Wellbeing and Positive Education at Tenison Woods College

Wellbeing at the Heart of All We Do

Tenison Woods College is committed to creating a vibrant, nurturing and resilient learning community, with wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. Resilience and wellbeing are essential for both academic and social development and this is accentuated by the provision of safe, supportive and respectful learning environments. Not only do confident, resilient young people with a capacity for emotional intelligence perform better academically, these skills can also contribute to the creation of strong social bonds and supportive communities, and the maintenance of healthy relationships and responsible lifestyles.


Wellbeing and Resilience

At Tenison Woods College we understand wellbeing to be an umbrella term that is comprised of many dimensions, but in essence is characterised by feeling good and functioning well.

Resilience is 'for us' the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.


Our Partnership with SAHMRI – Learn it, Live it, Teach it

Our partnership with the South Australian Health and Medical Research institute, (SAHMRI) has supported our work to deliver Wellbeing and Resilience Training to our school community, staff, students and parents. Scientifically validated measurement constructs from SAHMRI are also utilised to gather data from staff and students to inform best wellbeing practice. The Resiliency program based in Professor Martin Seligman Positive Psychology work of PERMA +: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment plus nutrition, sleep and optimism has informed our wellbeing approach to implement into the college SHINE + motto. Each letter of SHINE provides a practical model for a holistic approach to students understanding and maintaining their wellbeing; Success, Helping, Involved, Name, Emotions + - knowing your God.


Resilient IMPACT – What? What? How?

Also based in Positive Psychology is the work with our partner Life Buoyancy Institute. The trauma informed and scientific methodology is used to coach all staff in the Resilient IMPACT program of intentional practice, which is designed to guide and strengthen moment-to-moment teaching and support relationships, so that we ‘respond rather than react’ to student learning, growth, developmental and wellbeing needs. By focusing on growth, we strive to be grounded (or mindful) teachers, who intentionally respond to individual and collective student growth needs.

To support this growth process, Resilient IMPACT utilises a core planning tool called the What-What-How:

What is happening?
What is important? (or what is our intent)
How can we act?

Wellbeing is integral in our culture as part of our teaching and learning framework. The skills and growth mindsets that promote wellbeing are taught explicitly within our Pastoral Care programs and implicitly through a network of structured support to meet the needs of each student’s physical, spiritual, social, mental and emotional health.

Pastoral Care Programs and Wellbeing Initiatives

Throughout the year all staff undertake a variety of programs such as the state Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum; and Protective Practices. Kimochis, Bounce Back, Life Matters, SAHMRI-resiliency skills, Reach out and other social and emotional resources are also tailored to meet the needs of our students. Wellbeing days such as; RUOK day, Harmony Day and NAIDOC week endeavour to educate and promote the messages of inclusivity; that everyone belongs and knowing the signs to check in and ask the question RUOK and that it is ok, not to be ok.

Proactive Wellbeing Support

We are well resourced with staff to empower our students to build their resilience and relationship skills and to navigate 21st century issues. Each year level has a Wellbeing Coordinator who is responsible for overseeing the student’s wellbeing by utilising restorative practices and helping to create a sense of belonging through student leaderships groups and wellbeing initiatives and events. As well as Wellbeing Coordinators we have three Wellbeing Counsellors. Laura Herbert, Mary Castignani and Lucy Williams support students and families across the College. They undertake face-to-face counselling and assist with proactive programs. In addition, we have a Director of Wellbeing who works closely with families and oversees health and wellbeing policies and programs for the College.

Wellbeing Team

Director of Wellbeing: Tania Sigley, Student Counsellors: Lucy Williams, Laura Herbert, Mary Castignani

Wellbeing Coordinators
Early Years: Ang Cutting
Reception to Year 2: Maria Jeffrey
Year 3 to Year 6: Michael Gannon
Year 7: Kym Hammond
Year 8: Nathan Creedy
Year 9: Madison Jones
Year 10: Austin Jones
Year 11: Katrina Mott
Year 12: David Cole

Student Leadership

Part of fostering wellbeing is recognising the need to have a strong culture of student leadership. At Tenison Woods College we understand that self-determined learners are ‘well beings.’ As such our students have many opportunities to develop their leadership skills either through student councils or specific interest groups. Each sub-school has a Student Council, a Social Justice Group and an Environmental Group. These opportunities are further enhanced by leadership roles in sport and music. Click here to view the College Captains and Student Leadership Page

Tenison Woods College respectfully acknowledges the Boandik people are the First Nations people of the Mount Gambier South Eastern region of South Australia and pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, past, present and emerging.