Student Welfare

All our staff across Baden Powell College are committed to supporting students with their personal wellbeing, whether it be physical, emotional, social or academic. We are committed to building a secure learning environment where all students feel culturally, emotionally and physically safe.

For more targeted support we have a team to assist students to address their individual needs. 

The wellbeing team meets with parents, talks to students individually and in small restorative groups, works with students who have learning difficulties and liaises with outside agencies and community services who are supporting the students and families who attend Baden Powell College.

Helen Voysey and Sarah Hamilton coordinate the Program for Students with a Disability. Helen coordinates the Prep - Grade 4 students across both campuses, and Sarah coordinates the Grade 5 - Year 9 students at each campus. They both work closely with Education Support Officers who support these students daily in the classroom. Sarah is also responsible for the support and welfare of the students in years 7 - 9.

Sam Mahoney our Social Worker provides individual and group support, parent support and consultation, and linkage to community services.

Individual work includes career planning, counselling, anger management, social skills, conflict resolution, physical and mental health support, school attendance and linkage to community services.

Group Programs include social skills groups, conflict resolution, anger management, grief and loss, and teenage specific programs. There are numerous services in our community that are available to assist families, many free or low cost. The Student Wellbeing team at Baden Powell College is a good starting point. Through parent consultations; allied health professionals can be accessed such as doctors, pediatricians, psychologists, occupational therapists, behavioral optometrists, counsellors, and specialised educational services.

Additional supports also include mental health services, family support services, parenting assistance, financial assistance, legal information and advocacy, and disability services. The Social Worker at Baden Powell College is a free service and information provided is kept private and confidential.

In addition, through our school student wellbeing team, students and families at Baden Powell College can access additional support for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families, or families from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island Background. Please contact your class teacher or a member of leadership or wellbeing, for additional information.

Speech Pathology

The Speech Pathology program is a successful program which runs across both the Derrimut Heath and Tarneit Campuses. It assists students with communication difficulties including articulation, language, phonological awareness and social complications. Articulation sessions are 1:1 with parents and are administered by myself, Tahlia Clarke, the school’s Speech Pathologist with the aim of correcting the child’s speech sound errors.  The language programs are administered on a weekly basis by our Speech Therapy Assistants, Mrs Phyllis Mifsud and Mrs Kylie Drummond who administer the program to small groups of students who have similar language and communication difficulties.

In term 2 and 3 SPOT (speech & occupational therapy) programs run in Prep classes on a weekly basis focusing on comprehension of instructions and concept development with the Speech Pathologist, Tahlia Clarke and on gross and fine motor skill development with Occupational Therapist, Rebecca Christy.

A Playing and Learning to Socialise (PALS) program for selected Preps is offered in Term 3 and 4. The skills taught include:

  • Greeting others
  • Turn taking
  • Talking and listening
  • Sharing
  • Asking for help
  • Identifying feelings
  • Empathy
  • Overcoming fear and anxiety
  • Managing frustration
  • Calming down and speaking up

In 2018 a new Phonological Awareness Program for Grade 1 and 2 students was implemented. The focus of the program is to provide students with the required skills for success in their reading, writing and spelling.  The program is run by Phyllis Mifsud one of our wonderful Speech Therapy Assistants and myself and it is delivered to selected students across both campuses. So far the children have thoroughly enjoyed these groups and they have acquired many new skills that will help them with their reading and writing.

Occupational Therapy at BPC

Occupational Therapist, Rebecca Christy runs our occupational therapy program across both campuses. The program aims to promote optimal wellbeing, facilitate performance and participation at school and supports student’s educational goals. Programs are aimed at developing student’s fine and gross motor skills that are required for school activities such as prewriting skills, holding a pencil appropriately, and using scissors, copying from the board and handwriting as well as sensory needs, attention, concentration and organisation skills.

Our Occupational Therapist works with students of all ages and abilities however mainly focuses on early intervention with our prep-two students. In our prep grade, the Occupational Therapist runs a weekly program that starts with ‘Mat Man’ which focusses on body awareness, pre-writing skill and sequencing. The program than moves on to handwriting and utilises a multi-sensory approach which is fun and engaging for students. The students really enjoy using the “try, wet, dry” method when using blackboards to learn about letters, letter formation and the introduction of dotted thirds using “sky, grass and dirt” to assist students with correct letter placement and size. They also enjoyed starting our sessions with singing our favourite songs “Where do you start you letters? At the top!” and “The Sentence Song”. This approach kept the students engaged whilst learning handwriting and developing their fine and gross motor skills.

The grade one/two program has worked towards developing student’s handwriting skills through fun and engaging activities. These have included ‘Sentence Surgery’ which has been working on correct spacing between words, letter placement, writing on the baseline, capitals and punctuation. As well as “Rocket Writing” which has worked on increasing student’s fluency and speed whilst still focusing on neatness correct letter formation, placement and sizing. Recently we have introduced ‘OT Tubs’ in to the classroom which provides students with fun and engaging fine motor activities to help develop these skill and get their hands ready for handwriting. The occupational therapist also works with some students in small groups once a week to further support their fine and gross motor development.

Each year we also run a handwriting competition for our grade prep – two students. The competition is a great opportunity for students to show how hard they have worked over the year and display their amazing handwriting skills.
The Zones of Regulation program has been rolled out as a whole school approach to help students gain skills in self-regulation. Self-regulation can go by many names, such as self-control, self-management and impulse control. It is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. For example, when a student plays on the playground or in a competitive game, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness. However, that same state would not be appropriate in the library. The sessions are designed to help students recognise when they are in these different “zones” as well as strategies to change or stay in the zone they are in.

The occupational therapist also works collaboratively with classroom teachers and other allied health professionals to support student’s educational goals and meet their specific needs. Classroom consultation and recommendations are also provided for materials, tools and classroom modifications to enhance student’s independence, facilitate learning and help students to function to the best of their ability.

The SPOT Program

The SPOT (Speech Pathology & Occupational Therapy) program is also run across both campuses by our Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist. The program is run for selected grade prep student and focuses on a combination of skills important for success at school including basic language concepts and gross motor skills.  Basic concepts are required for language development and overall learning. A child is required to understand a specific concept in order to follow a direction and complete the task. Gross motor skills are also an essential skill for student development; they stabilise and control movements of the body providing a platform to perform fine motor task with ease.  Gross motor activities were also incorporated into the program to support students learning of the basic concepts.

The PALS Program

The PALS (Playing and Learning to Socialise) program is another program run across both campuses by our Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist. PALS is a 9-week program run within the classroom that focuses on greeting others, listening, sharing, taking turns, managing emotions and problem-solving. Learning social skills like these in early childhood is just as important as learning numeracy and literacy and is of the utmost importance for children’s future development.

The PALS Social Skill Program aims to:

  • Help children relate to others
  • Teach children constructive problem-solving skills for social situations
  • Promote skills