The Wellbeing Coordinator at Marsden State High School Mitchell Robertson, in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), has created a new framework of wellbeing driven by the voice of students.
Using Laura Lundy’s Participation Model centred around a child’s right to participate, Mitchell aimed in his role to implement the Department of Education Queensland’s Inclusive Education Policy.
He identified that all stakeholders in student wellbeing (parents, teachers, students) needed to come together and streamline all pre-existing programs into one framework to avoid duplication, take on new actions and identify students’ needs.
“The creation of the framework was driven by student voice, with processes established to continually use student feedback to inform the effectiveness of actions of the school’s wellbeing program,” Deputy Principal Michael Smith says.
Through the school’s participation in the QUT ‘Wellbeing Matters’ project (funded by the QLD Department of Education, Education Horizon Grant Scheme), Mitchell led a staff working party through the framework’s creation, implementation and constant evaluation. He also, with QUT, facilitated a student inquiry group, which took a student-as-researcher approach. During planning, feedback was also fed forward to inform development of the framework.
Actions to come out of it were focussed around three categories Relational, Processes and Policies. Inclusivity, belonging to the school, positive attitude to learning, importance of school activities and students’ gaining a sense of power and autonomy were highlighted as important to the program.
The wellbeing program has contributed to a cultural change at the school with student feedback being utilised more to monitor progress and identify issues.
School leadership is taking a holistic approach to educating students with social and emotional literacy and development focussed on - regardless of curriculum area.
The aim of the wellbeing framework is to be sustainable and adaptable to change; and empower students to explore issues within the school.
It can also be a model that can be used in other schools and Mitchell has already presented or been invited to present at various national and international conferences as part of the partnership with QUT. His program also made Marsden State High School a Finalist for the Best Wellbeing Program at the Australian Education Awards 2019.
Congratulations Mitchell on your nomination.