There is so much focus and buzz words around ‘wellbeing’ across the media, but beyond the noise and hype is the simplicity of the idea. Wellbeing; the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. At NEGS we strive to give all of our students the tools to realise and relish in their own optimum wellbeing – physically, mentally and emotionally. While offering a supportive network that guides and watches over our students’ happiness and health, we believe deeply that our students must foster their own wellbeing through balance, empowerment and accountability. Our wellbeing program is a unique philosophy that has been embedded across both senior and junior school since 2013 and has gained momentum and further refinement in the past 12 months. We promote student wellbeing and good mental health through leadership, support, student voice, inclusion and partnerships as per the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework. At NEGS we believe empowering the students to be active in improving their own wellbeing helps them to learn by doing. The results speak for themselves, with measuredly increased self-esteem and confidence seen around our campus.
We are passionate about increasing student organised and led activities, with important awareness days like National Day of Action – Bullying. No Way! and Harmony Day. Our students learn through action and participation, empowered to be actively involved in their own health and happiness as well as improving the wellbeing of others, all while helping to raise awareness of these important issues within the school community. A peer mentoring program was introduced this year called ‘Girls Supporting Girls’, an initiative of the current year 12 cohort. Here, our senior students mentor those in years 7 and 8 under the guidance of the wellbeing coordinator and pastoral staff. This provides fantastic, positive role models, adds resources for the junior students, and promotes leadership and increased collegiality.
There is an important and emphasised focus on Cyber-safety within our wellbeing program. NEGS holds a subscription to Safe On Social, which provides ongoing support and information on how to be safe online, available widely to the NEGS community. We also engage expert speakers to talk to students on a range of relevant topics, all proving hugely popular as our cohorts are entertained, astounded and inspired.
Our program is delivered through a robust pastoral care team including the Wellbeing Coordinator, Year Advisors, Tutors, Health Centre staff, Boarding staff, house groups and the chaplaincy program, and well supported by the school executive team. We also utilise the many professional resources available in the community like Reachout, Headspace, Blackdog Institute, Student Wellbeing Hub, Office of eSafety Commissioner, Safe On Social, Be You Initiative, Beyond Blue, and AISNSW Student Wellbeing.