Absentee Line - Text 0417 596 611 or Phone Primary 8150 2397, Secondary 8150 2323 or Email student.reception@smc.sa.edu.au

Enlighten Education and Goodfella’s – raising amazing teens!

Enlighten Education – The Butterfly Effect

Annually St Michael’s College engages Enlighten Education to work with the Year 7, 8 and 9 students as part of the varied and extensive Wellbeing Program here at St Michael’s College.

Enlighten Education’s evidence based, award-winning workshops encourage teenagers to find their voice, build connection with their cohort and their school, build agency for themselves and develop positive personal wellbeing behaviours. Their signature programs The Butterfly Effect and The Journey (to support students with the transition from Primary to Secondary), cover a range of workshop topics including Love the Skin You’re In, Girl World, Stop, I Don’t Like It, Real Girl Power – beyond slogans and stereotypes, Stop, Revive, Survive and Gratitude.

Social media, YouTube, advertising – much of the information mass media bombards teenagers with is negative and contradictory; no wonder they report feeling stressed and inadequate! The workshops offer balance and critical thinking skills, they focus on informing, inspiring and empowering students. Also strategies – it’s important to teach young people what to do to respond resiliently to the world we live in.

Students in middle years are in a very unique phase of their life. The transition from primary school to high school is only one of the changes and challenges students face. How we work with them to support them in facing these challenges and to thrive in high school is critical for their confidence, their growth and their resilience. We know, beginning high school can be exciting, but also challenging as they learn to traverse a new (and usually much bigger) landscape with different expectations.

All of a sudden they need to be more independent, experts with timetabling and study routines, and confident enough to form new friends and somehow fit in to their new peer group, as only some of the issues they will begin to face. The Enlighten Education programs have been developed by Dannielle Miller, an experienced educator with over 20 years experience, best selling author and media commentator. Dannielle is a thought leader and expert in fostering resilience in teens.

Goodfella’s – Year 7 boys

Disengagement from school, the pressure to look buffed, feeling like they cannot express the full range of emotions, fall outs with their mates, limiting gender stereotypes… all are issues plaguing our boys. Meanwhile we also need to do the urgent work that is required to educate them in order to help eliminate violence against women.

The Goodfella’s program includes ”Myth Busting; busting stereotypes that harm boys, and it also includes anti-violence elements – the program is a considered, positive, and pro-active initiative. Boys need more strong male role models, the Presenter Jack Ellis has a proven track record working face-to-face with boys and men to lead these conversations that matter – with the aim that together we will help raise some really good fellas.

Student feedback is an important part of all of our Wellbeing Program

Year 7s

The Enlighten program helped us gain a better understanding of body positivity, respect your peers, and not to compare yourself to unrealistic expectations; love the skin you’re in. Rosie delivered many powerful messages and got us to think about ourselves in a positive light. It was a very useful program, and we’re very lucky and thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.” – Lara and Zoe.

Enlighten education was a great and fun experience for all of the girls and we really enjoyed partaking in it. At Enlighten Education we learnt about body positivity, what to do when you are having trouble with your friends, and to always make the best of a bad situation/be positive. A fun activity we did was when we made these journals and got into groups of 8-10. We then customised our journals with colours, stickers and gems that we liked. When we finished making our journals our book would be passed around and the people in our group would write nice messages about us. This activity was very uplifting to all the girls and made the majority of us feel great about ourselves. It was very inspiring to hear about the life she had at our age. It was a great experience and we are sure most of us would be glad to listen again.” – Lyla and Georgie, 7GPC3 Class Leaders.

Year 8s
The Year 8 girls had the opportunity to take place in a workshop called the Butterfly Effect provided to us by Enlighten Education. The workshop that we were fortunate enough to engage in, was a great opportunity for young girls like us. It helped us to relate to other girls, and it showed us that we weren’t going through anything alone and gave us ideas of people who we can go to if we do feel this way. Rosie showed us that there is no one else like ourselves and that we should not change anything about ourselves or our appearance to please other people. Therefore, we thank Rosie Panetta from Enlighten Education for providing our Year 8 cohort with such an amazing service.” – Hope and Sienna.

On Friday year eight girls went to the Enlighten workshop. Something that surprised us was the number of advertisements we see a day. On average we see around 400-600 ads per day. We found this workshop to be very inspiring and made us feel good about ourselves.” – Isla.

The Enlighten Education workshop certainly gave us some food for thought. The workshop that was most important to me was the workshop on gratefulness, because Rosie (our lovely speaker) made us write all the things we are grateful for and a letter to a person we are grateful for. It really opened my eyes to see that I should be grateful for everything and everyone I have, because some people have it much worse than me. For me, the workshop that was most thought provoking was the one on body image. It made me feel quite perturbed that 68% of teenage girls demean themselves and say they’re less pretty than the “average girl”. Rosie explained to us that all the models and influences shown on social media don’t always show their true self, as they photoshop their images to make themselves look “better”. This provided myself useful information as I know now not to compare myself to social media influencers. I never realised that us girls had it so hard out there in the world. Women are treated quite poorly in brand advertisements and sports, for example, the Norwegian handball team were fined nearly $250 for wearing shorts over their bikini bottoms because they felt uncomfortable wearing such little clothing. This series of workshops provided useful information for me, and I can’t wait for next year’s workshops!” – Hannah.

Last Friday the Year 8 girls attended the Enlighten Workshop Presented by Rosie Panetta. We engaged in things like finding what we were most grateful in life, how we can respect ourselves and others and many more beneficial things. The aspect of Enlighten that helped us both was the way that Rosie spoke to us on her personal experience of gratitude and many other things that were helpful. The aspect that was most thought provoking/useful was that we are not made to be perfect and that we are amazing the way we are. Another thought-provoking thing is that social media can have many harmful things posted by people with unrealistic standards which can affect young people negatively in many ways.” – Carys.

Year 9s

In Week 4, all of the Year 9 girls participated in the Enlighten Education program. This program teaches all girls the ability to create a strong and healthy relationship with the people around them. This program was taught through 3 workshops throughout the day and each workshop would teach us something new. In the workshops we would learn about negative stereotyping, sexism, media images, the fixation on looking a certain way and how all these issues are what today’s young people are facing. In the workshops, the presenter encouraged us to critically evaluate the messages that bombard us everyday and then they would help us develop strategies that help us respond in the best way possible. In this program we also talked about self-worth and how much of a difference it can make on a person’s mind set, and as we ended off the day we all participated in a 20min long mindfulness session which we all enjoyed.” – Chloe.