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Making Your Own Adventure: Empowering Students to Carve Their Own Path

16 April 2024

by Kalea Haran, Principal of Penrhos College

Now that our students have returned for Term 2, I thought it was an opportune time to share my thoughts on “Make your own adventure”, one of our four commitments that form part of our strategic plan launched in 2023: 

No Ceilings 
Make your own adventure 
Find the fun 
Be a force for good

Our commitments underpin Penrhos College’s ethos of 'Strive for the Highest' and our core values of Respect, Integrity, Empathy, Knowledge, Growth and Synergy.  

Make your own adventure

At its core, "Make your own adventure" captures the essence of student agency, student voice and the importance of personalised learning

At Penrhos, our philosophy revolves around breaking through perceived boundaries that may restrict learning and personal growth. We reject the notion of limitations often imposed by traditional education pathways, societal expectations or predefined outcomes. 

Penrhos’ approach is different.  

We advocate for providing diverse opportunities and pathways for students to experience and express their learning. This principle is explicitly outlined in our Penrhos Learning policy.  

Central to our ethos is one of our commitments: "Make Your Own Adventure." This commitment signifies our dedication to fostering self-discovery, empowerment and the courage to forge one's unique path in life. 

Unlike adhering to a predefined path, this commitment encourages Penrhos students to be bold, curious and resourceful in pursuing their passions and dreams. We encourage our students to embrace their individuality and chart their own course towards success and fulfilment. 

Cultivating Belonging through Individuality and Self-Discovery

I believe that attending school isn't solely about acquiring knowledge; it's also about fostering a sense of belonging. In my recent speech at the Secondary School assembly, I emphasised to our students that our concept of 'belonging' is not about conformity, blending or fitting in; ‘belonging’ is about knowing you are accepted and valued for who you are as an individual. 

By promoting the ethos of "Make Your Own Adventure," we cultivate a culture where students feel empowered to chart their own paths, have confidence in their capabilities and know that they will be accepted for who they are and their choices. 

This commitment to self-discovery and empowerment enriches their educational journey and nurtures a strong sense of belonging within our school community. 

Empowering Student Choices

At Penrhos, we accomplish "Make Your Own Adventure” by offering diverse academic pathways, including vocational, ATAR, and credential-based programs. Moreover, we understand the importance of extracurricular activities such as sports, the performing and visual arts, music, academics and community service, and we value each equally.  

This recognition drives us to provide a broad spectrum of options within each of these domains, ensuring that we cater to our students' diverse interests and talents. 

By offering such comprehensive opportunities for growth and expression, we empower our students to explore their passions, develop their skills and forge meaningful connections within our school community. 

Turning Dreams Into Reality

Our commitment to "Make Your Own Adventure" ensures that every student receives the support needed to pursue their aspirations, dreams and goals. We actively encourage students to share their aspirations with Penrhos staff, so we can tailor our offerings to meet individual needs and provide support for turning dreams into reality.

This approach underscores our belief in empowering students to shape their own narratives and find fulfillment in their unique paths. 

It's common for students, including your daughter, to still be in the process of discovering their dreams and goals, or for these aspirations to evolve over time. Therefore, Penrhos encourages an open-minded approach and exploration of various interests.

Our school provides many opportunities for students to uncover their passions and talents. By embracing this journey of self-discovery, students lay the foundation for a fulfilling and rewarding path ahead. 

Empowering and Nurturing Individuality

In today's society, where social media influencers and societal expectations often exert significant influence, the pressure to conform can be challenging for our girls. However, our ethos to "Make your own adventure" serves as a powerful message: It empowers students to take control of their lives and choices, enabling them to shape their own stories rather than adhering to predetermined ideals of perfection.

Our pastoral program offers a safe space for students to explore their individuality, discover their passions and forge their unique paths forward. 

I hope that sharing what the spirit of "Make your own adventure" means to me allows us to support one another and remember that courage begins with us.  

Together, let's celebrate the journey that honours our students' uniqueness and individualism and celebrates the boundless potential within each of our Penrhosians. 

“Courage starts here.”
Kalea Haran Principal, Penrhos College