One of the primary goals for us at Marsden is to lay the foundation for lives of meaning, accomplishment and genuine happiness. By embedding a Positive Psychology programme into our curriculum we are directly targeting this goal.
Our programme (called Positive Purposeful People – or PPP) has been developed out of the work of Dr Martin Seligman, a co-founder of Positive Psychology. PPP specifically focuses on two of the four pillars of a Marsden education: resilience and creativity.
According to Seligman "The high prevalence worldwide of depression among young people, the small rise in life satisfaction, and the synergy between learning and positive emotion all argue that the skills for happiness should be taught in school. There is substantial evidence from well controlled studies that skills that increase resilience, positive emotion, engagement and meaning can be taught to school children." This is the aim of our PPP programme.
Through the systematic practice of kindness, gratitude to others, counting of blessings, and exploiting strengths rather than attacking weaknesses, students develop resilience and optimism. As Seligman notes, ‘creativity is bound up in our ability to find new ways around old problems.’ A positive sense of well-being enhances learning and a sense of fulfilment. PPP is a regular feature of the timetable for students in years 6, 11, 12 and 13.
We believe that we can teach our students the skills to cultivate what is best within themselves
The high prevalence worldwide of depression among young people, the small rise in life satisfaction, and the synergy between learning and positive emotion all argue that the skills for happiness should be taught in school.
Dr Martin Seligman