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Focus on wellbeing works wonders for NSW educators

Student wellbeing is a whole-school approach at Cecil Hills High.

A planned approach to student wellbeing is key to ensuring students connect, succeed and thrive at Cecil Hills High School.

Principal Mark Sutton outlined his school’s approach to wellbeing with Secretary Mark Scott on the What works best podcast.

The school’s transition program is a priority with advanced planning taking place now for Year 5 students expecting to attend the school in 2022.

“When students are in Year 5, that’s when we select the year advisors,” Mr Sutton said.

“I think it can be very tricky … just being thrown into high school. You’ve had one teacher in Year 6, now you’ve got 10 teachers in Year 7.”

Building strong connections between students and teachers is also the focus of the school’s Connect program, which sees students have the same rollcall teacher from Year 7 through to Year 12.

“We don’t want anyone to be just a number in the system, we don’t want anyone to be lost in that,” Mr Sutton said.

One role of a Connect teacher is to track data on their students through an app specially developed in-house at the school.

The data captured includes information about lateness, behaviour, uniform, attendance, and whether students have brought their diary and device to school for learning.

“It allows our teachers to have a look at that important data that supports wellbeing, first thing in the morning,” Mr Sutton explained.

“It is essential that we focus on the basics: getting them to school, making sure they are ready for learning, making sure they are engaged in their curriculum, and making sure that they have a pathway.”

Hear more about Cecil Hills High School’s wellbeing strategies and listen to students share their thoughts on the What works best podcastExternal link.

Resources are available online for teachers to explore the What works best themes in more detail.

NSW Department of Education

This story was written by the NSW Department of Education. School News shares it with permission.

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