About:

The Creating Space Project offers Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) workshops that target the general capabilities required for students to develop into citizens who seek to transform society into one that is both socially and ecologically sustainable.

Aims:

The workshops target critical and creative thinking, ethical understanding, intercultural understanding, and personal and social capability. The workshops also enable students to learn and reflect on their own learning, through the development of metacognitive awareness.

To foster sustainability, young people need the chance to purposefully develop a balance of

  • pro-social emotions, including empathy, that allow a compassionate sense of perspective-taking; and
     
  • critical thinking, a capacity to wonder and think critically about the truth of information.

The ability to synthesise both these emotional and cognitive skills allows for ethical decision-making based on the long-term wellbeing of environments and people.

How do we do this?

The Creating Space Project uses evidence-based mindfulness and narrative therapy techniques to develop this balance. Mindfulness is known to increase self-compassion, which in turn increases compassion for others; it also increases perspective-taking, an important part of empathy, and decreases personal distress, through the practice of non-judging and non-reacting.

Mindfulness is also known to increase metacognitive awareness, allowing students to reflect on their own learning.

Narrative therapy is known to creatively engage young people in developmentally appropriate ways, by fostering creativity and open-ended learning.

Format

The groups are highly flexible and designed to suit the needs of a particular setting. Depending on the individual requirements of a school The Creating Space Project can deliver:

  • a one-off experience, or
  • a series of workshops One package available is a one school term, 8 - 10 session program.

The number of participants is flexible. It can be run as a small group of 8-10. It can also be tailored for a class group.

Pre- and post- testing is available, documented with a written description of the program and its outcomes.

Given its impact on health and wellbeing, a mindfulness program could be offered to students who opt out of Thursday afternoon sport.

Facilitator

Ruth Nelson is a generalist psychologist, and covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance. Ruth is supported by Jodie Hay, administrator. Both Jodie and Ruth have a valid Working with Children Check.

Costing

For a group of 8-10 students, the suggested fee is $10 per student per session. For a class sized group the suggested fee is $300. For a full day of workshops the suggested fee is $1200.

Social Enterprise

A portion of a fee paid by a school or organisation to the Creating Space Project enables Ruth and Jodie to deliver workshops with marginalised community groups. As such, in simply booking the Creating Space Project, a school is directly putting into practise the values we are endeavouring to nurture. At the time of writing, this includes a mindfulness group for refugee women, and a podcast that nurtures conversation about values in the broader community.

Ages:

Primary Stage 1 (Y1-2), Primary Stage 2 (Y3-4), Primary Stage 3 (Y5-6), Secondary Stage 4 (Y7-8), Secondary Stage 5 (Y9-10), Secondary Stage 6 (Y11-12)

Locations:

Albury, Ballarat, Bathurst, Bendigo, Canberra, Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Geelong, Lismore, Maitland, Melbourne, Melton, Mildura, Newcastle, Orange, Port Macquarie, Queanbeyan, Richmond, Shepparton-Mooroopna, Sydney, Tamworth, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga, Warrnambool, Windsor, Wodonga, Wollongong

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