Home' Capricornus Quarterly : December 2012 Contents 1313
What about me?
Deputy Headmaster Arthur Kelly reports on the Year 9 Personal Development Programme
On the last day of term three, students,
parents and staff members celebrated the
conclusion of the Year 9 What About Me?
personal development programme w ith
a graduation ceremony and morning tea.
The programme, which aims to promote
healthy social, emotional, spiritual and
physical growth through challenges,
responsible risks, community ser vice
and appropriate lear ning opportunities,
was first introduced in 2011. Given the
difference in gender needs, interests,
physical and emotional development at
this cr ucial stage of life, boys and girls are
separated for all programme activities
but remain together for all other classes.
After a full term of gender based
activities held dur ing form periods,
all Year 9 students completed the
programme with a final four day
block in the last week of Term 3. Two
days were spent based at our main
campus and included off-site activities
at Kershaw Gardens, the Row ing Club
and an adventure cav ing component
at Capricorn Caves. Two days were also
spent at Ritamada, where four separate
activity rotations and a guest speaker
covered the first day of the programme.
The second day focussed on the
challenge of walk ing 14 kilometres to
the summit of Mt Archer (604m) as
a peak challenge. Students returned
to school on the last Friday of term
to participate in a form class de-brief,
graduation ceremony, slide show
presentation and community morning
tea for all programme members and
families to celebrate and enjoy.
Organisers of the programme
were delighted and encouraged by
the large number of parents who
managed to attend the Graduation
Ceremony and the ver y positive
feedback received on the day.
Reflections by Marissa Buchanan, Year 9
During this program we were given a number
of tests, and from these we learnt valuable
lessons and it is important to acknowledge this.
During our time at camp we learnt that with
self belief and perseverance anything can
be achieved. This message was clearest
listening to inspirational speaker Paul
Hocky, who left us with other messages like
“impossible is just an opinion, not a fact”.
The physical team challenges with Miss
Brennan taught us that being united as a
group can make what seems like a daunting
task, much more manageable. In addition the
planned fake snake bite scenario taught us
that all the ideas in a group are important,
even if they come from the quietest voice.
Furthermore we leant that in life it is important
to have strong self control and to never put
ourselves in unnecessary danger. The self
defence and rock and water classes were
not only fun, and for protection, but they
also taught us to respect everyone, even
our opponents. We should have confidence
and never be afraid to give something a
go. After all, as was said by Paul Hocky,
“we only fail once we stop trying”.
So, to conclude if I were to tell you about
all the fun, unique experiences we have had
it would take all day. Therefore I would like
to leave you with the final lesson and what I
personally believe to be the most important
message gained from this program.
During life we are always learning, and
when we make mistakes we should not
frown upon them, as they are life’s great
learning curves. They upturn our learning’s
into a knowing smile called wisdom.
After being a part of this program, if I were
offered to have the perfect life, it would
be tempting but I’d have to refuse, as life
could no longer teach me anything.
Reflections by James Etherington, Year 9
In Vanuatu to rightfully become a man you
have to jump off a 30 metre tall tower with
only vines at tached to your legs...often leading
to dislocated hips and knees. In Amazonian
villages boys have to put their hands into
gloves filled with angry bull ants. [Some] Indian
tribes’ boys are fed hallucinogenic drugs
to force out childhood memories and leave
them a blank page for adulthood. There are
times when you really do know how lucky
you are to be a teenager in Rockhampton!
Throughout [the programme] we have learnt
many lessons.... We have had sessions on
communication, teamwork and trust and
on how to be an authentic bloke; the kind of
man who is strong and controlled in what
he says and what he does. Who can put his
strength into action for the greater good
of the community and who is confident in
himself and his relationships with others.
We have learnt about developing a global
awareness and a social conscience and
on being able to work independently
or as a valued member of a team.
A variety of challenges had been put
in place to help us learn these lessons
such as adventure caving and a high
ropes course. After this we faced
our hardest and final challenge as we
walked as a group up Mount Archer.
We have challenged ourselves and pushed
our personal comfort zones, overcoming
many obstacles. It has been about turning
us into rounded individuals ready to
take on the next stage in our lives.
I think that I speak on behalf of everyone when
I say that the programme was a great success
and that we would happily undertake some
of the challenges again. Thanks on behalf
of us all to everyone involved in developing
the programme – especially for cutting out
the drugs, bull ants and deadly jumps other
teenagers around the world are having to face!
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