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There has been an energy in the air over the past fortnight as students returned, and an excitement for the possibilities that lie ahead in 2024. I would like to extend my welcome to all of our community for the 2024 school year and I look forward to continuing to build our thriving and supportive environment, prioritising wellbeing.

The emotional and mental wellbeing of our community plays a crucial role in its overall success. Within our explicit wellbeing lessons and embedded across all areas of our School we will emphasise the importance of self-care and nurturing meaningful relationships. Activities such as brain breaks and mindfulness exercises, deep breathing techniques, and fostering an open dialogue about emotional management and help seeking behaviours can create an atmosphere where students feel supported in navigating the challenges they may encounter. Creating a sense of belonging where every student feels seen, heard, and valued is essential for students to thrive.

Our wellbeing framework centres around positive psychology theory and a focus on character strengths, understanding emotions, attention and awareness, relationships, coping strategies and positive habits and goals. Our aim is to embed wellbeing across all areas of school life and make it visible. Lea Waters’ Visible Wellbeing Framework provides these pathways for our community.

Friendships and creating positive social connections are integral to a student’s happiness and overall school experience. The URStrong program is important to developing the language of relationships in our School. In 2024 we will be relaunching this program across our School and providing staff professional development and a family session to embed these important life skills. There will be more details about this in the future. This program has provided free memberships to help support families and I would encourage our families to sign up. Understanding the language of relationships used by our teachers to support the students can help build that connection between school and home.

Parental involvement is another key factor in a student’s success and wellbeing. Establishing open lines of communication with parents creates a collaborative partnership between home and school. In 2024 St Peter’s College will again be providing the digital platform SchoolTV as a resource for parents and teachers. SchoolTV has an extensive range of wellbeing resources. Parents can access this tool from a tile in Keystone or by following this link.

In celebrating the strengths that come from a single sex education, I would like to draw your attention to the section of SchoolTV about Raising Boys. In particular the challenge that we have of steering our boys towards positive role models who encourage the attitudes and behaviours that we know will lead to positive engagement and connection across our community

Let’s make this year one filled with growth, connection and joy.

Ben Storer
Deputy Head of Junior School – Wellbeing and Administration