It is always a day full of mixed emotions. The nerves and excitement; the awe and fear. The transition to secondary school is one of the most significant transitions a young person will make in their lives. At Whitefriars, we try to make it an enjoyable experience where the students can feel that they truly belong. The first day for Year 7s was shared with the Year 12s. We do this to foster a sense of ‘big brother’, an important part of our vertical Pastoral Care system. As the Year 7s processed into their first assembly, their fellow Year 12 House mates stood to greet them, to welcome them to their school and House. This ritual is the first of many which signifies that they are now Friars boys, part of a family for the next six years.
The next phase in their transition process was the Orientation Camp which was held at Camp Manyung, Mount Eliza. In House groups, the boys spent three days with a focus on creating connections with each other, solidifying bonds we hope will last a long time. When a boy feels connected and a sense of belonging, they are in the best position to thrive and this is our goal. High ropes, the giant swing, raft building and beach games; all ways to help the boys interact, create shared experiences and bring them closer together. Again, to help foster the sense of belonging and connection to the wider community, the Year 12 House Captains joined their fellow Year 7 House mates to talk to them about their experiences at Whitefriars and offer them some advice from a student’s perspective.