Welcoming families to KidsMatter Primary

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Simone (Parent, St Mark’s Fawkner Catholic School)

 “Mental health is being strong in mind. Being able to deal with adversity. That when life kicks you, you can bounce back and that it doesn’t put you down.”

Student (Hastings Primary School)

 “Being mentally healthy helps me at school so I can get on with my day and be confident in what I’m doing and give it a go.”

Student (Leighland Primary School)

 “Being mentally healthy is knowing you don’t have to hold all your sadness and emotions inside and you can just let it out.  Yeah? Is that right?”

Dr Lyn O’Grady (National Project Manager, KidsMatter)


 “Good mental health is really about understanding yourself, being able to know how you’re feeling, respond appropriately to those feelings, form relationships and friendships and cope with life and the challenges that sometimes come our way.


Good mental health for children is very important. We know that it’s closely related to their learning and educational outcomes.


KidsMatter is the first national mental health and wellbeing initiative to be developed for Australian Primary Schools and it works with all the people in the school community and that includes parents and carers to really support children’s mental health and wellbeing.


Families are a very important part of children’s life and there is significant influence on children’s mental health and wellbeing and schools and families share a very common goal in wanting children to be healthy and happy.”

Celeste (Parent, Hastings Primary School)


 “You just want the very best for your child. You want your child to be socially and emotionally stable and strong and you want your child to have friends, and you want your child to get along and to just function in society the best that they possibly can.”

Dr Lyn O’Grady (National Project Manager, KidsMatter)

 “KidsMatter schools work through four areas that are related to children’s mental health and wellbeing and we call those components and families have a very important role in working with schools in each of those components.”

Michael (Principal, St Mark’s Fawkner Catholic School)

 “We commissioned a consultant to look at the school through the eyes of a visitor or parent and she put together a survey directed at our families asking specific questions that were relevant to the people and families in Fawkner.”

Rachel (Parent and Action Team Member, St Mark’s Fawkner Catholic School)

 “The main reason for doing the survey was to make parents feel that they are part of the community, so that they are included and that the school really values their opinion and really wants to get to know them.”

Simone (Parent, St Mark’s Fawkner Catholic School)

 “Just a very, very welcoming atmosphere, it’s just resonant through the walls. It’s just in the teachers; it’s just the way that you’re greeted from the moment you step through the door. You’re welcome here.”

Lois (Teacher, Wagaman Primary School)

“The skills that the children are learning in SEL lessons are really important because they can apply them in the classroom and that makes for a happier classroom, happier interactions with each other and lots less problems to deal with and you can then you can get on with other things that you need to teach and that's what we are here for, to teach kids to read and write, do their maths and be happy and adjusted children.”

Sherilyn (Principal, Leighland Christian School)


 “We embedded social and emotional learning into our school by being consciously aware of it at every level.  We ran workshops for parents as well, because you cannot feel like you’re teaching and reaching into the heart of children without their parents feelings confident and having a partnership with you in that regard.”

Dr Lyn O’Grady (National Project Manager, KidsMatter)


 “When schools reach Component 3, they’re really building on the work they started back in Component 1. And they are really focusing on the relationships that school staff are building with families, they’re looking at what they can do to support families with the important role of parenting. So that can be information and resources about children’s mental health, about children’s behaviour and children’s wellbeing.”

Burnette (Parent, Leighland Christian School)

 “To know that I can come to the school and speak to them about things other than just academics, it’s amazing.”

Pops (Henry, Hastings Primary School)


 “I come to school, you know, four days, Mondays to Thursdays, I’ve got four grandchildren at this school, and I just love being with my grandkids. And it just shows in the school, so I really enjoy being at the school and helping them. Helping anybody. That’s me. Anywhere.”

Dr Lyn O’Grady (National Project Manager, KidsMatter)


 “Schools can also be places where parents get together and support each other and that sense of support that parents get from each other is also really important for their own wellbeing and it flows on to benefit children’s mental health and wellbeing as well.”

Dr Lyn O’Grady (National Project Manager, KidsMatter)


 “Most parents throughout the primary school years will have some concerns about their children, their child’s behaviour, in coping with what’s going on at school, or at home, socializing with their friends. And so we really want to encourage parents and carers to access some support and information as early as possible and KidsMatter schools who are working through Component 4 are really well placed to provide information and support to parents.”

Jen (Teacher, Rocherlea Primary School)


So involving the parents with students experiencing mental health difficulties has been something that I’ve found to be really important in the really because often the parents would have experienced this at home and not really known where to turn.  And when you start talking about it with them, involving them in classroom programs, and bringing them on excursions and doing things like that, it’s making the child feel more comfortable at school. It’s giving the parents and the child access to things in the community that they might not have been aware was available to them. And it’s also helping the school better understand the child and where the child is coming from by getting that background information.”

Mary (Teacher, Cobdogla Primary School)


 “We’ve now got parents coming into the school again. You know, parents didn’t want to come into the school. School was for the children, it wasn’t for them. We’ve got parents coming in now doing cooking. Doing an exercise class. You know, they’re here at the school in the garden with the chickens, all of that.”

Rachel (Parent and Action team Member, St Mark’s Fawkner Catholic School)


 “As a parent at a KidsMatter school, I feel really welcome in the school.  The teachers are really approachable, and there’s a lot of parents around who you can form relationships with.  Because the school is so welcoming, parents do feel comfortable coming into the school and interacting with the teachers and other students as well.” 

Student (St Mark’s Fawkner Catholic School)

 “Out of all the seven schools that I’ve been to, I think this one’s my favourite one because not only did it include me, but they included my Mum as well, and I think that’s really important because I really love my Mum.”

Student (Hastings Primary School)

“Mum can’t really come down during school time because I’ve got six children in the family, so that makes it quite hard for her. But when she does get a chance to come down she will, and she might have a nice chat with my teacher, and that makes me feel good, because they’re getting along, and they might have a chat about me.  So what I do, is I just hope that it’s good.”