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Wellebing 2

 

Student Wellbeing

We know that when our children and young people feel good about themselves, are happy and have positive relationships with teachers, peers and parents, they are more likely to enjoy life and school, and be successful
and engaged in their learning.           

Support From a School-Based Counsellor

School-based counsellors are qualified teachers with additional skills in promoting and
supporting student learning and wellbeing.

School Based Counselling - What it is
School based counsellors like myself, support students, their friends and the wider school community, and help them manage things that are happening in their lives. This also involves developing skills and building confidence, so each one can do so more independently in the future.
Students spend time with me for a myriad of reasons – learning difficulties, student-teacher relations, friendship issues, grief, bullying, problems at home, anger management, concerns about their physical safety, goal setting, coping skills .. to name a few

My role also includes:

  • Implementing new policies and programs across the school
  • Leading staff in the area of Child Protection
  • Working cooperatively with the whole school community to create a positive, safe and supportive learning environment for all students.

School Based Counselling - What it’s not
It is important to note that school staff, including school based counsellors, are not trained to diagnose mental disorders or provide therapy. This is the responsibility of health professionals such as GP’s, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists or other health/social workers.

So, if at any time you need a Counsellor's support for your child, please feel free to contact me at school or via email (sally.lush982@schools.sa.edu.au). From there we can make an appointment to talk further at a time that suits us both.

Working Together

We know that the wellbeing of our students is built on the strength of individuals, groups and communities
working together. The following initiatives are examples of some of the ways we support
the wellbeing of all our students across all year levels.

The ‘Hive’ continued to be a special place in the school - somewhere to find a listening ear, some help, encouragement or to take a break - a ‘Build Up’ zone. Students love to drop in, have a chat, relax for a bit, reflect and energise. Ricki Donaldson, our Christian Pastoral Support worker, continued her outstanding work as part of the wellbeing team, providing care and support to many students.

Because children achieve better when they attend school all day, every day, an ‘Everyday Counts’ campaign was launched at the beginning of the year to closely monitor and review attendance on a weekly basis.  Through the newsletter parents have been offered strategies to help encourage children to go to school. Follow up has been undertaken with staff and then parents if needed when a student’s attendance falls below 90% (i.e. more than 5 days absent) in one term. 

In collaboration with beyondblue and the Australian Psychological Society, KidsMatter  is a national initiative that aims to improve children’s mental health and wellbeing, reduce mental health difficulties amongst students and increase support for students experiencing mental health difficulties. A commitment was made by our school to form an Action Team and undertake the professional learning needed to ’roll out’ KidsMatter at Keith Area School over the next three years.

Our school community is committed to reducing bullying through promoting the values of respect and responsibility, teaching social skills and putting consequences in place for those who bully others. ‘The Hi 5 Bully Hand’ is used to help empower students to first try and work it out for themselves using the strategies on the hand. However, if students feel unsafe or physically threatened, or the bullying has been going on for awhile, it is important that they tell someone they know and trust, so some action can be taken.

The four areas of the Child Protection Curriculum - The Right To Be Safe, Relationships, Recognising and Reporting Abuse and Protective Strategies are taught formally in odd years across the school and the principles consolidated in even years.

Sally Lush  - Wellbeing Coordinator & School Counsellor