24 July 2020
NEWSLETTER: FROM THE WELLBEING TEAM
In the last week of Term 2 and in the wake of Covid post- remote learning, our Year 12 students were praised for their efforts of completing Unit 3 during such unusual circumstances and encouraged to continue with Unit 4 and mastering resilience through the launch of a new Year 12 Wellbeing Program. The purpose of the program was designed to help students identify moments of stress and how best to overcome personal challenges through a targeted survey of what works for them in response to a series of questions about a range of factors from healthy eating, to study methods and sleep. These responses could then be used for discussion and implementation from a support network of teachers and parents going forward.
These pre-vention plans were designed to identify patterns of study habits and help our Year 12s feel more prepared with whatever the exam period and end of year may throw their way. To help our students feel supported and cared for, care packages were delivered to each student which included a handwritten/signed card from teachers, pamphlets and important information on mental health strategies and support networks available and a wellbeing matrix that encouraged a range of activities to maintain mental and physical health. To support this initiative the packages included a skipping rope, bubbles, word searches, and some red frogs to snack on! The cohort seemed pleased with the delivery of these gifts and appreciated this gesture of kindness.
Year 12 Level Leader
While remote learning has concluded, the use of social media and technology continues to play a large part in most teens’ lives. As a College we continue to support our students to be responsible cyber-citizens and make positive, respectful and thoughtful contributions via online. However, research findings indicate that boundaries surrounding time spent using technology results in a happier and healthier teen.
Parents are encouraged to access the ‘The easy guide to socialising online’ as it provides information on protecting teens and their information when using sites (including social networking sites), search engines and online games. This is an especially helpful resource for parents to learn about the different social networking apps and how they might be used safely.
Dean of Students – Secondary
WELLBEING TRENDS FROM TERM 2
Going into lockdown in Term 2 presented some unique challenges to keeping track of student wellbeing.
Teachers regularly checking in with their students and their parents, either by phone or email, and monitoring online attendance and engagement became the main method of gauging how students were going.
We also introduced a MS Teams Wellbeing channel called “Tell Someone Who Cares”. In this channel, secondary students could find wellbeing information and self-refer via an 😊😶😔😥 RUOK? Quiz which checked for sleep, exercise, mood and other wellbeing indicators. The results of the quiz went to the Wellbeing Team who were then able to contact students with suggestions and tips. This quiz is still active.
Some classes also trialled an app in MS Teams call School Day Wellbeing, which asked a number of wellbeing questions in homegroup times and gave a snapshot of where the class was at.
While the following wasn’t true for every family, these are some of the student wellbeing trends we noticed during Term 2 as restrictions were imposed:
· The Excited Phase A two-week excited phase in which students enjoyed the novelty of staying at home, flexible learning and snacks from the home pantry.
· The Settled Phase Students settled into their work with the realisation that tasks and assignments were still due.
· The Lethargy Phase as student motivation waned, remote learning became a grind, and a return to school date was uncertain. This uncertainly about the future fed into the lack of motivation. This was widespread across the school.
· The Re-invigoration Phase with the announcement and certainty of a return to school date. Students were excited at the anticipation of seeing their friends again and getting out of the house and their overall mood picked up.
While we hope and pray that we don’t return to lockdown, staff and students have reflected on a number of positive experiences and skills that have emerged out of the restrictions including:
- A boost in student autonomy and independence in their learning
- Heightened parental engagement in student learning
- Stronger relationships between teachers and families
- Enhanced IT skills and capabilities among staff
With this comes a confidence that we can handle the rest of 2020 regardless of these uncertain times.