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Introducing the Heart Space center for wellbeing

Like most things in life, educating students can’t happen properly without first focusing on physical and mental wellbeing.

While it’s always the first priority of an All Saints teacher to ensure this wellbeing, from time to time they may need some extra support.

Enter the Heart Space, All Saints’ new centre for wellbeing that now occupies the former Main Administration building.

The framework for the Heart Space is based on the positive psychology model and was created collaboratively by

All Saints’ dedicated team of school psychologists with Headmaster Patrick Wallas.

School Psychologist Kylie Donnolley says that the Heart Space is a place where people can come to reset whenever they are feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

“It’s about providing a space for people to be able to come when they might be feeling stressed, with high anxiety or low moods for example,” says Mrs Donnolley.

“After checking in through the proper channels with their teachers and Heart Space staff, students can rest and restore here before heading back to class. Each person will have different needs and we are here to support them.”

My vision for the Heart Space is that everybody in our school community can utilise it to benefit their wellbeing in some way.
— Kylie Donnolley, School Psychologist

The Heart Space is comprised of several rooms suited to different purposes.

For example, the ‘Calm Room’ is designed to inspire comfortable and quiet reflection, while the ‘Thrive Room’ is a more active space where students can complete work and have conversations.

Activities such as yoga and meditation happen during the week, and small focus groups will often meet to work through mental health issues and build on social skills, confidence and resilience.

Of course, Charlie the Therapy Dog is also thrilled with his new home on campus, considering he has more space for running around and greeting students.

Even though the Heart Space has only officially launched this term, Mrs Donnolley can see the positive effect it has already had on the community.

“I often see those growth moments where, instead of hiding in the bathroom or skipping out on a lesson, students feel comfortable and safe coming here,” says Mrs Donnolley.

“The other day, a student said to me that if it wasn’t for the Heart Space, they would not still be at school.

“My vision for the Heart Space is that everybody in our school community can utilise it to benefit their wellbeing in some way.”

The acronym explained

Behind the Heart Space is an evidence-based positive psychology model which incorporates five elements that are critical to long-term wellbeing.

This five-point model feeds into the All Saints HEART acronym: ‘Health’, ‘Encouraging Positive Emotions’,

‘Achievements and Interests’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Truth, Faith and Purpose’.

This model aims to prevent depression, increase life satisfaction, encourage social responsibility, promote creativity, foster learning and enhance academic achievement.

Ultimately, it helps the All Saints wellbeing team support the mental health and wealth of each student.