The Wellbeing of Individuals
Loreto College understands that its responsibilities to students relate not only to their educational and spiritual progress, but also to their wellbeing as individuals. Through our House system, we strive to show respect for one another and treat one another with dignity, so that each student has a confident sense of self-worth and a willingness to take initiative, accept responsibility and exercise leadership.
A sense of belonging
A crucial element of pastoral care is using ‘fun’ to help students develop a sense of connectedness and belonging. Research has highlighted how important connectedness is to adolescents and feelings of self-worth. Loreto College uses the House Co-Curricular Program, Gonzaga Barry Day and other events to provide opportunities for students to have fun and feel nurtured as members of the Loreto community. The House system also reinforces a sense of belonging through a range of activities, including House Choirs, sporting carnivals and casual days, and provides students with leadership opportunities.
Every student belongs to a Mentor Group, which in turn belongs to one of four Houses – Barry, Mornane, Mulhall or Ward. Each of the Houses is named after a Loreto Sister of significance.
Each Mentor Group comprises students from either Years 7 and 8 or Years 9 to 12, promoting connection, communication and understanding between all students. The Mentor Group arrangement is designed to allow students and their parents the continuity of a Mentor Teacher for more than one year (wherever possible) as a communication point for the discussion of students’ overall progress with their families.
Felicitous Life – Positive Education
Teaching students to Flourish
Felicitous Life is a holistic wellbeing program for Year’s 7 – 12 at Loreto College Ballarat based on the principals of Positive Psychology.
Loreto College has five values which guide our teaching and learning philosophy: Freedom, Justice, Sincerity, Verity and Felicity. While there are elements of all five values in our wellbeing programs, it is the value of Felicity that drives our desire to have all students learn how to flourish and live a life with “a positive attitude of mind, a disposition of the heart which manifests itself in cheerfulness, good humour, joy, happiness, hope, optimism, friendliness, courtesy, positive thinking, inner peace, self-acceptance and courage.”
Traditional education plus approaches that nurture wellbeing and promote mental health. (Seligman, 2011)
The foundations for the Felicitous Life program is based on the positive education principals of PERMA (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment) by Professor Martin Seligman, and on The Foundations of Positive Education set out by The Positivity Institute under the guidance of its founder and CEO Dr Suzy Green who is working with Loreto College Ballarat to facilitate the implementation of a Positive Education program. Elements have been adapted to meet the needs of Loreto College Ballarat, specifically replacing the category of Meaning from PERMA and replacing it with Positive Purpose as it fits into the concept of spirituality in line with the schools Catholic values. Positive Health has also been included as suggested by literature reviews from the Geelong Grammar positive education program by Norrish, Robinson and Williams, 2011 emphasising the importance of positive health values in the health curriculum. Having six categories of positive education is also in line with Dr Suzy Green’s 6-M model of positive education (Mindset, Mood, Motivation, Mindfulness, Meaning and Might).
The Felicitous Life Model at Loreto College Ballarat
The “Felicitous Life” model of positive education for Loreto College Ballarat includes the categories of Positive Accomplishment (Mindset), Positive Emotions (Mood), Positive Engagement (Motivation), Positive Health (Mindfulness), Positive Purpose (Meaning) and Positive Relationships (Might).
Overlapping all of these principals is the understanding of Strengths Based Learning focusing on the 24 Values in Action (VIA) framework (Peterson & Seligman, 2014).
Dr Suzy Green & Dr Martin Seligman (below)