From ELC right through to Year 12, Wellbeing plays a central role in Firbank’s philosophy. It is not confined to a building, but rather permeates everything we do. We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment in which students are able to learn and grow.
Each Senior School year level has a Head of Year who monitors a student’s academic and social development and has overall responsibility for their welfare. In addition, our Head of Senior School and the Director of Student Services and Educational Psychologist provide additional support.
We actively encourage parents to inform the School of any concerns they feel may have an impact on student behaviour and performance. Our Senior School girls also join a ‘Sisters Group’ which comprises girls from Years 7 to 12. This group encourages interaction between year levels and allows for mentoring by older students.
Wellbeing occurs in all of our classrooms, however, explicit strategies, skills and ideas that support Wellbeing are taught as part of our Personal Development curriculum. Years 7-11 have Personal Development classes which cover many pertinent topics including Healthy Relationships, Drug and Sex Education, Friendships and appropriate Social Media behaviour.
Firbank is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment in our school. We want all our students to feel safe at school and ensure our classrooms are value-fair, not value-free.
As of 2017, Firbank is collaborating with the Department of Education and other schools to build and sustain a culture of respect and gender equality as both a learning space and workplace. This initiative will involve the implementation of a whole school approach to Respectful Relationships.
At the Junior School level, we believe that a happy school community is one in which relationships are built upon friendship, respect and positivity.
Firbank is supported by the equivalent of 2 full-time psychologists across our three campuses. Mrs Jenny Vincent-Green is the Director of Student Services, working in the Senior School; Dr Belinda Roberts Scholes who works three days at our Junior School, Brighton and Ms Emily Bull, who works 2 days a week at our Junior School, Sandringham.
Jenny has supervised Masters and Doctorate students from Melbourne and Monash Universities for the past 22 years. The Educational Psychologists conduct Cognitive and Educational assessments for students with advanced learning capabilities. We also provide a counselling service for students and parents when needed.
Student Wellbeing Group
The Student Wellbeing Group aims to create a united School community and ensure that every girl feels safe and comfortable at School. Activities have included Wellbeing Week, Sister Sushi Session and Friday Zumba on the Oval, while focussing on creating positivity.
As part of the ‘Dare to Dream’ initiative, which resulted in a substantial grant from the Foundation for Young Australians, one of the largest achievements so far was the workshop and collaboration with Beyondblue. The combination of Liptember and RUOK Day was funded by the grant and professional stencils around the Senior School reflected positive daily affirmations of: You are capable of amazing things; Today is your day; Let your smile change the world; Happy looks good on you; Believe that you can.