We identified the need for student voice to be heard and authentically valued within the school community. The CEWA Strategic Wellbeing Framework (2021) states that Wellbeing is not merely the absence of illbeing, but the presence of being able to connect to God, feel good, function well and do good for others. As a Christ centred and child focused community, it is our responsibility to support students in this space.
To develop authentic relationships, you need to be present and to give people time to generate meaningful connections. At the request of Mrs Bell, the groundsman at Mary’s Mount Primary School built a letterbox into the Principal’s office. On the external wall of the office are forms students can fill out and post. On the form they can state their name, and write their worry, concern or idea. Upon receiving the letter, Mrs Bell considers the content and then visits the student to talk through their worry or discuss the idea or celebrate the joy filled news (Year 1 students love letting Mrs Bell know that they have lost a tooth!).
This initiative has opened the door for students who cannot find their physical voice to articulate their needs. The aim was to lower the threshold at which students can reach out to a safe and trusted adult in the hopes that they feel more confident in doing so when something serious is happening to them. It has increased student engagement and encouraged collaboration between students and educators. The positive, safe learning environment has assisted in the development of respectful relationships, participation and autonomy.
At Mary’s Mount Primary School, we recognise the importance of developing different avenues of communication for students. By doing so a culture of inclusion is created, students can articulate their worries, concerns and ideas in a variety of methods through our Student Voice Initiative.
Students know that the adults around them care for them, respect them and want to listen. Most importantly they feel safe.
Watch our video here for more information about our Student Voice Inititive – https://vimeo.com/591314312
At Mary’s Mount Primary School we offer a range of social and emotional learning opportunities, programs, and approaches within the school;
- Seasons for Growth
- Highway Heroes – BEST Program 4 kids
- Wellness Walkway
- Keeping Safe Protective Behaviours Curriculum
- Student goal development
These programs target the needs of the children of Mary’s Mount Primary School.