From Year 9


The Mercy RITES program is a Year 9 Program developed to incorporate the Universal Learning Program (ULP) whereby students are encouraged to grow and learn by exploring their interests. The RITES aspect stands for the development of Relationships, Interests, Togetherness, Excellence and Service. In Term One, students explored sessions on growth mindsets and the underestimated benefits of working on and fulfilling community projects. In Term Two, students collaborated with their peers to create a project based on their interests that would serve the community. While the teachers assisted and guided the projects, the projects were primarily student-directed and driven. The requirements for the projects were to complete a proposal project brief, a proposed budget and cost analysis, and also complete a health and safety assessment sheet. Students presented twice to their year level; the first presentation was their project brief and second their project evaluations.

There was quite a variety of projects undertaken by students. One particular project was a primary school visit to St Brendan’s Primary School on Wednesday 18th October where a group of students discussed the theme of communication connection through literacy. There was a lot of discussion on how they could action their idea as a project and they finally came up with the idea to visit a primary school to help students with their reading, writing, grammar, and literacy. They wanted to ignite the primary school students’ passion for learning and English.

The decision was made to contact a primary school that one of them had attended so that they could give back to their own community. They didn’t realise how complex it would be to organise such an event. They had to gain permission from both the primary school and our school. They also had to ask staff to accompany them and work out a time that would suit everyone. By completing the risk assessment and planning sheets they were able to understand the number of the administration tasks that have to be considered when planning a project. However, what they didn’t realise was how complex the task would be, considering things like how they would get there as well as the need to plan thoroughly the activities for the session.

Once there, the students conducted themselves in a cooperative and mature manner. They thrived on the experience and thoroughly enjoyed being able to give back the community as well as exploring their skills and interests. The learning and enjoyment they gained from this experience is something that will stay with them forever.

My experience with initiating this program was an extremely positive and friendly interaction between St Brendan’s and myself. Their literacy coordinator was extremely flexible and excited to see this program be developed. Overall, this workshop was a great learning experience for the primary school students, myself, and my fellow group members.
Mary Mangar
When we first decided to run the workshop with the primary school students, I was worried that they wouldn't be engaged in the project or that they might feel shy to participate. As I worked with the prep students, I was amazed to see that they were all excited and worked well together. We spent a lot of time planning the whole experience with lots of things to consider such as making activity booklets for both Prep and Grade 3 students, finding a date and time that suited both St Aloysius College and St. Brendan's. There was so much planning and many things to consider. I was so grateful to be able to have done this and overall it was a great experience for both the group and the students at St Brendan’s.
Jacqueline Puccio
For our Mercy RITES project, we went to St Brendan’s Primary school to run a literacy workshop. Maya and I were allocated the eldest age group which was grade 3 and 4 students. We want to instil a love of literacy in them. Many of the students were very advanced for their ages, and asked a variety of questions regarding what we were teaching them. Overall, teaching them was a fantastic experience, and they were all eager to join us and learn what we had prepared for them. Maya and I where so excited and thankful to be given this opportunity, and we really think we had a positive impact on their learning and love for literacy.”
Selam Tesema & Maya Holowka 9C
During the experience at St Brendan's Primary School we connected very closely with the students and learnt a lot about them. Mary, and Jacqui and I worked with the prep students. We started with an activity booklet with some spelling words and colouring in. It was great to see the students so excited and engaged in what we were doing. Many of them asking each other for help with the words. They also found the colouring in very fun. After the group work we separated into small groups to read books. I worked with two of the prep students. They were very enthusiastic about reading the books and chose their favourite ones. Overall, it was a very positive experience, and I would defiantly do it again.
Addison White 9A
For Mercy RITES my group decided we enjoyed our English subject and wanted to find a way connect this with a project, so we decided on a primary school workshop. I think it was a very wonderful experience. I felt that I was able to relive my primary school experience, even if it was just for an hour. I connected with the two students allocated to me very well, and they even practiced their upcoming production lines with me. They were super engaged in our program. I am so glad that we were able to deliver the session/ workshop as it was very successful.”
Tracey Luu

Berthe Mouchette

During an Assembly, four Year 9 students were presented with certificates for the French Berthe Mouchette Competition. This competition provides students with an opportunity to practice the French Language and skills by entering either the writing and oral categories or both. The competition is a wonderful opportunity to create a memorable experience for students to reinforce the vitality of French in Australia. Congratulations to the Year 9 students that entered and received certificates.

Mary De Bono
Year 9 Leader