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This page includes five case studies and an environmental scan about effective wellbeing practice. 

Case studies

Cecil Hills High School (PDF, 4.8MB)Penrith Valley School (PDF, 4.1MB)Rosehill Public School (PDF, 4.7MB)South Wagga Public School (PDF, 3.5MB)Trangie Central School (PDF, 2.6MB)

The case studies highlight how effective wellbeing practice supports learning in local contexts. They have been prepared to assist schools to meet the department's strategic goal of 'Every student is known, valued and cared for in our schools'.

Cecil Hills High School (PDF, 4.8MB)

Penrith Valley School (PDF, 4.1MB)

Rosehill Public School (PDF, 4.7MB)

South Wagga Public School (PDF, 3.5MB)

Trangie Central School (PDF, 2.6MB)

The case studies are also available in audio:

Environmental scan

environmental scan (PDF, 7.9MB)

The environmental scan (PDF, 2MB) describes the structures and approaches that support student wellbeing and improve pastoral care. It includes an assessment of: current departmental practices; departmental data, trends and information; relevant state, national and international research; and current practices in a number of NSW public, independent and Catholic schools.

Published in Case studies

student wellbeing

This course allows educators to engage with contemporary literature on student wellbeing and connect it to their own practice.

Mode of delivery: online 
Accredited hours: 1.5
myPL course code: RG03815
Themes: wellbeing, engagement, social and emotional learning

Learn more about what the course involves.

Learn more about the Student wellbeing publication.

Enrol on myPL. 

Published in Professional learning

anti bullying thumb

This course allows educators to engage with contemporary literature on anti-bullying interventions and connect it to their own practice.

Mode of delivery: online 
Accredited hours: 2
myPL course code: RG03001
Themes: anti-bullying, effective interventions

Learn more about what the course involves.

Learn more about the Anti-bullying interventions publication. 

Enrol on myPL.

Published in Professional learning

anti bullying thumb

Anti-bullying interventions literature review (PDF, 1.1MB)

One-page summary (PDF, 251kB)

Evidence summary poster for school staffrooms

Anti-bullying interventions myPL course 

Background

This literature review provides the evidence base for the department’s anti-bullying strategy. Released in 2017, the NSW Anti-bullying Strategy brings together evidence-based resources and information to support schools, parents and carers, and students to prevent and respond to bullying effectively.
Bullying can be face-to-face, covert or online. It has three main features: it involves repeated actions, is intended to cause distress or harm, and is grounded in an imbalance of power.

In 2015, 14.8 per cent of Australian students reported being bullied at least a few times per month. Bullying peaks during the transition from primary school to high school, before decreasing to low levels by the end of high school. Boys tend to bully more than girls, however, girls use more covert bullying than boys.

Main findings

Anti-bullying programs reduce bullying behaviours by an average of 20 – 23 per cent.

The most effective anti-bullying interventions:

• take a holistic, whole-school and whole-community approach, which includes promoting awareness of anti-bullying interventions

• include educational content in the classroom that allows students to develop social and emotional competencies, and to learn appropriate ways to respond to bullying – both as a student who experiences bullying and as a bystander

• provide support and sustainable professional development for school staff on how best to enhance understanding, skills and self-efficacy to address and prevent bullying behaviours

• ensure systematic implementation and evaluation.

There are Australian and international examples of whole-schools approaches that have the characteristics common to effective anti-bullying interventions and have been subjected to program evaluations. Australian examples are the National Safe Schools Framework, Positive Behaviour for Learning, Friendly Schools, KidsMatter and MindMatters. International examples are the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (Norway), Sheffield Anti-Bullying Project (England), Seville Anti-Bullying in School Project (Spain) and KiVa Anti-Bullying Program (Finland).
Schools need greater support to maximise the outcomes of anti-bullying interventions and to identify what is likely to be successful based on their specific contexts and requirements. There is very little available currently in the way of specific advice to guide schools in their choice of anti-bullying programs.

More information

Visit the department's anti-bullying website.

Related publications:

The role of student engagement in the transition from primary to secondary school. 

 

Evidence summary poster for school staffrooms

To help share the evidence, Anti-bullying interventions is available as a summary poster (PDF, 1.4MB)

What does the poster say?

