Year 9

2021 Relay For Life – Rite Journey Team

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Dear Year 9 Parents and Carers,

2021 RELAY FOR LIFE – RITE JOURNEY TEAM – BELAIR NATIONAL PARK

In Term 4, the focus of our Rite Journey program is “What is my purpose?” and “What do I have to give?” We are excited to announce our fifth year of involvement in the very special community event, Relay for Life, a fun and moving overnight experience that enables our students to build community solidarity by doing it a little tough while raising vital funds for Cancer Council’s research, prevention and support services.

Relay for Life is a chance for communities to recognise and celebrate those who have overcome cancer or are undergoing treatment, as well as the people who care for them. Relay for Life also provides an opportunity to celebrate the memory of loved ones lost to cancer.

Rite Journey students are encouraged to join our St John’s team and participate in this event, and most importantly, raise much needed funds for cancer research and resources for cancer patients. Staff will provide supervision at all times, and therefore parent involvement is most welcome but not compulsory.

The Relay for Life event will be held in Belair National Park on Saturday 30 October, from 12pm (for tent set up) for a 1.30pm start, and will finish on Sunday 31 October, at 9am. All participants will need to sleep in a tent but may share a tent with their Rite Journey classmates. Students will be under supervision of school staff at all times. All food, drinks and personal items will need to be provided, including cutlery, to participate in the free breakfast on Sunday morning.

Please click on the link: Register: Relay For Life 2021 – SJGS to register your child’s involvement in the St John’s Grammar Rite Journey team: sjgsritejourney2021

Additionally, if you or your family members/friends have been closely affected by cancer, we invite you to join us to participate in the very first lap of the day, dedicated to cancer survivors and carers. There will be a Survivors and Carers registration at the Registration/Information marquee from midday until 1.45pm and you will be able to collect sashes to identify as Survivors and Carers and put your names on the list. You will then get to do the first lap and your names will be read out as you walk.

If you want to stay on and enjoy the entertainment, you are most welcome. The park gates are locked at sunset but they have a key and will let people out after the candlelight ceremony (around 8.30pm) and then another after the band finishes (around 11pm).

You will receive a Consent2Go form for this event shortly.

Further information will be supplied in coming weeks, with specific details of the event, things to bring provided once registrations have been received. Please register by the start of Term 4, as this will help us plan staffing and other essential components.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Yours sincerely

Carlee Mitchell
Leader of Student Wellbeing

NAPLAN National Coordinated Practice Test

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Dear Parents,

All Schools, Government and Independent, are required by the Federal Government to participate in the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in Term 2. NAPLAN, which is a part of the National Assessment Program (NAP), is how Governments, Education Authorities and Schools can determine whether young Australians are reaching important educational goals.

In the lead up to NAPLAN testing students are being provided opportunities to familiarise themselves with testing conditions and types of questions they will be asked, to best prepare them to demonstrate their ability. These familiarisation tasks are particularly significant this year, as NAPLAN is moving to full-scale online delivery in 2021. In addition, all schools are required to participate in a Nationally Coordinated Practice Test (NCPT) in Thursday 25 March to test the operability of the online NAPLAN system at full load.

All Year 9 students will participate in the NCPT during lesson 3 on Thursday 25 March (Week 9). There is no need for students to prepare in advance; this session simply aims to test the various functions of the online testing system Anything the students write or answer during the practice test will not be recorded or marked.

Please note that adjustments for students requiring additional support, for example extra time or rest breaks, will not be required for the NCPT. These adjustments will however be applied as per usual to the May NAPLAN tests and Schools will be in contact with families regarding this. However should you be intending to withdraw your child from the May NAPLAN tests, please advise Ben Clark, Head of Middle School at bclark@stjohns.sa.edu.au as withdrawn students will not be required to complete the NCPT next week.

More information is available here: https://nap.edu.au/naplan, including an information brochure for parents. There is also a public demonstration site, which allows students and parents to experiment with the new online NAPLAN test format: https://www.nap.edu.au/online-assessment/public-demonstration-site

If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Nick Raimondo
Leader of Learning & Curriculum

 

Year 9 2021 Rite Journey – Calling and Departure Ceremonies

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Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I am writing to inform you about The Rite Journey, an exciting and innovative program for all Year 9 students at St John’s Grammar. It is part of our WINGS suite of learning that provides the health and wellbeing learning for students. It comprises 2 lessons per week for the year. This letter also extends an invitation to you to attend the first two ‘Ceremonies’ that form an essential component of The Rite Journey program.

