Dear Members of the Mordialloc College Community,
With the morning air becoming chillier, days shorter, deciduous trees beginning to colour and lose their leaves, we are reminded Term 1 is nearing its end and Autumn is in full swing. It has been a big start to the school year, a very full term for staff and students alike so we look forward to a few weeks of rest and recovery coming up.
As Director of Wellbeing I am always mindful of all that has been happening at the beginning of the school year, working together to support our students feel safe, connected, engaged and happy at school.
Students are fortunate to have a wide range of lunchtime programs in which to participate. Japanese, French, debating, gardening and chess clubs are just a few of the options available for students to connect with their peers.
Students are now fortunate to have two breakfast groups operating at school. Thanks to Georgia Davey, Year 10 Coordinator, and donations from Bakers Delight, the Senior School students can enjoy breakfast in the Senior Centre each Monday before school. Year 7-12 students are invited to join the original Thursday Brekkie group in Wellbeing. This is facilitated by Wellbeing Team members Harry and Michael, and all students are invited and welcome to join in breakfast and good times together.
Hailey Pratt, our newest member of the Wellbeing Team, is engaging with Kingston Youth Services to explore opportunities for our students. Planning for a Year 7 lunchtime group is underway and we are hoping to have it roll out early in term two. Harry And Michael lead the Year 7 and 8 lunchtime Card Games group in the Learning Centre, with a growing group of students enjoying this activity to link with other students over a range of games played. These activities, and others across the school, provide great transition support, not only for our Year 7s as they continue to settle into their new school, but all students. Mel Raike, our Mental Health Practitioner in partnership with staff member Krystle Woodbridge, is always looking for opportunities to enhance the education experience for our Koori students through a range of different activities including engagement with our Koori Education Support officers and visiting the local Gathering Places.
Our Secondary School Nurse, Pamela Johnson, and Youth Counsellor, Hailey, are ready to welcome any students who would like to join the Respect Group in the new wellbeing space – known now as the Gathering Space. This group is for our LGBTIQ students and their allies. They are busy setting goals and an action plan for the remainder of the year, including some whole-school events such as IDAHOBIT Day. To ensure this continues to be a safe space for all who attend, students who are interested in joining with the Respect Group team are invited to email Wellbeing@mc.vic.edu.au so we can have a brief conversation with students about the group prior to joining.
The swimming carnival held recently was a wonderful time to celebrate the Mordialloc College community. Competition in the pool, karaoke and fashion on the fields helped to make this a great day of celebration all round.
We are always looking for new opportunities to engage external organisations that align with our goals to strengthen student wellbeing. Project Rocket presented to the Year 7 cohort earlier in the term. Through their workshops Project Rocket empowers students to challenge bullying instead of standing by watching. We also engaged the services of Toolbox for our Year 8 students. The Toolbox team takes psychological tools for everyday life and makes them relatable for secondary school students through interactive workshops. Students provided very positive feedback in response to the delivery of both these initiatives.
A new program we will be introducing in term two is the Raise Mentoring Program. This program provides one on one mentoring by trained volunteers to a group of selected Year 8 students who have expressed interest to be a mentee during Term 2 and 3. We are excited about this new experience for students.
While our school wellbeing data indicates we are generally sitting above like schools in student wellbeing we are also critically aware we are always seeking opportunities for improvement. There has been a deliberate focus in leadership and Learning Area meetings about what we can continue to improve, to develop and maintain positive teaching and learning relationships and, as important, positive relationships amongst peers.
The Wellbeing Team presented at the staff workshop this week to ensure all staff were aware of and able to action the range of processes we have for staff to respond to any student wellbeing concerns they have noticed or become aware of in their role.
If you would like to have a conversation with myself or a member of the wellbeing team please email Wellbeing@mc.vic.edu.au so we can arrange a time to chat about the range of supports available to ensure your child is feeling safe, happy and experiences a real sense of belonging at Mordialloc College.
Director Student Wellbeing