PRESBYTERIAN Ladies’ College has introduced a new program into its curriculum that involves the wellbeing of students being measured and tested.
The Positive Education – Visible Wellbeing program was introduced to staff members this month by creator and globally recognised leader in the positive education movement, Professor Lea Waters.
Last year, the Peppermint Grove college created a Director of Wellbeing role, appointing psychologist Laura Allison.
Ms Allison said statistics pointed to increasing numbers of school age children suffering from mental illness.
“The first is showing our teachers how to infuse wellbeing into teaching practices,” she said.
“This means introducing exercises and activities to get them into the right emotional space to learn.
“Students will set learning goals as well as wellbeing goals.”
Ms Allison said there was a noticeable correlation between students’ wellbeing and their academic results.
“Repeated results shows when you teach kids these skills, then there’s about a 10 to 11 per cent increase on academic results,” she said.
“If they are not in a good space, they are not as productive.”
A wellbeing centre is currently under construction at the school and should be completed by the end of the year.
Known as the Lighthouse Centre, it will be available to the whole school community.
“The centre is open to students and parents as a place to practice wellbeing,” Ms Allison said.
“If you want to get physically fit, you go to a gym.
“So if you want to get mentally fit, you can go to the Lighthouse Centre.
“Early identification and intervention for kids suffering illness is what we are aiming to do, so when kids aren’t well, we need to act.
“Prevention is better than cure.”