Student Wellbeing at Kurnai
Students need a safe and stable environment in order to learn and perform well.
At Kurnai College we believe that wellbeing support is an integral part of creating an emotionally safe environment for our students so they can focus on their education and make the most of the opportunities provided.
Kurnai College supports its students, teachers and families in a number of different ways:
Each of our campuses has a Student Welfare Officer who works closely with the students and teachers to form strong relationships and offer specialised support. Through welfare support, we assist students and their families by helping with anything and everything we can. Welfare workers support students individually, with their families and as groups, and involve teachers and other support staff as needed. The welfare workers can assist with issues affecting mental and physical health, emotional wellbeing, relationships, stress and behaviour management, organisation, communication, social and interpersonal skills. They often make referrals and link in with appropriate external agencies for things like physical and mental health, housing, finances, transport, food, emergency relief, parenting and family support, pathways and alternative programs and provide advocacy when required. Our welfare workers also organise events that focus on bringing everyone together to celebrate our achievements and community, socialise as a group, build relationships and focus on important topics.
We have Advocates situated at each campus to assist with student and teacher support, monitor academic progress and provide behaviour management. Our Advocates are the “go to” staff members for our students and play an integral role in the everyday workings of the campuses. Advocates are there to help with day to day issues that occur throughout the course of our student’s education and help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. In doing so, they work closely with students, teachers and parents to make sure students can make the most of their education and accomplish great things.
In supporting our Indigenous students we have a number of specialised workers across the college, including a Koorie Wellbeing Officer and two Koorie mentors.
Our Koorie Wellbeing Officer provides assistance to students and works closely with their teachers, families and community to help students engage in their education following the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 and celebrate and connect with their aboriginality. Our Koorie Wellbeing Officer is linked in with our local Indigenous community and liaises closely with them to support our students and their families in a culturally appropriate manner so they can engage fully in their education and achieve their goals. The Koorie Wellbeing Officer works tirelessly to bring greater cultural awareness to both our Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and school community. This is done through organising different cultural events and activities across the college, and providing access and bringing opportunities to our young Indigenous students to grow in their cultural knowledge, awareness and understanding of their aboriginality.
Our Koorie Mentors provide in-class support to our students when needed and help keep students focused and on track with their work. They play an integral role in the engagement of our students and are key in helping create a safe and supportive environment in the classroom for our Indigenous students to thrive.
The Secondary School Nursing Program aims to reduce risk and promote better health. The key role of the secondary school nurse is to support health promotion and primary prevention. Through identifying and building on existing school initiatives and providing appropriate preventative health care, our secondary school nurse assists us to better support the health and wellbeing needs of our students. Our school nurse does this through health promotion and primary prevention initiatives, school community development activities, small group work focusing on health related discussion and information, individual student health counselling, providing advice and referrals to assist young people in making healthy lifestyle choices. Our school nurse works collaboratively with teachers and staff across the college to address student health and wellbeing issues and helps with the development of health related curriculum and policy, the delivery of health education in partnership with teachers, providing input into school planning processes and the delivery of individual and group programs for students.
Doctors in Schools Program
The Doctors in Schools Program aims to provide health care and medical advice to those in need. The objectives of the program are to make primary health care more accessible to students; provide assistance to young people to identify and address any health problems early; and reduce the pressure on working parents. As part of the program, Kurnai has been assigned a Doctor and Practice Nurse for half a day per week. They are located at the Morwell campus in a specially designed and renovated space located next to the gym. Students can access free and confidential medical advice and health support from the doctor and can arrange appointments through the Student Welfare Officer or directly with the Practice Nurse. Appointments can be utilised for any medical and health care need including but not limited to mental, physical and sexual health.