“Enabling students to achieve the fullness of life”
- St Mary’s Pastoral Care is a whole school approach that is founded in Jesus Christ and the Gospels. The dignity and wellbeing of the child is at the centre of all we do to enable the fullness of life.
- Respectful relationships between staff, students, families and the wider community play a key role in creating a supportive learning environment, catering for the whole child spiritually, academically, emotionally and physically.
We all want our children to be able to bounce back after experiencing something that wasn’t easy. St Mary’s Primary School Bellingen believes that the skills for gratitude, resilience and positive emotion can be learned. Positive education involves teaching both traditional skills and skills to build a full life. Positive education teaches students about emotions and how to build healthy relationships.
At St Mary’s students experience positive education by being immersed in the values of gratitude, sense of purpose and service. This is done in a number of ways;
Meditation and Reflection – In the modern world children are bombarded from an early age with noise, stimuli and a message to keep busy. At St Mary’s students participate in daily meditation to enable them to discover their real selves in stillness and quiet. Each day students have opportunities to reflect on all they have to be grateful for.
Restorative Practice – Students have the opportunity to explore their emotions, motivations and relationships as they work through social difficulties with their peers.
Social Justice and Environmental Stewardship – Students develop a sense of purpose through engaging in social justice and environmental stewardship activities. This is embedded in the school’s curriculum and in everything we do.
Throughout the year the school's Mini Vinnie’s raises money for people in need and at Christmas assists local families by delivering food hampers and christmas gifts to local people in our community.
The school’s Environment Club ensures recycling is occurring throughout the whole school and minimises waste in the canteen. The club has developed a fertile eco-climate through breeding chickens, installing a native bee hive, compost bins and a worm farm to produce a pumping vegetable garden and orchard.
Our Wellbeing Programs go deeper than just external confidence. They build life-long skills in resilience, helping kids find their inner strength and sense of purpose. They help the child go into the world with self-acceptance, self-awareness and strength. All classes explicitly teach the skills of Social and Emotional learning through the evidence-based ‘Second Step’ program.
We have a School Counsellor and Student Support Worker 2 days a week. They are able to support students through various ways including offering the wellbeing / support programs 'Cool Kids', 'Friendship Matters', 'Seasons for Growth' and restorative practice. Individual school counselling is a voluntary, brief, and short term process designed to assist and support students who may be facing challenges that impact upon their adjustment at school.
Lunch Clubs –To ensure all students have a chance to let their light shine the school offers a diversity of extracurricular activities and clubs. These change according to identified interests and include drumming, recorder, choir, drawing, collectible cards, kids newsletter, building, yoga and gardening.