“Ensuring the care, wellbeing and protection of children and young people in Catholic schools is inherent to the Catholic tradition which celebrates the sanctity and unique dignity of each human being.”
At Our Holy Redeemer we see the area of wellbeing as primarily focused on raising the wellbeing of the whole school community. This prevention practice embraces the safety and connectedness of the whole community. When intervention is required for small groups or individual children to address either social, behavioural or learning issues we are able to provide them with valuable assistance through our teachers, student wellbeing team or school chaplain.
Our Holy Redeemer is a Restorative School and actively works towards implementing Restorative Practices, a whole school approach that aims to develop positive behaviour between individuals. The Restorative process provides people with skills and strategies to take responsibility for their choices and actions. It helps them recognise the impact of these actions on others, and encourages them to rebuild broken relationships and move forward.
We provide explicit teaching in the areas of:
- Social and Emotional Skills
- Restorative Practice (strengthening and repairing relationships)
- Values for Australian Schools
- National Safe Schools Guidelines (Drug Education, Cybersafety)
Restorative Practices at Our Holy Redeemer helps to build capacity to enable students to self regulate behaviour and contribute to the improvement of learning outcomes.
School Wide Positive Behaviours
School Wide Positive Behaviours is a major focus throughout the school. Our staff and students collaboratively worked to develop a Behaviour Expectation Matrix. Teachers use a positive incentive program to encourage appropriate behaviour and use effective consequences to discourage inappropriate behaviour. This program identifies expected behaviours of students in specific areas of the school. During the weekly assembly one expectation from the matrix is communicated to the entire school community to focus on. The expectation relates to the three main areas of :
- Respect for Self,
- Respect for Others,
- Respect for the Environment
‘Mindfulness aims to help young people:
- To experience greater well-being (e.g. feel happier, calmer, more fulfilled)
- To fulfill their potential and pursue their own goals e.g. be more creative, more relaxed, academically and personally
- To improve their concentration and focus, in classes, in exams and tests, on the sports field, when playing games, when paying attention and listening to others
- To work with difficult mental states such as depressive, and anxious thoughts and low moods
- To cope with the everyday stresses and strains of adolescent life such as exams, relationships, sleep problems, family issues’
Ref -Mindfulness in Schools Project
Mindfulness is a valuable skill that helps children to build their emotional resilience so they are better equipped to deal with the day to day stresses that life brings them.
Our Holy Redeemer has introduced the Mindfulness Meditation strategy to develop our students’ capacity to bring an awareness to the present moment by being highly aware of present thoughts and feelings and paying attention with flexibility, openness and curiosity.
The Buddy Program is one of the many ways we help Foundation students settle into school, as well as promoting and developing leadership skills in our senior students.
Buddies meet regularly throughout the year to complete fun activities together. These activities include literacy, maths games and craft. The program has an extremely positive impact on both the Foundation and Grade 6 students. Our senior students look forward to having a prep buddy and are therefore motivated to be the best buddy for their prep friend. The program encourages sharing, listening, taking turns, helping and supporting one another in completing tasks. The Buddy system often gives students the opportunity to form strong bonds and lasting friendships.
The Buddy system is also in years 1/2 and years 3/4.
Student Action Teams
The students in Year 6 participate in many leadership groups.
- Social Justice
These leadership opportunities builds students’ awareness of how decisions are made and how they impact other people. They meet regularly to plan events and discuss issues that have arisen.
School Parliament comprises representatives from each class and meet regularly with the Deputy Principal to discuss issues pertaining to the overall well being of the school.
Berry Street Social Emotional Learning
We have a whole school approach to Social and Emotional Learning using The Berry Street Education Model – Curriculum and Classroom Strategies. The areas of focus are Body, Relationships, Stamina, Engagement and Character. Teachers design weekly lessons in Social Emotional Learning
A Student Welfare Worker is funded by the Australian Government, under The National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program, and complements the care offered by the Student Wellbeing Department at Our Holy Redeemer School. The Student Welfare Program aims to assist our school community through the provision of help and care to support the spiritual, social and emotional wellbeing of students and the school community.
The Service aims to:
- provide students, their families and staff with support and or appropriate referrals, in difficult situations such as during times of grief or when students are facing personal or emotional challenges.
- support students and staff to create an environment which promotes the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development and wellbeing of all students.
- Support students and staff to create an environment of cooperation and mutual respect, while promoting an understanding of diversity.
The Student Welfare Service is available to every family within the school and offers one-on-one or group sessions with students, parents, staff and other members of the school community as required. The program is offered to the school community with the understanding that participation is always voluntary. No child is required to participate in the activities or sessions offered if they or their parents are unwilling for them to do so.
Specifically, the Student Welfare Worker:
- assists families facing personal and emotional challenges such as ‘Grief and Loss’ through death, divorce and separation, or loss of a pet
- mediates between children experiencing friendship issues, helping build self-esteem
- provides strategies for dealing with anger management and anxiety issues
- provides resources and support to parents dealing with ‘parenting issues’
- builds relationships with both children and their families, whether simply connecting through a phone call, or just being there to listen
- organises and provides meals and a support network to families, in times of personal crisis
- provides details of outside agencies to parents seeking specialised services
- presents staff with initiatives to promote Social Emotional Learning
- trains staff and parents in the principles of Restorative Practices
- builds networks with Shire groups e.g. SFYS (Student Focused Youth Services)
- consolidates partnerships with community groups, such as St Vincent de Paul
- possesses a working knowledge of Values Education in Australian Schools and integrates these into the fabric of the school culture
- possesses a working knowledge of the National Safe Schools Framework including Cybersafety, Drug Education and Mandatory Reporting and imparts this knowledge to staff, students, parents and the local community
- assists with the transition of children entering and leaving school and
- liaises between other schools.