At St. Mary MacKillop we believe that the wellbeing of the child is central to all learning.
Our main focus is ensuring our children are welcomed into an inclusive, safe, and comfortable learning environment where they are given the opportunity to thrive and further, flourish. We pride ourselves on allowing all children the opportunity to grow, learn and develop in their own individual ways. We want to grow respectful relationships with all members of our community to help foster greater opportunities to learn. We’re working towards allowing the children to build upon their resilience and confidence to become adaptable and ready to take on challenges. We want to work with the children, parents, staff and the wider community to allow opportunities for our children to seek advice to grow a positive and calm environment for all. The children’s wellbeing and development is embedded into all aspects of learning.
At St. Mary MacKillop we are working towards helping the children build skills to develop a positive mindset and toolbox to support them throughout their journeys. To support staff and children, we cover the following elements to ensure this allows thriving environments where all children are given the opportunity to flourish.
We have two main foci within our everyday school routine; meditation/mindfulness and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).
Mindfulness and Meditation (including Christian Meditation)
5 minutes each day, in every class space, has shown that children become ready for learning, and has helped them feel safe, relaxed and calm. In these conditions they are able to begin the next lesson with a fresh pair of eyes and a positive outlook towards their learning, supporting their mental health and allowing them to thrive. Our children are able to apply this to their daily lives, and are able to articulate what skills from the mindfulness toolbox they are using.
Social and Emotional Learning
Social and emotional learning involves children having opportunities to learn and practice social skills such as: cooperation, managing conflict, making friends, coping, being resilient and recognising and managing their own feelings.
Other strategies used and taught at St. Mary MacKillop are:
- Circle time
- Brain breaks
- Restorative practices
- Kimochi program for prep students
- Zones of regulation
- Whole school behaviour readiness for learning scales
- Behaviour Management flow chart
- Thinking sheets for students to reflect on behaviour and restore relationships
- School counselor
Statistics show that 1 in 7 young people suffer from a mental health illness. 1 in 14 children aged between 4-17 suffer an anxiety disorder. At St Mary MacKillop, we are proactively aiming to provide students with the support to prevent and avoid anxiety and mental health issues arising.
If we are able to model and support this to our children, we are co-creating a prevention tool, before the negative self-talk embeds itself into their natural way of life. It has been amazing to see both the shift in children’s attitudes and the culture change within the school community.