Over the past few weeks, our Year 7 Student Advocate, Miss Mulcahy, has been running group interventions with two separate sets of Year 7 students, with a focus on developing emotional resilience. Each session was based around the specific skills required to demonstrate emotional intelligence, which should support individuals with their understanding of, and ability to, express emotions and build positive relationships and self-esteem.

At the beginning of each session, students engaged with a fun settler activity which helped to establish a positive and relaxed environment that allowed for deeper exploration into each topic. During the ‘building self-esteem’ session, students learnt about high and low self-esteem, why self-esteem is important, and how self-esteem presents itself in day-to-day life. The learning process was always accompanied by peer discussion, self-reflection and presented students with the opportunity to test their own and each other’s knowledge. Students participated in fun and engaging games and activities and had the opportunity to apply their knowledge to solidify understanding. Students were also encouraged to get creative and produced their own affirmation posters, which they then took home with them.

The Year 7 team has observed the clear impact that each intervention session has had on the emotional wellbeing of individuals in school. When asked for feedback, one student stated, “the intervention has helped me to realise areas of school life that I find more challenging and has helped me to make new friends and become more confident.” Each student who took part said that they had learnt a lot from each session, knowledge and understanding that they have endeavored to apply to everyday life. When asked what they would change about the sessions, the main response was to make the interventions last for a longer duration!

It has been wonderful to observe clear engagement, enthusiasm and positivity from our Year 7s. As a year team, we will continue to award importance to, and promote, emotional resilience and make students aware of how extremely proud we are of their efforts to seize every opportunity given to them to the best of their ability, in an attempt to make progress. We hope to see them further embed their newly developed skills in every aspect of school life at Mount St Mary’s.