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​The school Wellbeing Model

Wellbeing’ is one of the five principles of middle High School operations.  Wellbeing is also highlighted in the Australian National Curriuclum.   The wellbeing of staff and students is a concern to schools because students and staff with high subjective wellbeing will be more likely to ‘flourish” in their respective roles and is used as a principle across all year levels at the Gap State High.   

There are many definitions of wellbeing within the scientific literature.   Wellbeing is most commonly used as a general term, synonymous to welfare, referring to the condition of an individual or group, for example their social, economic, psychological, spiritual or medical state; high well-being means that, in some sense, the individual or group's experience is positive, while low well-being is associated with negative happenings. 

Positive psychology provides a deeper understanding of wellbeing.   Scientifically, wellbeing is regarded as being subjective in nature, and is a person’s perception of the balance of positive and negative feelings in their life.  It is not only the absence of negative experiences and feelings, but includes the presence of positive experiences and feelings.    

Philosophy informs the construct of wellbeing with: “hedonic” philosophy where wellbeing derives from positive feelings and emotions and the absence of pain, and “Eudaimonic” philosophy which posits that wellbeing derives from the actualisation of individual potential and from fulfilling one’s ‘daimon’ or true nature.   These philosophies have allowed researchers to develop a workable model of the truer nature of wellbeing, where our wellbeing exists on a spectrum from mentally languishing to flourishing.  Languishing individuals have low subjective wellbeing, challenged relationships, and poor functioning whereas flourishing individuals feel good about their lives, have thriving relationships and function well.