Dean of Pastoral Care

How does Loreto Normanhurst positively influence the wellbeing of students?

It has long been acknowledged that wellbeing is more than the absence of physical or psychological illness. In very broad terms, wellbeing can be described as the quality of a person’s life. It can be shaped by a number of broad influences including the degree to which there is an experience of: choice, achievement of meaningful goals, positive relationships, enjoyment, personal growth, health, and safety. At Loreto Normanhurst these influencers are important when we consider the wellbeing of our students and they need to be considered in further detail.

Why is choice important for your child? Choice impacts positively on a student’s learning and engagement in school. It contributes to enhanced motivation, interest and commitment to tasks. The provision of choice supports self-regulation, self-discipline and achievement. When students have choice and opportunities to engage in activities that are of interest and value to them, their wellbeing is enhanced. The Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model’s FACE curriculum is an avenue for students to engage in choice at school and it is a good starting point for you to discuss the choices your daughter makes within the FACE curriculum.

The choices your daughter makes can lead to a strong sense of achievement contributing positively to her wellbeing, self-confidence and self-esteem. It can help to foster self-discipline and effort, encouraging your daughter to stretch herself and take risks in her learning. Achievement fosters positive emotions that enhance engagement and effort. We encourage all students to take risks in their learning, understanding that failure and mistakes help students identify the next steps in their learning, building resilience, confidence and perseverance along the way. Great entrepreneurs, scientists and musicians experience many failures before success and if we want great things for our girls, they need to develop the grit to thrive and flourish while they are young.

Positive relationships foster connectedness and feelings of belonging that are essential for wellbeing. Such relationships are characterised by constructive interactions that provide enthusiastic and genuine support to one another. Positive relationships are important because they help young people build the social and emotional skills required to nurture caring and respectful relationships. These are critical in our school and your daughter is encouraged to build these with her Advisor, Tutor, Head of House and every teacher. Positive relationships and personal efficacy matter at Loreto Normanhurst as they enhance the overall experience of the student at the school and their affinity for it.

Enjoyment, or the presence of positive emotion, can increase a student’s wellbeing. Learning occurs more effectively in the context of positive emotions. Enjoyment broadens a student’s ability to think creatively, be innovative and to problem solve more effectively. Enjoyment and engagement at school is likely to lead to a student experiencing greater satisfaction with life, enhanced learning outcomes, health and wellbeing. Enjoyment and a strong sense of affiliation with others contributes to social competence, self-esteem and a student’s sense of meaning and purpose. Our pastoral care programs, Loreto values and catholic foundations aim to assist the students to broaden their thinking and widen their outlook on life and what is possible.

Feeling physically safe and being in good health equally contribute to wellbeing. Environments that provide safety and support good health optimise learning experiences. Our pastoral programs have a pivotal role to play in connecting character development in young people to individual and collective wellbeing, which in the longer term will shape the values and attitudes of the society in which they live. The pastoral care program develops character by promoting mindfulness, curiosity, courage, resilience and leadership. We focus on developing a student voice, being active learners and developing strong character qualities that will enable students to succeed, thrive and contribute positively to society.

The Loreto values are infused in everything we do and our teachers play an important role in providing learning experiences and opportunities that develop and shape the character and wellbeing of the students in our care. Teachers are integral to flourishing students and we should never underestimate the important role they play in partnering with parents to positively influence the wellbeing of students.

 

Mr Justin Madigan

Dean of Pastoral Care