Why Ravenswood

Positive Psychology

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As a Positive Education school, Ravenswood is embedding this scientifically validated framework for wellbeing from Kindergarten through to Year 12.

Positive Education is a scientifically tested strengths-based approach that teaches the skills that are proven to increase a student’s resilience and optimism, their engagement with learning and their perception of inner purpose and meaning in their life.

Positive Education seeks to:

  • Establish helpful thinking patterns
  • Develop grit and perseverance
  • Build a positive self-concept
  • Harness strengths
  • Achieve flow
  • Improve academic outcomes
  • Develop positive relationships
  • Encourage the pursuit of a life of meaning through service and being other-person centred

Ravenswood Principal, Anne Johnstone is a founding board member of the Positive Education in Schools Association (PESA) and is currently undertaking a prestigious Master’s Degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Our Deputy Principal, Kim Bence, who began on 16 May 2016, has twenty years senior leadership experience in both the curriculum and wellbeing domains across P–12 school settings. Her expertise in the implementation of a strategic, whole-school approach to Positive Education has been recognised as one of the leading examples of best practice Positive Education in Australia.

Kim comes to Ravenswood from Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak, a preeminent Catholic Independent school for girls in Melbourne where she has held the senior leadership position of Director of Positive Education (ELC–12). She recently presented at the Positive Education Schools Association (PESA) National Conference and in July this year will present at the International Positive Education Network (IPEN) Conference in Dallas, USA.

Prior to her appointment as Director of Positive Education, Kim fulfilled a range of senior leadership positions including Dean of Students (P–12), VCE Coordinator, Year 12 Coordinator, Head of Faculty and Director of Sport. Kim has been a representative on the executive committee of Girls Sport Victoria and the Education Boards of local primary schools. She holds a Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) and has completed the Professional Certificate of Education (Positive Education) at the University of Melbourne.

Kim began her career as a Physical Education and History teacher, and has also taught Science, Information Technology and Positive Education. Kim is recognised as a leading VCE Physical Education teacher in Victoria and has been a VCE Examination Assessor in this field for many years. As Director of Positive Education and Wellbeing, Kim also implemented a highly successful boarding program.