‘Wellbeing’ at St Joseph’s is both practice and perception; action and awareness. It is a state of being well in body, mind and spirit. Drawing from the wellsprings of our values, sense of purpose and meaning, wellbeing enlivens what matters in our lives.
The school community nurtures the students’ spiritual and religious dimensions to enable them to truly understand what it means to be alive and well as a human person.
Wellbeing is integral to learning excellence and ultimately to overall health and life success. It involves the students developing a sustainable state of positive mood and attitude, resilience and satisfaction with self, relationships and experiences. A positive sense of wellbeing supports a base for rich learning that enables our young people to flourish. This holistic view recognises the sacredness, dignity and giftedness of each person.
Wellbeing is strongest when learners are engaged within a community. At St Joseph’s students are empowered to develop as optimistic global citizens capable of articulating their beliefs.
Engaged learners have a positive sense of identity, connection with their peers and community. They are invested in learning in and beyond the classroom. This enables them to flourish and grow in confidence as curious, optimistic and inspired knowledge-builders, problem- solvers, conceptual thinkers and self-motivated learners.
At St Joseph’s learning experiences are explicitly designed to promote resilience, build self-esteem and improve social and emotional competencies, students are better placed to develop a deep understanding of their giftedness and unique potential.
St Joseph’s School is committed to providing a safe and nurturing culture for all children and young people through: Upholding the primacy of the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Empowering families, children, young people and staff to have a voice and raise concerns.
As Catholic educators, we have a moral, mission driven and legal responsibility to uphold and actively promote the wellbeing and safety of every student entrusted in our care.
Our commitment to the protection of students is enabled in nurturing, respectful and safe communities where the uniqueness and sacred dignity of every young person is celebrated and they are able to flourish in their learning and development.
Creating a child-safe school environment is a dynamic process that involves active participation and responsibility by the school, families and their communities. It is marked by collaboration, vigilance and proactive approaches across policies, procedures, curriculum and practices, as well as implementing rigorous risk-management and employment practices. Thus ensuring that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.
The buddy program is designed to assist Prep students in their transition from Preschool to Primary school. Students in Year 6 (and when required Year 5) are carefully buddied with a soon to be Prep student.
These newly formed friendships, begin during the last of our Prep transition sessions, the year before the students commence school. Students meet their buddies and spend some time getting to know each other. We find this ensures a friendly known face, on those first days of school and also assists the Prep students to make connections with our school leaders.
The buddies work together throughout the school year on a vast variety of activities. All aspects of the curriculum are linked to a buddy activity. Lunchtime picnics in the outside spaces together, supporting Reading, Writing and Mathematics, sporting activities, all building social and school community connections. Both the Prep students and Year 6 students thoroughly enjoy and look forward to ‘Buddy time’.
Student Action Council
Student Action Council (SAC) is a group of student representatives, two from each class, who have been chosen by their classmates. It is a leadership opportunity that allows them to be heard; to be the voice of the students for our school. They realise how they can have an impact on decision-making for what and how they learn. They also lead the school in our acts of kindness, fundraising and charity projects for causes they believe are important, so that they can make an impact on the lives of others within the local and wider community. They meet as a cross-age group once per fortnight. Recent fundraising events have included Vinnies’ Kitchen Homeless Community projects (Money for Swags, Christmas Presents for the Homeless, Donate a Coat, etc), National Action Day Against Violence and Bullying, Food For All ‘Kick in a Can’, Supporting MND and The Big Freeze, The Hooded Plover Bird Box Drive, ‘Clean Up Australia Day’ and during COVID lockdown, they made Rainbow Gratitude Posters to display around the local community to lift the spirits of our Essential Workers.
Student Leadership Programs
At St Joseph’s Year 6 students are provided with many opportunities to practice and build on their leadership skills.
It's important for students to experience leadership opportunities during their schooling, to learn the art of building relationships within teams, defining identities and achieving tasks effectively. It also provides an opportunity to learn to identify and display effective communication and interpersonal skills.
The student leaders organise and oversee a number of activities:
The student leaders prepare and present at fortnightly assemblies with the aim to improve their public speaking, collaborative decision making and organisational skills.
The School Captains represent our school both at school and in the broader community, including ANZAC Day memorial service and Remembrance Day. They also welcome and thank official guests and visitors to the school.
The student leaders speak at our school information evenings.
The House Captains lead their sports teams during sporting activities and sport days (athletics, cross country, swimming, gymnastics).
The leaders are part of the playground mentorship program which involves students assisting younger students during recess and lunch time.
Students leaders are provided the responsibility of setting up the playground for recess and completing an end of the day pack up of all outside sports resources and opening gates.
A multitude of student-led sports competitions are held during lunchtimes across the school year for Years 3-6 students. These include netball, basketball, volleystars and soccer. After learning about running sports events, Year 6 students run each competition of mixed-ability teams, allowing them to experience devising fixtures, learning how to umpire, calculating ladder placings and percentages, etc. Umpires reward students with a Spirit Award each match which encourages the values of being a ‘good sport’ and accepting umpiring decisions, encouraging the idea of playing in the ‘spirit of the game’ and in participation, rather than in winning. For our Year 6s, it allows for opportunities in leadership and developing responsibility and a sense of belonging and encouraging physical literacy and an active lifestyle for its participants.
Transition programs include:
Kinder to Prep
Sorrento Kinder children visit the school throughout the year prior to their enrolment at St Joseph’s. The St Joseph’s Prep children visit the Sorento Kinder to begin the welcome of new students.
Staff from St Joseph’s visit all the local Kindergartens.
Information Evenings for prospective parents occur in Term 1 and Term 4. The incoming Preps attend 4 orientation sessions.
Year 6 to Year 7
The year 6 students visit their secondary schools in the year prior to year 7. There is a partnership program with Padua College that involves excursions and incursions with Padua College Students and St Joseph’s year 6 students
Year level to Year level
Each Thursday afternoon in Term 4, all students spend time in the Learning Spaces that they will be in the following year. They get to know their new classmates, participate in new learning experiences and get to know staff in their new year level.
Whole School Orientation
Whole school orientation is held each December for all year levels – Kinder to Year 7
Extra Curricula Activities
Lego Robotics, Choir, Master Art Classes, Dance, Lunchtime Sports activities lead by student leaders in 5 /6, Garden Club, The Green Gang, Sustainability activities, Dolphin Research Institute, Beach and Boat Days, Incursions and Excursions, Piano and Guitar lessons, Lunchtime library, Intraschool and Interschool sports and activities.
GRIN (Getting Ready for Intervention in Numeracy), Initia-Lit (Prep to Year 2) Multi-lit and Mini-Lit (Year 1 and 2), Reading Tutor (Year 3 to 6) Play is The Way (Whole school Social and Emotional Program), Lego Robotics, Swim squad, Gymnastics Program