Year 9s Transition into Senior School

As the year draws to a close, our Year 9s participated in the ‘Reason for Being’ program to help them prepare for their transition to senior school next year. The program, developed for the College by psychologist Majella Dennis, and Santa Maria’s own Rebecca Kinsella, invites the girls to reflect on who they want to be within themselves and the world as they move into their final years of schooling.

Over three action-packed days, the girls participated in various hands-on activities where they learned about themselves and their cohort and what they would like each to look like moving forward. The girls took part in ‘speed dating’ (to improve inclusivity and broaden social horizons). They learned how to repair broken and fractured relationships and deeply share gratitude for people in their lives, and they practised taking other people’s perspectives using their ‘perspectacles’.

Their roles across the program varied from being several hundred human chairs (who needed each other for support), to villagers trapped in a radioactive field (who learned the value in deeply understanding other people’s stories), to expert salsa dancers and choreographers!

The girls were challenged to stand up for inclusivity within their year group and in the world – even applying ‘Design Justice’ to design and build their own box city! The girls brainstormed designs that could centre around people who are often marginalised. They presented their final creations to a very special judge, Mrs Oaten.

The program concluded with a beautiful transition ritual where the students shared their wishes for the future. One of the highlights for the facilitators was watching several girls resolve longstanding conflict and hug it out!

Reflecting on their reason for being will help the girls connect to intention and purpose each day and remind them to see beyond the to-do list of things they need to do to the bigger ‘why’.

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