The student wellbeing program is a best practice services model and underpins student success in teaching and learning.
In our selective environment, there are high expectations of academic performance placed on students across the school community. Led by the Head Teacher, Wellbeing, a team of year advisers, counsellors and learning support staff assist students develop resilience and emotional wellbeing and a strong sense of justice. Individual support is offered where required.
Our innovative and custom built wellbeing program maps the needs of our adolescents as they mature and includes a variety of year camps, presentations and support from outside providers. Outside providers, both government and non-government, give our students useful links they can access outside school.
Students welcome motivational guest speakers; Brainstorm theatre productions; High Resolves leadership program; Beyond Blue Roadshow, and participate in the Crossroads and Peer Support, amongst many other activities. Year 12 are mentored by volunteer staff, and Year 10 have an academic adviser program to help them make career choices based on their personal strength and interests.
A purpose built software program enables us to track the wellbeing and engagement of all students via data generated in each of the semester reports.
The school is proud to be a White Ribbon school, and campaigns for an end to violence against women, as well as: supporting RUOK? Day, a nationwide event held each September where all Australians are encouraged to start a conversation with a friend and check in on their wellbeing.
The school camp program is an important aspect of our students’ education strategy. Low SES students are funded to attend where required. Camps give students the opportunity to forge friendships, take risks in a safe environment, and take up physical and academic challenges. For some students in Year 7, this is the first occasion that they have left the family home. The program targets the different maturation levels of students.
- Year 7 camp at Point Wolstoncroft provides team building and social bonding for students from 81 different primary schools.
- Year 9 ‘Great Aussie Bushcamp’ at Hawks Nest with ‘commando challenge’.
- Year 11 camp at Jindabyne. This is a ski camp and allows students to experience the thrill of skiing in a safe environment.
- Band camp is an excellent curriculum camp for 100 students passionate about making music from all years in the school. It takes place at the end of Semester 1, before the Musicale Concert. Students attend with staff and music tutors and guest conductors and then return ready to play for the annual concert. In 2014 the camp was held at Stanwell Tops Conference Centre.
Peer Support & Student Transition
There are coordinators for Year 7 and Year 11 transition. They are responsible for the wellbeing of new students and ensure they settle into the school. They assist students with their curriculum and the organisational procedures.
STHS has enjoyed a long association with the Peer Support Foundation of Australia. Each year, every student in Year 8 completes the peer support training course – an intensive two-day program that provides explicit lessons in leadership, emotional intelligence, resilience and the role of respectful relationships. The traning gives many of our boys the opportunity to be selected as Peer Leaders. The primary purpose of Peer Leaders is to assist with the successful transition of new Year 7 students to high school. Starting at high school can be a challending stage in any young person’s life. New buildings, procedures, subjects, transport routes and routines mean that having an experienced and empathetic role model from Year 9 gives our Year 7 students a supportive and connected transition experience. It also gives our mentors an important opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills.
Peer Support at Sydney Technical High School consists of a series of organised peer led sessions which commence on Year 6 Orientation day and continue the following year during Terms 1 and 2 during Welfare Assembly time. The program is targeted towards Year 7 students and is led by a selected group of trained Year 9 leaders who facilitate small group sessions under the supervision of teachers. Each session is designed to help integrate our incoming Year 7 students into high school life as well as improve their mental, social and emotional wellbeing.
The Transition program at Sydney Technical High school allows for a smooth transition for our incoming Year 7 students as they transition from Primary into High School. The program is run by Year 7 teachers for the first two days of the school year and finishes up with a Peer Support session at the end of the first week. The topics covered in the two day transition program include; name game and mixing activities, overview of school rules and procedures, teacher contacts and there location within the school, diary familiarisation, navigating the school and local area and finally a series of study skills activities.
STHS is a diverse and inclusive learning environment. We understand that, especially amongst adolescents, conflict does occasionally occur. Our strong stance on anti bullying reflects this and is in accordance with our own school ethos and the NSW Department of Education’s standards.
Student Wellbeing and engagement at STHS is maximised through our best practice application of a student services model. Our team, led by the Head Teacher Wellbeing works closely with specialist staff to ensure student success through our strengths-based approach. Our specialist roles include year advisers, school counsellor, learning and support teacher and careers adviser. The Wellbeing Team also works with other NSW Department of Education sectors including home school liaison, vision and hearing support and Stewart House. A primary responsibility of the Wellbeing Team is the provision of Wellbeing Assemblies – an integral feature of our whole school and evidence based support for student needs from Years 7-12.
Three times each term, all students participate in dedicated, evidence-based and content rich wellbeing and engagement lessons. These lessons are designed to best equip the students with specific skills and strategies to prepare them for personal best achievement at school and as active and informed citizens of the 21st Century. During these lessons, age appropriate topics are delivered by classroom teachers or guest presenters. Topics in the junior years address traditional and emerging issues including organisations, relationships, note taking and communication. Seniors explore topics such as stress management, leadership, risk taking and career preparation.
STHS is an inclusive and supportive educational environment and staff across the school understand the importance in providing students with a disability with equal access to learning opportunities. Students with disabilities are appropriately catered for whether their needs are physical, sensory, emotional or cognitive. Dedicated personnel assist with individualised learning plans, collaboration with external agencies and families. Support is also offered through internal processes including BOSTES Disability Provisions and HSC Pathways.
Year 12 students may opt to work with a teacher mentor. The role of the teacher mentor is to encourage students during stressful periods of their HSC education, assist them with their organisation, encourage them to perform at their personal best, and support students throughout this period. A student support website has been developed by the Careers Adviser and can be found at www.sydneytech.net.au