The wellbeing of each individual in our community is a priority. We recognise that a sense of wellbeing empowers our learners and helps them to flourish in life.
Positive Education focuses on specific skills that assist children to strengthen their relationships, build positive emotions, enhance personal resilience, promote mindfulness, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Some strategies we use in class are:
Specks of Gold
We ask our children to intentionally look for all the many good things that happen during the day; we call these good things our ‘specks of gold’. We encourage our students to share their specks of gold with each other, thereby celebrating and showing gratitude for all the many positives we experience each day.
The concept of being a bucket filler comes from Carol McCloud’s book Have You Filled A Bucket Today?. In the book, we are introduced to the idea that everyone carries around an invisible bucket that, throughout the day is being filled by the kind things that you do for others or that others do for you. When our buckets are full, we feel happy and when our buckets are empty we feel sad.
You can listen to Carol McCloud read her book aloud by clicking here.
Mindfulness is a whole body-mind state of awareness that involves ‘tuning in’ to the present moment, with openness and curiosity, instead of ‘tuning out’ from experience. Mindfulness is a state of being fully awake to life – being aware and undistracted in the present moment. It is about focusing attention on the present, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future.
Why practise mindfulness? What are the benefits for children?
- Research shows that mindfulness training increases connectivity in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is linked to improved attention, memory processing and decision-making abilities.
- Mindfulness training involves tuning in to internal and external experiences with curiosity, resulting in increased self-awareness, social awareness, and self-confidence.
- Mindfulness training increases children’s ability to self-regulate their emotions.
- Mindfulness has been shown to improve empathy or the ability to understand what another person is thinking or feeling, which improves children’s awareness of others and helps them to build positive emotions.
Click here to listen to Andy Puddicombe talk about ‘All it takes is 10 mindful minutes’.
We use the language of character strengths (developed by the VIA Institute on Character) and we encourage our students to continue to develop their 24 character strengths:
Positive (Growth) Mindset
We talk to our students about having a growth mindset. What does this mean and why does it matter?
The concept of a growth mindset was developed by psychologist Carol Dweck. Based on her research, Dweck divided people into two categories: the first, with what she called a ‘fixed’ mindset, tend to believe their basic attributes, like intelligence and talent, are innate and could not be changed. By contrast, people who exhibit a ‘growth’ mindset tend to understand basic abilities as malleable, and believe they can be developed over time.
Dweck’s experiments showed that people with a ‘fixed’ mindset avoided difficult tasks, fearing that failure might expose a lack in ability. Meanwhile, people with a ‘growth’ mindset loved new challenges and viewed setbacks as opportunities to learn. People with a ‘growth’ mindset displayed better self esteem, more resilience, and enjoyed better outcomes in life.
And never forget the power of that little word YET …