The importance of student wellbeing has seen a wave of change at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School’s beachside campus, with the independent School dedicating a third of its grounds to a new Wellbeing Precinct.
The second stage of the school’s new Wellbeing Precinct, open from February 2019, features a two-pool Aquatic Centre and three outdoor ball courts. This development joins an existing Wellbeing Centre that houses a gymnasium, mind-body studio, fitness gym, nurse and psychologist.
With world-class diving and water polo facilities, the centre includes a 25-metre, eight-lane pool, diving boards, a learn-to-swim pool, tiered spectator seating, a wellbeing multi-purpose room, along with change rooms and showers with increased privacy, specifically designed for an all-girl environment.
The final stage of all-weather surfaces for hockey, soccer and 12 tennis courts will be completed in mid 2019.
Principal Fran Reddan believes offering state of the art wellbeing facilities and services allows girls to flourish in both their learning and in life.
“Learning doesn’t happen without wellbeing. It is entwined throughout our curriculum, is central to our culture and the evidence on how successfully wellbeing links with learning is indisputable,” says Ms Reddan.
She highlights that at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School, there is a drive to make wellbeing highly visible for all students and to send a message that their wellbeing is important to the school.
“We have created an environment where our Junior School girls and our Senior School girls can be comfortable and confident to participate in whatever sporting, physical activity they wish and develop a lifelong love of exercise,” adds Ms Reddan.
“Some may wish to compete at an elite level while others may only want to participate for fun, which has its own health benefits for them. Both levels are supported and nurtured through our high quality teaching and coaching staff and wellbeing programs.”
Year 12 Wellbeing Captain for 2018 Mandy Smith also comments on the importance of wellbeing at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School. “Wellbeing has been a major part of school this year as we have utilised and incorporated it into every year level to spread happiness and wellbeing throughout the school,” she says.
As the school commences Term 1 for 2019, new learn-to-swim and learn-to-dive programs will be launched, along with squad groups outside of school hours for students which are also aimed at ensuring they are encouraged to learn and succeed in a supportive environment.
The opening of the Aquatic Centre and second stage of the Wellbeing Precinct follows on from the launch of the school’s new wellbeing journals, released at the beginning of 2018, which saw Ms Reddan invited to present on wellbeing at the Global Forum for Girls’ Schools in Washington DC in June.
The innovative journals cater to girls from three-years-old through to Year 12 and are focussed on age and stage appropriate wellbeing content ranging from managing emotions, dealing with friendships, learning financial literacy and enterprise skills to support mental health, and tools to help students with mindfulness and stress management.
“Through our WAVES program (Wellbeing, Achievement, Values, Enterprise and Success) we have curriculum time where our staff can work with the girls on their wellbeing, use the journals as a resource and empower them to take the steps to manage their mental and physical health,” says Vice Principal and Head of Wellbeing, Jo Frost.
“Girls with a strong sense of wellbeing are engaged, productive, focussed and happy learners.”
Pictured above: Mentone Girls’ Grammar School has launched new wellbeing journals that cater to girls from three-years-old to Year 12.