What is Wellbeing?

Previous Page
“St Peter’s College and the Melbourne Graduate School of Education have taken a leading role in developing wellbeing and positive psychology in education in Australia. This collaboration has seen St Peter’s College successfully infuse wellbeing principles into the fabric of school life, as well to wider understanding through a number of publications”.Glyn Davis AC, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne

At Saints, we believe that developing a boy’s character is as important as fostering his intellect. Our wellbeing strategy builds upon the traditional pastoral care model already applied within the School by focusing on teaching preventative mental health strategies throughout a boy’s experience at Saints.

Our wellbeing framework is informed by positive psychology the “scientific study of what goes right in life”. Two models influence wellbeing at Saints. Professor Martin Seligman's five elements of wellbeing described by the acronym PERMA: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. Second, six scientifically informed wellbeing pathways developed by Reuben Rusk and Lea Waters focusing on: building attention,knowing and understanding emotions, developing coping skills, goal setting,relationships, and character strengths.

Why wellbeing?

The future of our boys depends on what we do today. Saints’ wellbeing strategy is a preventative approach. We believe a wellbeing strategy is one of the hallmarks of a great school. 1 in 4 Australians will experience mental illness requiring intervention between the ages of 16-24 years and in Australia. For boys and men’s mental health, the statistics are more sobering. By 2030 the World Health Organization has predicted that depression will be the top global disease. We teach scientifically informed programs and provide structural support aligned with recommendations by organisations including Young and Well CRC, BeyondBlue, MindMatters, KidsMatter and the Black Dog Institute.

What is positive education?

Positive education is a blend of the science of positive psychology and best practice in learning and teaching. It is an umbrella term used to describe empirically validated programs informed by positive psychology that have an impact on student wellbeing.

Positive education is the way we deliver our wellbeing framework at Saints. It is an approach to education for both traditional skills and character development. We teach positive education classes once a week from ELC – Year 10 with a carefully designed developmental program.

Key concepts in positive education

An essential part of Saints curriculum since 2011, today every over 1400 boys at Saints has studied positive education classes across the School. We teach seven positive education programs and integrate these principles in sports coaching throughout the School. These have been chosen because of the science behind them; they support our existing pastoral care structures in Junior and Senior School and align with Professor Seligman’s PERMA model.

At Saints, we have a team of over 65 teachers in the Junior and Senior Schools delivering these programs. This is combined with our traditional House and Mentor systems in Senior School. The seven programs we teach come from Australia, United Kingdom and the United States of America. We have even developed some of our own programs.

You can still access the main menu here.