Kidsmatter Primary School: Case Study

Decent Essays

Evaluation of KidsMatter Primary as a Resource for Australian Primary Schools
Social and emotional learning (SEL) forms an important part of the Australian Curriculum and is increasingly becoming a focus for primary schools due to the rising number of primary school students with mental health issues. KidsMatter Primary (KMP) is a national Australian Government SEL program developed in conjunction with other key stakeholders. Founded on four theoretical models, KMP offers a broad framework which can be tailored by primary schools to meet a wide range of needs. Research has found KMP to provide benefits in both mental health and wellbeing, and academic achievement.

Overview of KidsMatter
KidsMatter Primary is a SEL framework developed by …show more content…

School psychologists reported that the most common mental health issues encountered in primary schools were anxiety, followed by family and parenting concerns, and friendship and peer relations (Australian Psychological Society, 2011). Children with mental health difficulties who do not receive treatment experience “poor long-term outcomes” (Campbell et al., 2001 as cited in Graetz et al., 2008, p. 13). Programs to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and develop their social and emotional skills are important, because children with good mental health experience improved learning outcomes, are more motivated, build better relationships, are more resilient, and are more able to fully participate in all aspects of their community (Raphael, 2000). Research shows, delivering SEL programs in schools is now being viewed as essential in order to improve student health and wellbeing, and academic achievement. A report by the Australian Psychological Society (2011) found there was a need to improve the metal health literacy of teachers as well as providing teachers with skills and strategies to support students with mental health difficulties. Forty-one percent of respondents identified a lack of understanding of mental health issues as a barrier to using a PPEI approach in primary schools (Australian …show more content…

The social-ecological model encompasses key environmental factors including, community, family, peers, and the school; acknowledging the role these factors play in the mental health and wellbeing of students (Graetz et al., 2008). This model is often referred to as a population heath model or a public health model as the it is delivered to the whole school population rather than selectively targeting certain students or student cohorts (Graetz et al., 2008). There has been increasing evidence and pressure for schools to adopt a population health model over the last ten years (WHO. 1994; Hoagwood & Johnson, 2003; toland & dodge, 2005; Weist, 2003 as cited in Graetz et al., 2008). This is because while schools are delivering SEL programs, they often have a narrow focus (such as bullying) and are short term in nature often resulting in limited or short term success (Graetz et al., 2008). In addition, the social-ecological model complements the whole-school approach

Get Access