Introducing the Flourishing at School tool

College Wellbeing: Our Focus on Measurement for Rigour

As St Andrew’s looks towards 2019, we are dedicated to placing whole-school College Wellbeing at the fore of our intent. College Wellbeing is firmly back on the agenda following a strategic planning day in Term 2 this year. The Well Team (a group of dedicated staff from across the school who are committed to driving wellbeing initiatives in the school) identified key areas for improvement and development that encompassed all areas of the community.  We developed our key strategic intents based on Dr Helen Street’s Contextual Wellbeing model (Street, 2018) so that we may ensure wellbeing becomes visible and embedded within our ‘every day’ across the whole College. Our vision statement is: College Wellbeing is the way St Andrew’s enables inclusive, strengths-based, visible wellbeing for the whole school community to encourage learning, create opportunities and build connections. By enacting this vision statement, the College is ensuring that the wellbeing of all members of our community becomes an enduring, robust priority for all of us.

Of prime importance for the Well Team was identifying a way to measure the wellbeing of our school community.  By collecting and collating data, the team acknowledges that we can bring a rigorous and purposeful approach to the planning of wellbeing support, interventions and teaching programs for both staff and students. With supporting evidence, we will no longer need to develop these resources based on assumptions but on clear data indicating needs and areas of strength.

The tool carefully selected by the Well Team is the ‘Flourishing at School’ Survey.  It is a cloud-based software solution based on the most up-to-date research and knowledge in Positive Psychology.  It has been validated in two large-scale studies in collaboration with Murdoch University.  Over 7,500 thousand students from around Australia have participated in the initial studies, and with an added teacher component, the survey can support both our staff and secondary students.

The ‘Flourishing as School’ tool is based on the PERMA+ model of wellbeing (the same framework that underpins St Andrew’s conceptualisation of wellbeing).  Using a self-report survey, this tool measures the following –

  • Emotions (both positive and negative emotions),
  • Engagement (Flow),
  • Relationships,
  • Meaningfulness & Purpose
  • Accomplishment, and
  • Lifestyle Factors - nutrition, exercise and sleep. These areas make up an individual student’s wellbeing profile.

Diagram 1: PERMA+ Framework for Understanding Wellbeing

Once this tool has been completed, students will receive their own ‘wellbeing profile snapshot’. This, in conjunction with supportive resources from the Flourishing at School website, will be used to prompt them to consider developing  SMART goals to improve their wellbeing as well as specific activities they can undertake to achieve these goals.

Diagram 2: An example of a student wellbeing profile

The first roll out of this survey will take place this term with our current Yr 6 students as they embark on their transition to Secondary School in 2019. The data generated by the survey will help our Secondary School Homeroom teachers to get a head-start on getting to know these students, and their strengths prior to their start in secondary school.  In 2019, it is intended that ALL secondary students and staff will engage with the survey in Term 2.  They will be able to evaluate their own wellbeing profile, reflect on the data and set their own goals within their Homeroom times. 

From 2019, all new families arriving at the College will be given information about the ‘Flourishing at Schools’ survey at enrolment.  This year, all families can access further information and signal their agreement for their children to participate in the survey by clicking here to view the parent information letter. The Well Team is looking forward to developing specific wellbeing initiatives for both staff and students to bolster wellbeing and promote all key aspects of the PERMA+ model for all our community members.

Mrs Melanie Clare