Every morning at St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School starts with a ReLATE Circle session.
It became a valuable routine for Jane Michael, Learning and Teaching Leader at the school, during remote learning and it was telling that in nine weeks, not one student missed a day.
ReLATE is a cultural change framework for schools, developed by MacKillop based on our experience promoting wellbeing in our own schools. The ReLATE Circle is a tool to help create a safe space for students to convey how they are feeling. It is an important part of one of four foundational concepts of ReLATE – creating safe and supportive learning environments.
“It allows me to check-in at the start of the day and see how the students are feeling” explains Jane. “If a student is having a bad day, I can connect with them individually and we can determine strategies to support them.”
The positive impact is echoed by one of the students: “ReLATE Circles during COVID have helped to explain difficult times with emotions and have helped me and everyone to remain calm.”
Jane says the ReLATE framework has also helped her with strategies to create a counter-stress remote learning environment for students. “Enacting these strategies during remote learning has created more independent learning from students which is wonderful to see. It has helped us to be more flexible and adaptable in how we support students to learn established approaches that will ensure we have a more positive culture when school goes back to normal.”