At Yarraville West Primary School, we empower our students with strategies and skills that support them to be happy and healthy young people. We do lots of work on social skills, such as making friends, negotiating, problem solving, building resilience and having a positive mindset.
We support student wellbeing through a range of resources appropriate to the developmental ages of our students. Here are a few examples of our wellbeing resources and initiatives:
Our Respectful Relationships program has a variety of learning resources tailored for the teaching of empathy, responsibility and resilience from Prep through to Year 6. The learning resources are age appropriate and adapted to suit the needs of our students.
Across our school, students are partnered with a 'Buddy' from another year level. Buddies share a unique and lovely friendship. When joining our school community, Prep students are paired with Grade 5/6s, who offer insightful information to the Preps about their new environment at school. Each year, a student is paired with a new Buddy. Buddies meet in class time, through teacher organised and directed activities.
Three Step Telling Rule
We support our students to develop skills in conflict resolution and problem-solving in appropriate situations. In the yard, students are encouraged to use the ‘Three Step Telling Rule’ to resolve conflict which may arise. The Three Steps are: ‘1. Stop it I don't like it, 2. Stop it or I’m telling the teacher, 3. Tell the teacher.’ In class, we reflect upon events from break times to support students to identify and regulate their emotions, as well as strategies to bounce back from hurdles when they arise.
Teachers use the Compass app to document incidents that occur within the yard. This supports communication between teachers to monitor the wellbeing of our students. Of course, teachers recognise the developmental age of students, where some may still be learning how to interact with others. We all make mistakes. In these situations, teachers offer understanding and seize these moments as supportive teaching opportunties. We nurture the the development of skills in negotiation, compromise and conflict resolution.
Friendship /Social Groups
We understand that sometimes students may be at risk of disengaging due to difficulties in building and maintaining positive social relationships. Once identified, these students can be nominated by their teachers to participate in special small focus groups, aiming to foster positive relationships and resilience through appropriate behaviour and pragmatic language.
Our school values of Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Teamwork provide a framework to explore positive behaviour and wellbeing. We take regular opportunities to 'Share and Celebrate' examples of our school values in action within our classrooms, at assemblies and through Values Awards featured in our school newsletter.
Professional Development and Parent Information Sessions
We undertake regular professional learning to support the social and emotional development of our students. We ensure that our programs are evidence-based and reflect best practice. At a teaching team and whole school level, we work together to ensure that we best support every student within our school.
In the interests of working together to achieve the best for our students, we offer information sessions with experts who share supportive wellbeing insights and strategies. In the past, we have been fortunate to investigate ideas about Resilience and Optimism, in the context of school and home. These sessions provide a wonderful opportunity to connect school approaches to the home environment, as we work in a partnership to support our students' social and emotional growth.