Student Wellbeing

In the interest of your child please ensure that the school always has up-to-date information regarding your current address, phone contacts and emergency phone contacts.

Counsellor

Marymead and the Catholic Education Office provide the school with a Counsellor for 5 days per fortnight. The Counsellor will be available to parents, students and teachers who seek advice or help for the emotional, social and educational well-being of students. Parents may request an interview with the Counsellor, whilst teachers may at times refer students to the Counsellor with parent permission. Parents are contacted before their child sees the Counsellor and must give permission. This service is a positive aspect of the school community. Before contact with the Counsellor can be arranged, parents are requested to contact the office for a referral to be returned to the Principal.

Classroom Support

We believe in celebrating individual difference by creating an environment that is inclusive of every student. It is a whole school responsibility to ensure that the social, emotional and academic needs of all students are catered for in all areas of school life.

The Classroom Support Team at St Thomas Aquinas assists students who have additional educational needs. We coordinate a variety of programs which offer support for students and also provide extension and enrichment. Parents, Classroom Teachers and the Classroom Support Teachers work collaboratively to ensure that each child’s needs are being met in the classroom.

Seasons for Growth

Loss and Grief are issues that affect all of us at some stage of our lives. Learning to deal effectively with these issues is central to personal well-being and happiness. Unresolved grief can also affect a student’s learning. We are proud to be offering an Australian education program called “Seasons for Growth” every alternate year. This program is designed for children who have experienced significant change in their family because of death, separation or divorce.

The program aims to support participants by exploring issues such as change, loss, managing feelings, coping strategies and support networks. “Seasons for Growth” is an 8-session program, which concludes with an additional ‘Celebration’ session.  The groups will also have the opportunity to meet again towards the end of the program to reconnect with their group and discuss ongoing issues.

If you think your child would benefit from the Seasons For Growth program we would encourage you to talk to him/her.

We are pleased to offer this program and we are confident that it will be a valuable growth experience for those involved. Information for parents can be found at www.goodgrief.org.au. Under Children and Young People’s Program, there is additional information and a short video which very clearly explains the program.

Buddy Progam
and
Peer Support

Kindergarten - Year 6 Buddies

At the Early Bird Orientation program Kindergarten children will be matched up with a Year 5 child who will be their special buddy for the following year. This relationship assists with creating a smooth transition into primary school. The system eases the Kinder child’s anxiety during the first few weeks by knowing a familiar face. This relationship is fostered throughout the year by working together in Peer Support Groups and many other vertical grouping activities.

SEL/Peer Support

Children in Year 6 are given an opportunity to develop and enhance their leadership skills by taking part in a social skills program. The program is aimed at providing young people with leadership experiences.

Every child from Kindergarten to Year 5 is organised into multi-age groups and assigned a Peer Support Leader (a Year 6 child). The Peer Support Groups meet on a regular basis. During this time, the Leader works through a number of formal and informal activities focussing particularly on the older students helping our younger students.

Health and Safety

Accidents and Illness

Every care is taken to make sure that children are attended to in the event of an accident. Minor accidents, cuts and bruises are treated by staff who are first aid trained. Any bumps to the head are treated and the parents are contacted. Parents are also contacted where the injury is considered to be of a more serious nature. In the event that a serious accident occurs, parents are immediately contacted and, if necessary, medical attention is sought. The school will, in extreme circumstances, ring directly for an ambulance whether the parents can be contacted or not. Parents should note: it is Ambulance Service policy to provide free transportation for any accident occurring on the school grounds or on a school excursion within the ACT. Any child who becomes ill at school is taken to the First Aid room and parents or emergency contacts will be called. This highlights the importance of having current contact details at the front office.

Nut Free Policy

Nuts have been identified as a major trigger for an allergic reaction by students in our St Thomas Aquinas community. Your support in refraining from sending peanut butter and nut products to school in lunches and snacks is sought. The staff will talk to the children and it is most important that you also impress upon your child the importance of following this request. All children need to be aware that they must only eat from their own lunchbox.

Medical Information

Immunisation information: It is an ACT Government regulation that all children attending schools in the ACT be immunised. The school is obliged to formally collect from parents duly completed forms that verify immunisation. Where parents object to immunisation, a formal letter indicating this objection must be provided. In such cases, the ACT Health Department will be notified about your child's lack of immunisation. In the event of a contagious illness being reported at school, children without the appropriate vaccinations will be excluded from school. We strongly urge all families to fully immunise their school age children.

Medical Service

ACT Health visits the school each year. Only Kindergarten will receive a thorough medical screening. Other children will be seen on request. After consultation with parents any child with a specific need is referred to appropriate specialist services.