Learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked - students learn best when their wellbeing is optimised, and they develop a strong sense of wellbeing when they experience success in learning. St Joseph’s College is committed to creating positive respectful school cultures and embedding student wellbeing in all aspects of school life through connecting the learning environment, curriculum and pedagogy, policies, procedures and partnerships enabling all to live life to the full. (John 10:10). All students enrolled at St Joseph’s College have the right to feel safe and be safe. The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we do not and will not tolerate child abuse. We aim to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety.

Our Wellbeing program is essentially designed to celebrate and foster young people’s learning in ways that are consistent with the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) Touchstones: the pillars of our learning and identity Inclusive Community, Justice and Solidarity, Gospel Spirituality and Liberating Education. These Touchstones further inform acceptance of diversity, and a sense of responsibility towards others’ experiences of injustices and hardship in the world around us. Our Wellbeing program also underpins the principles set out by the Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools that focus on the capacity to ‘enable, connect, engage and learn’ in programs and practices that seek to work not only with the young person, but also with the young person’s family and carers. Our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is derived from the Victorian Respectful Relationship’s program where we have engaged as both a Lead and a Partner school since 2017.

Teaching wellbeing in schools enables safe and respectful school communities; connects children, young people, families and staff through collaborative and caring relationships; engages students through experiences that motivate, empower, and inspire; and reframes the learning of wellbeing as an integral component of broader academic learning. Wellbeing lessons take place in our three sub-schools of Waterford (Years 7 & 8), Westcourt (Year 9) and Mt Sion (Years 10-12). The following depiction hopefully provides our community with an overview of our programs that are taught in class by the homeroom/wellbeing teachers. Wellbeing is a moving landscape and our program often needs to be adaptive and flexible to cater for current societal wellbeing issues.

Waterford - Year 7
Building My Foundation

All Year 7s are keen to make a solid start at St Joseph’s. We will come to know what it means to be a St Joey’s boy, build respectful relationships and accept diversity.

Year 7

Year 7 students are encouraged to recognise, nurture and develop their own strengths, and recognise the potential that exists in the space between themselves and their new community members at the College. They are introduced to the EREA Touchstones and they engage with The Resilience Project.

Wellbeing lessons specifically derive from the Victorian Curriculum Respectful Relationships program; students look outwards towards sustainability issues and awareness of the challenges of our First Nation’s people in their ‘guardians of the planet’ study. They are introduced to ‘Careers,’ essentially understanding what subject choices and career pathways might look like as they progress through secondary schooling.

Term 1: Introduction to myself, others and SJC

  • Developing connections in the homeroom
  • Learning about themselves and developing organisational skills
  • How to connect with others and healthy friendships
  • Learning to live in our SJC community- compassion, integrity and innovation

Term 2- In person and online wellness

  • The Resilience Project launch- students learn gratitude, empathy and mindfulness
  • Beginning to develop study skills- how to consolidate classwork
  • Learning to navigate wellness and safety in the digital realm- including Vic Police presentation

Term 3 Nurturing myself, my future and my relationships

  • Students begin learning how to care for themselves and their mental health, and then how to be kind to others- through the lens of the Resilience Project
  • Careers program launched- students consider strengths and areas of interest and who they want to be in the future

Term 4 The journey to gratitude, empathy and mindfulness and how to build a positive future

  • Students delve further into the Resilience Project curriculum. They practice mindfulness skills and discuss mental health
  • Students explore their goals for next year- who would they like to be
  • Particular focus on gratitude and reflection as the year finishes.
Waterford - Year 8
Stepping Up In Compassion, Innovation & Integrity

We feel that if we work hard in establishing ourselves in the core College values we are well on the way in developing our understanding of what it is to show empathy, to embrace change and new ways of learning.

Year 8

The Year 8 students will engage in a second unit of The Resilience Project, developing stronger team strategies to recognise emotional reactions in both themselves and others. The Life Changer program, our focus in Term 2, aims to develop a sense of self-fulfilment and self-empowerment through a mentorship program where the Year 8 students are guided by trained senior students in the development of self-fulfilment and self-empowerment.

In second semester, the students are taken through the ‘Cyber Safety’ unit, with lessons designed to teach them the importance of awareness and diligence in their online activity. A Careers unit is delivered later in the year, to encourage the boys to consider the pathways that they may want to pursue and the subject choices appropriate to those pathways. We endeavour to open the ‘curious’ learner up to an understanding of their place in and their footprint on our soil. Transition to Westcourt will be the focus in Term 4.

Term 1 Enhancing Emotional Literacy and Celebrating True Bonds

  • Students learn how to identify emotions and express them in a healthy way through the Resilience Project
  • Exploration of resilience continues- learning skills to overcome life’s challenges
  • Students begin to learn active revision and consolidation strategies

Term 2 Fostering Online Safety and Celebrating Ourself and Difference

  • Resilience Project continues- focus on empathy and kindness
  • Students learn about the legalities of online behaviours and the harm of cyber bullying
  • Year 8's join with the Year 7's Victoria Police information session for safe interactions online
  • Planning, goal setting and reflection to further develop as a learner
  • Lifechanger Program

Term 3 Mindful expression- Language, Inclusivity and Inner Liberation

  • Continue lessons from the Resilience Project Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness.
  • The focus shifts this term to expression- how our language impacts ourselves and others
  • Self expression, gender and how to celebrate individuality
  • Students also begin to consider their future selves through career exploration

Term 4 Mastering Emotional Literacy and Empathy Across Diverse Realities

  • Students develop further emotional literacy skills and practice how to actively listen and respond to friend's concerns
  • Students learn more about mental health and how to improve their wellbeing
  • Through the lens of refugees students learn how to empathise with others
  • Students reflect on the year, set goals for the future and consider career options.
Westcourt - Year 9
Embrace New Challenges

Becoming a good person and getting ready for the Senior Years are key goals but our main aim is to strive towards ensuring Westcourt is an inclusive, caring and respectful community.

