“Wellbeing is a term that is often thrown around these days but it is something that can be hard to define, problematic to measure and almost impossible to truly understand. So being the Director of Wellbeing comes with some significant challenges,” expressed Mr Tim Johnson.
“With all we faced in 2020, understanding the wellbeing of our students has become more important now than ever.”
“Measuring the wellbeing of our students became a significant goal for our Wellbeing Team last year. We looked at a number of different programs and surveys to find ways that we could gain some deeper insight into how our students are doing overall in a way that was manageable and one in which the students would engage with.”
After researching these programs, we chose an online program called ‘Pulse’.
Students check in once a week on this program and they recognise it is like ‘taking their pulse.’ Answering five questions, they are able to provide us with feedback about how they are doing (emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually). The whole process takes a minute or two and is completed during our Pastoral Care time on a Tuesday.
All students from Year 5-12 will be taking part and the data we receive will help guide us moving forward – whether we need to check in on an individual student, or develop new programs for all of our students.
Each student is asked ‘one significant question’ –
“How are you feeling today?”
Students can select from:
- “I’m feeling great”
- “I’m feeling positive”
- “I’m feeling in the middle”
- “I’m feeling negative”
- “I need some help”
Students then respond to four other random science-backed engagement and wellbeing questions to provide statistically significant wellbeing data which can used to inform our programs and implementation strategies.
Students who are feeling vulnerable have the ability to ask for help in a low friction, low-risk way. When a student flags that they need help, Pulse will connect them with a Sub School Coordinator, Pastoral Care Teacher, or another teacher who they trust. The platform also provides a direct link to Kids Helpline or Headspace for immediate support if they feel it necessary and they can access this help 24/7 through the platform. Pulse has just been introduced to our students recently and already the feedback has been incredibly positive.
Staff have also found this process very helpful in being proactive in supporting students and being more aware of how they are coping. The Wellbeing Team is also excited about the capacity to utilise the data to provide clearer direction regarding decision making and the programs that are implemented to support students.
“I think that PULSE is great to use because it’s just a way to check in and say how you are feeling and if you are not feeling good then teachers can help you.” – Chelsea
“PULSE has been really good for me as it gives me a weekly check in where I can be completely honest and re-asses myself.” – Sarah
“I enjoy using PULSE because it is a discreet yet efficient way to ask for help and I believe it’s a good thing to check in with yourself.” – Charlie
“I found PULSE as a good way to voice my emotions and concerns. It allows students to speak out about what is going on with their, life, such as if they were being bullied” – Anonymous
“Helped me check in with myself weekly. It was quick, efficient and easy” – Year 10 male
“PULSE is short and snappy, it only takes 30-60 seconds to complete and the questions reflect well and invoke good answers. It has good intentions and should continue to support students.” – Anonymous
“PULSE is a great way for people who are afraid to speak out to have a voice in the school environment” – Anonymous
“I think that Pulse is easy to use and is an easy way to tell my teachers what’s going on. Plus, it’s anonymous after the first question so it is easy to be honest and just say what I’m feeling.” – Year 9 male
“One of the benefits that I have seen from PULSE is the “Show Gratitude*” button at the end. It’s always a pleasant surprise to see an e-mail saying someone acknowledged your gratitude or wants to thank you for something you did.” – Will
“PULSE has been wonderful so far, it’s great to have something you can put your emotions into as a visual form. The app gives you an option to talk to your teachers about issues which I find very helpful.” – Isabelle
*The ‘Show Gratitude’ button gives students an easy way to say thank you to teachers or other students. Showing gratitude has been proven to benefit wellbeing.