Humpty Doo Primary School profile

  • Located in a rural area 40 kms south of Darwin
  • Has a diverse community with 30% of students with ESL background and 25% Indigenous
  • Is a large primary school with 400 students and a preschool
  • Offers Special Education programs for students with high support needs in the Special Centre and Learning Centre

Taking on Kids Matter with gusto

Humpty Doo joined Kids Matter at the end of 2009 with strong support from the Principal. Early in 2010 an Action Team was formed. It was a busy year for the school with:
  • Undertaking many programs in line with Departmental policies
  • Having a high staff turnover including members of the original Action team
  • Experiencing critical incidents which impacted on the students and school community.

Social and emotional learning – one of three major areas

In 2011 the school established three main areas of focus in the curriculum: Literacy, Numeracy and social and emotional learning. All staff members became a member of one focus area. The Action Team focuses on social and emotional learning with wide representation including Teena Richardson, Year 2/3 Teacher and Implementation Support Person for KidsMatter and Senior Teacher, Early Childhood, who says that that the Action Team is ‘well-formed and collaborative … [it] really covers the school.’

Wellbeing Team

KidsMatter NT Coordinators have visited and worked on team-building activities. In 2011 a Wellbeing Team was established and it meets fortnightly to discuss and review how each student is travelling and identifies what mechanisms need to be in place to support learning and wellbeing of each individual. Recently it has expanded to include the Principal; Assistant Principal; Chaplain; Counsellor, Senior teachers, Special Education Teacher, Aboriginal and Islander Education Worker and Student Services Personnel, if required.

Staff participation - Component 2

Component 2 has had an impact on teaching across the whole school. All staff across the school have had a voice in the various steps to introduce the new direction. When it came to select a social and emotional learning (SEL) program, Action Team members prepared a case for several programs. After the presentations, staff voted for Bounce Back. 
The process for selecting the program had a real impact on its successful implementation. Bounce Back is now consistent across all classes with SEL themes and a common language runs through every aspect of the school culture. Teachers have commented on the positive impact it has had on students’ behaviour and sense of belonging:
We had only just started learning ‘I'm a bouncy person’ which is to the tune of ‘I'm a little teapot’. One of my young and exuberant students was heard to say: ‘When I feel unhappy and my world is black, tip me over and pour me out.’
Helen Dickson, Classroom teacher
… students in 1/2 Brady commonly encourage me (and each other) with the comment, ‘that’s OK, no one’s perfect, we all make mistakes’, so the program is obviously having a positive impact on them.
Michelle Troy, Teacher
The biggest success was the catastrophe scale....discovering what situations really were worth worrying about, how people's perceptions of what matters can change as they get older.
Joanne Giersch, Class Teacher , Rural Middle Years Special Centre

Teachers know about time

Time has to be the biggest challenge for teachers and schools thinking about introducing new practices. At Humpty Doo this was no exception when it introduced Bounce Back as part of KidsMatter.
As educators we all know that the key element is time: time to be together; time to work things; through; time to support; and time to just do. We have all lead by example to show that when we focus on social emotional learning, it is not an additional thing to do, but a value-adding step to all learning opportunities.
Teena Richardson, Implementation Support Person (ISP), KidsMatter 

KidsMatter has a place

The school has a regular KidsMatter page in the school newsletter. Items that cover KidsMatter and Bounce Back reinforce the school’s philosophy. A different class takes responsibility for hosting each fortnightly assembly and presentations of awards based on Bounce Back core values.
Our assemblies are different now. We have some amazing student presentations. We have noticed that their attitudes to receiving awards have changed. Students truly value them and appreciate being noticed for the little things.
Teena Richardson, ISP KidsMatter 
The daily message broadcast by two members of the Student Representative Council is another way to highlight KidsMatter and social and emotional learning at Humpty Doo. The message is strongly connected to social emotional learning.

Onside from the outset

The Action Team believed that it was essential to inform parents and carers about KidsMatter. The School Council has been supportive of KidsMatter from the beginning because they were not only informed about KidsMatter but also empowered to choose whether it was the right thing for their school. 
By informing parents and carers about KidsMatter from the outset, it ensured a positive kick-off. When parents read the newsletter and articles about KidsMatter one week and Bounce Back, the next, families, caregivers and community members can unpack what is happening in classes. 
Teena Richardson, ISP KidsMatter

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