Now that all year groups are back on campus and the School is operating more ‘normally’, it seems timely to re-introduce you to our student wellbeing programs. St Peter’s College has been at the forefront of Wellbeing Education since 2012; long before COVID-19 landed in Australia and sharpened our focus on the importance of wellbeing in society, generally. A decade after Professor Martin Seligman’s visit to the School, our program of taught lessons has evolved to provide in-depth coverage of a variety of wellbeing topics (wellbeing dynamics, mindfulness, character strengths, resilience, growth/fixed mindsets, seeking help, meaning and purpose etc.). Our Wellbeing curriculum equips our students with the knowledge and skills to help them manage their own wellbeing and support others with theirs. In a time of vaccinations, Mr Browning often refers to school wellbeing programs as vaccinations against future mental illness. It’s this long-term perspective on the value of wellbeing programs which is essential. Mission Australia surveys show that stress and mental health are the major concerns for 15 – 19-year-olds. By virtue of this component of their education, St Peters College students will be armed with a ‘Wellbeing Toolkit’ which may well make a crucial difference when dealing with life’s challenges, well beyond their final wellbeing lesson in Year 10.
In addition to the variety of wellbeing programs which exist across the School, we have introduced SchoolTV as a wellbeing resource for parents and teachers at St Peter’s College. Parents are encouraged to view the SchoolTV topics which they feel are especially pertinent to their child and can access this resource from a tile in Keystone or by this link. In our Week 2 newsletter, Mr Storer advocated for Junior School parents to focus upon the SchoolTV topic of school transitions, as priority for Term 1. I recommend the same topic for any parents who have boys who are starting in the Senior School this term. Transitioning to a new school carries stresses and pressures which some students find difficult to cope with. We hope that parents might find this SchoolTV focus upon school transitions helpful and supportive.
Our Senior School House and Mentor program is designed to ensure that mentors – the everyday custodians of student wellbeing – are well resourced to monitor and manage the wellbeing of their students. In addition to ongoing 1:1 pastoral conversations with each boy, we are investigating ways for mentors to use SchoolTV to address key wellbeing issues, throughout the year.
If you have any questions related to our wellbeing programs, please do not hesitate to contact me or Ben Storer (Junior School). In terms 2 and 3, Ben Storer and I plan to host parent information evenings to explain the programs in further detail and to invite questions from parents about Wellbeing Education at St Peter’s College.
Head of Wellbeing Programs – Senior School