonathan Walter

Woodleigh is a dynamic and creative environment, set apart from the educational norm by our unique delivery of learning programs. We see ourselves as a progressive, contemporary School, one that delivers a forward-thinking curriculum, educating students for their future, not our past. 

We spend an enormous amount of time and effort ensuring that our learning programs are individually crafted to meet specific student needs. And, that the programs we create are well-rounded – challenging students academically, socially and emotionally.

At Woodleigh School, we believe that great education is more than just an excellent academic preparation for the future. A great education equips a student with life skills – resilience and independence – developed through an extensive Camps and Activities Program. It provides an understanding of service, the building of a strong moral and ethical base, and the desire to make a contribution to the broader community. It’s the ability to be able to laugh at oneself and with others, to have fun as often as possible and to work hard and give your best effort to everything that you do.

These wider learning experiences work to develop the strong relationships that exist between students and staff. There is a collegiate atmosphere here at Woodleigh which underpins the supportive learning environment that is such a feature of our School.

I invite you to visit us. Come and see first-hand our experiential learning programs in action and tour the beautiful natural environment that is Woodleigh School.

Jonathan Walter

Recent News


    INDEPENDENT THOUGHTS is a collection of 40 Woodleigh stories, told over its 40 year history.

    This book is 160 pages of unique reflection; memories, drawings, photographs, songs, recipies and learning from Woodleigh people young and old, near and far. It’s a series of tales from past students who have gone on to make their own mark on the world.

    Independent Thoughts celebrates Woodleigh from unique and honest perspectives. It makes a wonderful gift and all proceeds from its sale go to the Woodleigh Community Scholarship Fund, giving students from the local Sudanese and Indigenous communities the opportunities only a Woodleigh education can deliver.


  • The Essence of Woodleigh

    This video was shown at Woodleigh School's 40th Anniversary Celebration Ball, 'The Big Four-0', on Saturday 17 October 2015. 
    It features stories and comment from current and past long-serving staff – and their reflections on what has made Woodleigh's first 40 years, such a uniquely successful time. 


  • New Homesteads, Book Launch & Arts Festival Opening

    Celebrate the official opening of the first three, new-gen Woodleigh Homesteads (1, 2 and 3), Celebrate the release of 'INDEPENDENT THOUGHTS' the book which celebrates 40 Woodleigh stories from the School's 40 year history, and stay on as we kick off the 2015 Woodleigh Arts Festival! 
    This is a terrific opportunity to visit Woodleigh and see the school in action!  
    Past Principals Michael Norman, Ian Macmillan and Paul Turner will be there to open the buildings and there will be live music, art, design, theatre, fun and creativity all on show. 

    Food and drinks available to purchase.  


  • What is #ValueChildhood?

    ValueChildhood is the understanding of how special, unique and fleeting childhood is.
    It is letting children be children; knowing the educational and social importance of play and discovery – the value of imagination and struggle. 


  • ‘They Call Themselves Wugubank’

    THIS month marks 40 years since Prime Minister Gough Whitlam ran soil through the hands of Vincent Lingiari stating: “I want to acknowledge that we Australians still have much to do to redress the injustice and oppression that has for so long been the lot of Black Australians”. Whitlam then added: “This land will be the possession of you and your children forever.”

    In reply, with trust implicit in Whitlam’s pledge, the softly-spoken elder decreed: “Now we can all be mates”.

    It is now August 2015 and the question is raised – are we mates? Have we fulfilled the promise of optimism and hope that were so evident in Vincent Lingiari’s words?

    There are two groups of primary school-aged children, separated by four thousand kilometres of red dust and eucalypts, who definitely are mates. They are children who have learned to respect each other’s upbringing and outlook on life. Who appreciate that it is OK to be different and that it is important to be non-judgemental. Who have an optimistic sense for the future and would want what is best for each other.


