We were very fortunate to host Mr Simon Murray OAM at St Andrew’s College last week, during which time he introduced the basic tenets of Positive Education to the staff of the three schools, as well as to a core group of boys.
The term Positive Psychology (upon which Positive Education is founded) has been around since the late 1980’s and denotes a shift from a traditional focus on disorder and ill-being, to pursuing behaviours and ways of being that promote healthy mental functioning and well-being. It is with this aim in mind that we have decided to embark on the journey of implementing Positive Education as a vehicle to instill healthy habits of thought, doing and being at St Andrew’s College.
The aim is to identify each boys’ key strengths and develop them rather than setting out to repair perceived weaknesses, so that each boy develops his potential and can flourish.
The focus on Positive Education will not be for the good of St Andrew’s College only, as we shall be seeking ways to pay the lessons learnt forward to our broader local community and beyond. To this end St Andrew’s held a Positive Education seminar hosted by Mr Murray on Friday, 26 October.
Approximately 40 teachers and heads of school attended the seminar from all over South Africa and much interest was expressed in forming a Positive Education Schools’ Association for South Africa, mirroring the process employed by the Positive Education Schools’ Association in Australia, chaired by Mr Murray.
As the process unfolds at St Andrew’s College, our hope is to weave Positive Psychology into the fabric of all that we do as a school, whether it be in the classroom, on the sports field or in the boarding houses. Our goal is to continue to develop our Positive Education strategy in the coming months and to host a National Positive Education Conference at St Andrew’s College in 2019.