Student Support - Welfare

 

Student Welfare is the concern of every member of staff. In its widest context it covers the safety of all students in our care, their emotional, social and intellectual wellbeing as well as their conduct and behaviour.
 
The Welfare faculty at Gosford High School is an energetic and committed team, well matched to the needs of our gifted and talented students. Particular responsibilities for student welfare lie with the Year Advisers, the School Counsellor, Head Teacher Welfare, Head Teacher Administration, Deputy Principals and the Principal. The school Welfare Committee is made up of these teachers as well as a number of interested and committed staff. This committee meets regularly and is co-ordinated by the Head Teacher Welfare.
 
YEAR ADVISERS
These people have the special care of a particular year group. These are the people parents need to contact if they have information which would help the school better understand and support their child. The year advisers get to know their group over the years and assist them as they mature and move through their school lives. Year Advisers usually stay with a particular year throughout their time at Gosford High School, so a students’ Year Adviser in Year 7 will usually remain their year adviser until they leave the school. This gives students access to someone with ongoing knowledge and commitment. Parents wanting to know which year adviser to contact in relation to their son or daughter should contact the Administration Office on phone 4325 2048.
 
HEAD TEACHER WELFARE
The Head Teacher Welfare supports the Year Advisers in their role as well as ensuring the implementation and running of Gosford High School’s welfare programs throughout the year. These programs are aimed to maximise student development and include:
·         Department of Education and Training policies
·         Child Protection
·         Anti-Bullying and Anti-Racism
·         Managing drug related incidents
·         Time management and effective study skills
·         Home Groups
·         Self Esteem
·         Vaccinations
 
SCHOOL COUNSELLORS
Our two school counsellors are trained psychologists and are available to assist all students and parents. They are located in the Administration Block. If the door is open they are available to talk at that time. Alternately students can leave their name and year at the front office to make an appointment. Parents are welcome to discuss matters by phone or in person.
 
HEAD TEACHER ADMINISTRATION
Our Head Teacher Administration monitors attendance and follows up on any fractional truancies or discrepancies between the class attendance list and the absentee list. Interviews are held with the relevant student on the next day or as closely as possible. Details from these interviews are collated and recorded on student files.
 
WELFARE PROGRAMS
 
Year 7:
Orientation and coping with change: At the start of Year 7 all students attend a school camp. This camp provides the new Gosford High Year 7 students an opportunity to form a year identity and get to know each other. Year 7 also have the opportunity to participate in leadership training during the year as part of the EALS Program. Year 7 have their own Welfare Day in Term 3 with a focus selected by their Year Adviser.
 
Year 8:
Student Unity: The focus of Year 8 is to develop in students the ability to acquire skills and knowledge according to their needs and potential. Year 8 have their own Welfare day with a focus on Friendship and Tolerance. They also further explore the issue of internet safety and cyberbullying through designated workshops.
 
LIMS - Leadership in Middle School: A NSW DEC program designed to improve student relationships specifically through student transition programs, skills development and student unity. This represents a supported task, student led project.
 
Year 9:
PSVP - Premier’s Student Volunteering Program:  A NSW DEC program that encourages and recognises student volunteering within and external to the school. Volunteer hours through Years 9 and 10 are recognised. Students receive a series of awards throughout the two year program based on the hours of volunteering . A minimum of 20 hours is recognised (Bronze Award) through to 150 hours (Black Opal). Certificates are distributed each semester.
 
Year 10:
Life and Resilience. The Future & Careers: To prepare Year 10 for life's challenges we present a program to build skills and strengths in our students. This includes: Wellbeing Week, Australia Business Week, Back Off - a program on building resilience, goal setting and power through knowledge for girls and Winning Edge, a program on positive life choices and life coaching for boys.
PSVP - continuation of Premier’s Student Volunteering Program. Volunteering is also recognised through Scholarship Awards for which students can apply online through the department by October of Year 10.
 
Year 11:
Skills for Life: Year 11 students currently attend Study Skills Camp in Term 1 as preparation for the Senior School. This camp gives the students the opportunity to bond as a senior year group. New students to the school are also able to develop new friendships. The camp further develops students’ skills of confidence and communication, and activities are designed to offer them a range of new experiences. Programs offered include goal setting and motivation skills which are developed through the Elevate program. Year 11 also have the opportunity to undertake leadership challenges and to undertake a variety of community services.
 
Year 12:
HSC and Beyond: While the Year 12 have the HSC as a strong academic focus, welfare programs are such that students can see themselves as unique individuals who are much more than a “mark” in the HSC or an ATAR score.
 
Year meetings are held weekly to provide information on BOS, University and Scholarship requirements. These meetings also offer opportunities for speakers on motivation and coping with exams as well as strengthening the Year 12 bonds. Awareness of stress, depression and strategies to cope are addressed. Student committees work on their Yearbook and the Year 12 jerseys to provide recognition of reaching Year 12.
HOME GROUP PROGRAM:
Named Home Groups, the vertical tutoring program aims to create a sense of connectedness to the school and to each other where understanding of learning and wellbeing is enhanced. The program is built on student strengths, building resilience and capability for optimal learning where the holistic nature of the program allows for the student to achieve their personal best in a variety of ways. The three dimensions of the program are wellbeing, relationships and learning. Each dimension has a pattern and structure where the teacher is the facilitator of the program, named Home Group Teacher, and senior students are leaders of activities. Groups are carefully complied within house groups. Students attend Home Groups twice a week.
 
The foundation of the wellbeing and relationships dimensions is Positive Psychology. The foundation for the learning dimension is current educational research, evidence and thinking, including learning intention, criteria for success, developing a common language of learning and the capacity to take responsibility of individual learning. Learning activities take place while the teacher and student engage in a Learning Conversation.
 
A Learning Conversation is a highly focussed dialogue between student and teacher designed to help the student expand his/her capacity for learning. The Learning Conversation focuses attention not only on learning and mastering content, behaviours and skills but on the process of learning itself – on meta-learning. Working in partnership, the teacher helps the student clarify and refine goals and performance outcomes and recognise and design flexible and adaptive learning strategies to enhance learning. Powerful questions encourage reflection and self-determination.