  • Gary Simpson – Zoos Victoria Partnership Award

    Gary has been taking students to the Zoo for more than 25 years. He has been a magnificent advocate, supporting the Zoos many programs to create student activists for conservation and sustainability. 
    Zoos Victoria are currently developing a network of Fighting Extinction partner schools, of which Woodleigh are one, and our community partnerships with the Zoo, Mt Rothwell, Tiverton, and Dunkeld and our work with endangered species – Southern Brown Bandicoot, Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Eastern Quoll and Southern Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby – have been recognised in Gary's most well-deserved award. 


  • Woodleigh Production 2015 – Every Fifteen Minutes

    A devised collaboration with Zeal Theatre Company

    ‘One Every Fifteen Minutes’ is a new and original Woodleigh Campus production conceived with Zeal Theatre Company. 


  • How Kangaroos Got Their Tails


  • Woodleigh’s PE & Sport Uniform

    Dear Parents, Students and Friends of Woodleigh School.

    As many of you will be aware, in 2015 we have implemented a new Woodleigh School PE & Sports Uniform.  


  • Three Unique Campuses, One Shared Vision

    It all starts here – a new year and a new beginning as a three-campus school. 

    The long-mooted merger of Woodleigh and Penbank Schools is complete, and we move forward with a shared vision of developing Woodleigh as the leading provider and practitioner of creative, holistic education in the country. 


  • Between the Bays 2015

    Now in its 10th year, Between the Bays is firmly established as Mornington Peninsula's best, annual music festival on the summer calendar - a day not to be missed! Over the last decade, Between the Bays has offered music lovers a festival option that is safe and entertaining for everyone, is inexpensive and has an all-inclusive community feel. This year we welcome back BTB favourites James Reyne, Mark Seymour and Custard, along with some amazing new acts. 


  • The Big 4 ‘0’

    The Big 4 ‘0’ is an opportunity for the entire Woodleigh community to come together and celebrate our school in this 40th year of schooling at our Golf LInks Road Campus.

    Established by a visionary group of parents, teachers and of course our founding Principal, Michael Norman, Woodleigh School continues to deliver an exceptional holistic education for all students.


  • Our Day at School

    A television commercial created for the Peninsula Short Film Festival.
    Woodleigh is a proud sponsor of the Emerging Filmmakers Award.


  • Live Loud @ Licola!

    Forget the last night disco! 
    Check out the sweet 'all-week' dance moves on the Year 5 & 6 students at Camp Licola 2014.
    Awesome work on the video Mr Hicks! 


  • Valedictory 2014

    Valedictory is a bittersweet occasion, as many goodbyes can be. So much excitement at what lays ahead, yet sadness at leaving so much behind.
    Last night was no different. A wonderful celebration of the work completed by an amazing group of young adults. A group who came together as one, after the loss of a dear friend, and went on to make an indelible mark on the fabric of our School.


  • Year 12 2014

    What defines a successful person to you?
    Is it having a family? A big house and a nice car? An enjoyable job? Having respect or fame? Being the best at what you do?  Being giving? Helping others?

    To me, a successful person is not defined by solely succeeding, it’s by simply trying and giving your best until you can succeed and becoming all that you can be. Jim Rohn says that “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”


  • Resonance - The 2014 Woodleigh Arts Festival

    Resonance was the theme of this year's festival, and boy, oh boy did the hall resonate loudly with applause and cheers after Jon Arnheim (Y8) sang Talent Quest winning entry 'La Donne e mobile' from the opera Rigoletto. After a standing ovation, the sound of Jon’s name resonated through the room and he was crowned as winner of the annual Woodleigh Arts Festival Talent Quest. Second prize went to Daisy Everett (Y9), and Ruby (Y10) and Esse McCarthy (Y9) for their soulful singing and third prize to Year 7 student, Charlie Lane with his amazing rendition of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ by Johnny Cash.


