Our approach to Child and Student Wellbeing

The Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy supports the Tasmanian Child and Youth Wellbeing Framework  and adopts the six ARACY  wellbeing domains: Loved and Safe, Material Basics, Healthy, Learning, Participating and Positive sense of culture and identity. For more information on the domains click the title below.

Objective: Learners have positive relationships and connections with others, feel safe in their learning environments, and are resilient to withstand life’s challenges.

Learners experience many challenges throughout their lives and need the tools to feel safe in their world.

These challenges may include being bullied by a peer, being impacted by trauma, lacking confidence, or family instability.

We have a shared responsibility to ensure children and students have positive and trusted relationships within a supportive education setting.

Support for Students

Our professional support staff play an important role in supporting the safety and wellbeing of our vulnerable children and students (such as those impacted by trauma and/or those with emotional and behavioural challenges).

Professional support staff include support teachers, school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, social workers and chaplains.

School Social Workers have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • Personal safety and wellbeing
  • Parenting support
  • Conflict resolution and restorative justice
  • Critical incidents
  • Relationships

School Psychologists provide interventions for learning, engagement and positive student outcomes. Generally, students are referred by teaching staff. Parents may need to talk with their child’s teacher or senior staff if they wish to arrange a referral. Older students can self-refer. School Psychologists have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • Child protection and wellbeing
  • Trauma and Attachment Disorders
  • Bullying, Cyberbullying and Respectful Relationships

The Respectful Schools Support Team work with schools to build whole-school, inclusive communities and school-wide positive behaviour support systems. The team work with support teachers to help build the capacity of teachers in making educational adjustments to meet the diverse learning needs of students.

The Interagency Student Support Team (IASST) work with other Student Support services to support principals and Child and Family Learning Centre (CFLC) Leaders to respond proactively to the needs of children and students whose wellbeing is impacted by abuse, neglect, or exposure to family violence. The IASST includes:

Safe Homes Safe Families team – provide support to students in Tasmanian Government schools and CFLCs impacted by family violence

Student Wellbeing team – provide support to students enrolled in Tasmanian Government education settings for whom there are safety and wellbeing concerns.

School Health Nurses – support schools, families and communities to help foster healthy choices, (physical, social and emotional), and to create positive outcomes and a culture of lifelong learning. Primary School Nurses focus on kindergarten assessments, hearing and vision screening, developmental checks, local/state/national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Secondary School Nurses focus on health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum, including healthy relationships, mental health and wellbeing, body image, nutrition, local/state and national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and positive parenting programs including: healthy relationships, mental health and wellbeing, body image, nutrition, local/state and national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and positive parenting programs.

School Chaplains support wellbeing by providing pastoral care services and strategies that support the emotional wellbeing of students and the broader school community. From end 2019 school chaplains will be required to undertake professional learning with eSafety to support the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying.

Curriculum resources and professional learning

There are a broad range of curriculum programs and professional learning resources that support our students being loved and safe in their learning environment, including resources that support Respectful Relationships Education and the Combatting Bullying Initiative.

Respectful Relationships Education – a range of teaching and learning resources developed by the Department to support implementation of Respectful Relationships Education.

Bullying Stops Here – this webpage has been developed by the Department to provide a wide range of information and resources for school leaders, teachers, students, parents and carers. Content includes: articles, videos, webinars, infographics, teacher tools, and student leadership resources.

