Woodleigh Wellbeing in 2022
Hello Woodleigh families,
Welcome to the new school year. Even though it may feel like a lifetime ago, I trust that the break was relaxing and rejuvenating for all.
I am pleased to begin the year by sharing news of additional resources and exciting initiatives in the wellbeing space in 2022 to support students, families and staff.
I want to invite you to be informed and curious, promote our individual & collective wellbeing, and engage in what's on offer for us all to flourish.
"Today, parents face a multitude of modern-day challenges in raising happy, well and resilient young people. Whilst there is a great deal of information available, this can often be confusing and overwhelming for parents looking for guidance.
SchoolTV addresses this as a new online resource designed to empower you as parents with credible and sound information with realistic, practical ongoing support strategies."
– Michael Carr-Greg
On SCHOOLTV, you'll find various topics, each published monthly with comprehensive videos from leading specialists and organisations.
You'll also find Fact Sheets, suggested books, apps, websites and much more. And because SchoolTV is independent, we've pulled in some great content from organisations such as Beyond Blue, ReachOut, HeadSpace and others.
I trust you get great value from every edition and happy, safe parenting!
To get you started, I have selected a couple of links that may be pertinent to explore.
Starting Year 7
When a child starts high school, they are suddenly becoming one of the youngest and newest kids at school all over again — a small fish in a big pond! The transition between Year 6 and Year 7 is one of the biggest jumps in a child's life and is a significant milestone. This can quickly become a daunting time for students and parents alike.
Starting Year 7 poses many new challenges, but it also offers exciting opportunities. It comes with a number of mixed feelings. Unfortunately for many Year 6 students, 2021 was marred with school closures and remote learning due to the pandemic, and the overall impact is still unknown. Studies have shown that the mental health of this age group already appeared to be deteriorating before Coronavirus hit, and it is expected that cases of anxiety and depression will be on the rise.
For many students, regular orientation activities at the end of 2021 were less than ideal. Therefore, many students may be feeling a little bit more anxious than usual about their expectations of starting Year 7 and finding their place in the "big pond".
As your child grasps new skills and engages in new study practices, parents need to be supportive and realistic in their expectations. Parents and students can easily become overwhelmed during this transition, but You can implement a number of strategies to start things off on the right foot!
Wellbeing Checklist (Primary & Secondary Age Students)
During this time of Coronavirus, many of us have experienced a variety of emotions ranging from fear to anxiety. All of these are considered to be normal and natural responses to any challenging situation that can often result in our minds telling us all kinds of scary, "what if" kind of stories.
This can be especially true for our young people, for whom uncertainty and disruption are less than ideal. You may have observed increased anxiety & depressive symptoms affecting their mood, thinking, and behaviour. Therefore, it is vitally important for adult carers to remain vigilant for any signs of distress, even though your child may not have any prior history of a mental health disorder. Early intervention, diagnosis and treatment have never been more critical.
If you have any concerns relating to your child's mental health, you may wish to consider using the assessment tool provided by Beyond Blue. The checklist aims to measure a broad range of social, emotional or behavioural difficulties your child may be experiencing.
Click here to access the Beyond Blue Assessment Tool.
If you have further concerns about your child's wellbeing, please get in touch with staff at your campus for additional information or seek medical or professional help.
Introducing P.E.P. Talks
(Parent Engagement Program)
Wednesday 2nd March 2022 @ 7pm (via ZOOM)
In 2021 Chanel Contos instigated an online petition calling for young women to come forward if subjected to sexual assault while still at school. The petition subsequently went viral, with thousands of young women signing or sharing stories that, in many cases, were graphic, disturbing and deeply upsetting.
Chanel's petition calls for sex education, particularly consent education, to be taught at a younger age in schools. The observation is that concepts of consent are being introduced too late, with many young people not understanding the boundaries of consent – resulting in sexual assault or rape. This broad and strong call for change has made many schools reassess their sex and life education curriculum to help protect young people across the nation.
Parents also need to start having conversations around consent sooner rather than later, as some teens experience their first sexual encounter well before the subject matter is delivered. It is not enough for parents or carers to assume that your teenager knows or understands what consent means and the implications surrounding it. They need to understand boundaries to respect both themselves and their partners.
In the lead up to International Women's Day, Chanel will join us to share insights into her call for action and offer parents guidance around normalising the topic of consent to ensure all young people experience healthy and respectful relationships. Book your ticket now.
Yours in promoting & supporting positive student wellbeing,
Director of Counselling and Wellbeing