At SJB we believe an individual’s wellbeing is fundamental to them reaching their potential. It is central to our education of the whole child. To this end, we have a number of well-researched and evidence-based programs in place to enhance each child’s emotional and social development, and to ensure they are physically safe, cared for and nurtured.
Some of these programs are:
Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation is used across the school to help students consciously identify and regulate their emotions, which can lead to increased control and problem-solving skills. This program is designed to help students recognize when they are in different emotional states called “zones,” with each of the four zones visually represented by a different colour: green, blue, yellow and red. Students learn how to use strategies, or tools, to move from ‘less desirable’ zones to the green zone, which represents being in a state of calm, accompanied by rational thought. Students explore calming techniques and supports so they have a selection of strategies to use, when needed, to get back to the green zone.
Each term, each class participates in a mindfulness session with a trained facilitator to learn simple self-calming strategies. First the students learn to recognise and understand their body’s emotional reaction when they feel anxious, afraid, frustrated, excited and so on (and the zones which represent these feelings – as above). Next, they learn strategies with which they feel comfortable and can implement to self-calm and get themselves back to the ‘green’ zone. Some of these strategies include breathing effectively to remain calm in stressful situations, muscle relaxation (great to help with sleep), and affirmations / visualisations for building self-esteem. Parents are also given the opportunity to attend a session each term.
Click here to find a small slideshow on the Zones of Regulation, which includes a demonstration of mindfulness techniques as taught to the students at SJB.
Positive Behaviour for Learning
Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) is a whole-school program whereby students are explicitly taught the school rules and expectations in a positive way through group discussions and workshopping scenarios. A whole-school reward system, whereby students move up through five levels of awards, ensures students are publicly recognised and encouraged for their positive contribution to the safe, kind and calm culture of the school. This reinforces the type of behaviour expected at SJB.
Mini Vinnies is a group of students who have a special interest in social justice and pastoral care. The group is led by a teacher/s with a similar passion. The Mini Vinnies group works closely with the local branch of St Vincent de Paul and supports their community initiatives, within our school setting. They focus the school’s attention on, and rally support for, such projects as the Winter Appeal, Christmas hampers and/or toys and Project Compassion.
Student Representative Council
The Student Representative Council (SRC) is made up of one student, through peer voting, from each class. The group meets regularly throughout the term to give the students the opportunity to voice their class’ ideas about improving our school. Their ideas, once discussed and agreed upon by the SRC group, are then presented to the school leadership team to be considered for implementation in the school. This collaborative approach allows the students to develop a sense of meaningful contribution towards the organisation and culture of the school.
Buddy Program for Kindergarten
Each new Kindergarten student meets their Year Six buddy before they start school during the Kinder Transition Program. The Year Six buddies support the Kindergarten students when they start school and help their new Kinder friends to grow in confidence and independence throughout their first year of school. During the year the Kinder and Year 6 children develop a strong bond.
Students are offered a variety of activities throughout the week during break time. This allows them to explore several experiences to see which interests them. It also helps to develop social skills and cross-age connections throughout the school. Activities include choir, guitar, art, craft, book club, Greek dance, rubix cube, science, chess, ukulele, maths/problem-solving, band, chicken care, debating and specific social skills groups.
Times for these activities vary each week as teachers volunteer their time in between their playground duties. These activities are announced each morning and can be found on the student notice board on the daily schedule.