Student Wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do at St Francis Xavier. We know that our students will learn best when they feel safe, secure and valued and have a strong sense of their own self-worth. Here at St Francis Xavier, we use a variety of strategies to nurture and support student wellbeing working in close partnership with our families.
‘A positive sense of wellbeing supports a base for rich learning that enables young people to flourish. This holistic view recognises that the sacredness, dignity and giftedness of each person is grounded in the belief that each person is made in the image and likeness of God’ (Genesis 1:27). Horizons of Hope, 2017
We use a variety of different strategies and programs to build the well-being of our students at St Francis Xavier. These include:
- Child Safety and Protective Behaviours
- The Buddy System
St Francis Xavier has a well-being dog, Ginny, a toy cavoodle who loves interacting with our students. Well-being dogs are well known for their calming and settling effect on students who may be experiencing anxiety or heightened emotions. Ginny engages with our students under the supervision of our staff and her gentle nature makes her hard to resist!
We also offer a wide range of social skills groups for our students. For some students, this learning can be challenging so we support them in a diversity of ways. We have a supported play program that operates at every break time out of ‘The Play Shed’ where students can choose from a variety of toys and play with the comfort of knowing there is an adult close by to assist them in interacting with their peers. We also run afternoon Social Skills groups that help students to develop the skills of being a good friend, negotiating and compromising with others, and being respectful in our relationships. These groups empower our students to feel confident in their ability to make good choices and build positive friendships. We have a partnership with a local Occupational Therapy group ‘KidLink’ who facilitate more intensive social skills and social thinking programs for us during Term 2 and 3 of each year. These are very supportive for our students but also help to continue to build and refine staff knowledge and expertise in this area.