Embedding Positive Education in a faith-based setting

San Clemente High School, Mayfield, is using Positive Education not only to enhance student wellbeing, but the faith life of the entire school community.

Recently redeveloping its mission, vision and value statements, San Clemente chose to embed the Five Ways to Wellbeing, providing guidance for the school community to live out authentically the four pillars of Dominican life – Community, Service, Study and Prayer.

These activities, which encourage both staff and students to Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give, can easily be adopted into their daily lives while helping the school, as a community and workplace, to flourish.

The language of the Five Ways is now evident throughout San Clemente’s Catholic values, enhancing the community’s ability to live out it’s Dominican Charism.

Recently presenting the school’s new approach at the Positive Education Schools Association (PESA) NSW State Chapter Professional Learning Forum, Assistant Principal – Wellbeing, Nathan Beckett, says it will help both staff and students to thrive in all areas of life.

“We have been highly regarded for a long time in supporting students and families at a pastoral care level, with experienced and caring staff going above and beyond to provide quality care for those who may be in need,” said Nathan.

“More recently the school has adopted a solutions-based approach to wellbeing, based on the principles of positive psychology, whereby all in our community are given the opportunity to develop their wellbeing skills and thrive in all they do.

“We are able to layer this language across assemblies, liturgies, classrooms, year meetings and Positive Education sessions.

“San Clemente staff and students are able to use the language of our wellbeing framework as a guide to solving problems, using our strengths and achieving our best both in and out of the classroom.”

As a Catholic community committed to developing the whole person, San Clemente recognises that a positive approach to wellbeing enables both staff and students to achieve higher outcomes and helps to develop lifelong social and emotional skills.

San Clemente has also recently introduced two new initiatives to continue enhancing Positive Education for both staff and students.

The school’s new Mindfulness program sees an expert in the field engage with students each term to give them the opportunity to learn and experience Mindfulness at a high level.

Ensuring the continual development of their staff, the school has engaged with Growth Coaching International (GCI) which provides San Clemente staff with quality professional development. This coaching places an emphasis on developing quality conversation between staff peers, leaders, parents and students.

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