SOUL – ELC and Junior School Wellbeing Program

Developing respectful relationships, building resilience, and developing problem-solving strategies are integral to students' wellbeing. At Strathcona in our ELC and Junior School these skills are taught through our SOUL Wellbeing program.

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Wellbeing in the Junior School aims to develop respectful relationships, build resilience and develop problem solving strategies. We engage students in wellbeing activities through our SOUL program. SOUL can be defined as developing Self, understanding Others, understanding Us and knowing what makes you sparkle (strengths and passions) and what you Love.

The Wellbeing program is also linked to the Strathcona school values. Each week at assembly we talk about a value and focus for SOUL and how this connects to our interactions at school and within our community at Strathcona. During our weekly whole school SOUL lessons activities are undertaken that challenge us to reflect on ourselves and others and build a sense of connection and positive support within our Junior School.

Five of our Junior School Staff reflect on Wellbeing and the SOUL Program.

 

What is critical for children age 5-12 wellbeing?

It is important that young children develop a sense of connection and begin to understand their place in the world. Children need to understand that making mistakes and taking risks are a normal part of life, however knowing and being able to apply positive problem-solving strategies will make the difference to developing and maintaining a positive growth mindset.

What do you love about the SOUL program?

What I love the most about the SOUL program is the sense of community and connection that it creates. The Junior School love sharing their ideas and developing relationships within our School.

Mrs Lisa Miller, Head of Junior School

The ‘S’ stands for Self.

The key concept in ‘Self’ is learning and exploring to find out ‘Who am I?’

Within this is an appreciation for learning how I care for myself and my mind and body. The idea is that exploration can occur around emotions and emotion regulation techniques that work for them. Key concepts are around learning self-care strategies to ensure both the physical and emotional side of wellbeing and most significantly the importance of being kind to one’s self. The ‘S’ links to all areas of the SOUL program and is about exploring and finding your SOUL and what makes you ‘you’.

The Junior School embraces this by working to support students to learn positive self-talk, gratitude, mindfulness and relaxation concepts. These wellbeing activities assist students to learn to be present and to manage their emotions in interactions with friends and teachers when they are in the classroom or in the playground. The Junior School encourages students to share their knowledge of ‘Self’ in activities they participate in with buddies and through displaying their understandings around the school. 

What do you do to look after your own wellbeing?

I love to reconnect with the outside by walking in nature and observing things around me as I walk. For example, listening to birds as I walk and noticing changes to trees, plants and flowers as the seasons change. I love the opportunity to walk on my own, with my family and also with friends. Similarly, I love getting out in the garden and letting my worries be buried and left behind in the garden. I also find I gain a great deal of satisfaction with trying new things, especially creative pursuits. Finally, time with family always helps to ground me and have me feel a sense of gratefulness.

Mrs Sharon Turner, Junior School Psychologist

The O in SOUL stands for Others. 

Students learn about diversity, developing an understanding of how everyone is an individual and how to celebrate these differences. These attributes link to our school values of Respect and Compassion. 

The Junior School celebrates diversity through various days of celebration, so students have the opportunity to embrace different cultural backgrounds, believes, and celebrate everyone within our school community. 

What do you do to look after your own wellbeing?

Looking after my wellbeing is very important to me. I love spending time with my family, my husband, and my daughter. Together we do lots of activities, our favourites are visiting the Zoo and going to the beach. I enjoy having some time to myself to do Pilates, walk my dog Harvey, and spa days at the end of each term.

Mrs Eleni Kyritsis, Deputy Head of Junior School

The U in SOUL stands for Us.

The focus is on building positive connections and resilient relationships.

In Junior School we support this by connecting with each student on a personal level through daily interactions. We give students space to make mistakes and to learn and we create opportunities for students to connect with us as people. Students are also actively encouraged to learn and care about each other.

What do you do to look after your own wellbeing?

To look after my own wellbeing I try to exercise each day, spend time with family and friends, and travel, when able!

Mrs Karen Taplin, Year 5 Teacher

The L in Soul stands for Love.

At Strathcona, we strive to achieve a Love of learning. This includes demonstrating respect towards one another and embracing each others’ similarities and differences.

Each student is encouraged to be themselves and feel comfortable in doing so. No matter who you are, at Strathcona, you will be cared for and encouraged to express yourself. The rich and engaging learning experiences in the Junior school develop the love for learning and flourish into a curious mindset to further explore and pose questions for the girls to engage in meaningful learning.

What do you do to look after your own wellbeing?

I surround myself with a close and supportive group of family and friends. I play netball and tennis once a week which is a great way to keep active and meet new people. I also ensure I walk my dog Duke, every day.

Ms Eliza Nolan, Year 5 Teacher