The start of the school year has been a very busy time for our Year 7s. The first day of secondary school is always a nervous but exciting day and our Year 7s were able to spend quality time with the Year 12s in their pastoral and House groups. With only Year 7 and 12 students on this first day, it also provided a great opportunity to look around the College, catch the school bus and visit the school canteen minus the queues!
During the first full week of school our Year 7s divided their time between our three-day Year 7 Orientation Camp at Camp Manyung, Mt Eliza and our two-day Year 7 Orientation Program based at the College. Camp Manyung was a fantastic venue and provided countless opportunities for our Year 7s to get to know each other whilst challenging themselves in a variety of outdoor activities. The competitive spirit rose during our Priest of the Parish evening game while the boys were also able to enjoy the stillness and contemplation our evening liturgy afforded.
Back at Whitefriars, our Orientation Program was sealed when every boy received their very own computer. The training was well received and the online resources allowed the boys to show their parents what they had learnt when they arrived home. A scavenger hunt, an orientation session on all things Whitefriars, combined with library orientation sessions meant the boys were starting to feel like they were part of the College, while getting used to catching the bus and/or train, using their new combination lock and finding where their classrooms were.
Our Year 7s have provided me with some amazing moments and memories and it is only week three! There has been plenty of laughs, lots of socialising, great new activities and endless amounts of amazingly great food (both at camp and the school canteen)! I am very proud of how well these boys have settled into Year 7 and most importantly how much they already care for each other. 2020 is a special year for these boys and I look forward to working with them throughout the year.
Mrs Tamara Keyes
Student comments about the Year 7 Orientation Program:
Coming to school on the first day I was really nervous. I soon discovered that there was no need to be, as I had fun getting to know the year 12s. Camp Manyung followed soon after and was amazing! I love having my own computer and I already feel really welcome here.
The Whitefriars year 7 Orientation Program is awesome to help all the kids settle in and feel at home. First day everyone felt very nervous and excited to start a new beginning but with the Orientation Program it made my peers and I feel at ease. Everyone was very excited to receive their own laptops and our IT manager helped us out heaps and is great for us boys.
Student comments about the Year 7 Orientation Camp:
I think that going to Camp Manyung was an excellent experience. On this camp we did many fun activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, a super swing and many more. This was also a fantastic experience for us to make new friends and get to know the teachers as well.
Xavier Raso 7S
Camp was great! Going into it, I only knew 1 person, and coming out, I nearly knew the whole class. Some of the activities I did were amazing. For example, the giant swing, the treetop adventure and the sea kayaking. It was a great experience and I wish I could do it again.
Orientation camp was awesome! I met heaps of new people and made lots of new friends. We had such a great time together doing amazing activities. My favourite was definitely the giant swing. Our group actually managed to get Mr Murphy up to the top of the giant swing!
My first few days at Whitefriars by Mitchell Gumley
Despite my nervousness beforehand, my first few days at Whitefriars were really enjoyable. This was because of the lovely staff and students that helped me grasp my way around the school.
The first one or two days at school, I was a little bit overwhelmed by all of my classes, and by the huge jump in the quantity of homework. But within a number of days, I had fully settled in, and I have now gained a grip on all of my subjects.
I think one of the great things about Whitefriars is that you can speak to anyone from any year level, and they will listen to you, help you, respect you, and most of all accept you.
My first few days at Whitefriars were the perfect kickstart I needed to begin my high school journey. And every day as I step off the bus and walk to my classes, I reflect on those first three-four days, and become more excited to come back to school.