Turner School actively engages students in learning about their own wellbeing and in understanding their social and emotional world. Turner is a values based school. It is expected that all members of the Turner School Community will operate within the SCARFF values (support, cooperation, acceptance, respect, friendliness and fun). Social and emotional learning at the school is underpinned by the school's strong approach to working with our SCARFF values and culture of giving. Also pivotal is an understanding of 'social justice' and the development of 'identity' as an active and informed citizen having opportunities to take action and to contribute to their world. Students learn to develop an understanding of 'other perspectives' as well as their own.
A variety of resources are used to support learning. Teachers make use of literature and other texts to build concepts, allow time to problem solve and talk as well as provide opportunities to role play, respond, create and to 'practice' skills in a safe environment. In addition to this, regular class meetings are held to allow time to work through issues and topics as children learn to negotiate their social space.
Since 2007 our school has used the KidsMatter Framework to guide our approach to social and emotional learning. This includes teaching students the importance of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL is based on the knowledge that our emotions and relationships affect how and what we learn. Every year, there is emphasis within each classroom to develop skills and understandings in a number of key areas:
- self-awareness (including being resilient, being fair and ethical, being responsible, identifying strengths, understanding emotions
- self-management (including organisational skills, time management, goal setting, managing emotions and catastrophizing, learning perseverance
- social awareness (including understanding difference, positive listening skills, humour, empathy
- relationship skills (including learning to get along with others, understanding friendships, how to make friends, managing disagreements, inclusion)
- responsible decision-making (including identifying choice and point of view, negotiation, turn taking, positive and negative solutions, problem solving, peer-pressure, taking positive action).
Each team plans for SEL lessons over the term and selects the most appropriate resources and strategies to teach, practice and reinforce the learning. In addition to the planned SEL focus lessons, teachers will respond to children's needs and/or issues that emerge with additional lessons, resources and strategies.
Student Voice and Governance
The school runs both a junior school and senior school Student Representative Council. Each class across the school from kindergarten to year 6 is represented with these councils. The councils meet regularly across the year and work collaboratively with the school and community in representing student 'voice' and in the organisation of school wide projects and events. The councils work to ensure that the students of the school are not only focused on ensuring student agency within the school community but also on contributing more broadly to their community and their world.
Each class holds regular class meetings that provide a forum for students to learn about democratic process, to listen respectfully, to articulate opinion and argument and to understand and resolve issues.