During the children’s twelve-day stay at Stewart House, children are provided with medical, dental and optometric assessment and treatment. For children requiring additional support counselling is available. This is balanced with health and education programs and out of school activities to boost their self-esteem and promote better physical and mental health. These services are provided free of charge to nearly two thousand children a year who attend this unique facility.

Quick links : The Stewart House Program     |       The Stewart House Framework

The health and wellbeing team at Stewart House includes our two Student Wellbeing Managers (one a Clinical Psychologist), a Health Liaison Officer and a Student Placements Officer. This team directly supports the children’s wellbeing during their stay and provides advice and assistance to our residential supervisors and school teachers. We also have a registered nurse position funded through the Northern Sydney Local Heath District of NSW Department of Health. The nurse’s role is to perform hearing screening, asthma checks, personal hygiene and dietary education for the visiting children and to ensure they remain healthy throughout their stay. If any concerns are identified, parents/carers are contacted and a report will be sent home to the parent/carer outlining any treatments that occurred as well as any recommendations for further care.

Children may also receive a referral to Go4Fun. Go4Fun is a free healthy lifestyle program for children aged 7-13 years with a focus on healthy eating and getting active.

The Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) Aboriginal Health Service (Bungee Bidgel Aboriginal Health Clinic) assists with health screenings for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at Stewart House. Children who are identified as needing further health screening or treatment are then referred to health care service providers in the child’s Local Health District.

 

   

Dental

During their twelve-day stay children also have the opportunity to receive a free dental assessment and a dental health education program. The Dental Team at Stewart House is funded through Northern Sydney Local Heath District of NSW Department of Health. If children require emergency care or pain relief they are treated at Mona Vale Dental Clinic after further conversation with parents and carers.

Optometric

The School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of NSW continue to provide vision assessment for all children visiting Stewart House. Final year students conduct the screenings. Staff optometrists of the University of NSW assist the students by providing guidance and supervision. The optometric assessment provides a thorough and comprehensive visual examination including measurement of the children’s acuity, determination of any refractive error, assessment of how well the eyes work and move together, a test of colour and vision and eye health examination. Where the assessment reveals that a child has a visual problem a letter is sent home to parents and carers suggesting an appropriate course of action. The children may be in need of a pair of glasses, it may be guidance for eye exercises to improve the way eyes work together, colour vision treatment or a program for general improvement in eye health.

Teachers Health Fund provide glasses or new lenses for the children as required.

    teachers health fund logo      

Hearing

Children receive a hearing check at Stewart House by Nurses employed by the NSW Department of Health.  Identified children who need further testing are taken to Macquarie University for advanced audiology.

The Stewart House Program

Stewart House is committed to creating quality learning opportunities for children and young people. This includes opportunities to strengthen their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.  Our understanding of wellbeing is contemporary, forward focussed and trauma informed.

We only have children for a very short time and that the Stewart House Program focusses on skills that can be taught, rehearsed, practised and reinforced to improve the likelihood of generalisation within their home environment upon their return.

Feeling physically safe and being in good physical health contributes to wellbeing. Our environment provides for safety, supports good health and optimises learning experiences. At Stewart House, providing students with off-site activities is key to developing experiences in which to apply the skills taught inside classrooms and cabins and to receive feedback from students in a comfortable, in-formal and safe environment.

The relationships fostered between children and staff are key to the skills being able to be taught. Children are involved in a planned approach, given clear and predictable boundaries and consequences and scope for choice.

The skills we teach children come from a developmental framework and are built from the basics to the more complex according to need. We explain their context so that children can see how to use them on return to their home school.

