A culture of well being values and practice

 Learning outcomes:

  • Know the importance of well being for learner
  • Understand the role of school to provide safe learning environment.

Of the parts that directly improve student wellbeing as a whole, one of the features is building a culture of wellbeing. While a systematic approach to building a culture of wellbeing may be a challenging exercise, it is vital to the achievement of the desired outcomes for student wellbeing.

Inquiry into the alignment between the expressed values that support wellbeing and the extent to which these values are reflected across all school operations is a good place to start. Consider the values in terms of wellbeing and the extent to which they are reflected in:

~   The development of school goals and strategic planning?

~   The school-wide systems, for example, guidance and counseling, pastoral care, transitions and pathways?

~   The policies, procedures and the development of new initiatives for student wellbeing?

~   Newsletters, assemblies, websites, classroom blogs, social media, etc.?

~   the physical environment, for example, signage and classroom expectations and contracts

The next line of inquiry could investigate the extent to which the expressed values for student wellbeing are evident in action. The following questions could be used to find out if the indicators of good practice are evident:

~    To what extent do parents, wha-nau and visitors to the school observe and experience a sense of values that support wellbeing? Are these values visible in interactions between students and staff?

~   To what extent is staff provided with a clear mandate to improve student wellbeing?  Is staff given the resources to support this work?

~   To what extent do students see themselves as active contributors to the culture for wellbeing, values and actions?

~    Do we provide enough diverse, student friendly spaces around the school property?

The findings from these questions and the extent to which they improve student wellbeing will be tempered by the effectiveness of leadership, partnerships, and the range of inquiry and improvement processes across the school.


Questions to identify the effectiveness of these areas in building a culture of student wellbeing include:

~   In what ways do students lead activities that directly improve their wellbeing across the arts, sports, culture and academics?

~   What opportunities do teachers and leaders provide for students to become involved in student council, peer mentoring and other leadership activities?

~   In what ways do students contribute to strategic planning, and identifying the school’s priorities and responses to student wellbeing? How inclusive are these opportunities?

~   What measures do we have in place to ensure leadership roles are available to all students?

~   What evidence do we have of teacher collaboration that enhances student wellbeing?

~   To what extent does evidence inform teaching practices for student wellbeing?

~   How does the school community view the school culture and values? Do they see the culture and values contributing to student wellbeing?

~   To what extent does consultation with the community inform curriculum priorities, including those for the Health and Physical Education Curriculum?

learning, teaching and curriculum

Schools can use these questions to gain a deeper understanding of how Ako: learning, teaching and curriculum assists in improving student wellbeing.

~ To what extent are students’ strengths, prior knowledge, interests and aspirations valued and reflected in curriculum planning and delivery?

~ How well do curriculum priorities inform pastoral care priorities?

~ How is student success celebrated across the school?

~ What day-to-day opportunities do we provide for diverse students to use their strengths, interests and prior knowledge?

~ Do we systematically and purposefully teach the skills needed for students to develop social-awareness, relationship skills, self-confidence, self-management and responsible decision-making?

~ To what extent are the principles of the Health and Physical Education Curriculum, attitudes and values, socio-ecological perspective and health promotion) known, understood and integrated into all curriculum areas?

~ How well are the achievement objectives set out in the Health and Physical Education Curriculum integrated across the implementation of the curriculum?

As with building a culture for student wellbeing, leadership, partnerships, and the range of inquiry and improvement processes across the school play a vital role in the effectiveness of Ako. Here are questions to identify the effectiveness of learning, teaching and curriculum:

~    How well aligned are the school’s wellbeing priorities to the school’s curriculum?

~    How do students feel about their teachers? Are relationships strong, trusting and fair?

~    To what extent do students lead their own learning?

~    To what extent are partnerships with parents, whānau and the community valued by leaders and teachers?

~    How do partnerships with students, teachers, parents and whānau inform curriculum priorities?

~    In what ways can parents and caregivers communicate with their child/ren’s teacher/s?

