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St Joseph's Primary School Elsternwick

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. 


Students at St. Joseph's participate in weekly SEL lessons, which are based upon the content from The Victorian Curriculum Personal and Social Capability.


We utilise a variety of evidence based programs and resources to support student learning in SEL: 


Rights Resilience and Respectful Relationships (RRRR)

The Respectful Relationships program supports schools and early childhood settings to promote and model respect, positive attitudes and behaviours. It teaches our children how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence. It is all about embedding a culture of respect and equality across the entire school community.


Berry Street Education Model (BSEM)

The five domains of the Berry Street Education Model correspond with child-development capacities that each student must grow in order to be ‘ready to learn’. When considering how to best meet the needs of students, we focus on building self-regulatory ability, relational capacity and then nurture wellbeing and willingness to engage in learning.


Additional Resources

Additional resources we draw upon to complement our SEL curriculum are Peaceful Classrooms, Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum, eSafety education and Body Bright.


SRC & Student Leaderhip

Students at St Joseph’s are empowered to actively participate in various leadership opportunities throughout their primary school years. Our Student Representative Council and Year 6 Student Leadership Program are testament to a long tradition of enabling our children to lead, follow their strengths, learn from others and represent our school in positive ways. 


Leadership opportunities are not only limited to senior school students, as children are provided with opportunities to lead across all year levels, and in all curriculum and extra-curricular areas. St Joseph’s students are empowered to be leaders now, and into their future.

Buddy Program

The Buddy program helps to promote relationships and support between older and younger students through regular collaboration between their classes. This fosters a sense of whole-school community and creates friendships that enable students to bond more closely with their school.


Each year our new Prep students are buddied with a student in Year 5. During the Prep Transition period, Year 5 Buddies play an important role in familiarising Preps with the playground, ensuring they feel secure at recess and lunchtime, and assisting them in understanding routines and practices in the playground. The buddy program continues during the second semester.


Quiet Club

Quiet Club is offered every lunchtime for those students who may need a break from the busyness of the playground. A place for students of all ages, activities such as drawing, reading, lego or chess are offered under the shade cloth outside (during the summer months) or in the Multi Purpose room.



At St Joseph’s, we place a strong emphasis on ensuring that our students and families are well-informed and educated about online safety. Our students have the opportunity to learn about conducting themselves respectfully online, maintaining a healthy and safe online presence, and how and when to seek assistance from a trusted adult in our classroom SEL lessons. 


We also regularly host external experts in the field to present to families and students on this topic. Additionally, we regularly disseminate research-based best practice through our newsletter to assist families in navigating the continually evolving digital landscape.

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