Boarders, Buddies and Big Sisters

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Boarders, Buddies and Big Sisters

TransitUs is a blended learning program for rural Year 6 students who are transitioning to a secondary Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) boarding school.  It aims to help students and their families build networks, confidence, skills and knowledge centred around their new boarding and school environment.

Led by Nicole Adams and Meredith Roe from the LEADing Lights Team, and supported by the Community Engagement and Human Services Directorate, the TransitUs program is in pilot phase, working with 3 boarding schools – Edmund Rice College (Bindoon), Mazenod College (Lesmurdie) and St Brigid’s College (Lesmurdie).  15 families have engaged with the program and to date, all are exceptionally pleased with TransitUs and the opportunities it has presented.

A move to boarding is a significant time in a young person’s life, with some of our students aged only 12 when they commence boarding school. New routines, new friends, new environments, new expectations, new technology and living away from family present challenges for our boarders, all of which are addressed through the 4-part TransitUs Program.

Last week, the TransitUs Forum bought together students from a wide range of country locations.  The successful day was well supported by student buddies/big sisters who were willing to share their own boarding experience.  Students quickly connected with each other and enjoyed a full day of activities including team building, MasterChef challenges, life skills, technology skills and bespoke school sessions.

The use of OneNote and Teams was integrated throughout the activities and students were quick to pick up these tech tools.

Parents also had the opportunity to learn more about the online part of the program, the technology to be used and to network with other boarding parents and boarding staff. The day ended with a video showcase of the day, for parents and boarding staff, followed by a dinner for all involved.