Resilience, Rights And Respectful Relationships

As well as teaching academic skills, it is part of the core business of schools to promote student resilience, wellbeing and positive social attitudes. One way that schools can achieve this is through the teaching of evidence-based programs that explicitly foster personal and social capabilities. Explicit efforts to provide Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) opportunities is recognised as a key part of this work.

SEL is the process through which children build and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to:

  • Understand and manage emotions
  • Set and achieve positive goals
  • Feel and express empathy
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships
  • Make responsible decisions
  • Develop resilience to deal with change
  • Create positive gender norms
  • Contribute to social cohesion.

At Westgarth Primary School, we use the Department’s Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program to support a whole school approach to social and emotional wellbeing. Please also see: Respectful Relationships: A whole school approach


Social and emotional skills help students develop the resilience to deal with change, challenge and unpredictability. Social and emotional learning is important in the context of data highlighting that Australian young people face a range of stressors and anxieties, and a high incidence of mental health problems. Social and emotional skills are also the foundation of positive relationships, including positive gender relationships, and contribute to social cohesion.

The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program is complemented the Department of Education's Catching On Early: Sexuality education program.