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The Positive Psychology movement is the study of the conditions and processes that lead to well-being and optimal life satisfaction. Positive Education at John Wollaston incorporates scientifically validated programs from the field of Positive Psychology that have a positive impact on student, staff and family well-being. We focus on the strategies and skills that enable people to flourish and thrive. 


Research around the world has highlighted the significant mental health issues experienced by our youth. A whole school well-being strategy is vital to inoculate all students and prepare them for the challenges they will encounter in their lives. We adopt a proactive, preventative approach that is grounded in the core social and emotional learning competencies and the central tenets of Positive Psychology. Our primary aim is to increase the experience of positive emotions in our students and encourage them to engage their strengths. Each program and strategy is carefully matched to the developmental needs of our students. Our pastoral programs are developed in accordance with the: 


  • John Wollaston School Mission Statement and Core Values  

  • International Baccalaureate Mission Statement (and IB Learner Profile)    

  • Principles of Positive Psychology and
    evidence based approaches to Socio-Emotional Learning


Our philosophy of care involves the whole school community working together; families, students and all staff. We aim to create ‘Bright Futures’ for our students; characterised by lifelong learning, resilience, displaying empathy for others and making a positive contribution to our world. The ‘Bright Future’ of our students depends on the action we take now.  

Our evidence-based programs begin in Pre-Kindergarten and end in Year 12, according to a clear developmental framework. In the Early Years, we recognise that nurturing and responsive relationships build healthy brain architecture to provide a strong foundation for learning, behaviour, and health. When protective relationships are not provided, elevated levels of stress hormones disrupt brain architecture by impairing cell growth and interfering with the formation of healthy neural circuits (Shonkoff, 2006).  In our Early Learning Centre, we acknowledge the importance of warm attachments and the role these healthy relationships play in the development of all children. During the middle primary years children begin to develop autonomy. It is this period of co-regulation that lays the groundwork for an emerging sense of self and therefore healthy independence and reciprocity in adolescent and young adult relationships (Levine, 2012). The Primary years are a crucial time in developing the emotional skills to enter adolescence; testing boundaries, the passion to explore the unknown and exciting. This sets the stage for the development of core character traits wisdom, courage, humanity, justice temperance and transcendence that will enable lives of great adventure and purpose (Siegel, 2014).  

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