On 22 August Wirreanda secondary school held the Deadly Start to High School program. We were visited by 30 year 7 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students from Southern Primary Schools. All involved had an amazing day as the students got a taste of high school, the mentors directed and guided the younger students, and staff were able to facilitate so all could share experiences.
The day started with some fun games and sports which then lead into some ‘get to know you’ games where students shared information about themselves and practiced public speaking. Following this we held a Kaurna language session where students learned slot about Kaurna culture. One fact is that in Kaurna culture each person in the community is so incredibly important which is shown in the Language there are different words for talking to one, two or three or more people:
Nina marni means hello, how are you to one person
Niwa marni means hello, how are you to two person
naa marni means hello, how are you to three or more people
Students also meet new friends as a created a life-size meyunna or person, labelled with all the names of the body parts, and important Kaurna words and phrases.
Following this and students had a taste of our classes. Jamie Maneiro ran a fantastic session where students drew a self-portrait and traced over different surfaces and textures in our local environment to construct their portrait. Following this students were able to take part in the amazing and breathtaking Science Expo that was held in the learning hub. Primary school students held their breath as they tried chocolate covered crickets and mealworms while also learning about the foods we will be eating in the future, and just what goes into the foods we eat now.
Overall, all students had so much fun, while they explored their identity, observed how excited high school can be, and learnt so much. But don’t take our word for it, here is some Feedback from year 7 students.
“Crickets don’t actually taste that bad”
“This school is amazing, I want to come here now”
“I’m going into teach my little sister some Aboriginal words”
“Art was so cool”
Finally we would like to say, thank you to the primary students who attended, and the amazing staff who welcomed the year 7 students. Congratulations to the mentors who showed outstanding leadership skills as they supported the younger students. And we hope that all year 7’s had just as much of an amazing time as we did.