~    What inquiry and improvement processes are in place to understand how effective curriculum delivery is for student wellbeing?

~    What structures are in place for teachers to inquire and discuss teaching practices that work to promote and respond to student wellbeing?

Systems, people and initiatives

The systems, people and initiatives that support school-wide processes for wellbeing and individual student wellbeing may highlight the need for immediate action. Prompts for inquiry and improvement follow:

~   Do all students feel safe at school?

~   Do all students have more than one adult they can turn to for guidance and support?

~   How clear and robust are the policies for student wellbeing, including anti-bullying and action to prevent and respond to suicide?

~   Do policies for student wellbeing align with practice for student wellbeing?

~   To what extent do we provide the training and resources for teachers to:

~  build positive rapport with all students

~  implement restorative practices

~  identify vulnerable students

~  contribute to strategies to improve student wellbeing

~ work safely and ethically with information that risks student safety?

~ To what extent do teachers work collaboratively to develop Individual Education Plans to support student wellbeing and learning?

~ What processes and procedures are in place for traumatic events?

The actions of leaders, the strength of partnerships, and the range of inquiry and improvement processes that support systems, people and initiatives can be investigated using the following questions:

~   To what extent are wellbeing initiatives based on areas identified for action?

~   Are resources allocated based on wellbeing priorities?

~ To what extent do teachers work collaboratively and inclusively to promote student wellbeing, for example, individual education planning teams, pastoral care teams.

~ To what extent are student, parent, community and external agency perspectives included in inquiry and improvement processes?

What is measuring national well-being about?

Measuring national well-being is about looking at ‘GDP and beyond’ to measure what really matters to people. The UK’s Measuring National Well-being programme was launched in 2010 and is based at the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The aim is to produce accepted and trusted measures of the well-being of the nation – how the UK as a whole is doing.

A wide range of 41 different headline measures are monitored regularly in areas such as the natural environment, personal well-being, our relationships, health, what we do, where we live, personal finances, the economy, education and skills, and governance. All of this helps us to measure the progress and well-being of the nation – how the UK as a whole is doing.

ONS published the second ‘Life in the UK’ report in March 2014, giving the latest snapshot of the nation’s well-being. The report was accompanied by updated national well-being measures data, and interactive wheel of measures and interactive graphs which provide regional breakdowns for selected measures. A full list of outputs from the measuring national well-being programme is available here.

Find out more about our approach to measuring national well-being on the measuring national well-being pages of the ONS website.

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  1. What is personal well-being?

Personal well-being is also known by the more scientific term of ‘subjective well-being’. It is about people evaluating their own lives. There are several ways in which this is looked at by researchers who study well-being. These include asking people to evaluate how satisfied they are with their life overall, asking whether they feel they have meaning and purpose in their life, and asking about their emotions during a particular period. The ONS measures of personal well-being ask people to assess each of these aspects of their lives.

Focus groups with members of the public conducted by ONS in 2013 found that the term ‘personal well-being’ is clearer and simpler to understand than ‘subjective well-being’. In the light of this, both the questions and findings from them have been referred to by ONS as ‘personal well-being’ since then.

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  1. How are the findings about personal well-being used?

Personal well-being data can contribute to better decision making, for policy makers, individuals, communities, business and civil society. It complements other measures of progress and quality of life such as unemployment and household income and is used by the Office for National Statistics to better monitor and understand national well-being.

The uses of personal well-being data are varied, but four main uses have been identified including:

  • overall monitoring of national well-being,
  • use in the policy making process which includes:
    • identifying needs and targeting policies
    • policy appraisal
    • evaluation and monitoring of policy
  • international comparison,
  • Public decision making.

Although the Measuring National Well-being programme at ONS was only launched in late 2010, the data and measures from the programme are increasingly used across government departments as well as the private sector and third sector organizations.

For further details of a wide range of well-being work across UK government departments, please go to ‘Wellbeing: Policy and Analysis’.

The Office for National Statistics is also working with other national statistical offices and international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Eurostat to develop comparable international measures of personal well-being. An example of this is a recent publication by the OECD providing guidance to national statistical offices on the measurement of subjective well-being. This included many examples from the ONS Measuring National Well-being programme.

  1. What is the difference between personal well-being and subjective well-being?

There is no difference between personal well-being and subjective well-being. Focus groups with members of the public conducted by ONS in 2013 found that ‘personal well-being’ is clearer and simpler to understand than ‘subjective well-being’. In the light of this, both the questions and findings from them have been referred to by ONS as ‘personal well-being’ since then.

  1. Why measure personal well-being?

Personal well-being is one of many ways in which the Measuring National Well-being programme at ONS aims to assess the progress of the nation, looking both at standard objective measures such as income and health and at people’s own views about their lives. Monitoring personal well-being across the nation year on year will help to show how people feel their quality of life changes in relation to changes in circumstances, policies and wider events in society. It will also show how people in the UK evaluate their lives compared to people in other countries across the world.

  1. What measures are included in the personal well-being domain on the Measuring National Well-being Wheel?

The personal well-being domain includes the four ONS personal well-being questions on life satisfaction, worthwhile, happiness and anxiety. In addition, the domain also includes a ‘population mental well-being’ measure. This measure uses the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) to assess mental well-being out of a total possible score of 35. The data source for WEMWBS data is Understanding Society. The WEMWBS data is provided alongside the other four personal well-being domain measures as part of the Measuring National Well-being, ‘Life in the UK’ releases

  1. How does measure personal well-being?

ONS uses four survey questions to measure personal well-being. People are asked to respond to the questions on a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is ‘not at all’ and 10 is ‘completely’. The four questions are:

“Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?”

“Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?”

“Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?”

“Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?”

ONS first added these four questions to the Annual Population Survey (APS), in April 2011. The APS is the source of the national estimates of personal well-being in the UK that are published annually by ONS.

  1. Are details regarding the validity of testing the four questions available?

The four personal well-being questions gained national statistics status in September 2014. Prior to this, and still ongoing ONS have conducted a range of quantitative testing and qualitative testing.

The papers that explain in depth the validity of testing the four questions are as follows. The paper Overview of ONS phase three cognitive testing of Subjective Well-being Questions gives an overview of the qualitative testing of the questions, and paper Measuring Subjective Well-being (240.8 Kb Pdf) covers the background and rationale behind the 4 questions.

There are also several other papers documenting the quantitative testing of the 4 questions. These are:


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  1. When are the annual personal well-being results available?

The personal well-being estimates from the Annual Population Survey are updated annually and are published in a statistical bulletin called, ‘Personal Well-being in the UK’. Recent efforts to reduce the time lag of the publication of the headline Personal Well-being estimates have resulted in an earlier publication of July. Further and more detailed analysis will be released on a more ad hoc basis throughout the year.

  1. Why is there not one composite indicator for Personal Well-being?

ONS uses 4 questions to measure personal well-being, and does not produce one composite measure. The four questions were designed to measure distinct aspects of personal well-being (Evaluative, Eudemonic and Affective). It is therefore not appropriate to combine these questions as they are all individually important, and together they give a balanced approach to well-being. For more information on these approaches, and the on the background to the 4 personal well-being questions please see “How were the four personal well-being questions developed?” and “What is meant by ‘evaluative’, ‘eudemonic’ and ‘affective well-being?’.

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

The purpose of the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment is to identify natural hazards and to evaluate the risk to Adams County, the health and safety of its citizens, property, and economy. A vulnerability and risk assessment is a decision support tool for determining the need for and prioritization of mitigation measures to protect assets and processes. While it is financially unfeasible to reduce risk from every natural hazard event, vulnerability and risk assessments can help ensure that the available resources and actions taken are justified and implemented based on the threat, vulnerability, and risk.1 This section describes the linkages to the Comprehensive Plan and then summarizes the hazard identification and ranking methodology process. Background information is then provided on the data availability for facilities, assets, land use and development, and historical hazard events. Hazard-specific profiles and vulnerability assessments are provided for all the identified hazards. The final sub-section of this HIRA concludes with a comparison of the loss estimates, which leads to the mitigation actions and project development.

