Year 9 Horizon Program
Research into the middle years of learning suggests that dissatisfaction and disengagement with schooling peaks in Year 9. Horizon is OLMC's Year 9 program that proactively addresses the risk of disengagement.
Horizon is a mix of explicit cross-curricular teaching, inquiry-based learning and activities based both within the school and the community. Importantly, Horizon enables more extensive and concentrated learning beyond the school gates, particularly in the local Heidelberg community.
The big issues investigated in the program are working life, justice and the environment, with weekly 'trail days' to explore the issues. When looking at justice in the community, for example, a trail day may involve investigating a crime scene.
Community engagement and service experiences are a key feature. The Mercy Hospital for Women, a local retirement village, local primary schools, and a local radio show, 'OLMC on Air' are some of the placements on offer.
Outdoor education is the other key component of Horizon, with students participating in a rigorous and varied fortnightly activity and a three-day/two-night camp in 'Challenge Valley'! For many students the camp experience is a highlight of Horizon as they undertake a variety of activities such as caving, archery, the commando course and cooking for each other.
The overall aim of Horizon is to encourage students to feel connected with the local community; to promote independent learning, to develop thinking and reflection skills and to provide the opportunity for rich learning within Heidelberg. It runs over one full term of a Year 9 student’s learning program.
The College is proud of Horizon, now in its seventh year. We have a team of Horizon teachers who love delivering the program and who delight with the girls in the many enriching experiences it enables. Each year evaluation data are used to inform and shape new program initiatives and components, and over successive years the feedback from the students and parents has been consistently affirming.