Wellbeing Articles 2016
Social and Emotional Learning in 5L
The children were introduced to the concept of emotional intensity and how there are different ways to express an emotion. For example, happy is low-intensity where as excited is high-intensity, both describe a positive frame of mind. They were then asked to draw a roller-coaster graph of their day. The top of the graph was positive and the bottom of the graph was negative feelings. Once they had completed their graph they were asked to write a narrative about the graph.
We did an Emotion Rollercoaster story, and Tara and I wrote about my day. I am in 5L and we had a great time writing each sentence and swapping. I’d like to thank Tara for helping me write the Rollercoaster of my day it was fun. I am thanking Tara for helping me and I love the part where Tara tells the present moment of the story. It was fun and exciting. I hope we can do it again.
Aggie’s Day at School
In the morning Aggie woke up and ate breakfast and her breakfast was upsetting. Then when Aggie was dressed she saw her cat and it had its cute eyes on! It was ecstatic! Then Aggie got in the car and drank her Up-and-Go and when she got to school she was miserable because of the cold! Then Aggie asked Tori if she could help with the RSPCA and Tori said yes! She felt joyful. At snack play Aggie ran a flower shop and she was happy. The she remembered that is was Eurythmy “great!’ she thought, just great! She was miserable. After Eurythmy there was lunch Aggie had pasta and she was joyful, but the news came that her pasta was late which made her unhappy! Then at lunch-time she planted some plants with the grade 3’s, it was pleasing. Then Aggie and her friend did Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The end.
Err, I groaned as my mum called me to get out of bed. Why can’t I start school later? I thought and stayed in bed for another minute and then slowly climbed out. I got ready and happily jumped into the car. We were going to be on time. In class I sat down, pulled out my book and enthusiastically started to draw. We were designing our scarebs. We walked out to sport and smiled at seeing a big box of skipping ropes. Hello, said John and told us what to do; this is one of my favourites…. When the bell went, I ran to the oval to play soccer and blocked a great goal. When the music started, my head dropped, we had Eurythmy, I don’t like Eurythmy, I prefer sport. It seemed like hours but was only forty-five minutes, when it had finally finished, I ran out to playtime again and as usual, played soccer. In class we were making triangle chains and sticking the ends together and flipping it around and it looked awesome. When we finished that we did an emotion rollercoaster, then school ended. Time flies.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on November 18, 2016
Mindful Kids - Parent Workshop
Last Thursday evening thirty of our parents took time out of their busy schedules to attend the Mindful Kids Workshop for Parents. Research has found mindfulness to be one of the pillars of resilience - the ability to adapt to newness or bounce back from problems, a key component of a child’s social and emotional development.
Thank you to all the parents who attended. I have heard from several parents who have tried some of the activities with their children, reporting family connectedness as an added benefit.
On the night we covered a range of mindfulness techniques including: visualization, mindful-movement, listening and following music, bee breath, compassionate meditation, tower making and nature mandalas.
We looked at what mindfulness is…
* Focusing on the present moment
* Being highly aware of present sensations, thoughts and feelings
* Paying attention with flexibility, openness and curiosity
* Paying attention without being “caught up” in your thoughts.
And the benefits of mindfulness through the development of the pre-frontal cortex, which carries out the following functions within the brain…
* Initiation and control over actions
* Targeting attention
* Organisation and planning
* Problem solving
* Predicting future outcomes
* Working towards goals
* Social behaviour reasoning
i.e. determining right from wrong and therefore…
* Making good choices
Further, we heard how regular mindfulness helps to develop the ability to regulate our emotions, calm ourselves and, as we become more aware of our own emotions and feelings, develop compassion.
We are not getting caught up in the past (regret, anger) and not imagining the future (worry, anxiety, anticipation), so we may become more hopeful and optimistic as we dwell in the present.
If the present isn’t as good as it could be, we have the tools to examine our feelings and emotions and the clarity to make decisions for change, again leading to greater optimism.
Your thoughts and responses are important, as we continue to develop and refine our teaching and learning. If you have not yet returned your feedback sheet, please give it to Ann in the school office.
I’d love to hear from anyone trying mindfulness at home, for yourself, with your children, or the whole family.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on November 18, 2016
Mindfulness and Children
Mindfulness is a way of being that both adults and children can practice. It may sound complicated, but it really just means awareness. It is the practice of noticing things in the moment, especially those overlooked, such as one’s breathing, feelings, thoughts, or actions.
