– Fr. Joseph Cianta, sdb, Director Boys’ Town 1952-1964
In 2015, the Ciantar students were engaged by a challenging and dynamic program within the Dunlea Centre setting. Over the course of the year Ciantar welcomed numerous fresh faces and said goodbye to several young people that had spent a significant period within the program. Regardless of duration or overall outcome, Ciantar staff feel confident that all students that accessed the program have left with a wealth of memorable experiences, educational enrichment and improved relationships both at school and at home.
Term 1: ‘Work to Potential, See Things Through’
Term 1 was all about the importance of persistence and realising individual strengths. ‘Work to Potential, See Things Through’ was the first unit theme for the year and it encouraged the class to be diligent and productive across all aspects of the program. English lessons were based around the text ‘Rumblefish’ by S.E. Hinton and explored concepts of loyalty, friendship and belonging. Geography focused on Australian Geographical Features and Indigenous Perspective, culminating in an excursion to the Blue Mountains and learning about the Three Sisters and their Dreamtime significance. Warm summer weather was made the most of with students spending Friday mornings improving Surf Skills with Cronulla Surf Academy instructors. Camp took place in Bundeena with fishing, snorkelling and bushwalking, and was enjoyed by all. Uncle David White (who sadly passed away mid-year) led the group on a bush tucker and rock carving tour of the Jibbon headland. The group also thoroughly enjoyed a Jet Boat ride on Sydney Harbour and a trip to the Royal Easter Show.
Term 2: ‘Know the Purpose’
The theme for Term 2 was ‘Know the Purpose’ which coincided well with a unit of study in Social Skills and Mindfulness. Students practised breathing and meditation skills and went on an enlightening excursion to Nan Tien Buddhist Temple to participate in Tai Chi and Origami lessons. History focused upon the 100 year commemoration of the ANZAC Campaign at Gallipoli and produced excellent work highlighting their understanding of trench warfare. Food Technology was another really pleasing area of study with numerous Italian, Asian and South American dishes produced. A Wintery high altitude Camp took place in a peaceful Chalet atop Jamberoo Mountain where students explored the surrounding bushland, Minnamurra Falls and enjoyed time around the open fire. Adrenaline levels were also kept high with thrilling trips to Nowra Treetop Adventures and Electric Go Karting at Albion Park. Friday Life Skills sessions were split between Sydney Olympic Archery Centre and Rock Climbing at St Peters.
Term 3: ‘Deeds, Not Words’
The theme ‘Deeds, Not Words’ challenged Ciantar students in Term 3 to consider the impact and value of their everyday actions. English was shaped around a text and film appreciation of ‘The Power of One’. History looked at Ancient Rome, Gladiators and the Roman Legion, with students continuing to impress with their levels of interest and creativity. Submissions in Visual Art were also of a high standard with numerous students excelling in working with charcoal during self-portraiture lessons. The focus for Life Skills was bike riding with the class embarking on several demanding Mountain Bike expeditions in the National Park as well as trips to Homebush BMX track. Camp Week was spent interstate on the Queensland Gold Coast where students visited various theme parks and enjoyed each other’s company in a well-appointed holiday house.
Term 4: ‘New Surroundings, Fresh Focus’
The focus for Term 4 was ‘New Surroundings, Fresh Focus’. This coincided with the move into the brand new Ciantar Day space. Many young people showed significant improvements in Mathematics by mastering concepts of consumer arithmetic and fractions. Design and Technology and Art complemented one another with the class utilising tools and resources to complete Solar Car and Block Sculpture projects. The Social Skills program included a visit to NRL HQ at Moore Park to complete the four week Dream, Believe, Achieve Program. Young people were able to work on aspects of personal ambition, goal setting, leadership and inclusiveness, as well as to spend time with ex-NRL stars Nathan Merritt and Nathan Hindmarsh. The last camp for the year was held in the lovely surroundings of Bundeena and the Royal National Park. Day trips to Jamberoo Action Park and White Water Rafting at Penrith were also valuable opportunities to bond with peers and to demonstrate trust and support skills. Finally, we farewell Val, the teacher in the Ciantar unit who will be taking up a new role in the Agency in 2016. We welcome Zoe who will be taking on the role as teacher in Ciantar.