In the rapidly changing world around us it is vital to respond to the needs of our students in a holistic manner by offering a range of evidence based wellbeing strategies and programs, that enhance resilience, promote optimism, and develop skills to cope with the expected and unexpected challenges of everyday life, in this ever-changing world in which we live.
Woodleigh School offers a whole school approach to student wellbeing that purposefully caters to the needs of all students. We respond to the needs of our community as identified by referral and assessment processes and by adopting evidence-based practices that include the social, psychological, cognitive and physical development of our students. It is our aim and firm intention to maximise each student’s capacity to flourish, foster resilience and reach their full potential in our contemporary teaching and learning environment that is founded on the 3Rs.
Our mission is:
To promote and support positive student wellbeing by building resilience and the personal capacity to meet challenges confidently, now and in the future.
Evidence-based data that includes:
- Student, staff & parent feedback
- The growing challenges of mental health in young people
- The role of school culture in encouraging help-seeking behaviour whilst developing and strengthening resilience
- The belief that it is the right of every child to know and understand how to flourish
- Current trends in wellbeing that best fits the contemporary learning environment of Woodleigh
To achieve this, we will:
- Provide a clear referral pathway for staff and families to access appropriate wellbeing support.
- Champion evidence-based programs and frameworks that promote positive education skills to strengthen student resilience
- Work with all staff to build professional capacity to respond to the wellbeing needs of students within a contemporary teaching & learning environment
- Promote a culture within the school community that encourages and normalises help-seeking behaviour and the wellbeing of all (including staff and families)
- Develop evidence-based, positive programs that respond to the developmental needs of all of our students.
L to R: Henry Bell, Donna Nairn, Alison Behrend and Aviv Gerszonovicz.
Donna Nairn – Director of Counselling
Donna is an experienced educator, counsellor, and creative arts therapist who has worked with young people for over 25 years in schools, community settings in Australia and abroad. She is passionate about the relationship between wellbeing and the arts and believes that student wellbeing is about supporting and promoting optimism, advocating and articulating the needs for and with students and their families in a manner that demonstrates mutual respect, understanding and collaboration. Donna knows that student wellbeing is intrinsic to developing students’ ability to foster resilience, fulfil potential and flourish. With this purpose in mind, Donna considers herself to be a lifelong learner who continues to enhance her own knowledge and capabilities through mentoring, ongoing professional development and direct experience.
Henry Bell is a psychologist, a member of the APS and a member of the college of Educational and Developmental Psychologists. Prior to joining the Woodleigh team, Henry has worked for the Department of Education, with primary and secondary students, their parents, teachers and support staff. As a psychologist, Henry is able to provide a range of services to support the development and learning of students, including counselling, assessment and guidance. Outside of work, Henry enjoys exercising, photography and reading.
Alison Behrend is an educational and developmental psychologist who works across Penbank and Woodleigh campuses. She has worked in the education setting for the past nine years, including working as a secondary teacher and as a psychologist at a number of primary schools. Alison completed her clinical placement at Woodleigh in 2013, before joining the staff in 2015. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, parents and families, and has a strong interest in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in children and adolescents. She is experienced in supporting the social, emotional and learning development of children and adolescents. At Penbank, she is working as a key member of the KidsMatter team to implement programs and initiatives to encourage and promote positive mental health in our primary-aged students.
Aviv Gerszonovicz is our Minimbah Campus Counsellor and also a counsellor at Woodleigh Senior Campus, having commenced in 2007. His background and expertise includes Education and Creative Arts Therapy. Aviv provides individuals with a safe and supportive environment and adopts a therapeutic approach which is student centred, strength based and caters to meet the needs of each individual.
If you wish to access our wellbeing team please contact your child’s classroom teacher/ tutor as a first point of contact.
Additional support service contacts:
Kids Help Line: 1800 331 859
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Grief line: 9935 7400