Our Wellbeing Philosophy
Woven into Every Part of Our Day with Our Students
‘The mission, and privilege, of the Catholic school is to build a community, where authentic relationships based on love provide the means and the support for all students to flourish and grow into the fullness of life. (Archbishop Denis Hart, Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools)
At the heart of our school is our commitment to each student’s wellbeing. We understand that the wellbeing of each individual is intrinsically linked to their personal and academic success.
We are committed to providing the tools and environment to enable each member of our community to flourish. To do this, we draw on research and the science of positive psychology as a framework.This begins with the healthy and happy relationships our staff have with each other. We consider the following:
‘At the very heart of each Catholic school is a desire for the full flourishing of each student, across religious, physical, cognitive, emotional and social domains.’ (HoH Vision CEM)
Standard 4: AITSL Standards: Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
"Well-being ‘Promotes positive, authentic relationships, based on the development of social and emotional skills, to enable the young person to grow, learn and flourish.” (Horizons of hope CEM)
Positive Education and Restorative Practice Framework
Positive Education identifies best practice teaching combined with an explicit focus on wellbeing. The approach emphasises individual strengths to promote learning, builds awareness of a growth mindset and incorporates practice in mindful brain breaks and gratitude. Positive Education emphasises the importance of training the heart as well as the mind in education.
The science of Positive Education has several key underlying principles:
Student wellbeing is closely linked to academic success. When students feel connected, safe and happy, they are more likely to thrive in their learning;
In today’s world, increasing statistics of psychological distress and mental illness are challenging, and such stresses impact on the young learner;
Schools play a critical role in helping young people to develop cognitive, social and emotional skills, and are well placed to do this;
Skills and mindsets that encourage positive relationships, positive emotions, resilience and character strengths can be taught.
We believe that these principles are beneficial for our children to know themselves well, to feel their life has meaning and purpose, to have positive relationships with others and to flourish.
We adopt Restorative Practices at OLOF Catholic Primary School (respect, restore, repair) as our way of relating to each other. The aim of Restorative Practice is to restore right relationships and bring about healing after some hurt or harm has been done to another or others. It has, at its heart, the key Gospel values of reconciliation, responsibility, reintegration and resolution of conflict. Restorative Practice offers processes that can help all students learn to understand and deal with their own emotions in ways that build stronger relationships.
Key restorative questions:
What were you thinking of at the time?
What have you thought about since?
Who has been affected by what you have done?
In what way?
What do you think you need to do to make things right?
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Part of our everyday learning
It is our responsibility to ensure every person flourishes and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) ‘is the process through which we learn to recognise and manage our emotions, care about others, make good decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviours.’ (Elias et al. 1997)
We all know that social and emotional factors play a huge role in your child’s academic performance. That’s why our SEL program plays an important role in preventing problems and promoting the wellbeing and success of our students by focusing on the social and emotional climate of the school. Our SEL program is designed to help students enjoy:
● Academic success;
● Mentally and physical health;
● Positive social relationships; and
● Responsible social engagement.
Our focus on SEL empowers students to recognise and manage their emotions in a constructive way that supports their overall academic performance.
Student Voice and Agency
Nothing about us without us!
Student Voice underpins every aspect of learning at Our Lady of Fatima. Student leaders are leaders of community, Christianity, The Arts, Sportsmanship and Student ship, co-designing their learning with their teachers and their peers. Our students are coached to lead many important days such as ANZAC Day, World Teachers' Day, Harmony Day activities, Footy Day, coordinating volunteering and fundraising for many organisations we support. Working with the Student Voice Teacher Leader, this team seeks to keep strengthening student voice and agency in learning at OLOF. Agency refers to children’s initiative, decision-making and self-choice in work or play.
Better Buddies School
Time for friendship, time for fun
"Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance." Jude 1:2
As part of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation Program, Our Lady of Fatima is a ‘Better Buddies’ school. The Buddy Program helps new students to develop relationships across the school community. By encouraging students to look out for each other and make social connections, they are made to feel like a valued part of the Our Lady of Fatima community. Page 15 Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary School Parent Guide: 31 March 2021 The ‘Better Buddies’ program:
● Is integral to the development of students social and communication skills;
● Fosters self-esteem and a degree of independence in all students; and
● Provides a sense of safety for Prep children and children in the lower year levels who get to know and get to work with the older children.
All students have a Buddy and teachers organise activities and sessions where the Buddies can build relationships while working on tasks related to the Curriculum. Prep students are allocated a ‘buddy’ from Year 6, while other year levels will generally be allocated a buddy from a year level three years above their grade up until year 4 where the mentoring relationship changes, and your child becomes the ‘senior’ buddy.
"I have come that you may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10
Our Hub is an amazing resource centre which offers a range of alternative learning spaces and pedagogical approaches to meet a wide range of educational and social emotional needs. It encourages students to use alternative seating including peddle desks and exercise balls to aid sensory output and improve attention ability.
The Hub has seven different zones which have different purposes and features to suit many different learning and teaching situations and to provide differentiated support for all students.
Zone 1: This space is designed for small, targeted teaching groups for both intervention and enrichment purposes.
Zone 2: The Collaborative Space has been designed for individual and small group work. Students can choose to work in the Hub as an alternative space to complete individual classwork or assessments or use our white board tables and collaborative desks to help with group tasks.
