In our Senior Wellbeing Program this year, students had the opportunity to develop skills, connect with peers, focus on their strengths and prioritise their wellbeing. Some of our key programs have included; Learn a New Skill, Safe Partying, Mental Health First Aid, Positive Education Activities, Social Justice and Ace Your Exams.
Our theme this year was ‘We Rise by Lifting Others’ which was wholeheartedly lived by students through affirmations, shout-outs, kind acts, character strengths, R U OK day, mentor activities, opting into Wellbeing sessions and encouraging peers. We concluded the wellbeing program by supporting the Jesse Tree, a social justice initiative which allowed students to reflect on lifting others beyond our school walls and giving back to the community.
Our Wellbeing program also continued to thrive online, quickly pivoting to the needs of students while in lockdown. We enlisted a range of presenters including the Resilience Project who spoke about gratitude, former Olympian Steph Prem to share her stories on mindset, Dr Anne Kelly to speak about women's health and Cooking with Angelica, a nutritionist. We maintained connection online in our Houses through online classrooms, morning Pastoral and assemblies. Many Pastorals had their own rituals including bringing your pet to Pastoral and Thursday trivia.
Year 11 Student Reflections
I found the Resilience Project most memorable as Martin Heppell, who ran the session, was very passionate, energetic and engaging throughout the whole session. It was also the most valuable for me as Martin Heppell suggested starting a gratitude diary, which involves writing 3 things down a day that you are grateful for. He stated that after 41 days you are supposed to be more positive, optimistic and grateful. This diary has been very valuable to me as I feel positive after writing my diary entries and I notice the little things that make me happy throughout the day.
Throughout the year I participated in many wellbeing activities, one of these being self defence. I enjoyed this because it was a valuable skill I learnt and it helped to clear my mind.
During online learning I also did Cooking with Angelica. I found this a valuable lesson as I learnt about the different types of foods and what’s good for me, all whilst making cookies.
This year I have enjoyed many of the wellbeing activities that OLMC have allowed me to participate in. One of the ‘Learn a New Skill’ activities that I did at school was ‘cooking when home alone.’ I made dumplings which were very delicious! During remote learning I had the opportunity to join a Google meet with the year level and listen to Steph Prem who was a past Olympic Snowboarder. She gave great advice on how to take care of ourselves mentally and how to go into exams or tests with a positive mindset as she had to prepare herself mentally for snowboarder competitions. This was a valuable lesson in the lead up to a busy time of year with SACs.
The wellbeing activities were a great way to learn a new skill that could help me in the future. I was lucky enough to learn how to change a tyre the day after I got my learners permit, which I must say was extremely useful. While being online was difficult, it was great to learn how to make delicious cookies to help aid those lockdown blues. A lesson I learned is that a little sweetness can help make yours and others around you feel happy. The final big event of the year is Jesse Tree. Having been fortunate enough to work with the Exodus community back in April, I love the idea of the school community being able to make someone’s Christmas just a little bit more special.
Throughout this year there have been many opportunities to focus on wellbeing. I personally did circus skills as my "Learn a New Skill session'. Not only was it fun but also allowed us to develop resilience and persistence. Additionally, I was able to participate in Social Justice programs and Safe Partying. All of these things have helped with finding new ways to improve my own wellbeing as well as assisting those who may need it. The activity that I found most memorable this year was the session with former Olympian Steph Prem. She discussed how to change your mindset and establish 'non-negotiables' to ensure that we have the best mindset to achieve our goals - whatever they may be. In our house assemblies our coordinators and captains have promoted the idea of giving a shout-out to someone else in our house. This was an awesome way to stay positive and motivated, especially during lockdown.
OLMC has offered many wellbeing opportunities this year. At school before lockdown, I participated in the ‘Cooking when Home Alone session’ as a part of the ‘Learn a New Skill' program.’ This was a great opportunity as I learnt how to make a quick and easy meal as well as cook in the new food tech classrooms which I hadn’t had the opportunity to do before. Online these activities continued. The most memorable session for me was the Cooking with Angelica. I loved this recipe because it was really healthy and the cookies tasted really good. It also was nice to have a break from my screen and learn more about nutrition
Wellbeing activities are always a must. The opportunities provided to OLMC students this year were insightful and enjoyable for all. As part of the 'Learn a new skill session', I dove into the logistics of changing a car tyre (perfect for being a new learner driver!). The session allowed me to not only gain knowledge, but also independence that I can complete a task, such as changing a tyre, on my own, and not need to rely on someone else to do it for me. During online learning, OLMC always continued to check in and reiterate the importance of mental health for all students. I participated in the Mental Health First Aid session, where advice and tips were given in maintaining a healthy balance. By being given the opportunity to learn about ways to cope with mental health struggles, I felt I was able to get through the lockdown period a little bit easier. The Jesse Tree is an event that is held close to all of the OLMC community and is constantly a highlight of the year for many.
This year I have participated in wellbeing activities such as "Learn a New Skill" in which I participated in the ‘Cooking with Angelica’ session. This activity was really fun as we were online and was a good break from school work. I also listened to the Resilience Project this year which was very inspiring and had a great message for us during a time of lockdowns. The opportunity to listen to Martin Heppell was really beneficial as we were given an opportunity to understand that we are not alone and that there is always help available.
Earlier in the year I was fortunate enough to learn a bit about self-defence during the “Learn a New Skill” session. This was an amazing opportunity for self-confidence and a great way to relieve some stress in a healthy way. Self-defence is a much needed skill for every person and this session helped me feel more equipped and confident to defend myself when needed. I was also able to participate in the “Cooking session with Angelica” during the lockdown. Angelica was really inspiring and personable and we baked healthy incredibly tasty cookies which I didn’t think could be done. Both experiences helped me learn and build on skills that are important in life outside of school.
Jemma Banfield, Debbie Daly, Hayley Gamble-Curran and Kathryn Williams