The Student Services team’s brief is to support the social and emotional well-being of students. Our team consists of two Program Coordinators, a Chaplain, a Student Support Coordinator, a School Psychologist, two Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers (AIEOs), a School Nurse, an attendance officer and an Education Assistant.
The team performs a number functions for students at the College. We provide counselling and support services for students on a wide range of issues including stress management, organisation, study timetables, academic pathways, bullying, relationships, responsibility, accountability, behaviour and family/personal issues. We also liaise with external agencies to provide ‘wrap-around’ support for students that require a higher level of support.
A big part of our work is on the transition of students from primary school to high school. We run transition days and orientation days, during which primary students visit us at the College and participate in activities designed to familiarise them with the secondary school environment. We also regularly go out to primary schools and work with our future students, in order to help them feel safe and comfortable as they make the transition to the secondary context.
The team runs a number of pastoral care programs which help raise awareness of cyber-bullying and build coping skills in our students. Members of the team also offer extra-curricular activities such as a breakfast club, homework club, our annual Harmony Week celebrations and activities programs at recess and lunch. The team has strong relationships with external agencies and uses these to provide support for students when needed. In particular, the team works very closely with the YMCA youth centre Base @ Belmont to ensure students are well supported.
The Student Council is a hands-on and proactive group, driving initiatives around the College. Councillors have been active in fundraising for charities and in advocating to College leadership on behalf of their peers. They also participate in leadership development programs and lead College assemblies and events. The College Peer Support program has also provided leadership opportunities for students within the College through mentoring younger students.
The College House system is managed through Student Services and has continued to develop since its inception in 2015. This is linked to our Vivo reward program; students can earn ‘Vivo’ points for engaging in positive behaviours. These ‘Vivos’ can be redeemed in an online shop for prizes and can even be donated to charities as part of fundraising activities. Students in each year level who earn the most Vivos each week are recognised publicly and can earn extra prizes. There has been a marked increase in intra- and inter-school sports activities at BCC. Students identify with their House mascots at sporting events, contributing to their House Vivo score and generating some friendly competition. The Student Services team regularly supports sports programs with staffing and transport in order to further build engagement and school spirit.
As well as supporting positive behaviour, the team monitors student attendance and works extensively to support students to attend school regularly. This involves gathering attendance data, following up with students and parents, performing home visits, developing attendance improvement plans and referring to Attendance Panels. We are pleased that in recent years, we have seen a significant improvement in the number of students in the regular attendance category. A 90%+ attendance rate has been shown to be crucial in student achievement and we are pleased to support our students to achieve this. We also provide in-class academic and behavioural support through our Education Assistant, Chaplain and AIEOs, in order to help all students experience success.
The Student Services team represents Belmont City College’s holistic approach to education. We value the whole student and the contributions that each and every student can make to our school community. Belmont City College is committed to equitable opportunity in education for all students and this is the guiding principle of our team.
Positive Behaviour Support
Belmont City College launched a new behaviour support initiative in 2014. This approach to promoting positive behaviour across all aspects of school life is called Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) and is based on current research and evidence on managing behaviour and student engagement. The underpinning premise of PBS is that positive behaviour is learned and should be taught.
A small group of dedicated BCC staff completed training and planning meetings as well as delivering staff development sessions to create a new behaviour matrix which underpins approaches to behaviour. The matrix groups behaviours into our ‘3Ps’ Positivity, Participation and Preparedness.
The team has recently expanded and has incorporated behaviour data generated both in the classroom and around the school to guide responses to behaviour. At the same time, the leadership team is working with staff to develop resources to support the teaching of expected behaviour across the College.
Every year the College hosts a ‘PBS Day’ where students and staff enjoy a range of cooperative activities that promote the 3Ps. These activities are run in partnership with Bluearth and also involve some student reflection promoting a growth mindset approach, which is an emerging focus at the College.