  • Arts Festival 13-17 October 2014

    The theme of this year’s festival is 'Resonance'.  Throughout the week we have major performances and as part of this, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects will be visiting to perform.  We also have comedian Damian Callinan visiting, performances by Zeal Theatre and a mass of workshops by Zeal Theatre, Trisnasari (a belly dancer), Impro Melbourne, Ian Jones and more! 


  • 2017 Scholarship Applications – Now Open

    QUIZ ANSWERS: See bottom of page

    At Woodleigh School, we are searching for the next generation of great thinkers. 

    The creative minds and generous hearts who will shape our world in the years ahead. Woodleigh are offering three types of scholarship. Academic, Music and a ‘Principal’s Scholarship’, which recognises those students who are passionate about their learning, committed to striving for excellence and dedicated to their community.   

    Register Here

    General Information

    Woodleigh School welcomes applications from talented girls and boys who feel that they have much to offer our school community.  A limited number of scholarships are offered each year to students entering in Years 7 and 5.  The number of scholarships awarded is dependent upon the quality of the applicants and the places available.
    Scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the Principal, whose decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.


  • A Barnum Triumph!

    Phineas Taylor, or PT Barnum was known as ‘The Prince of Humbug’. A truth-stretcher and showman, who at one point was the most famous American in the world – Barnum brought his stage show to Woodleigh last night, and the crowd were adoring. 


  • Book Week 2014

    You know you’re from Minimbah when your papier-mâché, make up, hair styling, and cardboard creation skills were honed in the name of literary appreciation and celebration. 


  • School Success at Sheepvention

    Article by Rick Koenig – Republished via the Hamilton Spectator Saturday August 16 2014


  • Fun and Learning in the Reserve

    We recently joined the children from Foundation for a day of fun and learning in the Brian Henderson Reserve at the Senior Campus.

    The children from both classes were excited to explore a new natural environment, engage with the animals and enjoy a fabulous story telling session around the fire with Peter Aldenhoven.  What a fantastic day of learning and discovery in nature!


  • Indigenous Education Fundraising

    Recently, Pete McConchie, the well-known photographer and local Peninsula resident, has approached Woodleigh School with a generous fund-raising offer.

    Pete has offered for sale two of his wonderful photo essay books (‘Point Nepean’ and ‘Fire’) and a selection of 40 images from his body of photographic works that explore the environmental and Indigenous themes. His work is absolutely stunning.


  • Minimbah Musicale 2014

    The Minimbah Musicale is a Biennial affair, held in the Senior Campus Hall.  It runs over two nights, and every student, from Foundation (Prep) through to Year 6 performs as part of their class or as a member of an ensemble, choir or music group. Each and every one!


  • Woodleigh’s man from Motown

    Gil Askey was an amazing man. His skills went far beyond those of a trumpet teacher or band leader. He inspired students and staff alike. It was an incredible gift to be able to know and learn from him. 


  • Mothers Day – Minimbah Style

    Mother's Day assemblies are something of a special tradition at Minimbah.


  • Minimbah Music Centre Complete

    It gives me great pleasure to let you know that the new Music Centre has been completed and students will commence classes in the new facility next week.  


  • The Black Death

    Join the 2014 Year 12 Drama Class in the Woodleigh Hall on Tuesday 13 May as they unleash a plague of perfomance brilliance on their audience.


  • Wonthaggi HPV - Winners!

    Sport is an interesting thing – preparation is hugely important, but sometimes, a bit of luck makes all the difference.


  • Top Screens 2014 - VCE Season of Excellence

    'Catharsis' by Isabella Peppard Clark has been selected to screen at the 2014 VCE Season of Excellence Top Screens film festival. It is one of 17 films chosen from over 250 entries. Top Screen will run at ACMI until Friday 16 May. Films, photographs and folios can also be viewed at the Top Designs Exhibition, Melbourne until July 13 2014.


