All roads lead to Oz

Dromana College has not put on a musical production in 10 years.  However, the upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz has a cast and crew of 130 skipping down the Yellow Brick Road with excitement.

After commencing a music and vocal teaching position at the college in 2014, current Head of Music Jacqui Rodden was determined to not only lift the level of vocal and instrumental music at the college, but to combine all the performing art forms in a musical production.  “We chose The Wizard of Oz because it had so many wonderful vocal roles for solo and chorus and had a number of big dance scenes,” Jacqui said.

The production also gives instrumental music students the opportunity to perform in an orchestra at the Frankston Arts Centre, which will be directed by Jacqui and feature students from Years 7 to 12.

Jacqui now teaches more than 30 vocal students, and the school boasts an impressive choir and a cappella ensemble. Recent enhancement programs in the performing arts, specifically dance, have given seasoned dance teachers Taryn Sabell and Jennii Johnson an opportunity to work with and choreograph talented performers and prepare them for Wakakirri in 2016 and the college’s musical production this year.

The Wizard of Oz showcases the college’s impressive performing arts students.  Thirty-three dancers from all year levels fill the stage in glittering snowflake tutus and vibrant poppy costumes in Act 1 and return as menacing Jitterbugs in Act 2.  VCE Dance student Madeline Turnbull features as the acrobatic commander of the monkeys, sidekick to the stunning-in-green yet evil Witch of the West, performed by VCE Drama student Julia Gregory. William Buckley, another VCE Drama student, takes the title role.

Year 10 soprano Iris Roberts studies voice with Jacqui and will be playing the starry-eyed Kansas girl Dorothy.  Jacqui’s other vocal students also headline this production: Kayla Wilson as the Tinman, Daniel Gough as the Scarecrow, and bass-baritone Trent Taylor as the Cowardly Lion.

The Wizard of Oz is the first musical production with full orchestra that the school has prepared in a long time.  “It really is a whole school production,” said choreographer, teacher and production coordinator Sarah Cossey. “VCAL Technology students have helped build sets and props, art students have contributed to media and marketing, and a large number of staff and students have assisted in rehearsals, costuming, make-up and design.”

The Wizard of Oz will be performed at Frankston Arts Centre, 27-37 Davey Street Frankston on Friday 12 May  at 7:30pm and Saturday 13 May 13 at 1:00pm and 7:30pm. Tickets at  or phone 9784 1060.

Nurture and nature go hand in hand at Padua Kindergarten

Padua Kindergarten is proudly a dirt-loving, nature-loving, play-based three and four-year-old funded kindergarten here on the Peninsula.

A child’s love and respect for the Earth, themselves and the core fundamentals of early childhood is at the heart of owner Jannah Young’s philosophies for her kindergarten.  It is a kindergarten that delivers early education and inspiration with, she says, love and acceptance in an all-natural play-based environment. “We believe it’s about creating a lifestyle within a child’s education and beyond.”

Jannah believes the most important developmental years in a child's life should be influenced more by nature and fostering life skills, and less by commercialism and what it can take away from the precious years of early childhood.

Over her years of study and working with families on the Peninsula, Jannah’s personal passion for the outdoors and natural living began to inspire what she brought to the children each day.

Now, 20 years later, and with Padua in its 10th year of business, Padua embraces everything she believes makes a valuable foundation for childhood, nurturing the skills and values that will stay with children for ever.  “It's a beautiful amalgamation, a respect for living naturally and an up-to-date curriculum to ensure their blossoming life skills and school readiness are second to none.”

A program delivered by a passionate team of teaching professionals ensures it’s a haven for positive growth in all the right directions.

A: 72 Exford Drive, Mornington
T: 5976 1022

More Opportunities for Year 7 Entry at Woodleigh

   Alex Syme (Year 12) sharing the story of her Great Great Grandfather, Sir George Syme’s ANZAC service at our whole school ANZAC Assembly.

Alex Syme (Year 12) sharing the story of her Great Great Grandfather, Sir George Syme’s ANZAC service at our whole school ANZAC Assembly.

Strong demand for a Woodleigh education has seen growing enrolments at all three campuses of our School. With four full Year 6 classes now moving from Minimbah and Penbank to Year 7 at Woodleigh, opportunities for Year 7 entry have become increasingly difficult to secure.

