What ERO knows about student wellbeing

Between 2013 and 2015 ERO published the following reports related to student wellbeing:

  • Guidance and Counselling in Schools: Survey Findings (July 2013)
  • Improving Guidance and Counselling for Students in Secondary Schools (December 2013)
  • Wellbeing for Success: Draft Evaluation Indicators for Student Wellbeing (November 2013)
  • Wellbeing for Children's Success at Primary School (February 2015)
  • Wellbeing for Young People's Success at Secondary School (February 2015)
  • Wellbeing for Success: Effective Practice (March 2016)

From these investigations ERO found five vital aspects in schools that successfully promoted and responded to student wellbeing. In these schools:

  • agreed values and vision underpin the actions in the school to promote students' wellbeing
  • the school's curriculum is designed and monitored for valued goals
  • students are a powerful force in wellbeing and other decisions
  • all students' wellbeing is actively monitored
  • systems are in place and followed to respond to wellbeing issues

The following section explains these five aspects through the six domains of the School Evaluation Indicators and shares the effective practices evident in the schools well placed to respond to student wellbeing. You can use this section to evaluate these aspects in your school.

1. Agreed values and vision underpin the actions in the school to promote students' wellbeing

Domain

Evaluation indicator

Effective practice

Domain 1: Stewardship

The board of trustees represents and serves the education and school community in its stewardship role.

The board of trustees:

  • actively seeks students' perspectives about wellbeing
  • ensures the school's vision and values reflect the strengths and potential of students, teachers, parents and whānau
  • is persistent in connecting with parents of the most vulnerable children when reviewing the school's vision and values.
  • has an appropriate focus on improving wellbeing of all students, particularly those who are at risk of poor wellbeing outcomes.

Domain 2:

Leadership of conditions for equity and excellence

Leadership collaboratively develops and enacts the school's vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence.

School leaders ensure school values are reflected in key school documents including:

  • strategic planning, goals and targets
  • the underpinning rationales for school­wide systems such as guidance and counselling, pastoral care, transitions and learning pathways
  • the underpinning rationales for policies, procedures and the development of new initiatives
  • the physical environment, for example, signage and classroom expectations and contracts.

School leaders ensure school values are actioned in the school's partnerships, curriculum and operations including:

  • celebrations of different religions, spirituality, ethnicities, sexual orientation and gender identity
  • relationships with agencies.

Domain 3:

Educationally

powerful

connections

and

relationships

Community collaboration and partnerships extend and enrich opportunities for students to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.

 

Wellbeing values are actioned in the school's partnerships, and are evident in:

  • leadership, resourcing and staff responsibilities
  • pastoral care processes and systems
  • the way curriculum reflects community collaboration and values
  • the school environment
  • relationships with agencies
  • relationships and celebrations.

Domain 4:

Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning communities.

Diversity is valued and celebrated so that all students feel safe and valued for who they are - for example lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) students.

Teachers actively model and promote the skills and values students need to develop to become responsible digital citizens.

2. The school's curriculum is designed and monitored for valued goals

Domain

Evaluation indicator

Effective practice

Domain 4:

Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn

Students learn, achieve and progress in the breadth and depth of the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Students have effective, sufficient and equitable opportunities to learn

Wellbeing values are consistently actioned in

the school’s curriculum and are evident in:

  • curriculum priorities and delivery
  • relationships and celebrations
  • co-curricular delivery.

Teachers understand the overall curriculum that students experience and deliberately integrate a focus on student wellbeing alongside a focus on key competencies and student achievement.

Leaders and teachers consult with the community to decide on curriculum priorities. These priorities are reviewed in terms of their contribution to student wellbeing.

All students at all years have access to high quality health and physical education that is

responsive to their needs.

The curriculum provides students with opportunities to develop language to express

their feelings and skills and to problem-solve relationship issues.

3. Students are a powerful force in wellbeing and other decisions

Domain

Evaluation indicator

Effective practice

Domain 3:

Educationally

powerful

connections

and

relationships

Learning centred

relationships effectively engage and involve the school community.

Students and their families are regularly asked about their experience of the school culture.

Domain 4: Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn

Students learn, achieve and progress in the breadth and depth ofThe New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Student leadership is promoted as an outcome for all students e.g. within a service-based curriculum and structures such as student council, prefect body, peer mentoring, playground mediators, tuakana-teina, buddy classes and house captains.

Students lead change that improves wellbeing, for example, identifying what they need to improve their own wellbeing and school-wide systems.

 

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning communities

Students develop dialogue and group work skills and participate in group learning contexts, drawing on individual strengths to complete group tasks.

Students actively contribute to the planning, implementation and review of wellbeing initiatives.

