To begin our transition to Year 12, this term started with Year 11 engaging in our senior retreat. Due to the interruptions to normal school life created by Covid-19, the senior retreat was the first opportunity since Year 7 for the group to spend quality time getting know one another. Groups were selected to introduce a more collegial culture within the cohort as a whole and away from the House groups of junior school.
The retreat was held across two venues, Mulgoa and Grose Vale, and provided the group to reflect on their personal journey to date. Each session contained a large group presentation, then breaking into smaller groups for deep discussion and reflection. The presentations were interactive and thoughtful, as presenters spoke about their own personal journey and lessons learned. Topics ranged from what it takes to be a man through to the role of spirituality in their lives.
Over the three days the group was supported by a great team of staff and these memorable experiences will prove to be invaluable as they traverse the trials and tribulations of moving into adulthood. For me, a particularly moving activity, was the writing in the Affirmation booklets. The time and care taken by the students is something I will never forget. This positivity was reflected in their comments about the retreat ranging from ‘helping us to bond as a year group’, ‘thank you for sacrificing your time’ through to ‘it was very good to get in to touch with religion once more’.