Hendrik Semmel, Year 12 at Wheelers Hill Campus,
writes about our new wellbeing framework CaulfieldCARES
in the latest edition of Labora

Hendrik Semmel (Year 12 Wheelers Hill Campus) with Head of Wellbeing Natalie Fanariotis

As conversations surrounding wellbeing across campuses continue to evolve, CaulfieldCARES bridges the gaps between programs. Our School already implements a wide range of practices based on promoting wellbeing, but until now they have stood in silos.   

CARES itself stands for the five core elements of the framework:  

C stands for Capabilities to enhance wellbeing for self and others. 

A stands for Attitudes and behaviours reflective of School Values and community expectations. 

R stands for Relationships that support connectedness and belonging. 

E stands for Empowerment through agency, voice and leadership. 

S stands for Support and safety through our network of care. 

Our School Head of Wellbeing, Natalie Fanariotis, provides her insights on the new framework. 

“Each of the letters in CaulfieldCARES reflects a key element that the research tells us support thriving in school communities,” explains Natalie. 

However, each letter is not built separately. The elements are meant to overlap and interconnect to provide a holistic understanding of wellbeing, personalised to the needs of each student. This interconnected approach is also reflected in the role CaulfieldCARES plays in daily student life. THRIVE (our new weekly Community Life class), extracurricular activities and daily classes all have an impact on a student’s wellbeing.  

“All the spokes in CaulfieldCARES will mean something different to every person,” says Natalie. “Where you find a sense of belonging will be different to somebody else. CaulfieldCARES is trying to take on individualistic views and needs while also being a wider community.”  

In a sporting context, a student may find empowerment in building leadership skills and being a Captain, but being part of a team also builds their relationships and support network. This acknowledgment of the vast and deeply individual experiences of wellbeing allows for students to develop a broad lens in their own awareness of what it means to be a ‘well being’. 

CaulfieldCARES is designed to include many different student experiences and understandings of wellbeing.  

In this way, all students can be part of the programs and gain a greater understanding of their own needs and the needs of their communities. 

CaulfieldCARES is designed to grow and change with the needs of students, acting as a guiding infrastructure for wellbeing practices and programs. In the coming years, more phases of CaulfieldCARES will emerge and the core elements will be expressed for staff and for families.  

The essence of CaulfieldCARES is that it intends to be more explicit in its grasp of wellbeing.  

“It’s more deliberate and hopefully students will feel that naturally, both in promoting and responding to wellbeing.” 

In this way the framework equips students with the tools they need to navigate their wellbeing throughout and far beyond their school experience.