A whole-school approach to wellbeing

I am sure that Term 1 felt like the longest term ever for all of us, given it was 11 weeks duration and, for the first time in two years, we attended school onsite every day.

One highlight of the term was the excellent production of the Senior School musical Mamma Mia!. What a terrific way to finish the term. The performances were flawless, and the show was very uplifting and vibrant. I commend all students, staff and parents who worked to make this show such a resounding success.

We have been delighted to welcome everyone back for the start of Term 2. I know we are all grateful for the opportunity to be able to come together as a community, celebrate the highs and support each other through the struggles and losses when they occur.

It was wonderful to see so many parents at the first round of winter sport last weekend, and we were very pleased to be able to bring back together the Class of 2021 and their parents for a final cocktail party to close off the year with a face-to-face gathering after such disruption in the back half of last year. 

A whole-school approach to wellbeing
All staff across the School were engaged in an important Professional Learning Day with educators and trainers from Berry Street, led by Tom Brunzell PhD. This is part of our response to supporting students and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in the aftermath of the lockdowns and government restrictions. The Berry Street educational model has been developed to support students who have struggled with chronic or post-traumatic stress and draws upon trauma-informed classroom practices and positive psychology interventions. Over the next 18 months, we will be leading the teachers and professional staff through a series of training modules which will equip our staff with new skills and approaches, focussing on the five domains of Body, Relationships, Stamina, Engagement and Character. Our focus to start this term was around: 

  • self-regulation: routines, regulating movement, observing our emotions and readiness to engage 
  • de-escalation: stress management, structured response plans 
  • mindfulness 
  • being present, centred and ready to learn.   

We are very confident that this strengths-based approach will reinforce our ability to support the wellbeing of all across our school in the months ahead.

Shape the future
In the coming weeks we will provide you with a community report which brings together the feedback we have received over the last 12 months through the Appreciative Inquiry process. The inquiry has captured the aspirations of the community and informed our strategic direction statement, which will be launched towards the end of this year. I am grateful to all those who have contributed, and we look forward to receiving feedback once you have had an opportunity to review the document.

Jonathan Walter