Effective strategies for supporting student wellbeing
Evaluating whether student wellbeing has improved as a result of implementing an initiative or strategy relies on a wealth of data to build evidence.
The Student wellbeing, Whole school approach resource provides your school with a rich library of programs, initiatives and contacts for supporting your students.
The Wellbeing framework for schools lists evidence-based strategies to build cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing in students. These strategies are appropriate for your classrooms, your whole school and your wider school community.
Evaluating whether student wellbeing has improved as a result of implementing an initiative or strategy relies on a wealth of data to build evidence. The following provides a range of whole-school, group and individual wellbeing initiatives and strategies. Sources of data associated with those programs are listed, providing schools with potential wellbeing improvement measures.
Using qualitative and quantative data
A range of effective strategies to improve student wellbeing are available for:
- whole school
- student group
- individual students.
Sources of qualitative and quantitative data that you can use as evidence are linked, and you may consider using some of these data sources as improvement measures in your Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP).
Effective wellbeing strategies
Effective wellbeing strategies for whole school
- Anti-bullying strategies
- Movement breaks across KLAs
- Brain breaks across KLAs
- Student voice, participation and leadership in the classroom and school settings
- Social and emotional learning (SEL)
- Cognitive wellbeing strategies including: effective feedback and criterion referenced evaluations
- Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) Tier 1
- Live Life Well @ School
- Evidence of programs that build cognitive, emotional, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing in students mapped across the school.
- Tell Them From Me survey data, for example, increased proportion of students reporting a sense of belonging, expectations for success and engagement in learning.
- Annotated teaching and learning programs, for example, SEL, formative assessment, brain breaks, movement breaks, differentiation strategies that meet the learning and wellbeing needs of students with additional learning needs, including EAL/D and high potential and gifted students.
- Whole school anti-bullying programs and incident data.
- Internal and external student performance data.
- Attendance data.
- Evidence of student voice and leaderships opportunities in classrooms and across the school, for example, student reflections included in school reports.
Effective wellbeing strategies for student groups
1. Student group strategies
- Peer support.
- Student leadership groups.
- Targeted intervention programs, for example, Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) program.
- School based wellbeing programs, for example, breakfast club.
- Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) Tier 2.
2. Student group data
- Attendance data for school based wellbeing programs such as breakfast/ homework/ environmental/ sporting clubs.
- Student leadership in school based wellbeing programs such as breakfast/ homework/ environmental/ sporting clubs.
- Student/ staff/ parent wellbeing surveys about specific programs.
- Behaviour incidents and attendance data measured over time.
- Suspension data including suspension resolution meeting notes and minutes.
- Mentoring program data including student goals and their progress towards achieving them, changes in behaviour patterns at class and whole school level, school reports, student self-reflection, mentor, staff and parent surveys.
Effective wellbeing strategies for individual students
- Developing, implementing and monitoring behaviour/ learning plans.
- Alternative pathway programs.
- Targeted behaviour supports, for example, check-in/ check-out.
- Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) Tier 3.
- Learning and Support team referrals and results.
- Annotated behaviour/ learning Plans, for example, percentages of students meeting goals in their plans.
- Student input and feedback in targeted behavioural supports - pre and post individual learning plans.
- Meeting surveys for parents, students and other stakeholders.
- Suspension rates and other behaviour incidents mapped over time.
- Scout data.
- Students accessing external services or specialists as required.
- Evidence that students can access alternative learning centres and programs and associated success/ completion rates.
Successfully engaging with your local community
A school’s local community refers not only to students and teachers but also to families and local community organisations.
The local community often has a significant influence on students’ lives. It is essential for schools to work closely with their local community, so that they can support students in both their learning and wellbeing.
Local communities can provide a range of opportunities for students to participate in social, environmental, cultural and sporting activities strengthening their cognitive, physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
See further information on Authentic community engagement in the context of School Excellence.
Key resources for effective strategies for supporting student wellbeing:
- How are our wellbeing programs being implemented and monitored across different stage groups and learning environments, that is, in the classroom, school and online learning environments?
- Do our wellbeing programs and practices consider the 5 domains of wellbeing?
- Are our wellbeing programs predominantly proactive or reactive?
- How are positive relationships being built and modelled across our school?
- How are our staff being supported to implement student wellbeing practices such as student health plans, social and emotional learning, and positive behaviour?
- How do we use available school data to support and improve our measures of student wellbeing?
- What are the evidence-based strategies which would provide the most impact for improving the wellbeing of students in our school?
- How is spiritual wellbeing being supported and developed, for example, supporting student voice in the classroom, school and community, helping students find meaning and purpose and a sense of belonging, teaching values and intercultural understanding to make every student known, valued and cared for?
- How is cognitive wellbeing being supported and developed, for example, self-determination theory, feedback, formative assessment, resource creation – managing cognitive load. For more information, refer to Cognitive load theory: Research that teachers really need to understand (CESE)?
- How is emotional wellbeing being supported and developed, for example, safe learning environments (see student behaviour) - classroom safety, school safety, online safety, ACARA's personal and social capabilities?
- How is social wellbeing being supported and developed, for example, explicitly teaching of pro-social skills, connectedness, positive relationships and an incremental and sequential development of social skills?
- How is physical wellbeing being supported and developed, for example, movement breaks across KLAs, healthy school canteens, parental engagement and school engagement in the areas of screens, sleep and sport.
- How is student voice amplified in the classroom, for example, students designing challenging learning experiences based on learning goals, interests, talents and/or passions?
- How is student voice amplified in the classroom and across the school, for example, student reflections in reports or student-run leadership groups?
Find out more about School Excellence in Action.