An innovative approach to student wellbeing has seen Mooroopna Park Primary School take out a 2022 Victorian Early Years Award at an awards ceremony held earlier this month.
The school was announced as the winner in one of the 7 award categories, winning in the category of Promoting Children's Health and Wellbeing.
'It is a huge honour to win this award, and it's a wonderful recognition of the efforts our school has put in to establish a comprehensive wellbeing program,' principal Hayden Beaton said.
'Because of the program, we have seen an improvement in attendance, behaviour and learning outcomes. Connection with our school families has increased dramatically.'
For their winning initiative, the school established a wellbeing program to improve the lives and outcomes of their school community, many of whom experience high levels of disadvantage.
Staff involved in the wellbeing program consist of a full-time chef, speech therapists, chaplain, wellbeing coordinator, play therapist and visiting paediatrician.
Two key components of the wellbeing program are the oral language program and a healthy eating program aimed at addressing language development and nutrition. Each program has had a significant impact on the wellbeing of students in the school community, making this tremendous awards recognition much deserved.
Find out more about each of these award-winning programs below.
Oral language program
The school's oral language program is delivered by a speech therapist and supported by speech therapy students from Melbourne University.
The program informs the implementation of a structured and effective literacy approach in the early years classrooms. It does this by working to support teachers and education support staff to build their capacity in oral language development.
The oral language program is supported by the Greater Shepparton Foundation.
Healthy eating program
Mooroopna Park Primary School's healthy eating program underpins the school's wellbeing program by offering free daily breakfast, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea to every student.
As a result, the health initiative has seen significant improvement in children's behaviour and engagement in learning.
About the Victorian Early Years Awards
The Victorian Early Years Awards recognise and reward leadership, outstanding achievement, exceptional dedication and the most innovative practices in improving outcomes for Victorian children and their families.
This year, there were 19 finalists across 7 categories. Six organisations and 2 early childhood teachers were awarded winners.
Winners of each category received a grant of $15,000 for professional development or to support their initiative.
Find out more
For more information, refer to the list of winners of the 2022 Victorian Early Years Awards.