Tara, Jess, Aira and Karina identified that stress was one of the biggest issues facing young people in year 10 at their school. As they had previously been part of workshops around stress that the students really engaged with, they wanted to give their peers an opportunity to learn some different ways of coping with stress that they would be able to try out in their lives. They organised to have external facilitators to come in and run a yoga session and a mindfulness session for all their year 10 students. The feedback from the students who participated in this workshops was really positive.
Charlie, Audrey, Jeremy and Will developed a project aimed to address a “toxic” culture for male students in Year’s 7, 8 & 9 through the use of a mentoring program. The group created a survey to measure levels of respect for self and others, responding to concerns of suppression within the Maroondah area. The survey was conducted with students from Year 8 and will form the basis for a new mentoring program run at Tintern Grammar.
Jacqueline, Izzy, Camryn and Izzy identified that there is a lot of anxiety surrounding future career plans and subject choices that peaks in year 10. They decided that for their project they would like to contribute to reducing these levels of anxiety. After speaking to the careers coordinator, evaluating the online resources and chatting to peers, they noticed that there was a lot of resources already, however not many of the students knew about them. This triggered them to organise an end-of-year presentation for the year 9’s. In this presentation they spoke about the resources available and their own experiences surrounding the process with the aim to help alleviate some anxiety for this year level in the upcoming year. After the presentation, they received positive feedback from both the students and teachers!
Marcus and Bridgette wanted to tackle suppression as they felt like many of their peers were not wanting to talk about when they were going through a tough time. They decided that the best way to encourage young people to talk about their mental health was to have a guest speaker come out to share their story. They organised to have Scott Harris come to the school to talk about his experience in mental health after a bike accident. The students all responded really well to Scott's presentation and gave positive feedback.
Ringwood Secondary College
Molly and Devesh took on the challenge of building their schools strength of students reporting a high intake of healthy foods. The SWAT team did research around canteen guidelines, and surveyed students regarding their attitudes to purchasing healthy options from the canteen. They found that students would like to purchase healthy options, and that the canteen did in fact have some good choices, but product placement, a lack of accurate menu’s and cost were barriers to students purchasing them. The SWAT team presented to the school leadership and wrote a report to School Council outlining their recommendations, which will be built in to the next contract with the canteen provider.
Norwood Secondary College
Maxine, Ashley, Ryan and Flynn chose to measure anxiety amongst Year 7 students, with a specific focus on students accessing their lockers. The SWAT group created a survey and conducted a consultation with Year 7 students to find out what they knew about anxiety, what were their biggest triggers and how they could be better supported. Using this data, the SWAT team organised a guest speaker from Headspace Knox to conduct an information session with the Year 7’s. A follow up survey will then be conducted with the Year 7 students to measure their level of understanding of anxiety and provide an opportunity for students to provide feedback on lockers access.
Ebony, Lachlan, Maddie and Tom decided to tackle high levels of stress in year 10’s at their school. They identified that students were often worried about school work, and didn’t always have time to relax. Due to the overwhelming use of the wellbeing space at school, they decided that creating a ‘chill out zone’ for year 10’s during lunch time may help people reduce stress, as well as decreasing pressure on wellbeing staff and keeping that space free for people who really needed support. The students planned and ran a pilot session of the ‘Chill out Zone’ in a classroom at lunch time, where they played relaxing music, had relaxing activity options, and provided food. The Chill Out Zone will continue as a space for students to take a break in the middle of busy days.
Congratulations 2018 SWAT participants!