Hope

According to the VIA Character Strengths website, “Hope” is one of the two-character strengths most associated with life satisfaction and well-being.

We know that learning about and practising character strengths can act as buffers against ill being (the opposite of wellbeing). This is why we use fun activities in PosEd classes (formally known as “interventions”).  The character strength “Hope” means being optimistic about the future. Hope involves agency as it is connected with motivation and confidence to achieve goals and the knowledge that there are many different pathways to achieving the desired future.

At BHPS, Hope lies within the ‘Positive Emotions’ arm of our PERMA wellbeing model because people with hope ‘have lots to look forward to’.

With Christmas and the Summer holidays around the corner, what are you looking forward to?

What We’ll Build by Oliver Jeffers

What Do You Do With A Chance?  A book about making the most of opportunities.

We all love Kid President and this is a report about his personal story which gives us an insight, possibly,  as to what a resilient and hope spreading person he is!

 

Prudence

People who are prudent think carefully and make sensible and smart choices. Prudent people plan carefully and think before they act or speak.

Prudence sits within the “Meaning” arm of the BHPS starfish and there are quite a few goals that  people who are keen to be more prudent can aspire to. These include:

  • Doing things that make a positive difference,
  • using the character strengths of positive role models and
  • helping others.

Being prudent can also mean making sensible decisions about where you can seek help if needed and knowing who you can help.

 

Motto: Think before you act.

“Make smart choices,” is a rule that can be easily applied to primary school students. There are many ways to see how it works. Think about the smart and foolish choices made by characters in a story, famous historical individuals and/or students in the playground.  Prudent decisions are wise decisions and making thoughtless choices without thinking before acting are the opposite.

Some examples of books wherein the characters display prudence (or not!) include:

“The Ant and the Grasshopper” is a fable wherein the organised ant plans for the Winter while the arrogant and lazy grasshopper makes fun of the ant. The grasshopper regrets his not so prudent decision making later!

“Can I Join Your Club” shows the main character being rejected by the other animals and making the decision to make his own club where everyone belongs.

 

Finally, “How to Heal a Broken Wing,” by Bob Graham shows a little boy in a sea of adults making the prudent and kind decision to help a bird lying injured on the pavement.

Love of Learning

 

As we edge towards the end of the year, it is a good time to reflect on the ‘Love of Learning’ character strength. What is it that you, as a learner enjoy or have a yearning to learn more about? What subject or area have you felt most passionate about learning this year? Do you have an interest that you feel passionate about?

People who possess the character strength love of learning are motivated to acquire new skills or knowledge or to build on existing skills or knowledge. They feel good when they are learning new things, even though they may occasionally become frustrated when the material is challenging.

 

 

Gratitude

 

Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest tools that you can use to improve how you are feeling.

Research has shown that the positive side effects of using gratitude include physical benefits such as better sleep and psychological benefits including less anxiety and increased happiness and resilience.  It is the social benefits that can help us all at this time as these include; fewer feelings of loneliness and isolation, increased forgiveness and greater helpfulness and generosity.

When thinking about the things that we are grateful for, the benfits will be greater if you don’t think about the “things” you have, such as toys but rather, look for kindness from others, or a kind deed that you have seen or been involved in.

Sone of the ways in which you can practice gratitude is to write a gratitude journal, make a list or share with others, three things which you are grateful for.

Another way of practicing gratitude is to be a gratitude detective by watching for kind and caring behaviour from other people.

How about boosting your wellbeing by setting yourself a challenge to show gratitude in some way every day?

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership

At this time of the year at school “Leadership” is on the minds of some of us as we think about our goals for the remainder of the year the the year that is ahead of us.

People who are good leaders are able to organise their group and make sure that everyone feels included.

When thinking about Leadership, we can all bring to mind people who we know and admire who are great leaders. Some of these include our parents, family members, teachers and public figures. Nelson Mandela is one who springs to mind for me as does Bachar Houli, the Richmond AFL player.

“The Lorax” is a great example of leadership. The main character is upstanding, inspiring and brave enough to do what’s right.

