Programs and support services are provided to enhance your child’s physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
Primary Pastoral Care Programs
Merredin College is a PBS school and runs a number of programs to develop social and emotional skills.
All K-6 classes at Merredin College actively teach our PBS values. The school has a structured values program which is explicitly taught to all classes from K-6.
Our PBS values are:
- Being Kind
- Being responsible
- Being respectful
- Striving to succeed
These values are taught explicitly and recognised at K-6 assemblies. There is also an incentive/reward system in place to acknowledge students demonstrating the Four PBS values.
All students from Pre-Primary to Year 6 engage in formal lessons in the Build Up Zone Program which is run by the School chaplain. Through our BUZ (Build Up Zone) initiatives we enable children to develop important life skills such as emotional competence, relationship skills, empathy and respect, conflict resolution, protective behaviours, grief management and bully-proofing.
Children work through a series of workshops over a term and then the key messages are reinforced through daily activities in the classrooms.
Teachers and students participate in regular mindfulness sessions either use “Smiling Minds” or Headspace programs. Both programs offer mental health and wellbeing tools designed for K-6 children.
The Headspace program assists teachers to support students in the following ways:
- acknowledge students’ feelings
- let students know that it is difficult to deal with the feelings provoked by events of such magnitude
- discuss issues in a manner that takes into account students’ age and maturity
- answer questions in a simple honest way, using language that is age appropriate and without including personal views and opinions
- assist students to communicate their concerns to parents and carers
- express hope in the future
- report any incidents or concerns you have regarding a student’s wellbeing or behaviour.
The Smiling Mind Education Program has been proven to help students with sleep, wellbeing, managing emotions, concentration and school behaviour including reductions in bullying.
The Program also assists with:
- stress management,
- increased resilience,
- increased creativity,
- better decision making, and
- a sense of calm, clarity and contentment.
Zones of Regulation is a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities.
The Zones of Regulation are explicitly taught in all classes from K-6, ensuring a shared language across the school. Students are able to identify how they feel and nominate the zone they are in which gives them strategies on how to deal with certain feelings in an appropriate manner.
Secondary Pastoral Care Programs
Each year some Year 9 students are selected to attend the Bibbulmun Trek excursion. In the past this has been organised by the College Chaplain who determines the students who he/she believes will benefit most from the challenge. The students are accompanied by some Year 10 mentors as well as several staff. The group of staff and students spend several days trekking the Bibbulmun track and carry all of their belongings including food, tents and sleeping bags in rucksacks on their back. They experience the most amazing scenery along the way including Mount Dale. Whilst the experience is quite challenging, all return glad that they have taken up the opportunity. Generally the Boys’ and Girls’ Trek are run on alternate years.
At Merredin College a Breakfast Club operates every morning before school in the secondary undercover area. This provides a nutritious breakfast for both primary and secondary students. Secondary Student Services oversees the operation of the Breakfast Club. Merredin College is grateful to FoodBank WA which provides most of the food. We also acknowledge Merredin IGA which supports the initiative through the donation of certain food items. Without the caring commitment of our staff, Breakfast Club would not exist as it is manned in a voluntary capacity by them.
The Rock and Water program is an experience that provides young people and adults a pathway to self-awareness, and increased self-confidence and social functioning. Rock and Water programs run annually during Term Four for years 9 and 10 students.
Additionally, student services staff routinely work with a range of outside agencies to support students.