Positive Education

As parents, we all know what we want for our children.

We want them to be happy and healthy. As they grow, we want them to do well, to find joy and meaning in friendships and in their special interests, whatever they may turn out to be.

At John Paul College, we understand that recognising strengths and nurturing wellbeing are just as important as developing intellect.

These things we want for our children line up perfectly with the aims of our SOARING model of Positive Education. This model is based on the work of Professor Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology.


Set your child SOARING at John Paul College

SOARING stands for six empirically validated elements of wellbeing, which together describe a flourishing individual:

  • Strong Outcomes – setting, striving for and achieving one’s own meaningful outcomes; 
  • Activity – valuing physical health (e.g. through exercise, healthy eating and good sleep); 
  • Relationships – nurturing thriving connection with others (through social awareness and relationship skills); 
  • Interests – experiencing moments of complete engagement in interests (or ‘being in the zone’); 
  • Noticing positive emotions – developing self-awareness and the ability to both build on positive emotional experiences and be mindful (or ‘still one’s mind’).
  • Giving – explore one’s unique sense of meaning and purpose, (e.g. through doing something to help others)

The SOARING model of Positive Education (or simply, ‘SOARING’) is used school-wide to audit, plan, and coordinate John Paul College’s approach to wellbeing. All students are familiarised with the SOARING Tree (pictured) as a simple yet deep way of engaging with the different elements of wellbeing.

Just as a tree can grow from a seedling and soar to great heights, students are led to understand that their own wellbeing ‘flourishes’ through deliberate attention, nurture, effort and time.