The Rite stuff for the journey ahead

Established at St Peters in 2018, The Rite Journey creates a self development journey for Year 10 students over the course of the year. Using a framework incorporating ceremonies and celebrations, these events help transform teens into self-aware, responsible and resourceful adults. Events are crafted for individual, unique experiences to best suit the resources and geography of the school. The program was developed over a decade ago by Andrew Lines—Teacher, Educational Consultant and co-developer of The Rite Journey. 

Mrs Lynne Rech, Legal Studies, IB SEHS Teacher and St Peters Rite Journey Coordinator, says a few years ago, “I was looking at a way to enable our Year 10 boys to step up. I noticed when we had award ceremonies there were plenty of girls, however the boys needed some inspiration and we looked at what we could do to help them.” The Rite Journey was a successful, established program and Lynne adapted the program for St Peters. “The program helps students to find who they are, what can they offer the world and then how they can use their talents. The idea is to move out of your comfort zone and learn from experiences rather than being successful with all challenges.”

Stepping up for skills and challenges 

The Rite Journey challenges are on firefly and if students want to add something to the list they can. Class challenges include activities which help coordination and teamwork. There are also individual challenges such as learning how to knit and learning how to change a car tyre. Health and wellbeing are also factored into the challenges such as improving fitness and taking part in a charity marathon run or walk or cooking meals. After learning a particular skill the next level of understanding is what to do with that skill. 

“Perhaps students want to knit an octopus for premature babies so the baby can hang onto the soft tentacles to stop them from pulling at their tubes,” says Lynne. “Students could knit something small like one square and we could add it together to make a blanket for a donation.”

Navigating the Abyss

The other big challenge is The Abyss. The idea is to solve problems out of their comfort zone which builds on from the Ironbark experience in Year 9. We had a chat to the Ironbark staff as what we could possibly do as a follow up.. Last year students set off in groups of four and traveled around Brisbane finding landmarks. “They had to purchase lunch and travel to four destinations around Brisbane city. By the end of the day they had to be on one train, one bus and one ferry. They went as far Mt Coot-tha and over to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs and then around the city,” says Lynne. Teachers were posted in various locations and students were given their location in case anything went wrong. They also had emergency numbers at school. “They took their tech and used transport Apps when planning their trips.” 

They uploaded selfies to a centralised App so their progress could be tracked. “I would like to do something similar this year, admits Lynne. “The current Year 10s would have heard about last year, so we will need to change it slightly this year.” Last year parents were helping out with organising transport, “so this year we’d like to educate students about being self-sufficient and solving the problem themselves.”

The Rite Journey at St Peters

Challenges include the Calling (which was held earlier this year at the College), the Abyss, the Departure and the Homecoming.

Sessions cover four parts:

  • Who am I really?
  • How do I get on with others
  • Is there something more?
  • What is my purpose—what do I have to give? 

The idea is for students to find their place in the world and finding the skills and things that make them unique which they have to share with other people. It can work in with the Duke of Edinburgh challenges and also careers counselling.