Positive bystanders are also good leaders as they stand up for what they know to be right.

A big part of being a great leader comes within the MEANING part of our PERMA model – I belong to world bigger than my own. Which of the statements do you think apply to leadership?

This is a clip from when Barack Obama was the President of the US and here he and Kid President talk about what it means to be a good leader.

All the Character strengths and more are needed for being a good leader!

Wisdom

 

People with wisdom are wise and understand what is important in life. Having wisdom means being able to give advice and recognising different sides before making decisions.

Older people are said to be wise as they have lived through so many different experiences. People with wisdom are often understanding and have a bank of knowledge or learning from the past that they use to choose from. They think before they speak or offer advice.

Can you think of a person or a mentor who shows the Character Strength of Wisdom? What about Aesop’s fables? Can you think of any fables wherein characters display wisdom?

What have you learnt about life? What words of wisdom would you give to a student younger than you?

 

The Three Questions

Accomplishment

 

 

The Barwon Heads Primary School PERMA defines Acccomplishment as having a “growth mindset”. This is about the beliefs that students have about their learning intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.

At Barwon Heads Primary School, the following statements relate to Accomplishment:

-Think positive thoughts and don’t give up

-Challenge myself

-always do the best I can

-have a growth mindset

-learning from my mistakes

-believe in myself

-achieve my personal best and not compare myself to others

-make a plan and work hard to achieve my goals.

 

 

Meaning

At BHPS our wellbeing model now includes “Meaning”. We felt it was important to include meaning because the presence of meaning leads to greater fulfillment and, ultimately, wellbeing. People’s work, especially occupations such as teaching, that serve others, volunteering and raising children can provide a sense of purpose. Expressing gratitude, identifying your strengths, respecting our environment, taking time to reflect and understand what is important to you, helping others and living your life with integrity are all ways to live a more meaningful life.

Our wellbeing model defines “Meaning” as: I belong to a world bigger than my own and means:

  • look after and respect our environment
  • use the character strengths of positive role models
  • make decisions, ask questions and reflect on my learning and my goals
  • use my strengths in all I do
  • do things that make a positive difference
  • help others
  • contribute to developing and using our class expectations
  • confidently voice my ideas
  • recognise that I am part of a school and wider community

 

Caine’s Arcade complements quite a few of our Character Strengths and our PERMA model. How does it relate to meaning?

 

Relationships

 

At Barwon Heads Primary School, “Relationships” is an important part of our PERMA wellbeing model and means: I accept, understand and empathise with others. Our positive statements relating to relationships are:

I can

  • show respect to everyone.
  • be a positive bystander
  • be a bucket filler
  • be open minded towards others and their ideas.
  • take responsibility when I make a mistake
  • forgive others
  • be kind to everyone
  • work to fix relationships
  • include others
  • care about the feelings of others

Happiness is linked with close, meaningful, friendships. Our relationships with others support positive emotions. When we have friends, and groups of friends, these relationships can spread happiness, cheer and laughter like wild fire! Just think of how much happier you are to be back at school (after remote learning) and being able to see and play with your friends again!

 

Our classic book where we use the bucket filling metaphor for filling others with kindness.

I love the kindness illustrated in this clip.

Can I join your club?

What makes a good friend?

Young kids talk about what friendship means to them

Engagement

This week at Barwon Heads PS we will continue to unpack our PERMA wellbeing statements whilst looking at ENGAGEMENT.

Engagement means: Making the most of learning opportunities and to be successful in doing this you can:

∙ be enthusiastic towards my learning

∙ tune in to instruction and tasks

∙ use the Learning Focus and Success Criteria

∙ make the most of conferencing time with my teacher

∙ do my best to achieve flow when doing activities I enjoy most

∙ focus on my school-work

∙ follow my class and school rules

∙ think before I act or speak

∙ act with self-control in the classroom and playground

 

Thank you, Mr. Falker is a story about a girl who shows a growth mindset, persistence and engagement in her learning to achieve success with her reading – helped by her kind teacher!

Simon the Self Control Seal

Argyle Fox