At St. Joseph’s we believe that social-emotional wellbeing is as important as academic success. In order to be successful adults, students need to develop a healthy sense of self and be able to develop and maintain healthy and positive relationships. We pride ourselves on the priority we give to Student Wellbeing and programs and processes we have in place. Our Student Wellbeing Coordinator is responsible for working with teachers, parents and external specialists in ensuring that all our students are supported. St. Joseph’s is a Restorative Practices school and our Behaviour Management Policy is inclusive of Restorative Practices.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
SEL is defined as follows:
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
The 5 components of effective Social and Emotional Learning are as follows:
Students at St. Joseph's participate in weekly SEL lessons, which are based upon these 5 competencies, and incorporate the content from The Victorian Curriculum "Personal and Social Capability": http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/personal-and-social-capability/introduction/learning-in-personal-and-social-capability
We utilise a variety of resources and programs to support student learning in SEL:
Berry Street Education Model (BSEM)
Staff are trained in the BSEM curriculum:
- Body: Building school-wide rhythms and body-regulation through a focus on physical and emotional regulation of the stress response, de-escalation in school and classroom contexts, and mindfulness opportunities throughout the school day
- Relationship: Increasing relational capacities in staff and students through attachment and attunement principles with specific relationship strategies with difficult to engage young people
- Stamina: Creating a strong culture of independence for academic tasks by nurturing resilience, emotional intelligence and a growth mindset
- Engagement: Employing engagement strategies that build willingness in struggling students
- Character: Harnessing values and character strengths approach to enable successful student self-knowledge which leads to empowered future pathways
‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ PROGRAM
The You Can Do It Program is a social-emotional program focusing on skilling children in the “Five Keys to Success’ - Organisation, Persistence, Resilience, Confidence and Getting Along. Each term, one of these keys is a focus in the school. It is a preventative program enables children to develop strategies for dealing with relationships, conflict and bullying.
EARLY INTERVENTION & PROGRAM SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS
The best kind of intervention is early intervention and intervention that is within the classroom, by the classroom teacher. We work closely with specialists and external organisations to quickly assess student’s needs and to develop programs. Program Support Group Meetings (PSGs) are held each term for students with special physical, behavioural or educational needs. We work in partnership with parents and external specialists in setting goals and developing strategies to support students.
Every Prep student is allocated a Grade 6 buddy for the duration of their first year at school. A buddy is someone who new students can quickly recognise and befriend and who can offer peer support on the playground. Buddies also regularly visit the Prep classrooms to participate in structured activities. The Buddy system works on building a relationship between an older student and the prep child based on trust, affirmation and acceptance.
The Buddy system encourages Prep students:
• to feel welcome
• to feel part of the community
• to become familiar with school rules, buildings and daily routines.
• to have channels to act through when experiencing difficulties.
• to develop skills through cross-age tutoring.
Older students in return:
• develop responsibility
• develop sensitivity and tolerance
• develop academic skills through cross-age tutoring.
YEAR 6 LEADERS & STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL (SRC)
Each year, our Year 6 students take on a leadership role in the school in order for them to develop responsibility and leadership skills. All Year Six students are elected to either a captaincy or a supporting leadership role. In this way, all Year Six students are regarded as leaders and are provided with opportunities to develop leadership skills. All students from Years 3-6 elect school leaders for the roles of School Captain, as well as Arts, Sports, Environment, ICT and Social Justice Captains. The Captains lead prep to 5 students in these areas throughout the year. Our Year 6 leaders undergo a Leaders Program at the beginning of each year, where they identify the qualities of a good leader and their own unique leadership qualities.
Elected representatives from all class groups form the Student Representative Council who meet regularly to play an active role in school decision making, making the school a better place to learn in and to provide a fundraising body for the school community. Money raised by the student representative council is donated to a charity or cause.
Seasons is a peer support programme for students who are experiencing grief and loss in their lives. This may be as a result of death, separation, divorce or relocation. The programme provides an opportunity for students to express, acknowledge, normalize and integrate their grief in a safe environment with 3 or 4 peers. Trained teachers guide the process.