An Integrated Approach

The Adams County Comprehensive Plan provides a concise statement of the County’s objectives for future development within unincorporated areas of the County and in municipal growth areas. As part of this effort, other County plans including the Transportation Plan, Open Space, Parks and Trails Master Plan, and this Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (HIRA) have been incorporated. This level of integration reflects Adams County’s commitment to a more resilient and sustainable future.  Hazard mitigation planning is an integral and effective component of the County’s overall comprehensive planning efforts. The integration of these planning efforts has fostered a relationship between Adams County planners and emergency managers and continually enables them to work together towards a common goal. Hazard mitigation, like comprehensive planning, involves elements of land use, economic development, transportation and historic preservation. One of the goals of this effort is to raise the visibility of natural and man-made hazards in comprehensive planning and to incorporate these concerns into the planning goals for the County.

Hazard Identification and Ranking Methodology

HAZARD IDENTIFICATION During the steering committee meeting on May 21, 2012, background information on the requirements for hazard mitigation planning, and more specifically the HIRA, were presented.  Steering committee members reviewed the list of natural hazards presented in the State of Colorado and the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) hazard mitigation plans (Table 3) and discussed and rated which of these hazards could have an impact on the County. Additionally, committee members reviewed the hazardous materials facilities and the impact of such facilities within Adams County. The natural hazards identified for Adams County and included in this risk assessment are:

  • Thunderstorms · Winter Weather · Tornadoes · Flood · Drought · Subsidence · Earthquake · Wildfire


The purpose of the hazard identification and risk assessment is to provide a factual basis for developing mitigation strategies by prioritizing areas most threatened and vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards. As discussed above, the natural hazards applicable to the County were discussed in terms of frequency and historical damages. The completed prioritizations were tallied and discussed with the group. As a result of this prioritization, the hazards were broken down into three distinct categories that represent the likelihood that a hazard event will impact the County. These categories are High, Medium, and Low (Table 1). Table 2 summarizes the completed vulnerability analysis.  For the report, certain hazards have been grouped together based on similar descriptions, impacts, and severities. Flooding includes dam inundation, winter weather includes extreme cold, drought includes extreme heat, and thunderstorm includes hail, lightning and wind events. Future updates to this assessment may consider further refining the parameters to include specific return periods of probability and damage estimates for impacts.  · Geographic Extent: If the expected event does occur, what percent of the County will be impacted?  · Previous Occurrence: Based on the historical records, how often has the hazard occurred within the County?   · Future Probability: How likely is the event to occur during any given year?  · Magnitude/Severity: If the expected event does occur, how many people might be killed, injured, or contaminated, and how much property might be damaged or destroyed?

Data Availability

This study includes data collected from a variety of resources including local, State, and national datasets. Whenever possible, data has been incorporated into a Geographic Information System (GIS) to aid in analysis and to develop countywide maps for depicting historical hazard events, hazard areas, and vulnerable facilities and infrastructure. Critical facility data has been collected from the Adams County GIS department. The local data provided is summarized below in Critical Facilities and Infrastructure Data and Building Data. In accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mitigation planning guidance, the results of this study are based on best available data. In most cases, detailed data regarding the characteristics of facilities and other community-related data does not exist in a usable format. Parcel data was available for the County but did not include detailed or complete building inventories such as elevation data, year built, construction material, and values of structures and contents. This data is currently being revised by the County and should be available for future updates to this plan. This further illustrates the difficult nature of quantitatively assessing vulnerability and risk in any of the communities. Therefore, this assessment has been compiled using the best available data.  Strategies will be developed that address these data needs by recommending specific measures to increase the quality and detail of data to prepare usable and effective hazard assessments


