There are key transition periods in every person’s life and in the context of secondary schooling, Year 9 is one of these periods. Students move from being young adolescent boys and girls into developing men and women. During this transition stage, it is normal for many students to experience some confusion and trepidation. This has the potential to result in poor decision-making, adverse behaviour and in some cases a negative attitude.
At Chisholm College, we believe the students need to feel supported through this transition period. Whilst up to now our Year 9s have always been supported through this difficult stage in their lives, evidence would suggest that a more ceremonious and ritualistic journey through this coming-of-age period would be even more beneficial. We have engaged a company known as AdventureWorks WA to assist us in implementing a programme for the Year 9s. This team uses adventure and challenge to start conversations about the things that really matter to young adults, how to support themselves and each other and how the learnings translate to life beyond school. The specifically designed programme for Chisholm, was created based on Chisholm’s Values of Character, Learning and Compassion. The vision was implemented to not only benefit individual young people but also to continue to build on the positive culture of our College.
The programme was launched with the Year 9 students at an assembly back in Term 1. As the year has progressed, the Year 9s have been involved in two one-day workshops as well as a three-day camp.
On Monday night the College hosted the Parent Homecoming Evening. The evening provided an opportunity for us to honour these students as a community. A very important part of the process of moving into adulthood is the acknowledgment by everyone that the child has moved or transitioned from a child into a young adult. Parents and students had the opportunity to sit around the ‘camp fire’ and share with one another the conversations that really matter to them as they move into adulthood. The evening and programme culminated with the parents honouring their child and then gifting them with their Senior School tie. Acceptance of this tie symbolised the child’s journey in Lower School ending and a new chapter in Senior School beginning. We congratulate all the students on their accomplishments with this programme this year and trust the parents had an enjoyable experience.
It has been an honour and a privilege sharing this journey with the Year 9s. My thanks are extended to the Year 9 PCAs and camp staff without whom this could not be possible.
Mrs Belinda Pietropaolo
Head of Year 9