Making sure students are on the right journey is part and parcel for staff at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School.
Principal Jason Bartell said adolescence could be a challenging time, with students navigating in a world of complex messages influenced by what they see and hear through the media, social networks and peers about how adults should act, the way relationships are fostered and the world they live in today.
“As a School, we have implemented a rites of passage program titled The Rite Journey, which culminates in an Adventure Works Into Adulthood Camp for all Year 9 students,” he said.
“This program encourages students to look back at significant events in their childhood that may have shaped their character, gain an understanding of who they are now and the type of person they would like to be as an adult.”
The Rite Journey program also partners with families in helping students work through these complex times and had received positive feedback from parents.
The program enables students to engage in meaningful conversations with their parents, peers and their Rite Journey teacher.
“I’d never had conversations like that with my dad, it was really nice” one student said.
Through the Rite Journey program, the School endeavours to empower and equip students to face the challenges of today and tomorrow through weekly class activities, discussions, challenges, a mentoring program and an Into Adulthood Camp, covering four key topics.
In the first topic, ‘Who am I really?’ students gain an understanding of themselves by exploring self-identity and the expectations placed on them by society. Discussions include self-awareness, gender identity and body image.
Students also explore their role in relationships in the second topic ‘How do I get on with others?’ Conversations include emotional literacy, listening, non-violence, anger management and healthy sexuality.
Throughout the third topic, ‘Is there something more?’ students reflect on some of the deeper aspects of life including stillness, mindfulness, values, sadness, happiness, mortality and wisdom.
The final topic ‘What is my purpose and what do I have to give?’ prompts students to consider their future and what they have to offer the world. Topics include leadership, intentions, kindness and gratitude.
Mr Bartell said student feedback had been positive.
He said many students had accepted challenges, considered the adult they want to be and were beginning to work with their mentors outside of school.
“Practical opportunities and flexible content delivery enable lessons to flow around topics that students feel are current and relevant to their needs,” Mr Bartell said.
“The open sharing environment is empowering for students to voice their thoughts and feelings, knowing they are not alone and discussing healthy strategies to cope with their journey.”