eXcel: Wellbeing for Learning

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eXcel affirms Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools' (MACS) ongoing commitment to supporting ‘rich, deep and varied learning experiences’ for our students, so that they may develop as optimistic, resilient young people of faith, ready to be effective members of community, contributing to and enriching the world around them.

Catholic Education Melbourne 2018, eXcel: Wellbeing for learning in Catholic school communities


eXcel: Wellbeing for learning in Catholic school communities (eXcel) articulates the importance of wellbeing to children and young people’s spiritual, cognitive, physical, emotional and social growth.

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) has developed eXcel as an explicit, practical guide to inform pedagogical practice, curriculum design and policies to strengthen children and young people’s wellbeing and learning outcomes. It explores in detail the nature and importance of wellbeing and how it is enacted in Catholic schools.

Presented as four intersecting dimensions of enable, connect, engage and learn, the first letter of each has been combined to form the overarching concept of ‘eXcel’.

eXcel equation image

eXcel builds on MACS' Horizons of Hope education framework, and its Wellbeing Foundation Statement.

eXcel supports the development of school-wide practices and cultures that enable children and young people to:

  • deeply connect ‘who they are’ and ‘how they can be’ in the world to the Catholic faith
  • reach their potential
  • build positive and connected relationships
  • develop skills and attitudes that promote wellbeing and resilience
  • deepen their appreciation of learning, their perseverance and their stamina
  • lead optimistic, graced and hope-filled lives of impact.

eXcel has been developed through extensive research, dialogue and consultation with school leaders, student wellbeing staff in schools, MACS staff and experts in the field. It aligns with the key principles documented in the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework and the Victorian Curriculum F-10.

eXcel encapsulates the spirit of ‘being the best we can be’ with God’s grace. It embraces the belief that children and young people have the capacity to achieve their full potential when they wellbeing is nurture in faith-filled learning environments that are safe, inclusive and respectful.
Catholic Education Melbourne 2018, eXcel: Wellbeing for learning in Catholic school communities


eXcel: The core dimensions

Through the core dimensions of enable, connect, engage and learn, eXcel highlights the integral link between wellbeing, engagement and lifelong achievement.

eXcel wheel

The four dimensions are designed to:

  • promote common understanding
  • enable consistent approaches
  • develop shared commitment
  • inspire rigorous conversation
  • encourage deep reflection
  • inform innovative action.
eXcel: at a glance


Safe, inclusive and respectful environments


Environments for learners and their communities are safe, inclusive and respectful.

Essential Elements
  • The school community promotes inclusivity and reflects a culture of hope, faith and belonging for students, staff, families and the broader community.
  • Students feel, and are, valued, safe, affirmed and enabled to participate in school and life.
  • Leaders, staff and families work collaboratively to create and strengthen safe, child-friendly environments for learning.
  • Justice, equity and respect are actively promoted and evident in school policy and practice.


Nurturing, collaborative and authentic relationships


Relationships between people, and partnerships within communities, encourage students to connect, grow and flourish.

Essential Elements
  • Members of the school community have a strong sense of connection and belonging. They know that the school community is their community.
  • Relationships across the school community are authentic, respectful and trusting.
  • Relationships with families are actively fostered and sustained to support students to thrive in learning and life.
  • A culture of collaboration and partnership is evident within and beyond the school.


Motivated, empowered and adaptable learners


Engaged and resilient learners have a strong sense of self, purpose and integrity.

Essential Elements 
  • Students have a positive learning disposition. They are motivated, confident and engaged learners, able to effectively contribute and adapt to their world.
  • Students have an authentic voice and are active agents in their learning and wellbeing.
  • Families and teachers are mentors and partners in their children’s learning journey.
  • Students, along with all members of the school community, act with integrity. They take personal responsibility for actions and demonstrate respect for self and others by acting with honesty, courtesy and fairness.


Explicit, purposeful and innovative teaching


Explicit teaching and learning experiences promote holistic development for lifelong success.

Essential Elements 
  • Teachers purposefully use a variety of innovative strategies and tools to understand student needs, facilitate active learning and develop their creative potential to make sense of self, others, the world, and their place within it.
  • Teachers build on the knowledge of the learner. They know their students and respond to their learning needs through focused self-reflection and evaluation.
  • Families, teachers and other significant adults play complementary roles that contribute to the spiritual, emotional, social and cognitive development of the whole child.
  • Teachers create communities of learning that support students to be self-motivated and curious as they explore the what, how and why of the world around them. Students develop the knowledge, skills, confidence and resilience to succeed as lifelong learners in school, family, friendship and work.
eXcel: in conclusion

Enhancing school community wellbeing is an ongoing and complex endeavour that requires explicit strategy, commitment, energy and continuous effort over time to sustain.

It is a shared responsibility illuminated by the Good News and founded in Jesus’ message of God’s love for all. It is enriched through purposeful collaboration and dialogue between school leaders, staff, students, families, the parish and local communities.

Wellbeing and the full flourishing of the person cannot be separated from learning: they are inextricably linked and must be positioned at the heart of school life.

Acknowledging that wellbeing is enabled in purposeful, life-giving learning environments that are distinctively Catholic in context and tradition eXcel is focused on creating a vision in our schools that enables all to have life in abundance (John 10: 10).

Download the full guide:

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Download the overview brochure:

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Download the Horizons of Hope Wellbeing Foundation Statement:

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