Open-Mindedness “Inclusion”

Open-mindedness means, thinking things through and being open to different people or ideas.

Open-mindedness is also about including others.

At Barwon Heads PS we place importance on ensuring that everyone feels included and we teach the students strategies to use if they see someone being left out or if they feel that they are being left out themselves.

Open mindedness and respect can be promoted by demonstrating empathy and compassion through your words and actions. People who are open-minded love others despite AND because of their differences.

The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey is about a lady who is lonely and different because she is really shy. The townspeople are scared of her, however, they soon realise that she just wants to be included.

Kick it to me, by Neridah McMullin is about the first invitation for Tom to join the Djab Wurrung boys in their Marn-grook game. Tom is thrilled to have been included and amazed by the boys’ enthusiasm and energy.

Why do you think it’s important to make sure that people feel included?

Jake Bailey

Last night I went to hear a very inspirational speaker whose name is Jake Bailey.

I had seen the speech he made to his school just two weeks before graduation. He was the School Captain and had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. There was no guarantee that he would survive. The speech that he made at his final school assembly went viral on YouTube (you can watch it below). he did not get to do his exams or celebrate the end of school. Instead, he had months of treatment for his cancer.

Jakes story is inspirational because of the way he has used his near death experience to focus on how lucky he is to be alive.

This is what Jake said about his book……

Thank you, cancer

People live life with the idea “I don’t need to do it now, I’ve got plenty of time”. Most of the time that’s true – but not always. And now it’s a race for me to see how many people I can move, how many lives I can change, how many cities I can visit, how many flights I can take, how much new ground I can break, and how many things I can do that most 19-year-olds don’t get a chance to do, before I die. Then, when I do die, I’ll die with a legacy, and that gives me peace.

I’ve donated a trophy for gallantry to Christchurch Boy’s High, my winning quote is going up on the wall there; there’ll be people who remember meeting me, there’ll be people who remember listening to my speech. When I die, I’ll know that I’ve given my best shot at leaving the world a slightly better place through my actions. People have told me my words have helped them hang on when they came close to letting go.

Of course, I’d prefer not to die before my time. I’d rather keep doing my thing, and I’d be really sad for my family and for my girlfriend, but my position is that dying is not something for me to worry about. I’m not scared of dying.

Every day that I get is another one longer than I might have had. Every morning when I wake up, I know that I’m on borrowed time. It makes me feel a little insecure and uneasy, but I am so grateful for it.

I know it’s frustrating to the people around me when they get upset about little things and I’m quite blase about it. It’s just that it’s hard for me to get wound up about something that’s not life-or-death. The core of it comes down to the fact that anything this side of death is manageable. It might be difficult, it could be uncomfortable, but it can be dealt with.”

It is 18 months since Jake got the all clear. He is living life to the fullest on the Gold Coast with his girlfriend.


At Barwon Heads PS we define wisdom as: “My friends think that I am wise. I understand what is important in life.”


Some of the activities that we have been doing in class this week have included;

Having students read (or read to them) one of AESOP’s fables and have them identify the wisdom in the story.


Have students look for words of wisdom (or wise quotes) on the internet. Have them make a poster for the quote that they feel best represents them or something that they believe strongly.


Have students write a letter to a student coming into their grade level next year. Include some words of wisdom.


In our class we discussed the importance of not just being a bystander when witnessing an injustice; stand up for what is right.

Some of our favourite picture story books contain words of wisdom…….


Can you think of a friend, family member or someone else who you look up to who has showed wisdom?

Persistence – Growth Mindset

This week we will be focussing on having a Growth Mindset. I have written about the concept of Growth Mindset on this blog before, but in order to grow and succeed, it is important to keep working on things, to keep trying, to try new things and literally grow your brain. Having a growth mindset is about attitude too and not giving up when something seems too hard.


Gratitude means being thankful for the good things that happen and thanking others often.

These are some of the benefits of being grateful:

  1. It helps you to be in the present by noticing what you do have and stopping to acknowledge it. This can be the company of a person, having food, or even being able to see.
  2. Being grateful has the power to change your mood almost instantly from negative to positive. Good feelings and positive energy arise when you start acknowledging what you are grateful for.
  3. It generates good vibrations. Quantum physics applied to positive thinking state that the vibrations of your thoughts affect and modify the reality around you.

Even if you are feeling negative when you start looking at what you are grateful for, you won’t be able to hold the negative emotion for very long.

You can make being grateful one of your positive habits as you understand the importance of being grateful.

You can also choose to write a list of at least ten things you are grateful for at the end of your day.

This will put you in a good mood before going to sleep and will help you to welcome the next day with an open and grateful attitude.

Furthermore, you could keep a gratitude journal to create progressively a more permanent grateful attitude.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey