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4 December 2020

posted 3 Dec 2020, 15:43 by Carolyn Brett
About 6 years ago I embarked on study in Positive Psychology through the Wholebeing Institute in the States. Long story shorter, this involved 2 Residentials based at Geelong Grammar School in Geelong, Australia. During this time, I became interested in language.... in the words we use, how we listen and interpret meaning and decided to focus the final part of my study on just that and what it may mean for me in my role at this School.

Key aspects can be seen in this visual representation. Layered behind this you may be able to see concepts such as whanaungatanga and manaakitanga, research... theories.... and basically the science behind it all. (These may be hard to spot in a picture so small in this Newsletter.) You can witness the use of the stars, meaning our school, Whētukairangi/Stargazers, and also many of my go to phrases "Words create Worlds" being a favourite.

Fast forward. I then made the link with Positive Psychology + Education = Positive Education and began to lead the way with building teacher knowledge in order to deliver a Positive Education/Wellbeing programme to our children. 

Good things take time and embedding Positive Education and Encouraging a Community to Flourish  is a great example of just this. We are not there yet by any means but it has been rewarding to see ourselves in an International Publication and a newly published book on Whole School Wellbeing through The NZ Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience, especially over the course of this 'different' type of year.

It is also music to my ears when a teacher told me last week that, when she met with a newer family to the school for a Progress Meeting, the parents expressed their amazement with how the language and the concepts of Positive Education have already impacted on the 'give it a go and use grit attitude' of their child. Loved it!

Similarly, our Character Strengths are a common language right across our heavens of Autahi, Tautoru and Māhutonga Matariki. I am enjoying the way the teachers often use these strengths for helping children learn about ways to manage themselves that bit better. For example, children may find themselves doing a little bit of extra learning in a small 'judgment' group or maybe a 'teamwork group', possibly a 'fairness group' on occasion. You know...... for that little bit of extra support that is sometimes required!

In a school year, there are very familiar patterns. It is in these last few weeks that wheels often need some extra oil! Our words to children, especially our Year 6 Leavers, include such things as 'a big finish' or 'finishing well' ........... so far so good!

Actually, on a personal note, I too am trying hard. I don't want to end up in any of my staff''s 'kindness group'!