Staff at Burnside Primary School understand the importance of ensuring the wellbeing of our students. School is an important place in a young person’s life, where they are supported to develop self and social awareness. When both are strong, healthy, and balanced, quality learning can occur.
Burnside Primary has many initiatives in place to help our students to flourish. Firstly, we believe in teaching our students the foundations of what it takes to be ‘well’. This includes positive behaviours for success in learning and in life. Our Positive Behaviour Agreement was co-created by staff and students and is centered around our school values of Respect, Cooperation and High-Quality Learning. We recognise positive behaviour with regular ‘Flourish Awards,’ which are published in our newsletter and at school assemblies. We offer tailored levels of behaviour support for individual students who require additional learning.
Our staff have completed training to understand and implement interoception practice in all classrooms. Interoception is the eighth human sense, which allows us to read bodily cues. As young people strengthen this sense, they become more self-aware; beginning to understand what ‘self’ needs to attend to learning and manage social situations. For individual students who require additional support to self-regulate, we offer an interoception space.
Our Wellbeing Leadership Team consists of an Assistant Principal in Student Services, a Student Wellbeing Leader and a Pastoral Care Worker. We work in partnership with families and community services to attain the best outcomes for our students. The Department of Education and Children’s services offer access to social workers, behaviour support coaches, psychologists, special educators and speech pathologists to children and teachers in state schools and preschools. When necessary, Burnside staff engage the support of these professionals.
As a whole staff, we commit to teaching ‘Bounce Back’; a social and emotional learning curriculum, from Years 1- 6 (McGrath H and Noble T, 2020). The Reception team use the ‘Kimochis’ Feelings Curriculum for our early learners (Rowan N, 2020). The Wellbeing Team use ‘What’s the Buzz?’ to support individual, or small groups of students to learn social skills (Le Messurier M and Parker M, 2019).
As a profession, our practice is guided by the ‘Australian Student Wellbeing Framework’ and ‘Be You’, a national mental health in education initiative, delivered by Beyond Blue, in collaboration with Early Childhood Australia and Headspace. All Australian teachers are mandated to deliver the ‘Keeping Children Safe’ curriculum.