16 October 2017

A Short History of Wellbeing at Scotch College

Scotch College has always had a commitment to developing the whole boy, with an emphasis on balancing academic study, co-curricular activities, outdoor education and community service. Our pastoral care system is the scaffolding which supports our young men as they grow.

We have had a Wellbeing Committee operating in the Senior School since 2011, which we designated "Year of Wellbeing". The aim of this group has been to promote student awareness of important issues related to wellbeing, such as sleep, healthy eating, RUOK? Day and technology use, to name but a few. Across the school, we address key issues, such as cyber-safety and on-line behaviour, through presentations and guest speakers for staff, students and parents. Furthermore, the Health and Physical Education courses have for many years delivered many important messages to our students regarding the key elements in living a healthy life.

In 2015, staff across Junior, Middle and Senior Schools conducted a review of our Pastoral Care system, mapping the social and emotional learning activities conducted at different year levels, as well as identifying gaps in our curriculum. This Pastoral Care Review Committee (PCRC) also drew up an outline of the wellbeing initiatives being run in the school.

In 2016, Professor Cross and Echo Research presented their review of the Pastoral Care system at Scotch, based largely around focus groups and interviews with staff, students and parents. The review found that Scotch College has "very high quality and well established pastoral care structures, policies and procedures". The findings of this research were presented to staff in June and a number of key recommendations developed from this. One of these, which was also a recommendation from the PCRC, was to establish a position of Director of Wellbeing.

I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to take on this role and I am very keen to explore ways we can improve the wellbeing of everyone connected to the school. In the next edition of the Thistle, I will outline some of the key general areas of responsibility in this role.

Mr James Hindle

Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing