Year 8 News

The Year 8 students recently spent two days on retreat and pastoral days where they were able to take some time to reflect on different aspects of their lives. The program consisted of two parts. The first part, run by the NET (National Evangelist Team), was aimed at looking at Peer pressure and how we manage this. The emphasis was on being true to oneself. This means we have to be able to have courage to stay true to our values. The second part was aimed at covering a series of aspects of life that affect students in their social life, school life and family life. We had a speaker who worked with us on social media responsibility. He challenged us in many ways and was even able to tell us the number of Year 8 students who sent messages during class time on a particular day. This raised some interesting comments from the students. He also told us that 15 students had their phones on in the room during his workshop. We did some teambuilding, a reconciliation liturgy and then a session on learning styles and organisational skills. All of the topics covered have been raised throughout the year either by teachers, parents or students. I am hoping that the two days have given each student food for thought and some steps in how to make changes in their behaviours and study programs. Thank you to Ms Caroline Watson for organising the NET presentation and also to Ms Catina for her invaluable work with the learning styles session. It was a team effort by all staff involved and we hope the students really stop, think and act on some of the things they learnt.

The following is Olivia Purnell's (St Louis Year 8) perspective of the two days.

Part A

On Monday and Tuesday, the Year eights had the wonderful experience of having the NET team (National Evangelist Team) come in to talk to us about how it is fine to be individuals, have our own opinion and to not have to conform to what society pressures us. As we all gathered out the front of the Old Lecture Theatre, you could see and most definitely hear the enthusiasm bouncing off the students as we had no idea of what was about to occur. We all went inside and began learning straight away, firstly about what the NET do and then about the ideas they are trying to get across. We were listening to the stories of how they grew close to God and at the same time found their individuality and personality, which they had been lacking or lost. We did many games and activities on how people have different perceptions or interpretations on the exact same statement or picture. I think that on behalf of everyone I can say that the learning and teaching was very passionate.

Part B

The second part of our retreat was about getting to know ourselves and also about our personal safety. The first thing that we learnt about was how we can be cyber safe and if we aren't how we can fix that. Paul Litherland not only told us why to have our social network on private but explained what can happen if you don't do it. During periods 3 and 4 we split up into boys and girls. In our groups we either did competitive sports against the other houses like tug-of-war or flag belt. The second half was Reconciliation run by three priests and the house homeroom leaders. Finally, in the last two periods we had an experience of getting to know who we are. We learnt whether we were auditory, visual or tactile learners. We then learnt how we can study with our particular type and then set up a timetable for study and homework.