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Academic Curriculum

The Four Cs for Academic Resilience

From the Director of Curriculum, Elizabeth Watson

Confidence, Control, Composure and Commitment

To complement the Year 12 Retreat last week, the College ran a Year 12 Preparation program back at school for the alternating groups.

The program consisted of Elevate Education Study workshops and a presentation by James Cummins from The Positivity Project.

The Study workshops covered the areas of Belief and Growth Mindset, Goal Setting and Action Planning. The boys were then given time to set some goals and check in with their own mindset. Fixed, partially fixed or growth?

Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University, one of the world’s leading experts on student performance has found that the number one predictor for how well a student performs over a number of years is not IQ or talent but mindset.

High performing students have a “growth mindset”, the belief that with effort and persistence, they can and will do well.

The Positivity Project presentation focused on academic resilience and the factors needed for optimal functioning in Year 12.

James Cummins, a former teacher at Waverley College and now the director of The Positivity Project facilitated an entertaining and educational presentation on the importance of applying positive psychology skills of wellbeing, mindfulness and academic resilience.

James shared his personal story of overcoming academic adversity by adopting the skills of mindfulness, growth mindset and motivation. Students were invited to engage in a menu of mindfulness activities including harmonica playing, juggling, singing and focused breathing techniques.

Students were invited to accept their transition into Year 12 as a “Quest” and to practice the skills of mindfulness as a method to improve academic performance, enhance wellbeing and make significant contributions in their final year at Waverley College.


“The best aspect of the mindfulness and motivation seminar was being involved and learning about a flexible mindset.” Jack Gordon

“I enjoyed learning new ideas around how to improve my performance.’ Hunter Doyle

“The presenter was very enthusiastic and inclusive. I learned about the importance of mindfulness.” Mitchell Handley

“I enjoyed the presentation and learning how to improve my focus.” Finn O’Sullivan

For more information on The Positivity Project go to

Students and parents have access to Elevate Education’s online website which contains a range of resources including,

  • A copy of Elevate’s best selling guide, Science of Student Success written by the company’s founder, Doug Barton. It is available to download in PDF mode under the tab ‘Books’
  • A range of practice papers for each subject
  • Video tutorials
  • Tips from presenters all around Australia who have recently aced and faced their final years of high school
  • Question forum that allows students to have support even after their Elevate session

To access the online website students can use the following username and password:

Type in password pacco

I’d like to take this opportunity to commend the boys on their mature and positive approach to these sessions and to their Term 4 Assessment cycle.