  • Paint By Numbers 1975 - 2013

    Paint By Numbers 1975-2013, is an art exhibition with a difference, featuring work by members of the wider Woodleigh School community – students, teachers and parents, from those who were here in the early days, to those here now.


  • Community Service Camps 2013

    After the completion of their academic year, more than 50 Year 10 and 11 students headed off on the annual Community Service Camps. They volunteered their time to work with a variety of service organisations or community groups.

    All students thoroughly enjoyed their experiences. Following are some of their reflections.


  • Kinglake Visit 2013

    After finishing our Year 10 exams and our Year 11 Orientation week, a group of students travelled to Middle Kinglake Primary School for our Community Service Camp – 11 of us went up, plus Miss Coops and Mr Nicky D.


  • 2013 VCE Success

    Dear Parents, Students and Friends of Woodleigh,

    I’ve always considered our greatest strength as a school to be the series of life experiences we deliver throughout the curriculum. These are experiences which provide each and every student with the scope to grow as individuals, to the point where they leave us as well-rounded young adults – people with an understanding of who they are, if not exactly where they are headed. 


  • Leaving, empowered

    I will say, without reservation, that it is the best finish to a Year 12 year I have seen in any school.


  • Year 12 Final Day

    "Although it may sound clichéd, this, essentially, is the beginning of the rest of our lives.

    5 or so exams are all that stands between us, and the real world. It is quite strange to think that, after 6 years of the same routine – coming to the same place, seeing those familiar faces everyday – its finally time for us to begin our next journey.


  • Little Bit Long Way

    Indigenous Art Exhibition, November 15-17

    Paintings, carvings and ceramics by some of Australia’s best known established and new talents of Indigenous art will feature in an exhibition at Woodleigh School, Langwarrin South in November 2013.


  • On our way to Waves of Change…

    Four Woodleigh School Year 10 Students – Cam, Georgia, Tea and Will – are heading on over to Saint Andrew’s School, in Boca Raton Florida for the annual Round Square International Conference this October. This video sheds a little light on what happens at Woodleigh... but only a little!


  • 2nd Chance for Change

    This video premiered at the closing ceremony of the 2013 Young Round Square Conference, hosted in Melbourne by Woodleigh School and Billanook College.

    2nd Chance for Change... 


    The thought came to me that ‘second’ would link with the fact it was the second Young Round Square conference that had been held in our region. I also thought that I should put in something that is affecting our world at the moment. I came up with the idea for ‘change’ to represent how we are damaging our world.


  • Seussical Jr

    There I was, sharing the stage with 200 co-stars, bright lights staring me right in the face.  You would think that this would be scary, right? Wrong! It was actually wonderful.  It was our school production, Seussical Jnr, a crazy show based on the works of Dr Seuss.  Produced and directed by the amazing team from Minimbah.


  • Junior Homestead Redevelopment

    Over the last 12 months we have been working closely with students and staff to identify the needs for future learning spaces in the school. The current Homesteads have served us well for close to 40 years, but are now tired and need to be brought up to date to support today’s learning needs. We are now at the point of having the first concept from the School’s Architect Sandy Law. This concept is built out of the extensive work undertaken by the LEARN group at the University of Melbourne which I referred to in the last edition of the Messenger. Attached is a link to the report should you wish to review the findings from that group which have informed the brief to Architects.


  • Mother Courage and Her Children

    Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage and her Children’ is one of the most ambitious productions that we have staged at Woodleigh. It is a wordy epic, spanning the Thirty Years War between 1618-1648. The setting and era are presented as timeless and placeless, but the message is clear... this is considered by many to be the greatest anti-war play of all time.


  • Round Square Junior Conference 2013

    Woodleigh School Minimbah is looking forward to welcoming all delegates to the 2013 Young Round Square Conference: 'Second Chance for Change'.

    This conference will see 80 Year 5 and 6 students from across the Australasian region converge for a week of activities from Saturday 14 September until Friday 20 September.

    If you'd like to know more about about the conference, please click here.


