Wallaroo Primary in Hastings improving students’ connection with their learning

A teacher helps a student in the classroom at Wallaroo Primary School, prior to COVID-19 restrictions. Photo: Supplied.

This blog is written by Kristen Young, Health Promotion Practitioner at Peninsula Health.

One school is making a big impact when it comes to helping students to feel connected and engaged in their learning.

Wallaroo Primary school is located in Hastings and has big plans in place for the next 12 months to redevelop their outdoor spaces to include a chill out zone, bountiful planter boxes, a giant chess board and a new common space for games and collaboration.

“The idea behind our outdoor plan is to cater to the different needs and interests of our school community” says Jenny Brennan, School Principal at Wallaroo Primary.

“It is important for us to provide spaces for students to connect with their peers, or at other times to seek reflective spaces to recharge.”

Brain breaks are another important part of school life at Wallaroo Primary. Students can ask for a few moments to stretch and move when they have been concentrating on their learning. 

Brain breaks support students to re-focus and to be engaged learners. Each classroom has a special trolley containing fidget spinners, Velcro, slime and play dough. If students need a break in class, they can quietly head over to the trolley for a few minutes.

“It is important for students, staff and families to feel safe and supported to have conversations about mental health” says Jenny.

“During school events we offer a wellbeing session to families on interesting topics such as mindfulness and positive parenting.””

Wallaroo Primary recently received recognition from the Victorian Government as a health promoting school in mental health and wellbeing for their innovative approach.

“It has been satisfying to help Wallaroo Primary plan and set up these initiatives and receive recognition for their hard work. We have a strong partnership with the school and we’ll soon be working together on healthy eating” said Kristen, a member of the Health Promotion Team at Peninsula Health.

If your school is looking for any support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We can set the pace together and there is no pressure involved.

Kristen supports Schools in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula regions, and can be contacted at:  kyoung@phcn.vic.gov.au

If you are interested in creating healthy environments, would like to partner with us, or have a question, please contact us at: healthpromotion@phcn.vic.gov.au