One of the most common ways schools aim to foster a sense of community, competency and belonging is through the inclusion of children in whole class or whole school activities.
For many schools this includes swimming carnivals placed near the beginning of the school year and athletic carnivals in term three. It can also mean shared social events such as school fundraisers, community fares or class sleep overs.  Some of these events include the wider community, some are competitive in nature, and many create school wide traditions from year to year. In this presentation Helen will explore the value and impact of group events and will ask: how can we ensure they help all students to thrive?
Does participation in competitive events build resiliency, team spirit and motivation, or does it lead to anxiety, stress and reduced engagement?
What about events with a less competitive nature such as a school fete or sleep over? Do these help kids to belong or simply to learn to fit in?
Ultimately, how can schools make sure that participation, and indeed competition, contribute to contextual wellbeing for the young people in their care? 

About Helen
In 1999 Dr Helen Street moved from to Perth to take up an academic position in the School of Psychiatry at The University of Western Australia. Soon after arriving in Perth, Helen and Neil Porter founded the Positive Schools Initiative which advocates for educational reform to better support equity, motivation and wellbeing in young people. At the core of The Positive Schools Initiative are The Positive Schools conferences which have become known as Australia's leading mental health and wellbeing events for educators.
During the past ten years,  Helen has also been a regular advisor to the Health Department of WA's Centre for Clinical Interventions and the WA Association of Mental Health. She has presented regularly on TV, radio and in other media. Helen has also worked with schools and colleges around Australia and internationally in countries including England, Wales, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Helen has written four books including 'Standing Without Shoes' (co-authored with George Burns) which contains a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Helen’s latest book ‘Contextual Wellbeing – creating positive schools from the inside out’ has been praised by leading educators, psychologists and academics around the world.