St Michael’s has successfully created a safe, stimulating and secure learning environment. Students are strongly connected to their peers and teachers, and not only are parents confident that their children are safe and happy, they know the school cares about and understands their children. The school has programs in place to address bullying and students are able to articulate strategies learned in these programs.
At St Michael’s, we are committed to upholding transparent Child Safety Standards. As a result, our approach towards the protection of children is all encompassing. We are resolutely committed to ensuring that all those engaged in working with our school community promote the inherent dignity of children and young people, and their fundamental right to be respected and nurtured in a safe school environment. This approach is grounded in a Catholic tradition which celebrates the sanctity and unique dignity of each human being.
St Michael’s is a Restorative Practices accredited school. As part of the whole school approach to student wellbeing, all children are expected to follow school wide expectations and understand that everyone in our school community has rights and responsibilities.
When speaking with our students about their behaviour, we are committed to the use of a restorative approach. This approach:
- promotes awareness of others, responsibility and empathy;
- promotes reaffirming relationships through programs that teach social skills and emotional literacy;
- involves direct participation of those affected by misconduct in its resolution;
- promotes repairing relationships rather than behaviour management;
- provides consistency; and
- is concerned with establishing or re-establishing relationships in which each person’s rights to equal dignity, concern and respect are satisfied.
School Wide Positive Behaviour Support
In 2015, St Michael’s commenced a five-year framework called School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS). This framework is based on improving classroom and school climates, decreasing reactive management, maximising proactive management, improving support for students, and integrating academic and behaviour initiatives. It is a continuum of evidence-based interventions to improve the academic and behavioural outcomes for all students. SWPBS ensures all staff and students understand these school wide expectations, and that there is an explicit approach to behaviour management throughout the school.
At St Michael’s, our school wide, aka SMASH, expectations are:
- Stay Safe
- Make a Difference
- Act Responsibly
- Show Respect
- Help Others
Our SMASH expectations aim to offer a safe and harmonious environment for learning where it is recognised that we are responsible for our own actions. Parents/caregivers are encouraged to spend some time talking about these expectations with their children and how they might translate to the home environment. This will continue to make St Michael’s a safer and happier school for all.
Student Wellbeing Initiatives
St Michael’s has put in place initiatives to maintain the wellbeing of our students:
- Circle Time
- Better Buddies
- SMASH Awards
At St Michael’s, we offer several support programs to cater for the wide range of students’ needs. These programs include:
- Individual Needs
- Reading Recovery
- Pastoral Care/Counselling
- Early Maths Understanding (EMU)
- Nirodah (onsite child psychologist)
- Multi-Sensory Learning Support
St Michael’s also has access to the resources available at the East Central Zone of Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM). These resources include general curriculum consultancy advice and personnel who provide professional assistance with education programs for children with special needs such as speech pathology, educational psychology and individual needs assessment.
At St Michael’s, student voice is encouraged and valued. Student leadership is therefore emphasised and prevalent throughout the school. Assembly, line-up and meditation are all student led and there are also several opportunities for students in Prep to Year 6 to hold a leadership responsibility in an official capacity. In these roles, students are able to strengthen their mentoring and interpersonal skills with their peers, staff, parents and the wider community. By providing many pathways for students to lead and be heard, students can feel more confident and equipped for their transition into Year 7.
Towards the end of the year, all Year 5 students are eligible and encouraged to apply for a Year 6 School Leadership position. School Leaders are active representatives of the school who embody the St Michael’s vision, uphold the school wide expectations and in turn, set an example for fellow students. School Leaders also participate in additional school activities such as representing St Michael’s at Leadership Days, Church events, Open Days and some formal functions, facilitating Assembly and SRC meetings, and leading school sporting occasions. In 2017, St Michael’s leadership positions pertain to School, House, Student Wellbeing, Social Justice, Media and Communications, The Arts, and Environment and Sustainability.
Student Representative Council
Each term, two students from each class are selected by their peers to form the Student Representative Council (SRC). Representatives speak on behalf of their class at fortnightly meetings which are overseen by our Student Wellbeing Leader. These meetings give students an opportunity to discuss issues arising around the school and allow them to make informed decisions about their school environment.