Mr Kieran O'Dwyer and Mrs Meg Steenholdt - A/Deputy Principal

During the uncertain time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to take the time to ensure that children and young people’s wellbeing is nurtured.


“In educational literature, we often read about the importance of a holistic approach. In essence, education with a holistic perspective is concerned with the development of every student's intellectual, emotional, social, physical, creative and spiritual potentials. It seeks to engage the many dimensions of our humanity and encourages personal and collective responsibility. It is an approach that sits very well with our Josephite charism. 


In the diagram below, one essential factor of physical health is examined which provides a foundation for student’s learning readiness in the arenas of intellectual, emotional, social, physical, creative and spiritual growth.


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Every student was sent this as part of their Weekly Wellbeing Builder this week. I encourage you to partner with us and discuss this with your child in the coming week.”



At the end of this week we will be well into our second phase of remote learning. As many people have noted, it seems quite different this time. For one thing, we are doing it on our own this time as opposed to the national response in April and May. There is also the immense disappointment, shared by staff, families, children and young people of being in this situation again when most of us were probably of the view that we had, to a large extent, made it through the worst stage and were heading out the other side. There is no doubt, that such circumstances test our resolve and call upon our individual and collective resilience. I’m very grateful that as a College community, we are doing very well on that front.


Social relationships are integral to happiness and flourishing. A core aim of the BEING COURAGEOUS program and Whole School Approach to Positive Behaviour, is to provide our children and young people with the opportunity to develop their social and emotional skills in order to create and promote strong and nourishing relationships with self and others. A focus on relationships recognises that the child and young person’s development does not occur in isolation and that social context has a powerful impact on adaptive and healthy behaviours and development. Relationships with parents, carers, family members, peers, teachers and other members of the school community play integral roles in students’ lives. At this point in our students’ educational journey, they are isolated from much of their support network and the opportunity to journey through this development within a safe place. This may place some students at a heightened level of stress and anxiety. There is an abundance of evidence that suggests social support is integral to wellbeing and mental health. Social isolation is a risk factor for depression, substance abuse, suicide, and other symptoms of mental ill-health. Family and school connectedness are protective factors against children and young peoples’ emotional distress, suicidal thoughts, and violent behaviours. This week, in your child’s virtual experiences their teachers will be endeavouring to role model positive social emotional skills and connect with as many children and young people as you can. Where possible they will provide the children and young people with the opportunity to enhance their skill set within the current context. This concept will be focused on in our BEING COURAGEOUS lesson, Weekly Wellbeing Builder and Supporting Students to Bounce Forward into Remote Learning Resources. The Weekly Wellbeing Builder and Supporting Students to Bounce Forward into Remote Learning Resources can be found on our social media platforms.


I remind you that College Counsellors remain available full time for students via Google Meet, email and phone and the students can connect daily with their Homeroom teacher and Sub School Teams through the usual channels.


I appreciate the current circumstances will be causing a range of challenges for individual families to deal with. Impacts on jobs, businesses, finances, physical and mental health, family dynamics and even just the personal restrictions, are all having to be managed by families. Schooling, while vitally important, is just one of these challenges. So, in this context, to our parents and carers, I want to say thank you so much for the way you have worked in partnership with the College over the early part of Remote Learning 2.0.