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Not for ourselves alone

Positive Education

More about Positive Education

Across every aspect of our school, we believe that developing the optimism and resilience that students need to successfully navigate life is as important as academic education. These strengths will also enhance their engagement with learning. To this end, we have built positive education strategies into our curriculum, our policies and procedures and into an explicit Positive Education course.

Based on the research of the world-renowned psychologist Professor Martin Seligman and others, Positive Education is the practical application of Positive Psychology within a school. This highly regarded branch of psychology focuses on building a person’s wellbeingand the skills that will enable them to flourish in life.  Since 2012 we have been working with Professor Seligman and others to implement this ground-breaking approach both in the school and the wider community.

Given the prevalence of adolescent depression and anxiety, the Australian suicide rate and the rapidly changing world we live in, Mount Barker High School is committed to developing a strengths-based culture that promotes the development of wellbeing in staff, students and the society we live in. Professor Seligman uses the acronym PERMA, to define wellbeing, and believes that by building PERMA we provide “an inoculation against poor mental health.”

Perma logoPERMA

  • Positive Emotion
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment/Achievement

By teaching simple, research-based life skills, it is possible to build a person’s PERMA. All of us at Mount Barker High School strive to make our school a learning environment that uses these skills to build student achievement and wellbeing; and further promote Positive Education to parents, local schools and the broader Mount Barker community.