Zone 3: The Glasshouse – this zone is dedicated to social and emotional learning. It has many resources that can be used to assist individuals and small groups with Social and Emotional skills.
Zone 4: The ‘Take-a-Break’ Zone. A Hub Break in the ‘Take-a-Break’ zone is a proactive strategy that was implemented into our school over four years ago and it has been successfully embedded in our well-being practices and classroom routines to ensure that students feel safe, engaged, supported and that their wellbeing is paramount for successful learning. Having a Hub Break or ‘re-setting our brain’ - is a very normal part of our Fatima day.
Zone 5: Our Quiet working space, is our smallest zone and caters for students who need their own personalised learning space during the school day to reset and engage in learning tasks.
Zone 6: The ‘Sensory Room’ is a safe, calm and very quiet space that is filled with sensory tools including a sensory wall and soft lighting to aid students when they are feeling overwhelmed and escalated.
Zone 7: Our Counselling space. Our Lady of Fatima has a full time Counsellor, Miss. Amy Booker. Her room is our 7th zone in the Hub and is a warm, inviting and friendly space that students use during counselling sessions or for student wellbeing check ins during the day.
The Hub offers a variety of wellbeing and academic support programs for our students including:
Wellbeing sessions with our own school counsellor available every day for individual and group therapies including art therapy.
Seasons for Growth and Change Program
Resilience and friendship programs such as Berry St, MPower, Rock and Water and the You Can Do It program.
Transition to learning programs.
School transition and readiness.
The SCOPE Fine motor skills program.
Literacy and maths intervention both in small groups and for one-on-one support
Senior group collaborative space and alternative learning space.
Enrichment programs across the curriculum
The Hub is staffed every day. Students may arrive with a hub pass from the classroom teacher, be accompanied by support staff or arrive with their group or class teacher for a scheduled lesson.
The Hub has become a real asset in our school, highly valued by staff and students alike.
Child Safe School
Promoting the wellbeing, inclusion and safety of all children
At Our Lady of Fatima, we hold the care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people as a central and fundamental responsibility of our school.
Our commitment is drawn from and inherent to the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the sanctity of each human person at the heart of the gospel (CECV Commitment Statement to Child Safety).
Our Lady of Fatima is a community where the teachings of Jesus Christ are reflected and practised, where all children are empowered to develop to their full potential. Our curriculum aims to meet the challenges of a changing world both locally and globally. We take our school motto “Dream, Believe, Achieve” along with our faith as our inspiration.
We have a suite of Policies under the 'Our School' section of our website that guide the importance of this work with School, Parish, parents and Students. We also have staff assigned to the role of Child Safety Officers.
Positive Behaviour &
With a deep commitment to the safety and protection of all children in our care, we take instances of bullying very seriously, and seek to work together with parents to ensure an effective approach to both preventing and responding to bullying. Learning what bullying is and what it is not is the first step in talking about how to prevent or respond to bullying with your child. ‘Bullying’ is a word that is sometimes used for a range of incidents and quarrels that may not be bullying. These other behaviours may be just as serious, but require different responses.
We understand that bullying and cyberbullying can make people feel unsafe at school and miserable when they get home. We believe it is important that all children and young people know they are being heard, their feelings matter and their issue will be investigated respectfully. We typically find that the best outcomes to bullying are achieved when parents and teachers work together to help resolve ongoing conflicts at school. This may include teachers working with parents of other students who may be involved in a particular instance of bullying. With a focus on positive and lasting solutions, we seek to ensure a shared understanding of bullying across the entire school community.
Play-Coaching and Supported Play
At OLOF we are always re-thinking how to teach young children to tap their enormous learning potential. Play is one of the most important ways in which young children gain essential knowledge and skills. For this reason, play opportunities and environments that promote play, exploration and hands-on learning are at the core of our playtime structures.
Nature Play - Sensory Learning
At OLOF we believe that outdoor play in natural environments has clear benefits for developing children including helping children to acquire gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination and helping to stay healthy. Sensory stimulation derived from interacting with natural environments allows children to learn with all of their senses. We have beautiful natural and passive play spaces enabling children to dig, build with sand, make potions, design with found materials and enjoy imaginative play.
Fatima's favourite place!
The POD is a unique feature of our playground. We have a large shipping container that is full of clean industrial scrap that is suitable for playground games and construction. It is a major feature of our "Learning through play" philosophy and a much valued part of play in our school yard.
Students play, create and construct in groups and are explicitly taught how to use the materials safely. Students are also taught how to set up and pack away safely with the ‘Pod Squad’ level 4 students leading this strategy. It is constantly renewed and topped up with new materials and a highlight for many of our students at lunchtimes.
Indoor and Outdoor Lunchtime Activities
Every lunchtime our students have the choice of a range of toys and facilitated play resources under our hall verandah or in our school library. Our school counsellor works with student leaders and asks them what they would like to play with on any particular day. Student leaders help to set up the play. Lego club is a very popular lunchtime activity every Friday.
Student Leadership Initiative Activities
An important aspect of play is children’s agency and control over the experience. Agency refers to children’s initiative, decision-making and self-choice in work or play. Ultimately, play should involve some degree of agency, enabling children to take on an active role and ownership in their experiences, as well as recognizing and trusting children to be capable, autonomous, and agents of their own playful learning journeys. Our student leaders take on an important role in designing play experiences during lunchtimes and facilitate modelling of play. Student leaders are also invited to take on play projects through their Fatima Star work.