DEVELOPING POSITIVITY AND BALANCE
Vi et Animo —uniquely Ascham
Our wellbeing framework embraces the belief that girls who are socially, emotionally and physically well have a positive outlook and can engage fully with their learning.
Bringing heart to learning
A supportive structure
Through generations of girls’ education, we have developed a deep understanding of the support and guidance that girls need, to ensure they can develop and retain a positive outlook and ultimately thrive both academically and personally.
This framework is built around our values and the four main principles of the Dalton Plan, and enables girls to be academically buoyant, armed with the skills to cope with challenges and setbacks. In their own words they ‘feel good and function well’.
Our wellbeing program comprises of a wide range of lessons, initiatives, workshops and activities, carefully tailored to ensure girls are supported and encouraged at every stage of their learning journey. It is organised around seven interconnected strands:
- a healthy lifestyle
- physical and emotional safety
- social decision making
- relationship skills
- social awareness
It also provides support for areas including transitioning and orientation, positive leadership, critical thinking, cybersafety, study skills, service learning, camps and activity days.
Head of Wellbeing
Building academic buoyancy
Wellbeing is essential for coping with the everyday setbacks that are a natural part of learning and growing.
The unique format of the Dalton Plan, with its regular interactions between students and teachers and in-built moments of collaboration and reflection, is the ideal platform to provide the stable environment needed for learning, growing through mistakes, and celebrating achievements,
Our approach to academic buoyancy ensures every girl’s needs are being met. Girls understand where they stand academically and teachers can assess development and engagement at an individual level, ensuring every student has a greater chance of meeting their academic goals.
Of course, everyday setbacks are a natural part of the learning journey and we are increasingly focused on the academic buoyancy of our girls—how they overcome these setbacks and wider academic challenges.
We want our students to proactively move forwards as independent learners who take responsibility for their learning journey.”
The Health and Wellbeing Centre
Throughout their time at school, every girl will face academic and personal challenges so it is paramount that they feel supported, can draw on others and retain a sense of buoyancy in their daily lives.
As part of our wider Vi et Animo wellbeing framework, Holmwood House provides the necessary support for girls’ health. This fully equipped space is managed by a fulltime, highly experienced team and focuses on ensuring general health and minimising health-related obstacles that can impede learning, individual development and personal wellbeing. It offers:
- a safe environment for girls to seek help and support for their physical or mental health
- primary health care and first aid
- promotion of and assistance in health education
- medical and dental appointments
- referrals to allied health professionals and our School Counsellors.
Vi et Animo
Wellbeing in Hillingdon
(P to Year 2)
In these early years we provide a happy and caring environment where each girl feels secure. Girls are introduced to the principles of trust, respect, co-operation and concern for others, which are included in our Personal Development classes and Social Skill programs. Courtesy, respect and good manners are expected at all times.
We focus on developing confident learners, encouraging positive social skills and building community bonds through PDH lessons, social skills lessons, learning buddies and service to others through charity days and sponsorships. The You Can Do It! program explicitly teaches the skills of confidence, persistence, resilience, cooperation and organisation.
Vi et Animo
Wellbeing in Fiona
(Years 3 to 6)
We encourage each girl to respect herself and others, be honest, work with others co-operatively, take responsibility for her actions and join a wide range of activities so that her friendship circles are broad.
Extending on the You Can Do It! program introduced in Hillingdon, each girl belongs to a ‘POD’, a group of girls from each Year, who meet with their POD teacher fortnightly. Girls remain in the same POD for their Fiona years. The girls in Year 6 lead the activities in each session and these range from discussions about friendships and developing useful strategies to the writing and performing of plays as a group. The girls develop a strong network of support across their primary years and into the future. Regular Class Chatterbox sessions help students support one another and find solutions if there are problems being experienced by their peers.
There are a number of opportunities for the girls to demonstrate leadership in Fiona. From elected positions on the Student Representative Council to prefect portfolios in Year 6.
Vi et Animo
Wellbeing in Senior School
(Years 7 to 12)
We nurture our girls’ wellbeing based on strong and caring relationships, and we maintain a school-wide supportive framework to foster this. It is integral to the learning process in Senior School and girls are assisted from a holistic perspective, covering social engagement, charitable activity, leadership and peer support.
Workshops, guest presenters, information evenings, camps, the PDHPE curriculum and specific programs are tailored to the girls’ developmental needs throughout their senior years.
Developing positive leadership
We want Ascham girls to be resourceful and proud of their role in the world, becoming the leaders of tomorrow and helping shape the society they live in. To prepare them, we nurture a culture of positive leadership where girls are trained in the necessary skills throughout their time at Ascham.
Girls are encouraged to understand the importance of each individual and to discover that diverse perspectives brought together create better outcomes. Our girls take part in a variety of workshops, camps and other programs to develop their personal skills of resilience, communications, confidence, self-discipline and teamwork. In addition, the girls attend workshops in areas such as resilience, leadership, empowerment and study skills.
Find out more in our introduction to leadership.