Student Wellbeing

Mackellar Primary School is committed to providing a safe, secure and stimulating learning community where all students feel motivated and engaged in their learning and display a strong sense of connectedness to teachers, peers and school. We also provide exemplary programs in a vibrant, dynamic and technologically rich environment where students are empowered to become 21st Century learners and responsible citizens of the global community. Mackellar Primary School acknowledges that student wellbeing and student learning outcomes are inextricably linked.


Student engagement has three interrelated components that underpin our policies and practices at Mackellar Primary School: Behavioural engagement refers to students’ participation in education, including the academic, social and extracurricular activities of our school. Emotional engagement encompasses students’ sense of belonging and connectedness to school and their emotional reactions in the classroom and in the school. Cognitive engagement relates to a students’ investment in learning and their intrinsic motivation and self-regulation. 

Mackellar Primary School practices are consistent with ‘Effective Schools are Engaging Schools’. Student Engagement Policy Guidelines focus on areas such as the encouragement of educational achievement and excellence, prevention of absences and discouraging inappropriate behaviour. Mackellar Primary School also:

  • Fosters a healthy school culture in which high levels of achievement take place within a positive, social environment
  • Provide students with a safe learning environment where the risk of harm is minimized and students feel physically and emotionally secure
  • Provide support for individual circumstances when a student begins to disengage from their learning, when regular attendance is not consistent or positive behaviours are not demonstrated
  • Maximise student learning opportunities and performance through ensuring students are engaged in their learning
  • Provide genuine opportunities for student/parent participation and student/parent voice
  • Build a school environment based on positive behaviours and values
  • Provide both prevention (using cognitive, behavioural and emotional strategies) and intervention for all students at risk
  • Provide a whole school approach to Behaviour Management

Student_Engagement_Policy – To be updated in 2018





Mackellar Primary School’s beliefs about behaviour and learning are supported by our school Values which are aligned with School-wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS). Students are explicitly taught to strive to achieve their personal best, whilst demonstrating the values of:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Learning
  • Cooperation

Implementing SWPBS is ongoing and constantly adapted to meet the needs of schools. In 2018, Mackellar Primary School will review our current values and create a new whole school matrix to align our values with specific expectations and SWPBS.

Wellbeing approaches, frameworks and programs will be outlined in the following links for 2018:

  • KidsMatter
  • The Resilience Project
  • Better Buddies Program
  • Values and School-wide Positive Behaviour Support
  • Student Leadership
  • Growth Mindset
  • Cybersafety and eSmart
  • Anti-bullying Approaches
  • Transition


Child Safe Standards

Protecting Young People

Mackellar Primary School has zero tolerance for child abuse. Everyone working at Mackellar Primary School is responsible for the care and protection of the children and young people within our care and reporting of information about suspected child abuse.

All members of staff share in the responsibility for the prevention and detection of child abuse, and must:

  • Familiarise themselves with the relevant laws, Code of Conduct and Mackellar Primary School’s policies and procedures concerning child protection, and comply with all requirements
  • Receive the School’s Code of Conduct for staff
  • Take all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse
  • Report any reasonable belief that a child’s safety is at risk to the Principal or delegate
  • Teachers fulfil their obligations as mandatory reporters
  • Report any suspicion that a child’s safety may be at risk to their supervisor (or if their supervisor is involved in the suspicion, to the Principal or delegate)
  • Promote the cultural safety, participation, and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • Promote the safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Promote the safety, participation, and empowerment of children with a disability, and
  • Provide an environment that is supportive of all children’s emotional and physical safety.

What are Child Safe Standards?

These standards fall under the Ministerial Order 870 – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools and take effect as of 1 August 2016. The development of the Child Safe Standards forms part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.

All Victorian schools are required to operate within a child-safe environment. Mackellar Primary School has met all the required standards for child safety and will continue to screen staff and train them to identify and report any suspected abuse.  Mackellar Primary School will also work with students to make sure they also understand these important policies.

The Child Safe Standards consist of the following seven areas:

  1. Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
  2. A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety
  3. A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
  4. Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
  5. Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
  6. Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
  7. Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children

Child Safe Standards

Parent Information

Mackellar Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision making. 

Mackellar Primary School has zero tolerance of child abuse.

Mackellar Primary School is committed to ensuring that all children are safe and protected from any form of child abuse. We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures. We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities if we are concerned about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.

This year, the Victorian Government introduced the Child Safe Standards, which are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian schools, to ensure they are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect.

To create and maintain a child safe organisation, we have developed:

  • Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
  • A child safe policy and statement of commitment to child safety
  • A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
  • Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
  • Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
  • Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse, and
  • Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

Policies related to the Child Safe Standards may be found on our school website. For further information, please refer to


Better Buddies


Mackellar Primary School is recognised by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation as a Better Buddies showcase school due to our successful integration of the Better Buddies Program. The program delivers positive anti-bullying and anti-violence messages and assists Mackellar Primary School in maintaining a caring culture where older students look after younger students. Our Wellbeing Team plan a Better Buddies yearly overview as a preventative program and whole school approach to promoting pro-social skills, positive student relationships and community connectedness.

