The Broken Bay Diocese is one of three Catholic diocese or administrative areas in the Sydney region. The cluster of KidsMatter Primary schools in the Broken Bay Diocese includes 27 Catholic schools in an area that coves 2,763 kilometres north of Sydney. There are three separate areas within the Diocese which comprises 44 schools managed by the Catholic Schools Office. There are 37 primary schools in the Diocese. 
 
The story about the Broken Bay Diocese describes some of the initiatives schools take to implement KidsMatter Primary. It includes a description of one school’s launch and outlines the increase in numbers of schools from two in 2002 to 27 in June 2013. The story describes some of the ways that schools in the Diocese have implemented KidsMatter since the first two pilot schools took on the mental health and wellbeing framework in 2002. It includes quotes from two principals, and Liz Douglas, Project Officer, Mental Health Initiatives, outlines the kinds of support available to Diocesan schools who implement KidsMatter. The story highlights the common focus in the cluster of 27 KidsMatter schools, and identifies the 'mental health lens' and protective factors which assist students to experience wellbeing.

Cherrybrook Public School - making belonging visible
At Cherrybrook Public School teachers acted on their concern about children who experienced anxiety and explored the potential of KidsMatter Primary as a framework to support them to assist students. The school has increased its awareness of the connections between students’ mental health and wellbeing and their capacity to learn. The strong commitment to making sure that students feel a sense of belonging so that they can develop resilience.

Hilltop Road Public School, Merrylands NSW is about 25 kms   west of the Sydney CBD near Parramatta. Its enrolment in 2012 was 630 students from families who come from a range of different cultural groups and speak some 64 different languages. The school story for Hilltop Road Public School outlines the focus on community participation that is a central aspect of the school culture. It also outlines initiatives such as the Mothers Day Brunch which explored the theme of mental health and wellbeing in 2012; weekly Bounce Back lessons across all classes in the school; and collaboration with local community health agencies.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Charlestown – more than a quick fix …
The school story for St Joseph’s describes some of the ways we want to improve the sense of belonging and community for our students and families. Another example of our work is the Community Builders’ Awards. Our school story will also be included in a future New South Wales KidsMatter Primary newsletter which will be sent to a wide range of schools. It will also be used when schools are thinking of introducing KidsMatter Primary.

Warwick Farm Public School has an enrolment of 250 students from 40 different cultural backgrounds. It is located about 30 kms south west of Sydney in a high-needs community. The story about Warwick Farm Public School describes the launch of KidsMatter Primary in March 2013. The school community became involved in the preparations which included a slogan competition for promoting KidsMatter. Students created posters and parents made gold bracelets for every student and donated some funds towards morning tea. A former student, who had attended the school when her family arrived in Australia from Bosnia, participated in the launch, and has become a KidsMatter Primary Ambassador. She will participate in major KidsMatter events and will be a role model for the students. The story highlights the focus on ‘pathways’ for students and parents, and the school’s initiatives to invite the community to contribute to wellbeing initiatives.

See all school stories across Australia