Student Wellbeing

Social Justice 
Please read our Caritas Story written by the Social Justice team
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‘We aspire to be a school where the whole person- body, mind and spirit is developed, nurtured and celebrated’

Student wellbeing - better buddies

‘We aspire to be a school where the whole person- body, mind and spirit is developed, nurtured and celebrated’

At St Thomas More, we endeavour to support students to learn effectively and to develop positive attitudes and behaviours in a number of ways.

The connection between the promotion of wellbeing and positive learning outcomes is clear. Research related to health and wellbeing shows that schools are important environments for the promotion of wellbeing in children and young people. Further, positive learning outcomes occur when delivered through a framework of social and emotional learning (SEL) approaches. Together they provide a sound basis for developing future healthy relationships and ultimately, achieving success in life.

Our whole school approach to Student Wellbeing emphasises:

  • Prevention – building structures that facilitate belonging and promote wellbeing
  • Early intervention – programming and planning interventions that target students identified as ‘at risk’.
  • Intervention - supporting students through the facilitation of and access to a range of support services for identified 'at risk' students.
  • Postvention – managing ‘out of the ordinary' circumstances that require specialist support, management of trauma, limiting impact and restoring relationships.
  • Primary Prevention is a major initiative at St. Thomas More. Children are trained in Peer Support strategies and Seniors are invited to run lunch time clubs  of their interest or passion.

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

We want to build a community that has quality relationships together with clear expectations and limits. We want to use teachable moments to enhance our interactions with students where we can help them repair damaged relationships. This helps build a community that is forward looking, optimistic and inclusive.

The Restorative School believes in the "Three R's" - Relationships, Responsibility and Relevance.

In working with the student/s using a Restorative Approach, a staff member uses four (4) main questions:

  • What happened?
  • Who was hurt/ affected by what happened?
  • What needs to happen to make things right?
  • If the same situation happens again, how could you behave differently?

At St. Thomas More Restorative Practice, Circle Time and clear School Expectations teach key values that create an ethos of respect, inclusion, accountability, responsibility, commitment to relationships, empowerment and emotional articulacy. Key skills include active listening, facilitating, dialogue and problem solving, listening to and expressing emotion and empowering others to take ownership of problems.

BETTER BUDDIES

The Better Buddies program is an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and enables prep students to feel safe and cared for while the older buddies feel valued and respected. The buddies are an important part of the transition process to start school.  

This has been taken a step further at St. Thomas More where a whole school approach has been adopted to ensure all children Prep- 2 have an older buddy in the school. 

They learn the values: caring for others, friendliness, respect, valuing difference, including others and responsibility.

 All children in the school learn these values through formal and informal activities and school assemblies. There are 4 key event days held throughout the year.

SEASONS 

Seasons Loss and Grief Program is a unique peer support program developed by CatholicCare Family services to help individuals and their families cope with the grief and feelings of loss resulting from, divorce, life threatening illness or death of a loved one. Research has shown that children who are grieving need help to acknowledge their loss, talk about their feelings and learn how to manage and change their lives. Small groups are facilitated by trained staff.

Healing Minds Counselling

Counselling and support is available for individual students upon referral from teachers or parents. Qualified psychologists from Healing Minds provide this service at our school.