KidsMatter Primary is a flexible, whole-school approach to improving children’s mental health and wellbeing for primary schools. It can be tailored to schools’ local needs.
Through KidsMatter Primary, schools undertake a two-to three-year cyclical process in which they plan and take action to be a positive community; one that is founded on respectful relationships and a sense of belonging and inclusion, and that promotes:
- social and emotional learning (including evidence-based social and emotional learning programs)
- working authentically with parents, carers and families
- support for students who may be experiencing mental health difficulties.
When schools take on KidsMatter, they build on the work that they are already doing in these areas.
The KidsMatter Primary journey is about school improvement. Just as school communities are continually reinventing and renewing themselves as new staff, students and families move through; KidsMatter is also a cyclical process of improvement and renewal. It will take between 18 months and 3 years to complete the first cycle.
Before the journey begins it is important that schools have a shared vision, and the active support of the principal, staff and parents. The school then works through the core components in a planned, strategic way, with a whole school approach. To make this journey purposeful, KidsMatter identifies a number of target areas from the core components. These are:
- A school community that promotes mental health and wellbeing
- Respectful relationships, belonging and inclusion
- Effective social and emotional learning curriculum for all students
- Opportunities for students to practice and transfer their social and emotional skills
- Collaborative working relationships with parents and carers
- Support for parenting
- Parent and carer support networks
- Understanding mental health difficulties and improving help-seeking
- Responding to students experiencing mental health difficulties.
As part of the kidsmatter framework we are beginning to implement a social and emotional learning curriculum from Kindergarten to grade six called Bounce Back. Bounce Back is an evidence based wellbeing and resilience program.