Seasons for Growth Program
Seasons for Growth® is based on the belief that change and loss are part of life and grief is a normal response to these losses. Children, young people and adults need the opportunity to learn about how death, separation, divorce or other significant loss events may impact on their lives. The Seasons for Growth® programs provide an opportunity for participants to learn the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to understand and respond well to such experiences.
The Seasons for Growth® Children and Young People’s Program:
- supports children and young people to understand and respond well to the issues they experience as a result of death, separation, divorce or other significant change and loss in their lives
- assists children and young people to understand that their feelings and other reactions are normal
- develops skills for coping, problem solving and decision making
- builds a peer support network
- helps restore self-confidence and self-esteem
- educates children and young people about the grief process.
The program is based on small group like-to-like peer learning processes (4–7 participants with 1 adult ‘Companion’), creating a safe space for children and young people aged 6–18 years to practise new ways of thinking and responding to change and loss in their lives. The emphasis is on understanding the effects of change, loss and grief, whilst developing skills in communication, decision making and problem solving. The program is underpinned throughout by an emphasis on the development of children and young people’s identity (‘I am’), relationships (‘I have’) and competence (‘I can’), helping to build self-confidence, self-esteem and a felt sense of belonging and connection.
The Seasons for Growth® program is evidence based and relies on research, strategies and techniques consistent with high quality, psychosocial education. The program has a sound curriculum structure and incorporates a wide range of age-appropriate activities including writing, drawing, discussion, stories, role play, music, guided meditation and journalling. Children’s learning is largely generated through these activities and the conversations that emerge from stories shared, questions asked, skills learnt and friendships developed. This child-centred approach to learning encourages participants to not only value who they are and the particular ‘story’ they have, but also to modify where necessary their thinking, attitudes, beliefs and constructs about life and to ‘take charge’ of their behaviours. As de Winter and colleagues (1999) point out:
Learning by doing, learning by participation instead of exclusion is to be considered as a powerful tool to promote self-confidence, self-respect and a sense of control over one’s own life.
Learning to live with change and loss
Change and loss are issues that affect all of us at some stage in our lives. At Bethany College we recognise that when changes occur in families through death, separation, divorce and related circumstances, young people may benefit from learning how to manage these changes effectively. We are therefore offering a very successful education program called Seasons for Growth which will commence on 29th March, 2017.
This program is facilitated in small groups and is based on research which highlights the importance of social support and the need the practise new skills to cope effectively with change and loss. The program focuses on issues such as self-esteem, managing feelings, problem-solving, decision-making, effective communication and support networks.
We will be inviting students who have discussed their challenge with loss, and each of those families will receive a notice in the near future with more details about the Seasons for Growth program. If you think your daughter would benefit from Seasons for Growth we would encourage you to talk to her about participating in the program.
Bethany College is pleased to be able to offer this important program and we are confident that it will be a valuable learning experience for those who request to be involved. If you require further information please contact Katerina Stratilas (School Counsellor) on 8566 0711 or email@example.com.
Katerina Stratilas – School Counsellor
Katrine Barnes – Year 7 Co-Ordinator