  • No ordinary scholarship

    In February this year, billionaire Australian businessman Graham Tuckwell made the single largest donation to an Australian university ever. His $50 million gift to Australian National University in Canberra established the Tuckwell Scholarship – described by some as 'an Australian version of the Rhodes Scholarship.' This week, Woodleigh School Year 12 student Sam Saunders, was named as an inaugural recipient.


  • Senior Excellence – Premier’s Awards

    Recently at Woodleigh, we celebrated two outstanding achievements by Year 12 students. Oscar Hiscock and Daniel Mosele both received Premier’s Awards, acknowledging their achievement in scoring perfect subject scores in their Unit 3/4 studies in 2012.


  • On the Vine - the 3/4 Kitchen Garden

    In Years 3 and 4 we have been doing a mountain of work in the Kitchen Garden – learning about plants and pH scales, composting and harvesting. Here is an update on what’s been going on.


  • City Bound 2013

    I sit down and think to myself, final conclusion. I pause. My mind begins to spin with all the great memories and learning of City Bound. I can remember walking around the city and asking numerous, innocent bystanders where I was, and trying to get directions. I can remember walking up to my first questionnaire participant and thinking, “This is brave of you.” I can remember my group being forced to catch our first tram after a full day of walking in new shoes.


  • Hattah – big Mallee skies

    Hattah, oh Hattah. 
    Damn it was good. Sleeping under stars, navigating independently, getting back to nature – canoeing along the Murray to the sounds of a ukulele resonating around the banks…
    ...finally eating the heavy kilo of rice we'd been carrying for four days...

    Ah yes, it was the best rice I had ever tasted and the entire trip was most definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


  • Minimbah’s ECC Nature Program

    For many parents, our favourite childhood memories are of outdoor exploration – climbing up trees and down gullies, crawling through the bush and building cubbies. Often, it’s how we grew up.


  • SIS Swimming 2013

    Last night our Senior Campus Swim team finished 2nd behind the Padua collossus in the Division A Swimming Carnival at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.  This was a fantastic effort by all the students involved and also by the team coaches Jenny Donaldson and Cam Macindoe.


  • Asylum Seekers Community Service Camp

    Lotte Clifford, Kate Purcell, Juliette Eugenie, Jade Southwell, Ed Carson (all Yr 11) and Jack Cannon (Yr 12) and I, ventured off to the Asylum Seekers Community Service Camp not knowing what to expect, would we be teaching or playing? On Monday, our first day, we sat back and watched the inspirational work of teachers and volunteers from the English Language Centre in Springvale Rise Primary School do what they do best.


  • Citizen of the Year

    This years Australia Day honours were special, as Woodleigh School stalwart, favorite and recently retired father figure, Bruce McCallum was named Mornington Peninsula Shire's Citizen of the Year.

    What follows is the citation which appears on Bruce's award.


  • Cambodia Community Service Camp

    8 Students and 2 staff travel to Kampot in Cambodia to help teach English at the Chumkriel Langauge School


  • Year 6 is done… On to Senior Campus!

    My name is Nick Muirden and I’ve been a student at Minimbah for 9 yrs – from 3 Year Old ECC all the way through to Year 6.


  • Woodleigh Homework Club wins NAB Schools First Award

    Woodleigh School were recently announced as this year’s Victorian State Impact Award winner, in the NAB School’s First Award. The award gives Woodleigh $60,000 in funding for our outstanding school-community partnership.


  • 2012 VCE Success

    The Class of 2012 did very well with a great set of VCE results, and many fine scores and creative folios to celebrate. 


  • English Week

    And it was on… the flurry of events that create English Week.  Thanks to everyone who participated and the many, many people who helped to make the reading and writing and speaking activities and competitions happen.  We look forward to doing it all again in 2013. 


  • Year 1 Independent Learners

    Visit the Team 1 Classrooom to find out what makes a GREAT learner!


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