Posted on February 11, 2019
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” – Germany Kent
As we commence the new school year it is always a good opportunity to reflect on just how incredibly lucky we are. As I walk through the restful green areas of our schoolyard, I am greeted warmly by students as we move towards class. I see other teachers and students walking side by side continuing the conversations started through their lessons. In class I see students asking questions, keen to extend their understanding. Throughout the halls I see students laughing with each other as they travel along. Laughter can be such a powerful tool to lift spirits when life becomes challenging. Whilst I know that this is not the experience for every student every day, it would be far too easy to only see the negatives in life, without grasping onto what we could be grateful for. I see students who have the freedom to express their opinions openly, to speak bravely in front of their peers and staff and to choose to navigate a path that may be different to others.
This year we are very excited to be implementing the Resilience Project across our Middle School. As you may be aware in Australia 1 in 4 adolescents will experience mental health problems this year. The key to reducing these figures is prevention. Even for students who will never experience a mental health issue, the benefits, in terms of increasing capacity to deal with challenges, changes and stressors, are endless. Our Middle School uses the Resilience Project as a foundation for the development of our student’s wellbeing and reducing the likelihood of mental health issues arising. The program delivers emotionally engaging activities providing evidence-based programs to build resilience and happiness.
These fit into four key areas:
Gratitude. The act of being thankful and appreciating what you have in life.
Empathy (kindness). The capacity to understand and feel what another person is feeling.
Mindfulness. The practise of attention regulation.
Emotional Literacy. Develops their ability to understand and express their emotions, and practise how to manage them.
This year students will be encouraged to take moments to identify areas of life that they are grateful for such as the simple aspects of life that we can so easily overlook. They will be encouraged to engage in mindfulness practice such as connecting with nature, exercise and reading for pleasure. They will be supported in ways to increase their emotional literacy and to seek to develop greater empathy towards their peers and others. These daily practices which are encouraged by the Resilience Project as well as specific focus lessons will work alongside academic classes to help our students navigate these complex middle years.
If you would like to know more about what the Resilience Project, I encourage you to come along tonight to our Parent Information night at 7pm in the CM Wood and hear directly from Hugh van Cuylenburg the founder of the Resilience Project. He will explain the rationale behind the program and the potential benefits to students who engage with the material. If you would like to read more about the project click here https://theresilienceproject.com.au/
If you would also like to read about the supporting literature that the Resilience project have used to create their program (such as Harvard Medical school) please click here https://theresilienceproject.com.au/resources-references/
The other resource I would like to direct you to is our School TV program as I mentioned at our recent Middle School Parent information night. This website is an invaluable resource of interesting and short videos from leading experts such as Dr Michael Carr-Gregg that are written specifically for parents. It is free for you to use and there are many topics to choose from across several key parenting areas. This week’s key article on how to survive school transition from Primary to Secondary school may be of particular interest to our Year 7 parents. Click here https://tintern.vic.schooltv.me/newsletter/school-transitions. Throughout the year I will highlight any key articles I think would be of value to you. You are also welcome to explore the topics by clicking here: https://tintern.vic.schooltv.me/category-latest-newsletter
Thank you for those who have been able to attend our recent Foundation Assembly. It was a wonderful opportunity to induct our new Year 7 Students as we celebrated our school’s past, present, and future. This coming Friday 15 February we have our annual House Swimming event with the girls competing in the morning and the boys in the afternoon. You would be very welcome to come along and join us at this exciting event.
You are also warmly invited to our Principal’s Drinks for Years 7 – 12 Parents on Thursday 21 February 2019, 6.00 – 7.30pm in the Year 9 Courtyard. This relaxed event is a space for our Tintern families to catch up and to welcome our new families. For catering purposes please register your place via Trybooking.
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year.