Respectful Relationships Update
Respectful Relationships Planning and Implementation
We are continuing our Respectful Relationships work across the school in 2023.
Consent education continues during PE and Health classes while other curriculum topics are taught during other class times.
As a lead school for Respectful Relationships we are also supporting other secondary and primary schools across Latrobe and Baw Baw. This means we are working together as a broader community to change thinking and model respect, positive attitudes and behaviours. The purpose is to teach young people how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence and not to be restricted by gender stereotypes.
Surveys went out to students late last year to hear what they have learnt and what they enjoyed or found challenging, so we can identify areas to work on and improve our practice.
The 16 Days of Activism – Let’s Chat Gippsland is the local regional campaign for promoting the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based violence. This is a key part of our Respectful Relationships work. The campaign aims to support the community to unpack what respect means, what it looks like and how to put it into practice at school, at work, in our relationships and at home. RESPECT sits at the core of all safe, healthy and equal relationships.
Two of our students, Jake Keilly and Jayde Down worked with staff from Latrobe Community Health Services and students from local primary schools late last year to create a video about what respect means to them. You may have seen this video on our college Facebook page towards the end of 2022. Pictured are Jake and Jayde after their claim to fame efforts 😊
Mindfulness, a Whole School Approach – Mindfulness education is an important factor in supporting student and staff mental health and wellbeing.
Staff will continue to participate in mindfulness activities during staff meetings. This helps us to have an understanding about the benefits of mindfulness so we can encourage student participation across the whole school, particularly in our delivery of Respectful Relationships.
Health Promotion Update
Healthy Latrobe Achievement Program – We are very excited to announce that we have achieved 3 further benchmarks –
- Sexual Health
- Tobacco, Alcohol & Other Drugs
- Safe Environments
Below are the certificates confirming the passing of these benchmarks. This has involved evaluating the different programs, supports and approaches we have used at the college to support sexual health & wellbeing of our students, addressing issues around Alcohol and Drug use and ensuring the school environments are safe. Passing of the benchmark means the Achievement Program Team are satisfied that Lowanna College support our students to understand what it means to have safe & respectful relationships, the importance of what should and should not go into our bodies and finally how we can stay safe and support each other at school. This does not mean it ends here – The college will continue to find new opportunities and provide new ways to support your children in these areas.
This year, I have been working closely with the Health Promotion Officers from Latrobe Community Health Services on the Physical Activity benchmark. We will then be tackling our final benchmark ‘Healthy Eating’ – This will involve identifying opportunities and approaches to explore a healthier school.
ONLY 2 BENCHMARKS TO GO 😊
Youth Mental Health First Aid Course
At the end of 2022, Lowanna College commenced Youth Mental Health First Aid training for staff. Utilising funding from the Department to support mental health of our students, our Mental Health Practitioner Michael Naughton received accreditation to facilitate this course while I will be doing the training next week. This will allow Michael and I to deliver the course and important messages to staff to assist them in supporting our students.
Late last year, some staff were trained up and we have more staff participating this year. Below are some of the staff who participated and received their accreditation certificates.
In the future, we are looking at offering this opportunity to families of our school community.
Inclusiveness at Lowanna College
Out of Home Care Morning Tea for Carers & For Our Koorie Families
With the success of our previous morning teas for carers of students in Out of Home Care and Koorie families, we are continuing with this concept this year.
Our College are committed to providing an inclusive environment for all families and to building ongoing positive relationships between families and the school. We look forward to holding these events in an ongoing basis.
Below are some photo’s of our Koorie family morning tea at the end of 2022.
This year, our college nurse, Bernice, will continue to facilitate the LGBTIQ+ support groups.
Lowanna College continue to provide a safe and trusting space for our students regardless of religion, culture, race or sexuality.
Bernice meets with our LGBTIQ+ students weekly. Students are provided the opportunity to connect with peers, talk about their challenges and participate in activities such as art, craft and even hear from professionals in our community.
Latrobe Youth Space are a community group who support young people all over Latrobe Valley. They provide many opportunities for young people such as camps, support groups and activities to assist young people in our community.
To make contact or find out how you can be involved call 0484 777 972 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Elephant Ed Webinar
On Monday 20th March, Lowanna College will host a special parent/carer webinar on ‘CONSENT’.
This will be facilitated by an organisation called Elephant Ed. We held this webinar last year and had some excellent feedback so thought it would be most beneficial to bring it back.
The webinar is free and runs from 7pm to 8.15pm. We will also be hosting other webinars later in the year.
We are offering this opportunity to parents and carers of our Respectful Relationships Partner Schools also, so it’s important to get in quickly so you don’t miss out.
You can register from the link below –
General Wellbeing Information
Seasons for Growth, Young People’s Program: Seasons for Growth is an evidenced based change, loss and grief education program that uses the imagery of the seasons to illustrate the experiences of change, loss and grief. Young people can experience grief following significant changes and losses such as –
- Someone they love passes away
- Separation and Divorce
- Friendship Changes
- Illness that impacts their life
- Natural Disasters
Our college Chaplain, Glenda Noordam, is a qualified facilitator of this excellent program and has a great deal of experience working with young people who have experienced these changes. If you feel your child may benefit from participating in this program, feel free to contact Glenda at the school. Glenda’s work days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
A reminder that Breakfast Club is available to students each Tuesday and Thursday morning from 7.45am to 8.20am. We encourage students who have not had a bite to eat to come along and get some toast and a hot milo. Children and adolescents who eat a healthy breakfast each day tend to perform better academically and feel a greater level of connectedness with teachers and peers which leads to further positive health and academic outcomes.
The breakfast club team are also looking for anyone who would like to volunteer their time to help our the wellbeing team on one or both of the days we provide breakfast club. Please let the Wellbeing team know if you can help out. We also love donations to go towards breakfast club – Margarine, Cheese Slices and Milo are the things we would greatly appreciate.
Identifying problematic and harmful sexual behaviour: Sexual behaviour is generally a normal, healthy part of development in children and young people. It includes any behaviour, discussions or interests related to relationships, sexuality and sex.
Some sexual behaviours are normal, healthy and age appropriate while others can be problematic and harmful. Some of these behaviours can include online behaviours such as those involving the internet, texting or social media.
I have included 2 fact sheets for parents and carers to use when having a conversation with your young person –
- What is problematic and harmful sexual behaviour?
- How can I prepare for conversations about problematic and harmful sexual behaviour?
If you have any concerns or questions about these types of behaviours, please reach out to our wellbeing team.