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Supporting Students: A Wellbeing Lens – Dunedin Tūturu Whole School Approach Day 2024

News 2 July 2024

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In May, schools from throughout Otago and staff from orgs such as Te Whatu Ora, NZ Police and MOE gathered to hear from a range of speakers on how best to meet the needs of secondary school students. 

The emphasis of this year's Otago Whole School Approach Day was on data, with relevant research being used in a series of workshops throughout the day.  

Tūturu Ōtepoti Lead, Nic Dorward, kicked off the day delivering an introduction to Tūturu which gave insight into the varied nature of Tūturu work in schools and the community, touching on the wide range of curriculum resources and professional development workshops.

Maniototo Area School is in full partnership with Tūturu. The school's principal, Melissa Bell, presented how Tūturu has been implemented in their rural context. Bell spoke about their unique needs as a rural school and how Tūturu is assisting them with resources, connections to external agencies, PLD and support specifically tailored to their school.  It is clear that there was high value placed on a school sharing their experience of implementing Tūturu.

Keynote speaker Dr Jude Ball delivered a thought-provoking session “Generational Change in adolescent tobacco, alcohol and other drug use”.  Tobacco and alcohol use declined almost universally. However, there is cohort of young people who continue to drink hazardously. Attendees were grateful for the opportunity to hear about delayed uptake and more responsive parenting as being potential drivers for the decline in tobacco and alcohol use.

"It was clear that the speakers and content was incredibly well considered. I have fed back to the team and we are now looking to incorporate aspects of the day into our curriculum." - School Wellbeing Leader

Melissa Mitchell-Bain from MOE shared her work on trauma informed education.  “Emotional Regulation and the Brain, Body, Heart Connection  – A Trauma Informed Lens with Practical Knowledge and Strategies for the Classroom”.   This provided insight into brain function and tools that are easily implemented classrooms to best support student’s emotional regulation.  

Later in the day, participants rotated around a series of three “bus stops”: How schools can respond to vaping, supporting young people with data and AOD responses in schools.

"I really enjoyed the opportunity to attend the Whole School Approach Day, and I have spent a lot of time on the Tūturu website, taking advantage of the amazing resources!" - School Dean 

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