Student Wellbeing

Providing Pastoral support for children is critical to help them through the many changes and challenges that occur in their lives. These may include natural developmental changes as well as unnatural changes caused by the death of a family member, divorce, change of schools etc. The College adheres to the Lutheran Ethos and its college values through the Pastoral Care program. Encounter Lutheran College strives to be student-centred, spirit sensitive, and community orientated.

 

From the Principal

A message from our Principal Mr Kelvin Grivell on the importance of wellbeing at Encounter Lutheran College

 

Wellbeing Wednesday

Week 9 Term 1

With an election on the horizon and natural disasters in the news, it’s no surprise that four in five young people are anxious about climate change. Our young people also have access to a huge amount of new information, much more than previous generations, and this can be tricky to navigate. ReachOut has put together a list of helpful strategies to help your young person deal with anxiety about climate change.

https://parents.au.reachout.com/common-concerns/everyday-issues/things-to-try-work-finances-the-future/helping-your-teen-deal-with-anxiety-about-climate-change

 

Week 6 Term 1

It’s Neurodiversity Celebration Week 💛
A week dedicated to changing the negative narrative that being neurodivergent is a deficit. It’s all about creating a balanced view focusing on the talents and strengths of being neurodivergent and to increase acceptance, inclusion and understanding in school and society.
Such an important initiative challenging stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences.
If you’re looking for more information, Maggie has a list of resources (books, websites and experts) on her website for parents and carers supporting autistic children with children with adhd – https://www.maggiedent.com/…/top-tips-resources-for…/
Our community helped us put these lists together so they’re driven by people with lived experience.
And the Neurodiversity Celebration Week website has wonderful resources for schools, unis, parents, workplaces and more – https://www.neurodiversityweek.com/

Wellbeing Team

Caring for the wellbeing of staff, students, and the college community is central to everything we do at Encounter Lutheran College. The College has developed a Wellbeing Team who oversees the strategic direction of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing policies, programs, and curriculum, as well as offering additional support to students, teachers, and families. The wellbeing team consists of:

 

Junior School Wellbeing Team: 

  • Head of School: Tori Weiss
  • Wellbeing Coordinator: Ben Chesser
  • Inclusive Education Coordinator: Ben Chesser
  • Student Wellbeing Support: Donna Barnett

Middle/Senior School Wellbeing Team: 

  • Head of School: Penny McKenzie
  • Wellbeing Coordinator: Tom Ling
  • College Counsellor: Jo Ashcroft
  • Inclusive Education Coordinator: Jen Biscoe
  • Student Wellbeing Support: Tom Ling (7-9), Jon Grear (10-12)

At Encounter we are committed to providing the highest quality care to our students. We are committed to work closely with students, parents, and our community so that our young people can make the most of the opportunities available to them and develop confidence and self-esteem to grow as individuals.

Positive Education

What is Positive Education?

A Positive Education approach underpins our whole school philosophy at Encounter Lutheran College, this implicitly underpins our whole school approach to education. To support this, every Middle and Senior School student at Encounter engages in a dedicated Positive Education Enhanced Curriculum (PEEC) lesson each week. PEEC is the explicit instruction of Positive Education concepts in a classroom context. It provides teachers with, a robust, research and evidence-based curriculum, with mapped learning intentions that aim towards age appropriate developmental outcomes. Students home class teacher delivers the PEEC lessons, as well as their Christian Studies lessons, providing multiple opportunities for them to hold a key Pastoral Care role. The content of this curriculum aligns with the PERMA+ domains.

  • Positive emotion: Feeling good, positive emotions, optimism, pleasure, and enjoyment.
  • Engagement: Fulfilling work, interesting hobbies, and flow.
  • Relationships: Social connections, love, intimacy, emotional and physical interaction.
  • Meaning: Having a purpose, finding meaning in life.
  • Accomplishments: Ambition, realistic goals, important achievements, pride in yourself.
  • Health: Vitality, maximising energy, sleep, exercise and diet.