Stewart House Framework

Students participating in the Stewart House Program will experience screening, teaching and opportunities to reinforce learned skills in the following areas:

Physical Wellbeing:

  • Dental Screening & treatment or referral
  • Optometric screening & provision of glasses or referral
  • Audiometric screening & referral
  • BMI calculations & referral to Go4Fun programs as appropriate and available
  • Hair checks for headlice & treatment
  • Structured & unstructured physical activities
  • Self-care instruction – general hygiene, cleaning teeth, washing hair, dressing, bed making, sun protection, dressing appropriately
  • Safety

Social Wellbeing:

  • Social Skills – basic and complex skills taught in the following areas
  • Conversations – starting them, asking to join in, offering invitations
  • Assertive communication skills
  • Dealing with teasing & bullying
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Problem Solving skills

Connection and Positive relationships:

  • Goal Setting
  • How to create positive e-mails and letters to home
  • Team work/ working together

Emotional Wellbeing

  • Self–regulation as appropriate to the child’s development
  • Self-awareness – body sensations, brain physiology, self-reflection
  • How to recognise and describe different feelings
  • Physical & sensory regulation strategies
  • Cognitive regulation strategies
  • Help-seeking – where to go if feelings are overwhelming

Stewart House Syllabus

The learning that takes place is reinforced in the school and residential settings as well as through experiential learning opportunities.

BUILDING CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND CONNECTIONS AT STEWART HOUSE

Outcomes

Children will:

  • Develop an awareness of the expectations, routines and support systems in place at Stewart House
  • Build connections with peers and staff
  • Set individual goals to achieve at Stewart House

 Content

Introduction to Stewart House:

  • Introducing students to all staff
  • Establishing expectations – Be Safe, Be Kind and Fair, Have a Go
  • Introduce Raising Responsibility behaviour expectations and support systems
  • Establishing self-care routines – housekeeping, laundry, medication, showering, teeth cleaning, hair checks

Building connections

  • Activities and get to know you games
  • Identity – representing culture, interests and identity in art form
  • Engaging in positive mindset lessons to develop individual goals
  • Engaging in self-care routines with partner and / or small group, bed making and dining
  • Engaging in large group, small group and individual discussions with staff and peers during experiential learning activities, including recreation room, zoo excursion, class picnic, boardwalk, local parks
  • Engaging in Aboriginal cultural lessons

Support systems and processes

  • Evacuation induction
  • Cabin safety procedures – door alarms, location of supervisors
  • Engage in Raising Responsibility discussions where appropriate to assist students to identify and regulate their behaviour
  • Establishing predictable routines for students, assemblies, bed time, bus travel

Health Care

  • Dental screening
  • Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander culturally sensitive screening
  • Optical screening
  • Daily triage
  • Medication administration
AWARENESS OF SELF AND OTHERS

Outcomes

Children will:

  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between our emotions and our ability to think and act appropriately.
  • Choose and trial strategies to self-regulate unhelpful emotions
  • Identify and acknowledge strengths of self and others

Content

Emotional Regulation:

  • Develop a basic understanding of brain anatomy and the impact it has on our ability to regulate our emotions
  • Identify and practice a range of strategies to regulate emotions, eg meditation, listening to music, exercising, zentangles
  • Reflecting and recording events and learnings to increase memory and retention

Strengthening Connections

  • Reflecting on individual skills and qualities and acknowledging the positive attributes we recognise in others and ourselves
  • Engaging in large group, small group and individual discussions with staff and peers during experiential learning activities, including recreation room, zoo excursion, Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, boardwalk, local parks

Creative Expression

  • Using various media to create craftwork expressing individual strengths, culture or identity, eg clay and glazes, beads, watercolours
  • Participating in skits and presentations for the Cabin Talent Quest

Safety

  • Sun protection, beach awareness
  • Participate in swim challenge and free play at indoor and outdoor pools

Health Care

  • Optometric, audiometric and dental screening
CREATIVITY AND CHOICE AND A WEEKEND IN THE CITY

Outcomes

Children will:

  • Build connections with peers and staff
  • Identify and acknowledge strengths of self and others
  • Participate in collaborative activities to discuss and develop teamwork skills including connecting, sharing, listening, accepting ideas of other and making positive contributions

