Student Personal and Social Ethics Program


Pilot run 2014 with Year 8 students, Victoria

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




Primary Pilot Program 2015, Victoria

Our first pilot has just completed with 103 Grade 5 and 6 students.  The Chaplain and teachers did a wonderful job facilitating and teaching the students ethics, creating purpose and teaching goals.  Here are some of the teacher graphs and comments….

Student 4

Teacher comments – Grade 4 student

Became conscious of others and his own feelings.  Learning to control himself and his emotions.  More willing and determined in school work and grades.  A little more confidence and self esteem.

student 5

Teacher comments – Grade 5 student

A little more honesty with others. Starting to be more confident and content socially and not getting into as many social conflicts.  More determined and willing in school work and grades, listening and following instructions more, trying harder. More confident with higher self esteem.

studnet 7

student 10

Teachers comments for students 6 – 10, Grade 5 and 6

Better at setting achievable goals for themselves. Developing greater empathy for others and hence a more mature attitude to problem solving.  More focused on achieving personal goals.  Certainly trying harder to do their best more often, making better independent choices.  Better goal setting resulted in a greater sense of achievement and hence self esteem.  Responded in an open and honest manner in most sessions to the leaders.


student 14 student 15


Teachers comments for students 11 – 15, Grade 5 and 6

The students became more aware of their own behaviors and how their behavior affects others. Some students became more aware of developing good habits.  Students understood better how to set goals and stick to their task.  Students understood more what we were talking about when explaining our expectations.  Students understood better that it is good to feel good about yourself and how to do this.  All students participated well in the sessions and many took their learning into their “real” lives.

May 2016 – Grade 5/6 Teacher comments – Last year our 5/6 cohort were lucky enough to take part in the Path of Life pilot program.  We ran this program weekly for a term. The students really responded positively to the program and it enabled teachers to offer a social and emotional, values based unit that they didn’t have to plan.  While some of the content in the original handbook was a little mature for our age group, Sandi our facilitator amended the lessons, making them more age appropriate. The students really enjoyed the hands on activities and it promoted great discussion around life and values, particularly respect for oneself and others and conflict resolution. Fortunately social and emotional learning and values based curriculum is now recognised as being integral to the successful and wholistic development of students. I believe that the Path of Life program is a great and easy way to implement this learning into the classroom.


Boys General Group Yr 8-9 2015, ACT

Student 1 comments – Favorite part was learning new things and during fun activities. Learnt to be more engaging and made some new mates.

Student 2 comments – I liked learning about values and morals, important in being a good member of society.  I especially enjoyed working as a team to work through each session. I learned about honor and integrity and I try to be as true to myself and others in my everyday life. I got to know the boys better and ‘Chappo’ our school Chaplain, who was teaching and mentoring our lessons.

Student 3 comments – I liked working as a team, my favourite part was learning about Honour. I made relationships because some of the things we do is teamwork.

Student 4 comments – Favorite part was not working by ourselves but working as a team, more fun. Enjoyed building the paper towers, most of it helped me realise we have to work as a team. Hearing people open up makes you closer.

Student 5 comments – Favorite part was sharing stories with the group, learnt that the honesty and decision making part of it has been applied to my life at school and at home.  Relationships – Learnt a lot about the others in the program and built positive relationships with all the members.

Student 6 comments – Favorite part was going through the quotes, learnt to stay positive and got to know new people.

Wellbeing/Chaplain comments

Steve Lindner, International Student Coordinator,

Youth Commitment and Transitions Officer,   School Chaplain

I ran the program with a year 9 and 10 boys sports/leadership group (15-16 year olds).  The group size was quite large – about 30 boys.

Chaplain and teacher ran the program with a Year 9 and 10 boys leadership/sport class with 30 students, the boys were each assigned a specific week to help run the activities.  The class typically participated in highly active sports so it was a bit of a challenge to get them settled and focused on the content of the program.  Given their age and the size of the group, I found I needed to add additional resources to keep them engaged. I used YouTube clips, quotes from prominent people, and a few other articles to help expand the content.

I assigned a different pairing of boys as assistant leaders each session and gave them the task of running the activities. This worked well and gave them some leadership opportunities.  One thing that I found worked well was going in prepared with a lot of open-ended questions that I could use to promote discussion. The boys worked better in small groups that had to discuss and then report back to the larger group. It was a struggle to get them to write in their journals as they preferred to discuss things rather than write.

Thank you for the opportunity to run a pilot Path of Life program.  The content helped to promote discussion with your year 9 and 10 boys on topics such as positive attitudes, respect, enthusiasm and excellence. This provided opportunity for them to discuss, reflect on and apply the learning to their personal lives which they considered valuable.  I hope our feedback is useful in helping  you to revise and further develop the program.  Kind regards, Steve Lindner


Leadership Group with Year 11/12 student leaders facilitating 2015, NSW

The sessions covered a lot of relevant material that identified areas for growth, equipped students to respond better in situations which was seen through behavioral changes.  Some definitively matured more emotionally and socially. As student’s worked through issues and ‘grew up” emotionally there were less obstacles interrupting class time.

Students did try to put into practice what they learnt.  They tried not to react in unhelpful ways when faced with conflict or gossip.    Definite growth in confidence and self esteem as they were encouraged for who they were and affirmed that we are all different and that is ok.  We developed good working relationships, students were open in discussing feelings, life, struggles and experiences.