How Australia Is Keeping Student Wellbeing at the Center of Education
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
Not only is the above quote one of my favourite of all time, when I was a teacher it was my daily mantra. The quote was written on the back of the clipboard I carried with me as a constant reminder to me, and my students, about the lasting impacts that the way we interact with others will be remembered. Whether or not students remembered what they learned in my classroom (I sure hoped they did), it was more important for students to remember the feeling of the positive atmosphere that I tried very hard to create.
Like all educators, I wanted my students to feel welcomed in my classroom. I wanted students to know that I cared about them both as a student and as a human being. I believe that schools worldwide will be much more positive, and in turn successful, places if they embrace the words of Maya Angelou. The Australian Department of Education outlines how they have put these shared beliefs into action through The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework.
The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework
The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework was launched in October 2018 as a guiding document for how Australian schools should create a strong foundation for learning. The framework is designed to create positive school communities that optimize student education and ultimately lead students to accomplish their life goals.
The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework not only aligns with the Australian Curriculum, but it affirms all children’s right to education, safety, and wellbeing as established by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. By espousing the principles outlined in this document, the Framework strives to create inclusive school communities for all students and their families through explicit teaching and the adoption of evidence-backed practices for all of their five key elements.
The Five Elements of the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework
The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework consists of five interconnected elements: leadership, inclusion, student voice, partnerships, and support. These elements have specifically been chosen to strengthen trust amongst the entire school community and increase connectedness to create an environment in which all students feel safe and are set up for success.
When schools prioritize the development of these elements they are not just showing that they care deeply about their school community and student education, they are creating a web of mutually beneficial relationships that will deliver longterm benefits to the entire Australian society.
To further understand the positive effects The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework can have on student education, let’s first take a closer look at each of the five elements.
School leaders should play an active role in building a learning environment in which the entire school community feels safe, respected, and connected. This can be done through the creation and communication of school-wide policies that promote the safety and wellbeing of all stakeholders.
All staff, students, and families should feel connected to the school community and contribute to building a welcoming school culture. This includes recognizing and valuing the diversity of the community and establishing practices that foster respect and cohesion.
Students should be active in their education and provided with the opportunity to make decisions about matters that will impact them. Time in school should be allocated to the development of students’ social and emotional skills specifically related to resilience and safety.
Families and community members should be viewed as partners in supporting student education and wellbeing. This includes building collaborative relationships with families and a mutual understanding of the shared role they play in student education.
The school community should have an understanding of how positive behaviour and support effective learning. To support all students, schools should develop a school-wide, tiered approach to meet the needs of their diverse community.
To support the implementation of The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework, the Education Council has created the Student Wellbeing Hub, a website in which members of the school community can find helpful documents detailing effective practices for all elements of The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework, as well as an interactive School Wellbeing Check that provides a snapshot of how your school is doing in implementing such practices.
Online E-learning Programs that Support The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework
It can be overwhelming for a school leader to objectively evaluate how their school is doing in implementing The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework and decide which actions they should take to improve. Luckily, Leaders of Evolution has a variety of online e-learning programs that promote student wellbeing and perfectly complement the goals of the framework.
Leaders of Evolution’s online e-learning programs are designed to increase student leadership skills through the combination of online learning and class discussion. All online e-learning programs align with the Australian Curriculum and develop students’ social and emotional skills through lessons about self-awareness and resilience. This directly supports The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework’s key element of student voice.
In addition to directly supporting the goals of various pillars of The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework, Leaders of Evolution online e-learning programs are developed with the same mission in mind – to support students in reaching their fullest potential through a positive and collaborative learning experience. Together, your school and Leaders of Evolution can create an inclusive and supportive environment for student education that leaves a positive lasting impression on all participants, not simply because of the skills they learned, but by the way, the learning environment made them feel.
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