May 31, 2023

Middle School Update

Dear Families, Students and Community Members,

 

Semester 1 of the 2023 school year has absolutely flown by. There have been so many highlights already this year including camps, excursions, interschool sports, athletics and swimming carnivals – just to name a few. It has been a great opportunity for all of our teachers, students and all those involved in the Mordialloc College community to live our school values of respect, integrity, personal best and responsibility; and engage in a rigorous, guaranteed viable curriculum – one that enabled students to access content at their own level and in many cases extend their knowledge, skills and overall achievement levels.

 

The Year 7 camp rolled around very early in term 1 and saw 200 extremely excited Year 7 students descend upon ‘The Summit’ Camp in Trafalgar. Shortly after landing at the camp the camp coaches, in their extremely upbeat and excitable manner, conducted a brief introduction and outlined the 5 key values that would be lived over the duration of the camp, those being have fun, play all in, make lots of mistakes, get comfortable being uncomfortable and don’t go home wondering what-if; and from all reports the students certainly did live those values.

The activities were some of the most challenging many students had ever done including the ‘leap of faith’ requiring them to jump from a small platform and grab onto a trapeze, feeling their way through the darkness in the pitch-black Cave, climbing trees in the High Wire course, navigating around the camp during Orienteering, Scavenger Hunt, using advanced tactics in Laser Skirmish, jumping through Inflatables, walking across an actual bed of nails and holding a snake for Snakes and Nails, balancing across the Skybridge, swinging through the air on one of Victoria’s largest Giant Swings – just to name a few. I think it is fair to say that it was an awe-inspiring camp and a memory that all students will have with them for a long time. In addition to the camp Year 7’s were also involved in the Brainstorm ‘Wired’ incursion, which explored cyberbullying and mental health, and provided them with strategies for resilience, help-seeking and positive relationships.

 

The Year 8 students got to experience the Adventure Camp at Cowes, Phillip Island. The activities included riding the giant swing, getting moving on the high and low ropes course, cruising along on the flying fox, going on bush walks, archery, canoeing in the lake and exploring the activities at “A-Maze ‘n Things”.

One of the real highlights from this camp was in the evening when the students got to experience the ‘Penguin Parade’ located at The Nobbies outside of Cowes. A once in a lifetime opportunity for students to see the penguins in their natural environment and learn about the conservation efforts made by the volunteers and scientists to ensure they flourish once again on the island. Teamwork and developing strong connections with peers was a key aspect in this camp and the feedback received from the camp facilitators, the Year Level Coordinators, the teachers who attended the camp and the students themselves, it was a successful and unforgettable experience.

 

Year 9’s also got to attend the Brainstorm ‘Wired’ performance, and in the coming weeks will also attend a presentation by The Pat Cronin Foundation, this presentation called ‘Be wise’ centres around a young man who was coward punched whilst celebrating a football win, and the impact this had on the lives of all those involved; including the perpetrator. His family have started this foundation to bring awareness to the ‘coward’ punch and identify how we can all make a difference in stamping this out in the future.

Another event that all Year 9’s will soon be involved in is the MEX City Experience. This program is designed to give students the opportunity to explore the city of Melbourne. It is a great way for students to experience the array of sites and sounds that make up our vibrant culture, it is also an important lesson in developing navigational skills and independence.

 

Soon, the Year 8 and Year 9 students will be getting a lot of information about course selection. There will be an information session posted on our YouTube channel for Year 8 students and parents to access, and this outlines the selection process and what to expect during this period. Year 9 students have been through the process before, however if you do have any questions about the process or specific subjects, please contact the Year Level coordinators or myself.

 

This year Mordialloc College was lucky enough to have six Year 9 students attend the School for Student Leadership at the Don Valley Campus. Whilst there, Oscar Goudy, Zander Howell, Seb Welsh, Emily Field, Tash Konisberry and Reny Zhang took part in a program designed to improve their leaderships skills, going on a number of overnight hikes, called Expo’s, and creating a community project that they planned to complete whilst back at Mordialloc College. Nearing the end of the term long experience I was able to visit them and see where they had been living and learning for the duration of Term 1, it was such a cool and community centred environment and all students saying they didn’t want to leave as they had enjoyed it so much. I was also able to see all the schools who attended the camp present their CLP, which was a wonderful range of ideas that they can take back to their community and make a difference. Upon their return to school, these students then presented their experiences to the school council during one of their meetings.

 

This semester we have been focusing on different school values and awarding house points for any student who demonstrates these school values. This term there was an emphasis on Respect, and it was amazing to see how many students received points by demonstrating the value of respect. In fact, we had 60 students awarded a Bronze Badge, which is awarded when a student gains 100 points. They can now continue to strive for silver at 350 points and ultimately go for Gold at 500 points.

Finally I would like to thank the Middle School Coordinators, Year 7 Jo Hannan and Daniel Mayadas; Year 8 Andrew Potter and Claire Bruce; and Year 9 Mick Haber and Blake Murray, for the outstanding support they have provided for all their students so far this year during what was an extremely busy first semester.

Mr Brendan McFarland

Director of Middle School