Whittlesea Secondary College considers the well-being of the students to be an essential part of their learning. The primary goal of our dedicated Student Well-being and Student Engagement Teams are to ensure students feel safe, engaged and connected at school. The teams are coordinated by the Leading Teachers Student Well-being. There is an Expectations Matrix which outlines appropriate behaviours and responsibilities for all students. The school uses a Positive Behaviours Program in all classes.
Our school communities are a key part of our well-being and learning structure, which works towards ensuring that every student is known, supported and has positive experiences during their time at WSC.
Each House community has a Leading Teacher who works with a team of Heads of Houses and Pathways and Learning (PAL) teachers, to provide community links, foster connectedness, and oversee learning and welfare for those students within each community.
We have 2 communities and 8 houses, with each house having around 100 students made up of students from different ages. Students in each of their houses are split into 4 groups of around 25 students each, and meet for 70 minutes each week, supported by an adult mentor who will facilitate student led learning and care.
Each student is in a House, these are the groups the students will be in for the duration of their journey here at the college. The Head of House is a teacher who oversees the well-being of all students in that House. By having a vertical House system students will have significantly improved relationships and supports from staff who know them personally and can support their individual needs.Students also learn the increasingly important skill of developing relationships with a broader group than just one class. Peer support through the House activities will continue to develop and grow as we encourage our young leaders to flourish.
Parents and students should initially contact their PAL or Head of House with any concerns.
In 2019, the school is introducing the Respectful Relationships program for all students. The program learning materials have been designed for teachers in primary and secondary schools to develop students’ social, emotional and positive relationship skills. Efforts to promote social and emotional skills in young people have been shown to improve health related outcomes and subjective well-being and reduce antisocial behaviours. The program will include Health Education and guest speakers such as the School Nurse and external agencies to ensure the best all round care and resources for our young people.
The Respectful Relationships program includes eight topics on social and emotional learning:
Stress Management/Safer Socialising
Help Seeking/Peer Support
Gender and Identity
Positive Gender Relations
DET Respectful Relationships Link
The evidence for Respectful Relationships:
More than one in three Australian women aged over 18 has experienced violence since the age of 15 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012). A 2013 VicHealth study found that of Australian young people aged 16-24:
Almost a quarter of believe that partner violence can be excused if the person is so angry they lose control
Only half knew where to get help if they were faced with a problem about violence against women (VicHealth, 2013)
The evidence supporting Respectful Relationships is overwhelming and comes from respected institutions such as the World Health Organisation and The Royal Commission into Family Violence. Helping children develop an understanding of healthy relationships and respect is key to preventing family violence in the future.
Camps, Sports & Excursions Fund (CSEF)
If you hold a valid Concession Card/Health Care Card or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF. The allowance is paid to WSC to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions or sporting activities for the benefit of your child.
The annual CSEF amount per students is $225.00. Below are links to more information and application forms.
Berry Street Education Model
From 2019 Whittlesea Secondary College will be engaging in the Berry Street Training and using this as part of our pedagogical model. We strongly believe in positive well-being as the foundation for positive engagement in learning.
Rock and Water Program
The Rock & Water program is an experience that provides young people and adults a pathway to self-awareness, and increased self-confidence and social functioning.
The Rock & Water program is an experience that provides young people and adults a pathway to self-awareness, and increased self-confidence and social functioning. Each participant of the Rock & Water program undergoes a journey of self-awareness as they learn about responding to life with either a "rock" or a "water" attitude. The use of symbolism is central to the success of the Rock & Water program and the reason why young people are drawn to the program.
The program is an excellent tool to support young people in finding their grounding, learning how to centre oneself and learning how to self-manage in social settings. Topics covered in the program include: intuition, body language, mental strength, empathic feeling, positive feeling, positive thinking and positive visualising. Discussion topics include bullying, sexual harassment, homophobia, life goals, desires and following an inner compass.
Taken from http://www.rockandwaterprogram.com.au/
Canine Comprehension are a group of passionate and experienced allied health professionals, educators and dog trainers who share a vision of creating more harmonious, learning focused relationships between humans and dogs.
Learning with us:
Teaches emotional literacy through engaging sessions,
lowers anxiety around learning with a focus on mindfulness,
Is student focused with a foundation in Positive Education practices,
increased positive interactions through Dog Assisted Learning,
Is about measurable results; see our long list of testimonials!
We work with students who:
Struggle with motivation and a joy of learning,
feel disconnected from their educational social groups,
need support with an individualised learning focus,
have developed social anxiety or school refusal,
need extra motivation and support.
Chin Up Project
Chin Up Project is a unique organisation fulfilling service gaps for young people, engaging those that need it most in Secondary Schools, Primary Schools community organisations, youth justice, child protection and support services. We provide workshops, individual 'at school' mentoring and support, professional development for teachers, support workers, and carers. Our delivery celebrates the reality that each of us has a unique story. We see the value in mistakes and cherish the learnings. We recognise success and promote alternatives to negative patterns, the 'way things are', or 'always have been'.
At the heart of Chin Up Project, our true point of difference are the incredible facilitators who tap into real-world lived experience and a deep well of empathy, guiding participants on a 'real deal' discovery of social learning and personal growth. Chin Up Project is a roadmap to navigate the journey into adulthood, where mistakes are cherished and experiential life lessons are a precious gift.
ISMO Raise Mentoring
About Raise: Raise Foundation is a registered Australian charity which provides mentoring programs for young people in high schools and in the community. Our mentoring programs provide a community of support around young people. Mentoring from a positive role model during the critical teenage years provides a nurturing pathway for young people to feel supported.
Whittlesea Secondary has sucessfully run the In School Mentoring Program for a number of years with great success. Each year we identify new students to get involved.
At WSC we use Restorative practice which seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged, including those damaged through bullying. It does this by bringing about a sense of remorse and restorative action on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the victim.
Download a copy of this advice sheet with the six steps: Restorative Practice (pdf - 217 (pdf - 323.19kb)
The rationale behind this approach is that when offenders reflect upon their harm to victims:
They become remorseful and act restoratively.
Practitioners can focus on the unacceptable behaviour of offenders rather than their moral character.
This can lead to healthier interpersonal relations among members of the school community and more effective learning.
Art and Wellbeing Come Together!
Our school is committed to supporting the wellbeing and engagement in our students. We understand that strong emotional health and a positive sense of wellbeing within our students increases their learning capacity, improves school connectedness and retention, strengthens positive peer relationships and resilience, and decreases the incidences of bullying.
As part of our ongoing commitment to student wellbeing the school is implementing the Enhancing Emotional Literacy through Visual Arts (ELVA) approach developed through The Dax Centre in Melbourne and independently evaluated by The University of Melbourne. Emotional literacy is the ability to be aware, express and respond to emotional experiences. The aim of emotional literacy is for children to be emotionally alive, emotionally aware, and emotionally connected with themselves, others and with experience and situations. ELVA uses visual arts as the tool to create the time, space and place for children to reflect on their emotional experiences, and their interaction with others and to express these within a safe and supportive environment.
Teachers who have completed 18 months of training will be implementing ELVA as part of your child’s Visual Arts lessons. ELVA is designed to ensure that children will continue to receive a high standard of visual arts education in accordance with Victorian Curriculum and assessment and reporting requirements. Click here to find FAQ about the DAX model