Supported by our implementation of the KidsMatter Primary Framework for mental health and wellbeing, Better Buddies reflects our school values, as well as our commitment to being one of Victoria’s lead schools for Respectful Relationships Education. Better Buddies is also aligned with wellbeing programs at Mackellar Primary School such as Student Leadership, Peer Mediators, Transition, The Resilience Project and the eSmart Schools Curriculum, to ensure safe and responsible use of information and communications technology is a cultural norm at Mackellar Primary School.

Key Better Buddy events at MPS are: Better Buddies Altona Beach Excursion Better Buddies Games Day
Book Week and Buddies Celebration Wear Purple to School Day and Fundraiser Better Buddies Walkathon

Better Buddies Lunches, and Carnival – our community biannual school fete.

‘Better Buddies enables younger children to feel safe and cared for while older children feel valued and respected.’ Alannah & Madeline Foundation


Cyber Safety

Mackellar Primary School is committed to the eSmart Schools Program. An initiative by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, eSmart is a whole-school approach designed to educate, track, monitor and prevent cybersafety and cyberbullying.

The eSmart Schools program assists us by providing:

  • an effective road map to guide schools in developing a sustainable whole-school approach to cybersafety, cyberbullying and bullying
  • direct web access to the best cybersafety resources from Australia and throughout the world
  • a flexible system that our school can adapt for our own specific needs
  • a comprehensive gap analysis tool acknowledging existing school cybersafety practices
  • the framework to create a positive school culture and protect children from cyber-risks
  • a record to track and record eSmart activities and progress
  • resources, policies and guidelines are adapted for all states, territories and education systems – saving time and reducing duplication, and ongoing training and support.

Guides for Parents

These are the social media platforms that children are interested in. Please click on the icon to find out more information about each platform.


The following links provides further information about eSmart:


iParent – New eSafety guidance for parents

As a parent or carer, it can be difficult keeping up with young people and technology, or even knowing when to start the conversation about online safety in your household.

We’re here to help—check out our new eSafety guidance for parents of preschoolers that covers things like what to consider before giving your child their first smartphone, as well as offering practical tips on managing their first device.


Kids Matter


Mackellar Primary School is excited to be a registered KidsMatter school. KidsMatter Primary is a national collaboration between education and health sectors. Developed by Beyondblue, Principals Australia Institute, Early Childhood Australia and the Australian Psychological Society, KidsMatter aims to:

  • improve the mental health and wellbeing of students
  • reduce mental health difficulties among students, and
  • support children experiencing mental health difficulties.

KidsMatter’s prevention and early intervention initiative also recognises the important role that parents and carers play in the lives of their children. To make a positive difference to the mental health and wellbeing of our students, Mackellar Primary School encourages effective working relationships between school staff, parents and carers, health services and the broader community.

Mackellar Primary School is committed to:

  1. promoting a positive school community where there is a strong sense of belonging and inclusion
  2. providing social and emotional learning for students
  3. supporting parents, carers and families to support their children’s learning and mental health and wellbeing, and
  4. providing early intervention for students experiencing mental health difficulties.

For further information, including information resources for parents and carers, please visit the

KidsMatter website:

KidsMatter Survey for Parents and Carers

 Every year, our parents and carers are invited to participate in the KidsMatter survey.

The survey asks your perspective on your child’s school and what you think is important for us to consider in better supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing.  The survey is an opportunity for us to reflect on what we are doing well already and also what we can improve to promote children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Completing the survey is entirely optional and all responses are completely anonymous. Data is stored electronically by KidsMatter Primary in a secured database. The survey takes about ten minutes to complete. All staff and students also participate in a KidsMatter Survey annually.

Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Education

Mackellar Primary School is proud to be a lead school in the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships initiative. The purpose of the Respectful Relationships Education is to support schools in promoting and modelling respect, positive attitudes and behaviours, and to teach our young people how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence.

Everyone in our community deserves to be respected, valued and treated equally. We know that respectful attitudes and behaviours can be achieved when positive attitudes, behaviours and equality are embedded in our education settings. Respectful Relationships is about fostering a culture of respect and equality across our entire community, from our classrooms to staffrooms, sporting fields and social events. This whole school approach leads to positive impacts on student’s academic outcomes, their mental health, classroom behaviour, and relationships between teachers and students.

The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) learning materials cover eight topics of Social and Emotional Learning across all levels of primary and secondary education:

  1. Emotional Literacy
  2. Personal Strengths
  3. Positive Coping
  4. Problem-solving
  5. Stress Management
  6. Help Seeking
  7. Gender and Identity
  8. Positive Gender Relationships

Education Program

The Respectful relationships education program takes a developmental approach to content and delivery. Over the years of schooling from Foundation through to Year 12, students will be exposed to learning opportunities that help them build respectful relationships in their lives.

