Student wellbeing is integral to teaching and learning in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Victorian Curriculum and is exemplified in the PYP Learner Profile which permeates the programme and represents the qualities of internationally minded students and effective lifelong learners, thereby equipping students for a challenging world. Beaumaris North Primary School has whole school wellbeing strategies and programs for students, staff and parents. Together these strategies create a harmonious, respectful and supportive school environment for all community members.
Student wellbeing is integral to teaching and learning in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Victorian Curriculum and is exemplified in the PYP Learner Profile which permeates the programme and represents the qualities of internationally minded students and effective lifelong learners, thereby equipping students for a challenging world.
Beaumaris North Primary School has whole school wellbeing strategies and programs for students, staff and parents. Together these strategies create a harmonious, respectful and supportive school environment for all community members.
Whole school strategies include:
- Circle Time, relaxation and mindfulness practices, differentiated learning groups and therapy dogs.
- Students explore units of inquiry which help build relationships, developing a culture where different views and perspectives are valued. They learn how to interact socially, build and maintain friendships, learn collaboratively and take collective action.
- Buddy/Friendship Bench.
- Anti-bullying strategies including cyber bullying, friendly behaviours and various learning styles.
- Individual and group targeted wellbeing programs are developed and implemented based on current data regarding the wellbeing issues for the children in each year level. These programs support and promote resilience, health and wellbeing.
- Our long term commitment to our whole school wellbeing programs, The Resilience Project and the Be You program, together with our inclusion of the eSmart program, supports and enhances the building of resilience and protective behaviours in our students.
- IB Learner profile– whole school focus. Our whole learning community plays an important part in developing, valuing, appreciating, and demonstrating the Learner Profile in action. Each week at BNPS, we demonstrate and celebrate the Learner Profile attributes across the school. The IB Learner Profile represents attributes valued by IB World Schools. These attributes can assist individuals in becoming responsible members of the local and global communities.
BNPS Approach to Wellbeing
What to do if I have a health and wellbeing concern for my child or family?
- All the staff, teaching and non-teaching, are committed to looking after the health and wellbeing of the children and we believe that the health and wellbeing of your child should be prioritised.
- As always, if you have wellbeing concerns, your first point of call is always your child’s teacher who has a range of skills and strategies to implement to promote wellbeing. Your child’s teacher will then be able to determine if any external support is required for your child to continue to thrive and grow. If appropriate the teacher will also talk to others on the wellbeing team to gain further advice to support you.
Our Wellbeing Team
Our Wellbeing Team is overseen by Dr Carolann Clifford. Dr Clifford works in the school in a part-time capacity (currently working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). Her faithful four-legged therapy dog assistant, Archie, accompanies her to school on most days (but sometimes he is just too lazy to get up in the morning, especially in the winter).
Working with Dr Clifford we have developed a wellbeing model that allows us to put into place best practice evidence based strategies that support and further the wellbeing of our students, that upskills our teachers with the latest psychological advice and resources and that supports children and families when they would benefit from assistance and advice.
Dr Clifford’s role in the school is focussed on:
- Overseeing the implementation of our whole school evidence based wellbeing programs. This includes reviewing our annual wellbeing survey and co-ordinating, sourcing and exploring funding options for new and innovative incursion programs based on the most up-to-date information for our children.
- Working very closely with our whole school staff to discuss any of their wellbeing concerns about their students. Each year level in our school meet on a weekly basis to discuss their grades and wellbeing is discussed as a matter of priority at these weekly meetings. Dr Clifford joins the meetings to discuss with the teachers how they can best support the child in their grade and whether any further follow up would be helpful.
- In addition to the weekly meetings, Dr Clifford has prioritised looking after the wellbeing being of our more vulnerable students during COVID remote learning and she works in close contact with the teachers to do so.
- Both Dr Clifford and Archie provide a ‘crisis’ management service to support individual children who have had a tough morning and arrive at school distressed or upset or who become distressed or upset during the day. Often this involves a quiet chat, or a walk around the school with Archie and liaison with both the classroom teacher and home.
- Supporting our hard working staff with their own mental health and wellbeing is an important part of the work that Dr Clifford does.
- Working with parents regarding their child and discussing options for support in another very important part of Dr Clifford’s role. Dr Clifford also liaises frequently with other sources of support in our local community and is often able to suggest external resources that can provide help and support.
- Providing resources and updated information to both teachers and the school community.
- Advocating for the mental health and wellbeing needs of the children in the school is a role that Dr Clifford embraces in any school meeting.
- Dr Clifford meets regularly with the Leadership Team, and more specifically the Principal Mrs Duffy and Assistant Principal Mrs Simpson, to discuss the wellbeing needs of students in the school to ensure a whole school collaborative approach is maintained.
