Samuel Marsden Collegiate School launches Visible Wellbeing approach
In a first for New Zealand, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School has become a Visible Wellbeing school, partnering with leading international Positive Psychology expert, Professor Lea Waters, to expand their support of student wellbeing. This initiative distinguishes Marsden as the nation’s thought leader in Positive Education and wellbeing.
Adopting the Visible Wellbeing approach is the school’s ground-breaking and definitive response to the alarming prevalence of mental and emotional health disorders among school-age New Zealanders. “It’s about delivering wellbeing education that’s proactive, positive and effective”, said Principal, Narelle Umbers. “We’re not interested in a band aid approach or simply tacking on another programme that ticks the wellbeing box. The Visible Wellbeing approach will equip everyone at Marsden with the learning, skills and tools they need to be healthy – to learn and live well, to excel academically, and to give them a toolkit to maintain wellbeing beyond school as well.” “We’re investing in this”, Ms Umbers added, “because we don’t want our students and staff to be just ok, coping or even doing well. We want them to learn how to thrive now and throughout their lives.”
Visible Wellbeing was designed and perfected by Professor Waters, Founding Director of the University of Melbourne’s Positive Psychology Centre. It is the culmination of more than 20 years’ research and implementation across primary, secondary, co-ed and single sex schools in government and independent systems in North America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. By combining the science of learning and the science of wellbeing, Professor Waters has created an approach that allows staff and students to identify wellbeing in each other (it becomes visible). It gives them a framework that is embedded across all levels, subjects and co-curricular activity, to enhance wellbeing,
The framework covers aspects of wellbeing including identifying individual strengths; social-emotional learning; emotional intelligence; resilience, values, character, positive, contemplation and civics education; self-regulated learning; and positive youth development. This holistic wellbeing input, develops the individual and their prosocial perspective in a way that helps them learn, feel good, function well and do good.
Professor Lea Waters introducing the Visible Wellbeing approach to Marsden students and staff this month.
Longitudinal data confirms that the Visible Wellbeing approach works. It’s compelling, showing that secondary students with high levels of wellbeing enjoy the long term benefits of better physical health, better social relationships, more optimism for the future and higher academic performance.
Given the approach’s proven capacity to help students flourish psychologically, socially and academically it’s no wonder the whole community is excited and looking forward to its implementation.