Student Wellbeing


The emotional and physical wellbeing of our students is pivotal to their success at school, as adolescents, and in their future lives. Physically and emotionally healthy students are happy, able to deal positively with life’s challenges, experience a sense of connectedness with the school and others, and are well placed to develop into well-balanced and successful young adults.

Student Engagement Strategy

3 Students sitting together

At Eltham North Primary School student engagement has three interrelated components.

Behavioural engagement refers to students’ participation in education, including the academic, social and extracurricular activities of our school.

Emotional engagement encompasses students’ emotional reactions in the classroom and in the school and measures a students’ sense of belonging or connectedness to our school.

Cognitive engagement relates to a students’ investment in learning and their intrinsic motivation and self-regulation.


The Department of Education is committed to providing safe, secure and high quality learning and development opportunities for every student in all Victorian schools.

At Eltham North Primary we believe students will reach their full educational potential when they are happy, healthy and safe.  The positive school culture is respectful, fair and students are engaged and supported in their learning.


To relate to and be consistent with the ‘Effective Schools are Engaging Schools:

Student Engagement Policy Guidelines focus on areas such as the encouragement of educational achievement and excellence, prevention of absences and discouraging inappropriate behaviour.

At Eltham North PS we will :

  • Foster a healthy school culture in which high levels of achievement take place within a positive social environment.
  • Provide students with a safe learning environment where the risk of harm is minimised and students feel physically and emotionally secure.
  • Provide support for individual circumstances when a student begins to disengage from their learning, when regular attendance is not consistent or positive behaviours are not demonstrated.
  • Maximise student learning opportunities and performance through ensuring students are engaged in their learning.
  • Provide genuine opportunities for student/parent participation and student/parent voice.
  • Build a school environment based on positive behaviours and values.
  • Provide both prevention (using cognitive, behavioural and emotional strategies) and intervention for all students at risk.

Whole School Behaviour Management Plan

This year, we are implementing a Whole School Behaviour Management System at Eltham North Primary School. The approach being implemented is known as Assertive Discipline. It will ensure consistency in the way teachers deal with student behavioural issues.

See our downloadable Student Code of Conduct

What is Assertive Discipline?

Assertive discipline is a structured, systematic approach designed to assist educators in running an organised, teacher-in-charge classroom environment.

  • The teacher has the right to determine what is best for their students, and to expect compliance.
  • No student should prevent you from teaching, or keep another student from learning.
  • Assertive teachers are supported by a few clearly stated classroom rules that have been explained, practiced, and enforced consistently.
  • They give firm, clear, concise directions to students to help them behave appropriately.
  • Students who comply are reinforced, whereas those who disobey rules and directions receive consequences.

What does Assertive Discipline look like in the Classroom?

At the start of the year, class norms are developed (with input from the students)

• These are prominently displayed in the classroom

• At the start of the year, the norms need to be referred to regularly to ensure the students become familiar with them.

• Consequences for not following the way students are expected to behave and these are made clear to students.

• A ‘staged’ response is used - with consequences becoming more severe if earlier consequences are not having the desired effect.

Consequences Scale

The following consequences will be applied (in order) if our class norms and rules are not followed:

Move to another place within the classroom
Inside for 10 minutes of Recess / Lunch
Send to Principal / Assistant Principal
Parents informed

The consequence stages are reset each day after recess and lunchtime. This gives the child the opportunity for a fresh start and to improve their behaviour. However, if the behaviours continue, the consequence stages continue to be implemented in order.

If the child gets to the fourth stage and is sent to the Principal or Assistant Principals, the child’s parents will receive an email informing them that this has occurred. The email will briefly explain why the child reached this stage and ask the parent to contact the class teacher for further information.

Any student with a severe / persistent behavioural problem will require additional behaviour management strategies. These will be negotiated with the Principal / Assistant Principal.

Positive Feedback

• Children who consistently follow the class rules will receive positive re-inforcement.
• Positive comments by class teacher
• House / Table Points
• Positive notes sent home to parents
• Pupil of the Week award
• Individual or whole class ‘free activity time’
• Extra individual computer time
• Whole class outdoor game (eg. Kickball)

Professional Support Services

Supporting our ambitious student wellbeing programs are the following skilled professionals.

Janine Tucker
Mental Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Stephen Hayes
Child & Educational Psychologist
Terese Kenneally
DET Psychologist
Danni La Ferlita
Paediatric Occupational Therapist
Elisabeth King
Speech Pathologist

Learn more about our professional support services team in the Our School > Support Services page

Support Services

Wellbeing Programs

Berry Street Education Model

The Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) provides strategies for teaching and learning that enables teachers to increase engagement of students with complex, unmet learning needs and to successfully improve all students’ self-regulation, relationships, wellbeing, growth and academic achievement.

