Torch - 2021 Edition

Feature Story

Inspiring Wellbeing at Havergal Learning the Skills of Authentic Agency

By Caitlin McCormack

A t Havergal College, wellbeing isn’t just an afterthought, it’s woven into every aspect of the school’s programming. While this is the first year that the school has included Wellbeing Time on a daily basis in student schedules, Associate Head of School and Head of Senior School Lindsay Norberg says that a focus on health isn't new to the Havergal team. “We’re taking a different approach to it at the moment and we’re really looking forward to the future as students grow through this program.” Norberg notes that the school’s programming focuses on wellbeing in several key areas, including: cognitive, social, emotional, physical, spiritual and environmental/ecological.

“The College understands and supports this idea that what’s going to help our students reach their goals is not just academics, but also this broad-based set of skills that they can use to access their education. “What we try to do from that framework is build all of the different skills, whether they’re social skills or emotional skills, into what we teach,” she says. Norberg notes that this focus on student wellbeing is directly linked to the school’s Strategic Direction Havergal 2020+: Future-proofing the Next Generation and Havergal’s Portrait of a Grad (see page 30). She says it’s important that the College supports students as they develop the skills and attributes to be resilient and to thrive throughout their lives.

School Lead Nurse and Manager of the school’s Health Centre Gillian McRae agrees, adding, “The school is looking to develop a resilient and adaptable leader, which is the real driver behind the Wellbeing Program. There’s a commitment to including it on a daily basis. “All of the administration, Faculty and Staff have tried hard to take this focus on health and incorporate it into everyday life for our students, which I think helps to benefit our students for success moving forward.”

In fact, a United Kingdom study by Nuffield Health found that having a

dedicated wellbeing expert in schools can achieve marked improvements for both students and staff. 1

1 Kelly, Dr. B., et al. Improving wellbeing in schools . November 2018. Accessed on 26 November, 2020, via our-research.


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