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Making Connections: Journeying Beyond the Gates for Learning

130 years

Genazzano offers all of its Year 9 student’s access to a very unique and special Year 9 learning and teaching program. We understand that at Year 9 our students are growing as more complex thinkers and are able to apply more logical reasoning to authentic learning situations and social issues.

The Year 9 curriculum is designed in such a way as to be outward looking and to highlight the interconnectedness of learning. As students engage in the program, the relationship between their learning in separate areas of study will become apparent. Making Connections – Journeying Beyond the Gates for Learning challenges students to understand that learning is not an isolated experience related to one specific topic or subject, or just in the traditional classroom. Rather, Making Connections – Journeying Beyond the Gates for Learning is a program designed to assist students to understand more about the nature of learning and how learning, by its very nature, interconnects across a number of broad areas. The program encourages students, wherever possible, to take control of their own learning, make choices and accept responsibility for the decisions they make. We strongly believe that if students are in a position where they make decisions for their own learning they will take greater ownership for their learning and be responsible for the development of their skills and knowledge.

The Year 9 curriculum consists of core subjects: English, Mathematics, Religious Education, Science, History, Geography, Physical Education, Health and Languages, as well as a range of elective subjects that develop passion and aspiration. The Immersion Days broaden their learning experience and give them a new perspective to their existing knowledge.

By the end of the program, we are confident our students will have made significant progress toward being:

  • independent and self-regulated learners

  • resilient in their approach to overcoming social, academic and emotional obstacles

  • adaptable and flexible in their approach to learning

  • creative and imaginative thinkers who are able to problem solve and work collegially and independently with equal proficiency

  • informed and strong advocates of social justice issues, especially those surrounding our Indigenous

  • community and Australian identity

  • informed leaders and advocates for positive social change

Future Skills 2020

We are now living in a world which is fast paced, digitally orientated and unlimited in the scope of career opportunities, many of which are still unknown or undefined. The Year 9 Program is designed to facilitate and enhance the development of a comprehensive set of skills and competencies for success in the future. This is achieved through carefully planned curriculum, which provides for unique learning experiences. Unlike generations of the past, where graduates were able to ‘slot’ into ready-made careers and defined roles, our current and future students will not have this luxury. Our Year 9 program will provide a particular skill development focus to prepare our students as productive contributors of the future.

Indigenous Themes Incorporated into the Program

The Indigenous themes of ‘Country, Family, Community and Spirituality’ will be integrated into the Year 9 learning program. Genazzano FCJ College has a proud tradition of respect for our Indigenous culture. Several Aboriginal or Torres Islander students are Alumnae of Genazzano. The Kimberley student exchange program with St Mary’s College, Broome, was initiated by the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus and has continued ever since. We are now delighted to provide every Year 9 students with the opportunity to experience our Indigenous culture in the very centre of Australia. This will provide them with an authentic learning experience.

This program provides our students with a deeper understanding of the Aboriginal perspective in order to offer an authentic learning experience that gives a genuine point of difference and a rare opportunity to travel into country, visit and engage with a unique community and become challenged by what they see. If we are going to change and address ignorance, racism and inequality we need students who are educated and informed advocates and leaders in the future. To be informed we need to understand the meaning of culture, country, identity, family and spirituality of the First People of our nation. The Aboriginal story is both a beautiful and complex story so offering an authentic learning environment makes it personal and real.

All Year 9 students will attend a 12-day Central Australia Indigneous Immersion experience to embed what has been taught in class and extend their learning to the ‘living classroom’. It will promote further understanding of our Australian Indigenous Heritage as detailed in the Victorian Curriculum


The development of leadership skills is a highly valued aspect of our Year 9 Program. All students at Year 9 are involved leadership through either the Peer Support program at Year 7 or the Buddy System at Year 5. Students will complete specialized training in either a Peer Leadership or Buddy Leadership role. In addition to this, Year 9 students will also be considered for the Leadership roles offered at each year level such as Class Representative, Mission Representative, SRC, Sustainability Representative, Co-curricular Captain, and Social Justice Representative.

Immersion Days

Connecting to Learning Through Immersion

Making Connections – Journeying Beyond the Gates for Learning challenges students to understand that learning is not an isolated experience related to one specific topic or subject or just in the traditional classroom. The Immersion Days are designed to assist students to understand more about the nature of learning and how learning, by its very nature, interconnects across a number of broad areas. Immersion Days are day long activities designed to provide students with rich, relevant and meaningful tasks. Built into every Year 9 students’ ten day timetable is one day allocated to an Immersion Day. Some of the Immersion Days focus specifically on their personal, spiritual and social development. Other Immersion Days are devoted to specific areas of the curriculum to provide students with the opportunity to enhance and consolidate their skills and knowledge.

Duke of Edinburgh 

All Year 9 students will be participating in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. This world recognised program embodies our vision and focuses on individual and group challenges, setting goals and working towards achieving them, and also on the development of strategies and self-reflection to improve upon each student’s learning. Students will be expected to engage in all award sections of the Program: Service, Physical Recreation, Skill and Adventurous Journey. Students will undertake components of the Adventurous Journeys whilst travelling on the Central Australia Indigenous Immersion experience. They will also be involved in a two day program to develop their skills in preparation for the Silver Award. The program allows girls to make connections outside of the classroom and to pursue individual interests, abilities and ambitions, and move outside of their comfort zone. The Duke of Edinburgh Award is now the world’s leading youth achievement award and is recognised by many employers and a number of leading Melbourne universities.


The Personal Learning Project (Ideas Factory)

All Year 9 students complete a personal project. The project allows girls to follow their passion for learning by creating their own product to share their knowledge by showcasing to an audience. Building on the skills of the future and the skills acquired in the Year 8 City Cite experience, the Year 9 students will select and research an area of study that interests and challenges them. In conjunction with Deakin University, students will learn research methodology and explore their area of interest in depth. Students will choose a key question or hypothesis and conduct research into their chosen topic.

They will be guided and assisted by their Homeroom Teacher throughout the process and will also have access to specialist teachers and Deakin University who will assist them in their research. Student progress will be carefully monitored by their Homeroom Teacher and each student will keep a journal recording the progress of their work on the project. The project will culminate in a process of assessment by exhibition.

Enhancing Entrepreneurship

Girls Invent 

The entrepreneurial program, a National Innovation program, will be offered as an individual project option to students. Students decide on a Business or Social Enterprise and learn to incorporate the Future Skills. Girls Invent workshops and other training tools inspires and motivates girls to imagine and create, and pursue their dreams and become successful innovators. Using examples of successful inventions created by women as a starting point, this program encourages girls to come up with their own ideas using an ideation framework to clarify ideas they already have, or generate new ideas. Our students will then begin to work through the process of turning ideas into reality: design, feasibility, market research, intellectual property, resourcing and possible routes to market.

Careers Program

The Year 9 careers program will take students on a career search, teach students how to create a Curriculum Vitae (CV), develop job interview skills and assist them in preparing for Year 10 Work Experience.

Master Classes in Maths and English 

Master Classes assist students to grow and improve in their learning through the process of target teaching. Classes are created based on assessment, diagnostic and observational evidence of student learning. Students are then invited to participate in the Master Class which best suits their learning needs at the time.

Year 9 Pastoral Care

The Year 9 Pastoral Care sessions will focus on involving students in a variety of active and fun sessions that have a particular focus of ‘Growth mindset’ and ‘Gratitude’. Students will work towards shared goals, collaboration and togetherness.