Best Practice

Flourishing: What it is and how to promote it in the classroom

Wellbeing, meaning, purpose, satisfaction – flourishing is at the heart of the culture at Sevenoaks School. Mark Beverley looks at what it entails and how the school fosters this among its students
Image: Adobe Stock

In a recent interview, Jesse Elzinga, the head of Sevenoaks School, was asked which word he used most. His answer was “flourishing”.

It is a word that you will hear used frequently by both staff and students at Sevenoaks School but it is more than just a word – it is fast becoming central to the way teaching, learning and school culture more generally are evolving.

Since 2021, we have worked with Research Schools International (RSI) and researchers from the Harvard Human Flourishing Programme on research to explore student flourishing.

The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University defines flourishing as a state of complete wellbeing, characterised by happiness and life satisfaction, a sense of meaning and purpose, good character and virtue, physical and mental health, and close social relationships (VanderWeele, 2020).

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