The Rite Journey is an integral part of Trinity’s pastoral care program and focuses on students in Year 9. The program was created by South Australian physical education teacher Andrew Lines and is a modern-day version of the traditional rite of passage which transforms adolescents from dependency to responsibility. The program’s simple rituals aim to give students a positive pathway into adulthood and is the ideal platform to prepare them for their senior years.
It is a year-long, school-based program which teachers are trained to deliver. The program uses a mixture of rituals, physical challenges, discussion and guidance to start the process of turning Year 9s into responsible, respectful and resilient adults. Year 9 is the only year where pastoral care classes are single-sex, and topics of discussion are very gender-specific. Boys discuss topics such as mateship, how to deal with anger and how to talk to girls. Girls examine issues such as body image, self-worth, friendships and cyber-bullying.
The program is taught in over 70 schools in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Belgium and South Korea and is designed to:
- Acknowledge and celebrate a young person’s transition into adulthood
- Provide them with gender specific guidance and role models in this transition
- Educate and include parents/carers in the transition process of their children
The importance of providing some form of rite of passage for young people is recognised by experts in education and psychology such as Michael Ungar and Steve Biddulph, who extol the virtues of rediscovering such a process in today’s society.
The program kicks off with the Calling and Departure Ceremony which took place last Sunday, 6 March at Main Beach. This ceremony marks the beginning of the Rite Journey Program and the beginning of a journey into manhood and womanhood. The students reminisce on their childhood, look at where they have come from and acknowledge those who have been there for them over the years. A highlight of the morning was when the students found a spot along the beach to read a letter from their parents reflecting on their strengths, the joy they bring their parents and the exciting future their parents see for them. They were then asked to embark on a journey into adulthood and leave their childlike behaviors behind, writing these behaviours on rice paper and casting them into the sea.