In order to cater for those families seeking a Woodleigh education for their child’s secondary years, the School Board and I have decided to add an additional Year 7 class in 2019. Ultimately leading to a larger student population (currently 600, projected to increase to 725 in six years’ time), the additional student numbers will support our endeavours to broaden the range of educational experiences on offer, while bringing further strength and diversity to our learning community. 

We welcome enquiries regarding these, and other new opportunities at Woodleigh School. For further information about our programs and philosophy, Information Evenings and Campus Tours, please see our website or call the Enrolments Office on 5971 6100.

Jonathan Walter
Woodleigh School Principal

Microbravery: what is it and why do we need it?

Ordering a smoothie. Asking someone if you can pat their dog. Requesting assistance in a store. What do these everyday acts have in common? They’re all forms of microbravery: small, everyday risks that take us out of our personal comfort zones.

These small acts of bravery can be life changing especially for girls, helping them to build confidence and self-esteem.

A 2014 study by Keds and Girls Leadership, highlighted a bravery gap where boys were more likely than girls to say they were brave. 

The study found that 59% of teen girls define bravery as a heroic act in a dangerous situation, while only 18% of teen girls define brave as standing up for their beliefs and being honest about who they are.

So when being brave feels like it is too big, it can seem out of reach to those who want to try it, and a lot scarier than it has to be.

Toorak College wants every girl to know that being brave is a skill best learned gradually over time, and like any new skill it takes practice, persistence and patience. Bravery is built, not born and microbravery allows girls to build courage slowly in small increments. Eventually they develop the confidence to tackle bigger challenges.

A girls-only approach to education provides a learning environment where girls feel empowered, where they can engage in more healthy competition and risk-taking. These skills set girls up for leadership and life success.

Toorak College encourages parents and teachers to embrace microbravery and to teach it to our girls; they learn best by watching the adults they admire and care for. When parents and teachers model microbravery they provide girls with two core components they need to develop courage: a script (the words to say) and permission (it’s okay to speak up, even if society tells you not to).

Bravery isn’t just about what we do: it’s also about what we believe in. By changing the way girls define courage, we can put it within their reach, making bravery something girls can also enjoy.

Toorak College sets every student up for their own personal growth and success. Discover Toorak on Wednesday 17 May, with tours at 9am and 10am. Call 9788 7234 or visit

Getting uncomfortable – the importance of outdoor education

There is no doubt that school camps provide children with many memorable experiences, some good, some quite challenging. As adults, many of our school memories are still related to the camps that we attended.

At Peninsula Grammar, camps are a compulsory part of the curriculum. Designed by an expert outdoor education team, the outdoor experiences created for Years 5 to 8 students in particular provide learning opportunities not possible within the four walls of a classroom.

“Working as a team in an outdoor setting with their peers, their teachers and other professionals to take on personal and social challenges is one of the most empowering experiences for our students,” said the Head of the Middle Years program, Muriel Bakker. “The relationships formed during this time of year are really important and our camps are all about engaging our students and developing positive interpersonal relationships with fellow students and mentors.”

Camps at Peninsula Grammar are definitely jam-packed with activities with little downtime - setting up camp, preparing meals and cleaning up afterwards, hiking, abseiling, rafting, bike riding, surfing and many individual and team challenges. The children are exposed to a range of activities that they may not have tried before, with camp staff encouraging them to ‘get comfortable getting uncomfortable’.

“We know that our most significant personal growth occurs when we step outside of our own comfort zone,” Mrs Bakker said. “And really, that’s what our camps are designed to do – promote growth and an adventurous spirit.”

Hear more about the importance of outdoor education in Peninsula Grammar’s Years 5 to 8 program at the Open Day on May 17. Visit or phone 9788 7777.

Co-ed Confidence. Girls Thrive at Woodleigh.

I was first introduced to Woodleigh School when my brother started Year 7 way back in 2005. I still remember, at the age of seven, looking forward to the day when I entered a school where the possibilities seemed endless.

While my brother and I may have had different experiences once we entered into the school, they were equally amazing. This I attribute to one of Woodleigh’s core principles: equality.

Woodleigh values equality, not just between genders but across all boards. This is a school where there are many and varied pathways to success, with the freedom for students to forge their own.

My interests have always been very diverse, and this was supported at all times in both my academic and creative studies. Acceleration opportunities in Mathematics and the Sciences allowed me to expand my mind intellectually, while the Activities Program and Arts subjects allowed for my creativity to flourish.

