Our Year Nine cohort have made a tremendous start to 2023, settling in well to the new year and starting to demonstrate some real growth in their maturity. The Year Nine form rooms and lockers are mostly situated around the J Block classrooms, so this has become the new hub of activity for the cohort. There form rooms are a place where they should feel welcome and comfortable but also a placed that they can take pride in and ownership of. We love seeing them using this space and enjoying time with one another. 

Two major highlights for the Year Nine cohort are the school camp in Term 3 and participation in the year-long Rite Journey program. Both challenging, College-led initiatives have had hugely positive benefits for previous cohorts, and I look forward to this year’s cohort enjoying that same journey of growth and self-discovery. 

Our first Rite Journey event was The Calling and Departure Ceremony. Like an ‘opening ceremony’ this event was one for families to get involved in. Although we understand that not all parents can make these types of events, it was very encouraging to see so many parents and mentors attend this event. It was evident that we have a community of parents that really care for their children and wish to see them do well. 

Throughout this year, we will return to our theme of kindness. Year Nine can be a challenging time for students in their studies and their friendship groups. Many experience a ‘speed bump’ or two along the way so it’s more important than ever for our Year Nines to act with kindness and understanding toward one another. A verse from the Bible to guide our year is this one from Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Many of our talks, devotions and activities at camp will centre around kindness. 

This term we have also been fortunate to have two guest speakers attend the school to speak to the year Nines. A speaker from Bully zero spoke to the students about online safety and cyber bullying and provided the students with strategies to protect themselves online. We then had a speaker from the Peel and Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre speak to our students about potential careers in the future and the importance of investing in all their subjects now to provide them with the most number of opportunities later in life. 

In terms of practically developing social-emotional skills, all year groups participate in the G.E.M. (Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness) resource which you can find in the back of the Student Diary. In form classes, we delve into these lessons, created by The Resilience Project, to practice and develop skills to support positive mental health and wellbeing. There are daily activities, also in the Diary, that prompt students to notice the positives in their day and to recognise things and people they’re grateful for. 

Should you have any questions about the Pastoral Care work we do in Year Nine, please contact your child’s Form teacher or myself. We’d love to connect with you.  

Oliver Oeij 

Head of Year 9 

South Coast Baptist College