Wellbeing, Zentangles and the Environment!
At the recent Pupil Free Day, Seacliff Primary School staff enjoyed a full range of engaging professional development activities.
Student wellbeing is a priority and staff diligently get to know their students, plan engaging learning tasks and provide opportunities for achievement, build respectful and supportive relationships and closely monitor the emotional wellbeing of each. Similarly, staff wellbeing is vital to manage stress and maintain a healthy work/life balance and to flourish in life. Additionally, assessing and reviewing teacher wellbeing is important for student achievement as teacher ‘stress levels can have an 8% variance on students’ academic performance (Teacher Support Network, UK, 2007).
The day began with a Staff Wellbeing session run by Seacliff’s Wellbeing Coordinator, Ruth Cameron. Staff were invited to complete a ‘Wellbeing Audit’ which contained 30 questions that asked how staff manage the everyday stresses faced at work. Staff were then encouraged to reflect on the questions contained in the audit and identify any questions that resonated with them for further exploration of the external and internal stressors that can impact on our wellbeing. Professor Martin Seligman’s holistic Wellbeing Theory called PERMA ‘positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment‘, was used to explore strategies to reduce the impact and lessen the effects of stress (Professor Martin Seligman’s book ‘Flourish’, 2011). Educator Daniela Falecki’s work from her ‘Teacher’s Wellbeing Toolkit’ formed the foundation for this session.
This was followed by a Zentangles Tutorial. Zentangle is self-help art therapy technique to improve focus and also has a meditative effect as well as increasing self-confidence, relieving stress and anxiety, improving hand-eye coordination and nurturing and developing creativity. Staff enjoyed the freedom to create their own designs and were so absorbed in their creativity, it was hard to wind up the session in order to move on!
The afternoon’s session by run by Seacliff’s Environmental Coordinator, Murray Porter. Staff were provided with three different electives with direct links to the local environment. These included a self-guided exploratory walk through the newly established Glenthorne Regional Park, a Seacliff Dunes boardwalk informative walk and talk with Holdfast Bay’s Alex Gaut and lastly, indigenous plant species seed propagation in the new Seacliff Primary, Recycling Centre.
Staff were very positive in their feedback of the day and appreciated the opportunities to work with colleagues in a range of different focus areas and are already implementing some of the ideas and directions with their students.
Student Leadership & Wellbeing Coordinator