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8 February 2019

posted 7 Feb 2019, 17:30 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 7 Feb 2019, 17:31 by Stephanie Williams ]
Although I could say I'm rather goal focussed, I'm not a great one for New Year Resolutions, never have been.

This year it seems I do have a rather lofty focus, more by proxy. Day 2 of our summer camping holiday, my partner exclaims out of the blue "OK, so 2019 is going to be known as The Year of Optimism"! I didn't argue with that notion, it was an easy sell, but I was clear that it will not be blind optimism in any way shape or form, more of a considered form of optimism!

As many of you know, we have embedded Positive Education at this school. Martin Seligman, a hugely influential psychologist, was key to Positive Education becoming even 'a thing'. What's very exciting for us this year is that trainers from the Institute of Positive Education/Geelong Grammar School in Australia, who are world leaders in this work and trained by Marty Seligman and his team, are winging their way to us! We are hosting a 2 day workshop in the April holidays..... China, Singapore and us! We may be small (ish) but rather weighty!

Optimism is defined by Marty Seligman as reacting to problems with a sense of confidence and high personal ability. Multitudes of studies demonstrate that optimism is healthy - outcomes include living longer, healthier immune systems, better coping mechanisms..... and on we go! The great thing is that optimism can be nurtured in children as well as adults. A few years ago, he wrote a book based on this "The Optimistic Child".

What I find fascinating is that when I completed a wellbeing survey (EPOCH) with our Year 5 and 6's late last year, their constant question to me about one of the questions was "What does optimism mean?" .......not one child had ever heard the word before (they said) ....... interesting, it's possibly not a word we use with them often, if at all. I'd love that to change. 

In saying this - the evidence showed that they are a pretty 'happy' bunch. This also gives us a good steer for where to put more focus this year, especially around getting 'in flow' and engagement.

Click here to find out more about the tool.

My appreciation this week goes to our staff who have been so incredibly generous of their time and so focussed in doing their utmost to get this year off to a fantastic start for our learners/community. What a crew!

So, welcome to my year of Optimism, feel free to give me a nudge if you see me wobbling in this quest too often.