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Secondary Campus

YEAR 10 HALLETT COVE BOARD WALK

On Thursday 2 September Week 7, the entire Year 10 cohort was lucky enough to go for a walk along the Hallett Cove Boardwalk. After reviewing my experience on the Hallett Cove walk to Brighton, I found that it was fun and also helpful as it gave us a brief insight into some of the science behind the beaches and cliffs, in addition to giving us relief from our schoolwork. As it was a nice day, we were able to have a steady walk where we could interact with our peers throughout the day. The group stopped at the Marino Rocks café for a brief rest, then it was on to Brighton for lunch. The walk gave students some time to get out and about to reflect on themselves and it was an opportunity to revive their mental health while enjoying the amazing wildlife and views throughout the conservation park. Through the walk, students were able to increase their cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness while also making new friends along the way.

Written by Year 10 student Paul Choimes (10PC-10)

WRITE A BOOK IN A DAY

Write a Book in a Day is a fun, creative and collaborative competition for students in Years 7 to 12. Teams of up to ten have just twelve hours to write and illustrate a book from start to finish. To make it even more fun, unique parameters must be included in the story. Digital editions of the completed stories are donated to children in hospitals across Australia. Funds raised through sponsorship go to The Kids’ Cancer Project, a national charity supporting childhood cancer research.

St Michael’s College entered one team for the first time in 2020, and now in 2021 we have two teams!

Team One (Middle): Lily Colville, Nikita Bugg, Ashton Jackson, Tahlia Ward, Chelsea Shepperd, Aijana Kostich, Joshua Francis, Massimo Marrone, Charlie Randall, and Emily Stevens.

Team Two (Senior): Luca Camozzato, Lachlan Stevens, Katelyn Spencer, Kristian DeCandia, Nicholas Andriolo, Samuel Jarvis, Lilia Tonev, Alyssa Meade, and Kiara Didyk.

If you’d like to make a donation, links to our “Sponsor the Team” are below:

https://writeabookinaday.com/team-sponsorship/?id=1098 (Middle Team)

https://writeabookinaday.com/team-sponsorship/?id=887 (Senior Team)

The competition will be held on Thursday 16 September. Best wishes to our budding authors and illustrators!

Mrs Maria Pepe-Micholos, Head of Library – Secondary

UNI SA MATHS EXPERIENCE DAY

On Wednesday 25 August two Year 10 students, Jacob Feijen (10PC-04) and Joel Grygus (10PC-04) attended the UniSA Maths Experience day at the Mawson Lakes Campus.

“On the Uni SA Maths Experience Day we got to talk to numerous specialists in mathematics from different fields. The specialists talked about how mathematics can lead into a wide range of fields such as engineering, health, and science. We got to design bridges on excel then 3D-print them and test them. There was also a puzzle competition which Jacob and myself both won. I would recommend this experience to any students interested in going”. – Joel Grygus (10PC-04)

Ms Anne Finlay, Head of Department – Maths

YEARS 7-9 LEARNING AND WELLBEING CHARACTER STRENGTH FOCUS

Week 8: Curiosity

Earlier this year I wrote about curiosity and I explained that I often wondered where we would be without it… What innovations would we be missing in our daily lives?

According to Martin Seligman and Chris Peterson, often considered to be the ‘fathers’ of positive psychology, curiosity is interest, novelty seeking and an openness to experience and represents ones’ intrinsic desire for experience and knowledge. Curiosity can help us engage in daily activities such as being absorbed in the plot of a movie, listening carefully to the news or a new song, or watching something in nature in wonder [1].

This week the College celebrates Wellbeing Week, a time when we focus on engaging and enjoyable ways to enhance our physical and mental wellbeing as a community, together. Curiosity can help us here too!

Seligman who, with his colleague, Peterson, identified the 24 character strengths we discuss in Years 7-9 Pastoral Care, also identified a number of pillars of wellbeing. These include: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement (PERMA). Wellbeing can be viewed as a continuum, and our position on that continuum, is believed to be influenced positively by a productive focus on these pillars.  Many practitioners also emphasize a focus on Health, as we can benefit from being encouraged to eat well, sleep well and exercise for good health. There is a great deal of literature and documented research, anchored in science, surrounding all of these constructs dating back many years now.

Educational frameworks and professional standards require that student development includes a focus on personal and social capabilities. Pastoral Care programs across the College, and curriculum areas therefore plan to facilitate stronger wellbeing, reflecting proactive learning experiences around issues that cause concern for our youth, as highlighted in national data collections such as Mission Australia’s. The many learning experiences in Pastoral Care are documented in our Year 7-12 Pastoral Care Document.

This week, for example, students in Years 8 and 9 were engaged in some learning experiences that focus on positive body image, considered to be the third most concerning issue for young people in Australia [2]. Working together with the Head of Health and PE, Year 8 and 9 Year Level Directors arranged for girls’ classes to attend a presentation by Taryn Brumfitt of the Body Image Movement, and the boys’ classes were engaged in the RESET program, developed through the Butterfly Foundation, and RUOK? conversations.

Taryn afforded her audience many questions to be curious about, including ‘What are the images we are bombarded with? Who are we letting into our lives (in terms of influencers)…and do they make us feel good about ourselves? Taryn encouraged students to catch themselves when their inner voice is negative and ask “Is that mindset moving me towards my goals?”, effectively reframing negativity with positive inner voice. She encouraged us to view our body, not as an ornament, but as a vehicle to our dreams.

This week in my email to staff and students in Years 7-9,  I encouraged them to use their strength of curiosity to consider how they might take a personal approach to  build the pillars of their wellbeing so that as a community we can know, value and care for each other better, and that we can ensure that we are all placed best to flourish.

I also invited students to be curious about the many activities on offer this week… from the petting zoo to Pause Yoga, to the sporting challenges, to the Gratitude Wall, to the screening of the film Soul and everything in between! I asked them to approach these experiences with wonder and to join in and create some positive emotions for themselves and those around them. In this way, we can work towards knowing, valuing and caring for each other as a community, and positioning ourselves to flourish to be the best we can be! 😊

Have a safe and happy weekend ahead! It is Week 9 next week – can you believe it? I often wonder, too, where the year is going! 

Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 7-9 Learning and Wellbeing Initiatives Leader

[1] Seligman M E P and Peterson C, Character strengths and Virtues A handbook and classification
[2] Mission Australia Survey, 2020

YEAR 8 RETREAT

On Tuesday 7 September, the Year 8 cohort participated in their retreat. It was a perfect way to focus on our Character Strengths and to understand the positive impact we can have on each other through our behaviour. Beautiful weather, positive and engaged students and motivated Lasallian Youth Leaders (LYLs) all enabled the day to be a success and the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“On Tuesday the Year 8s went to different locations and learned about what it means to be a hero. The LYLs ran various sessions on what inspires us to be the best we can be. During the day I enjoyed the games that we played because they encouraged teamwork and were lots of fun. I also enjoyed hearing the Year 10 stories of when they were in Year 8 because it made me relate to them and know I’m not the only one going through challenges”. Lara Hope (8GPC-01)

Mr Paul Flaherty, Year 8 Director