“It is crucial that young people learn essential life skills such as resilience, respect, responsibility and critical reasoning in order to thrive both online and offline.”
Most families by now would have received our letter regarding the use of mobile phones during the school day. Of course this does not mean our students are without the use of technology – they still have the use of their IPad and laptops for learning.
Our Year 9 students, however, were technology free for more than 24hrs when they headed off to Douglas Scrub just outside McLaren Vale on Thursday last week. I drove up there on Friday morning just in time for breakfast, and to see the girls trying to dismantle their tents and put them back in their bags.
A good time was had by all. Some girls were challenged by some of the activities however, they pushed through and felt a real sense of achievement at the completion. I am hoping the camp encourages the girls to translate that experience to approaching other times when things may seem a challenge.
Planning for Year 7
A lot of discussions are taking place around the College regarding the arrival of Year 7s in 2019. A new text for teacher education was published last year called ‘Teaching Middle Years’ and we have been using this as a guide and at times a provocation to challenge our approach to Year 7, 8 and 9.
The magnitude of physical, psychosocial, emotional and cognitive changes that occur during the early adolescence is second to that of the changes experienced in the first two years of life. In addition we can expect the most differentiation, because for each individual the journey through adolescence is unique, with changes occurring at different times and different rates. (p4 Teaching Middle Years.)
For the reasons above, we are reviewing our transition processes to Mary MacKillop College and will be asking how we can further support the girls with the big move from primary to secondary. We will survey the girls after the Year 8 camp and use the results to inform the Year 7 and Year 8 timetable next year. At Mary MacKillop College we have a strong focus on Pastoral Care and we are committed to strengthening this approach in order to assist our young girls to be more confident and resilient.
I also look forward to meeting prospective parents and students at our annual Open Day on Sunday 4 March, 12pm - 2pm.