Student Wellbeing

Child Safety

Stella Maris takes child safety very seriously. The school collaboratively developed a Child Safety Policy and Code of Conduct recognising that the responsibility of child safety sits with the whole community.
Our policies can be found below and we request all volunteers to sign a Volunteering at Stella Maris form before assisting at school.

Positive Behaviour

School Wide Positive Behaviour Support Program

The purpose of the School Wide Positive Behaviour Support Program at Stella Maris is to maximise individual, academic and social growth by fostering and supporting respectful, responsible and resilient behaviours in our community.

SWPBS is about:

  • Emphasising and teaching positive behaviour expectations
  • Improving classroom and school climate
  • Decreasing reactive management
  • Maximising academic achievement
  • Integrating academic and behaviour initiatives

Our guidelines for success are RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY and RESILIENCE across the school.

A Behaviour Matrix is used in each classroom to explicitly teach our expectations.

Students with individual differences

CECV NCCD Information Sheet for Parents, Carers and Guardians

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) On School Students with Disability

What is the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data?

Schools must now complete the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) every year. It counts the number of students who receive additional adjustments or “help” at school because of a disability. The NCCD helps governments plan for the needs of students with disability.

Who is counted in the data collection?

To count a student in the NCCD, schools must think through some key questions:

  1. Is the student getting help at school so that they can take part in education on the same basis as other students?
  2. Is the help given because if a disability? The word ‘disability’ comes from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and it can include many students?
  3. Has the school talked to you or your child about the help that they provide?
  4. Has the school kept records about the help they provide, the student needs and the reasons that the student needs this help? The school will need to keep copies of tests, student work, assessments, records of meetings, medical reports or other paperwork and information about how the student’s learning is moving along over time?
    Once the school decides that the student should be counted in the NCCD, they then choose a disability group and one of four levels of help that has been given to the student.

What does word ‘disability’ mean in the NCCD?

In the NCCD the word ‘disability’ comes from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). There are four types of disability that the school can choose from; sensory, cognitive, social-emotional and physical.

Many students that need help at school can be counted in the NCCD. For example, students with learning problems, e.g. specific learning disability or reading difficulty (sometimes called dyslexia), health problems (e.g. epilepsy or diabetes), physical disability (e.g. cerebral palsy), vision/hearing loss and social-emotional problems (e.g. selective mutism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety).

Letters from doctors or specialists can be very helpful for schools as they plan how to support students with their learning. Schools do not need to have these letters before they can count a student in NCCD. Teachers can use all that they know about the child’s learning and the records that they have collected over time to decide if a student can be counted in the NCCD.

What sort of help does the school give students?

Students need different types of help at school. Some students need a little help sometimes while other students need a lot of help nearly all the time. The type of help given depends on the needs of the student. The help can include changes to the school buildings or grounds (e.g. ramps or things like special desks or chairs), extra teacher help in classes, special learning programs, changes to the work they give the student or extra adult help.

All schools have been counting students in the NCCD since 2015. The government will use the NCCD data as part of the funding to schools.
What will the school need to know about my child for the NCCD?
Schools work together with families to understand the needs of each child. It is helpful if families give their child’s teacher a copy of any letters or reports they have. The letters or reports will help the school understand the child and the help that they might need. Letters from doctors, psychologists, speech pathologists, doctor, and occupational therapists etc. can be very helpful for schools. These reports along with information that the teacher has (i.e. school-based tests, your child’s work and learning plans) helps the school to understand and meet the student’s needs.

What happens to the NCCD data? Who will have the NCCD information?

Each school principal must check the NCCD data in August of each year. The school will give the information to the Catholic Education Office. The school will work with the Catholic Education Office to make sure that the NCCD data is OK before they give the data to the government. The government will not be given the names of any students or any letters or records. Please ask your school for their privacy policy if you need to know more.

Does the school need me to agree with them about counting my child in the NCCD?
Changes were made to the law (Australian Education Act 2013 and Australian Education Regulation 2013). Schools do not need you to agree to let them count a child in the NCCD. You cannot ask the school not to count your child.

Where can I find out more?

If you have questions, you can ask your child’s school for help. You can find out more by looking at these links:

  • NCCD national website
  • Disability Standards for Education 2005
  • Australian Government Department of Education – NCCD

Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices is the process used to help children to learn to manage conflict and to build their relationships. A restorative culture is one where there is no blame, respect, forgiveness, the opportunity to make better choices and move forward. Restorative Practices complements our Christian ethos of forgiveness.

Restorative Practices is facilitated through the use of a series of questions which assist the children to become more aware of how their behaviour impacts others. It helps the children to develop a sense of responsibility and a feeling of empathy towards others.

Some of these questions include; “What happened?”, “What were you thinking when…”, “Who else was affected…?”, “How can you make things better?”, “What can you do differently next time?”. The children at various points may need to repeat what the other person has said to encourage their own active listening and to empower those who have been hurt.

In Restorative Practices we are working with the children to help them to develop more effective social skills and improved behaviour management. At times this may need to be supported with parent involvement where positive change seems to be resistant. Working together can be very powerful and usually encourages the children to make more positive and respectful choices.

Restorative Practices often occurs on the school yard where most conflict occurs at the point of need. Further conversations may occur at various other points throughout the day.

A restorative culture is developed in the classroom through the use of circle time.
Restorative Practices does not replace our classroom and school rules and consequences. Restorative practices may be used in conjunction with our rules and consequences.

STAMP Out Bullying

At Stella Maris we S.T.A.M.P. Out Bullying

S– Stay away from people who are mean and tell them to Stop, if they do something you don’t like.

T– Tell your teacher, if you are at school, as soon as you can. If the bullying stops but then returns, tell the teacher again and again.

A– Have the courage to Always help someone you see being bullied. If you are scared of being bullied yourself, tell a teacher privately about what you have seen.

M– Be proactive by being friendly to all people and Make friends with the children who are left out of games.

P– Play nicely to make sure that you are not demonstrating bullying behaviour. This includes not spreading rumours or using ‘put downs.’

Circle Time

Circle time is a brilliant tool used in the classroom to encourage all children to clearly articulate their perspective and views on important issues. No names are used and the focus is on a relevant issue that the children may be experiencing at the time. Circle time often begins with a sentence starter and it is a great way for children to learn from each other. For instance, “When I can’t find my friend I usually…” The children then take turns around the circle to finish the sentence. An object is passed around to signify whose turn it is to respond. Every child may pass if they have nothing to add. The children really enjoy this process and it has a sacred feel about it as the children develop a feeling of respect towards each other. The children’s honesty and openness is held reverent by all and provides extensive learning opportunities for all of us.

Meditation

Every morning the children have an opportunity to meditate in a circle together. Meditation is an important strategy to help the children to have increased focus and a relaxed and calm mind. It is an important skill for the children to learn and will hopefully be a wellbeing choice that they will make for many years to come. We can all benefit from some time of stillness, silence and contemplation. The meditation is part of our Religious Education Program and incorporates prayer at the beginning and end of every meditative session.