Dimension: health and wellbeing

This dimension is part of the Positive Climate for Learning priority.


Students engage deeply in learning when it is interesting, relevant and appropriately challenging, and when they receive meaningful and regular feedback about their progress. A student's intellectual engagement occurs when authentic and open-ended tasks develop their capabilities and self-efficacy.

Teaching metacognitive strategies supports students in articulating and evaluating their progress. They self-regulate and take responsibility for their learning.

Improvement measures

Results from system surveys, available in Panorama, can be used to measure progress, and as success indicators. Suggested surveys include:

  • School Staff Survey – the 'believe student engagement is the key to learning', 'academic emphasis', 'collective focus on student learning' and 'promote student ownership of learning goals' factors
  • Attitudes to School Survey– the 'differentiated learning challenge', 'stimulated learning', 'motivation and interest' and 'self-regulation and goal-setting' factors • Parent Opinion Survey – the 'stimulating learning environment' and 'student motivation and support' factors.

The School Staff Survey 'academic emphasis' factor and Attitudes to School Survey 'stimulating learning' factors are used in calculating a school's performance group using the Differentiated School Performance Method (DSPM).

Supporting resources

The VTLM: High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS), Pedagogical Model and Practice Principles


The Continuum for Health and wellbeing describes a range of proficiency levels (Emerging, Evolving, Embedding and Excelling) that assists principals and teachers to identify areas of practice that require attention in order to deliver improved student outcomes.

Component: The school develops intellectual engagement


Teachers are supported to analyse and use assessment data and student feedback data to develop common learning goals for students. Teachers plan learning sequences that engage students, stimulating curiosity and engagement.  


Teacher teams collaborate to analyse and use data to inform teaching practice. Teachers work with students to develop learning goals, and strategies for achieving those goals, by measuring growth in student learning. Teachers plan learning sequences and assessments that reflect student needs, interests and abilities. Teachers build on students’ knowledge and scaffold new learning, focusing on goals that engage students and improve their confidence.  


Teacher teams have deep knowledge and competence in rigorous analysis of student assessment data to set learning goals. Teachers routinely collaborate with each other and with students to modify and adapt their teaching. Teachers use reciprocal feedback for planning and teaching to ensure academic rigour, curiosity and engagement in learning. Teachers plan and identify opportunities for students to actively engage in designing learning that is challenging, inquiry based and discipline rich.  


Teacher teams agree on rigorous processes to collect, analyse and use student data, enabling them to construct challenging learning for all students. Teachers use data to evaluate the impact of their practice and the extent to which their teaching motivates and engages students. Teachers use formal and informal approaches to eliciting student feedback that informs their planning, teaching and assessment. Teacher teams use established processes for engaging students in reviewing teaching practices, to ensure all students are appropriately challenged and extended.  

Component: Metacognitive strategies are integrated in teaching and learning practices


Teachers explain to students that self-reflection and thinking strategies are effective ways to promote growth in learning.  


PLCs/PLTs collaborate to develop and implement a broad range of differentiated learning strategies, which students draw on to set learning goals and monitor progress. Teachers support students in problem-solving and in making informed choices about appropriate learning strategies.  


Teachers sustain learning environments in which students make informed choices about the most appropriate learning activities and strategies for their learning goals. Teachers provide critical thinking tools, strategies and processes that enable students to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning.  


Teachers collaborate with students to design rich, open-ended tasks, and use student achievement data to tailor learning, employing strategies that are appropriately challenging for each student. Teachers support students in developing a growth mindset and apply strategies which promote analysis, synthesis and innovation. Teachers incorporate metacognitive strategies in their day-to-day teaching.  


Case studies

To see examples of how schools in Victoria are implementing the FISO dimension: Health and wellbeing see Health and wellbeing case studies.

Evidence base

To view the evidence base for the FISO positive climate for learning priority area see: Evidence - Positive climate for learning evidence base


Why should my school engage with this dimension?
  • Health and well-being programs have a positive and significant impact on attitudes to learning, social relationships in school and student achievement
  • The most common aims of social and emotional learning programs are to increase social skills or decrease anti-social behaviour
  • Research shows there are beneficial effects of health and wellbeing programs across seven different outcomes: social skills, anti-social behaviour, substance abuse, positive self-image, academic achievement, mental health, and pro-social behaviour
To what extent is this dimension being implemented in my school?
  • Consider the evidence you have that the school is sensitive to the health and wellbeing needs of its students and staff.
What can my school focus on?

Successful school health and wellbeing initiatives including:  

  • development of whole school health and wellbeing policy
  • planning based on health assessments and review of data
  • resourcing for successful implementation.
What does successful implementation look like?
  • Curriculum includes specific, age-appropriate curriculum elements on health and the body, healthy eating, forms of physical exercise and fitness, self-management and self-protection
  • The physical setting and school policies promote safe and healthy behaviours with regard to nutrition, exercise and sun protection for students and school personnel
  • Every child has a secure, positive and ongoing relationship with at least one member of staff
  • Staff are mindful of actual or potential mental health issues of individual students, and seek to help them with these issues as they arise
  • Social emotional programs involve a classroom component with a parent component to improve conduct problems, emotional distress and academic performance
  • Health promotion or preventative programs simultaneously focus on the behaviour of children, teachers and families, as well as the relationship between home and school.
What strategies and actions can my school implement?
  • Schools discuss health issues such as opportunities for physical exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep with families and communities
  • Schools audit curriculum programs to determine the extent to which teaching aspects of social and emotional health are integrated throughout the curriculum
  • Schools engage parents at both individual and group levels in determining the social behaviours expected of students.