Wellbeing is central to what the staff do at Flinders as they strive to build a safe and supportive environment where a sense of belonging is fostered and everyone is appreciated. The Flinders Habits of Heart are a set of core values that underpin its wellbeing philosophy.Habits of Heart help people care for, identify with, and honour others. Faith, Gratitude, Compassion, Respect, Service, Courage, Forgiveness, and Honesty are the Flinders’ habits, providing a common language as it supports students in learning how to get along with others and develop empathy.
At Flinders, every teacher is a wellbeing teacher, explicitly teaching the skills needed to identify and regulate emotions, develop friendships, interact and cooperate with others and to accept and deal with difference.
Buddy programs in Junior Primary provide opportunities for its older students to lead and demonstrate responsibility, as well as provide a great role model for its younger students. The Year 3 – Kindy Buddy Program supports children as they transition from the Flinders Early Learning Centre into Prep, developing confidence in the routines and building familiarity in the environment. The Year 5 – Prep Buddy program builds on this connection once the children commence Prep. Long-term relationships between its older and younger students form as they meet regularly across the year to collaborate, create and celebrate.
Its secondary students support its Primary programs in many ways including Buddy Reading, helping at Under 8s day, and providing service to the school community by leading games and activities for Junior Primary students at lunch time. Its younger students enjoy these interactions and certainly look up to the “Big Kids” in the school.
Extensive transition programs are in place for all students joining Flinders. The Prep transition begins early in the year prior to Prep and offers many opportunities for getting to know the youngest students and their families. This establishes a vital partnership in which home and school work together to ensure a smooth transition for both students and families.
Its students are inspired to be actively engaged in their learning through a curriculum that promotes the development of skills and dispositions that will arm all students with attributes needed to be successful and life-long learners. Flinders Learning Traits are the basis of these skills – six competencies articulated by Michael Fullen (Great to Excellent, 2013):
Teachers use these competencies in all planning frameworks, ensuring they are challenging the students academically, as well as developing essential dispositions and skills.
Student engagement and learning are a key focus in its Junior Primary classrooms as students construct knowledge through a student-centred approach. Learning experiences are tailored to suit individual needs and are designed to promote deeper thinking. Inquiry is promoted through the cultivation of curiosity in its students – about the world, about themselves and about learning. Opportunities for student voice and choice and the skills of collaboration support the students as they learn.
At Flinders, technology is seen as a tool to enhance learning and to create and build knowledge. Prep students will discover the magic of computer programming through digital storytelling and explore a range of different applications that promote communication and collaboration while allowing learning to become more visible. It aims to help its students become independent and confident users of technology.
The natural beauty of the Flinders campus provides a unique context for growth and excellence in all its endeavours. It takes learning outside the classroom wherever possible, encouraging students to use their eyes, ears, touch, words or technology to gather information relevant to their studies.
A Flinders education also fosters connections within and beyond the college community to encourage students to see themselves as active, informed citizens, and responsible custodians of culture and the environment.
Its vision is to maintain its natural beauty and uniqueness and nurture its students’ academic, spiritual and social heart within a welcoming, safe and supportive environment.
If you want to learn more about the Junior Primary school please call 5477 3260 to book a personalised tour or visit www.mfac.edu.au.