Primary Welfare Officer (PWO)
Our PWO is teacher, Kath Gilbert. Kath works as our school PWO every Friday and, with the help of staff and parent groups, coordinates all of the Wellbeing Programs at the school. Kath is also a wonderful resource for parents and carers to talk about Wellbeing issues that may be affecting their lives.
School Chaplain, Marina Gardiner, works one-on-one with higher needs students addressing issues like mental health, social connectedness and family and friendship concerns. Marina also runs the SPARC program which helps students with developing strategies to increase confidence and social skills. SPARC is held in small groups that changes every term.
This unique program sees adult volunteers working side-by-side with a student. Activities can include cooking, craft, building and reading – all designed to build skills in conversation, resilience,community connectedness, confidence and self-esteem. Volunteers are from the local community and can include members not directly related to the school along with parents, grandparents and past parents.
Breakfast Club is held every Friday from 8.30 – 9am and all are welcome. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and volunteers to connect and chat over a healthy meal. Local businesses including Pandesal, Meeniyan IGA, Meeniyan Food Store and Meen Feedz have embraced the concept and donate much of the food and drink. National company Kelloggs are also on board.
Organised and hosted by the students themselves, our annual whole school Wellbeing Day features activities that promote and raise awareness of key issues such as personal health welfare, happiness, comfort and emotional health. In the past, students have organised mindfulness sessions, aromatherapy and massage workshops. This whole school approach to positive mental health and wellbeing is a great way to instil resilience and coping skills in children from a young age.
Social Emotional Learning
Social and emotional learning (SEL) can help students learn the competencies and skills they need to build resilience and effectively manage their emotions, behaviour and relationships with others. SEL is integrated in the Tarwin Valley Primary School curriculum across all grades and features :
recognising and managing their own feelings
We use a number of evidence based programs tied in with class routines such as mindfulness sessions and Circle Time.