Hills Grammar’s Student Wellbeing policies and practices support our mission to foster each student’s potential for greatness. Parents, carers and teachers work in partnership to ensure our students feel safe, valued, engaged and purposeful.
Our Student Wellbeing Framework is designed to:
- develop the unique interests and strengths of each student
- provide students with opportunities to develop positive values, attitudes and behaviours
- deliver explicit teaching of wellbeing skills within an evidence-based program
- provide access to structures designed to identify and support all students, in particular those students dealing with learning, social, emotional or wellbeing needs
- establish partnerships with parents and wellbeing specialists to ensure appropriate assessment and intervention is available to those who need it most
Our Student Wellbeing programs are underpinned by the evidence-based principles of Positive Education. We have been working closely with Dr Paula Robinson and Dr Justin Coulson, two of Australia’s leaders in “Pos Ed”, to develop a school-wide Positive Education Program centred on the domains of Purpose and Meaning, Relationships, Independence, Strengths and Mindset (PRISM).
Purpose and Meaning
We encourage our students to find meaning in their learning and in the ways they contribute to others: at school, at home and in the community. By putting into practice the school value of service, students gain a sense of purpose and meaning, associated with strong relationships, good psychological health and a sense of satisfaction.
The ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships is vital to our students’ wellbeing and success in life. By explicitly teaching students about self-awareness, self-management, social decision-making and social awareness, we are equipping them with vital lifelong skills.
An overarching goal for every student is the gradual transition from dependence to independence. At each stage of development, students will require different levels of support as they take increasing responsibility for their possessions, personal organisation, behaviour, study habits and commitments. The Student Wellbeing Program provides ongoing opportunities to nurture students’ independence and to develop ethical and critical thinking; skills essential for successful decision-making throughout life.
When students identify and use their strengths, they are happier, more confident, have higher self-esteem and perform better. They are also more likely to respond more positively to stress and difficulties and to persist and achieve their goals. We encourage “strengths-spotting” in others, acknowledging and supporting the unique abilities and capacities that can help each individual to thrive and perform at their best.
Helping students to cultivate a growth mindset is a foundation for improving learning and wellbeing. The way our students view their abilities and achievement has an impact on their learning. Mindsets affect the goals our students pursue, the effort they invest and the way they deal with setbacks.
When students develop a “growth mindset” they can increase their motivation to develop their abilities and face challenges with greater confidence.
Positive Psychology is “the study of the conditions and processes that contribute to the flourishing or optimal functioning of people, groups, and institutions” (Gable & Haidt). It is a relatively new branch of psychology that uses scientific methods to explore how and when people flourish. The application of this in the school context is Positive Education, defined as “the skills of achievement combined with skills of wellbeing” (Seligman). Positive Education is not about being happy all the time or simply “positive thinking”. At Hills Grammar, wellbeing incorporates both feeling good and functioning optimally.
Our Student Wellbeing Programs from ECEC to Year 6 are tailored to support and challenge students at their stages of development. Our Wellbeing Curriculum draws upon resources from You Can Do It, Friendly School Plus and Bounce Back programs.
ECEC, Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2
Focus areas include:
- Getting Along
- Confidence & Persistence
Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6
Focus areas include:
- Core Values
- People Bouncing Back
- Personal Values
- What is Courage?
- The Bright Side
- Managing Your Emotions
- Having Good Relationships
- Positive Humour has Many Advantages
- Transition to Senior School
Years 7 – 11
The Senior School’s Student Wellbeing System has at its core the House system. Each House is divided into eight smaller groups each made up of students from Years 7 to 11. These House Groups meet daily with their House Tutor, who acts as an advisor, mentor and advocate for each student in their care.
Once a week, students gather in year groups for an extended House period. Positive Education workshops are delivered during this time, with further reflection, activities and discussions taking place during House time.
In addition, House time is used for delivering curriculum on important topics such as:
- Safe Celebrating
- Road Awareness and Safety
- Smart Studying
- Drugs and Alcohol Awareness
- Cybersafety and Digital Citizenship
In Year 12, students meet with their Academic Mentor each day during House time. In addition to the Positive Education Program once per week, the Year 12 Wellbeing program has a strong emphasis on preparing our students for the demands of the Higher School Certificate and equipping them for a successful transition into their lives beyond school.
Focus areas of this program include:
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Careers and Tertiary Awareness
- Youth and the Law
- Stepping up Academically
- Year 12 Study Conference
- Achieving a Balance
- Goal Setting
- Study Techniques & Examinations Preparation
- Financial Management for School Leavers