Content

Building connections:

  • Identity – representing culture, interests and identity in art form
  • Engaging in self-care routines with partner and / or small group, cooking, tie dye
  • Engaging in large group, small group and individual discussions with staff and peers during experiential learning activities, including cooking, Sydney Harbour excursion, museums, swimming, boardwalk, beach, local parks

Support systems and processes

  • Activity safety procedures – Powerpoint presentation
  • Engage in Raising Responsibility discussions where appropriate to assist students to identify and regulate their behaviour
  • Establishing predictable routines for students, assemblies, changeover, bed time, bus travel

Emotional Regulation

  • Practice a range of strategies to regulate emotions, eg listening to music, exercising
  • Reflecting and recording events and learnings eg activity books

Strengthening Connections

  • Reflecting on individual skills and qualities and acknowledging the positive attributes we recognise in others and ourselves
  • Engaging in large group, small group and individual discussions with staff and peers during experiential learning activities, including during onsite activities of cooking, craft activities, playing board games, in the hall, and offsite activities on the bus and ferry, at the museum, at the pool

Creative Expression

  • Using various media to create craftwork expressing individual strengths, culture or identity, eg porcelain art, calico decorating, velvet art, friendship bracelets, hama beading, making juggling balls

Safety

  • Sun protection, beach awareness, pool safety, cooking dangers and risk management
RECONNECTING AND RESPECTING

Outcomes

Children will:

  • Participate in collaborative activities to discuss and develop teamwork skills including connecting, sharing, listening, accepting ideas of other and making positive contributions
  • Develop empathy through planned acts of kindness
  • Develop a shared understanding of bullying, it’s impact and strategies to deal with bullying

Content

Expectations:

  • Revise expectations – Be Safe, Be Kind and Fair, Have a Go
  • Review Raising Responsibility behaviour expectations and support systems

Kindness on Purpose

  • Developing empathy through planned acts of kindness. Looking at how both the giver and receiver felt before and after the act of kindness.

Teamwork

  • Valuing others and identifying and acknowledging the strengths of class / cabin members
  • Opportunities to work collaboratively and develop skills needed to make successful teams / performance groups
  • Being the same and being different and feeling safe to express our differences
  • Connecting, sharing, listening, accepting the ideas of others, making positive connections
  • Aboriginal Dance lesson
  • Talent Quest activities

Anti – bullying

  • Developing a shared understanding of bullying and raising an awareness of the impact of bullying (heavy and light feelings / emotions )
  • Identifying and rehearsing strategies to deal with bullying
  • Engaging in large group and small group activities with staff and peers during experiential learning activities, including recreation room, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, boardwalk, local parks
BEYOND STEWART HOUSE

Outcomes

Children will:

  • Reflect on their Stewart House journey and articulate the memories they will cherish and the knowledge and skills  they will draw on and utilise to enhance their wellbeing
  • Create, gather and purchase artefacts and mementos to remind themselves of the positive experience they shared at Stewart House
  • Prepare themselves for their return to life at home

Content

Reflecting:

  • Opportunities for students to create mementos to take home such as Gratitude Journals, autograph sheets, collages and various pieces of art and craft together with their activity book.
  • Provide feedback through student survey
  • Reflecting on the relationships and connections made over the past two weeks whilst on excursions to Powerhouse Museum and Bowling and BBQ picnic

Reminders

  • Creating and gathering the various mementos to take home and share with friends, family and school including class and cabin artefacts plus gift shop purchase using in-house reward system

Returning Home

  • Preparing mentally for returning home and managing the mixed emotions that come with the travel and reconnection with family
  • Opportunities to discuss and reflect on personal goals and the development of possible future goals
  • How our body functions and how to care for our body and make good healthy choices

We use external assessors to review our programs every 4 years – Want to know more?

Report of the 2015 Assessment of the Stewart House Residential Program (PDF)