Oak program brings reward
program introduced to year-seven students at Marian College in Ararat last year has been expanded.
The school implemented the Oak Program at all levels this year based on the success of the 2018 program.
Principal Carmel Baker said the program was named in recognition of the colleges’ strong Brigidine tradition and of the original oak trees planted by the pioneering sisters more than 130 years ago.
“Tailored to the different age groups and their needs in 2019, this comprehensive program provides students with an understanding of the important link between positive thinking about themselves, their world and others, and their approach to learning,” she said.
“We know happy, positive students learn best. Sometimes we can be so focused on the future that we forget to enjoy the present and the great achievements along the way.”
Mrs Barker said teenagers experienced challenges at different times in their life and sometimes needed extra support to find the positives ‘in the now’ to help them experience success as motivation to reach higher.
“Many skills can be taught including the development of personal character strengths,” she said.
“Older students learn how to focus on more complex issues impacting their life and how they can learn resilience, perseverance, patience and good study habits.”
The positive-education program is designed to teach students ways to recognise and develop character strengths such as appreciation of beauty, excellence, love, kindness, curiosity, humility, humour, bravery, teamwork, social intelligence, self-regulation, honesty and hope.
Students complete a weekly gratitude journal to reflect on all they have to be grateful for: friends, family, kindness and strangers who enter their life to teach them something.
“This sits so well with our Brigidine values,” Mrs Barker said.
“The Oak Program at Marian College provides students with an increased capacity to learn effectively.”
– Carmel Baker