– Maria Domenica Mazzarello Founder of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco
2015 has been another busy year for the girl’s residential program full of fun, excitement discovery and a few challenges. We started with a theme of ‘Global Citizen’ and continued with ‘Participation’, ‘Short Story’, and ‘Gold Coast’.
Term 1: ‘Global Citizens’
2015 has been a very exciting time for the staff and students in the Maria unit. During Term 1, the girls were engaged in becoming global citizens by taking Italian lessons and learning more about Italian culture and cuisine. They also studied the Australian involvement in World War 2 and the implications that this had for Australia at the time. This culminated with a study trip to the ANZAC war memorial in Hyde Park where the girls received a guided tour of the museum. For the Friday life skills session, there was surfing skills at Cronulla beach. It gave the girls an opportunity to increase their confidence in the water, learn about surf safety and catch a few waves.
Term 2: ‘Participation’
The girls increased their level of participation in sport and exercise during Term 2 through regular personal training sessions with an instructor as well as engaging in Zumba classes during their residential time. The girls benefited hugely from this as they developed an understanding of the need for a healthy lifestyle, increased their confidence and learnt some new skills as well. The importance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle was continued into the classroom with the ‘Food for Life’ topic in Science, covering the biological differences that diet and lifestyle can have on health. There were practical lessons in Food Technology on health and hygiene when preparing food, as well as on healthy eating on a budget.
Term 3: ‘Short Story’
At the start of Term 3, the girls were given the challenge of following a process to write a short story based on an idea that they had come up with themselves, they initially found this difficult but once they had begun, some excellent writing occurred, culminating in their stories being printed and bound as books. The history of recycled art was studied and the knowledge was used to produce a variety of recycled artworks. The girls also learnt about the impact that waste has upon society as a whole and what they can do to minimise this. For PDHPE there was a weekly yoga session with an instructor. The girls really challenged themselves and found that they improved greatly over the course of the term. They were also able to learn a range of meditation techniques to relieve stress and anxiety, which is a valuable skill set to have.
Term 4: ‘Gold Coast’
The high light of Term 4 was the camp to the Gold Coast in Queensland. Throughout the year the Maria unit had been running cupcake stalls at Bunnings to raise the extra money needed for this camp. The girls would spend the Friday morning making the cupcakes and then the staff would give up their own time on the Saturday to run the stall. This was tremendously successful as it allowed the girls to stay in a house at Surfers Paradise as well as visiting theme parks, excursions to Tambourine Mountain, glow-worm caves and many trips to the beach to swim, surf and relax. The fact that the girls had to work hard to even make the camp happen, gave them a great sense of ownership and pride in what they had achieved, as it was the end result of a year’s worth of hard work for them.