Greystanes High School

A little TLC can make all the difference in tough times.

Ensuring the wellbeing of students is important in the best of times, but has taken on even greater urgency during COVID-19.

COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on mental health, with students worrying about what the pandemic will mean for their education now and in the years ahead.

Learning from home, combined with the daily challenges of social distancing and virus testing, can be distracting and draining for students, especially senior students.

To respond to this challenge, Greystanes High School in Sydney’s western suburbs has developed a Wellbeing website that delivers care and ongoing support and mentoring for students at the school.

The website features a self-referral system that allows students to use an online form to request a wellbeing check-in phone call from the school.

Experience shows students feel more comfortable requesting assistance via an online medium rather than making the request in person to a year adviser, deputy principal or a school counsellor.

Greystanes’ referral system was instituted when remote learning began in NSW and it is still being used by students now that they have returned to face-to-face learning at school.

Another key feature of the school’s pastoral care is its 'Wellbeing Wednesday' lessons, which were introduced as student anxiety levels soared in recent months.

These lessons and tasks encourage students to reflect on their experiences during COVID-19, develop resilience in the face of challenges and setbacks, and look after their physical and mental health.

'Wellbeing Wednesday' has been so popular with the school’s students that staff have decided to continue the program throughout Term 2, this year.

'Mindful Mondays' are also being trialled across the whole school.

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