The love for learning that is cultivated at Woodleigh crosses all classes and curriculum areas. Teachers and staff understand the diversity of interests that students have and accommodate them. My own VCE was a broad and disparate mix: Maths Methods, Chemistry and Biology, as well as English, History Revolutions and Studio Arts. I loved every one and had fantastic teachers for all.

I thrived at Woodleigh and I know that many of my female friends felt the same way. The co-ed environment produces driven, confident, and intelligent young women who know how to respond to the challenges of a co-ed world. Woodleigh’s sense of community creates a support structure that encourages high achievement, personal bests and hard work, regardless of gender or interest. And they are great people! Without the support of my friends … many of whom are guys … I would not have achieved the VCE results that I did last year.

The Woodleigh School environment is one where all young people are encouraged to be strong, resilient and innovative – boys and girls alike.

Katherine Robertson 2016 Dux of Woodleigh School 99.65 ATAR
Perfect study scores of 50 in both English and Studio Arts.

Top Designs

Top Designs is an exhibition held annually at the Melbourne Museum presenting work created by VCE students in Media, Product Design and Technology, Food and Technology, Systems Engineering, Visual Communication Design and VET Interactive Digital Media.

Toorak College Year 12 student and VCE Visual Art Prefect, Sophie Fairbridge, received the great honour of selection in Top Designs with her garment inspired by the Great Barrier Reef.  Sophie chose to complete her Unit 3/4 Product, Design and Technology subject while she was in Year 11, which is an even more notable achievement.

She says, “Its purpose was to show people the beauty of the magnificent reef so they would hopefully want to help save it from the mines in Queensland. I wanted to highlight the striking blue of the ocean and the intricate and natural patterns and shapes of corals and fish”.

“It was very exciting opening the email that said I'd been selected. It is such a big achievement and just shows to me that hard work and a passionate approach to any task can be so rewarding,” Sophie says.

Dailan Hatherley, Head of Visual Art and Technology at Toorak College says, “Top Designs is the best of the best, showcasing the pinnacle of talent from VCE students across the state. Sophie is immersed in the arts, her design is highly original, very well executed and worthy of selection in Top Designs. Every year Toorak College has a VCE art exhibition, where the quality of work is exceptional”.  

“To me, being selected for Top Designs means that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, and that through this experience extraordinary things can be created,” says Sophie.

Toorak College encourages students to dream big, aim high and find their passion. For more details call 9788 7234 or discover Toorak at open morning, Wednesday May 17, tours at 9am and 10am.

Production in full swing at Peninsula Grammar

Anything Goes is a much-loved classic musical featuring the songs of Cole Porter, which first premiered on Broadway in 1934. Over the years, the show has undergone many revisions to the script, but the original humour, beauty, energy and quirky characters of the show have never changed.

The show takes place on a cruise ship sailing from New York to London, and as the title suggests, once on board Anything Goes. There are complicated romantic relationships, mistaken identities, ridiculous disguises, dancing sailors, singing showgirls, and a ship full of eccentric passengers all with a story to tell.

Just because Anything Goes is a classic musical, this does not mean it is an easy musical to perform. At Peninsula Grammar they are always looking to challenge their performing arts students and to provide opportunities for them to develop new skills. This year students have taken on the difficult but rewarding task of learning to tap dance. They have also been learning to waltz, which is not a dance style they are necessarily accustomed to. The dedicated cast is spending hours perfecting steps at rehearsals – lunchtimes, after school and at home.

Many have also been exploring their comedic skills with physical comedy, timing, and slapstick. They have been making brave choices in the rehearsal room as they develop their characters, meaning there are plenty of laughs amongst all the hard work. Cole Porter’s music is light, bright, funny, and provides an opportunity for many of the School’s talented vocalists to shine. The harmonies and energy of the full cast numbers are so infectious audience members are going to have to stop themselves from joining in.

Anything Goes is shaping up to be nothing short of spectacular. It sets sail from the Frankston Arts Centre June 1, 2, 3 at 7pm – tickets available from

Playball to get school ready by Liz Rogers

Sport keeps you fit, but it also teaches and develops a wide range of skills to help your child navigate life’s journey.

Playball Specialised Sports Coaching for kids between the ages of two and eight focuses on school and life readiness by developing physical (motor coordination, muscle tone and spatial awareness), emotional (behaviour regulation, confidence) and intellectual (memory and concentration) readiness.

This dedicated kids’ sports program also teaches co-operation, participation, turn taking and sportsmanship all under the guise of having some fun!

Contact Playball to see how your child can thrive both physically and emotionally today.

Ready. Set. Play.

T: 0411 365 222

The most important recipe

There is no known recipe for producing a well-rounded, confident and motivated young person.  Each individual develops in a uniquely different way shaped by the positive and negative influences in their lives.  There are, however, certain ingredients that just have to be included in a school for the masterpiece to take its own unique form.

First, the utensils, or the framework, that underpins the learning must allow for student curiosity, exploration and discovery.  The IB-PYP curriculum encourages teachers to continually question why they teach, what they teach and how they teach.  It focuses on true understanding and learning based on an individual’s unique style.

Second, the elements added to the school need to include:

·       Collaboration between students, staff and parents;

·       A touch of challenge and struggle to teach determination and grit;

·       A large amount of patience and practice to solidify an individual’s understanding of persistence and dedication; and,

·       A pinch of freedom to explore and create.

These ingredients are then brought together through the passion of the teaching staff, the support of the parents and the enthusiasm of the student.  The best recipes change over time and are continually critiqued in the quest to work to perfect the outcome.

The IB-PYP curriculum offered in Toorak College’s Prep-Year 6 program consistently seeks to improve the recipe and perfect the outcome through preparing students for the intellectual challenges of their future education, focusing on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside of it.

Discover Toorak on Wednesday, March 22, with tours at 9am and 10am, or phone 9788 7234.

A: Old Mornington Rd, Mount Eliza
T: 9788 7200

Learning through action in the early years

We hear a lot about the importance of the early years and giving children the best start in life. But what actually makes the most difference? The answer is a high-quality Kindergarten program.

Kindergarten builds the foundations of education, and Peninsula Grammar believes that learning through action is a key ingredient to enabling a child to grow.

“If you want to see the joy of learning in its purest form - visit one of our Kindergarten classes,” said Louise Nicholls-Easley, Head of Junior Years at Peninsula Grammar.  “Here you can see a zest for learning that comes from an emergent curriculum, room to explore and experiment and exceptional teachers.

“I am enormously proud of our Kindergarten staff who actively encourage curiosity, collaboration and creativity in the classroom. They go above and beyond to ensure that each child in the Kinder flourishes in their own individual way,” she explains.

However, the learning through action approach isn’t confined to the classroom.  While there are purpose-built Kindergarten rooms, it is the sustainable gardens and access to the entire school grounds that allows for exploring and learning. This also enhances the children’s strong sense of community and belonging within the school.

Mrs Lucinda Watson, from the Four-Year-Old Kinder Program, sees the benefits of this approach every day.  “We love to see the children’s confidence and independence growing.  Each child comes here with different knowledge and they teach each other, learning that everyone has strengths,” she explains.  “For example, one of our little girls loves packing up and some struggle with working as a team so she is showing them what teamwork means.  We celebrate that.”

For more information about Peninsula Grammar and its learning through action Kinder program, go to or call 9788 7777.

A: 20 Wooralla Drive, Mount Eliza
T: 9788 7777

Magic at Dusk

LANTASIA DREAMING transforms the Mornington Peninsula’s Boneo Maze into an ethereal Night Garden this summer.

The enchanting gardens and wetlands of Boneo Maze in Fingal have provided the inspiration for more than 80 hand-crafted lanterns at dusk. As the sun sets, the lights of the stunning silk sculptures illuminate the natural landscape and a journey into fantasy and tranquility begins.

Returning for a second year, the lanterns whisper the story of Australian animals and plants and explore ideas underpinning the Dreamtime stories. Children and adults alike will be captivated by the glow of the gardens as they wander 27 acres of garden, boardwalks and outdoor play spaces.

Dreamtime characters include the Elder wombat, Waa the wise crow, the heroic eagle Bunjil, the thirsty frog Tiddalik and others. Learn more about Aboriginal Australia and experience didgeridoo meditation performances, bush tucker gatherings and tools and weapons demonstrations.

In the games garden, families can picnic under the stars surrounded by illuminated sculptures or enjoy supper at the lakeside café watching the gardens glow.

