Senior School - Ad Astra

Posted 1 March 2019 12:53pm

Ad Astra is the Senior School’s holistic program that enables our students to gain the skills necessary for success in academic pursuits and future employment.

After last year’s successful launch in Years 7 and 9, this year we have expanded the program to include Year 8 and 10 students. Ad Astra will shape the way in which we prepare our students with the skills necessary for success in the 21st century.

Learn more about each year level’s targeted program and find out what our students have been up to during the first month of the school year…

Year 7 - Identity

We have begun the year with scintillating discussions on what and who shapes our individual identity. Looking deep within themselves, students made insightful comments on the influence of their family, ethnic heritage and the many communities they are part of, as well as how their emotional quotient, their passions and skills reflect their personality.

At the end of this semester, Year 7 students will exhibit many expressions of themselves as part of the Announce Me exhibition. In Semester 2, a new program will unfold as students investigate an issue they ‘identify with’ and do their best to convince you to identify with them, and feel as they do. It promises to be an exciting year of discovery and the sharing of knowledge.

Year 8 – Community: Our Place, Our People

Students in Year 8 commenced their Ad Astra projects this week, with students given an overview of the 7-10 program before doing a few brain crunchers and then selecting their project for the semester.

Taking these on board enthusiastically, the Year 8s leapt straight to the end-point and came up with terrific solutions. Learning, however, the first is not necessarily the best!  Over the semester, students will refine their solutions through gaining skills in skill-builder workshops which begin in a fortnight.

Year 9 – A Young Capital

Two weeks ago, our Year 9 students made a fabulous start to their Ad Astra journey. Unpacking the idea of what makes a 'young' capital for their 60-second documentary, we spent the week immersed in the stories and ideas from our Canberra community. Students were also challenged to quickly upgrade their ICT skills with workshops on documentary making and digital portfolio creation.

Our conference-style approach to the week saw many excited discussions around the Milo station as well as much needed fitness and brain break rotation facilitated by Jane Hincksman and the HPE team.

One student reflected: “At the beginning of the week, creating a 60-second documentary in two days seemed like a completely unmanageable task. However, by the end, my team and I were utterly impressed with our final result. Having to create a project like this, with so many competing ideas, and in so little time, proved quite the feat.”

Year 10 – Where in the worlds are we going?

Student voice is at the heart of 10 Ad Astra and we are now fully immersed in a program of agile co-design. The dynamic program is embracing staggered project starts, multi-modal, self-directed skill development, a rolling stimulus program and teachers coaching students on their personalised project plans.

It is still early days but we have a musical under development; a project to raise the profile of women athletes and a recipe book and nutrition guide for young people navigating allergies and dietary diseases.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates about Ad Astra throughout the year. Scroll through the photo gallery below and see what the Year 9 students have been getting up to.

Thank you to Lynne McInnes and Stephanie Spiller for their contributions to this article.

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