Children are often quite naturally mindful, particularly when playing. However these days, lives can be so busy and structured, children are often less in tune with their senses, actions and feelings. Today’s children may experience stress or anxiety as their world speeds up and more is expected of them.
In times of heightened stress the areas of the brain that regulate our bodies, including the fight, flight or freeze response become over active. In addition, the frontal lobe of the brain, linked to self-regulation, decision-making, organisation skills, memory processing, as well as empathy and compassion can be underactive.
Research has shown that regular mindfulness practice helps to subdue the fight/flight/freeze response, thereby reducing stress and anxiety. It has also been noted that regular mindfulness practice helps tore-engage and fire-up the frontal lobe of the brain.
Mindful awareness is something we all possess that can be strengthened through regular practice. This can be through formal sitting meditation practices, or informal everyday mindfulness activities that use the senses to anchor the attention: such as mindful walking, listening to music, eating or conversation. Mindfulness is a clinically proven tool to support wellbeing and mental health by reducing stress and allowing life to be experienced more fully.
When parents, or other trusted adults, share these activities with children there can be significant benefits for both. We are therefore very pleased to invite you to…
A Practical Workshop for Parents
Thursday the 10th of November
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Senior Library, East Bentleigh Primary School
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on October 7, 2016
Wellbeing In Our Classrooms… Prep J and 1K
In this picture, the children of Prep J are practicing self-control. Self-control ties into two of the five key social and emotional competencies :– self-management and responsible decision making. We turned the universal activity of bubble-popping into a learning moment by asking the children to take a turn not popping the bubbles. Sitting in a circle outside, in the first round the children are allowed to pop bubbles to their little hearts content. We stopped and talked about how much fun it was and how everyone wanted to do it. In the second round they have to keep very still and not pop a single bubble – even if it lands on their nose! As you can imagine this was VERY difficult but they were so proud when they were successful. We talked about how there are times that you really want to do something but you have to stop yourself and make a better choice. We talked about what self-control feels like and ‘bubble’ moments in the classroom when this skill could be used!
In 1K we have started exploring GoNoodle, which is an interactive program for children that incorporates a range of health and wellbeing activities. We have a character that we upgrade each time we have completed 10 activities. This program includes short mindfulness activities that encourage the children to think about being kind, grateful, forgiving, etc. during their day. It also encourages physical movement and coordination through exercise, stretching and coordination activities. We have found the balancing and coordination activities to be particularly challenging. So far so we are learning to persevere and think with a growth mindset by saying things like, “I haven’t mastered this yet, but with practice I will get better!”
Some children in the grade enjoy it so much that they have started using GoNoodle at home! It is completely free and has a very quick sign up process for children and their families. The website is www.gonoodle.com and is well worth a look!
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on October 7, 2016
Youth Project Food Drop
It has been so cold lately. Imagine living on the streets in this weather. No cosy rooms warmed by heating, no warm, clean bed and three meals a day not a forgone conclusion. To ponder what it might be like can help put our own lives into perspective.
At least last week the young people helped by ‘Youth Project’ received some nourishing food, lovingly cooked by our students and our kitchen helpers.
Salads, pastries, crackers, cakes and pasta, was on the menu and look how beautiful it all looked. I’m sure all students involved were happy to see their dishes going to such a worthwhile project and I’m sure it was greatly appreciated.
Well done to Nikki and her team of volunteers and of course the wonderful East Bentleigh P.S. students.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on October 7, 2016
Kitchen Garden Program-
Kind Deeds Raise Wellbeing
At East Bentleigh P.S., Positive Education is part of our Social and Emotional Learning program andcrosses all curriculum areas.
Positive Education focuses on developing skills that assist students to strengthen their relationships, build positive emotions, enhance personal resilience, promote mindfulness and encourage a healthy lifestyle. In Positive Education this has been termed ‘Flourishing.’ We refer to flourishing as a combination of ‘feeling good and doing good’.
Research suggests that kind acts can raise the wellbeing of both the person giving and the person receiving kindness.
When we see or hear about an act of kindness, we can become greatly affected by it. For example, when we see someone provide something for a person in great need, we can experience big emotion, often accompanied by warm and open feelings in the chest, sometimes with tears and tingly skin. Good deeds (watched or done) have the power to raise compassion, love and peace for a whole community.
