School communities around Australia have been faced with unprecedented change over the past 18 months leaving students, families and staff feeling overwhelmed, anxious, scared, uncertain, stressed and wondering what life will look like in the future.

During this time and moving forward to a new normal, it’s important to help students and members of the school community to develop strategies for acknowledging and maintaining their wellbeing.

With this in mind and forming part of our Faith Mission and Wellbeing Strategic Enterprise, St John’s is currently trialling a new wellbeing program called ‘Pulse’ that tracks and measures the wellbeing and engagement of our students each week.

During Term Four, students in Years 4 to 9 will be prompted by email to complete a wellbeing check-in consisting of 5-6 questions via a web app ‘Pulse’, taking the students no more than five minutes to complete.

The app also tracks anonymised student sentiment about their engagement with St John’s so we can make changes based on student voice.

Research strongly indicates that measuring student wellbeing in a way that is both comprehensive and timely will enable St John’s to provide support at both the individual and cohort level. We are using the software program ‘Pulse’ to get more useful and actionable insight than traditional long-form wellbeing surveys.

The feedback is immediate for our teachers whether in the Junior campus or home groups in the Secondary campus enabling them to be more responsive to the wellbeing needs of the student. Each student can ask for help and identify who they would like to speak to from relevant staff. They will also be given the option to speak to someone else if they are uncomfortable with the first suggestion.

So far, this trial has been very well received by students and staff with the platform also allowing students to send expressions of gratitude to a staff member or a fellow student, one of the aspects that they are really enjoying!

The overall goal is to ensure our students have a positive experience at school and in life by giving them a safe and secure way to make their voice heard.

Mrs Robern Hinchliffe
Deputy Principal – Pastoral Care