Positive Education

At the core of the TAS vision is the firm belief that education is about the holistic development of character and willingness to engage in life, running parallel and not separate to, the pursuit of academic achievement and effort. 

Central to this is a commitment to the philosophy of Positive Education, a strand of Positive Psychology that focuses on building on strengths, increasing resilience, and creating a sense of meaning and optimism.

One of the most strident supporters of Positive Education is the psychologist Dr Martin Seligman Director of the Positive Psychology Centre at the University of Pennsylvania, who created the acronym PERMA to demonstrate the pillars of Positive Psychology:

Positive Emotions & Health



Meaning and purpose


Key to its success is developing a sense of wellbeing for students and staff so that they may flourish and find meaning in all that they do. It is this sense of meaningfulness, or purpose, that distinguishes Positive Psychology from philosophies that focus purely on ‘happiness’.

Linked to this at TAS are behaviour management practices built on the foundations of Restorative Justice, which aim for equity, fairness and responsibility in all circumstances. These two philosophies will be the guiding principles for staff-student interaction and all staff will be trained on an ongoing basis in the key elements of these philosophies. For TAS, Positive Education means providing our students with experiences that promote such positive emotions as inspiration, pleasure, peace and engagement.

TAS has long had a history of offering opportunities in which they can develop a deep interest but also connect them to a cause bigger than oneself. Adventure trips, service projects and leadership programs all give students the means by which they can feel a sense of meaning, optimism and hope as they prepare to go into the world. Further programs are being developed to instil the pillars of Positive Education into all that we do.

Here is more information about Positive Psychology.

Seligman, M. Authentic Happiness (2002)

Seligman, M. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Wellbeing (2011).

The Director of Pastoral Care Mr Adam (AJ) Whalley can be contacted by emailing him here.