Former Wesley Health and Physical Education teacher, Mr Craig Bell, has been named the new Head of Katitjin. We sat down with him to find out about Wesley’s unique program.
What is Katitjin?
‘Katitjin’ is a Nyoongar term meaning ‘to listen and to learn’. For one full term in Year 8, students are taken away from the traditional classroom to take part in a series of project-based learning initiatives. They explore themes such as social justice, cultural difference and challenging outdoor education experiences, whilst continuing to integrate key learning areas of the Year 8 curriculum.
You were a Wesley parent. What are some of the benefits that you have seen from the Katitjin program?
As a father of two young men, I understand first-hand the challenges that boys face on the pathway to manhood, the ups, the downs and the joy of the journey. After my two sons completed Katitjin, I know it had a significant impact on their social and emotional development. It also had an impact on me as a parent by providing a time to let go and stand beside my sons rather than leading them. Katitjin allowed them to develop their own understanding of their strengths, find out who they are and their potential for the future.
What skills do you hope Year 8 students develop during Katitjin?
The program gives students the opportunity to explore and develop life skills, such as learning to collaborate, finding solutions, understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses and working together to resolve real-life challenges. These life skills are the core business of the Katitjin program and provide a foundation of who you are and where you fit in.
Tell us about the Morapoi Camp.
Morapoi is an Indigenous station 120km northeast of Kalgoorlie, and is a highlight for most of our Year 8’s. The five-day camp is the culmination of everything the students have explored throughout their term at Katitjin and is an experience that stays with them forever.
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