The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) 2 definition of “critical facility” has been used to categorize critical facilities for this hazard identification and risk assessment. For this plan, a “critical facility” means a structure or related infrastructure that, if impacted by a natural hazard event, may result in significant hazards to public health and safety or interrupt essential services and operations for the community at any time before, during, or after the event. The CWCB includes four main types of critical facilities: 1. Essential services facilities include public safety, emergency response, emergency medical, designated emergency shelters, communications, public utility plant facilities, and transportation lifelines.  2. Hazardous materials facilities include facilities that produce or store highly volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic and/or water-reactive materials. 3. At-risk population facilities include medical care, congregate care, and schools. 4. Facilities vital to restoring normal services including government operations.  Table 4 and Figure 1 show type and locations for the four defined types of critical facilities. As shown, the majority of the facilities reside within the western portion of the County. Adams County GIS staff was actively involved in the development of the critical facilities dataset that represented facilities critical to Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) | Data Availability

6  Appendix C:  Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

County operations, potential targets, shelters, transportation, and tourism attractions. This data has been provided and is available through the County GIS department.  Although the majority of the critical facility information was spatially available, the attributes for the data are very limited. Without detailed, building-specific information (i.e., first floor elevation, year built), analysis options were based on the spatial location of the facility and delineated hazards. When applicable, the data provided was used and the results are included in the hazard-specific analysis sections. Future mitigation actions should address these GIS needs.



Based on the Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, a Hazardous Materials Facilities (Tier II facilities) report needs to be submitted for:  · Any facility that had at any time stored 10,000 pounds of any material that is required to have a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or  · is an Extremely Hazardous Substance  of either  or the Threshold Planning Quantity whichever is lower .4 For this analysis, Hazardous Materials Facilities (Tier II facilities) have been incorporated into the critical facilities dataset. There are 178 facilities within Adams County and of those, a seventeen (17) are part of the Risk Management Program (RMP). RMP facilities are a subset of the Hazardous Materials Facilities (Tier II facilities) and have a worst-case scenario plan developed.  Table 7 and Table 8, in the Land Use and Development section; summarize the location of the facilities by current and future land use type.


Wellbeing in the Classroom


What is wellbeing? Wellbeing is a term widely used both in public and scientific discourse to denote a positive state, be it physical, emotional, financial, spiritual or other. With regards to the term wellbeing, Ereaut and Whiting contend there is ‘significant ambiguity around the definition, usage and function … in the public policy realm and in the wider world’ (Ereaut and Whiting, 2008, p.1). The Oxford dictionary defines wellbeing as ‘the state of being comfortable or happy’. Bornstein et al. suggest that ‘wellbeing is a state of successful performance throughout the life course integrating physical, cognitive and socio-emotional function that results in productive activities deemed significant by one’s cultural community, fulfilling social relationships and the ability to transcend moderate psychosocial and environmental problems Andrews et al. define wellbeing as ‘healthy and successful individual functioning (involving physiological, psychological and behavioral levels of organization), positive social relationships (with family members, peers, adult caregivers, and community and societal institutions, for instance, school and faith and civic organizations), and a social ecology that provides safety (e.g., freedom from interpersonal violence, war and crime), human and civil rights, social justice and participation in civil society.


Within academic science, researchers often draw on the positive psychology movement and ‘might characterize wellbeing as ‘positive and sustainable characteristics which enable individuals and organizations to thrive and flourish’’ (Ereaut and Whiting, 2008, p.4). This understanding of wellbeing has led to an increased emphasis on its promotion in a number of different spheres. To enhance wellbeing in the workplace the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in association with the University of Ulster has developed a Workplace Wellbeing online questionnaire. The raison d-être of this questionnaire is to assess psychosocial risk in the workplace. The results of the questionnaire are to be utilized with the aim of ‘targeting any interventions or assistance, informal or formal, which may help increase employee satisfaction and productivity’ A study by the HR department of Canada Life in 2007 found that many employees placed employee wellbeing, flexible working conditions and employee assistance programmes at least on a par with their salary and bonuses. This led the company to launch a wellbeing programme for employees within its organization. The primary purpose of the programme is to raise awareness of wellbeing issues and to provide everyone with information and knowledge within the company.


