As we near the end of Term 2, the Middle School Team would like to wish all students a successful end to the term and a safe and enjoyable break over the holidays. Good luck to the students and staff who embark on the Central Australia Trip, we know you have an unbelievable experience! For the Year 10 students not attending this trip, we hope you learn many new skills and enjoy your work experience placements in the final week of term.
Middle School Leader
Year 10 Exams
The Year 10 students have recently completed their first experience of sitting subject exams at the college. The behaviour students displayed throughout all of their exams was great and we hope students will receive some excellent results.
Students should now have a better understanding of how to best prepare for exams. We hope students have been able to identify their own effective study and revision strategies, along with and the amount of study required to achieve pleasing results.
Mabo House Coordinator
Year 9 InterGREAT
During InterGREAT this term we have focussed on ‘Self in the Community’. Students have gained an appreciation of Community and its importance to a healthy society. They have heard from various organisations including YouthWorx, The Salvation Army and Interchange Outer East. In their major assignment students made a documentary about someone who makes a difference in their community. In recent weeks, there has also been a focus on Volunteering. I was astounded by the number of our students already performing volunteer roles with many more enthusiastic about joining in.
Over the past two weeks all of our Year 9s have participated in the InterGREAT Community Engagement Program, striving to make a difference and contribute to their local community.
InterGREAT staff established partnerships with organisations in the Maroondah area to develop ten community projects. Students elected to participate in a community project that interested them. Students, staff and community members all agree that each project was successful and had enormous benefits for all involved.
I have been overwhelmed by the empathy and sense of community responsibility shown by so many of our students.
interGREAT Program Coordinator
Student reflections from each of the Community Engagement projects:
Heathmont East Primary School
Our Community Engagement group visited Heathmont Primary School (HEPS) where we helped students across all different year levels and assisted them with their literacy. The first week I helped out the grade 6 students. At first, I found it challenging because they were much older than everyone else in the school and I didn’t know how to approach them. But by the middle of the lesson all the students around me were asking questions and learning about my experience at high school. I was glad I was able to tell them it wasn’t as scary as what it seemed. The second week I was assigned to the foundation students which I was very excited about. I really loved working with the kids and hearing about all the experiences they have had and the things they love to do. Here I was reading with the kids and helping them put words together with pictures. By the end of my time at HEPS I felt so honoured to of been able to make a difference in the little kids learning in our community and to also give back to the community because we were there one day, so it’s great to pass on some of our knowledge.
Ringwood Historical Society Community involvement
In our group, we walked around East Ringwood and Ringwood looking for sites of Historical Significance. We took photos of houses and then dated them using the ‘What house is that’ booklet. We were looking for pre-and post-war homes. We identified many houses in some streets and no houses in others. We enjoyed walking around the Ringwood area and getting to see more of the area we live in. A bonus was we got to go to the shops and identify any historically significant buildings at small strip shops; a hot chocolate hit the spot and kept us warm and energised to keep observing. We all had fun exploring the local area.
Sam, Mitch, Dylan & Arun
Irabina Autism Services
On June 5th and 12th, my Community Engagement group travelled to Irabina Autism Services. Our focus was to help out in and around the gardens. We achieved tremendous amounts as we removed weeds, planted plants and improved the garden making a safer environment for both children and plants. I believe this experience benefitted both us and the Irabina Autism Services as we were able to help them in the sensory garden and the other gardens around the Autism Service while we got an opportunity to volunteer in a place that really benefitted from our help.
Regis Aged Care
On the 5th and 12th of June a group of year nine students walked to Regis Aged Care for our InterGREAT Community Engagement Project. Regis aged Care is a nursing home which looks after elderly people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. We all got to experience what it is like to know someone who is suffering from memory loss. The elderly really appreciated the communication and talking to them put a smile on their faces which pulled on our heart strings. For us personally, we talked to Sheila who was suffering from dementia. The interaction between the residents and students was great to witness and both thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.
Tamara Johnson and Emilie Young
Knit For Peace
On Tuesday 5th and 12th of June a group of dedicated and hardworking year 9 students got together to learn to knit, through the help of Knit For Peace volunteers and anyone in the group with previous knowledge on knitting. We each knitted different, coloured squares and eventually sewed them together to create blankets for the homeless and covers for trees around the school. Walking away from this experience we have some new friendships, an extended knowledge of knitting and knowing that we have helped others in the community who are underprivileged. We want to thank Miss Lim and Mr Sorensen for helping us over these two days.
