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12 February 2021

posted 11 Feb 2021, 15:31 by Carolyn Brett
We are well into the swing of things and are loving the energy of our smaller and bigger, younger and older people!

On Tuesday you would have received the email with the instructions on how to book for your Parent/Teacher/Child start of year meeting. As I alluded to last week, this is all about getting a feel for how things are going so far, what's working well, where we need to place more attention and a bit of scene setting for the year ahead.

Positive Education is at the heart of our curriculum. This whole area of wellbeing is one of 'the things' that supports our school to have something special, something that may make a huge difference in the lives of our children, even if the tangible outcomes may not be fully realised until they become adults. I tell you what though.... our children do well beyond our gates. At the end of last year, I had many parents letting me know how many Worser Bay School alumni were receiving awards from everything from Academics, to Arts to Sport to Attitude, being made leaders, putting their hands up to contribute and make a difference to others at Intermediate and High Schools. So many strong foundations happen between Autahi, Tautoru, Mahūtonga Matariki, we cannot underestimate that.

So, for these important initial meetings, we will use our Positive Education Flourish model as a tool to prompt the conversation.

At the centre of the model, you will find the Character Strengths. If you have recently joined us, you will hear more about these... and you can see the little plaques designed by children and parents scattered throughout the playground. 

So, we like to start from a place of strength and use the strengths to also support areas that are not so strong. Some of you will have heard me use the metaphor of the sailing boat at Worser Bay many times. Here's another time for luck! Picture a boat, bobbing around. There is a hole in this boat. Eek! The boat may sink so we need to pay attention to that hole for sure, however, all the strengths are in the sail. If we don't pay attention to the sail, the boat doesn't have a direction to move in.

The Flourish Model helps us remember to look at the 'whole child' when considering goals and next steps. There will be areas in the model that you/your child may feel are going really well and areas that you may feel aren't. You can get them talking at a level which they understand - it's likely to be quite different for a 5 or a 10 year old. This may help some conversations start to happen at home prior to the meetings. Teachers will also get some conversations rolling at school as well.

Character Strengths - Which strength are you most proud of? How would you like to use it this year?
Positive Relationships - Do you feel you work well with your friends? Are you able to work with different groups of children? How do you feel about playtimes?
Positive Accomplishment - What work are you most proud of? What did you do that made you feel so good about it? What's the most difficult thing you have ever done?
Positive Engagement - Is there a part of school where you enjoy learning the most? Which are the parts of your day you don't enjoy so much? Are you OK asking questions? What would help you most? What do you like best about school? What don't you feel so happy about?
Positive Health - What will help you stay focussed? When do you feel you have the most energy? Where do you like learning best? What's your favourite thing to do outside? 
Positive Emotions - What is it about learning that makes you most happy? Where are the hard bits? What can we do to help you? What do you enjoy about music/art/being in nature? Is there anything you would like to explore more?