Can positivity be taught? | Portsmouth High School

Can positivity be taught?

It has been another successful week at Portsmouth High Prep School with the girls settled in their new routines and a purposeful buzz permeating the buildings. Children and staff are working together to make the situation work and we are all happy that we are one of very few schools in the country that has been able to open fully.

In a time where the news is full of problems and negativity it can be hard for us to remain positive at school. This begs the question of can positivity be taught? Or is it something that someone innately does or does not have? I would argue that the first answer is correct and, although some people can be more pre-disposed towards it than others, we work hard at the school to foster those feelings of positivity and the associated wellbeing that it brings.

One of the first elements that allows the children to be positive is a sense of purpose. This has been particularly difficult during the lockdown period as a large sense of purpose has been taken away from them, that of school. This was one of the reasons that we worked so hard to provide a school experience while they were at home.

We also regularly discuss positivity and what it means with the girls. An understanding that we have different feelings throughout our lives and how to turn these around can be a revelation to many of us. I believe children feel under pressure to be constantly bright and sparky, something that is impossible to maintain. Once they understand that it is acceptable to feel a bit down sometimes, whilst understanding the strategies to bring themselves out of it, it can be very liberating.

Through all of this I am looking forward with positivity to the new academic year ahead. Let us hope that we can fully install many of our regular routines and help the children to navigate their way through to a world that regains some sense of normality.