It's not every day at school you get to hone the art of English paper piercing, Irish dancing or pistol shooting but that's been the experience of the secondary school students at Sunrise Christian School this term.
Sunrise begun its journey into secondary education in 2020, and this year saw the introduction of electives for the Year 7-9 students.
The concept of electives is to give students an opportunity to learn a new skill or talent that they would not normally experience in everyday schooling.
It has also been an opportunity for local volunteers and groups from Naracoorte and surrounds to help teach the next generation unique skills.
The partnership has been very positive, with students relishing the opportunity to learn from local community members.
The members of the local Country Women's Association have been teaching students the art of English paper piercing, where students learnt about wrapping fabric shapes using thin pieces of paper and an iron into a larger piece of art.
This was followed by the intricate practice of resin art, where students would mix the resin into a special design, before hardening into magnificent table decorations, and lastly fruit preserving, where students preserved plums to enjoy later. Students were presented with their combined pieces at a special assembly at the end of term.
Local resident, Maxine Koster, dusted off the dancing boots and taught an elective on Irish dance.
Students felt like they had enjoyed a workout each week as they learnt dance moves and the art of choreography as they put their moves together into a combined dance (to Irish music, of course).
The group were able to present their dance to the school community who have been suitably inspired to potentially become the next Riverdance troupe, perhaps.
Orienteering was another elective chosen by students for the term.
Students competed against each other, using a map and compass to read coordinates and navigate terrain.
They were then tasked with the objective of collecting as many unique markers as quickly and efficiently as possible. The surrounds for this elective were the picturesque Gare Swamp and Memorial Parklands.
Distance running was a popular elective, especially those wanting to practice for cross country or prepare for their upcoming winter sport seasons.
Local resident, and international running competitor, Andrew Dolan, taught students the various components of running, focusing on technique, running drills, agility exercises, stretching and gaining the psychological edge in running.
Students also were given a personal running plan to take with them into their future running endeavors.
One of the most popular electives was air pistol shooting.
Led by members of the Naracoorte Pistol Club, including David Beauchamp and Charlie Boddington, students were challenged each week to improve their score from the previous week.
Students learnt the intricacies of shooting technique and accuracy, mental stamina and concentration as they improved each week in hitting their targets, literally.
Middle School Coordinator at Sunrise Aaron Haines said the electives have been an invaluable opportunity for members of the local community and organisations to partner with the school and help students learn skills beyond the classroom.
"This is the beginning of what we believe will be a program that students look forward to as they move into secondary schooling at Sunrise," he said.
With Term Two approaching shortly, plans are already underway to begin a new series of electives for students, including karate, barbell training and barista coffee lessons.
Judging by the response of students in Term 1, there is great excitement growing for the next adventure.