Month: May 2017

Wirreanda Learner Wellbeing- Positive Education- PERMA +



Today staff were fortunate enough to have Annette Bulling present on PERMA +, Annette is Project Lead – Education from the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at SAHMRI ( The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute- which is an independent health and medical research institute in Adelaide ) . Annette has a background in education – worked in schools sites, regional office and central office. She spent time working for Mindmatters and Australian Childhood Foundation promoting mental health, wellbeing and trauma-informed practice.

The purpose of Positive Psychology and PERMA + at Wirreanda Secondary School is to encourage and support a  flourishing school community that focuses on POSITIVES that contribute to the wider population and in doing so help a greater percentage of people to live well and build resilience.

“PERMA” stands for the five essential elements that should be in place for us to experience lasting well-being. These are:

  1. Positive Emotion (P)

For us to experience well-being, we need positive emotion in our lives. Any positive emotion like peace, gratitude, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration, hope, curiosity, or love falls into this category – and the message is that it’s really important to enjoy yourself in the here and now, just as long as the other elements of PERMA are in place.

  1. Engagement (E)

When we’re truly engaged in a situation, task, or project, we experience a state of flow: time seems to stop, we lose our sense of self, and we concentrate intensely on the present.

This feels really good! The more we experience this type of engagement, the more likely we are to experience well-being.

  1. Positive Relationships (R)

As humans, we are “social beings,” and good relationships are core to our well-being. Time-and-again, we see that people who have meaningful, positive relationships with others are happier than those who do not. Relationships really do matter!

  1. Meaning (M)

Meaning comes from serving a cause bigger than ourselves. Whether this is a specific deity or religion, or a cause that helps humanity in some way, we all need meaning in our lives to have a sense of well-being.

  1. Accomplishment/ Achievement (A)

Many of us strive to better ourselves in some way, whether we’re seeking to master a skill, achieve a valuable goal, or win in some competitive event. As such, accomplishment is another important thing that contributes to our ability to flourish.

We look forward to working further with Annette and SAHMRI in the future with our goal of building resilience in our community.


White Ribbon-Breaking the Silence in Schools Program 2016-2017 case study

Please allow me to take this opportunity to share with you our schools White Ribbon journey thus far and our plans for the future.

Wirreanda Secondary School has committed to the White Ribbon “ Breaking the Silence “ in schools programs as part of the primary prevention of violence against women. The primary prevention of violence against women is an important first step to use an educational setting as a platform to raise awareness and build a culture of respectful relationships.

Below is a link to the Wirreanda Secondary School’s Breaking the Silence in Schools Program 2016-2017 case study;

This document outlines;

Our site overview and context

Our aims and policies

Our timeline, training, accreditation and events

2017 and embedment into culture

and finally

Our outcomes and our plans for the future

Wirreanda Secondary School White Ribbon Breaking the Silence in Schools Program


Jamie Maniero

Student Counsellor, White Ribbon Ambassador

Positive Behaviours and Respectful Relationships




Mindfulness is a secular and scientific approach to increasing resilience and positive emotions. It teaches students to not be overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions. Students learn a range of breathing techniques which can be used in a variety of settings to improve concentration, such as before tests and exams, sport and performances, also to assist sleep.

This year, we are lucky to be working again with Catherine Johnson, studying a PHD through Flinders University on the impact of Mindfulness to build resilience in adolescents. In 2014 & 2015, Catherine conducted eight week Mindfulness program with two year 8 classes. This program was based on a UK model .b (Stop and breathe). Whilst the program is excellent in curriculum content, there was insufficient data to support that the curriculum has contributed to reducing the effects of depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

This year, Catherine is trialling a Mindfulness Curriculum from Belgium, where there is quality data supporting that it has reduced incidents of depression, and anxiety, therefore increasing resilience in young people.

We are into our second week of the eight week program with a class of Year 8 and 10 students. The Mindfulness curriculum is part of their Health program. Teachers of these classes Wayne Olifent and Ralf Pirone, are participants with the class, as well as myself.

We have learnt short breathing meditations and more recently, a 20 minute body scan. This was the most challenging of the meditations, teaching us to pay attention to the present moment for an extended period of time. We were extremely impressed by students participation and respect through this exercise.

With perseverance and daily practice, Mindfulness enables us to retrain our brains to lead a more positive and resilient life. Our school Executive staff are into their second year of starting each meeting with 5 minute breathing meditation to assist focus and productivity.

Should anyone wish to contact the school for further information, please call.