Student Wellbeing Hub – the resources available on the Student Wellbeing Hub help are underpinned by the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework and help to create learning communities that promote student wellbeing and the development of respectful relationships

Office of the eSafety Commissioner – a range of school-based educational resources; portal for reporting image-based abuse, cyberbullying and offensive and illegal online content

eSmart (Alannah and Madeline Foundation) – offers a range of educational tools for: principals (tackling bullying and cyberbullying); teachers (lesson plans and training); students (classroom activities and active learning); parents (how to see the signs and get help)

Be You – a national initiative providing educators with free professional learning, and resources and strategies for helping children and young people achieve their best possible mental health. Be You consultants are available to support implementation of Be You within your context

Working it Out – offer a range of services including individual support; support groups; support in schools; professional learning

Stay ChatTY Schools Program –  mental health awareness and suicide prevention program delivered to Years 9 to 12 in eligible Tasmanian Government schools free of charge. Click here for a Speak Up Stay ChatTY Expression of Interest Form for DoE schools. For more information or to make a booking, call 1300 364 277 or email staychatty@reltas.com.au

 

 

 

Objective: Learners have materials to access and fully participate in education, and the resources to function well and actively engage.

The Department of Education has a role to play in ensuring that the basics are in place for learners to access and fully participate in education.

This includes providing resources for a child or student to function well and actively engage.

What material basics look like varies in different learning environments. It may include breakfast clubs to set students up for a day’s learning, tools for learning such as laptops and books, a school uniform to connect students to their school community, or transport to get to and from school.

School social workers can help to facilitate students’ access to support and resources. They have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • emergency financial assistance
  • homelessness

School Psychologists

School Health Nurses

Objective: Learners have their physical, developmental, psychosocial and mental health needs met, with resources provided to support their growth.

Physical and mental health are key elements of wellbeing.

Positive and strong mental wellbeing allows students to engage, participate and learn. Alternatively, poor mental wellbeing is a real barrier to being an engaged and successful learner.

There is an increasing understanding of the importance of mental health and the preventative practices we can put in place to strengthen resilience.

Supporting mental wellbeing extends from prevention and early intervention through to intensive intervention.

 

Support for students

School Health Nurses support schools, families and communities to help foster healthy choices, (physical, social and emotional), to create positive outcomes and a culture of lifelong learning. Primary School Nurses focus on: kindergarten assessments, hearing and vision screening, developmental checks, local/state/national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Secondary School Nurses focus on: health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum, including healthy relationships, mental health and wellbeing, body image, nutrition, local/state and national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and positive parenting programs.

School Social Workers have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • mental health: depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts
  • grief and loss
  • pregnancy
  • sexual health and healthy relationships
  • addictions and risky behaviours
  • drugs and alcohol
  • physical activity and nutrition

School Social Workers provide early intervention programs including counselling, case management and group work.

 

School Psychologists have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • Anxiety Disorders (Generalised Anxiety; Separation Anxiety; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Panic Attacks; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Grief and Loss
  • Resilience
  • Self-harm and suicide risk assessment
  • Trauma and Attachment Disorders
  • Eating and body image difficulties
  • Substance abuse

School Psychologists provide counselling, therapy and programs for students and school communities.

Objective: Learners are supported to be curious, creative and empowered life-long learners.

Learning and wellbeing are deeply interrelated.

Creating a culture that promotes learning enables children and students to explore, experiment and engage actively in their learning environment.

There is a growing understanding of the importance of social and emotional wellbeing and the role of effective social and emotional competencies in learning and educational achievement.

 

Support for students

School Social Workers engage with students and school communities to promote access, participation and engagement and the wellbeing of students through inclusive practice and the celebration of diversity.

School Social Workers have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • Attendance and retention
  • Bullying

Generally, students are referred to the School Social Worker by teaching or senior staff. Guardians can make referrals directly. Students can self-refer without parent consent however, it is considered best practice to inform, and work with, guardians.

School Psychologists have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • Intellectual abilities of students with disability or exceptional ability
  • Early identification of students with developmental delays
  • Specific learning disorders
  • Strategies and interventions to support targeted literacy, numeracy or extended learning
  • Social and emotional learning

School Psychologists provide assessments of developmental, cognitive and educational functioning to assist learning plans and educational adjustments for student learning.

 

Speech and Language Pathologists are qualified and skilled in assessing, diagnosing and treating speech, language and feeding disorders and difficulties.

