MYBennies Integrated Learning

MYBennies Innovation Project

How to better engage students in the middle years of schooling, Years 7 to 10, is one of the current focuses at Mount St Benedict College.

The MYBennies Innovation Project is the result of two years of research and ongoing professional learning in this area. Central to this project is our belief that girls learn at their best when they have strong connections, when they feel valued, respected and known, and when their learning is relevant and interesting.

The MYBennies tree represents visually the elements that are addressed in the MYBennies Innovation Project.

Our foundations remain - our Good Samaritan heritage, the gospels and Catholic tradition, and the Rule of Benedict.Building on our values and mission we draw on Positive Education, Teaching for Understanding and a more integrated approach to the delivery of teaching and learning programs to develop learners who pursue personal excellence, who have a service orientation, are critical and creative thinkers and have personal ethos and values.

In this way we believe we will be educating young women who can take their place in the world of the 21st century, with confidence and the ability to transform themselves and the world.

MYBennies – Year 7 Integrated Course

All Year 7 students participate in an integrated subject called ‘MYBennies’. A team of teachers from a wide cross section of faculties work together to deliver MYBennies. This program aims to develop student creativity and problem solving, communication, critical thinking, information and media literacy, global citizenship, collaboration and teamwork and independence in learning (21st Century Skills).

The students are grouped into smaller classes allowing girls to meet students not in their base classes. Four units are addressed throughout the year:

  1. What’s behind the red brick wall?
  2. What’s beyond the red brick wall?
  3. MYChoice.
  4. MYLearning Journey.

STEM – Years 7 & 8 Integrated Experiences

We offer Year 7 and 8 unique opportunities to experience the integrated project-based learning experience of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). STEM engagement provides students with the opportunity develop their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, creativity and perseverance. As the workforce becomes more and more dependent on technology, STEM will provide an excellent foundation in a broad range of career choices.

STEM learning experiences integrate the teaching of skills from these disciplines so that what students learn is shown to be transferrable between disciplines and contexts, and relevant to real-world situations.

Some of the STEM learning opportunities are whole day STEM challenges for Year 7 and 8. These challenge days involve whole year groups working in small collaborative teams to design, construct and present projects using engineering principles in order to solve real-world problems.

The REAL Program– Years 9 & 10

2018 saw the launch of the ‘REAL’ Program (Reflective, Engaged, Authentic, Lifelong learning). This program was developed in response to student, parent and staff feedback that our girls wanted to engage in learning that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of the classroom. They expressed interest in exploring content that would assist them in making informed choices after and outside of school including further education options, careers and life skills. Some activities that we will be participating in throughout the year include completing learning profile assessments, financial literacy workshops, offsite further education visits (universities and TAFE), our career expo ‘Connect’, as well as life skills such as self-defence, how to write a resume, car maintenance, how to pay a bill, workers’ rights, and so forth.

This new initiative has been so successful that we will now be offering it to Year 9 students as well. It demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the College to prepare the girls for life beyond Bennies. We continue to build on their understanding and application of 21st Century skills that are first introduced to them in MYBennies and consolidated across all key learning areas and through other programs, such as STEM events and Inspire Week.

INSPIRE Week - Year 10 (in 2021)

Inspire Week is an Innovation activity that is currently undergoing a transformation. Traditionally a Year 9 week-long residential experience, starting in 2021, it will become a Year 10 experiential. This extraordinary opportunity provides a truly integrated learning environment where students can choose their experience and explore one of four themes:

  1. Empowering Australian Women
  2. Unique Australia
  3. Australia: Past, Present and Future
  4. Sustainable Australia

Each theme pushes students to develop their 21st Century skills of collaboration, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, independence, creativity and technology literacy. Students build their confidence and resilience throughout the week by making new connections within their cohort and tackling novel experiences and ideas.

This experience is designed around the Good Samaritan values with the overarching message of service and outreach. Students are empowered to transform their micro and macros worlds for the better. Students also explore the idea that leadership (in the Good Samaritan tradition) is about compassion, justice and service, rather than power and recognition.