Engagement and Wellbeing

Ashwood High School provides a caring, challenging environment, dedicated to developing the highest potential in each student. We are committed to excellence, respect for others, consultation and cooperation.

Ashwood High School has a philosophy and reputation for focusing on the individual student. We afford each and every student personal attention, remembering that every student is an individual: a unique young person, with all the complexities, ambitions, uncertainties and talents that come with adolescence. Strong wellbeing practices are in place and student leadership is widely promoted. We provide a dynamic learning environment that provides students with a stimulating, motivating, and safe setting, to support them as they develop and mature.

The school embraces inclusive education on many levels. We recognise that every individual is unique and has the fundamental right to be valued, treated with respect and to reach their full potential in a setting that consistently delivers a high quality education to support outcomes for all. We build strong relationships amongst students, staff, parents and the wider community. Ashwood High School regularly consults with students, parents/carers, support organisations and staff to ensure we are responsive to each student’s social, emotional, cognitive and cultural needs.

The school environment encourages acceptance of individual differences and learning styles, enabling all students to belong within a community that validates and values their individuality and embraces their differences.

Ashwood High School demonstrates its commitment to inclusive education through:
• Valuing all students, staff and parents equally
• A collaborative and united approach to problem solving
• Learner rather than content focused teaching/planning
• Celebrating difference in dignified ways
• Flexibility and innovation in programming and assessment
• Commitment to continuous improvement of programs, facilities and resources
• Increasing participation in the curriculum and community
• Ongoing review of policies and practices to respond to the diversity of students.
• Reducing barriers to learning and increasing participation for all students
• Viewing student differences as a positive resource which supports learning rather than problem to
be overcome
• Emphasising the role of schools in building community and developing values, as well as increasing
Academic achievement
• Fostering mutually sustaining relationships between schools and communities


Student Support

Creating an environment where students feel safe, secure, valued and supported is an essential priority for Ashwood High School. Ashwood High School is committed to providing sensitive wellbeing programs, activities for extension and learning which builds resilience.

It is essential for every student to feel that they are an important part of the Ashwood High School community and that they can contribute fully to the life of the school. A student’s happiness and personal growth is important to staff and other students. The school is committed to developing the ‘whole’ person; socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically.

The Student Engagement & Wellbeing program focuses on building self-belief and self-esteem and develops key life skills to help students cope with challenges in school and beyond. Our school community extends to all students (past and present), staff, parents and families. Our aim is to provide the best educational experience and opportunities for all our students. When a new student joins the Ashwood High School community we welcome the whole family and provide plenty of opportunities for parents to be actively involved in school life. At Ashwood High School we are creating a caring community and one where students learn and grow in a safe yet exciting, challenging and fun educational environment.


Student Wellbeing Coordinator

The Student Wellbeing Coordinator provides leadership in initiating, coordinating, implementing and evaluating the student development and wellbeing programs as they impact on the educational and personal development of individuals and groups of students. The Student Wellbeing Coordinator provides valuable support to students and families in need and is able to facilitate connections with outside agencies.


Adolescent Health Nurse
The Secondary School Nurse Program offers support to young people at risk. Adolescent Health Nurses are employed in government secondary schools across the state to provide health promotion, early intervention and health counselling to students in partnership with the school wellbeing team. School nurses work in collaboration with other local key stakeholders in the delivery of programs designed to support the health and wellbeing of their school community.


School Chaplaincy

A School Chaplain is appointed at the request of the school and with the support of The National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program (NSCSWP), a local Chaplaincy Committee and ACCESS ministries as the employer.
The School Chaplaincy Program aims to:
• provide the school community with pastoral care and counselling.
• assist staff, students and their parents in working towards positive educational outcomes.
• actively promote students’ wellbeing, particularly through the provision of pastoral care.
• promote students’ self-image, potential, personal growth and their relationships with peers and
adults.
• assist students to develop skills and insight in the areas of decision-making, beliefs and values.
• enhance the links between the school and the local community.

 

Ashwood High School House Structure
Every student needs and deserves individual care and at the core of this is the school House System.

Under the vertical House Structure for Years 7-12 students are assigned to a House when they begin at the school and remain part of that House until they conclude in Year 12. Staff are allocated to one of the houses, Melba, Cowan, Paterson and Flynn. House Leaders, Coordinators and STAR (Student Teams of Action and Reflection) teachers collaborate to provide House programs which support student growth and development, provide a range of accessible co-curricular activities and ensure a high level of student wellbeing and connectedness.


Student Teams of Action and Reflection
Every student belongs to a STAR group which meets twice each week. STAR groups comprise students from each of the year levels and the STAR teacher remains with that group (where possible) every year, so strong personalised relationships and familiarity between STAR teachers and students is formed. The STAR program develops skills in personal learning, goal setting, study habits, study techniques, time management, personal reflection, interpersonal skills, communication, resilience, citizenship, relationship building, teamwork and leadership.

The program encourages active involvement in extracurricular activities and promotes connectedness to peers and the school. It fosters team spirit and a sense of healthy competition across a wide range of activities within and between Houses. STAR group provides an opportunity for cross age mentoring and for the contribution of ideas and suggestions toward whole school improvement and activities.

The foundation of the STAR program is respect for the individual and others. It encourages students to develop friendships and to share ideas. It promotes recognition of progress and improvement, along with celebrations of individual and team excellence. Students learn to provide feedback to others in a constructive manner, to value and improve from such feedback. They develop skills in self-reflection and analysis, as a tool to develop and implement improvement strategies in their quest for excellence.


Peer Support & Mentoring
The Peer Support Program is based on the principle that at every level and in every age group in society, people absorb information and values from each other. Peer support and positive peer influence begin with the training of volunteer senior students (Year 10) to act as group leaders to a small groups of Year 7 students.

The Peer Support Program gives senior students opportunities for self-development and provides junior students with a supportive environment in which to develop their own individuality.

The program involves the senior students as active participants in the teaching process and through practical experience they develop communication and leadership skills with a greater awareness of their own abilities.

The small family-sized groups, each under the leadership of a senior student, provide security and friendship for year 7 students to help them adapt successfully to high school life.


House Champion Trophy
Inter-House and Intra-House activities are held in areas such as sport, academic, cultural and community service. These are aimed at promoting House spirit and connectedness. Throughout the school year points are awarded, culminating in the winning House receiving the House Champion Trophy.

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