Connecting students with values in a fun way…
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL ETHICS PROGRAM
“Path of Life” is a unique Australian values-based well-being program presenting students with new concepts and a new way of looking at life. Using a facilitator who teaches values, inspires creativity and purpose, showing how choices affect lives and how to set goals that when applied to the students’ life, will assist them in making informed decisions concerning their friendships, present lifestyles and future outcomes.
There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. Nelson Mandela.
Values are inner guidelines that direct behaviour. They are the foundation of life, helping to guide, build character and strengthen our inner selves. From a strong inner self and with the understanding of what values we are able to step with purpose and make choices that will reflect our values, helping us to reach and maximize our potential. Values motivate us to commit to our goals and desires, bringing fulfilment and growth.
The ‘Path of Life’ program engages students with regular and reliable positive engagement in a fun, friendly, non-threatening and non-judgmental environment. It delivers via a balanced mix of games, educative content delivery, student-directed learning and personal reflection.
Path of Life Topics include:-
We must do all that we can, to give our children the best education and social upbringing – for while they are the youth of today, they shall be the leaders of tomorrow. John F. Kennedy
Example Activity – Encouragement letter to self
Written by a Grade 6 student
In this activity, the students are asked to write an encouragement letter to themselves at the completion of the program. A fun way to see how students have grown throughout the program in the areas that stand out the most to them.
Program Overview available on the Kidsmatter website
Component 1 : A positive school community
Component 2 : Social and emotional learning for students
Available to review – https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/primary/programs/path-life
Program Traits from 2015 Pilot
Check out our pilot results page and testimonials
Pilot program now completed in the following categories…
Primary, public – Mornington Peninsula Vic – all of grade 5 and 6 (103 students) – Facilitators: Chaplain/Teachers
Secondary, private – NSW – Leadership pilot for all leaders – year levels 7-12 (50 students) – Facilitators – Chaplain/Student Leaders
Social & emotional skill development
Primary, public – Metropolitan, Vic – grade 5 and 6 (10 students) to help develop skills both socially and emotionally
Secondary, public – Country Vic , Vic – years 8 & 9 (20 students) to help develop skills both socially and emotionally
Secondary, public – Country Vic – year 7 (30 students) to help develop skills both socially and emotionally
Secondary, public – NSW – (30 students) to help develop skills both socially and emotionally
Secondary, public – ACT – years 8 & 9 (40 students) to help develop skills both socially and emotionally
2016 – Yr 8 student who have completed this program.
‘I have learnt to be patient, be honest and stay positive when things have been hard, as well as setting goals and trying very hard to achieve them. My attitude has also improved very much since completing this program. I am now better with self-control and am very respectful. I know that I must always stick with integrity and always strive for excellence, and remember that being around people that are honest and happy is much better than being around those that are negative and dishonest. I will make sure to always continue with my netball and football and be honest no matter what the situation is.’
This teenager now comes to school feeling happy and well supported by the friends that she now associates with. Her family have noticed a big improvement and she now seeks me out to say hello. She is now school captain for her year level with her ‘House’ where previously she would have never been involved in such responsibility.
‘As an instructor running this program with 10 Yr 8 girls, there have been struggles along the way to the point that the program could not be run as a group and was required to be run one on one. This was not due to the program but as a result of the trauma level that these girls had experienced.
The program was run individually with the girls with a total transformation from three of the individuals noticed by their peers, teachers and families. Prior to this program, there was a daily conflict between the group which has now decreased to 3 monthly episodes. The girls have learnt that ‘we don’t have to be friends with everyone and that it is ok to say no’. The girls have also learnt that ‘we don’t have to be involved in drama and being honest and standing up for yourself is ok’. The girls have learnt that it is ‘ok to walk away from conflict’. The girls have learnt that in order to experience positivity we have to choose to behave and think in a positive manner’. Whilst the concept of this program is common sense and everyday life skills, more and more teenagers have not been taught healthy life skills or what others believe to be ‘common’. After the completion of this program, these teenage girls went from having a toolkit of destructive survivor skills to healthy calming common sense life skills.’ Rebecca, Student Wellbeing Support
Pilot run 2015 with Year 5 and 6 students at a Victorian Primary School (see the Pilot page for graphs)
The Path of Life Program comes highly recommended by a fellow school Chaplain. I have just had the huge privilege of completing a pilot program of Path of Life with 100 plus grade 5/6 students in groups of 50! Originally designed to be implemented in a variety of settings with students aged 12 to 19 years. I had permission from both the writer and school community to adapt the material to suit my grade 5s and 6s so as to provide such valuable information, tools and life skills; essential for the transition and journey through, High School and beyond.
We all need to stand together to make a positive difference in the lives of our school communities. The Path of Life program, Classroom Edition is designed to teach values, learn how choices effect life, inspire dreams and purpose and learn how to set and apply goals.
Originally The Path of Life program, Wellbeing Edition was designed to help Chaplains or Student Well being mentors encourage, strengthen and build relationships with those who are broken and hurting by letting them know someone is there for them. With some changes to the presentation style and purpose goal, we adopted the program to teach the material in a whole cohort setting taught by the Chaplain and assisted by the teachers and ES staff.
Due to the size of the group, mentor component wasn’t utilised and instead, we strategically put tools in place that ensured that any at-risk students were readily identified and referred to. The program encourages positive connections with their leaders and each other. In return, their load lightens with the end goal being transformed lives through the development of building a relationship through deeper insight by being real.
Both the material and adapted format was readily received by the staff and students involved and we’re sorry to see the completion of the program. I would strongly encourage all Chaplains to consider implementing the Path of Life Program into your school community as it will not only change the students lives but yours as well. Sandi, Chaplain
Pilot run 2014 with Year 8 students at a Victorian High School
In February 2014 I was asked to meet with a group of 8 year 8 girls of whom 80% of them were engaging in self-harm. All girls suffered with anxiety and low self-esteem. They were students that were spread across several different classes and were not in a friendship group with one another members, often they were isolated from class members. Self-esteem was low and family breakdown was prevalent including engagement with Child Protection.
Over nearly two terms I ran the Path of Life program with them. After the initial two or three weeks three other year eight students approached me to join the group because the others had shared what was happening and how it had helped them.
Focusing on values and life skills empowered these young women as evidenced by the pre-course and post-course evaluations. They developed a small community of friendship, trust and acceptance. They continued to encourage and show empathy to one another in weekly gatherings. They were encouraged to know that they were worthwhile and that developing values and beliefs strengthened them in the face of all they had to endure. I would highly recommend this program as a tool to build resilience and self-confidence in young people. Jill, Chaplain
Just a short note to say that Selwyn and I have been running the “Path of Life” program in New Zealand for the past six months. We have had an awesome time together with 12 teens, aged between 13 -16. The fantastic topics helped them understand attitudes, show respect, how to be a woman/man of excellence, showing kindness, showing them how to make goals and follow their dreams. We had awesome discussions and fantastic games that brought out what we were talking about and what we were trying to get across!! The kids loved it. We spread the program out over two terms and grew a close bond with all of the teens. A couple of mothers came to us and told us they saw a dramatic change in their child and that no one else had ever got through to them like we had. When the program finished we took them away for the weekend, a boy house and a girl house and introduced them to the local youth group in our area, which they are now attending. Debbie, NZ
“My daughter has attended the “Path of Life” program. So many youth today are not taught how to pick up on the signs of bad habits. This program shows them in a practical way, that teenagers can understand, how to recognise and how to deal with real-life issues. Teenagers today need more positive programs like this to guide them through lives very difficult challenges”. Excellent program! Michelle, NZ