Student Well-being & Engagement
Elsternwick Primary School provides a strong foundation for student learning, with student engagement and the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of students, as a whole school priority. EPS focuses on the development of social competencies by embedding such learning opportunities into our pedagogy, curriculum, behaviour management systems, expectations and structures. A positive school culture ensures that students feel valued and cared for, have meaningful opportunities to contribute to the school, and can effectively engage with their learning.
EPS recognises and responds to the diverse needs of our students and accommodates different learning profiles and rates of learning. We attempt to take a preventative approach to deflect behavioural issues which may occur by intervening early, identifying and responding to individual student needs.
The school provides a range of policies, programs and resources to support the delivery of high quality schooling for all students, including students with disabilities. These resources include student support services such as psychologists, social workers, youth workers, speech pathologists and visiting teachers or through specific early identification and intervention programs.
Student engagement includes three interrelated components: Behavioural, Emotional and Cognitive.
- Behavioural engagement refers to students’ participation in education including the academic, social and extracurricular activities of the school.
- Emotional engagement encompasses students’ emotional reactions in the classroom and in the school. It can be defined as students’ sense of belonging or connectedness to the school.
- Cognitive engagement relates to students’ investment in learning and their intrinsic motivation and self-regulation.
The manner used by teachers to treat students, respect them as learners and people, and demonstrate care and commitment for them are key elements in implementing a relevant and successful wellbeing strategy.
Elsternwick Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This is the primary focus of our care and decision-making. Elsternwick Primary School has zero tolerance for child abuse, is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. The school adheres to the Child Safety act.
Every person involved in the Elsternwick Primary School community has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.
Elsternwick Primary School recently implemented a school wide Behaviour Support Plan. Research has shown clearly that professional collegiality and whole school practice are major factors in effective teaching and learning. A whole school approach to behaviour management is more effective than one in which teachers work in isolation and without collegial support.
Effective and supportive leadership is a major part of this picture. In 2017 we have placed an emphasis on the expectation for all classrooms to display their work on preventative practices to enhance student wellbeing and support positive behaviours.
Preventative strategies include the following:
- Creating supportive and positive classroom environments (using the Zones of Regulation, Classroom Management and consequences guides, Classroom Agreements, Class Circles, School Values)
- Having a whole school approach to Behaviour Management in the classroom and yard (Yard Management Plan, Friendship benches, Restorative Practice approach, adaptation of Model of Intervention to suit the EPS context)
- Implementing Whole School wellbeing and engagement initiatives (Zones of Regulation, KidsMatter, Mindfulness)
- Ensuring the transition between years/schools is supported (Prep Transition Program, Whole School Step Up Transition Program, Second Story Transition Program)
- Catering for the diverse needs of students (Individual Education Plans, Individual Behavioural Management Plans, Student Support Group Meetings for Students with Program for Students with a Disability, the Cottage Retreat, Shine program)
- Providing leadership opportunities for students (senior student leadership conferences, Student Representative Council)