After a successful Lantasia season last summer for Boneo Maze, managers Tyson Savanah and Justine Watt are thrilled to incorporate new designs and storytelling elements to this year’s event. “By opening the gardens of Boneo Maze at night and creating a unique light sculptures ambience, we’re hoping to bring a little bit of magic to the Mornington Peninsula,” said Tyson.

LANTASIA tickets also include Boneo Maze’s popular twilight mini-golf in the entry price.

LANTASIA at Boneo Maze opens nightly until February 2017, 6-10pm; Friday and Saturday nights during term 1, 6pm-10pm; and nightly during Easter holidays, 6pm–10pm.

Tickets at the gate and online Tickets: $20 adults, $18 children (3-17yrs), $18 seniors/concession, $70 family (2A + 2C).



FB /BoneoMazeMiniGolf

Some things change, some stay the same

From this year, Years 7, 8 and 9 at The Peninsula School will be a little different. Proudly co-educational, the school offers a diverse, vibrant and challenging learning environment that reflects the real world, where boys and girls work together.

This means a combination of co-educational and single gender classes for Mathematics and English that will see Peninsula School students in this important life stage engaged in learning designed specifically for each individual and their class.

“Years 7, 8 and 9 at The Peninsula School is an exciting time. It’s a unique period of student growth and development,” explains Mrs Muriel Bakker, Head of the Middle Years’ ‘Becoming Me’ program. “This is when we extend our students' academic skills, promote personal development and encourage responsible citizenship through a variety of learning experiences.”
The School believes that co-educational and single gender classes for Mathematics and English in these years, combined with a targeted teaching approach, provides the optimal learning environment for students in this age group.

Head of Student Wellbeing, Mrs Lyn Bylart explains. “This approach, which also offers enhanced pastoral care through House-based mentoring, understands the social, emotional and physical changes that occur at this time.  It ensures every student has what they need to flourish and promotes positive relationships between boys and girls as they mature.”
The program includes interdisciplinary learning across a range of academic areas and an extensive outdoor education program and starts to prepare students for their transition into the all-important Senior Years.

For more information about The Peninsula School go to or call 9788 7777.

A: 20 Wooralla Drive, Mount Eliza
T: 9788 7777

Working together for your child’s future

The partnership between students, school and parents is fundamental to achieving the best possible outcome for every student.  At Toorak College the school community is united in a single vision; it is all about the students.

To bring the best out of each student they need to learn to push the boundaries of what they believe is possible.  They need to create, explore and inquire.  They need to be encouraged to ask why and they need to learn to not accept what they read or are told but to challenge it.
To take these risks students need to feel safe.  Principal Kristy Kendall says fostering social relationships and connectedness is everyone’s responsibility - the student, school and parents - and when students feel safe they will embrace challenge.

“The school culture needs to develop a growth mindset in all of our students, and our staff and parents as well, encouraging students to take risks and to understand that mistakes are an inevitable part of life that help us to grow and learn. They are not something to be avoided,” says Mrs Kendall.

“At Toorak, we know that we develop sensational young people, because we understand that education isn’t about knowledge transfer any more; education is about skill development, character development and vision.”

Mrs Kendall invites you to visit Toorak College at Open Day on Saturday, February 18, with tours at 9am and 11am or Discover Toorak on Wednesday, March 22, with tours at 9am and 10am. “When you see a school at work you’ll know if it’s the right school for your child.”  

Families will have the opportunity to speak with Mrs Kendall and key staff.  Phone 9788 7234 or visit for more details.

A: Old Mornington Rd, Mount Eliza
T: 9788 7200

Discover alternative pathways at your local TAFE

Have you just finished secondary school? Mature aged or simply wanting a career change? Maybe you didn’t get the university offer you wanted?  Chisholm TAFE at Rosebud has a variety of courses that offer further pathways in both careers and higher education, so chat to them today and start your journey.

TAFE pathways are offered in a range of programs, from VCAL, Hospitality & Tourism to Early Childhood Education and Care, plus more.  Whether you wish to start at a certificate III level in Early Childhood Education and Care for example, or bite the bullet and commence a course such as the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, there are many career path opportunities including pathways to higher education and teaching.

Chisholm’s Mornington Peninsula Campus located in Rosebud provides a comfortable and community based learning environment with strong links with the local industry that provide placement opportunities. Their dedicated teachers understand the local needs of industry, and make learning relevant to the future success of students.

Applications for 2017 are now open. For more information visit