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 Student Wellbeing

Educational settings have a critical role to play in fostering positive and sustainable characteristics that enable students to achieve their best. Evidence supports the strong, mutual relationship between wellbeing and learning and a key tenet underlying BCE’s approach to wellbeing is that wellbeing is central to learning and learning is central to wellbeing (Department of Education and Children’s Services, 2007).
 
The BCE Student Wellbeing Position Statement has the advantages of:
  • enhancing the profile and priority given to wellbeing within BCE.
  • driving a focused, integrated, and intentional approach.
  • promoting the development of a common understanding, and a shared language and culture regarding the centrality of wellbeing to learning and teaching.
  • providing leadership and guidance to support schools and teachers in implementing wellbeing approaches within school communities.
  • increasing engagement at all levels of the BCE community.
  • providing a platform for the sharing of best practice across BCE and a mechanism for ensuring that BCE stays across contemporary developments in wellbeing literature and research.
  • providing a unifying purpose and rationale for the many disparate approaches (e.g., Kids Matter, Mind Matters, National Safe School Position Statement, and Social Emotional Learning programs) that have at their heart a concern with student wellbeing but have not been explicitly linked in this way.
A focus on student wellbeing is highly consistent with the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (United Nations, 1959) and the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA, 2008). For example, a core educational goal within the Melbourne Declaration is for all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.
 
Student wellbeing in the context of a Catholic Christian school is based upon these underpinning beliefs:
  • Wellbeing is central to learning
  • Learning contributes to wellbeing
  • Each student has inherent dignity
  • Each student is unique
  • Each student experiences life uniquely
  • Students are active partners in the development and achievement of their own wellbeing
  • Wellbeing is nurtured in the context of community
  • Students can learn, and schools can teach, knowledge and skills that support the achievement of wellbeing
  • Fostering and supporting the wellbeing of students is integral to being a good teacher
  • Catholic schools seek to positively influence student wellbeing
  • Catholic schools influence student wellbeing in distinctive and purposeful ways.
The school provides opportunities for all students along the learning continuum to experience success in the formal curriculum setting and beyond the classroom as well. Structures, support and programs are in place to heighten engagement, create stronger connections in their learning journey and build capacity and confidence.
 
Pastoral Care Programs provide the major points of support and care for students, and establishes a ‘partnership’ between the student’s family and the School.
 
Pastoral Care is carefully considered through:
  • transition from one phase to the next
  • positioning of facilities for each phase for learning
  • positioning of gathering points for assembly, eating spaces and open and casual play areas within developmental phases
  • strategies to recognise and induct new students to the school