We’re seeing more kind people standing up for our vulnerable fellow beings and next week some of our students will be doing their bit. Instead of consuming the food they make themselves during cooking classes, they will be donating their meals to ‘Youth Projects,’ to be distributed amongst the homeless. Our wonderful Kitchen Specialist, Nikki has instigated this generous donation and will be delivering these meals herself to Youth Projects next week. What a wonderful gesture our children have the opportunity to participate in.
Youth Projects Limited is an independent, not-for-profit agency that provides health, outreach, employment, education and training services to individuals experiencing disadvantage, including homelessness.
I’m sure whoever receives our lovingly cooked meals will appreciate that they have been donated by young people, wanting to make a difference. We hope it does.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on August 11, 2016
Cybersafety Parent Information Evening
Monday 29th August 2016 7:00pm to 8:30pm
I urge all parents whose children have access to the Internet to attend this information evening.
This evening will be presented by Catherine Gerhardt of Classroom Connections, a group devoted to developing critical thinking skills in young people, both on-line and in the real world. The school is covering the cost of this information evening.
The invasiveness and alluring nature of social media affects many of our students and what affects your child affects you. No matter what year level your child is in, even if you think you’re safe from having to be concerned for a few more years, time has a way of quickening and before you know it, they’ve set themselves up with an account like Kik.
Kik is the fast, simple and personal smartphone messenger that connects you to everyone you love to talk to.” Sounds like a great idea doesn’t it? 50 million users agree.
Kids like Kik because:
· Its free
· It allows them to stay connected to their friends.
· Easy to use video and pictures
· It’s fun! (They can download sticker packs to add to messages to personalize them).
Is Kik dangerous?
Like so many apps, Kik itself is not dangerous. However the way kids use it can put them in dangerous or harmful situations. As parents we need to understand what these dangers are. We need to know how to manage situations so that our kids will talk to us and keep the lines of communication open.
Children often lack those vital critical thinking skills that keep them safe. Our responsibility as parents is to set the guidelines and expectations. Consider the following:
“Young people are still developing their critical thinking skills. Today’s online permanent records don’t leave much room for children to make developmental mistakes that may create lasting proofand possible longstanding embarrassment.”
So please, do come along and participate in an evening designed to empower us in helping our children create the best and safest on-line presence as possible.
*Baby-sitting will be offered to enable as many parents as possible to attend.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on August 11, 2016
MID WINTER FESTIVAL - CELEBRATION
I’m walking with my lantern, my lantern walks with me.
The stars shine down from heaven, they shine down on me.
My light shines bright in darkest night…
And shine brightly they did, the children and the lanterns. Voices rang sweetly into the night. Laughter and chattering filled the air. Fires were lit and fire-sticks twirled. Willing and enthusiastic teachers served our community soup made in classrooms and in homes, to nourish bodies and warm chilly hands.
Winter festival was again a great success, bringing both Steiner and Mainstream families together to celebrate and mark the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
When we come together as a school community bonds and relationships are forged, strengthened, or lightened. In her book, Celebrating strengths- building strength based schools, Jennifer M. Fox Eades notes that celebration is all about focusing on what is good in life and we know that we find more of what we focus on. Celebrate regularly and we will find more to celebrate. What we celebrate is less important than the coming together. When we celebrate something together, everyone doing the same thing at the same time, we create common bonds and shared memories and that helps build good relationships between us all. Good relationships help bind our community together and a bonded community is strong and resilient for all its members.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on June 23, 2016
Social and emotional Learning in Our Classrooms
The following scene is from Prep R’s bucket game. As a group we are familiarizing ourselves with simple feelings of glad, sad and mad. The children have a bucket each. Each child takes it in turns to go around the circle and give out a little card depicting a face that is glad, sad or mad. At the conclusion of the game the children look into their buckets and identify what feelings are inside their buckets.
The aim is to have children familiarize themselves with the cards and to talk about what it’s like to experience glad, sad or mad! Some student comments below.