Please note: Dr Clifford’s role does not involve working with individual students to provide wellbeing counselling, although there is a need to assist a very small number of vulnerable students on an individual basis.
There are two reasons for this:
- The first one is that we believe that in a primary school setting children any mental health and wellbeing counselling is best provided in conjunction with other family members and we do not have the ability to support that at school. We also believe that, if possible, counselling should be done in a private environment, away from any worries and stress possibly associated with school and that children need time to re-calibrate and settle after any counselling session. At this time it is our preference that a child should access counselling outside of the school environment, where a family member can be present and involved in the care and that allows the child to take some time to settle before returning to the classroom environment. Of course, we do work closely with other psychologists and support staff who do work with children in our school and we are very happy to continue to liaise with them and implement strategies and support as recommended. Dr Clifford continues to be very happy to discuss with parents any external sources of support should they need guidance.
- The second reason is that if we work individually with students we are only able to see a limited number on a weekly basis and we are therefore not able to provide an equitable service to the whole school. We have therefore chosen to focus our wellbeing resources on whole school policies that benefit the most children and families.
Be You Team
Dr Carolann Clifford and Jessica Patane (Year 2 teacher) lead the Be You Team. Our Be You Team contains a representative from each year level in the school, including our specialist program and our education support staff. We also have a Parent Representative, Tully Reynolds. We will be connecting with the Wellbeing Captains to ensure there is a student voice aspect of our team. We recognise and acknowledge that the current situation has increased mental health concerns for many as well as parental interest in assisting and supporting the future needs of our children.
What the role of Be You Team is:
- Working closely with our Leadership Team on Child Safety policies, reviews and implementation
- Encouraging and promoting the delivery of the whole school wellbeing program – The Resilience Project
- Attending Professional Development provided by a range of external agencies e.g. Be You Initiative, Resilience Project, Department of Education
- Promote and provide Lunch Time Clubs (previously this has included Mandala, drawing, building and library sessions)
- Liaising with the Wellbeing Captains to gain Student Voice about ideas and initiative which will promote Student Engagement and Wellbeing
- Discussing the best way to communicate wellbeing concerns between classroom teachers and relevant staff to ensure various supports are in place across all areas of the school for specific children
- Monitoring and reporting to Dr Clifford any wellbeing concerns within Year Levels that require support.
- Providing special event days which promote positivity, engagement and connection (e.g. ‘Be You’ Day, The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence)
- Providing information evenings on a variety of mental health, wellbeing and safety topics for parents
- Using the School Newsletter and Compass to provide relevant articles and tip sheets to support parents with the wellbeing of their child
- Liaising with a Parent Representative who will enable the team to promote greater communication between the needs of parents within our community
KidsMatter has become Be You
Building on the work of KidsMatter, the Be You initiative is growing a mentally healthy generation.
At Beaumaris North Primary School, we have always had a strong focus on student, staff, parent and community wellbeing. In 2011, we began the journey of becoming an accredited KidsMatter School. This process involved a full review of how our school welcomes, includes and supports families and students. The staff engaged in regular professional development and gained strategies and skills to support the development of social and emotional development and preventative strategies in our students.
The KidsMatter Primary Initiative (now replaced by BeYou) was a mental health and wellbeing initiative for Australian primary schools. It provided proven methods, resources and support to identify and implement whole-school strategies to improve student mental health and wellbeing. As a result of our KidsMatter Parent Survey in 2014 we began the inclusion of broader parent communication and engagement. In 2018, we began implementing The Resilience Project student program to promote the key principles of Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness in our schools.
The Resilience Project
Beaumaris North Primary School promotes student wellbeing through the delivery of lessons from The Resilience Project Program.
For more information, visit https://theresilienceproject.com.au/
What is the Resilience Project?
The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses, providing practical, evidence-based, positive mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.
Mission: To teach positive mental health strategies to help people become more happy and to build resilience.
The Resilience Project focuses on four key strategies: Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness (GEM) and Emotional Literacy.
Paying attention to the things that we have right now, and not worrying about what we don’t have. We practise this by noticing the positives that exist around us.
Putting ourselves in the shoes of others to feel and see what they do. We practice this through being kind and compassionate towards other people.
Our ability to be calm and present at any given moment. We practice this through slowing down and concentrating on one thing at a time. This could be our breathing, completing a colouring sheet or noticing the noises we can hear.
Our ability to label our emotions as we experience them. Labelling our emotions helps us to manage our emotions (soften negative emotions and find positive emotions). We practice this by labelling our emotions as we experience different parts of our day.
For more information on wellbeing at Beaumaris North Primary School, please refer to our COVID-19 Wellbeing Resources page.