Wellbeing is fundamental to successful learning. Wellbeing is “feeling good” about me and my relationships as well as my sense of meaning, purpose and growth. It is a state of positive emotional and social functioning. Students who are happy, confident, and able to establish meaningful relationships are better placed to achieve positive learning outcomes. Schools and families can actively and strategically construct environments and experiences which promote this.
In a school which actively develops wellbeing there are strong relationships between staff, students, parents and community groups. Student wellbeing and pastoral care are integral to the organisation of the school and its curriculum delivery.
In the Catholic school system, wellbeing is fostered in a safe and effective school environment which celebrates inclusion and models values which are consistent with the teachings of Jesus: “the Catholic school, far more than any other, must be a community whose aim is the transmission of values for living” (The Catholic School, no 53).
Schools aim to have students who are resilient, confident, responsible and have self-respect. Schools develop these skills within students so that they can handle their everyday lives, they can make and keep friends, keep up with their school work and get along with their family and school community. Schools do many things to promote mentally well young people: sport, socialising, promoting healthy lifestyle, creative arts, saying no to illegal substances.
A diocesan approach to student wellbeing
Catholic schools offer a variety of programs to promote student wellbeing. The Catholic Schools Office employs a Co-ordinator, Student Wellbeing who is responsible for reviewing programs and frameworks at schools throughout the Hunter and Manning Regions and establishing a collaborative and systematic approach to achieve even better outcomes for students.
This position aims to maximise the services provided in schools, and enhance students’ wellbeing even further. While schools have always been focused on students, this position highlights the CSO’s commitment to making schools safe and promoting a supportive and respectful learning environment where difference is valued and respected.
Christ is the centre of our work; he promoted wellbeing - wholeness - inclusion - with many who were cast apart from their communities.
The goal of our Catholic school system is for young people to embrace and enjoy the challenges of their lives, with the capacity to bounce back in the face of adversity.