The program has been created to complement your role as parents and caregivers in guiding your child into young adulthood. The Rite Journey was developed in South Australia and is now being used by many schools across Australia and internationally. It provides the opportunity for students to participate in a year-long rite of passage experience in separate boys’ and girls’ classes. Many cultures have their own version of a rite of passage designed specifically for this age group.

Learning how to be an adult male or female in any society requires guidance, mentoring and a great many conversations. In our society today, young people often turn to their peers, the internet and the media to source their knowledge and guidance. During The Rite Journey, students will be required to have important conversations about what it is to be a respectful and responsible man or woman in our society. As your child journeys through the year, they will explore 4 main themes; Relationship with self, Relationship with others, Relationship with Spirit, and Relationship with the world. We hope that the discussions they are having at school may also stimulate conversation in your homes. Students will also use a special Rite Journey journal throughout the year, and this is an additional item to items on the school book list. The Rite Journey journal is $35 and will be added to each family’s account in 2021.

A unique feature of The Rite Journey is the seven steps that form a contemporary rite of passage. In conjunction with the program’s founder, Andrew Lines, we have developed a memorable series of events, aimed at honouring your child’s transition into young adulthood.

Calling and Departure Ceremonies: Thursday 11 February, 2021, 6:00pm

To launch the program, students and parents/carers are invited to attend the ‘Calling’ and ‘Departure’ Ceremonies. These will be conducted at the Belair National Park – Walnut Paddock at 6:00pm on Thursday 11 February. The ceremonies will be completed at approximately 8:15pm. It is essential that we start on time (so that we can finish on time – by sunset and the park closing). Please arrive from 6.00pm so we are seated to commence the ceremonies at 6.30pm.

As part of the Calling Ceremony, Parents and Carers, have a special task to fulfil. You are requested to provide the following after the first component of the ceremony:

  • A packed light Dinner to share with your family only, e.g: cold meats and salads
  • 5 secret items that signify your child’s childhood – try to choose items that no longer define them. As an example, many families bring along a toy they used to play with or a teddy bear, action figure etc. You will bring these to the event andwill be explaining the past importance of them to your child, whilst expressing the notion of ‘moving on’ from this phase of childhood. You may bring in photos if the item has been lost or discarded. These items will return home with you atthe end of the evening.

After dinner, students and parents/carers will then split, proving an opportunity for families to learn about the aims and intentions of the program. This is the first component of the ‘Departure’ Ceremony. We are extremely fortunate to have program founder, Mr Andrew Lines in attendance this year. At the conclusion of the presentation, parents/carers and students will reunite and students will symbolise their transition towards adulthood and this special occasion. This is the conclusion of the ceremonies and our staff are confident it will provide a powerful opportunity to have an important dialogue with your child. Parents/carers are subsequently encouraged to approach their child’s Rite Journey teacher and give permission to teach the program to their son or daughter for the year.

As part of the evening, each student and their parents/carers will fill out a card. On this card, the student will write something that they wish to ‘let go’ of or ‘stop doing’ as they progress into young adulthood. On the reverse side of the card, the parents/carers will write a message of their choosing. It could be a message of support, a new freedom you wish to extend to them or something that you as the parent will ‘let go’ of as your child becomes a young adult.

Family Structures

The school is aware that families are structured and restructured in many and various ways. We are also aware that The Rite Journey Calling & Departure Ceremony may present difficulties for some families in making decisions about who should be present and how the student can effectively relate to all those who attend. While we do not wish to intrude on your decision making process and respect that many families may not wish to discuss these matters we would encourage any families who are concerned to contact their Rite Journey teacher in order to discuss ways in which the school can assist in making this ceremony both meaningful and comfortable for every student and their family. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any concerns at all.

Likewise, if you have additional questions about The Rite Journey program, we are happy to discuss those with you further. We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming ceremonies.

As a lead Rite Journey school, we know that this program will be invaluable for our Year 9 students and we look forward to all that this program offers the students and their families. We trust that you and your child will find The Rite Journey to be a positive, rewarding and transformative process.

 

Sincerely,

Carlee Mitchell
Leader of Student Wellbeing