I got two glads in my bucket and one mad. When I feel glad I smile at my friends when we’re playing. When I feel mad it doesn’t feel nice, so I go and play by myself for a while. By Nick
I liked giving out all the cards in people’s buckets. I liked how everyone came around nicely when it was their turn to put cards in the bucket. By Etienne
I liked it when I put the happy, sad and mad cards in other people’s buckets. We could do any cards we wanted and my friend Isabella gave me a lot of happy ones. By Sophia
In Class 2L we regularly have Circle Time. This is a time where we focus on different area social and emotional goals and it is a safe place to practice managing our both positive and negative feelings. For example we have learned about fear and how it can make us behave in different ways. Here are some words from Freja about our current Circle Time focus:
We are learning about friendship, solving problems and making sure that we are safe around our friends.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on June 9, 2016
Conflict is part of all of our lives. Clashes, struggles, rivalry, strife, disagreement, disturbance, opposition, discord. It happens and it is a normal part of children’s lives. There can be conflict between them, or conflict over something. It can be because they have different needs, or the same needs, or when there’s too little of something to go around and everyone wants it.
“She won’t let me play,” “He took my …”, “He’s being mean!” are complaints that parents, carers and school staff often hear when children get into conﬂict and are unable to resolve it. Common ways that children respond to conflict include arguing and physical aggression, as well as more passive responses such as backing off and avoiding one another.
At school, through our social emotional program and through processes such as Restorative Practices, we try to teach children a better way of managing their conflict. This includes:
* Explicit teaching - Providing explicit information and skills around resolving conflict appropriately
* Practice and feedback - Providing opportunities for students to practice conflict resolving skills in the lesson, while the teacher provides feedback on performance and skill development.
* Application - Providing students with opportunities to apply their skills and knowledge to real world situations beyond the classroom lesson.
As Parents and Carers and the most important people in your children’s lives, you can help. The following article from KidsMatter contains suggestions for families in helping their children manage conflict.
Set the scene for cooperation
Show how to cooperate and respect others through your own approach. Ask children to help solve the conflict and express confidence that they can work it out cooperatively. It is very important that children approach the conflict in a positive way, and believe that they can work together to solve it.
Help children handle emotions
Children may need encouragement and help to stay cool in a conflict – especially if they feel they are being accused or blamed. They may feel anxious and need support to stay calm if they feel intimidated. In conflicts that are particularly heated, children may need to have time away from each other to cool down before going on to work out ways of resolving the conflict. Taking time to calm down can help children overcome the tendency to react aggressively or withdraw from the situation.
Encourage empathy and respect for others
Teach children to listen to and understand the needs and concerns of the other person. Help them to ask why the other person wants something and consider what it might be like to be ‘in their shoes’. Learning to understand the other person’s perspective is a critical foundation for conflict resolution and for building positive relationships.
Practise communication skills
Effective conflict resolution relies on clear communication of feelings and wants. This can be especially difficult when under pressure in a conflict. Learning to speak clearly and respectfully takes practice. You can help children practise what to say to initiate conflict resolution, for example:
“If we talk about this, I’m sure we can sort it out.” Practising assertive ways for children to express their wants and concerns is also particularly helpful, for example: “I want you to ask before using my things.”
Encourage creative solutions
In conflicts people often get stuck in their own positions and can’t see other options. This is why it is so important to get creativity going when thinking of possible solutions. The brainstorming rule, that no-one is allowed to say that something won’t work, is intended to help with getting creative. Steer children back to the point if necessary, but leave evaluation of the ideas they come up with for later. It’s okay for adults to help children think of alternative solutions if it helps them to get creative.
When enough is enough
Some conflicts are too big for children to work out. Sometimes children are not ready to sort them out and the conflict continues to escalate. If children’s conflicts become very intense or lead to physical aggression, then it is important for an adult to step in. When a mutual solution is not possible you can still help your child to think through the alternatives that are available to him or her and choose the best one.
*This resource is part of a range of KidsMatter Primary information sheets for families and school staff. View them all online at www.kidsmatter.edu.au
Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.” ― Horace Mann
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on May 26, 2016
Some of our children are experiencing some form of social media already, even if it is only email. I found this interesting article on the web and thought I would share it with you.
10 Things We Need To Teach Our Kids About Social Media
June 21, 2015 by Kristen Welch
If I could give parents one bit of advice concerning their kids and social media, it would be this:
Hold off as long as you can, because once that switch is flipped, it’s harder to turn off. In our culture, kids are interacting online earlier and earlier and passive parenting in this area can lead to problems in others. We’ve asked our kids to wait until high school to become active in social media and here’s what we’ve learned so far:
1. Nothing is ever really private. Statuses and pictures can be shared and altered or permanently deleted.
2. Everything is traceable. I read something really disturbing on Facebook the other day from an old friend and when I went back to show my husband because I was alarmed, it had been deleted. But it definitely wasn’t forgotten.
