personal and social capability

Personal and Social Capability ACARA


Making Slough Happy

Making Slough Happy was a social experiment led by psychologist Richard Stephens and a team of experts which became a TV series in England. The express purpose of the exercise was to make the people of Slough happier and in the end it boiled down to the 10 step manifesto:

1. Get physical. Exercise for half an hour three times a week.
2. Count your blessings. At the end of each day, reflect on at least five things you’re grateful for.
3. Have an hour-long uninterrupted conversation with your partner or closest friend each week.
4. Plant something. Even if it’s a window box or container. Keep it alive!
5. Cut your TV viewing by half.
6. Smile at and/or say hello to a stranger at least once a day.
7. Phone a friend.
8. Have a good laugh at least once a day.
9. Every day make sure to give yourself a treat.
10. Daily kindness: Do an extra good turn for someone each day.

As you can see, it didn’t come down to material things. Money doesn’t make you happy.

An article appraising the experiment is here.


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Higher Risk Of Suicidal Thoughts And Behavior In Poor Readers

This article is informative but quite disturbing and needs to be acted upon.

“The follow-up interviews revealed that students with poor reading skills were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts or attempts and were more likely to drop out of school. In addition, suicidal thoughts or attempts and school drop-out were strongly associated with each other.”

We often believe that students with learning difficulties and subsequent attendance issues are at risk, but this research is quite clear about the link between poor reading skills and the higher incidence of suicidal thoughts in young people. Certainly food for thought and action.

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Our Goals 2007

These are the goals we suggested for 2007 when we had our first meeting:

Implementation of restorative justice across the whole school

Have SW team actively use restorative justice

Embed restorative justice practices in the school ethos

Undergo restorative justice T&D and put it into practice/model for other staff

Explore the validity of restorative justice in this school

Train in restorative justice and implement it across the school

Explore restorative justice and how we can use it across the school

Developing staff-student relationships

Staff wellbeing

Impact of constant change SACE/SSABSA/Technology on staff

List and develop professional development required to support staff on wellbeing (toolkit)

Look after staff wellbeing

Identify good resources from Mind Matters and Beyond Blue

Run parents as teachers seminar with focus on boys

Cater better to boys

Practical ways of improving learning environment for boys

Continue to explore boys’ issues

Why do My Space and You Tube hold such fascination for some students?

Follow up the notion of single sex classes

Counter bullying

Resources for girls’ education and wellbeing

Explore link between organisation and wellbeing

Explore link between academic achievement and wellbeing

Identify good resources from Mind Matters and Beyond Blue

Develop year 10 and year 11 health programmes and strengthen others

Develop a questionnaire to measure the wellbeing of our staff and students

Specify steps to improve wellbeing of our students

Focus on mental health issues for senior students

Ways in helping students become resilient

Look at what family issues most affect our students

Narrow our focus and not stay general

Come up with measurable data to work on and monitor improvements over the next few years

Make students with learning difficulties more successful

Innovate. How do we help the traditional failures?

Look more deeply into mental first aid

Mental first aid kit

Find routine/practical ways of dealing with emotional unwellness

Develop processes for emotional unwellness

Finding ways to elicit support of other students to help us protect friends who are not well

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Healthy School Culture

This site gives a lot of useful advice about establishing whether you have a healthy school culture or not. It’s based on:

“1. COLLABORATION is characterized as the degree to which people work together, share information and instructional strategies, and are encouraged to have constructive discussions and debates.

2. COLLEGIALITY is about a sense of belonging, emotional support, and inclusion as a valued member of the organization.

3. EFFICACY, for the purpose of this process, tends to focus on how stakeholders’ view themselves. Do they feel as if they have control of their destinies or do they view themselves as helpless victims of “the system?” Do they respect research-supported evidence about good teaching or are they rigidly attached to the status quo?”


There is an assessment profile to complete if you wish.

 Indicators of  School Culture

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Blogging Away

Well, we are up and running and you were investigating the whole notion of blogging. How lucky are you. This can be an excellent way to communicate with each other and the whole world!! You can Google Maths blogs or Science blogs or Cooking blogs or Education blogs and you will find a whole world out there waiting for you. Too tired to Google? Well, try having a look at these blogs:

Climate Change will give you some idea how the best climate scients int eh world are using the “comments” section of their blog to conduct discussions.