Mr. Derek Brady, principal of Upper Mount Gravatt State School says having a life coach attached to his school to deliver professional development and parenting workshops has been instrumental in his school’s excellent performance. Mr. Brady’s school has won the 2010 QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Leadership for its ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Spirits’ program, in which the wellbeing of the entire school community is addressed, including teachers, non-teaching staff, parents and students.
With the guidance of the Kids Matter government initiative and by engaging Ronit Baras, a Brisbane-based life coach, Upper Mount Gravatt State School has already had 100% of staff trained in the ‘Be Happy in LIFE’ coaching program and 60 parents trained in the ‘Happy Parents Raise Happy Kids’ parenting program.
‘That has a huge impact’, says Mr. Brady, ‘Because it creates a common language everyone can use at the school and the “spin-offs”. This is helping with the kids’ wellbeing and, ultimately, with their learning outcomes’.
One of the main things Mr. Brady has seen is a big improvement in the children’s behaviour. ‘We haven’t had a suspension in 4 years’, he says proudly, ‘There’s no Detention room, there is a real happiness around the school and the kids are really vibrant’.
Another positive change is students’ ability to handle issues independently. ‘Kids are more resilient’, says Mr. Brady.