Year 11 News

Year 11s had a wonderful workshop organised through Choicez Media. Jonathan Doyle who runs the company has a program for young men and women. Our Year 11s were privileged enough to partake in a very informative and challenge workshop. Please read the articles below to get a sense of the day.

Girls Session

Our workshop on last Monday was a complete surprise to me. I had no idea what the day was going to be about, no matter how many times we asked Ms. Wooltorton.

First we dived straight into goal setting, more specifically setting SMART goals. With the help of Miss Catina we were all able to set ourselves some practical and well thought out goals.

After we had practised our new goal setting skills Miss Watson set us a challenge, a sort of logical puzzle. Each group of 8 girls stood in a line, four on each side of an empty cone in the middle. We had to swap sides, which sound simple enough, but only one person could move at a time, you could only have one person on a cone, and you could only skip one cone. It isn't as simple as it sounds. You can test it out for yourself with 8 coins. In the end it didn't come down to logic, it came down to teamwork, co-operation, leadership and perseverance. The groups who solved the puzzle and won the race were the ones who let one person lead, listened to everyone's ideas and persevered until they had it mastered. It possibly helped that the winning team got chocolate…

After recess we came back to work on our Mandalas. A mandala is used in meditation, translated it means 'circle' in Sanskrit, or is a compound word meaning essence and container. Mandalas are used for meditation and reflection. It a pattern, usually based on a circle with no ends, which you fill in with different coloured sand. This itself it quite a reflective process as it takes ABSOLUTE concentration to colour in with sand and a drinking straw. You reflect as you work, and then on the finished product. It is symbolic of parts making a whole, the universe, and the impermanence of our existence, as your beautiful creation is tipped away at the end.

At lunchtime we shared a picnic with our homerooms. Everyone contributed something, and it worked really nicely.

In the afternoon with had our workshop with David from Choicez Media. We talked about issues facing young women today, like love, relationships, mental health, and body image. Even if you didn't agree with what he had to say, you couldn't deny that it was an interesting and enjoyable workshop, and that David was a funny and convincing speaker. Some of the most interesting things we talked about were how people define love, as in what it means to love someone, and how we show this. It was nice to get a different view, one that wasn't from our friends, family, school or the media.

Over all the day turned out to be much more than I expected.

Courtesy of Anna Dolin

Boys Session

On Monday the 20th February the students of Year 11 were split into two groups; boys and girls. To start the day the guys attended a seminar on what it is to be a true man. We were shown examples from within the media showing how men are meant to act in order to be a man. In order to be a man the media portrayed 10 examples involving drinking as much alcohol as you could or sleeping around with as many women as yu could. As the seminar went on we learnt that to be a true man you had to be able to sacrifice yourself or something you own in order to help someone else. We were also told to create good habits and use our testosterone for good.

After the session with David we moved to the Thomas More exhibition centre to take part in several team building games, the first involved each House to arrange themselves in age order without talking. We then had to organise ourselves in order of how many countries we have been to. The second game involved crossing a river using four kick boards. The first House to get all their students across over the other side wins. Finally to finish off we had a dodge ball competition.

Lunch was an enjoyable picnic with our homerooms. Each student brought something to share. It was great fun!

In the afternoon we had a session on creating goals using the SMART method. We also looked at important aspects of following instructions, reading the entire question in both our school work and in exam papers.

To finish the day we had a group session of meditation. A fantastic day was had.

Courtesy of Max Used

It was a pleasure observing the Year Eleven students involving themselves in the various sessions. Personally I was proud of the way they engaged with each of the presenters and had a go at the different activities.

Gemma Wooltorton
Dean of Year Eleven