What we accomplish in the marathon of life depends tremendously on our grit—our passion and perseverance for long-term goals.
Student wellbeing is paramount to ensuring that our students can get the most out of their schooling. We believe that it takes a village to raise a child and a significant part of our work at NLPS focuses on social and emotional learning.
‘Health’ is taught across all grades from Prep – 6 and runs parallel with other frameworks/approaches, including:
Every year level devotes time to at least one health session per week. In this time, students are developing their social and emotional learning in a safe space with their peers.In addition to our whole school focus as a School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support School (SWPBS), including our strong focus on our five school values, we explicitly teach a number of areas to support student wellbeing.
At our school, we use a combination of elements from the following frameworks/programs:
• The RRRR (‘Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships’ Curriculum)
• Bounce Back! learning materials
• Child Wise learning materials
A health lesson in Prep will look very different to a health lesson in Year 5/6, but the focus on developing students’ social and emotional wellbeing remains at the heart of our work.
At our school we also promote healthy relationships through our implementation of the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) learning materials, distributed by the Department of Education.
These curriculum materials were developed by the University of Melbourne and were created in response to The Royal Commission into Family Violence. It is hoped that by being proactive early in a child’s life and talking about what gender equality and respectful relationships look like, communities will be able to significantly reduce – and hopefully eradicate – the current statistics:
- 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence (ABS 2012)
- 1 in 5 Australian women have experienced sexual violence (ABS 2012)
- Women and girls with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence as those without
- Intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness for women aged 15 to 44.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence identified the critical role that schools, and early childhood education have in creating a culture of respect to change the story of family violence for future generations. The Royal Commission heard a range of evidence from experts in the field that made clear that for there to be a reduction in rates of violence in the long-term, attitudes and behaviours must change, and school-based programs and culture can drive this change for young people.
Everyone in our community deserves to be respected, valued and treated equally. We know that changes in attitudes and behaviours can be achieved when positive attitudes, behaviours and equality are embedded in our education settings.
Causing a child to hear, see or be exposed to these behaviours is also family violence. Often people think if the violence is not directly being perpetrated towards the child then it is not considered family violence. This is not true – any exposure is considered violence and is a reportable offence.
Examples of exposure to family violence include:
- Overhearing threats of physical violence
- Seeing or hearing physical violence
- Comforting or helping a family member who has been physically abused by another family members
- Cleaning up after a family member has damaged property
Respectful Relationships is about embedding a culture of respect and equality across our entire community, from our classrooms to staff rooms, sporting fields, fetes and social events. This approach leads to positive impacts on students’ academic outcomes, their mental health, classroom behaviour, and relationships between teachers and students.
Together, we can lead the way in saying yes to respect and equality and creating genuine and lasting change so that every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
We have been working as a Respectful Relationships Partner School since 2017, which has involved us working and learning with and alongside other Primary Schools who are undertaking the same work. In 2020 we will become a Lead School, where we look forward to sharing our experience with other Partner Schools that have recently begun their Respectful Relationships journeys.
The above information was taken and adapted from https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/respectfulrelationships.aspx as well as Respectful Relationships Community of Practice forums.