Finding our wings to Soar

At St John’s Grammar, our vision is for every student to learn to soar and the wonderful part of this vision is that what that soaring will look like for each student, may be vastly different from the next. We embrace the unique strengths and qualities each child brings and we support them to reach their true potential through fostering the development of critical personal and social capabilities, such as resilience, perseverance, and open-mindedness, to name just a few.

Every child’s wellbeing is our priority and is the priority of all teachers within our School. Students can only flourish when they feel connected, have a sense of belonging and self-confidence to be who they truly are. It is my pleasure to inform you of a number of initiatives we have planned for enhancing student wellbeing in the Middle and Senior School.

Firstly, we will be completing a detailed audit of the current wellbeing initiatives within the curriculum and outside of the curriculum. The aim of this is to provide greater synergy to an array of wellbeing experiences currently provided for our students.

We will deliver a gold class experience of guest speakers through our uniquely St John’s, Wednesday Wellbeing Series; a Year 7 – 12 program specifically designed to provide rich learning and provoke thinking around a selection of developmentally appropriate health and wellbeing themes. Topics include:

  • Finding Your Meaningful Mojo
  • Organisational skills and planning for success
  • Dealing with stress and anxiety
  • Driver safety
  • Leadership (beyond the badge)
  • The Social network
  • Dangers of Drugs
  • Importance of Sleep
  • Fixed vs Growth mindsets

Creating a wellbeing framework that underpins our Soaring pedagogy is a key focus. Wellbeing is a critical part of how young people learn and grow. Research shows that children’s wellbeing affects their ability to engage with their education. It is also a lifelong outcome of learning – those that engage more with education are more likely to experience greater wellbeing as adults.

Finally, strengthening partnerships with parents and building the wellbeing culture of our whole community through specific events, a wellbeing blog on Canvas: (, and opportunities to connect more as a community are priorities for 2018.

One of my first actions I undertook in this new role was to explore the counselling services available within our school community, and streamline some of the processes for accessing this support. We have the service of two fantastic counsellors who will be available every day of the school week to provide an additional layer of support for those in need and work from a Counselling Hub in Carter House. This complements the significant pastoral care program within the school. The level of care the staff at St John’s have for your children is truly exemplary.


On the warm evening of Thursday 9 February, the Year 9 students and their families came together in Belair National Park, to acknowledge the call to adulthood that was upon them as they commenced their Rite Journey year. Every student had prepared a commitment to ‘let go’ of elements of their childhood, as they forge this new path towards growing into a fine young man or woman. Parents supported that call by offering new freedoms and a willingness to support their child through this important year, in partnership with their Rite Journey teacher.

A highlight of the evening was having the creator of the Rite Journey program, Andrew Lines in attendance to share this experience with our families and provide some of his wisdom on helping adolescents take the necessary steps towards adulthood. One of the parting messages he left with parents was to abandon eight key things that they do for their teens. This article is the first parent article to appear on our wellbeing Canvas blog.

Carlee Mitchell
Leader of Student Wellbeing