Academics have long highlighted the intrinsic links between student wellbeing and improved academic, social and emotional success of adolescents. As 2020 presents schools and families with the challenge of remote learning, managing student wellbeing and promoting positive mental health outcomes requires a strong online program. At Siena, we have seen this as an opportunity to continue to provide our students with the emotional skills they need to flourish on their educational journeys, build resilience against adversity, provide them with opportunities to seek help for early intervention, and remain connected to peers whilst learning in lockdown.
In the first phase of remote learning, the Wellbeing Team at Siena launched a series of wellness and spirituality resources to support our students and families while at home.
These resources are updated weekly and focus on four key areas of wellness: empathy, gratitude, mindfulness and motivation. Recently a series of meditations based on compassion have been uploaded along with breathing techniques, a random act of kindness tracker, tips to encourage students to remain open to new experiences, staying motivated by aiming for your own personal pinnacles and steps to study success while learning from home.
We continue to run weekly Wellness lessons for all students in Years 7 to 12. Junior House Groups (Year 7 to 9 students) complete these lessons on Mondays during Period 6. In addition to providing students with an opportunity to check in with a teacher in a safe environment, each Wellness lesson has a focus to support individual student wellbeing. This term, junior students have looked at the effect of nutrition, exercise and sleep routines on their own motivation. Later in the term they will complete a mindset check-in, a lesson on sustainability, a gratitude activity and will have the opportunity to celebrate their individual successes.
Senior House Groups (Year 10 to 12 students) complete wellness activities in a flexible format through the Year 12 Enrichment program, with their House Group teachers, or in a student-directed environment. There are many varied activities available to our senior students ranging from individual goal setting to help students remain motivated, mental health check-ins, meditation videos and audio clips and links to resources from Beyond Blue, The Kids Help Line and My Digital Health. In addition to this, our Heads of Student Wellbeing will continue to run House Assemblies throughout the term to foster connection and relationships between students.
All parents are welcome to access the resources on the Wellness and Spirituality tile of Siena Central. We hope that they assist families with initiating conversations around positive wellbeing at home as well as supporting our mission to care for each of our students.