Welcome Year 7s

I’m sure starting high school is scary for most students. I remember going from being a big fish in a small pond to being a small fish in a huge ocean. I faced many challenges like learning to use a locker and a timetable for the first time, having different teachers for different subjects, making new friends and trying to find my way around, what felt like a big city.

Not much has changed, really. For the Year 7s who started at Santa Maria College this week, most of them took all of this in their stride. It wasn’t all that new for some, as they were here in Year 6, but for half the cohort, everything about this week has been a new experience.

To welcome the girls and help them make a smooth transition, our Year 7s spent the first three days learning about being a Santa girl. They toured the College, played getting to know you games, learned how to use their timetable and planner. The girls also learned about the values that make us Santa Maria College and what guides us.

On top of this, the girls received shiny new laptops. They spent sessions learning about internet and email etiquette, laptop use and guidelines and typing lessons. They also had sessions on how to use Microsoft Teams…just in case.

There was lots of time for fun and laughter amongst the seriousness of school. And today during Pastoral Care Time, the girls reflected on all the things they had covered over the week and discussed some tips for success. They then enjoyed a nice cold icy pole and some time to chat and relax after what has been a very busy few days.

These are just some of the things that have been implemented to help the girls settle in this week.

Marsha Pengilly, Dean of Students, Year 7 said, “The girls have had a fabulous start to the year. I have been so impressed with how they have taken to everything and how calm and organised they are. The girls have happily started the year and are very much enjoying getting to know new girls in their year group.”

Some of our Year 7 boarders

Our boarders have had some even bigger challenges. Twenty new Year 7 boarders were helped to settle in by the Year 12 leaders after saying goodbye to their parents. The girls are from all over WA. Many are siblings and cousins of current boarders. All Year 7 boarders now have a buddy and a ‘big sister’ to support and care for them now and well into the future.

One of the highlights for the girls is enjoying afternoon tea together in the boarders dining room with the Year 8s and other boarders. This is a fun part of the day where the girls share their stories from school with each other. There is usually a whole lot of eating and a lot of laughs.

There has been some homesickness, which is to be expected. The homesickness comes and goes and with the routine of boarding and the many exciting opportunities, the homesickness shrinks over time. As every boarder experiences homesickness at some stage, the girls are all well equipped to support and care for each other.

No doubt there will be some tired girls this weekend, but they all seem to be enjoying their first taste of high school.

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