Why is it so important that we focus on wellbeing and fostering our students’ social-emotional development?
Research shows that a positive mental health supports stronger academic achievement at school. The wellbeing of children and adolescents is enhanced and their learning outcomes optimised when they feel connected to others and experience safe and trusting relationships with those around them.
The focus on child and adolescent social- emotional development in schools has become increasingly important over the past decade. Studies by Beyond Blue indicate that half of all the mental health conditions we experience at some point in our lives will have started by age 14, and over 75% of mental health problems occur before the age of 25. A report by the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents found that one in seven 4-17 year olds were assessed as having a mental health condition in the previous 12 months. This is equivalent to 560,000 Australian children and young people.
Recommendations from the Productivity Commission and Inquiry Report - Mental Health 2020 stated a focus on prevention and early help. A further recommendation was to ‘make the social and emotional development of school children a national priority’. This is why we place such a great importance on fostering positive social-emotional wellbeing in all our students at Girls Grammar. Our Pastoral Care program supports the social and emotional wellbeing of each student through a personalised approach based on quality relationships between students and teachers. Our staff enhance the wellbeing of students through the quality relationships they build and learning experiences they provide to all girls.
Our teachers continually engage in professional development around student wellbeing. Most recently, Girls Grammar staff have engaged in the Be You Professional Learning Modules. Be You is a Government funded framework aimed at educators to support the mental health of children and adolescents in schools and is supported by Beyond Blue. Its Professional Learning Modules consist of 13 content modules grouped under 5 main domains. These domains include Mentally Healthy Communities, Family Partnerships, Learning Resilience, Early Support and Responding Together. This whole-staff professional learning is just another example of the positive, inclusive, and resilient learning community that is Girls Grammar.
To learn more about Be You’s national mental health in education initiative visit https://beyou.edu.au.
Deputy Principal - Students