One of the many strengths of Melbourne Girls Grammar is our innovative, dynamic work and our ability to be agile to change.
On Tuesday 17 March, the School made the decision to ask all students to learn remotely. This decision came down to what was best for the health and safety of every member of our community. While limiting contact with people is key to limiting the spread of the virus, it’s important that connections are maintained, and wellbeing is prioritised.
The girls have shown such incredible resilience. They miss the school and the comradery and the incidental social interaction, but the learning is fantastic and they’re grateful.”
Sue Linstrom, Wellbeing Coach
Since 2017, the Wellbeing Coaching Model has been in place at Melbourne Girls Grammar. The Coaches bring very different lenses to the way they support each student’s learning. The process and the delivery evolve to meet the needs of the individual. Normally, students would have access to regular one-on-one or group wellbeing sessions where they address pressing issues or concerns in a supportive and collaborative way. During this time, it’s been more important than ever that students have access to their usual coaches to support and balance mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
To help students adapt to the remote learning model, Wellbeing Coaches ask them to reflect on what’s working well, what isn’t, and how they can adapt and adjust to improve. Luckily, the coaches have had time to build relationships and rapport with their students, so when our Grammarians are asked to reflect and practice self awareness, their coach can support and discuss the challenges knowing their characteristics and personality already.
“The girls are always so honest,” says Sue Linstrom, Wellbeing Coach. “The Program has prepared them so well in terms of what they need in order to achieve their best. We know them well enough to know their struggles and what might trip them up, so we’re well placed to help them work through their barriers.”
As the Grammarians move into the school holidays, the coaches have asked them to focus more on their emotional needs.
“We want them to think about what they’re worried about and see what they have control over. It’s better to shift our energy to what we can control. As we move into the holidays, the novelty of being at home will start to wear off, and we want them to come to their one-on-ones having already considered what they might need to work through,” said Sue.
Wellbeing is always an open and authentic conversation throughout the School. By making support readily available, the stigmas are removed around asking for help. It’s important that our Grammarians are given the time and space to discuss their struggles with adults who they know and trust.
“We know them well enough to know their struggles and what might trip them up, so we’re well placed to help them work through their barriers.” Sue Linstrom, Wellbeing Coach
“The girls are so lucky to have someone just to check in on how they’re doing. We know them well and understand them. It’s so important to have someone who has your back and your best interests at heart and that’s what we’re here for! The girls have shown such incredible resilience. They miss the school and the comradery and the incidental social interaction, but the learning is fantastic and they’re grateful.”
The School has encouraged the girls to use the holidays to maintain their wellbeing, limit screen time and to stay safe and healthy as much as they can. In unprecedented times, a little extra support is always helpful. Something Sue has tasked her students with is to ensure that every day they set aside time to ensure they can achieve: Something productive, something creative and something that makes them feel energised.
Keeping this simple is the key to ensuring we all try to prioritise our wellbeing, and the littlest things can help.
You can try:
- Opening all the shades, curtains and windows. Fresh air and light is fantastic.
- Drink water, but try it from a fancy glass for fun.
- Call a friend at least once a day. Social connections are more important than ever.
- At least one form of exercise a day. A walk, bike, online yoga class or dance party.
Another way to increase wellbeing during this time is to limit your media exposure. Stick to trusted reliable sources like these:
- The Australian Government Department of Health The Department of Health has developed a collection of resources for the general public, health professionals and industry about COVID-19, including translated resources. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources#find-the-facts
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides reliable information about the coronavirus such as its symptoms, steps you can take to protect yourself, and what to do if you are affected. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- World Health Organization The World Health Organization provides information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019