personal and social capability

Personal and Social Capability ACARA

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Practise emotional first aid


It’s true. We are quick to respond with physical first aid. We are learning to offer and accept mental first aid but we keep running into an emotional block with emotions. We can find them embarrassing, unacceptable, intolerable. We forget we are human and others are human so our first reaction is often to deny the emotions or tell ourselves off and put ourselves down. This video straightens the picture and gives insight into how we can help ourselves and others more appropriately and effectively.


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Fitness – way to go!

fitness Image: weheartit

My students had overwhelmingly responded that working on their health and fitness would improve their personal capabilities. It was a clear message which came through. We should all be working on our fitness! The University of Bristol has done some studies on working on fitness and the Daily Telegraph reported the following:

The key findings were:

Seventy two per cent reported improvements in time management on exercise days compared to non-exercise days.

Seventy nine per cent said mental and interpersonal performance was better on days they exercised.

Seventy four per cent said they managed their workload better.

Read more:

People who exercise on work days are happier, suffer less and are more productive

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Bob Doyle on the selfgrowth blog has 10 really good reasons for encouraging fitness at work. It is about energy, enthusiasm, being there and not just doing your job. Healthy people are more productive and are happier. Fitness Australia also looks at workplace health and fitness.

Schools are well placed to create happy, healthy environments since they already know how to manage and create teams and teachers are familiar with team building approaches. It is not just that, though. When my year 8s were responding to the indicators for the personal capabilities they were looking at taking responsibility for their own health and welfare. They were looking at how they could improve their eating habits and how they could improve their fitness. That’s a message we could build in schools which could be carried over into adult work environments so that the workplace could then help create workers who thrive.

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Get organised!

get organised One of the other frequent feedback messages from my Year 8s  from their self review on self-awareness and self-management was to get organised. Not to leave things until the last minute. To think out their decisions, thoughts and work requirements. It is always easier said than done. These are students in their first year at high school so there is a lot of organising to be done. They lead busy lives and are involved in a number of activities as well as their subject choices. The School Family site has plenty of good tools and resources to help students and their families cope with the demands of a busy school schedule. Most of them are downloadable pdfs. Then there’s Maria Gracia’s Get organised now site which covers literally everything so that anyone can become organised with anything. No chance of any excuses now!

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Teenagers need their sleep

asleep at the desk Image: Helping teens make peace with sleep

After I had worked on the self-awareness and self-management capabilities with my students they had worked out for themselves that getting enough sleep would help them perform better in both of those elements. It was a frequent response in their self-reviews that they needed to get more sleep. It certainly ties in with the research that is available.
Dr Blunden explains that insufficient sleep can contribute to problems such as:

Poor behaviour – at school, home and work
• More extreme moodiness– irritability and low tolerance for frustration
• More conflict in social interactions
• Difficulty problem-solving
• Decreased attention span
• Reduced creativity
• Less effective memory

Source:How much sleep does a teenager need?

The happy child site is worth visiting since it gives a great deal of practical and sensible information about teenagers and their need for sleep and the reasons why it might be difficult for them to sleep and how to address those. The other site , more directed at students themselves,which is well worth a visit for the useful and down to earth information is kidshealth.

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Be calm

This song came to mind because on the year 8 self-management review they just kept writing Be Calm as one of their actions to change blocking behaviours. I wondered, when I thought of the song, whether they knew it too or whether they felt a need to be calm, or whether it was something the adults around them had said to them a lot as they were growing up. It meant something to them and so is obviously an expression we need to use when we talk about self-management in schools. We need to ask them to be calm and to maybe help them to be calm. Worth investigating, but in the meantime, enjoy the song.

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Generation MySpace

Coming to terms with the social networking predilection of students can be a headache for educators, but there will come a time where educators themselves will be social networkers . There was a social networking seminar held in August last year as part of the Transforming Learning through ICT.

You can listen to a podcast of the seminar and orientate yourself to the social and teaching implications of social networking on the Curriculum Leadership Journal. Certainly adds clarity to the social networking fog.

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School Safety Audit Checklist

What happened at Virginia Tech in America was something we all wish had never occurred. In the aftermath, though, something really positive has arrived and that is the School Safety Audit which has been formulated by the Virginia State Education Department and the New York State Police. It is thorough, comprehensive and well worth a look. If it makes our schools safer because we take the time to consider the things coming form this audit, then that is a good thing and we need to thank these people they took the time to put such a useful document together.