The importance of a positive mindset and positive emotions for children’s wellbeing, learning, relationships and growth is now well-documented in research. Emotions such as happiness, excitement, joy, hope, gratitude, inspiration (and more) can be nurtured and strengthened by adults such as family members, teachers, other educators, coaches, mentors. They can also be built by peers such as friends, classmates, teammates.
Learning is enhanced by positive emotions. In the book ‘How We Learn’ (2018), Stanislas Dehaene discusses the critical importance of the simultaneous consideration of emotional and cognitive facets of the brain. ‘Positive emotions open the gates of neural plasticity, negative emotions crush the brain’s learning potential.’ Creativity, physical health, resilience, and general wellbeing are also beneficiaries of positivity.
Positivity and a growth mindset need to surround students in all aspects of their daily life and learning. How can we all support this?
Continually encouraging them to share their feelings, emphasising aspects of an activity or experience or the school day which went really well, being surrounded by positive people, learning positive self-talk, offering affirmations, viewing mistakes as learning opportunities, supporting personal interests, focusing on strengths are examples of ways in which positive emotions can be cultivated and further developed.
This week’s Leavers’ Assembly at the Elphin Campus is an example of a College tradition that has an enduring impact on Scotch Oakburn students. On their final school day, 39 Year 12 students who commenced their time at the College in Junior School years returned (together with many of their parents) for a special farewell led by the current Year 5 students, themselves on the verge of transition from Junior to Middle School. The Year 12’s shared reflections of their own Junior School years before being presented with a small memento from the Year 5’s. Following the Assembly, the students visited some of their previous Junior School teachers, classrooms and playground spaces.
Year 5, the final year of Junior School, is a year of leadership development and includes a range of leadership roles throughout the year. These include a rotation of House Captains and this week the Term 4 House Captains were announced. Congratulations to:
Dean: Elizabeth Bartholemew, Daniel Brumby
Briggs: Clarice Kirschbaum, Zander Brock
Fox: Ellie Toh, Finn Thorogood-Cooper
Nance: Gus Howard, Sienna Zeisemer
Head of Junior School