Unveiling Loreto’s School Wellbeing Program: What Sets It Apart from the Rest?

The Loreto College SEAD Program has been recognised as one of the nation’s best wellbeing programs for the second time as a finalist in the 2023 Australian Education Awards.

Loreto’s Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) Program has been recognised for its holistic approach and excellence in supporting the wellbeing of girls for a second time at the 2023 Australian Education Awards after being shortlisted as an Excellence Awardee for Australia’s Best Student Wellbeing Program.

Loreto College’s SEAD Program was first recognised in this category at the Australian Education Awards in 2021. With the College receiving several other significant acknowledgements for innovation in education, awarded in the Most Innovative School category in 2019 and an Innovation Award in 2022. These awards along with being awarded the Best School Strategic Plan in 2022 demonstrate Loreto College’s commitment to be a school of choice and excellence.

Speaking to the finalist announcement, Loreto College Marryatville Principal Dr Nicole Archard, said:

“We are excited that Loreto College’s SEAD Program has been recognised as one of the nation’s best for nurturing the wellbeing of our students for the second time. Through our tailored wellbeing program designed specifically for girls, we are able achieve our mission of educating strong, passionate and confident girls and young women.”

Loreto College Marryatville’s SEAD Program is a comprehensive program specifically designed and built to meet the social and emotional needs of girls. Through the programs evidenced-based methodology, the College has successfully improved wellbeing outcomes for its students since first launching in 2019. Key to the success of the SEAD Program is its holistic framework, embedded across the curriculum and explicitly delivered to students via structured timetabled lessons each week.

“Our SEAD program is testament to our commitment of putting girls’ wellbeing at the forefront of our school’s education. By embedding the program in all aspects of our curriculum and co-curricular activities, we aim to provide our girls with the tools and skills they need to navigate life’s challenges with confidence and resilience,” says Dr Archard.

The SEAD Program was developed due to an identified need within the College for an explicitly taught social, emotional, and academic program designed specifically for girls. This insight is supported by empirical research that highlights generic co-ed wellbeing programs do not cater for the unique developmental needs of girls, with the social, emotional, and academic needs of adolescent girls highly unique to gender and developmental phases.

Dr Archard continues, “girls-specific student wellbeing programs are crucial for addressing girls’ unique needs as they grow into young women. By tailoring programs specifically to girls, we can ensure they have access to the tools and resources they need to thrive and reach their full potential.”

The SEAD Program covers concepts such as identity and personal values, leadership and the development of voice, emotions, friendships, and relationships, as well as a focus on growth mindset, strategies for achieving academic success, and other important topics such as online engagement, post-school readiness, and future pathways.

Loreto College has been able to monitor the effectiveness of the SEAD Program in improving student outcomes by gathering and measuring wellbeing data as well as using programs such as ei-Pulse. The online tool tracks the week-to-week wellbeing and engagement of the College’s students, allowing staff to gain immediate feedback and respond to students’ needs. By using baseline wellbeing measures and analysing the results to make informed and immediate changes to the SEAD Program based on different student social and emotional needs, Loreto College ensures that the SEAD Program is designed to meet varying student needs.

“Based on our ei-Pulse and other standardised wellbeing data, we have evidence that supports that our SEAD program is improving student wellbeing outcomes, ranking Loreto College students above the national benchmark in wellbeing measures. This is a testament to the effectiveness of our program in meeting the unique social, emotional, and academic needs of our girls.” states Dr Archard.

The 2023 Australian Education Awards Best Student Well-being Program winner will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at The Fullerton Hotel Sydney on Friday 11 August 2023.

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