Over the past several weeks, I have been reflecting on how lucky we are as Tasmanians living in a beautiful state and free from war, famine, and flooding.  I also have the good fortune to work with the fantastic students who show daily, how proud they are of their school by wearing the winter uniform correctly and showing care and support to their fellow students. 

To illustrate this point of care and support, we have been able to team several senior students with younger grades to become mentors. Without exception, each senior student asked to assist has indicated that they would be very happy to help. Below is an extract from a reflection written by a Year 12 student in relation to her experiences during the first half of the year. 

“This mentoring has made me feel so good within because I have been able to help someone and spread positivity in their life and throughout the community.  I hope to think my mentee is benefitting from this mentoring program.  I have seen a difference in them already and hope they become the best version of themself.  I do wish this was in place when I was going through the younger grades.  I think it is very beneficial for students both receiving the mentoring and being the mentor.  I hope it continues and more students get involved.” 

It will become apparent over the next few weeks that we are progressing well with the GEM component of the Resilience Project. A parent information evening is scheduled, posters are placed around the school raising awareness, and an increase in Pastoral Care time is planned. 

The Resilience Project school program has a focus on Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness and Emotional Literacy (GEM-E).  Marist Regional College has adopted the GEM-E model as a part of our everyday life and is implementing activities across the school in Pastoral Care lessons and in every day teaching spaces. The GEM-E model being practised daily alongside the program for teachers has shown that it provides variety and helps engage students with lessons and each other. Through the program’s implementation, we aim to increase the students’ use of daily gratitude strategies for significant mental health benefits across the student body. By implementing this program across the College, we aim to build a culture of support and understanding which benefits our students in all areas of their lives. 

The Resilience Project and GEM model, aims and benefits include: 

  • Significant increase in children feeling happier and more resilient 
  • Improved confidence and self esteem 
  • Knowledge and ability to recognise and express emotions 
  • Better relationships at school and home 
  • More supportive classroom environments 

Gratitude:  Paying attention to the things we have; not worrying about the things we don’t have. 

Empathy/Kindness: Being kind and embracing differences. 

Mindfulness: Learning to be calm and present at any given moment. 

Emotional Literacy: Labelling our emotions as we experience them. 

The poster below has been developed by Marist staff to reflect MRC, its Houses, the GEM and Emotional Literacy program. 

Finally, I would like to remind families that as exams, assessment tasks and reporting draw near, it is very important to keep a healthy balance around sleep, nutrition, exercise, socialising and academic study for the young people in our care, to enable them to perform at their best. 

Mr John Hamilton  

Deputy Principal Pastoral Wellbeing