 

Inclusion and Diversity Services – coordinates quality services and support to ensure culturally responsive and inclusive learning settings for students with disability and students for whom English is an additional language. Specialist services include:

 

Respectful Schools Support Team (RSST) leaders are allocated across primary schools, high schools, district high schools and colleges to support  inclusive practice.

RSST leaders can provide advice, direction and support at a whole school level, for example:

  • Establishing and maintaining an inclusive, respectful culture
  • Positive behaviour support
  • Student engagement
  • Trauma informed practice
  • Student support structures and processes

RSST leaders can also provide advice, direction and support at an individual level, for example:

  • Observations and recommendations (behavioural, educational adjustments, learning plans)
  • Collaborative team involvement and planning
  • “At the shoulder” support

RSST will consult and collaborate with Professional Support Staff, other Support Teams and external agencies as appropriate.

While allocations have only been made to primary schools, high schools, district high schools and colleges, RSST can provide support to Child and Family Learning Centres, Specialist Schools and Programs.

Support for Student Carers

School Health Nurses support schools, families and communities to help foster healthy choices, (physical, social and emotional), to create positive outcomes and a culture of lifelong learning. Primary School Nurses focus on: kindergarten assessments, hearing and vision screening, developmental checks, local/state/national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Secondary School Nurses focus on: health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum, including healthy relationships, mental health and wellbeing, body image, nutrition, local/state and national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and positive parenting programs.

Resources for Cultural Diversity

Objective: Learners are able to have a voice with their views taken into account and are involved in decision-making that affects them and their learning

For positive wellbeing, learners must be active participants in their own learning, be given opportunities to have their voice heard, and influence decision-making about their learning.

We need to create inclusive learning environments that enable all learners to actively participate and thrive.

Each student is entitled to learning that is responsive to their needs and aspirations, in a safe and inclusive learning environment.

 

Support for students

Support for Student Carers

The Respectful Schools Support Team works with schools to build whole-school, inclusive communities and school-wide positive behaviour support systems. The team work with support teachers to help build the capacity of teachers in making educational adjustments to meet the diverse learning needs of students.

School Social Workers engage with students and school communities to promote access, participation and engagement and the wellbeing of students through inclusive practice and the celebration of diversity. School Social Workers have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • Attendance and retention
  • Bullying

Generally, students are referred to the school social workers by teaching or senior staff. Guardians can make referrals directly. Students can self-refer without parent consent however, it is considered best practice to inform, and work with, guardians.

School Psychologists provide assessments of developmental, cognitive and educational functioning to assist learning plans and educational adjustments for student learning. School Psychologists have professional skills and knowledge in:

  • Intellectual abilities of students with disability or exceptional ability
  • Early identification of students with developmental delays
  • Specific learning disorders
  • Strategies and interventions to support targeted literacy, numeracy or extended learning
  • Social and emotional learning

Speech and Language Pathologists are qualified and skilled in assessing, diagnosing and treating speech, language and feeding disorders and difficulties.

Inclusion and Diversity Services – coordinates quality services and support to ensure culturally responsive and inclusive learning settings for students with disability and students for whom English is an additional language. Specialist services include:

Support for Student Carers

School Health Nurses support schools, families and communities to help foster healthy choices, (physical, social and emotional), to create positive outcomes and a culture of lifelong learning. Primary School Nurses focus on: kindergarten assessments, hearing and vision screening, developmental checks, local/state/national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Secondary School Nurses focus on: health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum, including healthy relationships, mental health and wellbeing, body image, nutrition, local/state and national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and positive parenting programs.

Resources for Cultural Diversity

Objective: Learners have a positive sense of identity and belonging, and are optimistic about their future and success in learning.

Having a positive sense of culture and identity is central to the wellbeing of learners.

For our learners to be well and succeed, they must feel that they belong, and have a safe, valued and respected place in their learning environment.

Resilience, positive self-image and self-esteem are important life-long qualities for all learners.

