Y8 daily wellbeing journalsJune 23, 2023
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of holistic education that encompasses not only academic achievement but also the overall wellbeing of students. This term, Year 8 has been focusing on nurturing gratitude, empathy, mindfulness and service, to empower our students to cultivate positive relationships, develop resilience and thrive in all areas of their lives.
Gratitude helps individuals appreciate the people around them, the opportunities they are afforded and what they have. Grateful students are more likely to express kindness, demonstrate resilience, and have a strong sense of satisfaction and contentment.
In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, empathy is a vital skill that promotes understanding, respect and positive relationships with parents, siblings, peers and teachers. By teaching empathy, we encourage students to develop compassion, perspective-taking and the capacity to work collaboratively with others.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, which can be incredibly hard to achieve in a turbulent and demanding technological world. It helps students develop self-awareness, emotional regulation and stress reduction techniques.
Engaging in acts of service helps students develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and needs of others. By actively participating in acts of service, young people learn the power of making a positive impact on their families, peers and wider community. This fosters a strong sense of social responsibility, fulfilment and purpose.
Whilst each of these aspects has been explicitly taught as part of the Pastoral Care program, they are also embedded into the curriculum across subject areas and demonstrated to the students in their interactions with the Student Leadership Team, teachers, support staff and the College Executive.
Year 8 students have each been provided with a journal that provides a scaffold for incorporating these practices into their daily lives. Young people are often in the habit of focusing on the negative—the journal activities encourage our students to focus on the positive interactions and achievements they experience throughout their day. The resource was created drawing on resources from GEM by Hugh van Cuylenburg, The Resilience Project, Positive Psychology, Growing with Gratitude, as well as input from Year 8 students. We have set the students the goal of completing 21 days of reflection in their journals, and we are very pleased that many Year 8 families are now completing journals together at home.