Megan Rennick and Erin Wynne
Lionsbrae Aged Care
On the 5th and 12th of June, everyone in the year nine level was offered an opportunity to participate in the InterGREAT community service program. Twenty-five of us chose to visit the residents at Lionsbrae Aged Care. When we arrived, Trish, one of the carers, led us into a large room, where several residents were relaxing. We engaged in conversation with many of the residents, over games like Scrabble and Headbanz, asking them about their day and learning about their lives within the facility. Trish then invited several of us to visit residents still in their rooms, which is where we met David and Rhoda. They were both very open and easy to approach, willing to share about their families and their lives before their residency at Lionsbrae. It was interesting learning about their lives, as well as listening to the advice they had to give about completing school. We said goodbye to David and Rhoda, and sat down to play Scrabble with Shirley and Rosie, both of whom had a keen eye for words. When it came to pack up, we said goodbye to all the residents, who thanked us for coming and spending time with them. Rosie laughed and said, “Aww, do you have to go?” as we stood to leave the room, and everyone applauded as we walked away. As we made our way back to the school, we discussed all the fun and awkward encounters we’d had, but we all agreed that our visit to Lionsbrae Aged Care was a great experience.
Audrey Goodman & Jayde Reynolds
Our Community Engagement program involved running an Information Technology Clinic at school for senior citizens living in Maroondah. We taught them about the technology of this generation, including learning about iPads, MacBooks and phones. The Year 9 students got a chance to interact and communicate with members of a different generation and answer any questions they had about their technology. The seniors had the opportunity to ask anything they wanted and needed to know and were able to take the information with them to use in the future. Senior citizen Graeme left both sessions overjoyed with his education on his iPad, and how to use EBay. Each person had come in with different intentions and came out happy with their new knowledge and skills on the topic. Most of the clients came in with questions already planned out and others entered the room ready to learn from the students. Overall, it was successful and all of the clients went home knowing they are educated on the topic of technology. The students found the experience rewarding and enjoyed the time we spent with older members of our community.
Great Ryrie Primary School
On the 5th and 12th of June, a group of year nine students had the opportunity to volunteer at Great Ryrie Primary School. During our time there we got to help out in the class rooms, put up displays, meet students and teachers, and even play with some dogs. It was an awesome chance to use our strengths to help out in a community we are not usually involved in, and it has helped us learn to be more patient and caring towards people around us. Overall it was an amazing experience and I would do it all over again.
Hannah Peake 9I
Bedford Park Community Garden
Our group made their way down to Bedford Park Community Garden to help plant and grow an amazing garden that will help bring the community of Ringwood together. They started by weeding the little gardens that had already been made then started planting the herbs that pair with the orchard trees. Some people gave them the mulch while others dug the holes for the plants to go in. At the end of the session the year nine students had made a difference by helping the community of Ringwood make their very own Community Garden!
India Phillips, Tia & India R
Let me tell you about one of the most heart-warming environments I’ve ever been a part of. For two weeks, on Tuesdays, all year 9 students took a journey of helpfulness and learning during the first two periods of the day, whether it was gardening with autistic children or teaching the elderly how to navigate modern technology. For me it was walking for almost half an hour to the Eastern Volunteers building in Ringwood to participate in a Tuesday drama class run by Your DNA for people who have disabilities. The reason I had picked this activity was because I find that we take what we have for granted and I wanted to see how people with disabilities see the world, and as a matter of fact, they don’t see it much different than us if not with more fun and laughs. This was such an amazing experience because the group we got to work with were such a delight and full of smiles. We got loud and rowdy while playing one of their games called ‘what are you doing?’, this is where you go around in a circle asking everyone what they’re doing and every time you get asked what you’re doing you have to choose an action for that person to do. We had karate, cake baking, gardening, napping and even flute playing! The next game we played was a game of mirroring where we got into partners and had to mirror the arm movements of our partner, this was a chance for us to really make a connection with someone and I’m sure I can say that most of us did. By the time we had to leave, there were hugs and sad faces. We will never forget the memories we made and the people we met because it was truly something to remember forever.
Mieke Hansen, 9G
My group went to Your DNA, which is a community based creative arts organisation committed to developing the lives of people of all abilities varying in ages through programs including drama, TV, film, animation, musical theatre, creative writing, instrumental music, photography, painting and drawing.
I chose to participate in this program because I have a cousin who has down syndrome and he is one of the best people I know and he always makes me smile. He also is very heavily involved in a program called emotion21 which is a dance school for kids and adults with disabilities which I help out at sometimes and I absolutely love it. So, when I heard that the school was offering students to participate in this program I was very excited to take part.
I enjoyed meeting everyone and creating special bonds with some of them. They were so charismatic, funny, happy and overall great people to be around. If I got the opportunity to take part in something like this again I would absolutely do it and I would encourage everyone to take part.
We took part in their Tuesday morning class at the Eastern Volunteers Facility. Once we’d arrived we all sat in a circle and introduced ourselves by saying our name, favourite character, footy team, favourite food, hobbies or favourite movie or TV show. After introducing ourselves we played some fun and interactive games including the what are you doing game where you would get told an action by someone and you would have to present that action. The mirror game where one person would lead and one person would follow the actions that the leader would portray, some of the students were very funny and cracked up laughing when you would copy them.
Overall, I loved the experience and I’m very grateful to meet these wonderful people.