Reason for Being: A Launchpad for Self-Discovery

Entering Year 10 can feel like stepping into uncharted territory for students as they bid goodbye to their middle school years. It’s a time that is ripe with changes in friendships and personal growth, navigating the maze of their teenage years. However, before delving into the choices that will shape their academic journey in Years 11 and 12, it’s crucial to pause and ponder not just ‘what’ they want to be but ‘who’ they aspire to become.

Recognising this pivotal transition, our Year 9 Transition Program, created by educator Rebecca Kinsella and psychologist Majella Dennis, has evolved into a pivotal initiative. Led this year by College psychologist Kimberlee Burrows alongside psychologists Diann Kerr and Sarah Hmood, the program’s essence lies in fostering personal growth and self-understanding.

Dubbed ‘Reason for Being,’ the three-day program guides students through a profound exploration of their individual purposes in life. Each day is curated to focus on distinct aspects:

  • Who Am I?
  • Who Am I with Others
  • Who Am I in the World

Engaging in a spectrum of practical and creative activities, students uncover their core values, recognising their significance as guiding principles in life’s diverse phases.

The program emphasises understanding others, shedding light on the ‘unseen’ narratives, and nurturing strategies to mend strained relationships. These are not just tools tailored for their senior years; they are life-long skills meant to accompany these young minds into adulthood.

Rebecca Kinsella explains, “The focus is on personal development through a mixture of activities that cover a wide range of social and emotional learning. We are also celebrating a significant year of school and we want students to love the journey of the program. And so, whilst we cover a lot of content, we have chosen to illustrate the key concepts through completely practical, creative and reflective activities.”

This was Diann Kerr’s first year being part of the program. “I was apprehensive at first – 90 students for three days! This quickly evaporated when I saw the faces of the young girls looking back at me. I’d like to thank the students for all they shared with me – respect, joy, enthusiasm, vulnerability and mostly fun. I have learned so much about the girls as a year group, and I hope they have benefitted from Reason for Being as much as I have.”

The second group of Year 9s will complete the program next week, while this week’s group will head off to camp.

This program is a wonderful time of reflection and a unique opportunity for the girls to come together. We wish the girls well as they move forward into Year 10 next year. 

Here are reflections from two of our Year 9 students.

I really loved how, throughout each day, there were different sessions, which each explored something different, making it very engaging and informative. It helped me understand other’s emotions and connect with them further. Sophie Radici

The Transition Program has really taught me how to be more open to my peers but also to myself. It helped me respect my values and to know the full story before I judge people. It was super fun and engaging and allowed me to fully connect with the other students in my cohort. Thura van Essen

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

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