• Overview

    Author(s)
    Nicole Nossiter
    Who is this for?
    Children/Students, Parents/Carers, Primary teachers and staff
    Who is this from?
    Primary teachers and staff, Other
    Domains
    Mentally Healthy Communities, Family Partnerships, Learning Resilience
    Settings
    Primary School
    Topics
    Social and emotional learning, Families and parenting education
    Aims
    The program specifically aims to assist students, teachers and parents to identify and grow their own strengths, in addition to recognising and appreciating strengths in others. This builds relationships, self-esteem, and a positive environment, fostering inclusivity and resilience.
    Cost
    Total cost of the Strong Minds Package is $4500, including GST . Please note extra travel expenses apply for locations greater than 50kms from Sydney CBD.
    Location
    Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania
    Organisation
    Growing Strong Minds
    Mobile number
    0402 709 543
    Email
    nicole@growingstrongminds.com
  • Implementation

    Detailed description

    The Strong Minds package utilises empirically supported Positive Psychology strategies that enhance wellbeing and learning. The primary focus of this is on Peterson and Seligman s (2004) Character Strengths. This approach targets whole school communities to foster a culture of resilience. The Strong Minds package is an approach to embed wellbeing across the whole school community.|In the Strong Minds package, Peterson and Seligman s (2004) 24 ˜Character Strengths are taught both implicitly and explicitly. These are categorised under six virtues: Wisdom, Courage, Kindness, Community, Self-Control and Meaning. Students, teachers and parents learn how to recognise strengths in themselves, as well as in others. Strength spotting in the classroom, playground, staffroom and at home helps to build a positive environment that rewards pro-social behaviour.

    Program structure & method delivery

    Strong Minds is delivered as a package, which includes:|Professional development for staff| Information session for parents| A comprehensive digital manual encompassing background information regarding the theoretical basis for the program; activities to embed wellbeing across the whole school community; 32 lessons across K-6 with specified curriculum outcomes; and two scope and sequences for flexibility of delivery.| Extensive Resources: character strength posters, cards, charts and leaf cards, tailored to each stage of learning.|Within the Strong Minds package there are 4 sets of resources, one for each Stage.|Early Stage One (Kindergarten),| Stage One (Years 1-2)| Stage 2 (Years 3-4) and| Stage 3 (Years 5-6)|Each resource set comprises:|A comprehensive digital manual (outlined above) - including 8 lessons| 24 character strength instructional posters| A set of 30 x character strength stage specific charts| A set of 30 x character strength stage specific cards|.|The lessons consist of the following Character Strengths:|Early Stage One: Creativity, Bravery, Love, Fairness, Self-Regulation and Gratitude| Stage One: Curiosity, Energy, Kindness, Fairness, Forgiveness and Humour.| Stage Two: Love of Learning, Perseverance, Social Intelligence, Teamwork, Humility, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, and Spirituality.| Stage Three: Open-Mindedness, Wisdom, Authenticity, Kindness, Leadership, Prudence and Hope.|The Strong Minds lessons are implemented with the students and teacher sitting in a circle, and include a combination of pair-share, whole class, and individual exercises. The Strong Minds lessons are flexible in their implementation. They can be delivered as an 8-week program once a week, or across the school year focusing on specific virtues.

    Student assessment measures

    No

    Professional learning compulsory

    Yes

    Staff professional learning (PL): The package includes 1.5 hours of staff professional development. Ideally this should be offered to all staff (i.e., teachers, non-teaching staff, cleaners etc) to ensure the culture of wellbeing permeates the whole school community. The training is compulsory for all classroom teachers, as they will be facilitating the character strength lessons, and need to have experienced implementing these strengths themselves before teaching them. The cost for this is inclusive in the Strong Minds Package.

  • Evidence

    Identified theoretical framework

    Strong Minds is based on the theoretical principles that underpin positive psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy. In particular the identification and utilisation of character strengths, promotion of positive emotions, positive relationships, mindfulness, and helpful thinking.|The format for this package is modelled on an Applied Model for Positive Education as developed by Geelong Grammar School. This outlines the need to ˜Live It, Teach It and Embed It (Norrish, Williams, O-Connor & Robinson, 2013), which refers to staff firstly experiencing positive education for themselves, then teaching it to the students, and finally ingraining it within the school culture.

    References

    White, M.A., & Waters, L.E. (2014). A case study of ˜The Good School: Examples of the use of Peterson s strength-based approach with students. The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2014.920408|Seligman, M.E.P., Ernst, R.M., Gillham, J.,Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35, (3), 293-311.|Madden, W, Green, S, & Grant, A. (2011). A pilot study evaluating strengths-based coaching for primary school students: Enhancing engagement and hope. The British Psychological Society, 6 (1), 71-83.|Marques, S.C., Pais-Ribeiro, J.L., & Lopez,S.J. (2011). The Role of Positive Psychology Constructs in Predicting Menatl Health and Academic Achievement in Children and Adolescents: A Two-Year Longitudinal Study. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12, 1049-1062.
  • Authors

    Author(s)

    Nicole Nossiter

    About author(s)

    Nicole Nossiter is principal and founder of Growing Strong Minds. Nicole is a registered psychologist and former primary school teacher. Nicole has a passion for Positive Psychology and its application in schools - Positive Education. She is inspired to offer scientifically proven Positive Psychology and cognitive-behavioural strategies to students, teachers and parents in Primary Schools. In particular, Nicole s expertise lies in strength based approaches to enhance wellbeing and resilience of students and staff.|Nicole is a member of the International Society for Coaching Psychology (MISCP), the Positive Education Schools Association (PESA) and an Associate of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA).