Department of Education - Learners First

Student Wellbeing

Rose Bay High school prioritises the Wellbeing of our learning community and we achieve this through:

  • Positive Education refers to the PERMAH framework which focuses on opportunities for positive emotions (e.g. joy, calmness, happiness), engagement (interested and involved in life) and relationships (feeling loved, valued and connected), meaning (feeling our lives are valuable and worthwhile) and accomplishment (ability to do things that matter to us).
  • School Wide Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) aims to ensure that student know, understand and demonstrate appropriate, respectful behaviours at all times in our learning environments throughout our school. This is achieved through a variety of methods, including our clear and agreed expectations: Respectful, safe learners.

Students are explicitly taught and modelled expected behaviours and rewarded for displaying these with our Tiger Stripes award system.

Data is collected and student progress is tracked in terms of positive achievements and areas for intentional, planned intervention to reshape undesired behaviours. By working together, this method of intervention ensures a proactive approach.

  • Restorative Practice encourages students to take responsibility for their actions both positive and negative, resulting in a supportive and positive school culture. The practice promotes strengthening and repairing relationships, repairing harm and rebuilding positive relations. It is common practice to guide students through the following questions as they reflect and work to resolve and restore:
  1. What happened?
  2. What did you think at the time?
  3. How did it make you feel?
  4. Who else has been affected by this?
  5. What do you need, or need to do now, so that the harm can be repaired?

Students are supported to successful participate in restorative conversations based on their individual, specific need.

Positive Psychology

When you ask most parents what they want for their children, the answer usually comes down to something along the lines of “we want our children to be happy.”  Research now clearly demonstrates that students with higher levels of well-being also have higher levels of academic performance.  In fact schools who have a social / emotional focus report 11% higher on achievement scores compared to those that don’t, which is the equivalent to an extra six months of schooling (Waters, Sun, Rusk, Cotton & Arch, 2017).

With one quarter of Australian youth reporting having a mental health disorder, Rose Bay High School has made a commitment to focus upon nurturing the well-being of our school community, which means our staff as well as our students.  We have made this commitment for two reasons, firstly, it’s the right thing to do (wellbeing for wellbeing sake) and secondly, the performance gains (for both staff and students) that we hope to make by improving our collective wellbeing over the next few years.

In its first iteration, our focus will be on improving the wellbeing literacy of our staff and that starts with building a shared language to be able to speak about, measure and improve wellbeing for themselves and ultimately their students.

While there are many ways of thinking about wellbeing, in its simplest form, wellbeing is our ability to feel good and function effectively physically, mentally, and socially (Huppert & So, 2013).  People who thrive are able to consistently maintain a high level of wellbeing, even as they navigate the highs and lows of life.

We have chosen to use the PERMAH framework to guide our wellbeing priority.  The popular PERMAH framework proposed by Professor Martin Seligman (2012), suggests our ability to thrive relies on opportunities for:

  • Positive emotions: experiencing positive feelings such as joy, calmness, and happiness.
  • Engagement: being interested and involved in life.
  • Relationships: feeling loved, valued, and connected with other people.
  • Meaning: feeling that our lives are valuable and worthwhile, and connecting to something bigger than ourselves.
  • Accomplishment: believing in our ability to do things that matter most to us, achieve goals, and have a sense of mastery.

We (and many others) believe that physical health is also a key part of wellbeing. So, we refer to this model as “PERMAH”.

If you would like further reading on the science of wellbeing in schools (Positive Education) please watch the short video summary on the link below:

https://www.ggs.vic.edu.au/School/Positive-Education/What-is-Positive-Education

You may also like to take the PERMAH Wellbeing survey to measure your own wellbeing at http://permahsurvey.com.

Staying Safe Online

Online safety resources are available at https://www.esafety.gov.au.