I’d like to take the opportunity to welcome you to 2020. It has been a busy start to the year. Over the past week, students have returned to school and been involved in House and Year Level assemblies, extended time with their mentor groups, and other opportunities to reconnect with school life.
In the Wellbeing area at the College, we have a number of clear priorities for 2020. We will continue to focus on building and supporting students’ strengths through embedding Positive Psychology across the curriculum and in our wellbeing programs.
We will continue to maintain Australian Childhood Foundation Accreditation, making sure the College has a clear and prominent safeguarding culture, with the safety of all children and young people at the forefront of our work.
Staff across the College will continue to use Restorative Practices in their work with students. They will use relationship restoration and discussion as a tool to address and work through conflict, helping equip students with the skills to manage conflict productively themselves.
We will further grow Student Voice at De La Salle, with the creation of a Student Wellbeing Committee.
We will focus on Respectful Relationships across the College – between peers, teachers, families and in regard to relationships with women. The importance of respect will be prominent and positive throughout 2020.
A reminder that in support of our students and their families, De La Salle is proud to partner with SchoolTV, which can be accessed via the tab on Ollie.
SchoolTV is presented by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and offers expert information in an easy to access format. This month, SchoolTV covers three important topics:
Talking About Bushfires
The recent bushfire season in Australia has been catastrophic. It left in its wake a tragic loss of human life, native animals, livestock as well as many homes. Families have been either exposed or affected directly or indirectly, leaving many people feeling overwhelmed and devastated.
During such a traumatic event, children and teenagers are the most vulnerable. It is important to understand that they may not fully comprehend what they have seen either first-hand or in the media coverage. It can make them feel sad, anxious and even stressed.
Whilst most will recover and resume normal functioning, there will be some young people that will be more deeply affected and require psychological support. The University of Melbourne’s ‘Beyond Bushfire Project’ found that mental health problems doubled in recovering communities up to 3 or 4 years after a bushfire.
In order to support our young people during this time, it is also important for adults to manage their own shock, grief, anxiety and anger before talking to kids about this tragedy.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be given some key strategies that can be implemented to support kids who feel scared or worried as a result of this traumatic event. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
Moving To A New School
Moving to a new school is a big deal! Your child is going to meet lots of new people and be thrown into new situations. That’s bound to make them feel lots of different emotions. They may feel worried and anxious, but also excited and happy – all at the same time!
It is considered to be one of the most important transition periods of a student’s life and can present some significant psychological challenges for both students and parents.
Making new friends, learning new routines, discovering new environments, accepting new cultures and adjusting to new learning practices is all part of the process. Some children will sail through this period of change, whilst others may need a bit more guidance. It is important to give your child the chance to feel comfortable in their new space. This may take a few months, but ensure you keep the lines of communication open and check in regularly with your child to see how they are settling in.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be presented with a number of strategies that can be deployed to help ensure a smooth transition. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
Read the Moving to a New School special report.
Surviving the Final Year
It’s no secret that the end of school can be a huge source of anxiety for both students and parents alike. Studies have shown that over 40% of final year students suffer from high-level anxiety or stress, with some even suffering from depression.
It is important to prepare a student’s brain for success. Studies show there is a clear link between students taking care of their health, and their overall productivity during the final year of school. Understanding how best to support your child’s health and wellbeing during this time will help them perform at their best. The student brain has a lot going on, so understanding how it works will help them get the most out their brainpower. Acknowledge that not all stress is bad. The art is in finding the right balance. Having the right amount of stress can encourage students to be at their optimal level of alertness, and improve behavioural and cognitive performance. It helps tune their brain and focus.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be presented with a number of strategies on how best to support their child during the final year at school. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
Read the Surviving the Final Year special report.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Ms Jessica Alger
Deputy Principal — Students