I’m sure that I echo the feelings of our whole school community in saying that we are sad to see Mr Vella leave. However, at this morning’s assembly, it was powerful to reflect on Mr Vella’s qualities and the strengths that he brought to our school.

Me Vella is someone who is naturally strengths focussed and this is one of the reasons why he is so loved at our school! He is good at celebrating all the things that go right and looking for the strengths in others.

Yesterday, the grade 5 & 6 cohort did some character strength activities. They learnt that we all have the 24 character strengths, but in differing orders and that it is possible to build on strengths using a growth mindset. They did an activity wherein they identified the strengths of their classmates and many were proudly surprised about the strengths that their peers saw in them.

Focussing on your strengths and those of others enables us to be the best version of ourselves. It is possible to develop our character through learning, practising and cultivating strengths. Knowing our strengths and appreciating character strengths in others is the key to living happy and meaningful lives.

We will miss Mr Vella, but I have no doubt that his enduring legacy at BHPS will be that we focus on “what went well” and for us to continue to seek and nurture the best of each other.

Here is the link to the survey to find your character strengths.

There are some great “strength spotting” activities on this website that you could use at home during the school holidays.

Science of Character (from the VIA Institutue)

Know your character strengths

24 Character Strengths explained


Kindness is like a superpower and in this blog post, we’re going to talk about why kindness is one of the most important character strengths you can have and comes within the Positive Emotions arm of our PERMA model.

First things first, what is kindness?

Kindness is when you do nice things for others without expecting anything in return. It’s like giving someone a big, warm hug for their heart. Kindness can be as simple as saying “hello” with a smile, helping a friend when they’re in need, or sharing your toys with others. It’s all about spreading love and happiness!

Here’s why kindness is super important:

  1. It Makes People Happy: When you’re kind to someone, it can light up their whole day! Just think about how good it feels when someone is kind to you. You can be the reason someone smiles, and that’s pretty amazing.
  2. It Builds Friendships: Being kind helps you make lots of friends. When you’re friendly and caring, people want to be around you because they feel good when they’re with you. Kindness is like a glue that holds friendships together.
  3. It Makes the World a Better Place: Imagine if everyone was kind to each other. The world would be a much happier and peaceful place. When you’re kind, you’re like a little superhero, making the world a better place one act of kindness at a time.
  4. It Makes You Feel Good: Did you know that being kind also makes you feel good inside? When you help someone or do something nice, it fills your heart with happiness and warmth. It’s like a cozy feeling that stays with you all day.
  5. It Teaches Important Values: Kindness teaches us important values like empathy, compassion, and understanding. It helps us learn how to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and see the world from their perspective.
  6. It’s Contagious: Kindness is like a magical virus, but in a good way! When you’re kind to someone, they often want to be kind to others too. So, your kindness can start a chain reaction of more and more acts of kindness.
  7. It Makes You Strong: Kindness is not just about being nice to others; it’s also about being strong. It takes courage to stand up for what’s right and help those in need. Kindness shows how strong and awesome you are!

Always remember that kindness is a superpower you have within you. Use it to make the world a better place, spread joy and love, and build amazing friendships along the way.

Keep being kind, and you’ll see just how incredible and powerful it can be. The world is a brighter place because of you and your kindness. 🌟❤️

This is an advertisement about an ordinary man who goes about doing random acts of kindness

The Science of Kindness

Give in the Giving

Kindness is My Superpower Read Aloud (8.5 mins)

Can you think of a book that you or your class has read recently that has the theme or examples of Kindness.

Name something that you are going to do to show kindness today!

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence

People who are strong in the character strength “appreciation of beauty and excellence”  notice and enjoy the beauty, skill and excellence involved in things around them including nature, art and architecture.

These people notice and enjoy beauty in many places and they notice and enjoy watching people who are talented or very skilled in what they do. An example of this is when you admire a classmate who is awesome at drawing or writing.

Personally, I like to take photos to capture the beauty of nature, like the one above which I took when hiking in Europe last month. I find that Barwon Heads, especially the beachs, has no end of natural beauty – where is your favourite spot?

Hope you enjoy this clip which we recorded in 2021!

An inspirational person who I would say posesses this strength is David Attenborough. He shares his love of the natural environment through his films. I love this quote by David Attenborough:

People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure”.

