One of my favourite St Hilda’s values is Belonging. I truly believe that when a person feels they belong in a community they feel safe to be themselves. It’s the foundation of creating an environment to enhance wellbeing.
Recently we put a spotlight on mental health and the importance of checking in on one another as part of RUOK week. At the assembly, our Student Wellbeing Committee took us through four important steps to action if we see signs (or have that gut instinct) that someone is not travelling well. We need to ask RUOK, listen, encourage action, and check back in. Our senior students wore yellow ribbons on their blazers on Thursday to reinforce the power and impact that conversation and listening can have in our community and ran lunchtime activities in the Great Court. Our Junior School students ran activities on Thursday with stories in the library, mindful music, and colouring events, and created acrostic friendship poems.
Championing wellness in schools and workplaces is an important global movement. Checking in on each other is our new norm. At St Hilda’s, we encourage a check-in at the start of the day, in a Belonging lesson or at the start of a meeting. It’s becoming a ritual that forms part of our daily interactions.
However, checking in on each other is just one part of a bigger commitment to wellbeing at St Hilda’s. It’s now a compulsory part of our school curriculum (our Belonging program), recognising that an investment in this area promotes a happier, healthier, and more productive community and society.
We all know that COVID has had an effect on our wellbeing, and many of us are rediscovering a balance after such a turbulent and unsettled period. At St Hilda’s, we have increased our investment in time, education, and resources to enhance our community’s wellbeing. Feedback prompted by student and staff conversations, research, and investigations into what we were doing well, and what we could improve have guided our intentions. Developing a united language and understanding of wellbeing at St Hilda’s was our first step, along with recognising that St Hilda’s culture is collectively owned and shaped by all stakeholders in our community.
We were united in recognising that we ALL have a responsibility to play a positive part in shaping our culture of care.
Over the last 12 months, students, and staff, have collaboratively brought together a Culture of Care Framework founded on our school pillars – Connect, Thrive, Shine, Evolve and Initiate. These pillars are deeply embedded in St Hilda’s Reimagined, our school’s future blueprint.
To read more about our philosophy, click here.
St Hilda’s Culture of Care extends beyond the classroom and across our school community, providing everyone connected with our school the tools to build healthy, respectful relationships that enhance their wellbeing and that of others. At the heart of our culture of care is belonging. We believe that this school value underpins social connectedness, the ability to ask for help and the strength to know someone cares.