As the new school year begins, it’s a good time to cultivate gratitude. By doing so we can increase our wellbeing and happiness.

We can feel gratitude towards others in response to being given a gift or being the beneficiaries of good intentions. We can also feel a sense of gratitude towards the local environment, our homes, the world and other people. By doing this we appreciate the goodness in our lives and outside our lives. Simply being grateful for being alive is a great motivator.

Some of the benefits of having an attitude of gratitude include;

-Being happier and liked more by others,

-Strengthening our emotions and helping us to be optimistic,

-Reducing materialism and increasing spiritualism,

-Increasing our self-control and resilience and

-Making us more concerned about others than ourselves.

Writing a gratitude journal can increase wellbeing by more than 10% and writing a gratitude letter to someone can also serve as a happiness booster. Simply talking about what you have been grateful for at the end of each day is a powerful activity for celebrating all the good things happening in your lives. Another fun idea is to make a paper chain with gratitude messages. At Barwon Heads PS, we create opportunities for our school community to express their gratitude in a multitude of ways including written notes to others, diary writing, conversations and students writing letters to their parents. The students also create art works in which they can express gratitude. Once we begin to be grateful, we realise and notice the many things around us that we can appreciate.


There is always something to be thankful for.




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



Gratitude with Toni Powell

On Monday night, I attended a presentation by author, Tony Powell. She was introduced as a person whose wisdom, honesty and rawness gave her an ability to connect with people. What an accurate description this was!

Tony talked about how to reduce the elephants (the things that come in and trample on your happy life) in our lives. She described how dealing with anxiety and fear can be done by talking yourself, or your child, through what they are afraid of so that they understand that their fear is unlikely to happen. Toni gave the example of monsters under the bed.

She talked about the importance of finding activities that take you into “the zone,” such as surfing, walking and dancing, to calm yourself. Toni explained that if you are worried about something, the situation doesn’t have to change but you can change your thinking to help yourself.

Toni spoke about gratitude and how it can change your life. According to Toni, gratitude can be used in any situation and is the best bet for a happier life. We are the architects of our own brains and our thoughts and emotions effect our brain structure (or neural pathways). If you are constantly putting your mind to stress or anger, you will create default patterns in your mind. However, if you use mental discipline to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis you are, in effect, training your brain and improving your life in a profound way.

So, yesterday in our staff meeting, the importance of gratitude was spoken of. When I asked my students, at the end of the day, today, what the best thing about their day was, many said that writing down a list of things that they were grateful for was. And they said this with a big, happy smile!



Toni with her book; “The Yellow Car.”

Camp! Final day

We all felt a bit sad that the final day had come because camp had been just so awesome!! The final morning was really fun though because after we had packed up we got to go for a walk to feed the animals. There were horses and donkeys that we hand fed. We also fed the cattle. We then had a go at yabbying and could not believe it when we actually caught some yabbis!!

After a long walk around the land we saw the rainbow trout jumping then back for lunch!

Everyone was really appreciative and showed gratitude towards the teachers who had taken the grade 3’s on camp; Mr Haslem, Miss Merret, Colin, Miss Jordan, Mr Burdess and Mrs Kebbell.

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Camp! Day 2

Everyone woke up feeling really excited about the upcoming day! The duty group got organised for breakfast and we all went into the dining room. We tidied cabins and then had our cabins inspected. The teachers were very impressed with the tidiness of our rooms!



What did you enjoy the most about Day 2 of camp?

Camp! Day 1

It was so exciting to finally arrive at camp!

We assembled in the main room while Iona explained the rules of the camp to us. After this the teachers told us our rooms and we went to unpack. We then had our lunch and began our first rotation of activities. Mrs Kebbell was taking the “Nature Art” activity which is why there are so many photos of students doing this activity!

The other activities were Archery/Mini Golf, Damper Making, Shelter Building, Ropes Course and Initiatives. The teachers ran all of the activities and they were all lots of fun!

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At the end of our fist day we had a go at Bush Dancing with Ken Hook. It was really, really fun!!

What did you enjoy most about Day One of camp?

The Resilience Project

We were very lucky to have Martin Heppel from “The Resilience Project” visit us today.

Martin spoke to us about gratitude. He told us about two young people he knew who were the happiest people, yet they did not have what many of us take for granted. One boy, Jeremy, could not eat or drink and moved around mainly in a wheelchair, yet he had the greatest sense of humour and was always looking for the positive side of things. The other boy live in Nepal and thought that he was incredibly lucky to be able to go to school even though he only got to go for 2 hours a day and there were no pencils, paper or rubbers at his school.

Martin told us about flipping our mood by thinking of the many  good things that happen on a daily basis rather than focussing on the (very few) negative.

He believes that four things are integral to everyone’s happiness and these are; laughter, dancing, music and exercise. He also touched on mindfulness and meditation which he suggested we should all try to do more often.

Martin was an inspiration to us all!



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What did you take away from Martin’s talk?



Today we began thinking about the things in life that we are grateful for……..

Mrs Kebbell is grateful for her beautiful class!

Mikka is grateful for her body,

Mackenzie is grateful for her family,

Zali is grateful for the roof above her head,

Miller is grateful for his friends,

Ned is grateful for swimming,

Chloe is grateful for her family,

Stella is grateful to have a school to go to!


What are you grateful for?