  • In 2015, 14.8% of Australian students reported being bullied at least a few times per month.
  • Bullying peaks during the transition from primary school to high school.
    It decreases to low levels by the end of high school. Boys tend to bully more than girls, however, girls use more covert bullying than boys.

  • Anti-bullying programs reduce bullying behaviours by an average of 20-23%.

The NSW Anti-bullying Strategy

In 2017, the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) released a literature review on effective anti-bullying interventions in schools. This review became the evidence base for the NSW Department of Education’s Anti-bullying Strategy. This strategy brings together evidence-based resources and information to support schools, parents and carers, and students to prevent and respond to bullying effectively.
Bullying can be face-to-face, covert or online.

It has three main features:
• it involves repeated actions
• is intended to cause distress or harm, and
• is grounded in an imbalance of power.
The most effective anti-bullying interventions:
• take a holistic, whole-school and whole-community approach
• include educational content in the classroom that allows students to learn appropriate ways to respond to bullying
• provide support and sustainable professional development for school staff
• ensure systematic implementation and evaluation.

Published in Learning Curve
Thursday, 21 May 2015

Student wellbeing

student wellbeing

Student wellbeing literature review (PDF, 900kB)

One-page summary (PDF, 220kB)

Evidence summary poster for school staffrooms

Student wellbeing myPL course

Background

Student wellbeing is an important focus of the NSW Department of Education. The department’s strategic plan, the School Excellence Framework and the Wellbeing Framework all underpin the work undertaken in student wellbeing and school excellence. The CESE literature review on student wellbeing explores how student wellbeing is defined; the relationship between wellbeing, schools and outcomes; school elements in improving student wellbeing; and student wellbeing policies in Australia.

Main findings

Wellbeing can be difficult to define because it has so many applications across a broad range of disciplines
The Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) synthesised the most common and relevant characteristics that appear in most definitions of wellbeing – namely positive affect; resilience; satisfaction with relationships and other dimensions of one’s life; and effective functioning and the maximising of one’s potential – and it produced the following definition of student wellbeing:

A sustainable state of positive mood and attitude, resilience and satisfaction with self, relationships and experiences at school1.

In education, wellbeing is important for two reasons
The first is the recognition that schooling should not just be about academic outcomes but that it is about wellbeing of the ‘whole child’, an approach highlighted in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. The second is that wellbeing is important because students who have higher levels of wellbeing are more likely: to have higher achievement outcomes at school and complete Year 12; better mental health; and a more pro-social, responsible lifestyle.

The literature consistently identifies a number of core elements that affect student wellbeing
These can be grouped broadly into the following:
• creating a safe environment
• ensuring connectedness
• engaging students in learning
• promoting social and emotional learning
• a whole school approach.
While these groupings have been distinguished for the purposes of outlining the evidence base related to student wellbeing, the categories are intrinsically interconnected and they should not necessarily be viewed as separate entities in and of themselves.

More information

  • CESE has recently released a professional learning course that allows educators to engage with contemporary literature on student wellbeing and connect it with their own practice. This online course will contribute 1.5 hours of registered professional learning for teachers. 
  • Visit the department's student wellbeing website

 

1 Australian Catholic University and Erebus International (2008) Scoping study into approaches to student wellbeing: Literature review. Report to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Canberra

 

Evidence summary poster for school staffrooms

To help share the evidence, Student wellbeing is available as a summary poster (PDF, 540kB)

What does the poster say?

Core elements that affect student wellbeing

  • creating a safe environment
  • ensuring connectedness
  • engaging students in learning
  • promoting social and emotional learning
  • a whole school approach

CESE's literature review on student wellbeing explores how student wellbeing is defined; the relationship between wellbeing, schools and outcomes; school elements in improving student wellbeing; and student wellbeing policies in Australia.
Wellbeing at school is multi-faceted.
Key elements are:
• positive affect
• resilience
• satisfaction with relationships and other dimensions of one's life, and
• effective functioning and the maximising of one's potential.
In education, wellbeing is important for two reasons.
• Schooling is not just about academic outcomes but about the wellbeing of the 'whole child'.
• Students who have higher levels of wellbeing are more likely to have higher achievement outcomes at school and complete Year 12; better mental health; and a more prosocial, responsible lifestyle.

Published in Research report

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