Students in Year 9 are at a pivotal moment in their development. It is at this age that they begin to ask the questions “Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do others perceive me?” It is a period when young adults are tentatively developing a sense of self, are beginning to explore how they fit into the world around them, and start to question the status quo.

The School has developed a full day program specifically designed to support and challenge our Year 9 cohort on their journey of self-discovery. Called “Nitzan”, the program is dedicated to growing our students in a way that supports healthy living beyond school. Nitzan gives our adolescents ownership over their learning, empowering them to build skills for their future through a variety of vibrant, dynamic and practical learning opportunities. Students will wear their Nitzan T-Shirt and casual clothes every Wednesday to further emphasise that Nitzan is special and to create a sense of belonging.

At the start of every Wednesday, the Year 9 students gather together to be briefed on the days activities. This is followed by our Kick Start program to begin the day with exercise. Students choose from a range of physical and mindful activities (yoga, meditation, running, gym with PT) designed to centre and ground them as well as stimulate blood to the brain; good for learning and stress management.

Each term has a theme which is developed through activities, excursions and peak experiences. The model follows the School’s understanding of educational neuroscience combining Project Based Learning (PBL) and Design Thinking (DT) and is supported by content from our Wellbeing curriculum.

Term 1 – Life Hacks

Term 1 is about life beyond the classroom and the focus is on practical skills to help them enter the adult world. They will achieve accreditation in CPR, Barista Basics and Food Handling. Students will also learn how to write their own CV, have an introduction into the fundamentals of finance as well as develop a deeper understanding of their character strengths and communication styles. In our PBL unit, students will learn handy house hold skills such as sewing a button, changing a tyre or a washer in a tap. They will learn about basic mechanics (bicycles and automobiles) as well as carpentry and landscaping.

Term 2 – Ethics, rights and responsibility

We begin this term with a brief look at our systems of governance and justice. Then we take a deep dive into social action by asking, what is the most effective way to change the world? Students will be exposed to a variety of issues affecting the world today. They will be encouraged to find out what they are passionate about and will be inspired by the array of entertaining and thought provoking activists all shining a light on their issue using a different modality including written word, spoken word, visual art, performance arts, film and in social media.

Term 3 – Tikkun Olam

This term our students are encouraged to explore the notion of giving back. They will hear from a range of philanthropic institutions about the work they do and the impact it has on the community. Part healing the world, part work experience, our students will commit to volunteering at one of these organisations weekly.

Term 4 – Multicultural Melbourne

This term, our students will be exploring Melbourne – visiting prominent landmarks and visiting with various communities of people who have made Melbourne their home. They will see the sights, enjoy the smells and sample the food of multicultural Melbourne. They will then create a multicultural feast which they will cook and share as a Year 9 community.