Year 9

The Year 9 students begin to focus specifically on ‘masculinity’ – who they look to as role models, what they believe the man of the 21st Century should look like and the challenges before them in claiming their very own individual sense of self as ‘male.’ They are encouraged to celebrate themselves as people, as boys, and to accept the diversity within their own group. They engage in a program that looks at how – as boys grow – they tend to feel the pressures of consistently exposing tough exteriors when faced with challenges. They are encouraged to be open and honest about how they react to those challenges in their world, and support each other.

Second semester looks towards the relationship’s boys form with others - appropriate sexual relationships, legalities and care for the people they might engage with in a sexual way. Awareness around drug and alcohol use is a focus of this semester, again focusing particularly on legalities and dangers. Central to the units in this semester is respect: for self, for others, for all.

Term 1: Discovering Me: Embracing Strengths, Understanding Self, and Responsible Choices

  • Settling into the Westcourt community
  • Developing the learner, and positive connections with peers and staff
  • Drug and Alcohol Education

Term 2: Mental Health First Aid

  • Delivered by accredited MHFA trainer staff
  • Educates the importance of good mental wellbeing, identifying what poor mental health can look like in our peers and responding to concerns about someone's mental health

Term 3: Charting the Course: Career Exploration, Future Planning, and Embracing Gender Identity

  • Exploring everything the next steps into the senior school and beyond, whilst developing skills to support employment
  • Students participate in the 'man box' program exploring healthy masculinity, healthy relationships and authentic gender expression.

Term 4: The Journey to Empowerment: Camp Adventures, Sex Education, and Respectful Consent

Students participate in a camp preparation and camping experience

Students explore consent education and respectful relationships

Mt Sion - Years 10, 11 & 12
Pathways, Perserverance and Pride

Becoming Senior Years Ready is what Year 10 is all about. Study skills, work experience, subject selection and pathway choices enable us to see greater purpose in our learning.

In Year 11 we commence the year aspiring for our personal best and we are topped up with self growth in respectful relationships, study skills and having a positive growth mindset. In term four we unite as a cohort as we take over the leadership of the school.

Year 12 is our final year so it’s time to put our school motto into practice Ad Alta Virtute “Strive for the Highest.” Our Year 12 Renewals in Term 2 will see us reflect and appreciate our journey so far as we plan to pay gratitude and celebrate our final chapter here at the St Joseph’s College.

Mt Sion

The vertical structure of Homerooms at Mt Sion encourages cohesion between the senior year levels of our College. Year 10, 11 and 12 students are allocated to Homerooms according to House rather than designated academic progressions, allowing opportunities for bonds to be strengthened across the year levels. The Wellbeing program essentially fits neatly into this structure, promoting consistent values and learnings across the campus as the boys progress from Year 10 to Year 12. There are occasions when individual programs require a separation of the group to focus particularly on exam, GAT or careers and VCAA preparation, as well as renewals specific to each year level. These are managed within the Homeroom classroom.

We build upon what has already been established in the lower year levels – a strong sense of self, the ability to accommodate the sense of self others share with you, and the male identity that best promotes individual wellbeing. We question the stereotypes that have locked away a more holistic sense of ‘strength.’

The Building Respectful Relationships program (BRR) is the basis of our Gender, Power and Media units that question stereotypical representations of men and women, and by extension, attitudes that underpin these societal representations. Students also explore consent education and how to have safe, respectful and fulfilling relationships.

Students need to learn to critically reflect on their own emotional responses to challenging situations, and to be empathetic to the responses of others. The need to engage in conflict resolution in a range of contexts is considered, and the effects of actions that repress human rights and limit the expression of diverse views is questioned. The focus continues to be on positive and respectful relationships that honour the rights and responsibilities of individuals.

As well as nurturing critical understandings of self, and of others in their immediate circles, students continue to consider the challenges of marginalised others and act in accordance with the Ricean teachings that honour the rights of all people.

Term 1: How to be the best version of yourself- the best learner, the best cognitively, the best person to others, the best future you.

  • Team activities that establish strong connection for students as they become part of the vertical homeroom structure
  • Students learn about child safety in the senior school setting
  • Building positive mindsets- how to be kind to yourself
  • How to embrace individuality in others, show empathy and spread kindness
  • How to reflect upon study habits, set goals for the future and consider career pathways

Term 2: Developing healthier technological habits, eembracing healthy masculinity, Consent/ sex education and how to have fulfilling relationships

  • Learning how to ‘control your scroll’ – healthy habits around phone use and screen time
  • Students learn what to expect from respectful romantic experiences including the harmful impact that certain media platforms have on their expectations.
  • Students learn the pillars of consent and how to have safe and respectful romantic experiences, including breaking down of unhealthy gender stereotypes in romantic relationships
  • Learn about socializing online- image based abuse
  • Embracing healthy masculinity and how to celebrate authentic gender expression
  • Career progression continues to be explored

Term 3- Mental health and future choices

  • Students learn about the impact of social media on Mental Health- such as body image
  • Impact of addiction, drug use and safe partying
  • RUOK day and a further understanding of depression and anxiety
  • Students learn how to make considered choices about their behaviour, future and career

Term 4- Mental health, reflection and gratitude

  • As the Year 12’s come to their final term there is reflection on the year- they offer words of advice to younger year levels, reflect on their progress and how they found their path, what they hope to pursue in the future
  • Movember allows the students to continue learning about mental health, how to check in on others and support services
  • Students continue to learn revision strategies and study techniques to assist them in their exam preparation.