Student Wellbeing

We are intentional and deliberate in equipping students with social and emotional abilities that will stand each child in good stead for the future.

An evidence-based approach

In education, wellbeing is important for two reasons:

  • schooling should not just be about academic outcomes but the wellbeing of the ‘whole child’;
  • students who have higher levels of wellbeing tend to have better cognitive outcomes.

We explicitly teach skills, purposefully model qualities and mindfully nurture our students’ development so that they will become resilient, connected and positive, able to reframe setbacks, look for solutions and plan their way forward.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and 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.

We call this our whole-school Wellbeing framework, and we are proud of the way it interplays with our ‘whole child’ learning framework of Building Learning Power.

The link between the BLP learning and teaching framework and the soft skills of social emotional learning is self-evident and we know that these are the skills that 21st century employers are looking for.

The Head of Pastoral Care supports the Wellbeing Team who in turn support students.
The Head of Diverse Learning discusses how every student gets the support they need.
Students learn that words have power; the right words form a positive culture and expectations.

How do we implement SEL skills?

At NAC, we base our practices on Martin Seliman’s groundbreaking work in which he identifies six key areas for development:

  • Positive Emotions – such as joy, peace, gratitude, hope and love, shown to trigger an upward spiral.
  • Engagement – becoming fully immersed in a situation, task, or project, experiencing a state of flow.
  • Relationships – having meaningful, positive interactions and friendships with others.
  • Meaning – belonging to and serving something bigger than themselves.
  • Accomplishment – aiming to master a skill or achieve a valuable goal.
  • Health – stay active, sleep well, eat well, hydrate, be mindful

How does it work?

Parents may ask how ‘relationships’, ‘meaning’ and ‘positive emotions’ can become interwoven in the curriculum. Our answer is this: in many ways.

A wellbeing time slot has been added to each day from Kindergarten right through to Year 12 from 2022. A structured wellbeing program is an important part of building connections between learning and whole-child health.

Our structured Homeroom program, which gathers students in multi-age care groups, is where many of our pastoral care activities take place. Homeroom teachers facilitate group-building and individual growth through sessions such as ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ and ‘Friday Funday’.

We intentionally use positive language that becomes part of our school’s narrative. Words have power; the right words form positive culture and expectations and help us to establish our school community in its faith values and celebrate students’ creativity and efforts at all levels.

People who can help

We also encourage students, and families to talk to their Class Teacher (Junior School), Homeroom Teacher and Year Coordinators (Senior School), as well as the pastoral care staff, counsellors and school psychologist, where needed. However, pastoral care does not only come from these members of staff. Every teacher and support person in the school is trained and encouraged in our pastoral care principles, which are embedded in our learning philosophy.

Students who come from a Defence Forces background, or who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander have specialised, dedicated advocates and mentors, who are active in their efforts to create a stable, supportive environment for these particular student communities. As well, our Diverse Learning team and School Counsellors (including an experienced Clinical Psychologist) provide extra support for all students.