The BSEM pedagogical strategies incorporate trauma-informed teaching, positive education, and wellbeing practices. All staff have been fully trained in the BSEM model and implement wellbeing practices into the school day, including a whole class morning meeting to ensuring students are ‘ready to learn’. The key concepts of BSEM are regularly revisited and ensure teachers are implementing evidence-based strategies for engagement and support.

Peaceful Kids Program

Peaceful Kids’ is a Mindfulness and Positive Psychology based program to lessen anxiety and stress and increase resilience in children. The program has been created to fulfil a need in schools to offer all children a developmentally appropriate program that gives children the skills, practice and support to utilise coping strategies that lessen the symptoms of anxiety and stress.   The program also involves parental involvement and commitment to supporting the strategies at home.

Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships Program (RRRR's)

The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Program aims to develop students’ social, emotional and positive relationship skills. Efforts to promote social and emotional skills and positive gender norms in children and young people has been shown to improve health related outcomes and subjective wellbeing. It also reduces antisocial behaviours including engagement in gender-related violence.

The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) learning materials cover eight topics of Social and Emotional Learning across all levels of primary school: Emotional Literacy; Personal Strengths; Positive Coping; Problem Solving; Stress Management; Help Seeking; Gender and Identity; and Positive Gender Relationships. The program content is taught on a weekly basis during our Whole School Wellbeing session (Monday morning at 9:00am), but is referred to throughout the school day when dealing with issues related to student wellbeing.

Friends for Life Program

The Friends for Life Program is a small group program that focuses on developing skills such as friendship skills; understanding ourselves, our strengths and others; resolving conflict; building confidence and resilience; teasing and bullying – why and how we cope; and assertiveness skills. The program is facilitated by an ACU student completing their Masters in Educational and Developmental psychology under supervision. The program operates for 10 sessions (one session per week over a school term). The program is available for students in different year levels, depending on identified cohort needs.

Positive Psychology

As part of our student wellbeing program, we are embracing the ideas and practices of Positive Psychology. T focuses on the strengths, virtues, beneficial conditions and processes that contribute to wellbeing and thriving. Positive education also works on the precept that the skills and mindsets that promote positive emotions, positive relationships and character strengths, also promote learning and academic success.‍

Research suggests that there are two significant things that help us develop positive emotions: gratitude and performing acts of kindness. People who are grateful, who feel and express gratitude on a regular basis, tend to be happier and more resilient. Similarly, performing small acts of kindness for someone each day makes you feel good. When you feel good, you are better at helping and looking after other people, which in turns creates more positive emotion.

Throughout the school there is a focus on developing the core components of a positive classroom: learning to become mindful by developing an awareness of one’s own feelings and those of others, helping children understand and express gratitude towards those who assist and support them, and demonstrating empathy towards others experiencing various challenges.

Mindful Meditation

In helping our children become more mindful, we have introduced mindful meditation sessions in classrooms. The Meditation Capsules Program has been implemented to introduce our students to the process of mindful meditation. Meditation Capsules supports students to understand the concept of being mindful - maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.

Mindfulness has been shown to increases positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress; helps us tune out distractions and improves our memory and attention skills; fosters compassion and altruism; and enhances relationships. There’s also evidence that teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behaviour problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay attention. Teachers trained in mindfulness also show lower blood pressure, less negative emotion and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy. ‘Smiling Mind’ is an i-phone application that provides recorded meditation sessions and is also used extensively in classrooms.

Power Up Program

The Power Up Program is a hybrid model of the ‘M-Power Girls’ Program and the ‘Revved Up’ Program developed by Tandy Johnson, Assistant Principal. These programs were previously taught as gender-specific programs. However, it is evident that both genders benefit from support to develop social relationship skills (previously the focus of M-Power Girls), as well as anger management skills (previously the focus of Revved Up). This combined program consists of 8 sessions and is facilitated by Year 5 & 6 classroom teachers in Term 1-2.

Social Relationships Program

The Social Relationships Program is a small group program that focuses on developing skills such as friendship skills; understanding ourselves, our strengths and others; resolving conflict; building confidence and resilience; teasing and bullying – why and how we cope; and assertiveness skills.

Professional Support Services

Eltham North Primary School utilises the talents of many highly skilled people to coordinate and implement highly valuable Support programs for students. Summarised below is a list of the Support Services team and the roles associated with the services provided. To learn go to the 'Our School' header and drop down to 'Support Programs'.

Support Services