St Brendan’s is a KidsMatter School, incorporating the framework into our Pastoral Care Structure.
KidsMatter is a ground-breaking program that has been shown to reduce mental health difficulties, including emotional problems, among children. Our school incorporates this framework into our everyday teaching and learning to help build students self-esteem and ultimately improve their learning outcomes.
A students’ school experiences can have a significant influence on their emotional, social and behavioural development. There is a growing understanding that the primary school years represent a significant opportunity for mental health promotion, and the prevention and early intervention of mental health problems in children. Students who are mentally healthy learn better, have better relationships with teachers, family members and peers, and exhibit greater resiliency in meeting life’s challenges.
Kidsmatter aims to strengthen those factors that protect students from developing mental health problems. To improve the mental health and wellbeing of students, Kidsmatter schools focus on four key components . These are:
A Positive School Community
Identifying how we can enhance our school climate to support student mental health and wellbeing, giving particular emphasis to ensuring that students, staff and parents feel ‘connected’ to each other and the broader school community.
Social and Emotional Learning for Students
Students receive social and emotional curriculum using evidence based programs to improve their self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship skills and their capacity for responsible decision-making.
Working with Parents and Carers
This component is about schools and families working together to support children. This is done through building collaborative working relationships with parents and carers, and establishing parent and carer support networks.
Helping Children with Mental Health Difficulties
School staff and parents receive information on strategies to support and assist children at risk of or experiencing mental health problems. This includes information on detecting signs of mental health difficulties in young children, information on local service providers and how to access evidence-based programs and interventions.
St Brendan’s aim to work collaboratively with students, parents and staff members to develop and strengthen each component area to further improve the mental growth of the children at our school.
Growing Healthy Minds
Childhood is a crucial time for growing healthy minds. All children need care and support to develop and learn. Some children need additional help to reach their potential. KidsMatter is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools, early childhood education and care services, and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children.