3. Some things are better said face to face (like apologies or confrontations) Social media makes it easier for us to be cowardly. We need to teach our kids the value of looking someone in the eye and making things right. Sure, it’s harder, but they won’t forget it.
4. Remember there are real people with feelings behind every avatar. Lately, I’ve been on the receiving end of some harsh words. And sometimes I just want to remind the offenders that I’m a real person. I think it’s good to teach our kids that our (online) words can hurt.
5. It’s okay to disagree with someone’s opinion, but kindness always wins. “If you’re not kind on the Internet, then you are not kind.”-Glennon Melton. It’s as simple as that.
6. Don’t let negative comments to your pictures, statuses or no likes at all change how you feel about yourself. This one is especially important to teach our girls. There’s this whole secret online code between mean girls and we have to remind our daughters who they are doesn’t change because of how people see them.
7. It’s easier to attain a bad online reputation than a good one - so watch what you say. We’ve all probably done something online that we regretted. Our words follow us.
8. Avoid drama. We all read and see things we don’t agree with and I want my kids to use self-control and click away.
9. Don’t ever mention your location. Predators don’t lure kids at the school bus nearly as much as they do online. Our children need to know the dangers of over sharing.
10. Take a day of rest from social media. Recently, I asked my teen to take a break from social media. She wasn’t doing anything wrong or in trouble. I just noticed she was isolating herself and it would be healthy for her to take a couple of days off. Later, she thanked me.
My life has been changed by a social media love story and I’m so thankful for the online world. Let’s commit to protecting our kids by teaching them how to handle this powerful tool.
I hope some of these tips help you navigate the time ahead with your child and their almost inevitable contact with social media.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on May 12, 2016
POSITIVE EDUCATION in 3J
Our class learnt about all different kinds of stones. Firstly our class read a book called, The Wrong Stone. It was about a pile of stones, all different shapes and sizes. One stone didn’t fit in on a wall that the farmer wanted. Our class made our own stone. All of us made different faces out of clay. I called mine Clumsy because it was clumsy. By Chloe
In Positive Education our teacher read a story about a rock. The rock was sad because it thought it was never going to fit in with the other stones. The rock was different from the others, he was a strange colour and shape. In the end he was very happy because he got a very important job holding up the wall. The next day our class made our own rocks and they had their own personality. Some were happy and others were sad. By Harper
Wellbeing in Class 3D
“Every morning before Main lesson time Dagmar asks us to do some relaxation exercises /Yoga. First we massage our temples, then we rub our ears, then we stretch our arms over our heads, one arm at a time, then we do ’the Owl’ by looking side to side, then we massage just under our collarbone. That gets our blood flowing and lastly we loosen our fingers and hands by doing the ‘Elephant trunk’. This gets my arms and hands ready for writing. I don’t use any of these in my normal routines.” by Tiger
“I think these exercises help me with getting started with the writing tasks. I actually do these exercises when I play tennis with my Dad.” by Anju
“It is very relaxing when I massage my temple and my arms feel really loosened up when I do the ‘Elephant’. It could help you to get fit. “ by Jasmine
East Bentleigh Snakes and Ladders Game Update
The great news is our graphic artist has completed all the artwork and we are now road testing our Anti- bullying/Cyber safety game. There are 15 Treasure box cards and 15 Toolbox cards, with 10 out of the 30 addressing cyber safety. Each snake has a scenario written on the square explaining why you have to move down the snake. The snakes on the board are those from last year’s ‘Draw a Snake’ competition winners. All the ideas for the cards and snakes have come from our students during their Wellbeing sessions in their classrooms. Well done everyone!
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on April 28, 2016
Last year the school community was asked to consider their ideas about mental health. What does this term mean for you? Many of us began with a deficit model, but quickly saw mental health is really about mental fitness and wellbeing. Like physical health, mental health is something we all have and it can range from good to poor and can change over time. Good mental health helps us form positive relationships with others, handle ups and downs, and generally enjoy life. With good mental health, children can feel confident and be more open to trying and learning new things.
