The Year 8 wellbeing theme weConnect has been embodied by the Year 8 cohort of 2016 who have shown ready enthusiasm and tolerant attitudes for all aspects of the Year 8 experience.

This year, the students have embarked on the Aristotle Emotional Intelligence Program for which the Year level has been specifically selected. In partnership with Swinburne University, Level periods have been allocated to lessons aimed at developing emotional intelligence in our students. To their credit, the students have embraced the program and demonstrated strong foundations for high emotional intelligence through their thoughtful and considerate interactions with each other.

The Year 8 students recently spent a week on the Mitchell River in East Gippsland, hiking and bush walking and working in small teams to reach their daily destinations. The camp groups become like family for the duration of the camp, as the girls cooperate with each other to set up, or take down their bedrooms (tents), hone their culinary skills by preparing and cooking the group meals.

During Term 3 we also celebrated Jindiworabek week, which means “coming together”. The students were fortunate enough to be selected to attend an excursion with Shawn Andrews and his team from Indigicate at Melbourne Museum. They learnt about Indigenous history and culture, and experienced Indigenous sound mapping – a mindful practice which focuses on helping students understand connection. Shawn has said that “we have an amazing ability to see connection as the most important aspect of our lives and from that connection we find tremendous comfort.”

The fundamental concept of Jindiworabek, and the Year 8 theme of connection, merged beautifully together and the sense of belonging and strong bonds the Year 8 students have forged together as a Year level is testimony to their espousal of their weConnect theme.

Ms Kanako Yokouchi, Dean of Year 8, Head of Davis House