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 The PLS Approach

At Positive Living Skills we believe that every child has the capacity to reach his or her own unique potential and that every child in today’s world must learn proactive and practical ways to look after their own mental wellbeing.

 

If this learning begins in early childhood and preschool, and continues through the primary school years, then when children are ready to transition to high school they have developed a solid awareness of how they think and feel, they can continue to develop long term habits for how to calm themselves when feeling stressed, and they have tools to apply to help them to self-direct their thoughts, feelings and behaviours toward a positive life experience.

6 CORE concepts feature in the PLS Early Childhood Wellbeing Program and the Foundation to Year 6 PLS Primary School Wellbeing program. The Primary School program also features an additional 6 concept units designed to support students in Years 3-6 prepare to transition to high school.

Learn more about the 12 Core Program Concepts that feature in the PLS Programs

Watch the short introductory videos on each concept, or you can hover over each box on the right for an overview of the concept. On this page you can also download a 2 page Families Newsletter on each concept. 

The choice is YOURS. 

Highlights

The learning experiences within Highlights teach children to make connections with positive things that exist or occur daily within themselves and others and in the world around them, and to harness the positive emotions that follow. Children have the opportunity to build skills to look for, notice and fully appreciate the simple moments that encourage a sense of joy in their lives, and build positive associations and relationships through highlights. They have the opportunity to build a skillset to recall and develop highlights for a positive mood shift. 

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Highlights
Feelings

The learning experiences within Feelings teach children to identify their own feelings, consider why and how they experience particular feelings, and then identify the behaviours that can follow. Children learn how their feelings and thoughts drive their behaviours and actions, and they identify how their actions and behaviours can influence the feelings of others. They begin to build skills for self-awareness and self-management as they learn how to begin to take control of their emotions and responses to situations and others, and build skills for social awareness and management. Ultimately children learn how to create space between events and their responses so they can begin to choose empowering feelings and thoughts. These are key skills in any high quality Social and Emotional Learning program, and SEL has been widely proven to have positive impacts for children both personally and academically.

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Feelings
Focus

The learning experiences within Focus teach children appropriate strategies and skills to build, maintain and utilise ‘focus’ skills. Children learn how to become aware of the present moment and focus in connected ways on what they are experiencing in that moment. They will also learn the importance of focusing on particular goals and outcomes they want to achieve and also how to incorporate positive focus skills when experiencing hardship and challenges. This unit allows children to develop skills to build and maintain a fully connected focus, focus through distractions, and explore positive emotions and happenings in their daily lives and use their positive focus as a way to experience more happiness, achieve goals and experiencing the emotions they choose. The research suggests the Focus activities also assist those children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

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Focus
Relaxation

The learning experiences within Relaxation expose children to the concepts of the physical and emotional benefits of relaxation practices in daily life. This learning has an experiential focus and encourages a high level of student engagement, helping children to learn practical skills to recover from and manage stress, improve sleeping habits, and improve focus and learning ability. It teaches children the importance of breathing, and to more effectively manage their emotional state, embrace peaceful moments of silence, and experience simple daily joys that lift the quality of every day of life. One sample of Dr Orlick’s research evidence supporting the Positive Living Skills concepts involved a study of Canadian Grade 2 students. After participating in 4x20 minute intervention sessions per week for 9 consecutive weeks involving relaxation and highlights, the experimental group were better able to relax themselves at will than the control group, and they increased the frequency of their positive highlight experiences.

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Relaxation
Cooperation

The learning experiences within Cooperation expose children to the concepts of working effectively with others in mutual support, to give and take and compromise, and to collaborate together to achieve goals. This learning encourages a high level of engagement through play and activities, helping children to identify what it means to work collaboratively and voluntarily with others to achieve tasks with a common purpose or benefit. Children will learn that they can contribute to a common vision achieving group goals and celebrating successes together. It teaches children to identify how they can work effectively with others to problem solve and achieve win-win outcomes. At early learning stages, many of the Cooperative Learning Experiences within the PLS Program are focused on children being ‘left in' the game rather than sitting ‘out’. This is done intentionally to allow children time to grasp concepts, build their skill levels, and maximise their learning at this pivotal development stage. The goal is to assist children to learn how to develop their confidence and resilience as they prepare to transition from Preschool to Primary School.

