Strong Minds
Fostering wellbeing and resilience in primary schools

Strong Minds  – $4500

POSITIVE EDUCATION

Strong Minds is a great introduction to Positive Education, it is a wellbeing APPROACH. All schools should have a wellbeing approach (as well as wellbeing programs). Programs teach valuable social emotional skills. An approach is a cultural shift, where wellbeing underpins all aspects of the school. 

Strong Minds includes

  • 2 x teachers attendance at 5 hour NESA approved Strong Minds workshop
  • 2 hour NESA approved professional development for staff conducted by the Strong Minds Ambassador
  • 2 x Strength Based Parenting Videos for parents
  • A comprehensive digital manual encompassing background information regarding the theoretical basis for the package, activities to embed wellbeing across the whole school community, 56 lessons across K-6 with specified Australian & NSW PDHPE curriculum outcomes, and two scope and sequences for flexibility of delivery.
  • Extensive Resources: character strength posters, cards and charts tailored to each stage of learning
  • Lifetime Membership for staff and parents with supporting resources
  • Support for Strong Minds during implementation

BACKGROUND

Overview

Strong Minds utilises empirically supported Positive Psychology strategies that enhance wellbeing and learning. The primary focus of this is on Peterson and Seligman’s (2004) 24 character strengths. These are categorised under six virtues: Wisdom, Courage, Kindness, Community, Self-Control and Meaning.

This approach targets whole school communities to foster a culture of resilience.

Aims

The package 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.

STRONG MIND RESOURCES

Strong Minds includes the following resources:

  • A comprehensive digital manual
  • 4 x 24 character strength instructional poster sets
  • 4 x sets of 30 character strength stage specific charts
  • All staff receive an A2 Character Strength Poster
  • A Staff Character Strength Tree
  • 4 x 24 strength cards

LESSONS

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. Lessons are flexible in their implementation. They can be delivered as an eight week program once a week, or across the school year focusing on specific virtues – two scope and sequences are provided.

STAFF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The package includes:

  • Strong Minds Ambassador Workshop – 1 day Strong Minds Ambassador training for 2 teachers/school. In this engaging and interactive workshop staff will learn about:
    • The three primary theories of positive psychology which underpin intrinsic motivation, positive emotions, creativity and goal achievement
    • Seligman’s (2011) PERMA-H theory of wellbeing
    • Strong Minds Character Strength Workshop and resources
    • Implementation of Strong Minds, including a 1 term staff character strength wellbeing plan
  • Strong Minds Character Strength Workshop – 2 hour NESA approved staff professional development. This is conducted by the staff that attended the Strong Minds Ambassador Workshop. It is provided in an easy to administer format of a video and 6 activities. Staff will learn how to identify, develop and spot character strengths in themselves, colleagues and students. 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.

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS/CARERS

An extensive Members Portal is provided for staff and families. The family section has numerous videos including Strength Based Parenting videos. This teaches parents and carers about a Strength-Based Approach, including how they can utilise the strength language in the home. Research indicates that Strength Based Parenting reduces stress levels in children and increases their ability to cope 11.Specific resources on gratitude, kindness, Growth Mindset and mindfulness are also provided.

STRONG MIND BENEFITS

  • Complements wellbeing programs
  • Fully resourced and scripted lessons K-6 for time poor teachers
  • Easily embedded – provides a positive shared language,  extensive resources in Members Portalfor staff and parents
  • Support for parents to build resilience 
  • One term Staff Wellbeing Plan – enhances staff wellbeing and collegial relationships
  • Evidence based – positive psychology, counteracts our Negativity Bias. Focuses on the best in staff and students – their character strengths
  • Enhance the culture in your school, increases inclusivity
  • NESA points
  • A whole school approach
  • Supports the new PDHPE syllabus – a Strength Based Approach is 1 of the 5 Propositions
  • Supports the Wellbeing Framework – allows all staff and students to connect, succeed and thrive
  • Supports The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework – enhancing  school culture, increasing inclusion and belonging, collaborating with families and celebrating individual diversity 
  • Available throughout Australia (conducted over Zoom)

RESEARCH

  • When we work with our strengths we:
  • Perform better 1
  • Have greater self-esteem and vitality 2.
  • Increased subjective wellbeing 3. and
  • Are more resilient 4.
  • Those that know and use their strengths effectively are more likely to be successful and have better self-discipline. Self-discipline predicts academic success better than IQ 5.
  • Character education is positively related to academic achievement 6. and learning confidence in primary school students 7
  • Character strengths are linked to wellbeing and flourishing amongst children and youth 8.
  • Character strengths enhance engagement 9. Research found that employees who utilised their strengths at work were six times more likely to be engaged in their work 10.
  • Strength Based Parenting reduces stress levels in children and increases their ability to cope 11.
  • Character strengths enhance flourishing – research found that those who were aware of their strengths were 9 times more likely to be flourishing than those that were not aware 12.

1. Dubreuil, P., Forest, J., & Courcy, F. (2014). From strengths use to work performance: The role of harmonious passion, subjective vitality, and concentration. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9 (4)

2. Wood, A.M., Linley, P.A., Maltby. J. & Kashdan, T.B. (2010). Using personal and psychological strengths leads to increases in well being over time: A longitudinal study and the development of the Strengths Use Questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(1).

3. Govindji, R., & Linley, P. A. (2007). Strengths Use, Self-Concordance and Well- Being Implications for Strengths Coaching and Coaching Psychologists. International Coaching Psychology Review, 2,143-153

4. Martinez-Marti, M.L. & Ruch, W. (2017). Character strengths predict resilience over and above positive affect, self-efficacy, optimism, social support, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12 (2)

5. Duckworth, AL., & Seligman, M.E.P. (2005). Self-discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic performance of adolescents. American Psychological Society, 16, 939-944

6. Benninga, J.S., Berkowitz, M. W., Kuehn, P., & Smith, K. (2006). Character and academics: What good schools do. Phi Delta Kappan, 87(6), 448-452.

7. Bernard, M., & Walton, K. ( 2011) The effects of you can do it! Education in six schools on student perceptions of wellbeing, teaching, learning and relationships. Journal of Student Wellbeing, 5, 22-37.

8. Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2006). Moral competence and character strengths among adolescents: The development and validation of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 891-905. (c)

9. Peterson, C., Ruch, W., Beerman, U., Park, N., & Seligman, M.E.P. (2007). Strengths of character, orientations to happiness, and life satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 2, 149-156

10. Sorensen, S. (2014). How employees’ strengths make your company stronger. Gallup Business Journal

11. Linley, A., & Harrington, S. (2006). Playing to your strengths. Psychologist, 19, 86-8912. Hone, LC., Jarden, A., Duncan, S., & Schofield, G.M. (2015). Flourishing in New Zealand workers: Associations with lifestyle behaviours, physical health, psychosocial, and work related indicators. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(9), 973-983. 


Strong Minds Year 2  – $2800

Strong Minds can be purchased as a stand alone package.

However there is also the option for Strong Minds schools to purchase further resources in the following year.

This includes:

  • A NESA Approved 3 hour Staff Workshop – Exploring Character Strengths. This consists of:
    • Individual and pair activities to enhance staff wellbeing
    • Character strength stations – activities for your staffroom or classroom
    • A PERMA-H whole team silent conversation based on Appreciative Inquiry

Coming Soon!

Growing Strong Minds Premium Membership

We are developing an exciting new Annual Membership, stay tuned for further information.

Growing Strong Minds Testimonials

Find out about how participants of the Growing Strong Minds workshop have enjoyed their experience.