At St Damian’s we believe that the social, emotional, moral, spiritual and physical wellbeing of our students is pivotal to student’s health, learning and success.
We promote and foster inclusion, engagement, connectedness and belonging in our students, whilst developing strong relationships with parents and the broader community. We encourage empathy towards the feelings of others, the development of problem solving skills and respect for the rights of all. At St Damian’s we actively work to provide support and learning for our students, staff and school community to develop positive relationships in a safe, supportive school environment.
At St Damian’s we work towards a whole school approach to Student Wellbeing and we aim to provide a safe, secure, supportive and stimulating environment that will foster positive relationships and give students the opportunity to reach their full potential.
As part of the prayer life of our school, we meditate daily. Christian meditation is a meaningful way to connect with God who loves us.
Meditation helps provide a greater awareness of the Spirit within us and this impacts on the way we interact with others. Being able to meditate is a lifelong skill. Meditation, when consistently practised aids mental well-being, lowers blood pressure, calms us down, relieves stress and makes us happy. Daily morning meditation provides a positive, prayerful start to our sometimes hectic mornings. Setting time aside each morning provides our school community with an opportunity to find a moment of stillness and peace where we can connect with ourselves, others, nature and God.
As education further evolves into digital learning and more and more devices are released to benefit and support this, here at St Damian’s Primary school, we aim to evolve ourselves into an eSmart school.
eSmart is an initiative of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, a national charity committed to protecting children from violence. eSmart is developed for Australian schools and is an easy-to-use, evidence-based and tested system to help schools manage cybersafety and deal with cyber-bullying and bullying.
The eSmart system provides a framework for schools to implement whole-school culture and behaviour change relevant to the smart, safe and responsible use of digital technologies.
An eSmart school is a school where the smart, safe and responsible use of information and communications technology is a cultural norm. Students, teachers and the wider school community are equipped to embrace the best these technologies can offer, while being savvy about the pitfalls.
Students are regularly involved in developing and delivering information on the smart, safe and responsible use of technologies to a variety of audiences and are taught a suite of social and emotional skills.
Please visit the eSmart Schools website for further information about this initiative: https://www.esmartschools.org.au/
The Lunchtime clubs offered at St Damian’s give students the opportunity to engage and participate in activities that they enjoy and are passionate about. The teachers at St Damian’s volunteer their lunchtime to run clubs for the students as places where they can feel connected and part of a group that share similar interests. We are so lucky at St Damian’s that we have dedicated, enthusiastic and talented teachers that are willing to share their skills with our students! Some of our clubs allow students to find a quiet and calm place where they are able to share their gifts and talents with others. Other clubs allow students the opportunity to try something new such as knitting or gardening and uncover a hidden passion.
The lunchtime clubs and activities may change each term which allows for a range of activities to be explored. The clubs that currently run at St Damian’s include:
- Indoor/ Outdoor games
“What I like about the Art club is that you get to create paintings and drawings and even posters. You also get to be creative about what you do. I like Gardening club because you plant things and then you make things out of them. It’s healthy!”Dante
“Library club is a really good club to go in because there are lots of nice books to read and if you are doing a project you can read books about what you want to learn. In the Glee club we get to learn so many different things like the Cup song and we learn dances too.”Jaida
Student Representative Council (SRC)
St Damian’s has an active Student Representative Council (SRC) comprising of an elected member from each of the 18 classess in Prep to Year 6. The SRC provides students with the opportunity to further their leadership skills. The SRC also provides an opportunity for further communication between students and staff and ensures student input is an integral part of the decision-making process where appropriate.
Seasons Loss and Grief is a unique peer support program developed by CatholicCare to help individuals and their families cope with the grief and feelings of loss resulting from separation, divorce, and life threating illness or death of a loved one. The program is run in small groups of children with similar or like experiences who may benefit from the peer support and reflection that the program provides. A trained facilitator conducts the program.
The St Damian’s Buddy Program involves the Year 5/6 students being paired with the Prep and Year 1/2 students. Planned activities between the classes are held so that the students involved become friends and are there to support each other. This provides a ‘ buddy’ for the younger student and gives the older student the opportunity to develop leadership skills and responsibility. The Buddy Program is always of great benefit to our Prep students when they are beginning school. It gives them a friend and mentor in an older class.
The School Band meet once a week and students from Year 5/6 are invited to join. The students who are learning a musical instrument or enjoy singing, learn songs for enjoyment and performance purposes. Some of the events that the school band perform at include:
- School Performance
- Carols Evening
The St Damian’s School Performance takes place bi-annually alternating with the end of the year Christmas Carols evening. The whole school is involved in the School Performance which takes place at Plenty Ranges Performing Arts Centre and is held in Term 3 of school. The Performance incorporates a range of arts areas including singing, dancing and drama. It is a wonderful community event that the students, parents and teachers look forward to.
Respect Ambassador Program (RAP)
The Respect Ambassador Program (RAP) is a five week bystander activation program run by NIRODAH and the Victorian Women’s Trust (VWT). It provides education and training for students in Year 5/6 to safely support victims in bullying situations. The program encompasses a range of activities and opportunities for students to learn about bullying situations and how they can safely practice positive intervention strategies. The program trains Year 5 students to become Respect Ambassadors when they are in Year 6, who will practice and use the skills learnt in the program to assist teachers and students on the junior playground areas when conflict arises.
The FIRE carrier project is an initiative of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry which seeks to keep the Reconciliation flame alight in schools, educating the wider community about Reconciliation, our shared history and culture.
At St Damian’s we elect four year five students to be our FIRE carrier representatives for the year. They support our FIRE carrier teachers and support the school community in our delivering of the Reconciliation Action Plan. They attend formal gatherings with our FIRE carrier representatives from other schools and represent our school at official functions promoting Reconciliation. They are actively involved in furthering their knowledge and supporting other students with extending their knowledge.
The School Choir meet once a week and is for students in Years 3-6. The students gather together to practice and learn songs for upcoming school events and for the pleasure of singing as part of a group. Some of the school events that the Choir perform at include:
- School Masses
- Sacramental Masses
- School Performance
- Carols Evening
- Anzac Day performance at Vasey House