A message of hope and celebration of nature from David Attenborough

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

The Dot by Peter Reynolds

Henri Matisse was a famous French artist who painted and made collages. Maybe you will feel inspired to make your own colour block collage after watching this!

The beauty of nature

Draw, or describe a time when you were in nature and felt a sense of wonder because of your surroundings.


Have you ever wondered why a good laugh can make you feel so amazing? Humor is superpower that’s not just about giggles and chuckles, but also about building strong character traits. Get ready to discover why humour is more than just a funny face!

What is Humour?: Humor is like a magical potion that can make people laugh, smile, and feel happier. It’s like a secret code that helps us find the funny side of things, even in tough times. Imagine being able to turn a frown into a smile just by telling a funny joke or making a silly face. That’s the power of humour!

Humour comes within the Positive Emotions arm of our PosEd model and is a great tool to use to improve how you are feeling.

Why is Humor a Superpower?:

  1. Building Friendships: Imagine meeting someone new and making them laugh. It’s like a friendship spell that instantly makes you friends! People love to be around those who make them laugh, so humor helps you connect with others.
  2. Spreading Joy: Have you ever seen someone’s face light up when you tell a funny story? That’s because humor spreads happiness like sunshine. When you make someone laugh, you’re sharing a special gift with them.
  3. Problem Solver: Humor isn’t just about jokes; it can also help you solve problems. When you face a tricky situation, finding something funny about it can help you think creatively and find solutions.

The Power of Smiles: When you laugh, your brain releases a magical potion called endorphins. These endorphins are like tiny happiness boosters that make you feel good inside. Have you noticed that after a hearty laugh, your whole body feels relaxed? That’s because humor is like a mini-vacation for your mind!

Different Ways to Use Humor:

  1. Jokes: Knock-knock jokes, riddles, and puns are all great ways to spread a little laughter. Want to hear a joke? Why did the scarecrow win an award? Because he was outstanding in his field!
  2. Silly Stories: Create your own funny stories with characters like talking animals or wacky wizards. Make them as silly as possible and watch your friends giggle!
  3. Funny Faces: Sometimes, a goofy expression can make everyone burst into laughter. Experiment with funny faces in front of the mirror – you might discover a hilarious talent!

Using Humor Wisely: While humor is a fantastic superpower, remember to use it kindly and thoughtfully. Not everyone might find the same things funny, so be considerate of other people’s feelings. The best superheroes use their powers for good, and the same goes for the power of humour!

You’ve just unlocked the secrets of humor, a superpower that can make you a friend-magnet, a joy-spreader, and a creative problem-solver. With a funny joke or a silly face, you can brighten someone’s day and make the world a happier place. So, keep those giggles coming and remember, a smile is the best accessory you can wear every day!

Babies Laughing (2.52)

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors. (10.08)

Cute Pandas Doing Funny Things (2.05)

Walter the Farting Dog (7.49)

Share something that has made you laugh! It could be a book or something else that you have read, something you have watched on TV or something that someone else has done 🙂

Self Control

Self-control is a character strength that we all possess! Just like your favourite heroes in comic books, you have the power to harness self-control and use it to achieve amazing things in your life. So, let’s explore what self-control is and why it’s such a fantastic superpower to have.

What is Self-Control?

Imagine having your very own magic wand that helps you make better choices, stay focussed, and overcome challenges. That’s what self-control is – it’s like a superpower that lets you manage your thoughts, emotions, and actions, even when faced with tempting situations or difficult tasks.

The Benefits of Self-Control:

  1. A Mindful Mastermind: With self-control, you become the mastermind of your thoughts. You can pause and think before reacting, making sure your decisions are thoughtful and wise. It helps you avoid impulsive actions that you might regret later.
  2. Achieve Goals Like a Pro: Setting goals is like having a treasure map to success. Self-control helps you stay on track, even when the journey gets tough. It keeps you disciplined, motivated, and determined to reach those goals, no matter how big or small they may be.
  3. Super Study Skills: Remember when you couldn’t concentrate on your homework because of the exciting video game waiting for you? Self-control to the rescue! It helps you focus on your studies and resist distractions, making you a super scholar. This is why Self-control fits within the “Engagement” arm of our PERMA.
  4. Friendships Made Easy: Building strong and lasting friendships requires understanding and empathy. Self-control helps you manage conflicts and communicate effectively, making you an excellent friend and a great team player.
  5. Superhero Resilience: Life sometimes throws curveballs, but with self-control, you can handle challenges like a true superhero. It enables you to bounce back from setbacks, turning obstacles into opportunities for growth.
  6. Health and Wellness Wonder: Self-control extends its magic to your health. It empowers you to make smart choices about nutrition, exercise, and sleep, keeping your body strong and your mind sharp.
  7. Empowering Emotions: Emotions can be like a rollercoaster ride, but self-control helps you stay in the driver’s seat. It allows you to understand and manage your feelings, promoting emotional well-being and healthy relationships.

