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19 June 2020

posted 18 Jun 2020, 17:59 by Carolyn Brett
You may have heard the phrase “Neurons that fire together wire together”.

It’s an area we continue to delve into as a staff as we further our wellbeing learning as part of our Positive Education "learn it, live it, teach it, embed it" process.

First of all, the staff need to get into their own learning and this is what happens once the younger comrades have been safely distributed at the end of the day!

As part of more recent learning, staff have been looking at Learned Optimism, resilience building and the whole realm of negativity bias. Yes - sadly that’s what we are wired to focus on - what goes wrong - and, what we do know is, what we focus on flourishes... both... a conundrum and a fascinating challenge as we work to support our children to move well through the world.

The good news is that if we actively learn how to take in the good we have a better chance of aiding different and more helpful structures in that brain of ours!

If you have taken a look at the Blogs lately, you will have seen the workshops the senior students ran with Tautoru last week.

We had one of our regular release teachers highly bemused by the senior students introduction to the 6-7 year olds “Today we will be learning about both learned optimism AND negativity bias”! I chuckle when I wonder what was going through some of their heads at that moment! Negativity bias? Say what?! Well - they all loved it - so something worked! 

This year, we have found ourselves featuring in both an international article in the Times Educational Supplement on Positive Education and a recently released book on Wellbeing and Resilience titled "The Educators' Guide to Whole-school Wellbeing : A Practical Guide to Getting Started, Best-practice Process and Effective Implementation" by Denise M. QuinlanLucy C. Hone. In this, we provided a case study of some of the activities we do as a staff for the 'learn it, live it' piece. We are pretty proud of what we continue to achieve here. 

It’s also really interesting that, in these recent round of parent catch ups, teachers have noticed a strong theme around the social, emotional side of the children’s school life - more than ever before. Don’t get me wrong - all of this is to support student achievement in all learning areas and isn’t a happyology in any way shape or form. In fact it’s facts, science, practice, research ........... and it’s hard!

Click on the link if you want to listen to/watch a quick TED TALK by Neuropsychologist, Dr Rick Hanson, on Hardwiring Happiness. Here you can find out more about this whole negativity bias and how “passing mental states become lasting neural traits”.

It's commonsense - and, as I got explained to me many years ago now, "If only common sense was so common"!

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