At NMPS we seek to provide our students with an education that gives each child the best start to a happy, healthy and bright future. We aim to promote and model respect and equality, and to teach our children how to build healthy relationships, resilience, and confidence.

Wellbeing team

Zoe Bourdon- Social Worker

Shaun Andrews- Mental Health and Wellbeing Leader

Kristen Pepyat- Leading Teacher Wellbeing (Years 3-6) (W-F)

Tom McCormick- Leading Teacher Wellbeing (Years P-2) (M-W)

Pictured clockwise from top left- Zoe, Shaun, Tom, Kristen

Process for onsite therapy and requests for completion of assessment tools

At times, staff at North Melbourne Primary School receive requests from parents/carers to enable external professionals (including therapists, medical, and allied health) to make contact with teachers to support the needs of their child. Such requests may include:

  • Teacher completion of screening tools and assessments required by external professionals
  • Coordination of meetings between therapists/ allied health/ classroom teachers
  • In-class observations
  • Onsite therapy

All such requests must be made in writing to zoe.bourdon@education.vic.gov.au or north.melbourne.ps@education.vic.gov.au.

Individual teacher email addresses should NOT be provided to external parties as all requests must be centralised.

Please note, such requests require a number of processes to be undertaken prior, including paperwork and approvals, and therefore we ask that you submit your initial requests with sufficient notice to enable these processes to occur.

Ultimately, the decision to allow therapists to conduct therapy on school grounds rests with the principal as a delegate of School Council, who will consider all relevant factors including family and social circumstances, physical space available, and the flexibility of the student’s learning program.

School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS)

SWPBS is a research-based framework that focuses on creating a school culture that promotes positive behaviour and academic success. It is built on the understanding that when we establish clear expectations, teach and reinforce positive behaviours, and provide support when needed, we can create an environment where all individuals thrive.

At the core of SWPBS are a few key components:

  • Clearly Defined Expectations: The NMPS staff have established clear and consistent behaviour expectations across all areas of our school, from classrooms to the playground and beyond. Expectations are directly linked to our school values of Respect, Inclusion, Sagacious, Ethical (R.I.S.E). These expectations will be taught to students explicitly, ensuring everyone understands what is expected of them in various settings.
  • Positive Reinforcement: We celebrate and acknowledge positive behaviour through various means such as verbal praise, house point incentives, and RISE award acknowledgments. By recognizing and reinforcing desired behaviours, we will create a positive atmosphere that encourages students to continue making positive choices.
  • Support and Intervention: For students who may require additional assistance, SWPBS provides a multi-tiered system of support. This means we offer interventions and support strategies tailored to individual needs, ensuring every student has the opportunity to succeed behaviorally and academically.

The decision to embrace SWPBS aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing the best possible learning environment for our students, in conjunction with our AIP goals. By implementing SWPBS, we aim to:

  • Foster a positive and inclusive school culture where every student feels valued, respected, and safe.
  • Promote consistency in behaviour expectations and teaching across the entire school community.
  • Encourage a focus on positive behaviours rather than solely reacting to negative ones.
  • Support our students in developing essential social, emotional, and behavioural skills that are crucial for their success in school and beyond.

We believe that by embracing SWPBS, we can create an environment that not only supports academic achievement but also nurtures the overall well-being and growth of each student.

Our SWPBS statement of purpose is:

To establish a positive and safe learning environment where all students achieve academic, social and emotional growth.

In the upcoming year of 2024, we are delving deeper into each behaviour outlined in our school’s behaviour matrix. Teachers will be unpacking and explicitly teaching each of the positive behaviours. The aim of unpacking each behaviour is to ensure that students gain a deep understanding of each positive behaviour in various situations and settings.

Our dedicated teachers will continue to instil these positive behaviours, much like they do with regular academic subjects in their classrooms. Whenever a student encounters a behavioural misstep, we approach it as an opportunity for learning and growth, aligning with our approach to addressing academic errors. Students demonstrating these positive behaviours will receive corresponding house points, reflecting their commendable behaviours. Points for positive behaviours will accumulate, with one house winning each week. Students who consistently display these behaviours and demonstrate a sound understanding of our school values will have the potential to be awarded one of our weekly R.I.S.E awards, which would be presented at the school assembly.

Zones of Regulation at NMPS

North Melbourne Primary School is excited to introduce the Zones of Regulation as a valuable addition to our school’s Wellbeing program. This internationally recognized intervention is designed to assist children in managing challenging emotions, also known as ‘self-regulation.’ The concept of self-regulation encompasses various terms such as ‘self-control,’ ‘impulse management,’ and ‘self-management.’ It refers to achieving the ideal level of alertness suitable for different situations. For instance, a child might require a higher state of alertness during a sports game compared to studying in a library.