Foundation to Year 2

Students develop the capacity to understand and self-regulate their emotions in ways that account for their feelings and the feelings of others. They also develop skills to initiate social interactions.

The program content explores the people who are important to these young students and develops their capacity to initiate and maintain respectful relationships in different contexts, including at school, at home and in the classroom. Students explore their own sense of self and the factors that contribute to and influence their identities. They learn about emotions and how to enhance their interactions with others as they grow older.

Years 3 to 6

The program’s focus broadens to include the knowledge, understanding and skills required to support students’ wellbeing and that of their family and friends. Personal and social skills take on an increasing importance as they look to family, peers and the community for role models. They develop communication skills, social skills and behaviours required for respectful relationships. They also begin to explore personal and social factors that support and contribute to their identities and emotional responses in varying situations. Students explore knowledge, understanding and skills that help them build and maintain respectful relationships. They also develop skills to manage their emotions and examine how the nature of their relationships may change over time.

Smiling Mind

You may have heard your child talk about Mindfulness and the Smiling Mind App which is being used in many classrooms at Mackellar as part of our social and emotional learning program The Resilience Project.

Smiling Mind is a free program that provides resources to support the development

of mindfulness and meditation skills. These skills help to manage stress, increase awareness of emotions, improve attention and focus, and can prevent difficulties from getting worse.

The Smiling Mind website ( and smartphone App provide information about mindfulness and action-based tools to guide children (starting from seven years) and adults through Mindfulness Meditation practices.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of being fully awake to life – being undistracted in the present moment and observing life as it unfolds without analysis and judgment. It is about focusing attention on the present, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness Meditation is a clinically proven tool to support wellbeing and mental health. It involves setting aside time in a quiet space to focus on the present moment and what’s happening internally and externally. Practising Mindfulness Meditation helps to develop the state of mindfulness that allows us to reduce stress and experience life more fully.

How can Mindfulness Meditation benefit student wellbeing and learning?

International literature and clinical trials reveal that mindfulness can help reduce and prevent depression in adolescents, specifically within school settings. What’s more, mindfulness has the two-fold affect of supporting academic pursuits and is demonstrated to aid learning, memory processing and emotion regulation.

In addition, Mindfulness Meditation has been shown to:

  • reduce stress
  • increase resilience
  • increase positive emotions
  • boost self-esteem
  • improve attention and focus.


Resilience Project

Mackellar Primary School has an accredited partnership with The Resilience Project. The Resilience Project complements and strengthens our approaches to Wellbeing in relation to School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support, Anti-bullying strategies, Restorative Practices, Peer Mediator Program, Better Buddies Program, Growth Mindset, and our commitment to the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Curriculum, where students are empowered to develop positive relationships through pro- social behaviours.

Social and Emotional Learning

Mackellar Primary School plays a pivotal role in providing students with opportunities to gain greater social and emotional awareness and interpersonal skills as they learn and grow. Extensive research and evidence shows a direct link between social and emotional skills and academic achievement. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs give students opportunities to build resilience, an essential skill for positive mental health. Students also develop the ability care for others, manage challenging situations, make responsible decisions and establish positive relationships.

The Resilience Project Themes 

The Resilience Project evidence based approaches and curriculum resources provides teachers and students with practical strategies to build resilience and promote positive mental health. All lessons are linked to the Victorian Curriculum and have been designed by an experienced team of psychologists and teachers. The lessons focus on Character Strengths and rotate through the themes of Empathy, Gratitude, Mindfulness and Emotional Literacy using film, books, stories, drama and activities to engage students. The program also measures student wellbeing before, during and after learning.

Student journals from Foundation Level to Grade Six provide students with opportunities to practice the techniques and strategies and reflect on their learning.


Teeth on Wheels



Mackellar Primary School has a partnership with Teeth On Wheels. The mobile dental service provides bulk-billed, on-site dental care to many of our students every six months.

The Teeth On Wheels Oral Health Education Program is to ensure not only the patients we see but all children in the facility are gaining the education regarding oral health care and preventative tools.

For further information, please explore the Teeth On Wheels website

Community Helplines

Community Programs and Activities
(Delahey Community Centre)  

Kids Help Line
1800 55 1800

DHHS Child Protection Crisis Line/after hours call service

DHHS Child Protection Brimbank Melton
1300 664 977

13 11 14 

National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service
1800 737 732

Safe Steps – 24/7 Family Violence Crisis Line
1800 015 188

13 22 89

Care Ring – 24 hour counselling service
13 61 69

Relationships Australia
8311 9222

Gamblers Help
1800 858 858

Depression website
1300 22 4636

1300 789 978  

1300 606 024   

Victorian Poisons Information Centre
131 126

School Dental Service
1300 360 054