Wellbeing for health and happiness
Student wellbeing is a core focus of the Next Generation Teaching and Learning strategic plan and is incorporated throughout the everyday workings of the school.
Whole school programs and structures focus on social and emotional skills, resilience and leadership in a continuum from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Why teach wellbeing?
The World Health Organisation defines wellbeing as, “a state in which every individual realises his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to his or her community.”
Student wellbeing is an essential aspect of education in Australia. The Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) tested over 500,000 15-year-olds across 76 countries and showed that Australian students have experienced a decline in both academic performance and school belonging and engagement. With around 25% of young Australians experiencing symptoms of mental illness, the need for a deliberate focus on wellbeing in schools is important.
“Children’s learning is influenced by a range of factors,” says Tracy Mitchell, School Psychologist. “How well they do at school can be affected by their social/emotional skills such as their confidence, self-management of their behaviour, organisation, problem-solving and belonging. Explicit focus on wellbeing is important to improve academic learning and enhance students overall motivation to achieve.”
When mental health, resilience and optimism are taught at school, more pro-social and responsible behaviour is evident. This fosters a positive emotional climate for learning which is shown to enhance student engagement and academic outcomes.
Wellbeing at CCGS
Central Coast Grammar School delivers a multi-dimensional approach to wellbeing at age-appropriate levels throughout the school. Our focus on wellbeing cultivates qualities that makes students more effective learners. These include perseverance, the ability to bounce back from failure and a growth mindset. Students grow these characteristics through practice which is developed throughout their learning journey at the school.
New wellbeing framework
A new framework of wellbeing activities has been introduced which delivers a variety of practical learning experiences during weekly K-12 House Family sessions. Topics are explored within an open ‘mixed-age’ environment enabling a strong single message and common language to permeate all students and all ages.
These interconnecting themes include:
- CONNECT: getting to know you, sense of belonging, getting along
- SUCCEED: goal setting, persistence, confidence
- THRIVE: mind, body, spirit
- RESILIENCE: emotional awareness, optimism, empathy
Incorporating a structured framework of wellbeing activities into House Family time has been hugely successful.
“House Family members are wholly engaging in the activities which are fun, inclusive and provide great opportunities for leadership within the group,” said Jodi Clements. “With a greater focus on wellbeing literacy, students K-12 are developing the vocabulary, knowledge and skills they can use now and in the future to maintain or improve wellbeing of self and others.”