Mr Phil Collins, our new Director of Student Wellbeing, looks at how wellbeing and personal growth is an integral part of life at the College.
Since joining Wesley, I have been excited by the many layers of support within the College. It is clear to me that the deliberate focus on personal growth, supported by classroom teachers, specialist staff, co-curricular leads and the tutor/mentor model, is an actual lived value within the community.
At the College, we see wellbeing as an important precursor to academic engagement. Through early collaborative efforts, respectful relationships, spiritual wellbeing, mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing have become the standout themes for our students. These four areas are providing a framework as we work to develop the Wesley Student Wellbeing Approach.
Our wellbeing approach
The Wesley Student Wellbeing Approach is not a standalone program. It is an extension of our whole-College philosophy to understand and nurture each individual. With a focus on developing belonging and connecting students to purpose, our wellbeing approach is embedded within everything we do.
This approach will exist across our sub-schools and boarding, delivering a year group specific curriculum, aligned to the key phases of life. Through this, we aim to engage students in a collective approach to understanding life challenges, broader societal issues and how best to succeed within them.
Despite a few COVID-19 related hurdles, some exciting student wellbeing projects have commenced this year:
- In the Junior School, collaboration is underway, further looking into the wellbeing development of our female students. While all students engage in our wellbeing program, this work is particularly important as we look to empower our girls at key transition points within the College.
- In the Middle School, it has been great to see the focus on developing self-identity. Currently, an Action Research Project is being completed, looking at the elements of best practice, relevant to the Wesley context, within the middle years of schooling.
- With challenges in society often impacting our students in the Senior School, our mentor model is looking at ways to streamline our approach to embedding values, developing life-skills, and finding both belonging and purpose.
- Finally, while our boarding community strongly integrates with the day school, ensuring our wellbeing approach is adapted to a home life environment, is an ongoing priority. To do this, a number of our key wellbeing elements are being further integrated within the current PREP model.
At Wesley College we have amazing students and extremely dedicated staff and parents. We see our community as partners in the process of how we develop student wellbeing. With this collaboration in its early stages, I am excited to continue several consultation phases in Semester 2, where your voice is actively sought.
This article was originally published in the Winter 2021 edition of The Wesleyan. To read more, and see a wellbeing activity you can do with your family, click here.
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