Sense of belonging is crucial

Loyola College fosters a sense of belonging for students. (Pictures: Supplied)

The transition from primary school to secondary holds many challenges. However, schools that actively respond to the needs of students are better placed to assist in navigating the adjustment, encouraging continual and seamless learning – ultimately resulting in positive learning outcomes.

More than ever, an environment that fosters a sense of belonging is crucial to support the social-emotional wellbeing of students, particularly given the learnings of 2020 and the disconnection students faced.

Ms Fotini Veis, Student Programs Coordinator Years 7-9 at Loyola College, says the Melbourne-based secondary school boasts a Personal Development Program which is embedded within the curriculum in a considered, whole-school approach.

“The underlying philosophy of the school involves the education of the whole person, ensuring the development of their social, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing,” Ms Veis says.

“The theme for the Year 7 Personal Development program ‘Belonging and Relationships’ has been carefully crafted to aid a positive and seamless transition from primary to secondary school.

“Students are encouraged to participate in the many pastoral programs, vibrant selection of co-curriculum activities, and enjoy getting to know their peers at a three-day Belonging Camp.

“This sense of belonging is essential for students’ successful transition into secondary school.”

As a Catholic College, Loyola focuses on the importance of belonging to a community and feeling connected, promoting a sense of home-away-from home atmosphere. This is strongly supported through the vertical Mentor program, a core component of student development and connection to the whole College.

In addition, the program assists students in their social and emotional development via the framework of Positive Psychology.

“Increasingly, research highlights that these social supports have significant impact on students while transitioning into secondary school,” notes Ms Veis.

“Building positive relationships with teachers and friends within the College promotes positive student engagement and wellbeing, and sets students up with the skills they need to cope with the demands they are faced with.”

To book a tour of Loyola College or to keep up to date with the latest events, visit

Loyola College, 325 Grimshaw Street, Watsonia. Enquiries: 9434 4466