Social and Emotional Learning

What is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)?

SEL is a process, not just a program, for helping students develop the fundamental skills for life effectiveness. SEL is fundamental not only to children’s social and emotional development, but also to their health, ethical development, citizenship, motivation to achieve and academic learning. SEL teaches the skills we all need to handle ourselves, our relationships and our work effectively and ethically.
These skills include:
  • Recognizing and managing emotions
  • Developing care and concern for others
  • Establishing positive relationships
  • Making responsible decisions
  • Handling challenging situations constructively and ethically
These are the skills that allow students to calm themselves when angry, make friends, resolve conflicts respectfully and make ethical and safe choices.
St Martin’s School makes use of the ‘Bounce Back’ and ‘You Can Do It!’ programs to support the social and emotional development of our students.
The BOUNCE BACK! Wellbeing and Resilience Program” addresses the environmental building blocks and the personal skills for fostering resilience in children and young people. The program focuses mainly on the teaching of coping skills to help children and young people respond positively to the complexity of their everyday lives. In other words, children are taught how to ‘bounce back’ after experiencing sadness, difficulties, frustrations and hard times.
You Can Do It Education! (YCDI). The goal of YCDI is to provide today’s children with the foundations for achievement in school, work and the world of tomorrow. We shall be focusing on four important foundations that will help your child do the best he or she can.  In “You Can Do It!” Education, teachers and parents work together to help children learn these important foundations.


At St Martin's management of behaviour is part of our teaching and learning philosophy. It involves children, parents and staff collaboratively working together with a “We Can Work It Out” belief as the basis for developing a community of inclusion where everyone belongs. Children and staff work together to develop classroom expectations for their “belonging environment” in the classroom that align with our school expectations. They are encouraged to develop responsibility for their choices, knowing in advance of the positive (affirming) and negative (intervention) consequences that follow from those choices.


St Martin’s launched our revised Bullying Policy in 2013.  This bullying policy includes the following definition of bullying:
Bullying is a systematic and repeated oppression and humiliation, psychological or physical, of a less powerful person by a more powerful person or group of persons”. (Rigby, 2010)
Bullying is when someone has power over another person by hurting or harming that person, more than just once. The bullying is intentional and there is an imbalance of power (eg. someone bigger, stronger, older, more confident etc). Bullying is continuing to ‘pick on’ someone, torment them or exclude them, so that the person feels helpless.
Cyber bullying is a mode of bullying.  It is when bullying, as described above, occurs virtually through the use of technological devices (such as mobile phones, computers or other) via digital communication (such as  text messaging, social networking, web pages or other).
At times, real life and cyber bullying may co-occur when devices are used to share offensive digital communication or when digital communication is talked about, with other people.
At St Martin’s, we agree that if you are a bystander who is involved in a bullying incident or you witness bullying and do not report the incident, your behaviour could be seen as supporting the bullying.

Forms of Bullying

  • Physical:  When a person (or group of people) uses physical actions to bully, such as but not limited to hitting, poking, tripping or punching. Repeatedly and intentionally damaging someone’s belongings is also physical bullying.
  • Verbal:  When a person uses repeated or systematic name-calling, insults, homophobic or racist remarks and verbal abuse.
  • Covert:  When a person lies about someone, spreads rumours, plays a nasty joke that makes the person feel humiliated or powerless, mimics or deliberately excluding someone.
  • Psychological: Threatening, manipulating or stalking someone.
  • Cyber: Using technology, as mentioned above, to bully verbally, socially or psychologically.
(Working Together: A toolkit for effective school based action against bullying DETA 2010)


We aim to create a school climate that feels safe and secure for all members of the school community. With the underlying principle of “we can work it out”, our process is cooperative in nature and proactive in dealing with situations of bullying.

Responding to Bullying at St Martin's

St Martin's Anti-Bullying Policy 2013

Behaviour Learning Policy