Brighton & Hove High GDST is proud to be one of the pioneering schools adopting the Positive Group programme and Year 8 and 9. Since 2016, the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) have been working with Positive Group to help support their teachers and enhance the wellbeing of staff and students. Over 200 members of staff have now been taken through the Positive Teacher Programme, which combines accessible scientific theory with practical tools to help individuals build resilience and develop skills such as emotional literacy, self and social awareness and cognitive flexibility. Once trained, teachers are then supported in translating their learning for students to create a sustainable, school-wide positive culture.
In one of the first completed studies, five GDST teachers came together to investigate how some of the Positive tools could influence self-limiting beliefs, wellbeing and attainment in senior school pupils. These included Positive’s ‘Emotional Barometer’ tool, which allows users to record and track their moodstate, the ‘Inner Coach’ tool, which helps individuals become more aware of their self-talk and develop a more supportive inner dialogue, and the ‘Worry Filter’, which offers a technique for sorting ‘useless’ from ‘useful’ worries to help reduce stress and anxiety. All of these tools are part of the core Positive toolkit and introduced to teachers as part of their training.
The PARs introduced these tools to approximately 65 students from years 7–12 along with a fourth tool, which was designed to measure their beliefs around various social and academic elements – for example friendships, school work and future prospects. They then monitored the students over five weeks alongside a control group who were not introduced to the first three tools. When the results were analysed, students who used the tools reported greater satisfaction with friendships and lower levels of self-limiting beliefs in relation to achievements and future prospects than those who did not use them.
Positive’s practices have been adopted by leading schools and universities across the UK as well as corporate organisations both nationally and internationally. You can find out more about their work by visiting www.positivegroup.org, or go to www.gdst.net for more information about the GDST.