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Cooperation
Self-Esteem

The learning experiences within Self-Esteem teach children the concept of ones’ own worth and personal value and how this shapes quality of life. The unit teaches children to become aware of how they view themselves and others and how to build confidence and a healthy level of self-esteem or self-worth. Self-esteem can involve a variety of beliefs about oneself such as an appraisal of one’s own appearance, beliefs, emotions and behaviours and also focuses on lack of judgement or comparison and building appreciation and happiness for others’ successes as much as our own. This learning helps children to learn the skills to identify how they see themselves and others, and how to build confidence and build a growth mindset, where they believe that their intellectual abilities are qualities that can be developed (as opposed to qualities that are fixed).

Self-Esteem
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Appreciation

The learning experiences within the unit of Appreciation teach students to appreciate themselves, appreciate others, and appreciate their environments and communities. Students learn about appreciation, gratitude and the power of contribution in this unit.

This growing sense of appreciation builds self-esteem and self-confidence as students learn to appreciate their own strengths and qualities - and as they learn how to express their appreciation and gratitude to others it assists them to form and cultivate meaningful social relationships.

Appreciation fosters a positive attitude and supports social and emotional wellbeing at the same time as supporting a respectful classroom.

Appreciation
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Communication

The learning experiences within Communication teach students the concept of communication and what is present when communication is respectful and effective.  Students learn about how we are always communicating with ourselves through our internal dialogue or self-talk and this internal communication plays a vital part in our mental health. As students learn to understand their own internal dialogue, they can begin to become aware of their internal beliefs and values and gain an understanding of whether these are supportive or otherwise.

Learning experiences within the Communication Unit explore how different methods of communication impact the quality and the meaning of the messages we are receiving and sending, including face to face communication, phone communication and online or digital communication..

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Communication
Choice

The learning experiences within the Unit of Choice are focused on supporting students to experience empowerment in their lives, teaching students that they have the capacity to build skills to self-direct their emotional states, their responses, their behaviours and their focus from moment to moment. Learning experiences encourage students to develop a strong sense of personal empowerment or a strong internal ‘locus of control’ where we believe that the outcomes we will experience in life will not be predominantly controlled by our circumstances, others, luck or chance, but rather that our own efforts and expectations will strongly influence our experiences and outcomes. It also suggests that by not choosing we are also making a choice. The choice unit also assists students to learn strategies like the rule of 3, to assist with making choices and decisions when the options can seem overwhelming.

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Choice
Solutions

The learning experiences within the Positive Living Skills Unit of Solutions teach students the concepts of problem solving and suggests strategies to find solutions in daily life. 

We are all constantly making decisions and solving problems every day, from simple choices to complex issues. Problem solving is a fundamental part of human functioning and involves a mental process of discovering and analysing with the goal to overcome barriers or obstacles or achieve goals.

Many people find it extremely challenging to make decisions, and can either put decisions off by endlessly searching for more information,  look to others to decide for them, or spend a lot of time feeling anxious about making the ‘wrong’ choice.

Responsible decision making is a core component of social and emotional learning and effective problem solving relies on a level of awareness of self and others and the ability to self-manage and maintain positive relationships with others.

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Solutions
Leadership

The learning experiences within the Leadership Unit of the Positive Living Skills Year 3-6 Wellbeing program teach students how to develop and model leadership qualities and strive toward delivering their personal best effort, while being an example for others to follow. It is mostly modelled on the concept of self-leadership, defined as the practice of intentionally influencing our own thinking, feeling, and behaviours to achieve our objectives.

Self-leadership is a process that occurs within an individual, involving ‘leading oneself’ in thoughts and behaviours. 

In the leadership Unit, students learn the importance of having personal standards, setting an example for others to follow as well as the importance of followership, as they build respect and value for themselves and others.

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Leadership
Potential

The learning experiences within Potential support students to consider their personal potential and what they could be capable to achieve in their lives, from a daily perspective as well as looking toward the future. 

Every individual has potential, and everyone’s potential is different. At Positive Living Skills, it is our belief that every person has the capacity to live a life of purpose where dreams and goals are worked towards, and that within each of us there are many personal resources and strengths that when embraced and allowed to develop and grow, can enable every person to reach their own unique, individual potential.

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Potential
Call Us: (02) 9135 2959/ e: team@positivelivingskills.com / Ground floor, 100 Walker Street, North Sydney, 2060 
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