Positive Schools Coaching and Consultancy

A Systems Based Approach to Whole School Wellbeing

‘At last someone is reaching into what really matters. The careful and critical thinking behind ‘Contextual Wellbeing’  is overwhelmingly encouraging for anyone working in education, anyone engaged in learning and anyone sending their offspring to School.’
John Hendry, OAM, Acclaimed Educator and Advocate for Youth Wellbeing in Schools

Positive Schools Coaching and Consultancy supports your school leaders, teachers and parents in their ongoing development of a thriving school community. 

We use an evidence-based systems approach to support whole-school wellbeing and academic thriving. 

Our work is supported by sound academic research and over 30 years of experience working to support the wellbeing and motivation of young people.

We help you to bring out the best in your school with the support of: 

  • staff wellbeing and resilience 
  • healthy relationships and classroom cohesion 
  • inclusive, equitable policy and practice 
  • a culture that reflect school values 
  • places and spaces that offer meaning and value 

The Contextual Wellbeing Framework

Positive Schools Coaching and Consultancy uses the CONTEXTUAL WELLBEING framework (Street, 2018) [i] to help you bring out the best in your school in an equitable, inclusive and cohesive way.

A school with Contextual Wellbeing is a school in which all members of the school community experience belonging and engagement. A sense of belonging and engagement in learning grow when the school supports equity, inclusivity and cohesion across all aspects of school context.  

Contextual Wellbeing grows with the intentional development of EQUITY and SELF-DETERMINATION across the school community, with a clear focus on supporting AGENCY, COHESION, and a sense of PROGRESS (based on Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory, 1985) [ii].

Self-Determination theory (SDT) has repeatedly shown that autonomous motivation, wellbeing and self-determination are all inextricably linked.

We believe that a person acting with autonomous motivation is a person demonstrating wellbeing in action.

SDT states that self-determination, autonomous motivation and wellbeing are all increased when a person has their three key needs of autonomy, relatedness and competency met.

  • Autonomy, represented with a focus on AGENCY which includes the support of choice and control, ‘ownership’, psychological safety and student voice.
  • Relatedness, represented with a focus on inclusion and COHESION, which involves supporting individual and group relationships for all members of groups and the whole school community. We firmly believe that the development of healthy relationships begins with the support of STAFF WELLBEING and RESILIENCE.
  • Competency, represented with a focus on PROGRESS, incorporating an understanding of success as improvement and growth, rather than the achievement of any particular outcome. We firmly believe that a shift to developing EQUITY results in greater opportunity for ongoing COMPETENCY among all members of a school community.
“When the ephemeral mists of Mindset, Grit, and Resilience programs fade away, Contextual Wellbeing will remain standing strong and unshaken.”
Dr Jared Cooney Horvath, Director of the Science of Learning Group, The University of Melbourne

School Development with Energy and Enthusiasm

We understand that all positive school development requires the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of staff to occur effectively, and sustainably.

With this understanding in mind, we embrace an APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY methodology (Cooperrider, 1995) [iii] in our work. This ensures that staff are encouraged to identify and build on what is working well, rather than to identify problems that need fixing. This positive approach ensures that staff are engaged and energized with the process of contextual development in your school. Rather than focusing on problems, you are celebrating what is working well as a foundation for building and improving your school context.

The AI framework has been proven to be a successful model of change and development because:

  • Research strongly supports the use of AI in creating long term sustainable change
  • All change and development require the buy in, engagement and enthusiasm of people involved in that change. AI ensures that people feel engaged, energized and enthusiastic as they focus on their strengths, accomplishments and ongoing achievement.
  • People are more likely to engage with a process that acknowledges and builds on what is working; than on a process that negates past efforts and focuses only on what is not going well
  • AI understands that the things we focus on ‘grow’; as such it supports a focus on creating ‘solutions’ rather than mending ‘problems’.
  • Problems are viewed as challenges to positive change and growth.


      [i] Street, Helen (2018) Contextual Wellbeing – creating positive schools from the inside out. Wise Solutions – Australia

       [ii] Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985) Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination

in Human Behaviour. New York, NY: Plenum

       [iii] Cooperrider, D. L. (1995). Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry. In W. French & C. Bell (Eds.), Organization Development (5th ed., ): Prentice Hall

"More and more schools are desperate to improve student and staff engagement and wellbeing. If a school is hoping for sustained and meaningful wellbeing initiatives, as well as a collaborative approach from within the community, then Contextual Wellbeing is an essential way forward."
Charlie Scudamore, Vice Principal, Geelong Grammar School, Australia

Contact Us

Find out more, ask us a question  or make an inquiry

  • By email: [email protected]
  • By phone number: 0011 61 (0) 89 388 8843
  • By mail: PO BOX 634 Subiaco 6905 Western Australia