Our Year 9 ASPIRE program develops critical thinking, positive risk taking, independence, resilience, respect and a strong sense of community.
Year 9 is a pivotal year in transition from adolescence to emerging adulthood. The Year 9 ASPIRE program provides a challenging yet safe and supportive environment in which students are encouraged to aspire to new goals. ASPIRE assists all Year 9 students in developing the skills to become independent, resilient and responsible global citizens. Girls have the opportunity to learn through self-directed projects, powerful group programs, community service activities and volunteering for community events, all of which give a wonderful richness to the Year 9 experience.
The program is based on three key themes – exploration, expedition and service-learning.
Exploration aims to awaken the sense of personal and group endeavour and pioneering spirit in our students. These experiences seek to place the onus of discovery on the students to search and find information, access resources and participate in activities within a defined budget.
Expedition connects to activities that are mainly about journeying from one place to another by utilising individually inspired power and which provide a clear objective and destination. The focus of the experience is on the day to day journey and the voyage of personal self-discovery. These experiences are often more physically challenging.
Service-learning engages girls in meaningful and rewarding relationship-building with a number of local, inter-state and overseas communities. These opportunities seek to offer a balance of formal instruction with opportunities to serve in the community in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience. Through real life lessons students reflect on their service experiences in order to grow in character, problem-solving skills, and a better understanding of civic responsibility. Service-learning gives our girls the ability to directly apply what they are learning in a way that makes a positive and significant difference to others.
In addition to the ASPIRE program, Year 9 students are also offered a rigorous academic program covering Faith and Life, English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Health and Physical Education, Languages and the Arts, all underpinned by an experiential learning approach. In every subject students will be asked to reflect on what they know and what they can do, empowering them to enter Years 10 to 12 with an independent, responsible and resilient approach to learning.
As a new St Michael’s Collegiate student and new to boarding, the Year 9 ASPIRE program stretches and pushes all your boundaries, forcing you to step out of your comfort zone through the diverse and challenging tasks undertaken. This included caving, mountain bike riding, and a two-day trek in adverse conditions such as hail and gale force winds. That pushes you to become a more confident and strong individual. I have made new friends in the first two weeks of my boarding experience and these were strengthened during the camp. Personally for me to abseil down 30 meters in a dark cave was both rewarding and terrifying for a girl who hates heights, I can’t wait to tackle the rest of the Year 9 ASPIRE program."
The hardest and best thing I’ve ever done."
This trip helped to create and strengthen relationships because you have to work as a team to sail a boat and learn about something that no one had much prior experience with so we were all equal. Also, you are stuck on a boat with the same people for five days in a small space so you learn to make it work and enjoy getting up on deck.
The 9 ASPIRE Program is a one of a kind. It offers our girls unique out of class curriculum enrichment opportunities, all of which promote and encourage each girl to embark on a challenging, stimulating, adventurous and richly rewarding journey that fosters personal and social development."
Experiential learning beyond the classroom is considered an essential part of the social, emotional and cognitive development of the student."