Year 12 Alfresco Area: Official Opening

Reaching Year 12 is a huge milestone in the journey through school. Seeing the ‘big kids’ in their red jumpers and red hat bands is something to be revered. One of the privileges that comes with being in Year 12 at Santa Maria is the Alfresco Area, an area set aside just for Year 12 students.

Our Year 11.5 students are well into starting their Year 12 courses this term and are now the official leaders of the College. The girls were excited today when they were officially handed over the Year 12 Alfresco Area during a ceremony, which included the cutting of a ribbon by Principal Jen Oaten and Head Girl Emma Robinson.

The opening was made even more special with a lovely prayer read by Anna Burfoot:

God of Mercy, 

 We thank you for the many opportunities and experiences we have been blessed with in our time at the College. We thank you for the gift of friendship in these critical years of our lives and this wonderful space to nurture and celebrate being a Year 12 community together.

 Gracious God, give the Year 12 students your grace in full measure that we may understand the truths we are taught, appreciate the care and advice that is shared with us and give witness to our love for each other for the year ahead.

We hope that this gathering space strengthens old friendships and forges new ones.  We thank you for the moments of joy, laughter and hospitality this space will provide, even in the most challenging of times. 

 In accepting the privilege of this gathering space, we also accept the call to leadership and stewardship.  As the Year 12 students of 2019, we commit ourselves to uphold the Mercy values and demonstrating them in our actions, thoughts, and words. Our particular focus for next year will be Hospitality and we pray for a welcoming and generous spirit in our interactions in this Alfresco Area.

Today we also pray for our Homeroom Teachers who are exemplary people of compassion, wisdom and the love of God.  Make them strong in your service and compassionate in your care as we move into our last year together.

 God, we ask for Your blessing on this space, may it be filled with love, console us in times of loneliness and make us grateful for all that nourishes us.  Make it a safe place to dwell, a place of light and friendliness that warmly welcomes all.  Let it at times be a quiet space where refreshment restores the body and soul. Create in it a place of abundance and treasured memories filled with familiar faces and words of welcome.


Head Girl Emma Robinson, had these words to say:

“Having a unique space like this in the school will unite us, it will become a place we will share together, celebrate important milestones and come here sometimes for comfort and sometimes to nourish others. With the busy schedule Year 12 brings each of us, having an area we can all enjoy, I know will become so valuable. Being able to spend time together, also offers an opportunity to spend time with girls outside of our friendship groups, and hopefully, forge new friendships. My hope, alongside the SLC Leaders, is that our final year allows us to become closer and to achieve that might mean we look beyond those we regularly sit with and welcome others to our tables. Being given the Alfresco area to gather is not a right, and therefore we have a responsibility to look after it, keep it clean, in order and ensure it is welcoming. These are all important aspects of that responsibility. It’s been a long wait, but Year 12 is finally here, and we thank the College for providing us with the Alfresco to make it seem a bit more real!

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