The Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy supports a universal approach to the wellbeing of all learners, recognising that for some learners additional support may be required to ensure they can engage in learning.
Learners with higher levels of wellbeing are eager to learn and better able to participate, which can lead to higher rates of engagement and attendance, and improved overall performance. Increasingly evidence suggests that wellbeing impacts on academic outcomes.
Student wellbeing, engagement and learning are reciprocal and inter-related. By working on all three aspects simultaneously, schools and education systems will achieve synergies in their efforts to provide quality education.
A student’s engagement in their learning environment is critical to their learning outcomes.
By focusing on key elements of engagement, including belonging and strong relationships, positive school culture, quality teaching for learning and student voice and agency we will be better equipped to engage students with their learning.
The Approach to Student Engagement provides a system understanding of the key elements of student engagement and guidance to schools on where to focus effort. Extensive research highlights the importance of these four key elements and their impact on engaging students in learning.
Schools should use this document as a companion to the Our Approach to School Improvement – Learning document, which outlines expectations in relation to inclusive practice, wellbeing for learning, learner engagement and learner agency The Approach to Student Engagement expands upon the engagement section.
The Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy puts the child at the centre of our efforts to improve wellbeing and will help deliver better outcomes for all children and students. The Strategy supports a universal approach to wellbeing, while recognising that some learners, such as those impacted by trauma, may need additional support to engage in learning.
The Department has implemented the Model for Supporting Students Impacted by Trauma to identify and address need at a universal, targeted whole-of-school, and individual student level. Through this multi-tiered approach, the Department aims to build system-wide capacity in trauma-informed and trauma-responsive practice.
There is an annual process for allocating funding to schools to support individual students impacted by trauma to engage in learning. Schools who have received funding to support individual students have reported on the beneficial impact upon their student’s wellbeing and engagement.
The Department uses data to identify schools to receive targeted funding over two years, supporting schools to build long-term, sustainable, whole-school practices, build staff confidence and capacity in trauma-informed practices, and meet as a collective network.
33 schools received targeted funding support for 2020 – 2021. The next group of schools to receive targeted funding support for 2022 – 2023 have been confirmed and will commence work on this in Term 1, 2022.
Schools have used the targeted funding to implement a range of approaches based on the specific needs of their student cohort, including upskilling an identified lead teacher to work alongside staff to build capacity and provide support, organising staff release time to review school policies and procedures to ensure approaches are trauma-informed. Schools have also focussed on creating calming, safe spaces in classrooms, enabling students to strengthen their self-regulation skills. The targeted funding has also supported schools to implement individual and group learning programs, focussed on creating environments where students feel they belong and can build strong relationships with adults and peers.
The Department’s Good Teaching Trauma Informed Practice guide is designed to support educators working with children affected by trauma. It provides practical resources to develop understanding of the impacts of trauma and support staff to adapt their practices to meet the needs of their learners.
The Tasmanian Government has committed to rolling-out professional development in trauma for all school leaders, teachers and teacher assistants, ensuring that they have the knowledge and skills to adapt teaching practices to support the learning of young people impacted by trauma. Priority for accessing these professional development programs will be given to graduate teachers and those in rural and regional schools and staged roll-out will commence in Term 3, 2022.
The Back on Track pilot is focused on reconnecting with students and addressing their barriers to learning and engagement. Back on Track has been developed to support young people identified by the Department’s Youth Participation Database who are not enrolled with an approved education or training provider. It aims to locate, support and re-engage students in Year 11 and 12 or equivalent.
Back on Track staff can help with:
- Understanding what a young persons barriers to accessing learning might be
- Finding mental health services in their region
- Filling out forms or applications
- Finding food bank programs or housing in their region
- Working out a young persons strengths and interests
- Choosing an education or training program that is right for them
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Staying connected and checking in on the wellbeing of students is more important than ever. A new Wellbeing Check-in is now available for school staff to support the wellbeing of their students.
The Check-in is designed to assist school staff to understand the wellbeing of their students, particularly while they are learning at home. This is not a diagnostic mental health tool and is not intended to replace
The Wellbeing Check-in can be used to prompt discussion with a student who indicates they are feeling unhappy, tired, isolated or behind on their school work. It can be used daily or weekly and is not compulsory.
The questions in the Wellbeing Check-in are aligned with the domains of the Student Wellbeing and Engagement Survey (see table below). The last four questions are currently in development and will be available by October 29.
|Wellbeing Check-in Question||Student Wellbeing and Engagement Survey Domain|
|How do you feel today?||Healthy (happiness/ absence of sadness)|
|I regularly get 8 hours of sleep each night||Material Basics (sleep)|
|Is there someone at school you can talk to if you feel worried or sad?||Loved and Safe (connectedness to adults at school)|
|I am up to date with my school work||Learning (learning practices)|
|I would like to talk to my teacher||N/A|
|Are you doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every day?||Healthy (overall health)|
|Have you had breakfast today?||Material basics (nutrition - breakfast)|
|I feel like I have a say in decisions that affect me at school||Learning (emotional engagement with teachers)|
|I feel safe at school||Loved and safe (absence of physical and verbal bullying)|
|I have felt interested in my work this week||Learning (cognitive engagement)|
|Would you like extra help from your teacher in the classroom?||N/A|
For more information on how the Wellbeing Check-in can be used in your school email email@example.com
To start using the Wellbeing Check-in at your school click here.
In January 2020, the Department appointed three Regional Sport Coordinators to support the Government’s commitment and goal of becoming the healthiest state by 2025.
As part of DoE’s Learning Services – Operations Team, our role is to provide support and advice to schools and colleges to facilitate increased and sustained participation in physical activity and sport among DoE students. We have identified the following three priorities:
- increasing physical activity and sport options for students
- improving access to current and future physical activity and sport opportunities by supporting schools and communities to break down key barriers preventing student participation
- supporting key transition periods for students to promote continued participation in physical activity and sport
By engaging and collaborating with DoE staff and local communities we aim to share information and resources, build knowledge networks and provide targeted support to facilitate improved student participation and engagement levels in physical activity and sport.
More information for schools can be found here.
To contact your local Regional Sports Coordinator email firstname.lastname@example.org
Limited access to sanitary products can affect student wellbeing and also be a barrier to learning.
Due to this, the Tasmanian Government has committed to providing sanitary items in all Government schools from Term 3, 2021 to support student engagement in school.
This supports the implementation of the 2021-22: Wellbeing and Me Action Plan, as part of the Department’s commitment to child and student wellbeing.
Schools will receive an annual allocation to support the provision of sanitary products for those students who may need them. The allocation is calculated on the enrolment of female students, year 5 and above who are supported by the Student Assistance Scheme (STAS).
The Department of Education is supporting schools to incorporate student voice in decisions about which items are provided and where students will access them.
The Department of Education is committed to providing safe, inclusive, and welcoming spaces for all students.
Congratulations to the following schools who will join the Extended School Lunch Pilot from Term 1, 2022:
|1. Gagebrook Primary School
2. Herdsmans Cove Primary School
3. Rokeby Primary School
4. East Devonport Primary School
5. Smithton High School
6. Mountain Heights School
7. Rosebery District School
8. New Norfolk High School
|9. Triabunna District School
10. Oatlands District High School
11. Austins Ferry Primary School
12. Beaconsfield Primary School
13. Sorell School
14. Warrane Primary School
15. Yolla District School
These schools will be supported by the Tasmanian School Canteen Association to develop food plans and implement a healthy lunch program, with dietician support.
A further 15 schools will be selected to join the Pilot in 2023. Keep an eye out in the second half of 2022 for information on how to express an interest for your school to join the Pilot.