Waterford

Year 9 is a critical year in the journey of all St Kevin’s boys. The year is spent at the College’s Waterford Campus in Richmond, a purposeful, separate entity reserved exclusively for Year 9, well beyond the main College site at Heyington. This purpose may be simply encapsulated in the Campus motto: ‘Luceat Lux Vestra’ or ‘Let Your Light Shine’.

Context

Waterford is dedicated to making the passage of boys through adolescence as successful as possible. Having a place by themselves where they are significant and have significant levels of ownership, leadership and responsibility are  important factors in the success of this campus. Also important is that the Year 9 boys at Waterford have a group of teachers dedicated to them and their needs.

The adolescent years are clearly a time of significant change: intellectual, physical, social, emotional and spiritual. There is the further realisation that, despite these changes, these years are also formative and foundational. The maturation process inevitably concludes with formed habits, values and ideals. The special experiences and programs at Waterford are, therefore, crafted to make these changes positive and to ensure that the best possible foundation is lain, as boys become young men, and as the inquiry and broad-based learning of the junior and middle years gives birth to the knowledge, skill and understanding demanded in specific elements for the senior years.

Focus

Strongly connected with such foundations is the need to promote effective organisation and systems skills that parallel with concepts of order, process and operational efficiency and effectiveness. Beyond the promotion of organisational skills, though, is the desire to cultivate thinking students who are deeply intuitive and connected with their own learning; students aware of their learning styles and strengths; students capable of acting with independence and autonomy; students in control of their own learning habits and futures. If a student has accomplished these tasks by their year’s end at Waterford, then they will have gained an immeasurable amount from their experience. The foundations for a successful VCE year, not to mention a fruitful journey of life-long learning, are in so many ways established in the year at Waterford.

Fundamental to all learning processes is student interest and engagement. While acknowledging the inherent motivation of our learners, the Waterford curriculum has been designed to meaningfully and dynamically engage our adolescent boys. The geographic and philosophical positioning of the campus lends itself to the experiential learning opportunities that are a hallmark of the Waterford program.

Learning Structure

All boys attend classes at Waterford at very similar times as those at Heyington. There is a five day class cycle, with seven 45 minute classes each day.

Each student will require the use of an iPad for their year at Waterford. The iPad’s are used to enhance learning, but in no way replace the dynamic and traditional teaching methods. Students are responsible for the charging and availability of their iPad on a daily basis.

Subjects

The following core subjects are studied by all boys: 

  • Religious Education                  
  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography 
  • Language: French, Spanish Japanese or Mandarin
  • Physical Education
  • Nutrition 
  • Formation 
 

    All boys also choose an additional two elective subjects each Semester: 

    • Art 
    • Creative Writing
    • Drama 
    • Forensic Science 
    • Health and Human Movement 
    • Information Technology 
    • International Studies
    • Language and Learning (by application) 
    • Music 
     

      Homework

      It is an expectation that all boys independently engage in learning tasks in the home each night. While always difficult to place a time period to these tasks, it is generally recommended that each boy would engage in at least 90 minutes of learning activities. The time period will, of course, vary on a student-by-student basis, according to need, capacity, desire and demand. Given that the methodology of learning is possibly the greatest acquisition or refinement for Year 9 boys at Waterford, it is strongly recommended that boys spend a few minutes each night to review every subject studied in that day's classes. In this way, each boy seeks to further this informative classroom experience through reflection to ascertain understanding (and to record follow-up questions) as well as to convert short-term into long-term memory.

      Assessment

      Formative and summative assessment tasks take place throughout the Semester for each subject. The overarching philosophy of learning at Waterford lends itself to formative assessment where, through experience and reflection, each boy is given regular opportunities to engage, to more profoundly connect and to more deeply understand the particulars of each academic discipline. A variety of assessment instruments are used, including source/comprehension, analysis, research, experimentation, oral, dramatic, IT generated and test/examination style. Major cross-year level assessment tasks (CATs or Common Assessment Tasks) occur through each Semester. There is a formal week of Examinations at the end of each Semester.

      Reports

      Formal College Reports are available on the Parent Portal at the end of each Semester. Other formal reporting procedures occur through structured Academic Progress Interviews (parent-teacher meetings) in Term 1 and Term 3. Beyond these formalised experiences, boys, staff and parents are always welcome to initiate communications, be this by phone, email or meeting.

      Outprac

      The Outprac Program is a challenging educational program unique to Waterford in the St Kevin’s experience. It is designed to enhance the formal Waterford curriculum by providing students with practical learning experiences off-campus. Each experience is designed to complement either specific aspects of the curriculum or an aspect of global learning, holistic growth and/or personal challenge. The program capitalises on Waterford’s location by using a variety of resources in the inner city area of Melbourne.


      The wider aims of the Waterford Outprac Program are to: 

      • provide an opportunity for experiential learning 
      • develop student initiative and independent research skills 
      • develop collaborative learning skills 
      • develop skills in time and task management 
      • encourage critical thinking and analysis skills 
      • provide opportunities to present ideas in unique and creative ways 
      • foster a clear sense of independence and responsibility 
      • encourage leadership skills 
      • develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the city of Melbourne and the wider world in which we live.

      RICE Program

      RICE is an acronym for Rich, Investigation, Challenge and Expedition Programme. RICE is as much a dynamic learning journey, as it is a physically and mentally challenging outdoor experience. It is a truly holistic program in its scope and expectations. This unique learning journey contains five distinct phases of Planning, Preparation, Experience, Celebration and Presentation.

      The major component of the RICE Programme is the outdoor education experience. During Term 1 of Year 9, boys select one of the ten beautiful World Heritage destinations on offer. Boys are then grouped and the planning and preparation commences during their studies at Waterford. The outdoor experience itself varies in length from 9 -10 days away from home during the middle of July each year.

      In 2015 the following destinations were offered:

      • Wet Tropics
      • Arnhem Land
      • Whitsundays
      • Tasmania – Land Based
      • Snowy Mountains
      • Nitmiluk National Park - Jatbula Trail
      • Tasmania – Sea Based
      • Hinchinbrook Island
      • Macdonnell Ranges – Larapinta Trail
      • Mt Barney