Mackellar Primary School has an accredited partnership with The Resilience Project. The Resilience Project complements and strengthens our approaches to Wellbeing in relation to School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support, Anti-bullying strategies, Restorative Practices, Peer Mediator Program, Better Buddies Program, Growth Mindset, and our commitment to the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Curriculum, where students are empowered to develop positive relationships through pro- social behaviours.

Social and Emotional Learning

Mackellar Primary School plays a pivotal role in providing students with opportunities to gain greater social and emotional awareness and interpersonal skills as they learn and grow. Extensive research and evidence shows a direct link between social and emotional skills and academic achievement. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs give students opportunities to build resilience, an essential skill for positive mental health. Students also develop the ability care for others, manage challenging situations, make responsible decisions and establish positive relationships.

The Resilience Project Themes

The Resilience Project evidence based approaches and curriculum resources provides teachers and students with practical strategies to build resilience and promote positive mental health. All lessons are linked to the Victorian Curriculum and have been designed by an experienced team of psychologists and teachers. The lessons focus on Character Strengths and rotate through the themes of Empathy, Gratitude, Mindfulness and Emotional Literacy using film, books, stories, drama and activities to engage students. The program also measures student wellbeing before, during and after learning.

Student journals from Foundation Level to Grade Six provide students with opportunities to practice the techniques and strategies and reflect on their learning.

The Resilience Project website – http://theresilienceproject.com.au/schools/

Smiling Mind – App for Children and Adults

You may have heard your child talk about Mindfulness and the Smiling Mind App which is being used in many classrooms at Mackellar as part of our social and emotional learning program The Resilience Project.

Smiling Mind is a free program that provides resources to support the development

of mindfulness and meditation skills. These skills help to manage stress, increase awareness of emotions, improve attention and focus, and can prevent difficulties from getting worse.

The Smiling Mind website (smilingmind.com) and smartphone App provide information about mindfulness and action-based tools to guide children (starting from seven years) and adults through Mindfulness Meditation practices.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of being fully awake to life – being undistracted in the present moment and observing life as it unfolds without analysis and judgment. It is about focusing attention on the present, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness Meditation is a clinically proven tool to support wellbeing and mental health. It involves setting aside time in a quiet space to focus on the present moment and what’s happening internally and externally. Practising Mindfulness Meditation helps to develop the state of mindfulness

that allows us to reduce stress and experience life more fully.

How can Mindfulness Meditation benefit student wellbeing and learning?

International literature and clinical trials reveal that mindfulness can help reduce and
prevent depression in adolescents, specifically within school settings. What’s more, mindfulness has the two-fold affect of supporting academic pursuits and is demonstrated to aid learning, memory processing and emotion regulation.
In addition, Mindfulness Meditation has been shown to:

  •   reduce stress
  •   increase resilience
  •   increase positive emotions
  •   boost self-esteem
  •   improve attention and focus.
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