Student Wellbeing

Wellbeing matters in schools more than ever.
— Principal, Karin Lisle

Catering for the whole child in each stage of their emotional and spiritual wellbeing is a key to our supportive school community and we welcome our partnerships with parents in the development of your children. Personalised wellbeing is created through the specific programs we run across both campuses as well as building a strong relationship with our school counsellors and our School Chaplain. Programs run by trained facilitators are designed to reach our students in areas of greatest need including:  There has been a real development in approaches to student wellbeing in schools over the last ten years or so, and following the NSW Association of Independent Schools report following the literature that identifies wellbeing approaches in schools, the evidence- based approaches that have the most impact fall under six categories.

  1. A whole school approach to wellbeing seems to be the predominant determinant of positive wellbeing of students in schools. A team approach where staff take responsibility for the wellbeing of all students at their school, targeting different levels of needs and levels of maturity seem to have the most impact.
  2. Interventions that have been researched to support the specific needs of a school, where staff are trained to support a program, have the best response. A focus on problem-solving, personal insight and opportunities to practise new skills should be part of any resources or programs delivered.
  3. Staff who have a dedicated response to the interventions where teachers can lead a change themselves or a team of staff can take responsibility. There should be an emphasis that any program chosen is culturally relevant and developmentally achievable.
  4. If staff all agree to the necessity for a change or a belief that wellbeing is a priority in a school, the buy-in factor is very powerful, rather than a staff not recognising the need and not taking responsibility for the change in direction.
  5. It is also important for families to be involved, to have the support from the school and be able to practise the same strategies as those used in a school setting.
  6. Of course students need to be involved in their own wellbeing and the opportunity to provide an avenue for student voice is also crucial to any program being deemed successful

When everyone works together for ‘the common good’ in a school, the wellbeing of students and also staff is a result, meaning that the positive culture of a school can grow where students feel they are being heard and supported by all levels of leadership.  At Clarence Valley Anglican School we believe that the restorative practices supported by the Real Schools program fits with the above points and the wellbeing of our students and staff is paramount to our students achieving their potential.

Wellbeing programs such as Seasons for Growth, Art for WellbeingSmiling MindsDrumbeat and Rock and Water are specifically targeted to support small groups of students while Restorative Practices is a whole of school approach.

Winnie - our Wellbeing Dog

Winnie is our Wellbeing Dog. She was welcomed into the CVAS community in the second half of 2023 as a working companion to our students and staff. She is a gorgeous Australian Cobberdog, who is especially bred and trained to assist our students to reduce anxiety and stress.

According to one survey, 92% of students said they felt more relaxed during teaching and learning time when there was a dog in the classroom. We all know when children are more relaxed and less stressed, they’re going to learn more!

Seasons for Growth

This program explores the impact of change and loss and learning about effective ways to respond and adapt, students can build knowledge and skills so they can strengthen their social and emotional wellbeing following a significant loss. Using nature’s seasons of the year as a metaphor for the changes we experience when we lose someone or something, students can go through the process of understanding how their feelings are impacted and how the group can support each other.

The Seasons for Growth program has been developed in response to a need expressed by many young people.

This is an education program, which helps you to understand and manage the change experienced as a result from death, separation or divorce, or illness in your family or friendship group.

In addition, Seasons for Growth

  • helps young people to realise that their emotions are a normal and valuable part of life.
  • encourages them to express their thoughts and emotions
  • helps them to understand the grief process
  • teaches them to support others
  • helps to restore confidence and self-esteem.

This process is not counselling or therapy

How does Seasons for Growth happen?

It is run in 10 sessions (one lesson each week) with a group leader called a Companion and a small group of 3 to 7 students approximately the same age.

Seasons for Growth sessions will take place at school in Term 2 and 3.

If you are interested in your child being involved in Seasons for Growth, please contact our School Counsellor, Robyn McCann on

Art for Wellbeing

A six week program that provides a range of positive emotional management strategies to enhance engagement when students are struggling with low levels of wellbeing, to enhance positive personal relationships, meaning and grit.

Drumbeat – is provided as part of our MPI program to enhance self- esteem, to build a positive outlook for the future, to create a willingness to learn and follow instructions, to. build confidence, improve interactions with others and to provide a sense of belonging to a group.

Rock and Water

This program provides experiences that develop and increase a pathway to self-awareness, self-confidence and social functioning, teaching our students to stand strong, negotiate using “rock” or “water” verbal approaches, walk away from a fight, consider alternatives to aggression, and develop understandings about personal feelings.

Smiling Minds

This is a mindfulness program that has a positive impact on the mental health of our students and staff, by strengthening attention and disrupting reactivity. It is essential to help our young people to self-regulate which then has a direct effect on wellbeing. Our whole class Smiling Minds program is enhanced with the Smiling Minds App that can be used at school and also at home with families. 

Other Student Support

Counselling Services are available through our employed psychologist


If you or your child wishes to discuss any matters confidentially, please call on 66428205 or email