The PERMA+ model of systematically building wellbeing is an umbrella philosophy that guides us in developing a culture of positive mental health and wellbeing at Encounter Lutheran College. Positive Education intentionally aligns with the IB Primary Years and Middle Years programs.  We value relationships with the entire College community, and partner with parents and outside organisations to empower families in supporting the wellbeing of their children.

Why Positive Education:

At Encounter, we believe that students with good mental health and positive wellbeing practices are better equipped to cope with the ups and downs of school life. Some believe that a focus on wellbeing takes time and resources away from academic pursuits. However, evidence suggests that poor mental health and wellbeing inhibits learning, and students whose wellbeing is thriving demonstrate stronger academic performance. As well as academics, students with high wellbeing have lower rates of absence, higher self-control and lower procrastination, and enjoy more creative, open-minded thinking.

‘A common assumption is that a focus on wellbeing within education takes time and resources away from academic pursuits. However, there is reason to believe that students who thrive and flourish demonstrate strong educational performance’ (Seligman, 2011).

‘Wellbeing cannot exist just in your own head. Wellbeing is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships, and accomplishment.’ (Seligman, 2019).

Wellbeing in Action

At Encounter we embed wellbeing throughout all aspects of what we do, including our college policies, practice, pedagogy, and culture. There are a number of different ways we can see Wellbeing in action.

Providing Pastoral support for children is critical to help them through the many changes and challenges that occur in their lives. The College adheres to the Lutheran Ethos and its college values through the Pastoral Care program. Home class teachers hold a key Pastoral Care role, teach the Christian Studies curriculum, and also engage in Shine services as a regular time of worship. Encounter Lutheran College strives to be student-centred, spirit sensitive, and community orientated.

Encounter’s unique House system seeks to reinforce and celebrate the healthy, supportive culture that exists across our student population. All students in Years Reception to Year 12 take part in a number of House meetings each term, where students gather as members of Coorong, Granite, Rosetta or Yilki. With student leadership opportunities being an obvious benefit, mentoring and role-modelling (both formally and incidentally) for all students also helps to create and uphold our sense of family and connection that is valued so dearly in our College community. Outside of regular house meetings, students also gather in their House groups for key events throughout the year, such as Sports Day and Cross Country.

 Junior School…

 Every Middle and Senior School student at Encounter engages in a dedicated Positive Education Enhanced Curriculum (PEEC) lesson each week. PEEC is the explicit instruction of Positive Education concepts in a classroom context. It provides teachers with, a robust, research and evidence-based curriculum, with mapped learning intentions that aim towards age appropriate developmental outcomes. Students home class teacher delivers the PEEC lessons, as well as their Christian Studies lessons, providing multiple opportunities for them to hold a key Pastoral Care role. The content of this curriculum aligns with the PERMA+ domains.

Parent Partnership

Student wellbeing is a complex and evolving space and we value the ongoing partnerships we have with the College community. Here we endeavour to provide information about contemporary issues or research, and upcoming College events.

Relevant Articles

 

From the Students

Wellbeing is a chance to connect with people in the classroom – Year 9 Student

I like how it is different from other subjects and we get to learn about real life situations and outcomes – Year 9 Student

What I enjoy about Wellebing time is learning about what is right in certain situations such as morals and ethics – Year 8 Student

Helps me understand empathy and the way that others may be feeling, also helps me understand the way I feel – Year 8 Student

It is a time where we get to step away from the work environment and get to know people that we go to school with – Year 11 Student

We hope that the clearest indication of Encounter being a Christian school is demonstrated through the authentic and ongoing nurture of your children. Beyond this, there are some aspects of College life that have been established and are both unique and important to us.

Providing Pastoral support for children is critical to help them through the many changes and challenges that occur in their lives. These may include natural developmental changes as well as unnatural changes caused by the death of a family member, divorce, change of schools etc. The College adheres to the Lutheran Ethos and its college values through the Pastoral Care program. Encounter Lutheran College strives to be student-centred, spirit sensitive, and community orientated.

 

Wellbeing Videos

 

Archived Wellbeing Updates

Week 5 Term 1

How can parents support their children in these turbulent times? Join leading clinical psychologist Dr Andrew Fuller for a free webinar, where he will give his expert advice.

