Concurrent Workshop 1

Monday 11 April 4–5pm

Session 1: Responsive Implementation into Action: Running cycles of interactive work with teams

Simon Breakspear, Executive Director, Breakspear Learning

In this practical workshop, leaders will build confidence in applying the key strategies and tools of Responsive Implementation to their own improvement work. Participants learn how to:
    Implement through more rapid cycles of action and learning Set up a design team to incubate new ideas in your unique context  Analyse and overcome the underlying causes of resistance to change Change the environment and providing tools to enable and sustain change behaviours
  • Identifying the most critical implementation challenges in their own work

Session 2: Becoming a ‘manager’ and not simply an ‘employee’

Ben Tallboys, Principal Russell Kennedy Lawyers

A workshop for Deputy Principals and Heads of Schools on shifting your thinking

Session 3: EMPOWHER – The design, implementation, and evaluation of an evidence-based wellbeing Program

Richard Lisle, St Peter's Girls' School, SA

EMPOWHER is an evidence-based K-12 wellbeing program that has successfully changed the way our students think and act.  The collection of quantitative baseline data in 2017, ensured that our program design was reflective of the current needs of our students.  Furthermore, research and surveying of our parents ensured that program content was aligned to national and international trends, as well as the behaviour that parents reported at home.  Data collected was presented back to staff, students, and parents, which allowed for authentic buy-in and support from our community.

Lesson resources were written by our wellbeing team with limited use of pre-existing external resources.  The research and development phase also included the branding of our program and design of professional parent resources, to compliment topics that were delivered to our students.

Finally, 2017 involved the training of our staff to deliver wellbeing content and consultation in relation to ease of access to resources.  As such, wellbeing content is delivered via our online learning platform, to ensure consistency for our students. Furthermore, staff had access to resources 6 months prior to delivery of content. From 2018 onwards, our students have received two 40-minute wellbeing lessons each week.  Content is delivered by a dedicated team of homegroup teachers and covers over forty wellbeing topics.

Evaluation commenced in 2019 and our first method was to re-test our 109-question baseline survey. Results identified areas of improvement and where further work was required.  In 2020, students were surveyed on knowledge, application, and engagement for each topic they studied.  Both open and closed questions were used to provide rich feedback. Evidence revealed significant knowledge development in wellbeing content with good application of strategies to improve wellbeing.  Despite concerns regarding consistency of lesson delivery, student data indicated most teaching staff were assisting them to engage with content and most topics were needed.

Staff completed evaluation surveys and took part in focus groups.  The quantitative and qualitative data collated allowed for improvements to resources and adjustments of topics in both 2020 and 2021.  

Session 4: Lessons from Lockdown and Beyond: proactive approaches with positive outcomes for wellbeing and learning

Liz Cannon and Megan Krimmer, Abbotsleigh, NSW

COVID-19 has been challenging for all schools, with students and teachers pivoting between face-to-face and on-line teaching and learning over the last 2 years.

When lockdown returned to Sydney in 2021, our aim was to ensure that all the gains we had made to teaching and learning and wellbeing on campus, through highly strategic planning, professional learning for staff, as well as extensive student and parent learning initiatives in 2020/2021, were not only maintained, but enhanced during Abbotsleigh Off Campus Learning (AOCL 2.0).

A consolidated proactive approach was integral in ensuring that we as a school community worked together for the collective gain of ensuring that student wellbeing and learning were optimised and will continue to be optimised.

Strategic and informative communication, learning and technological support for our staff as well as the wellbeing of our students and staff, were the guiding principles in all that we did. In practice this meant that providing staff with constant support from our innovative wellbeing and learning teams were key: staff need to be ‘well beings’ so that students can also be ‘well beings’. Additionally, consistent student monitoring and regular communication with, and education of, parents were pivotal in our proactive approach to help students and staff flourish rather than languish during lockdown. 

This workshop will explore:

             The benefits of changes to structure, professional learning and wellbeing programs that had been made prior to and during 2020/21

             The strategically proactive approach to the wellbeing of staff and students during Sydney’s 2021 lockdown

             What we learnt – wellbeing, student engagement, learning/pedagogy

             What we are doing differently as a result (never waste a good crisis!)

Session 5: Managing The Media – Successful reactive and Proactive Strategies

Sam Elam, Media Manoueuvers

The media can be your best friend or your worst foe. It can build approval or wreak havoc with your school’s reputation. Knowing how to make the most of a proactive media opportunity to enhance your school’s reputation but also how to protect it when the media comes calling with a negative and reputation-threatening story require very different approaches and media communication skills.

In this session, Sam Elam, Managing Director of Media & School Manoeuvres and an independent schools, strategic communications specialist, shows you how to expertly manage the media to maximise benefit or mitigate risk with appropriate media management strategies.


Session 6: Providing the 'How' to Whole School Wellbeing

Laura Brennan & Pascale Drever, Ascham School, NSW

Wellbeing sits at the heart of Leading, Learning and Caring. We know the ‘why’ when it comes to wellbeing and this presentation will give you an insight into the ‘how.’ There is an abundance of research out there on why it is important to have a whole school approach to wellbeing and our presentation will give you practical guidance on how to achieve this. Our 50-minute presentation will provide tried and tested tips and strategies on how to embed Wellbeing into the fabric of your school. We will walk you through a step-by-step guide to developing a Framework that is unique to your setting.  

We have engaged in the research, consulted the experts, and built a solid foundation on which we have developed our Wellbeing Framework. We are excited to share our learnings with you as we present our journey including the bumps along the road. We will delve into what a Whole School Approach looks like in different school settings and how to develop a framework that includes staff, student and community voice. We will look at effective implementation of the framework and how to continue to improve and review the process.  

Our process was evidence-based and we drew our information from a wide net. It is also important to look inwards to ensure your approach captures the core values of your school. Our school, like yours, is unique. There is certainly not a ‘one size fits all’ approach into embedding wellbeing. However, the more we share our stories, our learnings and resources, the better we will get at ensuring our schools are doing their very best to support the learning and care of our communities.