Recently Sue Jackson and myself attended the Component Four Workshop conducted by KidsMatter on mental health difficulties and children. What do we mean by mental health difficulties? Professor Ann Sanson from Melbourne University puts it this way:
“Working out whether something is a difficulty is a matter of seeing how it is interfering with a child’s life…their relationships, their learning.”
Research shows that between 20-30% percent of students will experience some mental health difficulties over the period of their school life for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps they are struggling with a friendship, schoolwork, a situation at home, or some unhelpful ideas about themselves or others. This means they are not operating at their optimum in terms of academic learning, maintaining positive relationships and feeling satisfied. Does it mean there is something wrong with them? Of course not, but it may mean they need a little support.
What would you do if you, or one of your family members were physically ill? You would do something to help; insist on rest, consider diet, or seek help from a doctor or therapist. Likewise we need to address mental health difficulties in the same robust manner. Perhaps routines need to be changed to encourage more sleep, perhaps diet could be considered, or perhaps seeking professional counselling support for your child may be a good option.
To take advantage of this last option we sometimes need to overcome our deeply ingrained deficit model regarding mental health issues. Many of us see seeking help as a weakness, or worse, that it’s an indication there’s something wrong with me. Recently a friend said to me, “I never thought I’d need a mental health plan!” She’d been feeling stressed and anxious about aspects of her life and was finally accessing some support. We both realized her comment indicated she saw seeking support as weak, stemming from a deficit model. To think this way is deep, really sub-conscious and requires CONSCIOUS challenging.
I thought about this a lot over the break and came to the conclusion that actually we all need a mental health plan. A plan for ensuring we can manage the ups and downs life throws at us, that we can bounce back, or have the courage to seek professional support when we find that really difficult. So spread the word and remove the stigma. Mental health plans rock!
Here’s my personal Ten-point Mental Health Plan:
1. Spend at least half an hour a day doing something I love
2. Listen more, talk less (yep, there’s a challenge)
3. Eat well
4. Drink more water (lowers cortisol, a stress hormone)
5. Challenge negative thoughts and ideas about myself, or others (got to catch them first so…)
6. Be more mindful, especially when eating
7. Practise conscious gratitude every day
8. Move a bit more (I really don’t want to say the word exercise)
9. Seek professional support regarding sleep difficulties
10. Talk to someone useful when overwhelmed
Lee Jellis - Wellbeing Coordinator
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on April 14, 2016
Student Wellbeing and Positive Education
Social and Emotional Learning and Positive Education translate into a wide range of activities in classrooms. Below is a bit of a snapshot of what’s been happening in selected classrooms over first term.
4D’s Kindness Tree
Acts of kindness make us bloom and blossom. Kindness fills our hearts with warmth and light. The kindness tree reminds us to be thoughtful and think before we do. We have made our own little flowers, fruits and leaves for our tree. When someone has been kind we write them a message and stick it to their blossom. Then, when they read the note they feel happy that they have made someone feel good. By doing this we spread good feelings throughout our classroom. By Hayley, Milly, Sol
Prep K’s Friendship Web
We sat in a circle on our chairs. We had a ball of wool. We had to throw it to someone else, but we had to hold on to one end. We had to say something friendly about the person who caught the other end. Some of the things people said were: I like you because you came to my house, I like you because you play with me at recess and lunch time, I like you because you are my best friend, I love you because you share things with me. By John and Sean
2A’s Mission statement and Kindness Chart
We made a class mandala about how our class can be a happy and good place to learn in. We asked the questions: What would it look like? What would it sound like? What would it feel like? Then we all drew a picture and wrote something to answer these questions. When we finished we made it into a big circle and put it up on our wall to remind us what we need to do to make our classroom a happy and good place to learn.
We made a kindness chart in our room. It was divided into four parts with the headings: A great classmate says. A great classmate does. A great classmate is and a great classmate does not.
Some of the things we know about a great classmate are; a great classmate does a good job, says please and thank you, says kind things to others and is a good friend. By Ashleigh and Eve
5L’s Magic Café
Every Thursday kids from 4D and 5L together with some parent helpers get into the community spirit and run a special community service called ‘The Magic Café.’ We have a coffee machine and sell lattes, black coffee, hot chocolate and cappuccinos. We started last year to help raise money to make our shields and swords, so the money we raise goes back into school projects. It’s fun and as well as helping the community, it helps us learn about money and people skills. Come along and get a coffee from ‘The Magic café’ on Thursdays from 8:15 to 9:15am. We are also at Thursday market from 3:30pm until 4:00pm. By Essi and Oscar
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on March 17, 2016
Student Wellbeing and Positive Education
At EBPS we deal with issues around bullying using Restorative Practices. The premise of Restorative Practices when something goes wrong is that there has been a violation of relationship, rather than a rule. We hold a circle where we talk through the issue and everyone involved speaks and is heard andtogetherwe come up with a plan to solve the problem. Through Restorative Practices we seek to restore good relationships and a sense of community.
