Reflection Days: Embracing Spiritual Growth and Connection

Year 8s

Reflection Days are a cornerstone of Santa Maria College’s commitment to fostering spiritual growth and connection among our students. This week, students in Years 7, 8, and 11 took a break from their regular classroom activities to engage in a day dedicated to self-discovery, bonding, and fun. Through various activities and discussions, the girls were encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, challenge themselves, and deepen their understanding of themselves and their peers.

Spiritual Growth and Affirmation

Facilitated by Dave Jorna from Live Your Code, the Reflection Days provided a mix of engaging, fun activities and opportunities for spiritual reflection. Dave’s passion for working with young people was evident as he balanced learning and enjoyment, helping students explore their faith and what truly matters to them in a supportive environment.

Dave explains the benefits of these programs.

The reflection days are an opportunity for the students to reflect more deeply on who they are being for themselves and for others. 

The benefits of these programs include building their sense of self-identity and internal validation while re-aligning with their core values. Positive outcomes of this permeate all aspects of life, including relationships, wellbeing, self-confidence, resilience, academic outcomes and spirituality.

As a cohort, they come away from the programs with a greater sense of unity, understanding and openness towards each other while also being more purposeful about living their core values in all aspects of life.

As one Santa Maria College Year 8 student said, “God won’t ask why you weren’t more like them. Instead, God will ask why you weren’t more like you.”

Tailored Themes for Each Year Group

Each year group had a unique theme tailored to their stage of development:

Year 7

Year 7: Who Am I?

Topics covered included:

  • I Am Enough
  • Who Inspires Me
  • Who Do I Want To Be

Isla, who is in Year 7, thought her Reflection Day was incredible!

“I enjoyed the stories he told, and especially the sing-alongs! One of the things I took away from Reflection Day was that friendships don’t have conditions other than 2. One, they must treat you well, and 2, you must treat them well. If there are any other conditions, it is not a good friendship. Reflection day was definitely a highlight for me, and I absolutely enjoyed it!”

Year 8

Year 8: The Real Gift

Topics covered included:

  • My Giftedness
  • The Giftedness In Others
  • Gifted Moments

Liane, from Year 8, found the experience invaluable.

“Year 8 Reflection Day was an invaluable experience because it provided us with a meaningful opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth. The activities were scheduled to encourage positive relationships among peers and foster a deeper understanding of our values and how they can align with our goals. We were able to engage in activities and discussions that conveyed how respecting different perspectives can guide us in promoting connections with others. Reflection day nurtured a sense of mindfulness and self-awareness and moving forward, we look forward to building on these insightful concepts and continue to cultivate these essential skills of valuing our identity.”

Year 11: Servant Leadership

Topics covered included:

  • You Are Enough
  • Be The Ones Who Build
  • Create Change Through Service

Year 11 student Sofia enjoyed Dave’s presentations.

“Personally, I really enjoyed the level of enthusiasm by Dave, our presenter, throughout the day. He presented to the Year 11 cohort for the full day, and he continually engaged and related with us, and had us complete fun, meaningful and worthwhile activities. These activities were not only a valuable life lesson for everyone to take away but also united us together as a cohort and built a new level of connection between us. I particularly loved when we wrote meaningful and beautiful compliments to a person in our year group, and then we read the comments out loud in front of the cohort, it was a truly inspiring experience. A key message I have taken away from Reflection Day is to surround myself with the people I want to write my story, the five people who know me the best and that I will trust with my life. These people are the ones who share the same values and beliefs as me and the ones who will be the most supportive in times of need. Reflection Day has also taught me how important it is to approach every situation with empathy and an open mindset.”

Reflection Days at Santa Maria College not only strengthen the bonds among students but also empower them with leadership skills, compassion, and a deeper understanding of themselves and their faith. These days are a testament to our commitment to holistic education, where academic learning is complemented by personal and spiritual growth.

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