All Saints Grammar – Wellbeing for Learning
In line with our Teaching and Learning vision, the All Saints Grammar’s Wellbeing for Learning approach is based on the understanding that students learn best when they feel happy and safe. All Saints Grammar aims to provide a growth mindset learning environment, where each individual can develop their socialisation skills whilst striving for academic excellence.
Our Wellbeing for Learning vision understands every student as a learner and as a person, with social, emotional, academic, and spiritual needs. Our programs are intended to cater for these needs throughout their years of schooling. At All Saints Grammar we strive to ensure that we equip students to develop their self-concept, attain a healthy level of self-esteem, and achieve high self-efficacy awareness.
The Wellbeing for Learning program at All Saints Grammar aims, amongst other things, to help the students develop:
- a sense of social responsibility and respect for others
- an understanding of their personal rights and responsibilities
- a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction from learning
- an ability to communicate effectively
- a set of values to guide behaviour
- a sense of personal dignity and worth
- a sense of religious, cultural and linguistic identity
- an ability to form satisfying and stable relationships.
At All Saints Grammar every student matters. Every student is cared for, and every student is supported in developing themselves holistically. Our Wellbeing for Learning approach aims to equip every student to take advantage of every experience and embrace the learning these experiences offer.
K & 6 Buddies
The K & 6 Buddy program enables our Year 6 students to make a difference to the students starting school. They readily offer advice and friendship as they undertake their role in a caring and a nurturing manner.
At the end of Year 5, students find out who their Kindergarten Buddies will be for the following year. From this point onwards a unique bond develops. The Year 5 students introduce themselves through a letter and comment on how they look forward to meeting them. So, over the ensuing weeks of the summer school holidays, the build-up continues of who is this Buddy of mine?
It comes as no surprise that from their first day in Year 6 the students continuously ask, “When will we meet our buddies?” As we allow the Kindergarten students some time to adjust to “big school” over the first weeks, the anxiety levels of the Year 6 students rise. They seek out their Buddies in the mornings as the Kindy students make their way from the front school gate to their respective lines at the other end of the playground.
Social Skills Program
Our Social Skills Program “Bounce Back!” is a preventative whole-school social and emotional learning program. Its aim is to support students in our efforts to promote positive mental health and wellbeing, and in particular for students to act resiliently when faced with challenges and adversity.
The program predominantly focuses on classroom strategies and activities that teach our students positive social and emotional skills. It also focuses on ways to develop the types of learning environments and teacher-student relationships that foster resilience and wellbeing.
Weekly Circle Time sessions are a platform which enables students to develop their social skills. During these sessions teachers:
- promote social skills and positive relationships
- encourage positive behaviour and a caring and respectful ethos
- help students develop their self-esteem and self-confidence
- support the emotional well-being of students.
Every child is expected to develop an understanding of the school’s Code of Conduct and behave in accordance. A sense of social responsibility and respect for others is the outcome for each of our students. Teachers help students to develop their understanding and maintain their personal rights and responsibilities. At All Saints Grammar, we find that relationships are stronger and learning is more effective, when students work restoratively and so there is less need to resort to sanctions and punishments to try to ‘manage’ behaviour.
Every year the students of Years 4 – 6 swap their desks and computers for fresh air and various challenging activities when they visit a Department of Sport and Recreation Centre. Students participate in an Outdoor Education Program. During the three days, students participate in a variety of activities including archery, canoeing and kayaking, sailing, high ropes courses, rock climbing, abseiling, bike riding and bushwalking. The adventurous activities are certainly a lot of fun, but they also provide a significant educational advantage. The program is a great opportunity for our students to challenge their abilities and practise initiative, teamwork and communication.
The camp experience can be quite easily a different experience for each individual child. Whether a child is able to scale to the top of the 12 metre abseiling wall or just have the courage to put on the safety harness and barely get their feet off the ground, the support and encouragement offered by their peers is identical for both climbers. Students learn to communicate and work as a team, not only with their peers but also across grades. Students are also more independent as they are responsible for their own belongings, cleaning up their rooms and after themselves. They are also required to set up for meals and serve their peers.
The work done behind the scenes by Sport and Recreation Staff and All Saints Grammar Staff is to ensure that whoever the individual is, their camp experience is a positive one.
Year 6 students are given the opportunity to display their leadership ability by being appointed to specific leadership roles. They receive appropriate training at the commencement of each year and then are offered additional support throughout the year to successfully undertake their responsibilities. Our student leaders are asked to lead by example through their actions and to show compassion to others whilst performing their duties. Our Leadership group represents the school in many settings.
Positions of Leadership include:
- School Captains
- Sport Captains
- House Captains
Our School Counsellor supports staff in the pastoral care of our students. To meet specific needs, provisions are made for group counselling sessions. Communication with parents enables us to then work together as a “home-school partnership” to best serve the needs of our students.
Our School Chaplain is also able to support the pastoral or spiritual needs of the students and the wider school community. Father Apostolos is able to provide comprehensive insight to our Church and Greek Orthodox faith.
Giving back to our Community
Even though a major emphasis is placed on the academic needs of our students, the values we portray through our Greek Orthodox faith also provide students with many opportunities to demonstrate empathy and compassion for others. Through our various fundraising efforts during Jeans for Genes Day, MS Read-a-thon, Daffodil Day, Red Nose Day and Christmas Appeals students are able to raise awareness and support the wider community, and learn from a very young age that they are able to make a difference.
A team of Wellbeing Coordinators, in conjunction with Homeroom Mentor teachers are responsible for facilitating and implementing the Wellbeing for Learning program during Roll Call every morning and during a Pastoral Care lesson every week. Moreover, students attend Liturgy at our Parish church on a regular basis.
In addition, the program is assisted by the professional support of the School Chaplain and the School Counsellor. These two services are available to all individual students for personal or group consultations.
The Wellbeing for Learning program offers students various opportunities to develop their leadership skills. Members of the Student Leadership Team at All Saints Grammar are a select group of student leaders who are chosen by staff and peers to represent the school community. By their attitude and conduct they promote the good name and reflect the high standards of All Saints Grammar. The Student Leadership Team is comprised of Peer Support Leaders, Student Representative Council members, Senior Student Leaders, and School Captains. All Saints Grammar student leadership team leads the way in abiding by the pillars of our school: Faith, Excellence, and Respect.
Students are invited to nominate to be a member of the Student Representative Council where they have an opportunity to voice concerns on behalf of their peers. In addition, students can nominate to become Peer Support Leaders. In this role, students of Year 10 have an opportunity to support the incoming Year 7 students in their transition into Secondary School. As Peer Support Leaders students take part in leading Pastoral Care activities as well as being actively involved in the Year 7 Camp at the beginning of every year. Moreover, students of Year 11 are invited to nominate for the role of Student Leader where they are given the responsibility of representing the school community in various in-school and out-of-school events.