A Focus on Wellbeing

It is essential that all schools provide a supportive learning community where all students feel and are safe. Students have a fundamental right to learn in a safe, supportive environment and to be treated with respect. School staff, parents and the local community also have the right to teach, work and participate in an environment that is safe and supportive.  This is what we provide to an excellent level and continue to strive to improve at A.B. Paterson College.

I vividly remember my time at primary school and high school. Who were the teachers which I respected, listened to and ultimately thrived under? They were the teachers who took the time to get to know me, my interests, my concerns, my strengths and weaknesses. What we do at A.B. Paterson College is – ‘know the child'. This fundamentally forms the strong connection between student and teacher which then incorporates the parents to make a strong community.

Students play a powerful role in the development and maintenance of a safe school. They can make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of all students in the school, their families and members of the broader community. Through assuming ownership for their own safety and wellbeing, as well as that of others, students develop a sense of connectedness and add meaning and purpose to their lives. The opportunity to exercise decision-making and to have ownership of their learning helps students to develop personal and social capability, one of the general capabilities specified within the Australian Curriculum.

Student resilience and wellbeing are essential for both academic and social development and this is optimised by the provision of safe, supportive and respectful learning environments. Schools share this responsibility with the whole community. Not only do confident, resilient children with a capacity for emotional intelligence perform better academically, these skills can also contribute to the creation of strong social bonds and supportive communities and also the maintenance of healthy relationships and responsible lifestyles.

Within the Junior School we have dedicated SELF time each week. SELF stands for Social Emotional Learning Fundamentals which is our dedicated student wellbeing program. Throughout 2020 all the Junior School teachers have been reviewing, auditing and re-writing these programs of work to ensure they are as up-to-date as possible, incorporating the most current research, therefore creating a contemporary program which addresses student needs.  

The Australian community rightly expects all education systems and leaders to take every available measure to ensure the safety of students and the broader school community and to protect and support them. The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (2008) affirms this. We at A.B. Paterson College use all available resources and support networks to ensure the continuing safety of all students in our care. As part of our ongoing focus on student wellbeing which aligns with the College’s strategic intent and is explicitly addressed through the strategic pillars – in particular, those pillars of ‘Education and Care’ and ‘College Community’ - we effectively nurture wellbeing through establishing and maintaining core positive relationships with students, staff and the wider community. 

Our fundamental role as teachers is to know each of our students as well as possible. That is what is entrenched at A.B. Paterson College!

Simon Edgar
Head of Junior School