Lauriston Girls School
Our whole-of-school approach to wellbeing is built on the foundations of the Child Safe Standards as well as our core values. It is the wellspring that supports our girls to develop healthy self-esteem that enable them to embrace challenges and turn them into opportunities.
Underpinned by the Seven Cs of Resilience developed by American pediatrics specialist, Dr Ken Ginsburg, and our bespoke research identifying 8 Domains of healthy personal development, our personal development curriculum in embedded into all of our programs from Kindergarten to Year 12 – to strengthen a girls’ sense of confidence and belonging and enable her to be a self-actualising global citizen.
An extensive research project conducted by Lauriston’s wellbeing experts, identified eight key elements that contribute to student wellbeing. Our 8 Domains are purposefully embedded throughout all learning experiences across the School to support the flourishing of all students.
Lauriston’s approach to wellbeing ladders up from our Values and is embedded through our Programs. Our aim is to provide the solid foundations that will stand our students in good stead for life.
Recognising a child’s diverse needs and celebrating his or her achievements helps to build self-esteem and a sense of belonging. At Lauriston, a focus on kindness, Reggio Emilia philosophy, skilled educators, and Bush Kinder Program help children to learn about and navigate the social demands of a learning environment to promote overall wellbeing. This ability to flourish sets the foundational building blocks that enable children to face challenges beyond the kindergarten gates.
Our wellbeing program in the Lauriston Junior School is research based and in tune with a girl’s needs at each stage of her development. Underpinned by our ethos of ‘care, share and respect’ and based on the Lauriston 8 Domains, it equips them with skills they can draw upon to manage the demands of life. Programs that are embedded in our curriculum include The Resilience Project, Bodyworks Health and Wellbeing, Social Stencil, Bravehearts, Cyber Safety, Year 5 Courage Conference and the Year 6 Leadership Program.
SHINE (Strength, Health, Inspiring, Nurturing and Engagement), our wellbeing program for Years 7–12 focuses on developing social and emotional skills that will assist students to develop the self-confidence and resilience required to enable them to achieve their potential. Facilitated by our Tutor network SHINE supports students both academically, and in their personal, social and emotional learning. Girls meet each semester with their Tutor to set achievable and meaningful SMART goals, then reflect on those goals throughout the year. They learn about areas such as study skills and managing time and stress and develop learning goals and leadership skills. Within their Tutor Group, students can also discuss day-to-day wellbeing concerns. External programs and facilitators include I Am Mindful with Paul Dillon, Cyber-Safety with Susan McLean, The Resilience Project, Brad Falstead, Mindfulness, Minus18, Sonya Karras from Whole New World, Michael Carr-Gregg, Mental Health First Aid and Success Integrated.
Our nurturing and supportive educators are focused on building authentic relationships with their students, offering appropriate levels of academic challenge and engaging the interest of the students in their learning. Each girl is an individual whose needs may call for extension or individual support for particular learning needs. Within our curriculum, we formally embed wellbeing topics including, health, digital literacy and cyber safety.
Regardless of a girl’s natural ability, Lauriston develops a culture of lifelong physical activity as integral to a girls’ health and as a foundation for wellbeing. As well as programs within the curriculum, sport is encouraged in the Junior School and compulsory from Years 7 to 10, with a wide range of recreational, team and competitive sporting opportunities to choose from, all of which are designed to develop confidence, resilience and teach the value of teamwork. At Howqua, our unique, Outdoor and Fitness Programs support girls in this important stage of their development.
The new Ullmer Sports, Health and Wellbeing Centre on campus will make available world class facilities such as competition-sized netball courts, and a weights, yoga and movement room. It ensures all girls will have facilities that enable them to grow and flourish.
We believe that students make valued contributions to our School and incorporating their voice is important to maintain a safe and inclusive environment. We regularly engage our students and involve them in decision-making about all aspects of their education at Lauriston. In the Senior School, students work with their teachers to determine activities that will better support their learning and engagement. The feedback of students is utilised by teachers to enhance teaching practice and student understanding.
Our Student Representative Council (SRC) and our Year 12 leaders is also a conduit for student voice. For example, students from the SRC are helping to write student-friendly versions of our new Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and to develop important policy such as the Reconciliation Action Plan. Student opinions are also collected to inform our key programs such as Howqua and to evolve the School’s uniform options. We also have students participating in the development of our SHINE program and working with House Captains in implementing activities within each House.
Inclusivity and diversity
An important component of being a resilient person and indeed one of the Cs, is having connections with family, friends and school. It provides children and young people with a sense of belonging and enables them to build trusting relationships. Participating in co-curricular clubs, including sport, as well as community service activities, helps students to build these important connections.
Opportunities for leadership, mentoring, friendships and an expanded support network are also facilitated through our House system. From Prep to Year 12, each student becomes a member of one of four Houses – Kirkhope, Irving, Andrews and Mitchell. In these supportive and nurturing environments students can make friendships across year levels, and broaden their interests and involvement in the School community through the many friendly House activities such as sport, debating, public speaking, music and drama.
Community service is a common thread that runs through the fabric across the whole school and is an intrinsic part of our wellbeing. It’s vital that we create opportunities that help the girls focus on the amazing opportunities that they have while also supporting those who need it. Being involved in community service activities enables our girls to understand different perspectives, provides them with a sense of purpose and the opportunity to use their strengths and capacities to contribute to a greater cause. As well as Howqua, we also offer Duke of Edinburgh and Compass Programs. The IB also has a core focus on community service.