It has certainly not been the August we had all hoped for here at St Dominic’s College. Staff, students and families are facing higher than normal levels of stress and anxiousness as we have remained in lockdown for the entirety of Term 3.
Our Year 12 students have certainly found it difficult to maintain their workloads and motivation, as has everyone to one degree or another. It is helpful however to acknowledge that our current situation is complex and uncertain and all of us need to understand that feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, fearful and stressed are normal and we need to look after the wellbeing of each member of our families and community as well as ourselves.
With R U OK? Day approaching on the 9th September, it is important to take on board some of the following tips to promote wellbeing.
- Maintain as much as possible social connections and supports: Organise social Zoom conferences with friends, family, fellow students and colleagues. Our Homeroom meet ups each Wednesday morning during the month of August have been crucial in helping to maintain these social connections.
- Embrace a growth mindset: Allow time and space for making mistakes and trying new things. Our Rivalympics Challenges have provided opportunities for our staff and students to try new things. Even Mr Ronchetti cooked pasta from scratch which was a great success.
- Maintain a routine: It is important that when we are working from home that we maintain boundaries between our personal life and school / work life as well as include physical activity and healthy lifestyle practices. Our College Wellbeing Coordinator and the SRC have been putting together a series of wellbeing activities each week in the Waterford Wednesday CANVAS page that have been promoting the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’.
- Know where to seek support: There a numerous places to seek support during this time where up-to-date information and great resources can be accessed. These include Beyond Blue, Kidshelpline, The Black Dog Institute and Reachout.com.
During the month of August the Pastoral and House staff have been trying to promote wellbeing, engagement with students and positivity in so many different ways. The Rivalympics Challenges each week have seen some great entries from students and staff and there have been demonstrations of skills that we didn’t now existed. These challenges have included juggling, handstands, golf putts and some Olympic torch creations.
Ms Jackie Knowles (Year 12 Coordinator) and myself wanted to try and bring some joy to the Year 12 students during an uncertain trial examination period. It was decided that a small gift bag with a message of positivity might help brighten their days. So
numerous hand made juggles were constructed and eventually a gift bag was sent out to each of our Year 12 students. The juggles were symbolic of having to keep everything in motion at this current time.
One of the things I have come to realise during this time, is that St Dominic’s College really is a great community and one where people really do try to look out for one another.
Acting Director of Pastoral Care
Lockdown is a tricky time for us all. It can affect the boundaries we would usually have with our use of technology. Kirra and the Safe on Social team have written a wonderful post that can be found here. I have summarised a few helpful ideas below:
- Parents and children make an agreement on how much time should be spent on tech for schoolwork and leisure.
- Try to have tech free dinner to allow for family connection time.
- Discuss and establish expectations in terms of behaviour and social values online.
- Use “safe search” options – found in settings of your browser.
- Make time to engage in screen free activities with your child such as card games, puzzles, outdoor activities.
- Ask your children to teach you their favourite game, this may be a new opportunity to connect with each other.
- Know how and where to access help if you child experiences severe cyber bullying, image-based abuse, illegal and harmful content or adult abuse through www.esafety.gov.au. If the issue involves threats of harm, grooming or exploitation, contact your local police or Crimestoppers immediately.
Each week students can access age appropriate activities targeting wellbeing. Look for The 5 ways to Wellbeing on CANVAS, the College website and our socials.
Take care and stay safe!