Positive Psychology is the scientific study of how to live a healthy, happy, and meaningful life. At Peninsula Grammar, our Positive Education K-12 scope and sequence incorporates programs and evidence-based research by leading international experts in social and emotional literacy and wellbeing, including Professor Toni Noble (ACU), Professor Helen McGrath (Deakin, RMIT), Professor Carol Dweck (Stanford University), Professor John Hattie (University of Melbourne), and Ron Ritchhart (Harvard University), as well as research-based organisations such as VIA Institute on Character, MindUp Foundation, the New Economics Foundation, Berkeley's Greater Good Science Centre and New York University's Character Lab.
Applying this evidence-based knowledge in practical and relevant ways within a school environment enables our students to LEARN . GROW . FLOURISH.
In 2019 our Positive Psychology theme at Peninsula Grammar is “Healthy Habits”.
For sustainable positive change it is key that we set up healthy habits in all areas of our life. Habits are ongoing behaviour not simply a one-off act. The routine of habit implies conscious choice, a greater locus of control, autonomy and self-motivated accountability.
We encourage our students to review their current habits to see if they are healthy choices, and to implement healthy habits throughout the School day, and to set boundaries for their own self-management and self-care.
We can all benefit from healthy habits in the areas of:
Physical activity: moving our body keeps our brain healthy. Research has found that exercise is the single most effective intervention to improve mental wellbeing.
Sleep: poor sleep hygiene is a common link for many students presenting with issues of stress, anxiety and depression. Healthy sleep habits have a positive impact on our learning, brain capacity and relationships.
Digital hygiene: How often do we check our phone, mail or apps? Do we try to multitask as much as possible? Do we have tech-free time – especially late at night?
Study skills: Do we encourage and develop healthy study habits? Do we try to cram last minute? Are we building our knowledge through the year using healthy habits of learning and revision? Do we do homework before or after dinner? At a desk or in front of TV?
Nutrition: Are we in the habit of skipping breakfast? Are we eating late at night? Do we drink enough water to keep ourselves hydrated? Can we add healthy substitutes, i.e. fruit instead of a sugary snack?
Relationships: Do we set healthy boundaries within our relationships? Are we clear with expectations? Do we spend time caring for others and intentionally using our kindness? Are our online relationships healthy? Do we make time for face-to-face communication, laughter and friendship?
An age-appropriate scope and sequence of Positive Education and Wellbeing has been developed across the whole school. Students are taught important skills and strategies that build on each other to ensure they develop social, emotional and wellbeing literacy.
A brief overview of key topics are:
Junior Years: emotional literacy, basic values of friendship, courage, kindness, optimism and no bullying.
Middle Years: Positive Psychology science, mindfulness, strengths, relationships, positive bodies and media literacy.
Pre Senior Year: benefit mindset, accepting challenges and personal accountability.
Senior Years: making mature decisions, managing stress and anxiety in a positive way, leadership and purpose.
Our Positive Education department has a library of books available for loan and can be accessed at any time to answer questions about this field.
For further information on Positive Psychology and Positive Education at Peninsula Grammar, please contact our Director of Positive Education, Ms Therese Joyce.