How to Harness Your Self-Control Superpower:

  1. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is like your secret training ground for self-control. Take a few minutes each day to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This practice helps you become more aware of your impulses and empowers you to respond thoughtfully.
  2. Set SMART Goals: SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Break your big dreams into smaller, manageable tasks, and use self-control to stay committed to each step.
  3. Take Deep Breaths: When you feel overwhelmed or tempted to make a snap decision, take a deep breath. Breathing helps calm your mind and gives you the space to make wiser choices.
  4. Seek Support from Others: Even superheroes have allies! Talk to your family, teachers, or friends about your goals and challenges. They can provide encouragement and accountability.

The self-control superpower is within you. Embrace it, nurture it, and watch as it transforms you into the best version of yourself. With self-control by your side, you’ll conquer any obstacle and soar to new heights in all areas of life!

Self Control (2 mins)

Read Aloud: The Choices I Make: Self-Regulation Skills by Michael Gordon

Again – Read Aloud

Self-Control (G 5-6)


At Barwon Heads PS friendship fits in the Relationships arm of our PERMA model and is one of the most magical character strengths you possess. Friendship is like a superpower that makes life more colourful, exciting, and filled with joy. Just like your favorite superheroes, you have this incredible ability to build strong connections and create lasting bonds with others.

What is Friendship?

Friendship is when you find someone who understands you, cares about you, and enjoys spending time with you. Friends are the superheroes who stand by your side through thick and thin, sharing laughter and adventures!

Why is Friendship Important?

  1. Support and Understanding: Friends help us when we need it most. If you’re feeling sad, worried, or just having a bad day, a friend can be there to listen, offer a hug, or make you smile.
  2. Sharing Fun and Adventures: With friends, every day is a new adventure! You can explore the world together, play games, create art, or even have exciting make-believe adventures.
  3. Learning and Growing: Friends are like mirrors – they help us see ourselves better. They teach us new things, help us improve, and support us in becoming better versions of ourselves.
  4. Feeling Happy: Have you ever noticed how happy you feel when you’re with your friends? That’s because they add a sprinkle of joy to your life, making everything more enjoyable.

How to Be a Super Friend?

Being a super friend is easy and fun! Here are some tips to become the best friend anyone could have:

  1. Be Kind: Show kindness to others, just like superheroes do. Be gentle with your words and actions, and try to understand how your friends feel.
  2. Listen and Share: Listen carefully when your friends talk, and share your thoughts and feelings with them too. Communication is a vital part of friendship.
  3. Support Each Other: Celebrate your friends’ successes, and be there to lift them up when they feel down. Super friends always have each other’s backs!
  4. Be Yourself: You’re amazing just the way you are, so don’t be afraid to show your true self to your friends. Real friends love you for who you are.
  5. Apologise and Forgive: Sometimes, superheroes make mistakes too. If you do something wrong, say sorry, and if your friends apologize, forgive them. It helps make your friendship stronger.

Remember, Everyone Can Be a Super Friend!

Friendship is a super strength that all of you already possess. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, shy or outgoing – everyone can be an incredible friend. The world becomes a better place when we’re kind and supportive to each other.

So, go out there and spread your superpower of friendship! Make new friends, cherish the old ones, and remember that you have the power to make a difference in someone’s life, just by being a caring and loyal friend

Being a good friend

Kid President’s Guide to Making New Friends

Friendship Soup Recipe

Friends and Friendships (G4-6)

How to be a good friend (sesame Street)

The Den – Read Aloud


Accomplishment means thinking positive thoughts and not giving up. It is about having what we call a “Growth Mindset” which is the belief that if we work hard, we can achieve whatever we want to achieve, regardless of natural talent. Using a growth mindset makes us proud of our efforts.

Accomplishment is also about challenging and believing in yourself, learning from mistakes and making a plan and working to achieve goals.

