Program Principles

Cath Shaw, Founder

The mission of the Positive Living Skills Initiative is three-fold:

  1. To assist Schools leaders and educators to promote positive behaviour and teach children habitual skills to build their social and emotional competence and maturity, starting in early childhood and continuing through to the end of Primary School. Then students can move into adolescence and High School with resilience and self-regulation skills and a strong sense of self-worth, and strategies they can continue to build on.

  2. To support and enhance teacher wellbeing through the fully scripted resource pool of program materials and resources, as well as through dedicated Professional Development experiences focused on developing Teacher’s own Emotional Intelligence.  

  3. To support families to build mental wellbeing skills, through the program resources that go home with students, through dedicated pre-prepared resources designed for Teachers to share with families, and via a ‘Family Link’ online resource portal where families access a range of ‘at home’ resources that support all family members to learn Positive Living skills.

Our vision is to significantly and positively impact the alarming statistics of anxiety, depression, suicide, bullying and violence we are seeing in our communities today, within one generation, and our research indicates that if the learning and teaching of mental wellbeing skills begins early and is applied throughout the learning community using these principles then this vision can potentially be realised. 

The PLS Wellbeing Programs for children and students are designed to meet the needs of 21st century learners and classrooms, and meet significant elements of the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Curriculum F-10 in both the Learning Areas and the General Capabilities.   

“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.” Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

The application of the PLS program concepts are based on the principles and theories of: 


Priming is an implicit memory effect where exposure to one stimulus influences a response to another stimulus.


All scripted learning experiences within the Positive Living Skills programs are worded and phrased intentionally with positive language patterns, and the concepts within the Positive Living Skills program relate to and therefore ‘prime’ participants for the other concepts.

Distributed Practice

Distributed Practice is a learning strategy where practice is broken up into a number of short sessions spread over a longer period of time.

The aim is for teachers or educators to make Positive Living Skills a part of daily teaching at least once each week.

Long Term Habits

Long Term Habits are created with repetition and practice, and the brain can change itself through neuroplasticity.


Based on practice and repetition, by completing an activity repeatedly, eventually all the relevant neural systems work together to automatically produce the activity, and the activity becomes a ‘habit'.

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