The Year 9 Cove Program 2023 has made a fantastic debut. The Year 9 cohort assembles at the early hour of 7:30am to engage in meaningful activities in nature once a week on Wednesday mornings. The program is designed around the idea of resilience building and in response to the ever growing needs of our adolescents.
The program is specifically developed as an opportunity to support our students through a deeper connection with the physical and natural realm as a tonic to our fast-paced digital reality. We feel we can address these issues best in an out-of-classroom social setting with physical activities to challenge us on an individual and team level. The students get to know each other much better through targeted and fun group activities, challenges and through reflection. They keep a diary and learn to work together as a cohort and find their own place within the group.
We engage them in excursions where students will work with other students living with disabilities and where our students also do service to the community by helping as volunteers. We offer this program for the students in Year 9 as we believe we can support them at a crucial time at the threshold between childhood and adulthood.
In early March, the cohort worked in groups and selected various challenges on the banks of Scotts Creek below the Middle Cove campus. It was fascinating to see all the students cooperate well to achieve tribes, supported by teachers who guided them where necessary. The photos below show some of the challenges - building sculptures using materials they can find, balancing on small items and reversing the order in which students stood without falling off, attempting an uphill sprint across natural steps to record a group running time, crossing the little footbridge across Scotts Creek in a very delicate manner using only certain methods for the whole group to get across. Other than the mosquitos, students were very engaged and experienced real cooperation to reach success. It was a very positive sign of what’s to come in the year ahead and a testament to the strength that’s already visible in this Year 9 cohort.
Some lovely feedback on the activity experience:
“It is the first time this year that my child has come home saying, something was fantastic. I was so delighted and relieved at the very same time, as my child has not found many such moments these past couple of years. We are so grateful for your program. It was wonderful hearing you speak of it and the results, and now to meet them in our child. Thank you so much for your determination and values.”