The future of our students at St Monica’s depends on what we do today. Currently 1 in 7 Australian primary school students will experience mental illness. The statistic increases for adolescence to 1 in 4. The World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the leading cause of disease globally by 2030. St Monica’s wellbeing strategy is carefully comprised of evidence-based approaches.
Vision for Wellbeing
Our school empowers all students, staff and families to have positive relationships, have a sense of purpose and be mentally, socially and emotionally well.
Mission for Wellbeing
‘The mission, and privilege, of the Catholic school is to build a community where authentic relationships based on love provide the means and the support for all students to flourish and grow into the fullness of life’.
Social and Emotional Learning
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Social and emotional skills are widely acknowledged to be essential to being a virtuous student, citizen and worker. School leaders acknowledge the significance of student wellbeing on all areas of their learning.
Teaching children social and emotional skills helps to promote resilience – the capacity to cope and stay healthy in spite of the negative things that happen through life.
What does social and emotional learning have to do with learning?
Research has shown that children’s learning is influenced by a range of social and emotional factors. How well children do at school is affected by things such as:
- how confident children feel about their abilities show effectively they are able to manage their own behaviour
- how well they can concentrate and organise themselves
- how effectively they can solve problems
- how positively they are able to get on with teaching staff and with peers
- how effectively they take into account others’ needs
- how well they can understand and accept responsibilities.
- how social and emotional learning is taught
St Monica’s Catholic School has selected and implemented programs that best suit our particular needs based on our school. Social and emotional learning programs that have been shown through research to improve children’s social and emotional competence are more likely to achieve goals related to improving students’ mental health.
School-wide classroom teaching of social and emotional learning such as our ‘Respectful Relationships’ program allows staff and students to share a common understanding of what it is all about. Importantly, the emphasis of its teaching needs to be not just on learning about emotions and relationships, but on practical skills that children can apply across a range of situations at school, at home and in the broader community. Opportunities for learning can be coordinated across the school so that children can continue to develop their skills with age and experience.
** At St Monica’s we have a carefully designed Health and Wellbeing Scope and Sequence to ensure a streamlined, sequential approach to our Social and Emotional Learning.
The topics covered include Zones of Regulation (for emotional regulation), value add with ‘Respectful Relationships’
eXcel: Wellbeing for learning in Catholic School Communities
Catholic Education Melbourne developed this framework as a guide for curriculum and practice to enhance the Wellbeing of school communities. It is inspired by the gospel and is informed by a holistic understanding of Wellbeing. eXcel considers the dimensions of learning environments and recognises that when these environments are purposeful and meaningful then wellbeing will be enabled.
At St Monica’s we endeavour to continually improve the way we create safe, inclusive environments where our students, staff and families feel connected and engaged so that learning and Well-being may be optimised.