An enriched student experience

Following an engaging three-day staff conference focussed on the Attributes of a Positive Learner, Year 10 students had their own out-of-class experience in Weeks 1 and 2 of this term. Half of the cohort attended the Outdoor Education Expeditions, while the other half took part in Enrichment Week. For the latter, students participated in a series of programs, the main aim of which was to enhance the quality of their Year 10 education. In the spirit of the true definition of enrichment, activities were designed to spark their interest and ignite a flame, to make them curious, and to further their understanding of complex ideas or simply to bring awareness to important issues.

Learning outside the formal curriculum of the classroom is a powerful and authentic way for students to explore and develop an understanding of their potential beyond the traditional curriculum.

With this in mind, the Enrichment Week program exposed our Year 10 students to a variety of core activities designed to promote critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making. At the same time, it exposed them to important ideas, thought-provoking scenarios and engaged them in activities that sought to challenge their world view.

The week consisted of five core programs, including:

  • Understanding Diversity, a program developed by Old Carey Grammarian and 2012 Carey Medallist Dr Maithri Goonetilleke, where students from Monash University worked with our students to stimulate open discussion and reflection around diversity, racism and inclusion through interactive and engaging workshops.
  • My Dream Job, which consisted of a series of sessions designed to explore future pathways.
  • 'Ignite – Emerging Young Leaders Program', which was conceived by our own Senior School Gadsden Head of House, Victoria Blakston, and developed in conjunction with Cartwright Head of House, Georgie Jones. It is an intensive and tailored course designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge and expertise needed for the leadership of self and others, whilst also exploring basic leadership principles and styles, leadership attributes and tools to define leadership problems and resolution.
  • Respectful Relationships, which focussed on guiding students to explore a range of topics and issues around the way students have developed views of themselves and others. Among the themes that students unpacked with experienced external workshop leaders were: understanding consent and what constitutes sexual violence, expectations and ideas about gender in society and gender stereotypes, body image, self-belief and non-confrontational ways to be assertive. Understanding the LGBTQI+ community and the challenges they face was also considered.

In addition to the five core subjects, students also chose one elective delivered by passionate Carey teachers who volunteered to put up an educational passion project of theirs. Electives included: Introduction to Archaeology, eSports, Dreams and Virtual Reality, Food Sustainability, Photography Masterclass, How Protest Songs Have Changed the World, The Barefoot Investor and An Introduction to Australian Sign Language.

In all, there was something to satisfy everyone’s intellectual and culinary tastes – especially with the arrival of a well-stocked food truck on Friday lunchtime. It was an enriching experience, any way you look at it!

Frédérique Petithory
Acting Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Learning