eXcel: Wellbeing for Learning
eXcel affirms Catholic Education Melbourne’s ongoing commitment to supporting ‘rich, deep and varied learning experiences’ for our students, so that they may develop as optimistic, resilient young people of faith, ready to be effective members of community, contributing to and enriching the world around them.
–Catholic Education Melbourne 2018, eXcel: Wellbeing for learning in Catholic school communities
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St Mary’s provides a comprehensive transition program that reflects a continuous learning approach. We believe the support offered to children by families and schools at these important times will determine whether they remain engaged and connected to school and ultimately have a successful educational experience.
As part of the transition process a whole school “Getting to Know You” program is run during the first two weeks of each year. The purpose is to establish a positive school/classroom environment and to build teacher knowledge of the students in the class. Activities include: team building games, circle time activities and explicit teaching of the interpersonal skills needed to work cooperatively. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment early in the year with the class teacher to pass on important information about their child to the class teacher.
At St Mary’s we value and promote student participation and engagement in all aspect of school and community life. Students are encouraged to take on various leadership roles and are supported to develop student led initiatives. Student participation is promoted through;
- Leadership programs.
- School captains and year 6 leaders.
- The ‘A’ Team.
- Student Representative Council.
- Social Justice initiatives.
- Buddy Program.
- Lunch time activities.
- Sustainability activities and programs.
- Sporting events.
- School assemblies.
PARENT & FAMILY INVOLVEMENT:
The parent-school partnership is greatly valued at St Mary’s as a positive influence on a child’s success at school. Opportunities for parents to participate include;
- Classroom support.
- School assemblies.
- Guest speakers as required.
- Parent/Teacher interviews.
- Parent and Friends Committee.
- School Board.
- Maintenance Committee.
- Working Bees.
- School Masses.
- School events: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Mass, Twilight Sports, Parish/School Fete, Swimming Carnival, Ski Program, School Camps
It is crucial that students develop habits of regular attendance at an early age; even from the time they are enrolled in a pre-school setting. Poor patterns of attendance place students at risk of not achieving their educational, social and psychological potential and are disadvantaged in the quality of choices they are able to make in later life situations.
Student absence fits into the following categories:
- Illness or injury.
- Truancy: Your child is absent from school without your knowledge
- School Refusal: Your child does not want to attend school, even though you have tried.
- School Withdrawal: Your child does not attend school with your permission. For example, family holidays, baby-sitting, helping parents at home, working in the family business.
What is your responsibility as a parent/caregiver?
Make sure your child:
- attends school on ALL school days.
- is on time every day.
Make sure you:
- Provide the school with an explanation if your child is away.
- Contact the school if your child does not want to go to school.
- Arrange doctor and dentist appointments out of school hours.
- Arrange personal shopping trips with your son/daughter or birthday celebrations out of school hours.
- Do not allow your child to stay at home for minor reasons.
Is regular attendance at school important?
- Yes – from the first day. If your child misses the basic skills in primary school they can experience difficulties with their learning.
- Regular attendance is essential to make sure learning is not disrupted. Regular learning provides building blocks for the future.
- Schools help children to develop important social skills, such as friendship building, teamwork, communication skills and a healthy self-esteem.
What can you expect from the school?
- Monitoring of student attendance and review progress on a weekly basis.
- Strategies to help you as a parent encourage your child to go to school.
What help can you get if your child refuses to go to school or is truanting?
The school can offer a range of support options:
- Teacher working with the student in a supportive, counselling role
- School student welfare co-ordinator working with the student
- Provide a mentor for your child.
- Home visits to identify the problem and help work it through with parents.
- Identify reasons why your child doesn’t want to go to school.
- Strategies to help you encourage your child to go to school
- Develop an incentive program to encourage your child to attend school.
- Link with community agencies.
Must you send your child to school every day?
- Your child is too sick or injured to go to school.
- Your child has an infectious disease.
- The principal is provided with any other genuine and acceptable reason for absence.
Do you need to let the school know if your child has been away?
- Yes – for the wellbeing of your child, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has an attendance policy and teachers and schools are required to follow up student absences.
KidsMatter Primary is an Australian initiative for primary schools that provides a framework, resources and support to identify and implement strategies to improve the mental health and well-being of students.
As a Catholic school, we focus on the growth of the whole person. We believe at St Mary’s Primary School that mental health and well-being is vital for learning and life. Children who are mentally healthy learn better, benefit from life experiences and have stronger relationships with family members, school staff and peers. Good mental health in childhood also provides a solid foundation for:
- managing the transition to adolescence and adulthood
- engaging successfully in education
- making a meaningful contribution to society.
School is the most significant developmental context, after family, for primary school-aged children. Schools play a crucial role in building children’s self-esteem and sense of competence. They can also act as a safety net and assist in protecting children from circumstances that affect their learning, development and well-being.
Schools, working closely with families and the community, are key environments for comprehensively supporting children’s mental health and well-being.
Over the next year you will notice initiatives that will increase family involvement within the school. Stay tuned for these exciting experiences.
We congratulate our Year 6 students that hold leadership roles at St Mary’s primary school for 2019, thet make an invaluable contribution to our school.
- Captains: Dylan W, Harper A.
- Vice-Captains: Amanda D, Mitch P.
- ICT Captains: Noah C, Elijah M, Mikhela L, Aaron T
- Visual Arts Captains: Kane B, Bronte M, Lachie P, River R
- Sustainability Captains: Mitch A, Chris C
- Wellbeing Captains: Morgan D, Hannah B, Molly J, Josh O
- Library Captains: Paige C, Chelsea N, Isabelle B, Remy S
- Language Captains: Baylee W
- Performing Arts Captains: Jack R, Locklan C, Adam S, Charlie H
- Timbertop – Adrian P and Olivia TB
- Stirling – Archie S and Isabelle H
- Jamieson – Sam D and Jaspa R
- Delatite – Trent B and Stella B