 

Effective assessment for learning develops students' assessment and learning to learn capabilities.

Students actively contribute to the planning, implementation and review of wellbeing initiatives.

Assessments provide feedback to students, offer next steps and are designed to help students develop and learn.

Teachers monitor and plan assessments that students experience and develop a balance between workload and wellbeing.

Students develop the meta-language of wellbeing to assess themselves and their peers and to evaluate the impact of wellbeing initiatives and the quality of relationships.

Domain 5:

Professional capability and collective capacity

Systematic, collaborative inquiry processes and challenging professional learning opportunities

align to the school vision, values, goals and

priorities.

Students are asked about their perceptions about teaching (not teachers), and their own learning.

4. All student's wellbeing is actively monitored

Domain

Evaluation indicator

Effective practice

Domain 3:

Educationally

powerful

connections

and

relationships

Community collaboration and partnerships extend and enrich opportunities for students to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.

Relationships and ways of working with external supports are well established and assist with effective preventative programmes, referrals and follow up that provide wrap-around support for students. External supports include:

  • Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB)
  • youth workers
  • social workers
  • Check and Connect mentors
  • school guidance counsellors
  • Child, Youth and Family (CYF)
  • Police
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Domain 4:

Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn

Students learn, achieve and progress in the breadth and depth ofThe New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Active monitoring of the wellbeing of all students allows timely responses to wellbeing issues so learning is not disrupted.

Domain 5:

Professional capability and collective capacity

A strategic and coherent approach to human resource management builds professional capability and collective capacity.

Systematic processes for induction, professional learning and development (PLD) and performance management support all leaders and teachers so they have the skills to effectively support student wellbeing, including the skills to:

  • identify distressed and vulnerable students
  • contribute to strategies to improve student wellbeing
  • monitor the outcomes of strategies and actions to improve student wellbeing
  • make timely referrals to school guidance counsellors and when appropriate to external agencies
  • maintain and support their own wellbeing.

Domain 6:

Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building for improvement and innovation

Coherent organisational conditions promote evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building

Schools use multiple sources of evidence to find out about student expectations and student wellbeing to identify vulnerable students and areas for improvement, including student access to guidance and support at school.

Multiple sources include the use of syndicate and multidisciplinary team meeting minutes, achievement data, attendance data, stand- down and exclusion data, transition data,Wellbeing@School data,Inclusive Practices Tooldata, and observation notes.

The choice of tools gives schools a way of monitoring the effectiveness of approaches to embedding their values and vision for student wellbeing.

5. Systems are in place and followed to respond to wellbeing issues

Domain

Evaluation indicator

Effective practice

Domain 1: Stewardship

The board of trustees effectively meets statutory requirements.

The board of trustees has well-defined processes and procedures for dealing with and reviewing traumatic experiences and critical incidents in the school. 1

Domain 2:

Leadership of conditions for equity and excellence

Leadership establishes and ensures an orderly and supportive environment conducive to student learning and wellbeing.

Leaders are role models through their ethical commitment to wellbeing.

Leaders establish clear goals and expectations that ensure organised, well aligned, coordinated and supportive environments for student wellbeing.

Leaders recognise and respond to wellbeing needs of adults in the school.

Leaders provide clear school-wide guidelines for the implementation of wellbeing strategies, interventions and programmes so teachers can respond with a sense of agency and autonomy based on the needs of their students.

Decisions to improve student wellbeing made by leaders, teachers and support staff are supported by pastoral care teams and guidance counsellors and follow effective practice guidelines, such as the Ministry of Education'sBullying Prevention and Response: a guide for schools and Preventing and responding to suicide: Resource kit for schools. 2

Leadership actively promotes students leading change that improves wellbeing.

Domain 2:

Leadership of conditions for equity and excellence

Leadership ensures

effective planning,coordination and evaluation of the school's curriculum and teaching.

Leaders establish a high level of coordination between pastoral care processes and curriculum.

The usefulness of processes and procedures associated with traumatic or critical incidents are regularly reviewed with community and the response to each incident is evaluated.

 

Leadership builds relational trust and

effective participation and collaboration at every level of the school community.

Leaders promote and model restorative practices 3 that reflect a holistic view of each student and enhance wellbeing and learning.

Domain 3:

Educationally

powerful

connections

and

relationships

Community collaboration

and partnerships extend and enrich opportunities for students to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.

Schools have well-defined processes and procedures for dealing with traumatic experiences in the school community.

All staff are aware of their personal responsibilities under legislation and the appropriate referral pathways in the school.

Domain 4:

Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn

Students participate

and learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning communities.

Students' access to wellbeing support is promoted through well designed structures, processes and systems.