Turbulent times call for resilient minds. From COVID-19, the Ukraine invasion and rampant flooding, it’s already been a tough start to 2022. As resilience is being tested, students in our care are looking for support and guidance.

How might we understand and reduce anxiety for ourselves and others? How can we engage in conversation about tough times? And how can we create hope and positivity for the future?

Join us for this free webinar for parents and carers – a national Independent schools initiative – with leading clinical psychologist Dr Andrew Fuller.

  • Learn the three active ingredients of resilience
  • Develop strategies to reduce anxiety
  • Build self-esteem and deal with setbacks
  • Gain strategies for engaging in tough conversations
  • Help students prepare for a better future


Andrew Fuller

Andrew Fuller is a clinical psychologist, family therapist, author, speaker and creator of Learning Strengths™. Andrew has worked with over 3,000 schools in Australia, NZ Asia and the UK and with more than 5,000,000 young people on core elements of resilience – connect, protect and respect (CPR) and building The Resilient Mindset.

Register your place
Due to the anticipated demand across the country, we have scheduled two webinars. Get in early to secure your place.

Event links
Wednesday 16 March (6.30pm – 7.30pm ACDT), or
Tuesday 29 March (7.30pm – 8.30pm ACDT)
https://theparentswebsite.com.au/free-webinar-building-resilience-in-turbulent-times-with-dr-andrew-fuller/

 

Week 3 Term 1: Mrs. Jo Ashcroft College Counsellor

Firstly, the social and behavioural expectations of kids are far greater at school than they are at home. Kids have to use a lot of energy and resources to pay attention, follow directions, sit still, retain information, manage friendships, please their teacher….the list goes on. When it comes time to head home, it can be challenging for kids to conjure up the same amount of resources required to keep it together.

Secondly, they’ve had to manage all of this without their comfort person, their primary attachment figure – their parent/caregiver. This means that once school has finished, they may feel exhausted from spending 6-7 hours dealing with some pretty tough stuff on their own.

Thirdly, they feel like they can melt down at home with their caregivers, because they are in their comfort zone, where they know that they are safe, supported and loved. No matter how big the meltdown, they know that their special big person will be there to pick up the pieces.

How can you help a child experiencing the “after-school restraint collapse”?

• Spend an extra 5-10 mins with them before school

• Send them to school with notes in their lunchbox, a picture of you, or a toy that reminds them of you

• Instead of focusing on the goodbye, and telling them all of the fun things they will do that day, redirect their attention to your next hello, e.g. “Have a great day – when I pick you up, shall we go to the park or library?”

• Pack a snack for the trip home, Delay asking them about their day

• Get to know what your child needs once home (which can change from day to day) – do they need time to relax, or some physical activity?

• Have some downtime before doing homework (if your school gives homework…)

Offer understanding and empathy, rather than punishment/discipline for any unwanted behaviour

As always, respond as best you can with the energy and resources you have.

Week 2 Term 1: Mr Tom Ling Middle/Senior Wellbeing Coordinator

As we move into a new year, Encounter students are also experiencing a new timetable. Whilst there have been several factors that have influenced this change, one exciting outcome is that every Middle and Senior School class now has one dedicated wellbeing lesson per week with their home class teacher. During these lessons students will continue to engage in their Positive Education Enhanced Curriculum (PEEC). For those who are unaware of Positive Education, it is a philosophy, curriculum, and approach to teaching that is based on the science of wellbeing, underpinned by research in the fields of Positive Psychology and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  

We know that many of the skills that students need to flourish can be explicitly taught. Not only does this space in the timetable provide additional pastoral care time for home class teachers, it also provides a space for students to engage in a multitude of important topics across their Middle and Senior Years’ experience. These include but are not limited to topics such as empathy and compassion, self-knowledge, grit and persistence, character development, and even emotional intelligence. Students will have the opportunity to engage in fun, flexible lessons that are developmentally appropriate and mapped across the Middle and Senior School. 

See below to get an idea of the topics covered. Or alternatively, head to the bottom of this page to see a collection of videos from PEEC lessons in 2021. 

Additional Information