“Wellbeing is a dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others, and contribute to their community.”
The NEGS Wellbeing Program is a unique philosophy that has been embedded across both the junior and senior school since Mr Clive Logan’s appointment as Principal in 2013.
NEGS is one of approximately 50 government and independent schools across Australia to have adopted positive education since 2008. Other schools leading the way include Loreto Kirribilli, Geelong Grammar in Victoria and Knox Grammar in Sydney.
Mr Logan has spent significant time researching the benefits of similar programs, attending national conferences addressing issues facing young women today and consulting experts in the field. He firmly believes that investing in the mental health of students can lead to improvements in social, emotional, behavioural and academic outcomes. The NEGS Wellbeing Program builds on strong research by World leading psychologist and expert adviser on wellbeing Martin Seligman and is underpinned by five key elements (PERMA):
NEGS are constantly integrating current research. To support the program Mr Logan created a position dedicated to the program, and Director of Wellbeing Mrs Angela Sole is tasked with training teachers in the tenements of positive psychology as a preventative measure to reduce depression, anxiety and stress.
The program aims to promote resilience by teaching students to think more realistically and flexibly about the problems they encounter by teaching assertiveness, creative brainstorming, decision-making, relaxation, and several other coping skills.
Throughout the year NEGS invite a range of guest speakers to address the senior school girls on issues facing teenagers today.
The school holds an annual ‘Wellbeing Day’, dedicated to educating and empowering students to work on improving healthy attitudes to body, diet and esteem. The day includes guest speakers, fun activities plus actions and tips on thought control and coping strategies.
On a day to day basis our tutor groups continue to make their way through the key Character Strengths including ways of practising Gratitude, Hope, Humour and Spirituality.
Much current educational research points to the benefits of adding Mindfulness to a student’s everyday life and the NEGS staff and support network are incorporating these strategies so we can help our girls find the right balance between study and keeping healthy.
Wellbeing Director, Mrs Angela Sole’s vision for this project is to achieve a whole school culture that realises positive relationships, high functioning teams and highly engaged teachers.
On Friday 27th February, Lorin Nicholson, one of Australia’s pre-eminent entertainers and motivational speakers will be performing at New England Girls’ School as part of their annual Wellbeing Day.
Lorin has been legally blind since birth. Despite this incredible challenge, he has gone on to achieve his dreams and goals including athletic records, business milestones, musical performances & recordings, and professional performance speaking engagements.
His unique approach is authentically powerful in context as a youth motivational speaker. As a father of four children, Lorin is especially driven to deliver high-impact presentations as a youth leadership speaker in Australia. He has presented speeches as an anti-bullying at schools across Australia and internationally, incorporating poignant anecdotes from his own childhood to highlight critical messages for younger children and teenagers alike.
Over the past decade Lorin has shared his amazing music and inspirational life experiences in over 3000 concerts and keynote addresses, to more than a million people throughout Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
As one of Australia’s highest-selling independent artists, is also a published author of an inspirational children’s book. In 2009 Lorin was honoured as an “Australian of the Year” nominee and later awarded a Queensland service award for his valuable contribution to the community. In April 2010 Lorin and his younger brother Dean created Australian history, as they became the first blind persons to ride over 4000 kilometres across Australia in a four week epic journey from Perth to Sydney.
During his most recent adventure, Lorin and his 17 year old son Andrew, rode a tandem pushbike 1800km from Brisbane to Melbourne, where he was invited to perform for the fourth time on Channel Nine’s nationally televised Carols by Candlelight.
Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Mrs Angela Sole believes that that having guest speakers such as Lorin have huge benefits for students and reiterates the need for positive psychology to be taught throughout the school. “Stress management, mindfulness, effective communication and strategies to increase resilience are all part of our wellbeing program. We believe that ongoing investment in the mental health of our students will lead to improvements in social, emotional, behavioral and academic outcomes. It is a very hands-on approach and our annual Wellbeing Day consolidates what we put in practice throughout the year”.
I enjoyed hearing about Lorin’s life and his inspirational story. I also enjoyed the dancing competition with year 11, it was great fun. Also I learnt a lot about the brain and its potential.What I like about the wellbeing day was that we played games and we all had fun!! But something that I enjoyed the most was hearing about Lorin’s life, because even though he is blind, it doesn’t mean that you cant do anything and that you don’t need to give up on things that you enjoy doing, his story was so inspiring that I got teary and he was really good at playing the guitar. But I enjoyed the day! Paris
I think that Lorin was inspirational. He is living proof that miracles can be achieved, and I wish that I could buy his album. Lucinda
I enjoyed well being day because we all heard about Lorin’s life and how he gets around everywhere. I enjoyed the drama activities with Mrs McCulloch. I learnt that the relaxing remedies were great for everyday and it helped me to not get stressed.
Thanks for a great day! Francisca
I really enjoyed hearing about Lorin’s life,hear him play the guitar really inspired me to achieve my goals. I also truly loved the recess and lunch and would love to have that food more often. Isabel
At wellbeing I day I really enjoyed to be able to find away to relax for example I liked the closing your eyes and thinking your’e in a place you really love technique which allowed me to think of my sisters! I also enjoyed what we did before lunch when we were split into groups and made songs about what we learnt.I like that because it was the first time the older girls actually listened to what I had to say. Lexi
I really enjoyed the wellbeing day because there where so many fun activities and lots to learn. We learnt a lot about the brain and how it works, what kind of things damage it and what kind of things help it to become more creative and active. My favourite thing about the wellbeing day was when Lorin Nicholson came and spoke to us about his life and the struggles and the great things that he faced, his story was very inspiring and very motivating, it was also very enjoyable and fun when he played us a few songs, I loved wellbeing day and I definitely learnt a lot. Kate
I found the Wellbeing Day amazing, I loved the Sing/Dance with Year 11 it was very fun and about the story and life of Lorin Nicolson Thank you for putting on that amazing day Harriet
I found Wellbeing day quite interesting because I had not done something like that before. Even though you thought I was not taking full advantage of our relaxation session I can guarantee that it was something that I have been doing the past few nights. Grace
I really enjoyed hearing Lorin, the blind guitarist play and speak to us and felt really inspired after he spoke to us about what he has achieved in his life. I also thought the special lunch was really, really good. Thank you Mrs Sole for all the time and effort you put into making wellbeing day fabulous. Zara
On wellbeing day I enjoyed hearing about Lorin’s life. I found it very inspirational. It was a relaxed and fun day that I got to spend with all my friends as well as learning many new things. Hannah
The day overall was really good but that last session with the blind guitarist was just amazing! I was talking to a lot of the girls in yr 11 and we all got so emotional and then when he started playing his music we all had the struggle of trying not to cry. That was defiinitely the main highlight for my day. Sarah