As Year 7 students transition to Cromwell College this year, they are taking part in a five-day experiential learning programme with their homeroom class and teacher.
All Year 7 students rotate through the programme over four consecutive weeks.
Having learned that the four houses of the college are Nevis, Pisa, Clutha and Kawarau, they get the opportunity to explore these places in this new programme.
They do this by tubing in the Nevis River, hiking in the Pisa Range, sailing the Clutha River, and paddle boarding on the Kawarau River.
Principal Mason Stretch says, “This is a Board-sponsored pilot programme that is aimed at increasing students’ sense of belonging and connection through shared experiences and learnings that tie into our stories and our place here in the Cromwell Basin.”
The course is one of the pilot programmes established by the college’s Watersport Centre manager and programme facilitator, Katrina Pollard.
The activities are designed to model the school’s kawa (‘what we do’) of respect, courage and personal excellence.
Katrina says, “The week is filled with lots of activities to help students become more confident and to build positive relationship with their peers, while having fun and enjoying being out in nature.
It’ve been a big success so far, and we hope that it can continue in the future.”
The feedback from students has been very positive.
Year 7 student Ruby Stevenson enjoyed the week, saying, “It was really fun! My favourite activity was the tubing.”
Classmate Tom Meyer agrees that it was fun – he is most enthusiastic about the overnight hike on the Pisa Range, saying, “That was the best day ever – I just love the Pisa!”
There is a two-week programme being developed for Year 10 in Term 4, with similar aims.