Kadri Auväärt

Counsellor/ Community Connections

8329 7200

Valuing Diversity and Promoting Inclusivity Focus Day

Today, on May 17th, our school celebrated IDAHOT day.  IDAHOT day is the International Day against Homophobia, and Transphobia. It was a day filled with moving speeches, inspirational groups, motivational guest speakers, and fun filled activities.

We celebrate this day to promote resilience, respectful relationships, conflict resolution strategies and mindfulness, also to help value diversity and promote inclusivity.

The year 12 health class ran focus groups/activities on seeking refuge, challenging stereotypes, charity work, being a better ally, living with disabilities and the importance of diversity. Thank you to Ms Dean for her support of the students and for all her efforts.

“ It was such a wonderful experience to see everyone enjoying themselves, and bonding over such a magnificent day. I’m really proud of everyone for opening up about their sexuality and being a straight ally. Im also so proud of Ms Parker and Ms Bruno for following through with this day, and making it the best day possible. “ -Charlotte King

“ I found it great that people were so accepting and congratulating me once I spoke about my bisexuality and how the GSA has made school a safe environment for myself and others like myself. “- Mikayla Maenpaa

Lunchtime events included cupcake making, rainbow wool craft, face painting and Ms Walton, one of our parents doing Henna tattoos.

Wirreanda demonstrated today and everyday that all members of Wirreanda Secondary School have the right to be included and have respect from others, the right to learn or to be taught, and a right to feel safe and secure in their school environment. The school strives to acknowledge that Wirreanda Secondary School is a White Ribbon and Safe School Coalition site and promotes respectful relationships amongst all members of the community.


Charlotte King and Mikayla Maenpaa

Inclusive Education

Inclusive Education

The Inclusive Education room is located in UC14 and the area just outside the double doors. The Inclusive Education Program supports students with Numeracy, Literacy and Social Skills. The students learn using hands-on tasks and activities.

For Social Skills students work together in pairs, groups or as a class to complete projects.Students choose their own projects to complete. Some students chose to work on a recycling project, they collected bottles and cans over a two-week period and took them to Hackham Recyclers. Others chose to work together in groups to design and make educational board games and some planned and produced a meal for the students in the Disability Unit.

Gemma Upton

Inclusive Education Coordinator

Welcome to Term 2 from the Aboriginal Education Team!

Welcome to Term 2 from the Aboriginal Education Team!

Sometimes there are tough things that happen in our community. But with support from our Aboriginal community we can come together and find strength. One time was the Nunga tag football carnival in term 1. Our students had some fun and built their team work skills with challenging games with other students from around the state. We learnt a huge amount about a local service and training providers, from Nunkuwarrin yunti to Tauondi College and more. But what was most enjoyable was catching up our friends, family and elders.  Supporting staff said how outstanding our students were – they not only participated beautifully and worked with all of the different services providers, but they also were great role models.

We would like to take this time to remind you about who is in the Aboriginal Education Team, and what we do:

Our Contact Details:

Phone: 08 8329 7200 (and ask for the Aboriginal Education Team)

Email: , , ,

School website:

Our Team

Makayla Kadow: ASETO for Year 8 and 9. She supports with Well Being, Year 8 Transition and Attendance

Lee Thulborn: Tutor and ASETO for Year 10 and 11. She supports with Well Being, Attendance, Career Pathways and helping students get their SACE (Pass year12).

She also helps with Tutoring (English and Math skills for junior students and SACE subjects for Seniors)

Deb Johnson: ASETO – for Year 12 supports with Well Being, Attendance, Helping students get their SACE

Antony Yates: Aboriginal Education Teacher – Tutoring for all students, One Plans, Case Management and SACE

How we help:

  • Transition: Helping your child get use to life at high school
  • Study session (tutoring): Intensive support for your child’s Maths and English skills and for senior student’s compulsory subjects. This includes challenging them so they achieve good grades.
  • OnePlan (ILP’s): Tracking progress, setting goals and helping teachers understand how your child learns
  • Wellbeing:  Making sure your child is happy and healthy. As a part of this we run check in sessions and Wellbeing groups that build up student’s life skills and learn about culture. This includes excursions and community events
  • Attendance: Monitoring days missed from school and helping with barriers that make it hard to get to school
  • Career pathways: Helping students explore careers and get into their dream job. For example Uni, apprenticeships or TAFE and linking students with training organisations and jobs
  • SACE: When your child gets older, we work on flexible ways to help then finish year 12 and get their SACE
  • Monitoring: General we keeping an eye on all parts of your child’s education

Would you like more info? Call us on 8329 7200 and ask to speak to someone in the Nunga room.

We’re looking forward to a busy term

Kind regards,

From the ATSI Team