Below is a short story you might like to read to your child and use as a springboard for discussion about social practices and in particular Restorative circles.
The Ripple Effect
Hammond went home very sad the day he realized he was being bullied. Some kids in his class would call him names every day. Finally, Hammond told his mum and dad and they were sad too, but also mad. Who could do this to the boy they loved? They encouraged Hammond to tell his teacher.
Hammond’s friends were sad and frustrated, because Hammond was their friend and they didn’t want him to be bullied, but they didn’t know how to stop it. They told their mums and dads who said, “Those children should be expelled!”
After he had told his teacher, his teacher went home very sad too. She didn’t have anyone at home to talk to, so she talked to her dog Buzz. How could her lovely children be doing something so mean and cruel?
Buzz knew she was sad and tried to cheer her up by licking her. “Yuck, she said, but thanks.”
Hammond’s teacher had to tell the Principal, because that was the school rule. The Principal went home that night sad and cross. Who were these children spoiling things for others in her school? She told her husband and he said, “They should bring back the strap.” “Don’t be silly darling, she said, you can’t solve bullying with bullying.”
Of course the Principal had to tell the Vice Principal. The Vice Principal was also sad and cross. She told her husband and he said, “You don’t need this, you should retire.” “I don’t want to retire, she cried, I want to help fix it.”
The Principal and Vice Principal had to ring all the parents of the children involved. This was no fun, because lots of parents can’t believe their children would be involved in bullying, so they get cross and then they get sad when they realize it’s true.
Hammond’s teacher organized a circle, because that’s how his school dealt with problems. Everyone was there and everyone had a say and everyone listened to each other. The people who were doing the bullying realised how much they had hurt Hammond and lots of other people too. They were very sorry. Together, everyone came up with a plan to stop the bullying.
Now Hammond and all the students in his class are friends again, but they all learnt something important.
When you bully you hurt lots of people.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on March 3, 2016
Student Wellbeing and Positive Education
Welcome back to all our families and of course all the new members of our East Bentleigh Primary School family. I know you will have been made very welcome.
It was wonderful to catch up with old and new faces at the school barbecue last week. A great opportunity to discover new things about each other, find common interests and experiences and just have a good old chin wag; something I seem to be quite good at!
Classrooms have been buzzing and the predominant feeling is one of eagerness, interest and excitement. Children are settling down to new teachers, new routines, or new topics and many children are looking forward to the beginning of swimming lessons next week.
Teachers have been talking about important classroom ideas to build great relationships and create maximum engagement. These include; beginning with a circle each day to build the sense that we are a learning community, discovering and focusing on the strengths of each student, helping children to develop a growth mindset by gently redirecting negative dialogue and continuing to develop strategies such as bucket filling and encouraging acts of kindness.
The Student Wellbeing Leadership group and the Peer Mediator Leaders are working together as a team this year and we will be working hard to help East Bentleigh Primary School be the safest and best place it can possibly be.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on February 18, 2016
Ever experienced that person who just seems to stand too close, they feel ‘in your face’ and it’s darned uncomfortable.
Kids need to be taught about personal space, as it doesn’t always come naturally. Most children just want to touch everything and everyone as they learn about the world around them. However everyone needs a space that is ‘just theirs.’
One visual cue for young children is to have them spin in a circle with their arms outstretched. This is their personal space or their bubble. Discussing whom they might let into that bubble is important: mum, dad, grandma etc. Help your child with suggestions as they decide who should and shouldn’t be in their personal space.
Include in your discussion about when it is ok to be in someone else’s personal space. For example lining up at school, or sitting together on the floor. Help your child to imagine everyone’s personal bubble as they interact with others.
Every adult can teach children about boundaries and personal space by modeling the behavior they’d like to see, discussion and interactive play. Children need to learn about personal space as they grow and develop. It is another important social skill for academic success.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School on February 4, 2016