Mentors meet every morning with their groups not only for administration purposes but to engage and connect with their students. Students meet with their Mentor every fortnight for a structured Wellbeing session which aims to equip them with the knowledge and skills to improve their wellbeing and quality of life. In 2015, the school launched a new Wellbeing Program influenced by the key concepts of Positive Psychology. A sequential program is in place which targets age specific, relevant topic areas for all students.
The field of Positive Education has seen tremendous growth over the past decade and it is becoming increasingly popular in the education arena. “Positive Psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning and what makes life living” (Grenville-Cleave, 2012). Its aim is to assist people to thrive or ‘flourish’ in their lives. Whereas many psychological studies in the past have focused on the negative sides of life (anxiety and depression for example), positive psychology focuses on those human traits which lead to optimal wellbeing. Essentially, the concept aims to enhance an individual’s academic performance and social-emotional wellbeing.
How do we, for instance, turn our negative thoughts into positive and performance enhancing thoughts? It allows people to be more aware of their own character strengths and how to best use them, as well as ‘spotting’ strengths in others. It addresses areas such as emotional intelligence, mindfulness, optimism and motivation, as well as the importance of gratitude and hope in improving quality of life. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of resilience and developing ‘grit’ or hardiness in stressful situations. Overall, there is a significant focus on relationships and thus, it resonates well with one of our key priorities as a school.
The principles of positive psychology are backed by extensive research and various theories and we would like to explore its possibility as a tool to improving the wellbeing of our students. A well-considered, balanced wellbeing program underpinned by such principles, has the potential to significantly impact positively on our students. Finally, at the heart of any successful and effective wellbeing system is the staff. We are blessed with a staff community that genuinely prioritises the well-being of each individual student and this is clearly evident on a daily basis at our school.
These classes are an opportunity to empower our students with skills that are particularly important for adolescents in the 21st Century. Well-being is fundamental to quality learning. Mentor Teachers are given contemporary resources to utilise during this time. We will endeavour to include some of these resources in this section of the website.
The origin of the Mentor group names is explained here.