Strive9: Social Justice and Student Growth

Thanks to the incredible forward planning and organisation of Tania Hicks (Dean of Students for Semester 1), and the leadership and support of a committed team of Homeroom teachers, Strive9’s ninth successive year has been another great success. Strive9 is a challenging social justice project that takes students out of their comfort zone. In the context of engagement with the community and social justice, students learn invaluable skills in the area of decision-making and cooperation.

The project began way back in Term 1, where the Year 9s worked together in their Homeroom groups to develop ideas about the needs of individuals and groups within the community. The process from start to finish is predominantly student-led with Homeroom teachers playing more of a facilitator role. Some of the biggest hurdles in the early stages of the project are the negotiation of ideas and deciding on a direction to move forward with.

Over the course of Terms 2 and 3, the Homeroom groups went through the process of planning and developing their projects. During this time, students communicated with various groups and organisations, planned logistics, prepared activities, made necessary items and more. As part of the project, students collected information in their journals to track progress and learnings along the way.

Strive9 culminated with the Implementation Day. All groups managed to do something really special this year. Byrne House ran a day of activities focused around health with the pre-primary students from St Jerome’s Primary. Corbett House had to overcome some difficult challenges when Plan A fell through just two weeks before Implementation Day, but they pulled together a great project feeding the homeless and making care packs. O’Reilly were able to create and deliver much-needed resources for the Thornlie Intensive English Centre. O’Donnell started a pen-pal relationship with elderly people living in an aged care facility – It was enthusiastically received and they’re already receiving replies!

Dillon put on an incredible morning tea for the clients and staff down at St Patrick’s Community Care Centre in Fremantle. De la Hoyde welcomed back the young refugee students from St Gerome’s, running some fun educational activities and cooking lunch together. Frayne were outstanding in planning and running a range of activities for Mosman Park School for Deaf Children, and they even learnt some basic sign language along the way. And finally, Kelly House, who worked really hard on an ambitious project, were rewarded with a fulfilling day hosting 14 young mothers with their babies and toddlers for a movie and lunch at Event Cinemas in Innaloo.

The most exciting and fulfilling part of the day for me as Dean of Year 9 was seeing the Year 9s return from their projects with a real spring in their step. The sense of satisfaction, achievement and fulfillment is something that can only come from those special moments of growth and learning. The girls were energised and many of them inspired towards further community engagement and action. Parents enjoyed seeing the amazing work of the girls on Thursday at the Parent Presentation Evening.

Thanks must go to all of the staff members involved in the project, but most of all the Homeroom teachers. Their guidance, support and incredible patience is integral to making this learning experience so worthwhile.

Benjamin Court, Dean of Year 9

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