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Wellbeing

St Paul Apostle North Primary School

At. St. Paul Apostle North our Wellbeing program is underpinned by our Catholic Faith. Our policies and practices are guided by Catholic Education Melbourne’s documents eXcel: Wellbeing for learning and the Horizons of Hope foundation statement for Wellbeing. 

eXcel Wellbeing for Learning

These documents articulate the importance of wellbeing to children and young people’s spiritual, cognitive, physical, emotional and social growth.

Additionally, we use Berry Street and Respectful Relationships to guide our teaching and learning practices, as we promote the respect for, and value of, each person in our community.

We believe that each person’s wellbeing is nurtured by experiences of belonging, building relationships with others, feeling safe and supported and by engaging in positive partnerships within the school community and beyond. We promote the values of Compassion, Respect and Responsibility and are committed to providing opportunities for all members of the school community to develop these values by striving to be people who make a difference to their local and global communities. 

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Wellbeing Programs

At St Paul Apostle North, student wellbeing is at the forefront of all that we do. In addition to our values and philosophies that promote wellbeing, we have several wellbeing initiatives that we are proud of. 

 

These include:

  • Our Buddy Program - we give each new prep a grade 5 buddy, who supports their transition to school and acts as a role model for the first two years at school.

  • Our Friendship Groups Program- we won’t forget about the students no longer in the buddy program! Students in grade 2-4 all take part in a friendship group, which is a mix of students from different classes with a Friendship Teacher. This group provides a transition from the junior school, allows students to make new friendships, learn our values and leadership skills. It is also a transition for our grade 4’s who take lead in the groups to our Senior Leadership Program

  • Senior Leadership Program- Allows our grade 5/6 students to take ownership of their school experience and design programs and solutions to make our school and community a better place. Read more about it below. 

  • Berry Street Education Model and Respectful Relationships- allow our staff to build strong, trusting relationships with our students and provide them with the skills to manage their emotions, problem solve, break down stereotypes and work with others. 

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Outdoor Learning

You might notice your children coming home a bit dirty sometimes. This is because at St Paul Apostle North we value outdoor learning and recognise the benefits for wellbeing and learning. 

All year levels participate in outdoor learning in different ways. You might see our Juniors investigating what's hiding beneath rocks, in the grass and dirt. Our 3/4's participate in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program and use our local bushland to build huts, and inspire their Writing and Inquiry learning. St Paul’s Senior students learn and explore in the local bushland, go on hikes while learning about Geography and our local area, participate in School Camp’s. 

 

There are fantastic links to wellbeing such as learning how to solve problems, work in a team, development of resilience, feeling calm and less stressed. It also allows children who sometimes find classwork difficult to excel in hands-on learning opportunities and demonstrate their strengths. 

Additionally, outdoor learning experiences can: 

  • improve vocabulary.

  • develop skills in listening and following directions.  

  • enhance descriptive writing.

  • develop spatial awareness.

  • provide opportunities for STEM in a real life context.

  • develop a love of our environment. 

  • encourage stewardship for God's creation.

 

 

We can't wait to get our hands dirty and learn more outdoors!

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Student Voice & Leadership

At St Paul Apostle North, rather than the traditional school captains, we involve all of our senior students in a leadership program designed to promote 21st century skills. As a year level we investigate issues or areas for improvement in our school and local community. We collect data through surveys, interviews and observations. Then students use social skills, collaboration, design and technology to generate innovative ideas to solve problems. 

In the past students have used ‘Fun Theory’ to design fun bins to encourage their peers to recycle. They have written, directed and acted in short films to address social issues such as racism or family violence. They have run lunch clubs to help younger children with their social skills and held market stalls with products they have designed and produced to raise money for those in need! 

Our leadership program uses the Catholic Social Teachings to put our Catholic Faith into action. It builds the confidence of our students as they realise they can have a positive impact on the lives of others. Every Senior student at St Paul Apostle North is a leader and everyone is encouraged and supported to develop strong leadership and communication skills which they then carry forward to become active citizens with a strong sense of social justice and a firm belief that what they do matters and they can make a difference in the world.

