The Crossroads program is a mandatory program conducted in Year 11 and is designed to extend the learning experiences of students by acknowledging the changes in maturity and responsibilities of senior secondary students. The planned activities develop and enhance the knowledge and understanding, skills, values and attitudes of students so that they are more capable of making informed decisions about their lifestyles and the responsibilities they have in society.
Content areas covered include:
In 2014, Willoughby Girls High School Crossroads Program was recognised as exemplary by the Department of Education and Communities and is used as a model for other students’ crossroads programs.
Students who are identified in Semester Reports as demonstrating consistently positive attitudes and active commitment to learning, will receive a gold sticker on their reports. Students who receive two gold stickers in a year receive an outstanding Commitment to Learning award at the Presentation Day Ceremony.
A peer tutor reading program has been conducted for several years. A small group of Year 10 students are trained to work with Year 7 students, who have additional learning needs, during the daily home room period, assisting with the understanding of an authentic text. The program is coordinated by the Learning and Support teacher.
The program provides an opportunity for the senior students to develop a supportive relationship with a younger student. The Year 7 students also benefit from the program through gains in reading ability particularly in comprehension and vocabulary, because their learning is supported by a senior member of the school community.
The homework club is a program that is offered three afternoons per week in the library. A group of Years 9-10 peer tutors assist the select group of 30 students (Years 7-8) with homework tasks, reading, time management and organisation. A teacher is also present during these sessions for assistance and supervision. This program provides an opportunity for the Years 9-10 students to develop leadership skills, support their Duke of Edinburgh program and to participate in their school community. The program also provides support for the younger students in their transition into secondary school.
The Peer Support Program is based on the principle that at every level and in every age group in society, people absorb information and values from each other. Peer Support and positive peer influence are introduced into the school community by training Year 9 students during Term 4 to act as group leaders in Year 10 to incoming Year 7 students.
The Peer Support Program helps children live with more direction. It gives Year 10 students opportunities for self development and provides Year 7 students with a supportive environment in which to develop their own individuality. The Head Teacher Wellbeing and Peer Support Coordinator are the contacts for this program.
Each day a home room period is scheduled for 10 minutes before recess. Home room groups consist of up to 30 students, with most staff allocated to a group. The purpose of the home room period is to mark the roll, collect notes, read the daily messages, distribute information (e.g. absences and library reminders) and to provide guidance to students including uniform, merit award system. Extended Home Room sessions are held throughout the year for pastoral care purposes, as part of the school’s proactive student wellbeing program.
The teacher/student mentor program is available as an option for Year 12 students. A teacher mentor can support a student to develop the values, attitudes and behaviours needed to persevere with school work and provide guidance throughout the HSC year. Teacher mentors and Year 12 student mentees meet on a fortnightly basis and discuss skills such as goal setting, time management/organisational skills, stress management etc.
Year 7 and Year 10 studetns participate in a peer mentoring program through Home room and function as an extension of the Peer Support Program.
The RAISE program is another mentor program which is offered to select Years 8-9 students. This program involves a one on one weekly meeting with a trained community mentor. It is designed to provide further support to students from another trusted adult.
Willoughby Girls High School values learning and encourages each girl to strive to achieve her best. Individual progress and outstanding achievement is recognised and rewarded through the attainment of Bronze, Silver and Gold Merit Awards: