The personal wellbeing of all of our students is of the highest priority. Underpinning individualised learning is our whole school commitment to developing all students’ social and emotional capabilities. By equipping students with these skills and capabilities through a number of programs and explicit teaching sessions, we feel that we are preparing them to be positive and productive members of their community.
School values, personal responsibility and team work are enhanced through involvement in:
- 'Play is the Way' sessions
- Restorative justice practices such as Circle Time
- Making “better” choices when learning and playing
- Peer Mediation
- Peer Support
- “Kool Kids”
Every student will be supported in their intellectual, emotional, social and physical development. It is our belief that students learn best when their social and emotional needs have been met. Teachers develop nurturing and caring relationships with their students and much thought is given to the grouping of students within the school. Through a range of programs and support networks within our school students’ work both individually and collaboratively to enhance social and emotional competence.
Play is the Way:
Each week all of our students from Prep - Grade 6 participate in 3 X 20 minute sessions aimed at building social and emotional capabilities. Whilst these games are fun there is a defined purpose that is supported by many years of research. A set of specific games combined with explicit conversations about concepts such as co-operation, resilience as well as teaching critical thinking skills will result in improved emotional and social capabilities. Underpinning the games are 5 key concepts which are introduced to the children over a period of time. These concepts are paired with certain colored “rules”.
1. The Golden rule : Treat others as you would like them to treat you.
2. The Green rule: Be Brave: Participate to progress
3. The Red rule: Pursue your personal best no matter who you work with.
4. The Blue rule: Have reasons for the things you say and do
5. The Yellow rule: It takes great strength to be sensible
Within Circle time students have an active voice to share their thoughts and feelings within a safe environment. A range of topics and scenarios can be discussed. Circle time has an important role to play in the prevention of bullying. It can help young people develop skills such as listening and empathising; it can promote respect for others and self-esteem; it is a forum within which the nature and effects of bullying can be considered; and it can be used to develop an anti-bullying code to which all members of the school community have contributed.
At lunch time we have a number of Grade 6 students who have undertaken training in the area of peer mediation. This program encourages co-operative behaviour and helps students to develop responsibility and confidence. Minor student conflicts are handled by the disputants themselves with the assistance of specially trained mediators, rather than by teachers. It follows a step by step formula which assists students to work through immediate problems, take responsibility for generating own solutions, agree on those that are practical and mutually acceptable, and then work at implementing these. In so doing, it enables young people to develop a basis for future problem solving.
Our Grade 3 and Grade 6 students meet regularly to participate in planned activities within the Peer Support program. Their time together encourages co-operative behaviour and helps students to develop responsibility and confidence. The children are trained to work with a small group of students, developing skills to instruct small groups through a variety of interactive activities, as well as introducing them to strategies to adopt when leading a group of students.
Buddy programs are used to develop student connectedness. Preps have a Year 5 Buddy and meet with each other regularly for fun and meaningful activities, starting during the previous year’s transition program. Ensuring that each year level presents new challenges andpresents a range of special activities is a focus. A range of programs are provided to enhance and support student wellbeing: Lunchtime Clubs, sporting activities and performing arts opportunities.
Student leadership is highly valued and all students in Years 5 and 6 have leadership training in either Peer Support or Peer Mediation. School Captains and Sport, ICT, Spanish, Performing Arts, Visual Art and Library Captains are elected in Year 6 to provide positive role models within the school and opportunities for student leadership growth. The Student Representative Council, with cross school representation, is an active group who provide opportunities for student feedback and support a range of student related charities.
Supporting our school community is our wonderful Chaplain, Julie Reiher from ACCESS ministries, who has supported many children and families at Regency Park over several years.
Endorsed through our School Council, the program includes:
· One to one sessions with students
· Small group social skills sessions
· Seasons for Grief program
· Lunchtime sessions to improve social skills
· Parent consultations.
The chaplain also contributes to the wider community through participation in school activities and linking outside resources to those in need. The program is voluntary and appropriate procedures are in place for students and their families to consent to participating.