An integral component of the Varsity College positive education curriculum are the 24 universally recognised character strengths, identified by Seligman and Peterson. A strength is defined as a positive quality or talent that is energising, we choose to use and we perform well at (Waters, 2017). Character strengths are often referred to as the 'backbone' for human flourishing.
When we view a student through the lens of character strengths, we understand and embrace who that student is at his or her core.
By adopting a strength-based approach, we ask students:
- What is right with you?
- Who are you at your best?
- What would change if you brought your 'best self' to each situation?
By exercising strengths, students are more likely to experience positive emotions, to engage in valued activities, to achieve a sense of meaning and purpose in life and to build positive relationships with other people. These experiences in turn lead to a more productive, satisfying and flourishing life.
Not only do character strengths provide a common strength-based and solution-focused language for students, staff and parents, they align with our college values.
At Varsity College the language of strengths is introduced from Prep, however, in Year 5 and beyond students identify their signature strengths through the Values in Action (VIA) strengths survey.
To learn more about character strengths and take the survey visit the VIA Institute on Character website.
What are the benefits of the positive education?
Our young people will identify, embrace and develop their unique strengths to become resilient and persevere in difficult times.
They will learn how to foster a growth mindset to achieve their learning and life goals by stepping outside their comfort zone.
Above all, they will learn the importance of having a positive outlook and a zest for life.
Varsity College is a proud member of Positive Education Schools Association (PESA).