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Exciting initiative focuses on wellbeing, positive education

Exciting initiative focuses on wellbeing and positive education

The growing emphasis on positive education in schools will see 200 teachers and coaches from throughout New Zealand gather in Christchurch for the inaugural Positive Education New Zealand conference tomorrow and Saturday (March 10-11).

Christ’s College is hosting the conference with the 12 speakers comprising a mix of positive education and psychology specialists.

The conference is the brainchild of a group called 100 Per Cent Project, which is owned by Dr Lucy Hone, Gemma McCaw, mental skills trainer and counsellor John Quinn, and former Silver Fern Maree Bowden.

Quinn, who joined Christ’s College this year as Director of Wellbeing and Positive Education, says schools are increasingly taking a new approach to positive education.

"We know that wellness is the foundation of success and happiness in our lives. When we’re able build a strong foundation, we are able to manage the highs and lows that we all experience in life. This conference will explore the science around this and give teachers tools to support themselves and their students inside and outside school."

At Christ’s College, Quinn is leading a three-year implementation of a programme that will see positive education embedded across the school, both inside and outside the classroom.

“Young people need help to build resilience, grit and optimism. Our role is to give them as many tools as we can to manage life. It’s not about reducing stress, because stress isn’t going to go away. It’s about having the tools to manage stress.

“People have a choice about how to live their lives. Happiness, for most of us, is a choice. I really believe that people need to continue to work at happiness – it won’t just arrive – we have to go out and get it. We need to create positive emotions, to be engaged in what we’ve doing. What is your meaning and purpose? What are you doing in your life that you feel a sense of achievement from?

“We want to get kids to understand that if you’re giving 100%, what else is there to give. As a society, we tend to be very outcome focused so we need to redefine success. It’s not that academic excellence isn’t important, but an excellent effort is more important. Success needs to focus on the characteristics that allow you to be successful such as work ethic and determination. If you’ve done all you can but you haven’t quite reached your goal, yes be disappointed but still celebrate what you’ve done so far.”

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