“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” (Aristotle)
In schools we value teaching students mainstream curriculum subjects which include Reading, Writing, Maths and ICT (Information Computer Technology), to name a few. We teach children these subjects to enable them to be “literate” in a range of subject matters.
More recently, many schools, including Barwon Heads Primary School teach wellbeing literacy explicitly during Positive Education sessions. Wellbeing literacy is the language that we use around wellbeing. It encompasses words and how we communicate wellbeing as individuals and within organisations.
By understanding the language of wellbeing we are enabled to interpret our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. To intentionally improve our wellbeing, it helps to have a level of wellbeing literacy. Knowing what words such as empathy, resilience, kindness, mindfulness, persistence and growth mindset mean gives us the ability to identify these states in ourselves and understand them in others.
Many schools encourage students to set goals in the main areas of the curriculum and to set these, it is necessary to have a level of literacy or understanding of those subject areas. At Barwon Heads Primary School, our set of positive statements are a tool from which students select their own, personalised, wellbeing goals to stand alongside their reading, writing and maths goals.
We have all types of emotions and being emotionally literate means that you can identify a range of emotions.
I use many words to express emotions
tell my teacher how I am feeling
tell my friends how I am feeling
clearly explain how I am feeling using descriptive words
notice how others are feeling
Character Strengths: Kindness, Humour, Modesty, Love, Gratitude
Although under the title of Positive Emotions in our model, we do, at times, experience negative emotions too. Being able to identify the emotion through our emotional literacy and address the negative ones increases our wellbeing.
Can you name some of the emotions you have experienced recently?
Barwon Heads Primary School is launching their ‘BHPS Pos. Ed. Statements’ at assembly on the 14th of September.
A year in the making; Barwon Heads Primary School are excited to be launching their Positive Statements. Designed by students and staff, their purpose is to enhance the visibility of Positive Education, create a common language and enhance the wellbeing of those in their school community.
Barwon Heads Primary School are in their third year of practising Positive Education to improve student wellbeing and nurture happy, resilient children. The school has been leading the way for other state schools in the region in practising ‘Pos. Ed.’ which is recognised worldwide as a successful approach to increasing social and emotional learning and development.
Studies have shown that increased positive emotions lead to improved student learning.
The purpose of the statements is to make Pos. Ed. more visible in the school, provide a goal-setting tool for student personal development and identify successful behaviours and ways of thinking in the form of a collective language.
The statements encompass the five pillars of the school’s wellbeing model: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Mindfulness and Accomplishment. Each pillar has a collection of related statements that the community can refer to, enabling them to further reinforce the strengths-based approach to wellbeing.
The statements are taught, referred to in class and in the playground to encourage positive behaviour and assist students to flourish in their lives at school and beyond.
After the launch, the statements will be visible around the school in the form of posters in each classroom, banners and signage. Each family has been given their own copy to use at home.