At times, both children and adults struggle with handling intense emotions like worry, anger, restlessness, fear, or fatigue, hindering their ability to effectively navigate their day. Children experiencing these emotions might find it challenging to concentrate and learn at school. The Zones of Regulation aims to equip children with strategies to manage these feelings, enabling them to regain a sense of calmness and readiness to learn. These strategies are commonly referred to as ‘self-regulation.’

Our goal is to empower all students with effective coping and regulation techniques, aiding them in handling anxiety and stress. Often, children may feel overwhelmed when encountering complex learning tasks or challenges. By providing them with tools to manage these emotions, they can improve their ability to tackle academic challenges and develop stronger resilience, reducing the tendency to give up easily when faced with difficulties. We aspire to assist children in mastering these skills so they can thrive in various aspects of their educational journey.

Using the Zones of Regulation, we aim to help students:

  • Acknowledge and manage their current Zone, learning techniques to either maintain or shift to another Zone as needed.
  • Expand their emotional language to articulate their feelings effectively.
  • Identify the emotional state of others in various Zones, fostering empathy and understanding.
  • Gain an understanding of factors that could trigger transitions between different Zones.
  • Comprehend the impact of emotions, sensory inputs (like sleep deprivation or hunger), and surroundings on their Zone.
  • Cultivate problem-solving abilities and resilience.
  • Compile a set of calming and alerting strategies tailored to their needs, forming their own personalised ‘toolkit.’

What are each of the zones?
Blue Zone: low state of alertness and feeling down, feeling sad, tired, sick, hurt, lonely, or bored. Our energy is low and our body is moving slowly when we are in the Blue Zone.

Green Zone: Tranquil state of awareness; ideal for learning; feels content, serene, focused, and emotionally stable.

Yellow Zone: Increased alertness; heightened emotions with some level of control; experiences frustration, worry, restlessness, excitement, and partial loss of control.

Red Zone: Intensified alertness and overwhelming emotions; not conducive for learning; feels furious, terrified, agitated (yelling/hitting), or overly ecstatic.

Students are taught that everyone experiences all of the Zones. The Red and Yellow zones are not ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ Zones. All of the Zones are experienced at one time or another. The aim is to ensure students can recognise what zones they are in and provide them with strategies to move from one zone to the next, when necessary. 

Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships 

The Royal Commission on Family Violence identified the critical role that schools have in creating a culture of respect in order to change the story of family violence for future generations. Everyone involved in our school community deserves to be respected, valued, and treated equally.

We know that changes in attitudes and behaviours can be achieved when positive attitudes, behaviours and gender equality are lived across the school community, and when classroom learning is reinforced by what is modelled in our school community. Taking a whole-school approach is about embedding a culture of respect and equality across our entire school community. This approach leads to positive impacts on students’ academic outcomes, their mental health, classroom behaviour, and relationships between teachers and students.

Respectful Relationship lessons cover the following topics with age-appropriate content and resources for each year level:

  • Emotional Literacy
  • Personal Strengths
  • Positive Coping
  • Problem Solving
  • Stress Management
  • Help-seeking
  • Gender and Identity
  • Positive Gender Relations

More information can be found http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/respectfulrelationships.aspx

Morning Circle

The first five minutes of class are critical for setting the tone for learning. Consistent routines support engagement in learning and wellbeing. The structured routine of forming a circle with our students to review key expectations and celebrate any announcements and successes, allows young people to ground themselves, co-regulate and establish a common rhythm for the learning day:

Brain Breaks 

Our school is implementing brain breaks to enhance learning by offering short interruptions, typically lasting 2-4 minutes, aimed at revitalizing focus and attention. These breaks are strategically scheduled at various intervals throughout the day, clearly indicated on a visual timetable for easy reference by students.

Irrespective of age, everyone benefits from occasional breaks in concentrated attention. Whether we’re experiencing a dip in focus and energy that requires an escalation or an excess of energy that needs de-escalation, these breaks play a crucial role. By selecting the appropriate activity during these breaks teachers will ensure that students are primed and ‘Ready to Learn’ once more.

Cyber Safety Project

This year North Melbourne Primary School is proudly collaborating with the Cyber Safety Project to facilitate cyber safety education with Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 students, their families and our Errol Street teachers. Students will uncover the risks of learning, connecting and playing online. They will be empowered to navigate the online world as safe, independent and responsible digital citizens.

The Cyber Safety Project is endorsed by the eSafety Commissioner as a Trusted eSafety Provider. To further support cyber safety education at home, you can find helpful online home safety guides, conversation checklists and resources for creating a safe digital environment at home via cybersafetyproject.com.au

Additional online safety support resources: 

  • Report online harms including cyber bullying, image-based abuse or illegal and harmful content – eSafety.gov.au 
  • Report child exploitation material to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation – accce.gov.au
  • If your child is in immediate danger, call 000.