Flourishing | Coomera Anglican College

Flourishing

Wellbeing at Coomera Anglican College

By: Ben Campbell, Head of Student Development Preparatory to Year 6

We have an holistic approach to education by embedding wellbeing at the core of the curriculum. Inspiring excellence is a powerful and ambitious statement, which despite its simplicity is multi-dimensional.

In the same way that we can provide the conditions for a plant to flourish, we can provide an environment for our students to flourish. Just as different plants need different conditions, so too do our students. By using the language of Mind, Heart, Soul, and Strength, we can focus on delivering an holistic approach to education that will give every student an opportunity to be active contributors to a flourishing global future. Education systems the world over are recognising the importance of building wellbeing into the curriculum and including opportunities for the development of character, resilience and grit. 

Being actively engaged in learning, knowing our strengths, celebrating accomplishments by focusing on effort and using the language of ‘yet’ to address challenges are all positive strategies that we use here at the College.

Simple yet effective ways to help children flourish are drawn from research such as Harvard University’s ‘Project Zero’ which highlights an overwhelmingly simple and effective intervention... the family dinner! 

It turns out that sitting down for a regular family meal is great for the mind, heart, soul and strengths. Data we have collected also suggests healthy food choices is an area most students need to focus on.

Research also indicates that dinner time conversation grows a child’s vocabulary even more than parents reading aloud to their children.  Children who have a large vocabulary read earlier and more easily. Older children also benefit from family dinners with regular family meals being attached to better academic performance.

Being equipped to make healthy choices for life is certainly a priority for our students. Being connected to one another and finding meaning and purpose  through service opportunities are central to flourishing here at Coomera Anglican College.

Examples   of  our   Mind,  Heart, Soul, Strength framework in practice include working towards a Growth Mindset to help students bounce back from setbacks and to promote continuous learning. Growth mindsets also contribute to students’ sense of accomplishment. 

30 days of gratitude is a College wide focus on gratitude. The entire College community is encouraged to participate and share what we are grateful for. Students are encouraged to be active in the process by writing gratitude postcards and creating a gratitude wall.  

Teaching our kids to say “thank you” is important, but truly instilling a sense of gratitude in them is another matter entirely.

Preparatory to Year 3 students are encouraged to be Bucket Fillers. “Bucket Fillers” are those of us who help without being asked, give thanks and compliments, and generally spread their love and good feelings to others. Showing kindness helps students build connections and positive relationships.

Year 6 students complete activities exploring the language of character strengths. This information is then used to provide opportunities for them to engage in activities that utilise these strengths.  Through studies in leadership the students can apply their strengths in visible ways.

Mindfulness is used across all classes in the Primary Campus to promote reflection, and create an inner sense of calm within our students. When students can increase their ability to be present in the moment, they improve their ability to be actively engaged in learning. 

These are just some of the many examples of ways flourishing Mind, Heart, Soul and Strength is applied to promote wellbeing at Coomera Anglican College.