Wilderness has applied Positive Education across the school, starting with strategic planning and data collection to implementation of a school wide wellbeing program. The Positive Education curriculum is scoped and sequenced and is linked to the School’s mission “To enable each girl to be the very best throughout her life” with a direct correlation to the core values of the school - values which were developed in 1884 by the founders of the school, the Brown sisters. Our goal is for students to learn and apply the necessary life skills to help them develop their true self. 

Flourishing means optimal wellbeing and has three components:

  • rewarding and positive relationships
  • feeling competent and confident
  • believing that life is meaningful (Diener, 2010)

Wellbeing refers to the social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual development of each individual and is key to effective learning. Our vision of wellbeing is promoted and taught through creating an inspiring social, emotional and physical learning environment where each girl flourishes. The skills of wellbeing are taught through the curriculum and the many varied activities of school life, having a whole school approach. Students are taught different wellbeing strategies (e.g. gratitude, stress management, character strengths, resiliency, mindfulness, conflict resolution) giving them tools in their tool bag to help their personal development. Optimal wellbeing is a multi-dimensional and holistic concept, and includes both hedonic (e.g., positive emotions and emotional stability) and eudaimonic (e.g., self-esteem, growth, meaning) components (Norrish, Williams, O’Connon & Robinson, 2013).

Wilderness has implemented a whole school systems approach to wellbeing within the school’s strategic direction with a Positive Education model. Instead of having solo approaches to wellbeing throughout the school based on the effort of individual teachers, the focus is written in the School’s strategic plan to ensure consistent application and transparency. Our Positive Education model at Wilderness encompasses the school’s four values.

 

Positive Self
Learning and practising habits for being a resilient, vibrant and spiritually aware self who is confident in themselves and appreciative of others.
Positive Relationships
Increasing social and emotional skills in order to create and promote compassionate, kind, friendly and hospitable individuals who form and maintain healthy and fulfilling relationships.

 

Positive Learner
Developing individual potential through being a creative, independent and cooperative learner who is a seeker of excellence and success.
Positive Citizen
Understanding and serving something greater than yourself as a responsible, respectful and generous global citizen and leader, who acts with integrity for a socially just world and a sustainable future for the Earth.

This framework, which builds a culture where positive behaviour and developing a ‘true self’ is taught, is embedded across the whole school because schools are now seen as institutions where their role extends beyond academics competence to further preparing the ‘whole child’ (Huitt, 2010). The primary focus of this model at Wilderness is that all girls are flourishing in life.