Wellbeing at the Core

Wellbeing is a key focus of holistic health in society today and thus has also become a key component of education pedagogy in schools, both independent and state, particularly due to growing public concern over increased levels of adolescent mental health disorders.

Schools clearly have a role in supporting students to understand the significant links between wellbeing, general good health and improved academic performance.

Ensuring programs remain relevant, consistent with contemporary research and geared around progressive educational agendas empowers our students in an increasingly complex world. A thorough review was undertaken of the Strathcona Pastoral Care and Wellbeing program in 2017 conducted by Lucinda Thom and her research and recommendations have been considered by the Senior Leadership Team, the Pastoral Team, staff and students.

A Strathcona Strategic Wellbeing model has been developed and adopted and has commenced in 2019.

It is titled The ‘Feliciter’ Wellbeing program and is the blueprint for a sequenced K-12 Wellbeing program that will run throughout a variety of different formats – designated Wellbeing/PE/Health classes, year level sessions, incursions and excursions. It will be documented and reviewed so that it evolves with the changing needs of the students and best practice and research.

One of the many recommendations based on research was that Strathcona extend the House system. We had already begun the process of initiating a stronger House focus, but we are now extending it further. All students in Years 10 to 12 will be grouped in a Vertical House System for their Pastoral/Wellbeing groups. Years 7, 8 and 9 girls will be in their year level groups with their year level Coordinator and will also be grouped in Houses. In the middle years, these House groups will also form their classes for their core subjects.

This will allow for increased pastoral care, (vertical mentor groups and peer support), more opportunities for leadership, greater identification within Strathcona in something other than the classroom, more of an opportunity to participate with students from other years and a chance to develop a sense of belonging and ownership of a House, and associate with the teachers in a different environment.

In Year 10, each student will be allocated a House mentor who will remain constant through Year 10, 11 and 12, students three years of senior schooling and VCE.

Our Cross Age and Mentor/buddy programs will also be strengthened through the House program.

To be developed further is a Wellness Landscape around Strathcona which will include a wellness dedicated technology free space, aromatherapy diffusers in key areas and opt in sessions in such things as yoga, meditation, study skills, aerobics and nutrition.

At Strathcona each student is known, respected, encouraged and cared for by all staff. We feel very strongly that our school is a community that offers optimism, hope, growth, ethical thinking and behavior through our Pastoral and Wellbeing program and this will only be strengthened throughout 2019 and beyond.

Strathcona – students within a House, within a community, within the community, within our community.
Mrs Jenni Farmilo, Deputy Principal
school captain heading

Tomorrow’s Leaders

Change is inevitable — but what kind of world do our next generation of young leaders want to live in, and how will they play a role in making it happen?
The Progress Leader interviews our School Captain Kara.

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Hearld Sun heading March 2020

Online tools to keep kids learning even in a statewide school shutdown

To manage student wellbeing, pastoral periods will run via Microsoft teams on Tuesday and Thursdays. The school said students are encouraged to adopt positive wellbeing strategies for the period of remote learning such as: be dressed in neat attire for all classes, set up their computer to do online class from a public space in the house, stay connected with friends online and through telephone at recess and lunchtimes, keep to a ‘school day’ routine while at home, maintain daily exercise, eat healthy meals and snack regularly. Teachers are also encouraged to maintain regular working hours, behaviour management and pastoral care as best as possible.

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The Australian - IWD

Lifelong learning key to the future

big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
He says recasting some of the technical disciplines, such as engineering, into a humanfocused
discipline could result in an increasing interest from women.
The Business Council of Australia has suggested an overhaul of the vocational and tertiary
education systems with a shared oversight body and better information about the range of
options.
It has called for that same culture of lifelong learning, for initial qualifications for a strong
foundation, and then modules to upskill and retrain throughout careers.
And instead of separate funding for universities and vocational training, the BCA says an
individual education “account” would allow promote individual choices.
The corporate sector’s peak body has also called for a focus on STEM, as technology
continues to transform the economy. Across the education system, STEM skills and
knowledge are increasingly sought after – but not found.
While the Australian Government pours millions into STEM advancement and advocacy,
institutions continue to struggle to attract, retain and progress women.
Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews says parents and teachers
should encourage STEM participation.
“It’s easy as parents to brush off a dislike of maths or science with an, ‘It’s OK, I didn’t do
well and I turned out OK’,” she says. “We need to change that attitude and make STEM a
priority for our kids. We need them to keep engaging students in a way that ensures both
girls and boys are equally supported in the pursuit of STEM.”
Tech Girls Movement founder and STEM educator Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen says teachers
need to be enabled and supported to do that: “It’s challenging for teachers to have to do
the next big thing.”
Teachers need the tools, training and confidence to deliver STEM and other subjects in an
inspiring way. Beekhuyzen says there is a push to teach coding, but points to forecasts
indicate half the current coding jobs won’t exist in the future.
So what are young people to do? Beekhuyzen says it all comes back to resilience and
adaptability. Her own program inspired Kira Molloy, 20, to get into technology. She is now
on a New Colombo Plan Scholarship, studying at the top-ranking National University of
Singapore. “Before I got involved with the Tech Girls Program, I had never considered
studying computer science and was set on studying medicine,” she says. “From the
experiences I had through the Tech Girl program I was able to go to QUT and Google in
Sydney and see amazing technologies and amazing women leading the field. This ignited a
passion for me to pursue a career in technology.”
Lifelong learning key to the future – The Australian, 3/7/2020 10/3/20, 11(21 am
https://theaustralian.smedia.com.au/HTML5/PrintArticle.aspx?doc=NCAUS%2F2020%2F03%2F07&entity=ar16502&mode=text Page 5 of 5
At the coalface of girls’ education, Strathcona Girls Grammar Head of Digital Learning and
Innovation Michelle Dennis says the most important skills will be those that can’t be taught
from a book.
“A lot of future-proofing comes down to giving students the opportunity to encounter new
experiences,” she says.
And national award-winning science teacher Sarah Chapman, from Townsville State High
School, says future-proofing involves questioning and assessing information, from
humanities and religion, to arts and sciences.
“A lot of these things are uncomfortable for young people,” she says. “It needs to be more
of the norm.”

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