Types of wellbeing


Wellbeing revolves around two distinct philosophies – hedonism and eudaimonism. Hedonism contends that wellbeing consists of pleasure or happiness. Eudaimonism conveys the belief that wellbeing ‘consists of fulfilling or realizing one’s daimon or true nature’


Washington State University believes that there are multiple dimensions to wellbeing and in order to be ‘well’ each individual must actively strive to improve themselves within each dimension. Washington State University explained eight dimensions include as follows:

Physical Wellbeing Making healthy lifestyle choices today will affect health and quality of life tomorrow. Building physical strength and endurance along with a healthy and balanced lifestyle and diet are important for physical wellbeing. Enhanced self-esteem, a sense of direction, and other psychological benefits are some gains from developing physical wellbeing. Emotional Wellbeing This is the ability to recognize, understand, experience and express a full range of emotions and channel our emotions in to healthy behaviors that satisfy our personal and social goals.


Environmental Wellbeing The environment is the basic foundation for individual wellbeing. Humans are part of the environment and are not separate from it. Environmental wellbeing is an awareness and appreciation of the critical role the environment plays in our individual wellbeing.


Financial Wellbeing This can be defined as the ability to make informed and wise decisions on the earnings, savings and credits that enable one to attain one’s personal goals while enjoying a comfortable lifestyle. Stress in the areas of emotional, occupational and social wellbeing can result if financial wellbeing is imbalanced.


Intellectual Wellbeing This notion reflects our degree of openness to new ideas, our propensity to challenge ourselves to think critically, our inclination to nourish our creativity and curiosity, and our motivation to master new skills.


Occupational Wellbeing Occupational wellbeing is the achieving of personal satisfaction in one’s life through a career path and work. Finding a healthy way to integrate work into our life can enhance personal satisfaction and wellbeing. There are several areas that may impact on our degree of occupational wellbeing. These areas include stress, a negative work environment, working too many hours, job dissatisfaction and/or poor or undesirable work conditions.


Wellbeing in the Classroom  14

Spiritual Wellbeing Spiritual wellbeing is where one finds meaning and purpose in one’s life and in one’s place in the greater universe.


Social Wellbeing Social wellbeing is where one has satisfying relationships and support networks. One would have an understanding of self in relation to others and a sense of belonging. In addition, one would participate and contribute to the community. To achieve social wellbeing, one has to acquire the skills of communicating effectively, of resolving conflicts, of transcending differences and of providing leadership in the community.


The Washington State University did not make a direct reference to mental wellbeing which the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as a state of wellbeing in which every individual can realize his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to her or his community. The positive dimension of mental health is stressed in the WHO definition of health as contained in its constitution – ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’


Measuring Wellbeing Studies are periodically undertaken in various countries by different agencies to measure wellbeing and the findings are often compared internationally. The type of wellbeing researched and measured is known as subjective wellbeing. Subjective Wellbeing (SWB) was defined by Deiner (2009) as the general evaluation of one’s quality of life. He conceptualized this notion into the following three components:


  • A cognitive appraisal that one’s life was good (life satisfaction), • experiencing positive levels of pleasant emotions, and • experiencing relatively low levels of negative moods.


In the past few years subjective wellbeing studies have been undertaken in Ireland. The results of these studies have found that despite the economic downturn, Ireland as a country continues to rank high in the international quality of life league tables. An Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report entitled Positive Affect Balance found that Ireland ranked twelfth in terms of day-to-day happiness. In the 2010 Gallup World Poll Ireland was placed tenth out of forty advanced countries in terms of life satisfaction A Gallup survey published shows that out of the 27 countries in the EU the Irish are the seventh most content in their lives.