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Student Leadership Programs

At St Paul Apostle North, rather than the traditional school captains, we involve all of our senior students in a leadership program designed to promote 21st century skills. As a year level we investigate issues or areas for improvement in our school and local community. We collect data through surveys, interviews and observations. Then students use social skills, collaboration, design and technology to generate innovative ideas to solve problems. 

In the past students have used ‘Fun Theory’ to design fun bins to encourage their peers to recycle. They have written, directed and acted in short films to address social issues such as racism or family violence. They have run lunch clubs to help younger children with their social skills and held market stalls with products they have designed and produced to raise money for those in need! 

Our leadership program uses the Catholic Social Teachings to put our Catholic Faith into action. It builds the confidence of our students as they realise they can make a difference in the lives of others. Every Senior student at St Paul Apostle North is a leader and everyone is encouraged and supported to develop strong leadership and communication skills which they then carry forward to become active citizens with a strong sense of social justice and a firm belief that they can make a difference.

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Berry Street

St Paul Apostle North uses the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) as a whole school approach to teaching and learning. It is designed to increase student engagement, improve student’s self- regulation, growth and academic achievement. The strategies are based on trauma-informed practices, positive psychology and wellbeing practices. 

There is a large focus on relationships at our school, with each staff member making a conscious effort to get to know our students and how to best support them on their journey, using the BSEM strategies. 

Every day, each class begins with a morning circle, in which every student is greeted by name, daily routines and expectations are revised, and there is a discussion about how the class can show the school values that day. Each class has a “Ready to Learn Plan” which enables students to self-monitor and choose their own strategies to de-escalate or elevate their emotions and get ready to learn. Each class uses strategies such as brain breaks, to help students maintain concentration during learning time and students are explicitly taught about how their brain and body work and how to name, express and deal with emotions. 

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Positive Behaviour

School Wide Positive Behaviour Support Program (SWPBSP)

At St. Paul Apostle North, our School Wide Positive Behaviour Policy is based on a belief in the dignity and rights of the person. We believe that our school can achieve this by encouraging optimism and building self-esteem with the whole community working together.

Under the umbrella of School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) our school is committed to a tiered framework to meet the wellbeing needs of our community. We allow for flexibility depending on the current needs of our school.

 

School wide practices 

As a whole school we have behaviour expectations defined and explicitly taught to students. Each year level uses on-going, age- appropriate systems for encouraging expected behaviour based on the Wellbeing Scope and Sequence.  Responding to unexpected behaviour is done with the dignity of each person in mind and in a restorative manner. Our school has a commitment to personalised learning allowing each student to reach those expectations. 

 

Targeted practices 

Evidence-based interventions are in place to reduce the number of students displaying problem behaviour despite school-wide practices being in place. 

 

Intensive Practices 

Evidence-based interventions in place to manage severity and complexity of extreme problem behaviour. 

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Respectful Relationships

St Paul Apostle North uses the Respectful Relationships whole- school approach, which complements the Berry Street Education Model. We recognise that everyone involved in our school community deserves to be respected, valued and treated equally. 

The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships curriculum is a Victorian Government initiative that aims to promote gender equality, explicitly teach students social and emotional skills, problem solving skills, and help seeking. It was created in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence, with evidence to support the use of school-based programs to drive cultural change. Beyond the curriculum, the Respectful Relationships initiative is also a key factor in policies and procedures and school culture. 

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Child Safety

As Catholic educators, we have a moral, mission driven, and legal responsibility to uphold and actively promote the wellbeing and safety of every student entrusted in our care.

Our commitment to the protection of students is enabled in nurturing, respectful and safe communities where the uniqueness and sacred dignity of every young person is celebrated and they are able to flourish in their learning and development. This vision is driven by the gospel message of love, justice and abundance, beautifully reflected in the words of John.

“I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10.10

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Chaplaincy Program

In 2021 St Paul Apostle North was awarded funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program which enabled us to employ two Pastoral Care workers. They will support our Wellbeing Program through working in classrooms to enhance student engagement, assisting students with brain breaks, taking small groups to learn friendship and leadership skills and supporting teachers with student wellbeing. Additionally they have been running a weekly breakfast club and alternative learning programs to cater to the diverse learning styles of our students. Our Pastoral Care workers are qualified in Social Sciences and Youth Work and have completed additional training through the eSafety Commissioner on cyberbullying.