St Francis Xavier’s Primary School in Lurnea, Sydney, has adopted KidsMatter, an Australian mental health and wellbeing initiative set in primary schools.
The framework helps care for children by creating positive school communities, teaching social and emotional development, working together and recognising and getting help for children with problems.
St Francis Xavier’s Primary School teacher Joseph Lentini said they’d had the framework in place all year and had noticed a change in the playground and classroom.
‘We’re using language like mental health and wellbeing … we’re naming it,’ he says.
‘We try to give them the skills to deal with situations in life. So they can bounce back when things don’t go their way.’
Every student from Kindergarten to Year 6 is included.
Joseph said evidence shows that if a child is suffering poor mental health, academically they will suffer.
The framework was introduced into the school community with a picnic day last month which included soccer, parachute fun, flying fox, slides and getting outside to play.