Students across the College from Prep onwards are engaged in The Resilience Project. This involves three key strands of learning – Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness – providing a foundation for Emotional Literacy development. Devoting a brief, focused time to this personal development learning on a regular (daily) basis helps learners embed these traits ‘within themselves’, enact them in interactions with others, and in turn enhance the effectiveness of academic learning time.
The goals of The Resilience Project are ‘to teach positive mental health strategies to help children to be happy and become more resilient’ and the Project defines the strands as follows:
‘Gratitude is about paying more attention to the things and moments we have right now and not worrying about what we don’t have. This can be practised by consciously noticing the positives that exist around us and by being thankful each day for things, places and people in our lives.’
‘Empathy and kindness are closely linked. So are empathy and compassion. To be empathetic is to put ourselves in the shoes of others to see and feel what they are. We practice this by being kind to other people in our words and actions.’
‘Mindfulness activities help us to be present in the moment and have a calming effect. They support concentration and self-regulation. We practice mindfulness by slowing down and concentrating on one thing at a time.’
Emotional Literacy centres on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills and means ‘the ability to understand ourselves and other people, and in particular to be aware of, understand, and use information about the emotional states of ourselves and others with competence’.
As with all areas of learning, there is a wide range of developmental stages in emotional literacy development among students in a class or cohort or school. To continually build happiness and resilience all students need to have their emotional literacy nurtured, supported and encouraged through talking, teaching, practising and empowering them to navigate the emotional ups and downs of growing up successfully.
A wealth of further information for families can be found on The Resilience Project website.