As a society, we are searching for methods to support the needs of a generation that is experiencing high levels of mental illness (Chodkiewicz & Boyle, 2017).
Yet, separate mechanisms and approaches are required for promoting mental health, rather than purely responding to and treating mental illness. As such, at PLC our wellbeing approach has three arms, to:
Prevent mental illness.
Promote mental health.
Support student learning.
When we cultivate wellbeing, research suggests a number of positive outcomes, both socially and emotionally, as well as in relation to performance and productivity.
Research has found that school-based social and emotional learning is associated with improved social and emotional skills, behaviour and academic achievement (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, & Schellinger, 2011).
Furthermore, within a recent study of 287 Australian schools, the highest academic scores occurred when mental health promotion was included in a school’s priorities (Allen, Kern, Vella-Brodrick, & Waters, 2017).
Given this, approaching wellbeing in schools isn’t a competing agenda, but rather, supports the infrastructure to enable students to function at their best and flourish.
At PLC, our wellbeing approach includes:
- A comprehensive, developmentally appropriate PK-12 wellbeing curriculum.
- Integration of wellbeing within teacher methods and practice.
- The PLC Lighthouse to practise the skills of wellbeing and build community wellbeing.
The PLC Lighthouse is integral to the School’s universal approach to wellbeing, providing an anchor for students, staff and the PLC community to learn, experience and practise scientifically-based wellbeing pathways.
The building has been custom built and designed, providing contemporary and flexible spaces for a range of purposes including:
- Meditation room
- Recharge room
- Creativity and expressive arts room
- Workshop spaces
- Alternative learning areas
- Movement room
- Circuit room
- Cardio room
- Consultation rooms for allied health professionals
- Dedicated nutrition area
- Multipurpose room tailored for 0-5-year-olds
- A street facing café
- Modern change rooms
- The Director of Wellbeing, Senior School Psychologists, Senior School Wellbeing Co-ordinator and Head of Service will also be based in the Lighthouse.
In addition to school health, wellbeing, co-curricular and physical education classes, PLC has partnered with a range of service providers to deliver before and after school programmes to students and their families.
Events and Courses
To support wellbeing within the community, the Lighthouse Leaders Programme hosts experts in the field to deliver interactive presentations on wellbeing research and skills. The PLC Lighthouse also offers the delivery of a wide variety of research-based wellbeing courses and workshops.