From the Director of Wellbeing, Matt Porter
As the year draws to a close, students and staff begin looking forward to the holidays ahead. It is an important time to take a break from school and to relax and recharge the batteries by spending time with loved ones doing the things that we enjoy. It is also a time to reflect upon the school year and celebrate the successes of the implementation of the College’s new Wellbeing model. I am incredibly proud of the way in which staff, students, families and the broader community have embraced such a significant structural and cultural shift. I would like to thank you all for your contributions and I am looking forward to another exciting year ahead.
In his presentation earlier this year Dr Andrew Fuller referred to the CPR of wellbeing as the cornerstone of a safe, supportive and healthy school community.
C – Connect
The new House system has enabled the boys to form some meaningful relationships with other students not only in their year level but across all ages from Years 5-12. The vertical nature of the support systems in place means that the Wellbeing Mentor, Head of House, student and their families can work collaboratively together throughout their Waverley journey. Cherish the opportunities of this festive season to spend time together, take a chance to unplug technology look away from our devices and really connect with those we love and care about.
Social connectedness and a sense of belonging is one of the biggest protective factors in terms of optimising mental health and wellbeing. The wellbeing curriculum provides a purpose built educational resource designed to help develop skills in self awareness, social awareness, self regulation and social management. In other words we are teaching our boys to better care for themselves and better care for each other and the environment that we all share. By all means, have some fun celebrate with those you care about but please do so safely. Look after yourselves and look after each other and return happy and healthy in 2018.
All of our students have a right to feel safe, secure, supported and respected. Our 2017 student leaders articulated a vision for Waverley College – “Strength Through Diversity”. It is this unique blend of personal difference that makes our school so special. By respecting the individual rights, talents, ideas, skills, attributes, perspectives and experiences that each of our boys contributes we can continue to build upon the solid foundations laid throughout the school’s history. We don’t have to always agree with one another, but learning how to disagree respectfully takes real practice.
“Give to the poor in handfuls…” (Blessed Edmund Rice). By standing in solidarity with those less fortunate or those in need this year, our boys have shown exemplary virtues. Time and time again our boys put themselves out there to make a meaningful contribution to those we care about and to the world at large. The wellbeing centre is currently filled to capacity as the Tevlin student leaders and student advocacy group drive this year’s Matthew Talbot Christmas Appeal. Once again the Waterford campus students did exceptionally well fundraising through their annual walkathon and last Friday Waverley College was extremely well represented at the Randwick White Ribbon march to help end violence against women. In wellbeing mentor groups next week each boy will construct their own Kindness Advent Calendar setting a task to do one small deed each day in the lead up to Christmas. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?’ Martin Luther King, Jr.