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Student health and wellbeing

Our schools are committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of students

 

Health and physical education helps students develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for confident, lifelong participation in sport and recreation activities. It enables students to make responsible decisions about physical activity and to promote their own and others' health and wellbeing.

Schools have committed to providing your child with at least two hours of physical activity each every week. They will encourage your child to be active at other times and many schools have sports programs such as hockey, netball and football teams to play in local association, club or interschool competitions.

Schools also hold athletics and swimming carnivals.

We have a factsheet to download and assist you.

Research indicates that eating well and being active are critical to children’s health and wellbeing in both the short and long term. They also have a direct impact on children’s performance at school.

The school day is busy, filled with learning, concentration and physical activity. Food is fuel for our bodies and healthy food provides your child with energy and nutrients to get them through the day.

Healthy eating habits begin at home, but public schools and their canteens play a role in supporting you and ensuring children understand the importance of making healthy food choices.

Children should eat a wide range of foods so that they have the energy for learning and growing. A new, easy-to-follow 'traffic light' system has been introduced to help public schools plan menus full of healthy, nutritious and affordable food and drinks.

The new standards require that foods in the:

  • GREEN category are encouraged. Schools should aim to fill their menus with these healthy foods
  • AMBER foods should be selected carefully and eaten in moderation.
  • RED food and drinks are off the menu and will not be available in public schools.

Nutrition and physical activity messages are being taught in the classroom to promote healthy lifestyles. The new standards for healthy food and drink choices in public schools are consistent with these curriculum messages and will apply to canteens and food services, class treats, school camps and excursions.

Parents are encouraged to use the GREEN AMBER RED system at home too.

For tips and more information visit our healthy food and drink website.

We have a factsheet and healthy food guide to download and assist you.

Public schools strive to be safe, supportive and inclusive communities. They provide programs and opportunities to improve a student’s sense of belonging and their skills in understanding themselves and others, managing relationships and problem solving.

Every school has access to a school psychologist who is uniquely placed to respond to student wellbeing and mental health issues. 

Many schools have whole school strategies in place.  They also identify and support students who may be experiencing mental or emotional challenges. Support may include referral for a school psychologist or other in-school support and/or referral to another community agency.

You will be contacted if the school is concerned about your child’s mental and emotional wellbeing and you are welcome to talk to your teacher(s) or your principal anytime if you feel your child may need help.

KidsMatter for primary students

Your child’s mental health is as important as their physical health. For them to thrive at school, they’ll need to need to feel emotionally healthy and balanced.

KidsMatter Primary is a flexible, whole-school approach to children’s mental health and wellbeing for primary schools.

It has been developed by beyondblue, the Australian Psychological Society, and Principals Australia, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

KidsMatter Primary will help your child understand that their mental health is important and teach them strategies to cope.

Discover more on the KidsMatter website or for more information about what’s happening in WA including a list of participating schools, visit the KidsMatter States and Territories page.

MindMatters for secondary students

MindMatters is a national mental health initiative for secondary schools that aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people.  MindMatters is funded by the Department of Health and has been re-developed by beyondblue.  All content has been informed by strong evidence in the area of school mental health and wellbeing.

Schools are provided with a framework and all the resources they need to implement a relevant and easy to understand mental health strategy for students.  MindMatters includes online resources, face-to-face events, webinars and support.

Many of WA’s public schools have adopted the MindMatters approach and are using it to help their students.

For more information and resources, visit the MindMatters site.  

Violent extremism is receiving a lot of attention in Australia. With it has come an increased focus on the supportive role schools can play in helping to protect young people from extremist influences. Ensuring students are safe and supported in our schools is an absolute priority.

Our schools strive to ensure every student experiences a sense of belonging in the school community – where each student is known and understood as an individual; where cultural and religious diversity are accepted; and where teachers and support staff care about each student’s progress and wellbeing.

Our teachers and support staff are skilled in identifying changes in the behaviour of all at-risk students, assessing potential concerns and providing appropriate support when needed. If a concern is raised about a student, the level of risk is assessed and, if required, support provided.

Pathways to violent extremism occurs when an individual is willing to use, or support the use of, unlawful violence as a means of pursuing their political, ideological or religious goals.

There is no single pathway to violent extremism.

Violent extremism is a complex issue requiring societal solutions that support at-risk individuals and the community. One approach – countering violent extremism – aims to address the social impacts of violent extremism by providing support to at-risk individuals before they choose, or continue on, a path of violent extremism.

A collective approach involving families, the community and government is therefore needed to empower communities to build resilience in at-risk individuals, which may reduce the likelihood that they proceed or remain on a pathway to violent extremism.

If you would like to know more about countering violent extremism and the role you can play visit the Australian Government’s Living Safe Together website.

Translations: Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Dinka, Farsi, Hindi, Indonesian, Karen, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai, Tigrinya, Vietnamese.

Public schools take the issue of bullying seriously and take an active role in ensuring schools are educated in keeping students and staff safe.  Every school is expected to have a safe, supportive, respectful and positive learning environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence, so student wellbeing and academic outcomes are maximised. 

Schools, parents and children can access a range of resources through the national Bullying. No Way! website.  

Preventing bullying involves everyone talking together openly and respectfully.

If your child talks to you about bullying:

  • Listen calmly and get the full story.
  • Reassure your child that they are not to blame.
  • Ask your child what they want to do about it and how you can help.
  • Visit www.bullyingnoway.gov.au to find some strategies.
  • Contact the school and ask for information about the school’s plan for preventing and managing bullying.
  • Check in regularly with your child.

Bullying can have a lasting impact on everyone involved, including those who witness it, so it is important to work together to create safe school communities for everyone.

Parents

To help your kids become safe and responsible online users, check out these tips.

  • Set the ground rules
    • Establish rules about the types of content or information your child should report to an adult – for example, telling you about any swearing or bad words they find online.
    • Set rules to make sure your child knows what information they can share or post online and the websites they can visit. This includes telling a trusted adult before posting any personal information online, including for competition entries.
    • Encourage your child to use the same manners and communication they would use offline, and remind them it’s okay to report others who aren't being nice.
  • Stay involved
    • Closely monitor younger children’s internet use.
    • Try to keep the computer in a shared or visible place in the home.
    • Be aware of how your child uses the internet and explore it with them.
  • Proactively guide
    • Help your child understand that what they say and do online is important.
    • Encourage your child to learn about online safety with fun resources from the eSafety website, like Hector’s World, Zippep’s Astro Circus and #GameOn.
    • Talk to your child about personal information and why it is special and remind them how it can be used to identify or locate them.
    • Bookmark a list of favourite sites you are comfortable with your child visiting and teach them how to access this list.
    • Consider using filters to help manage your child's online access.
  • Support positively
    • Advise your child not to respond to any negative messages and to report any hurtful messages they receive to you or another trusted adult.
    • Teach your child that there are ways they can deal with material that worries or frightens them – this includes immediately telling a trusted adult of any concerns or uncomfortable material and how to close a web page or turn off a screen.
    • If your child shows any concerning changes in behaviour or mood then talk to them or seek professional support – Kids Helpline provides free, confidential online counselling for young people, and your school may also be able to help.

For tips on help you support your teenagers to become safe and responsible online users or to report offensive or illegal content visit eSafety Commissioner website.