At Barwon Heads PS Accomplishment means:

Think positive thoughts and not give up

Challenge myself

Always do the best I can

Have a growth Mindset

Learn from my mistakes

Believe in myself

Achieve my personal best and not compare myself to others

Make a plan and work hard to achieve my goals.

This clip expalins the Growth Mindset.

The following books are my favourite Growth Mindset reads.

Flight School

Giraffes Can’t Dance – The Classic Growth Mindset story


Meaning is an important part of our school’s PERMA wellbeing (Starfish) model. Within this area sits “Voice and Agency” which are integral elements of the vision of our school.

When people use their voice, agency and aspirations, they can make a difference and shape the world around them by doing things such as:

Looking after and respecting the environment

Making decisions, asking questions and reflecting on learning

Doing things that make a positive difference and

Confidently voicing ideas

This is a book about a girl called Molly Lou Melon who uses her voice to be true to herself and stand up for what she believes to be right.

Marcenia’s actions and courage ensured that her voice was heard. Her determination, drive and refusal to give up led her to achieve her dream.

“Say Something” by Peter Reynolds, because every voice matters!

In this inspiring 6 minute talk, 10 year old Maddie Cranston shares her experiences and accomplishments to inspire kids to have a voice and speak out about what they believe in. Maddie looks to inspire others to believe in themselves and realize that they have the power to make change happen. Maddie’s message is focused on the importance of children believing in themselves and using their voice and ingenuity to help bring about positive change in the world.


Researchers consider healthy relationships to be the single most important factor in happiness.

“People with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self worth. Broader networks bring a sense of belonging. So taking action to strengthen our relationships and build connections is essential for happiness”. 

Our connections with other people are at the heart of happiness – theirs and ours. Whether these connections are with our partners, families, friends, work colleagues, neighbours or people in our broader communities, they all contribute to our happiness. Chris Peterson, one of the founders of positive psychology puts it simply as: “Other people matter”.

Martin Seligman who created the PERMA framework for wellbeing rates relationships as one of the keys to wellbeing too.

This week we can reflect on the qualities of (or what makes) a good friend and why our friends are important to us. We can think of the ways we connect with our friends.

Within our BHPS positive statements, Relationships means;  “I can accept, understand and empathise with others”.

We created this video in 2021. (back in the times we had lockdowns!) It is about the ways in which we can nurture our relationships. Hope you enjoy watching it!

People who are good friends recognise and understand the emotions of others so that they can figure out how others are feeling. Research has shown that empathy (noticing what other people are feeling) is associated with children who are smarter, nicer, happier and more resilient. Have you reached out to someone who may not be feeling great?

There are many great ways to connect and I bet you can all remember this song by The Wiggles!

Rose Meets Mr Wintergarden is another book about empathy and making connections and being kind.

Stick and Stone

The Little Book of Friendship

Some ideas for connecting include:

Talking with family and friends via phone, Facetime or Zoom. You could even do an activity together such as baking or making something. You could set up a backyard challenge and share with your friends.

Write handwritten cards or notes to family and friends. These could be posted or dropped off in people’s mailboxes. Everyone loves receiving these! You could also send messages via text or email.

Make encouraging posters and signs and put them in your windows to support your neighbours. This can also be a fun craft project.

There are so many examples of people connecting and being kind to others in our community. We would love to hear about how you connect – feel free to share on this blog x


At Barwon Heads PS we define Engagement as making the most of learning opportunities. Engagement is the second arm of our PERMA model. This can mean tuning in to instruction and tasks and focussing on schoolwork. Being engaged can also means achieving a state of “flow”. This can happen when doing many activities including maths, playing sport, reading, writing and drawing/painting.

Ways in which students are engaged at school include:

Being enthusiastic towards learning

Tuning in to instruction and tasks

Using the Learning Focus and Success Criteria

Making the most of conferencing time with teachers

Focussing on school-work

Following class and school rules

Thinking before acing or speaking

Acting with self-control in the classroom and in the yard.

Turn and talk to a partner –

Which things on this list do you do best? Which things on this list would you like to do better at?

Some tips and ideas on Engagement

More about Flow

The Boy How Loved Words – How does Felix’s love of words connect to “Engagement”?

The Girl Who Thought In Pictures

Ada Twist Scientist – A very engaged young lady!

The Dot