Friday 18 August 2023

Student Reflection

Year 10 students Natasha Castello and Olivia Pappas reflect on Ave Maria College in 2023

Year 10 students Natasha Castello and Olivia Pappas reflect on Ave Maria College in 2023

Ave Maria College, a place of learning, growth, opportunity, and belonging. Starting year 7 in 2020, the year of COVID, proved to be a struggle beyond what we expected. The obstacles we faced during COVID challenged all the Ave Students. When a worldwide pandemic broke out, online school became the only way of communication, education, and friendships. Let’s just say that Microsoft Teams became our best friend. An environment of learning and belonging was achieved, and the whole student cohort was extremely lucky for all the work and effort that each teacher put into ensuring that we could continue our learning.

One amazing school opportunity that we have had was the survival camp in Year 9. This was a highlight for all year 9s as it was a way to strengthen our friendships. The outdoor camping was a first for many students, and as the camp went on, we started to appreciate the light of our homes, as well as the heat and comfort of our beds. During the camp we went on hikes, surfed, did rock climbing. A highlight for the camp was when one of the groups got lost for 2 hours on a 3-hour hike. While this was likely not their best experience, it was something that the whole grade share in laughs and fond memories.

Ave Maria College may not be the strongest school in inter-school sports events, but are hoping to get stronger in the future, averaging Division 3 in most events. However, the Intermediate and Junior school teams won the Football grand final this year. This was a very significant moment for the college and brought hope and drive to continue in our sporting events. The main sports pursued by the school are swimming and athletics, and a School Carnival is held every year, full of snacks, competition, events, announcements, and crazy outfits. In these events there are 4 houses that the school is split into, Helene, Mary, Clare, which I, Olivia, am in, and Frances, which I, Tash, am in. These houses are also prominent in other school events, such as Spec Spec, a schoolwide dance competition.

Currently the Year 10s are selecting their year 11 and 12 subjects. This is a very important time for the Year 10’s as these subjects can determine our future pathways. There are currently 7 very different pathways offered for Year 11 and 12, which makes us wonder how many there will be 100 years from now!

We wrote this letter to you all not really knowing how to start…or what to say. To think what the future would even look like is scary. But as we began to write we were able to recognize the small things that Ave have shared with us and the memories that they have given us. Ave is a second home to not only us but to every student of the Ave Army. Ave Maria uses the power of Frances house to enlighten our strengths. They used the power Helene to ensure that we speak from the heart. The house of Mary allowed us to nurture each other. The house of Clare teaches us to reach for our dreams. Because of this school we are who we are to this day. We are kind. We are funny. Some are sporty. Some are academic. One can dance. Another can draw. But together we are students at Ave Maria College. This what we love about Ave Maria!

Natasha Castello and Olivia Pappas, Year 10