A school’s purpose is to provide education and guidance to students, as they journey through childhood to adolescence, and finish their secondary education as young adults. However, it is no secret that students are best prepared for learning when they are safe, healthy and happy. This is why Kellett School commits itself to providing a safe, supportive, respective and inclusive learning environment, that promotes and values student well-being. The term, ‘student well-being’, encompasses everything positive that a school community does to meet the personal and social needs of the student. It involves recognising, valuing and developing each student as a total and unique person.
Amongst the Kellett School staff are qualified individuals who have been entrusted with the responsibilities of managing and monitoring student well-being. Head of the team is Justin McLaughlin, who is not only a registered nurse in both Australia and Hong Kong, but he also holds a Masters Degree in Counselling (2009), a certificate for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (2011) and is a Fellow of Paediatric Nursing (2014). As Head of Student Well-being, Justin works across the whole school, line-managing Kellett’s medical staff, providing individual counselling support to both students and staff, developing social support groups, offering an integral service to the pastoral work of the House Team, as well as working with staff through the Global Citizenship Curriculum. Most recently, Justin has completed training in Positive Education and is working to embed key principles of this philosophy into the existing well-being work at Kellett. Justin is supported by Student Well-being Officer, Sue Parsons, who is a registered nurse in Hong Kong, has a certificate in Adcanced Cardiac Life Support and has extensive hospital nursing experience on her resumé.
At Kellett, there are many approaches taken to ensure that student well-being is closely monitored, maintained and managed. One such way is through the Personal Literacy lessons that form part of the Global Citizneship Curriculum. Personal Literacy focuses on Personal, Social and Health Education (e.g. bullying, cyber safety, mental health, healthy lifestyle choices, relationships, rights and responsibilities). These lessons are delivered by the Heads of House, who are supported by the Head of Student Well-being, thus enabling them to have a holistic view of the students’ pastoral needs.
One of the most key support networks available to students is through the House System. Form Tutors are given a generous amount of time with their students in order for them to carry out their role effectively. The tutors work closely with Heads of House for added support and monitoring.
Individual student well-being is monitored weekly by the Pastoral Support Group. This team comprises of the Head of Student Well-being, Deputy Head (Pastoral), Deputy Head (Inclusion), Deputy Head (Sixth Form) and Heads of House. Records are tracked and monitored of physical well-being, attendance, bullying, cyber safety issues, behavioural trends, personal circumstances requiring additional pastoral support or any issues that might need individual attention or changes to school systems or provisions. One of the key initiatives of this group is working in partnership with parents, ensuring that the systems in place at the School support this partnership while continuing to monitor the effectiveness of the pastoral support in school. The 2015 School Survey, conducted by Kirkland Rowell, reported that students considered the delivery of the pastoral support and the happiness of the child as outstanding.
Finally, the promotion of well-being at Kellett is evident through the many opportunities made available to students under the banner of ‘confidence for life’. These are split into three categories: Health, Relationships, Emotions.