KidsMatter Primary is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools that is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children. KidsMatter provides evidence-based methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced kids. St. Francis de Sales is currently developing four components: Positive School Community, Social and Emotional Learning for Students, Working with Parents and Carers, and Helping Children with Mental Health Difficulties. For more information, you can visit the KidsMatter website.
The Buddy program involves an older class of students teaming with a Prep class through pairing older children with younger children in regular activities to enhance learning outcomes for the different age groups
Our buddy program is designed to help new children orientate themselves to the school and feel secure and welcome. The older buddy is keen to welcome and interest the beginner in a wide variety of fun activities.
Positive Education Curriculum
Positive Education brings together the science of Positive Psychology with best practice teaching to encourage and support individuals, schools and communities to flourish. We refer to flourishing as a combination of ‘feeling good and doing good.’ Positive Education focuses on specific skills that assist students to strengthen their relationships, build positive emotions, enhance personal resilience, promote mindfulness, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
We also aim to foster engagement amongst our students, encourage them to achieve and, ultimately, equip them with the qualities to enable them to fulfil their life purpose.
At St Francis de Sales, the Positive Education curriculum is presented from Prep to 6 in a sequential format to encompass all the 24 character strengths that underpin personal wellbeing. We have tailored our curriculum to allow regular, targetted content specific to bullying and cyberbullying so that our students understand these concepts and have well-developed strategies for dealing with these problems should they arise. (insert our schema?)
Keeping Kids Safe
The Keeping Kids Safe program is presented every two years to all students and was developed by the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. The program aims to teach children how to deal with unsafe situations.
The program is based around three key messages: Recognise, React and Report.
- The Recognise message encourages students to be aware of their surroundings and to recognise warning clues.
- The React message helps students to consider choices that may keep them safe or help make them safe again as quickly as possible.
- The Report message encourages students to report unsafe incidents to an adult.
Circle Time is a carefully planned time for class sharing used by our teachers to build a caring and inclusive class culture and to help children develop a range of valuable life skills.
‘Circle time’ is a term used to describe a time when the whole class meets together, sitting in a circle, either on the floor or on chairs. It provides a safe and democratic space where children can feel emotionally and socially visible to everyone in their class, learn to listen supportively, feel empathy and acquire a language for sharing feelings and ideas.
Circle time is not a new idea, but schools are increasingly adopting the routine in their classrooms as they see how valuable it can be in teaching personal and social skills. St Francis de Sales encourages teachers to adopt circle time as an effective strategy to foster an inclusive, caring and supportive school community.
Circle Time is particularly useful for the following:
- developing trust
- helping a class to ‘gel’
- working on problems
- developing children’s awareness of their responsibilities towards others and towards themselves
- exploring new ideas
- developing morals and values
- helping children to feel they ‘belong’
- making children feel special
- having fun