At Albany Rise the wellbeing of our students is paramount. To effectively meet the needs of our students, we take a whole school approach that focuses on safety and wellbeing throughout all school practices.
Albany Rise has clear, well defined and agreed expectations of acceptable types of staff, parent and student behaviour that allows all members of the school community to have a shared understanding of what unacceptable or bullying behaviour is. Teachers work in partnership with parents to reduce and manage anti-social behaviours.
Albany Rise and Berry Street
In today’s changing and complex world, many primary and secondary school students encounter daily adversity including chronic and traumatic stressors, lack of environmental supports, and other barriers to their own school success. Despite best efforts and intentions, schools require community responses to address student needs for healing, growth, and achievement.
The Berry Street Education Model provides schools with the training, curriculum and strategies to engage the most challenging students. This education initiative is different because it is research-informed, multifaceted and systemic. It is unique because it educates schools and their leaders to reinforce and sustain cognitive and behavioural change, thereby re-engaging the young person in learning and progressing their academic achievement.
From 2018, Albany Rise Primary School will be implementing the Berry Street Education Model to enhance the engagement in learning of all our students.
The Respectful Relationships whole-school approach recognises that schools are a workplace, a community hub and a place of learning. Everyone involved in our school community deserves to be respected, valued and treated equally. The research based program is accessed by students across the school to ensure core values of respect and resilience are explicitly taught and embedded in our school culture.
We know that changes in attitudes and behaviours can be achieved when positive attitudes, behaviours and equality are lived across the school community, and when classroom learning is reinforced by what is modelled in our school community
School Wide Positive Behaviour Support SWPBS
School-wide positive behaviour support is an evidence-based framework for Victorian government schools for preventing and responding to student behaviour. It aims to create a positive school climate, a culture of student competence and an open, responsive management system for all school community members.
Instead of using many different behaviour management strategies, a consistent system of expectations for all students within our school is implemented in all areas including classrooms and other settings such as in the canteen, the playground and in the hallways and corridors.
Our students know these expectations as our school values (3R’s):
Our School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support Plan
- Students are taught the expected behaviours.
- Students are shown explicit modelling of expected positive behaviours.
- The language of the school rules is embedded in classroom programs.
- Students are encouraged, praised and rewarded when they follow the rules. Rewards can be in the form of Dojo points, stickers, reward charts, time at preferred activities and whole school rewards, awarded when desired behaviour is observed not only in the classroom but around the school as a whole.
We believe that by helping students practise good behaviour, we will build a school community where all students have an environment where they can succeed and grow.
All of our staff at Albany Rise Primary School have received training in Restorative Practices. Restorative Practice involves working to enable students to take responsibility for their actions/ behaviours and repairing any harm done to relationships. All those affected by any conflict are assisted to find a way forward thus reducing anger and resentment. The focus is on building relationships and thereby developing a caring community. The approach ensures that students feel safe and happy in a supportive school environment. During the time ahead our school will be developing procedures and strategies to utilise a restorative approach with the students.
During our training on Restorative Practise, Marg Armstrong taught us how the use of Classroom Circles is a highly effective way we can build positive relationships in our classrooms, between students and their classmates, and between students and teachers. We know that students learn best when they feel safe and supported in their learning environment. Circles foster the development of such an environment.
Circles are happening on a regular basis at Albany Rise in every classroom. The class, along with the teacher, all sit on chairs (or on the floor) in a circle to speak, listen, interact, enhance relationships and share concerns.
The Key elements of Circles are:
- Having Positive relationships with classmates
- Understanding and valuing oneself
- Understanding and valuing others
Circles can be used to teach pro-social skills and build relationships; solve problems; review curriculum; evaluate what we have learnt in class and to develop restorative practice. Circles are also used to teach the Bounce Back program.
Kids Hope Mentors
Kids Hope is a World Vision mentoring program aimed at developing emotional and social resilience in children, thereby enhancing their capacity to learn. The model is built on a long-term partnership between a local government primary school and a local church. Carefully screened and trained mentors from the partner church meet the children for one hour per week at the school. The results can change lives. To learn more visit the website – https://www.kidshopeaus.org.au/
Student Welfare Counsellor and Student Wellbeing Officer
The Albany Rise Student Welfare Coordinator is vital in responding to the needs of our young people. They are responsible for helping students handle issues such as truancy, bullying, drug use and depression. Our Student Welfare Coordinators will work with other welfare professionals and agencies to address student needs. Our Welfare Coordinator is at Albany Rise on Mondays -Thursdays.
Our Student Welfare Counsellor and Student Wellbeing Officer will:
1. Provide Whole School Support
- Primary Prevention – To work closely with school staff, especially the Principal and Assistant Principal to develop a coordinated approach in identify and assisting children and families.
- Early Intervention -To develop and implement a range of programs and interventions to meet the needs of the students that focus on social, emotional and education needs.
- Intervention – Case managed support with specialised services to at-risk children. When appropriate assist families and children offer referral to appropriate agencies.
- Restoring – Providing support to parents and children affected by trauma or crisis situations.
2. Work with teachers and students
- Increase teacher capacity to support the diverse needs of students.
- To provide information and resources to teaching staff
- Provide individual support for at-risk children
- Provide group support for at-risk children
- Managing student referrals
- Work with parents
- Parent support
- To provide information and resources to parents
3. Work with the Community
- Liaise with external welfare providers
- Contribute to the regional and local Primary Welfare Officer Network
- Develop community partnerships to draw on external welfare expertise
Student Wellbeing Resources
The Student Wellbeing Office is home to a wide range of resources to assist teachers to support social and emotional learning in their classrooms, as well as promoting positive mental health. Teachers are welcome to borrow the resources or alternatively make a meeting time with the Student Wellbeing Coordinator to discuss available resources and any support required for the whole class, or individual students.