 

Aboriginal Education Services

AES provide services to:

  • assist schools to enable all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people to reach their learning potential, and
  • support learning opportunities for all Tasmanian learners to understand and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

The Aboriginal Education Services staff play a key role in building connections between Child and Family Learning Centres (CFLCs), schools and families of Aboriginal learners.  We work alongside teachers, student support staff and organisations providing services to Aboriginal community members.

Our CFLC and school based team is made up of Aboriginal Early Years Education Workers (AEYEWs), Aboriginal Education Workers (AEWs) and Aboriginal Education Officers (AEOs).

AEYEWs are based in Child and Family Learning Centres (CFLCs) and work closely with families of Aboriginal children from birth to five years of age to engage in early years initiatives that enhance their children’s learning.  The initiatives include Child and Family Learning Centre programs and Launching in to Learning (LiL), Pre-Kinder and Kinder programs that aim to stimulate young children’s learning and affirm family involvement to help children to become ‘school ready’.

AEOs and AEWs work with school principals, teachers and student support staff to support Aboriginal learners in the areas of engagement and participation. They also play a key role in providing knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal people, community and culture within schools to promote better cultural understanding and supportive school environments.   AEOs and AEWs provide advice, support and assistance in schools to support improvement in the educational outcomes of Aboriginal learners and raise awareness and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

Aboriginal Education Services develops PL programs to meet the needs of individual teams.  These can focus on cultural awareness training or the inclusion of Tasmanian Aboriginal history and culture in the classroom.

​​​​The Orb is a collection of online multimedia resources designed to assist the teaching of Tasmanian Aboriginal histories and cultures.

The Orb is a publicly accessible website and can be used across all learning areas and year groups.

It includes a selection of teaching materials including learning tasks, inquiry-based investigations and illustrations of practice. These materials use Australian Curriculum achievement standards, content descriptors, general capabilities, and cross-curriculum priorities to support the planning, teaching and assessment of integrated units of work.

 

English as an Additional Language

The EAL team works with schools to:

  • strengthen and promote quality teaching and learning practices to ensure that all English language learners in Tasmanian schools have the opportunity to access, participate and engage, achieving high level outcomes across the curriculum
  • establish links between home and school for EAL students and families
  • support the health and wellbeing of all EAL students by fostering cultural responsiveness amongst staff, students and the school community to ensure that all EAL students feel safe, valued and engaged in learning

 

Working it Out

Funded by the Department of Education, Working it Out works with Tasmanian schools, teachers and families to help create safe and inclusive environments for LGBTIQ+ students, staff and families.

Working it Out has developed the Valuing Diversity Framework, which takes a long-term approach to supporting schools to reduce stigma and create inclusion.

 

Support schools support the wellbeing of their students through:

  • Sensory supports to ensure students can regulate independently or with support from staff
  • Safe, calm and predictable environments which promote wellbeing and learning
  • Differentiated teaching and learning programs which are designed to meet the individual learning needs of each student
  • Rich communication systems and environments
  • Continuity in educational and behavioral strategies for students that are dual enrolled. Working in collaboration with, and building capacity in, local schools.
  • Specific social skills training programs and explicit teaching and learning with visual supports (scripts/social stories/role plays)
  • Specalised equipment
  • Professional and trained staff
  • High staff to student ratios
  • Small class sizes
  • Use of visual supports throughout the school
  • Specalised programs e.g. Zones of Regulation
  • Taking a multidisciplinary team approach
  • Working closely with parents and carers
  • Working with support staff and professionals including School Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech and Language Pathologists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists
  • SoSAFE! program used throughout the Support Schools

Student wellbeing in Support Schools is captured and recorded in a variety of ways including:

  • Communication books to communicate with parents/carers on a daily basis about issues related to wellbeing (e.g. sleep; food; health)
  • Apps to regularly communicate with parents (e.g. Seesaw)
  • Scheduled communication between school support staff (e.g. nurse; psych; social worker) and parents/carers to check on on the wellbeing of the student and family
  • Tracking wellbeing and behaviour data