Wellbeing in Australian Schools

Supporting student wellbeing in Australian Schools is fundamental with children spending a large portion of their time at school.

According to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited, “educators and school communities play a significant role in supporting and developing learner wellbeing.”

Ensuring student wellbeing enables students to be healthy, happy, engaged and successful.

Wellbeing in Australian Schools

What is wellbeing in Australian schools?

According to the NSW Department of Education, wellbeing can be described as “the quality of a person’s life”.

Wellbeing can include cognitive, emotional, social, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

Source: New South Wales Department of Education, https://education.nsw.gov.au/student-wellbeing/whole-school-approach/wellbeing-framework-for-schools

The International Baccalaureate Organisation outlines four important elements to wellbeing.

“Feeling good, functioning well, accomplishing; and flourishing”.

Source: International Baccalaureate Organization (Balcia 2021)

At Caroline Chisholm Catholic College the relationship between wellbeing and learning is critical to the growth of the whole person.

Providing programs and processes is fundamental to enabling all students to have the opportunity to be supported in achieving their full potential: spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially, and culturally

Our Personal Development Program covers the following ‘Five Pillars’

1. Leadership

2. Decision Making

3. Study Skills

4. Personal Wellbeing

5. Relationships

Stephanie Banks, Deputy Principal (Wellbeing)

Why is wellbeing in Australian Schools important?

Wellbeing in Australian Schools is important with approximately 60% of students in OECD countries becoming ‘very tense’ when studying.

Social and Emotional Benefits

Ensuring your child’s wellbeing is met at school has clear social and emotional benefits.

Student wellbeing is linked to enhanced mental health for students.

Social and emotional wellbeing allows students to build fundamental life skills including:

  • Resilience

  • Control and management of thoughts, feelings and behaviours

  • Creating and upholding positive and meaningful relationships

  • Communication

  • Creating an appropriate emotional support network

Educational Benefits

Student wellbeing has a significant impact on your child’s ability to focus and work productively.

Wellbeing in schools is linked to:

  • Enhanced intrinsic motivation

  • Decreased disciplinary problems

  • Increased academic achievement

In fact, for Year 7-9 students, improving their wellbeing index by one standard deviation can result in a 5% improvement in their expected NAPLAN numeracy scores.

How do we achieve wellbeing in Australian Schools?

According to the Department of Education, Victoria some ‘whole school approaches’ to mental health and wellbeing include:

Wellbeing strategies in Australian Schools

Wellbeing strategies in Australian Schools can support and accelerate student learning.

Many independent schools have unique and important methods to incorporate student wellbeing.


Reading Program at Meriden

This term at Meriden, we are running a Reading Program across Years 7-10, designed to engage students in thoughtful reflection that will spark conversations about contemporary social justice issues.

wellbeing in Australian schools. girl in library.
Meriden students participating in the Reading Program.

As well as prompting empathy, this program is designed to support student wellbeing. Providing an opportunity for students to stop and read and have time off their devices in the middle of the day has many benefits for students’ social and emotional learning.

Mrs Jessica Chilton, Meriden’s Head of Student Wellbeing

Mindfulness Sessions at St Aloysius, Victoria

Every day after lunch, St Aloysius students participate in a 5 minute mindfulness session that helps students to recentre and refocus, preparing them for the final lessons of the day. This practice runs in conjunction with Nourish, a year-level specific fortnightly wellbeing session and Wellbeing Wednesdays, run weekly and focusing on overall educational wellbeing; areas covered include healthy study habits, mindfulness, resilience and online safety.

St Aloysius College, Melbourne


  • Supporting student wellbeing at school is significant for keeping students healthy, happy and successful

  • Wellbeing in Australian schools allows students gain social and emotional benefits and develop fundamental skills

  • Wellbeing in Australian schools provides educational benefits for students including increased academic results, focus and motivation

  • Schools play a crucial role in supporting student wellbeing

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 38 or Choosing a School VIC 34.


©2022 UMCO. All rights reserved