Ensuring every student’s needs are considered has led to three Educator Award nominations for the staff at Kempsey South Public School.
Their ‘Being Well’ initiative caters for the needs of every child by paying special attention to the inclusion of students who are Aboriginal, have disability, or experience financial hardship.
The north coast school has both mainstream and support classes, and is one of just a handful of finalists for Best Government Primary School, Best Wellbeing Program and Regional School of the Year.
‘Being Well’ begins with providing for students’ physical needs in partnership with their family and community, but also incorporates social and emotional wellbeing through a variety of practical initiatives.
Students can participate in a gardening and cooking program, a learning centre with social skills programs, a girl’s art program, drumming, a breakfast club, a yarning circle and chill out zone, or complete hands-on projects at the shed.
Improved communication between school and home has also worked hand in hand with a new discipline policy to reduce suspensions, offering multiple opportunities for students to cool down and bounce back from moments where they’re not demonstrating their best behaviour.
Principal Paul Byrne said the Educator nominations are an “injection of positivity” for the community and reflect the hard work of his staff to meet every student where they’re at.
“Each student knows that when they walk through the gates at Kempsey South every person is there for them and will make certain that their basic needs are met. We do this in partnership with their families and the community in order to give students the best opportunity to enjoy their schooling, develop social and emotional coping skills and learn everything they need to know to lead long and successful lives.”
“Kempsey South Public School sees itself as a family where we all look out for each other and make sure that no one ever gets left behind. The children in our support unit are included in all aspects of school life. Weekly sport consists of inclusive activities to ensure every child can participate, and incursions, events and celebrations are done as one.”
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