Student Engagement & Wellbeing - Positive Education

 Positive Education

WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH

Developing a whole school approach to Positive Education involves four key elements:

·         Learn It,

·         Live It,

·         Teach It and

·         Embed It.

We believe in the importance of all staff learning and living the skills and concepts that are taught at the School. Wellbeing initiatives and policy alignment are also integral for developing positive practices and embedding Positive Education across schools. Our model aims to build a positive culture that places wellbeing at the core of education. Implementing Positive Education is considered to be an ongoing journey and we encourage a whole school approach to support individual communities to flourish.

THE BENEFITS

HOW WILL IT BENEFIT OUR STUDENTS?

A recurring theme within education and psychology research is that motivation to learn and achieve one’s best is linked with higher levels of wellbeing —‘feeling good and doing good’. At the School, students not only experience a positive school culture and environment, they are also taught skills in how to enhance their wellbeing, deal with life’s challenges, live a life of meaning and purpose, strengthen their relationships with others and strive for their dreams. Such lessons set students up for lifelong learning and flourishing beyond the school gates.

OUR POSITIVE EDUCATION MODEL

In its most basic essence, our Positive Education Model can be thought of as a road map of what people want for themselves, their students, and their children: good health, frequent positive emotions, supportive relationships, a sense of purpose and meaning, the accomplishment of worthwhile goals, and moments of complete immersion and absorption—a life where a person uses their character strengths in ways that support the self and others, and that has flourishing at the heart. 

OUR POSITIVE EDUCATION MODEL COMPRISES SIX WELLBEING DOMAINS

1.       Positive Relationships

The Positive Relationships domain explores the importance of connectedness and strong relationships for wellbeing. The focus is on helping students to develop social and emotional skills that nourish their relationships with the self and others. At Geelong Grammar School, this domain builds on the strong school community and culture of respect. In particular, there is profound effort directed towards creating a School community based on kindness and forgiveness.

2.       Positive Emotion
The Positive Emotion domain aims to enable students and staff to develop a stronger understanding of their emotions and those of others. Our focus is to create opportunities for our school community to experience and savour positive emotions such as joy, love, gratitude and contentment. We endeavour for all staff and students to be able to initiate, experience, prolong, and build positive emotions in their lives.

3.       Positive Health
The Positive Health domain focuses on supporting students and staff to develop sustainable habits for optimal physical and psychological health. With the inextricable link between physical and psychological health, we know that practising mindfulness and resilience techniques will promote greater health outcomes. Mindfulness and resilience are also supported by the quest to help students to develop broader healthy behaviours in terms of exercise, nutrition, and sleep.

4.       Positive Engagement
The Positive Engagement domain helps students and staff to experience complete immersion in activities through understanding the nature of engagement, the pathways to it, and the impact it has on individual wellbeing. The aim is for all members of the School community to find sources of interest and passion in their lives.

5.       Positive Accomplishment
Positive Accomplishment aims to develop individual potential through striving for and achieving meaningful outcomes. It encompasses helping students to learn and achieve academically as well as enabling both students and staff to strive for goals that are both highly rewarding to the self and of benefit to the wider community. The goal is to support all members of the School community to embrace challenges with grit, determination, hope, and a willingness to learn from their experiences

6.       Positive Purpose
The Positive Purpose domain explores understanding, believing in, and serving something greater than the self and deliberately engaging in activities for the benefit of others. It encourages students and staff to draw on their character strengths in ways that contribute to the welfare of others and the wider community. It also recognises that belonging to a supportive school community is a strong pathway to purpose and to wellbeing.

Character Strengths
Character Strengths are natural capacities or ways of thinking, feeling and behaving that come easily to a person and that are morally valued. According to a strengths approach, each individual has unique qualities that can be used to enhance wellbeing, overcome challenges, and nurture relationships. Strengths are important pathways to flourishing across the six domains of the model of Positive Education. Students who use their strengths have been found to demonstrate strong academic performance supporting their importance for student accomplishment.