Children and legislation


A new state required a new constitution. When the Constitution of the Irish Free State Act was passed in 1922, only one reference was made to children. This was in relation to their education and religion. Article 8 of the Constitution of the Irish Free State provided for the state not to ‘impose any disability on account of religious belief or religious status, or affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending the religious instruction at the school’).  The insertion of this article reflected the divisions prevalent in the country at that time in relation to religion and religious instruction. While children were granted religious freedom in relation to their education, this was at the behest of their parents. No other direct provision for children was made in this constitution and nor were children recognized as citizens in their own right.


Children and curricula


A new state also meant reform of the education system. In 1922 the National School Programme was introduced. Taking on board the advice of the Rev. Timothy Corcoran that the early years were the language years – ‘the vital years for vernacular usage are those from three onwards’ Dr Corcoran supported ‘the view that the most effective way to initiate a language revival was through schools, and especially, the infant classes’ ). Figures from the 1926 Census showed that 5,461 of three and four year olds spoke Irish in the home while 112,712 did not The National School Programme placed a strong emphasis on the revival of Irish language, history and culture. So much so, Irish became the medium of instruction in infant classes. This rule affected approximately 250,000 children. According to cited in O’ Connor, it meant that ‘the normal home language of over 90% of these would be excluded from their first years of schooling’

The Principles for Health and Wellbeing

Principle 1

– Maximise access and inclusion Quality universal services for all, with extra effort directed to ensuring education and health and wellbeing services are accessible to, and inclusive of, the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Principle 2

– Focus on outcomes Health, learning, development and wellbeing outcomes are the focus when designing, delivering, evaluating and improving education and health and wellbeing services

. Principle 3

– Evidence-informed and reflective practice Current and relevant evidence known to be effective in improving outcomes informs policy making and professional practice.  Research and evaluation is undertaken to generate evidence and enable effective and reflective practice.

Principle 4

– Holistic approach Collaboration between services and multidisciplinary professional practice is pursued to meet the needs of children, young people and families and their health, wellbeing and learning goals

. Principle 5

– Person-centred and family sensitive practice People are seen in the context of their families and environment and are supported and empowered to lead and sustain healthy lives.

Principle 6 – Partnerships with families and communities Partnerships are forged with children, young people, families and communities, who are seen as partners in the creation of healthy environments and good health and wellbeing.

Principle 7

– Cultural competence Effort is made to understand and effectively communicate with people across cultures and to recognize one’s own world view. Cultural connection is recognized as playing an integral part in healthy development and wellbeing.

Principle 8

– Commitment to excellence High expectations are held for every child and young person. Professionals continually assess their own work practices to find opportunities for improvement.


All Victorian children and young people should be able to access education and health and wellbeing services when needed, regardless of their ability to pay, their race, faith, culture, sexual orientation, gender, ability or regional location.

Universal access to early childhood education and care and school education is an important foundation for learning and health and wellbeing. Universal services also play an important role in identifying vulnerable children.

For those with additional needs, delivering services in a universal venue, such as a school, may reduce the potential for stigma because these venues are not associated with a specific type of problem. Some services, such as the Maternal and Child Health Service (MCH), are available to all children and families in Victoria. The Enhanced MCH Service assertively responds to the needs of children and families at risk of poor outcomes, providing more intensive intervention through an accessible universal platform. Other services target particular groups and therefore have specific criteria for access. For example, the Early Childhood Intervention Services are targeted at children with a disability or developmental delay who have a number of support needs. Student Support Services target school students facing barriers to learning and support them to achieve their educational and developmental potential.

Accessing health and wellbeing services should be quick and easy, with no ‘wrong doors’. Those seeking assistance will be placed in contact with the services they require, regardless of which service they first approach. Health and wellbeing services will be well informed about the range of available services, information and resources in their area and will establish clear referral pathways with



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