R U OK?
R U OK? What a great question and one we should all ask more often, about ourselves and those around us.
The wellbeing of every one of us will be placed at risk, and even compromised, at various stages throughout our lives for a variety of reasons that include adverse life circumstances and internal personal factors. As a College, we seek to provide for student, parent, and staff wellbeing at all these levels.
At BTAC, teachers and students are currently very focused on asking R U OK? and supporting parents during this time of learning from home. Parents are always very focused on asking their children R U OK? and supporting them. Last week, on R U OK? Day, BTAC students were reminded to ask each other R U OK? and to support one another in moments of struggle. Every BTAC teacher and many other members of our staff team are focused on asking students R U OK?, both in personal conversations and online surveys, as well as supporting student wellbeing. In addition, those of us who are leaders are focused on asking our staff – R U OK? and catering for the wellbeing of our staff.
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College strives to be a safe and supportive environment, and have a culture in which students and staff are always becoming better equipped to flourish in the face of adversity. We take the opportunities that life’s challenges present each person to nurture the skills, capabilities, and character traits we each need to navigate our lives. As we learn, we discover who we are, what our capacities and capabilities are, and we grow. We become more skillful; more capable and more able to meet the challenges of our lives. We are about making people resilient.
From the Heads of 7-9 and 10-12
Just prior to everyone going into lockdown, Mr Cummings spoke at the Secondary Chapel Service about GEM: Gratitude, Empathy, and Mindfulness. ‘GEM’, will be an important part of our Care and Wellbeing program next year. The use of the acronym ‘GEM’ should not be understated in this circumstance. Just like a gem, this program will be something of great value and worth. Also just like a gem, to obtain that thing of great worth, it may take some work or digging to find it. And just like a gem when found it can be shown to and admired by others. The GEM program will be of great value to our students, they will have to reflect on how they behave and interact with others and hopefully, they will grow in the use of these skills and traits– Gratitude, Empathy, and Mindfulness.
As an introduction to this program, each Tutor Group in the Secondary School has had the opportunity to take part in the Secondary School Wellbeing Challenge based around “GEM”. Once per week, students are logging evidence for each of the following:
- Gratitude: Show someone that you are thankful for them – write your grandmother a letter, do something for a friend, take your neighbour’s bins out. Do something to show someone that you are grateful for their friendship or relationship with you. (Bearing in mind that COVID restrictions need to be followed)
- Empathy: Do something for someone in need. Volunteer your time for a cause, write someone a letter to let them know you are thinking of them, pick up some groceries for someone in your street, mow someone’s lawn. Demonstrate that you have identified someone in need and done something for them. (Bearing in mind that COVID restrictions need to be followed)
- Mindfulness: Take time to be in the moment. Log some points for Mr Eddy’s 1000-point challenge, do half an hour of meditation, take some time to pray for people in need around the world. Do something that is helpful for your mental health like exercise, meditation, or prayer.
This challenge is one of many different strategies that the College, Tutor Teachers, and Students are participating in, while we are not physically at school.
The Care and Wellbeing Team, Teachers, and College Executive understand that the current circumstances can be very stressful, but we also want to acknowledge the wonderful effort that our students are doing, by showing their flexibility and adaptability to online learning.
Mr Cummings and Mr Bull
Ms Tania Lloyd
Deputy Principal / Head of Secondary School