Tenison Woods College

Introducing the Community

K-12 Secondary Catholic Education School, Mt Gambier, South Australia

Tenison Woods College have a long history of seeking to understand and implement the science of wellbeing and growth across their educational community. 

LBI Foundation has partnered with the school community since 2019, as guided by the Resilient IMPACT capacity building strategy. The intent (or outcomes) and actions of this work is summarised below. 

Intent ('What')

Build a Wellbeing and Trauma Responsive Educational Community

As Made Practical Through the Following Co-Designed Outcomes


To embed a cohesive, intentional, integrated and common approach (across main site and child care) to:

  • Implement a safe, growth-focused and wellbeing-responsive learning environment. 
  • Deliver personalised student wellbeing and support services, and to meet all students at their individual starting point (needs and context).
  • Embed a trauma-responsive and inclusive support culture. 


To embed the awareness, skills and mindsets to: 

  • Intentionally respond (rather than react) to individual student needs (e.g., trauma, growth, learning, developmental) in a relationship focused and personalised manner.  
  • Grow student capacity through intentionally delivered social-emotional learning, side-by-side coaching, shared Growth Action Planning processes and through both implicit and explicit learning approaches.
  • Empower educators to work together in shared intent. 


To provide students high quality resources and content that is focused on: 

  • Foundational wellbeing and resilience skills. 
  • Social-emotional learning competencies and curriculum. 
  • Meta-cognitive and problem solving. 
  • How to work side-by-side with others in shared intent. 

Actions ('How')


The support has been personalised to the school and geographic community. The co-designed wellbeing framework (2019) was aligned to the school values, and built upon their engagement with SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre and the science of wellbeing which was embedded within their school values (SHINE). The work has also sought to  strengthen the implementation of broader Catholic Education of South Australia’s wellbeing frameworks and learning initiatives (Living Learning Leading and Learn Well), as well as the whole-of-state CESA implementation of the Clarity framework. 

Summary Actions

  • Entire capacity building initiative founded upon the science, research and practice of intentional practice, as made practical for educational and school settings.  
  • Implementation underpinned by the Resilient IMPACT capacity building strategy.  
  • LBI Foundation Community Lead: David Kelly. 
  • 2019LBI supported the leadership team to operationalise a locally owned wellbeing framework that built upon their historical work with SAHMRI and their school values (SHINE). It was made practical through an intentional practice logic model. 
  • 2020 – The focus has been on making this framework practical and stick in action through the IMPACT Program. All Tenison Woods College staff were IMPACT Trained, and 16 key leaders across the school were accredited to the IMPACT Coach (or Community Champion level). This was supported by wrap-around coaching. 
  • 2020-21 – The College community has focused on embedding intentional practice and IMPACT tools and strategies into teaching practice and the culture of the school through the sustained application of a community of practice approach. Evaluations undertaken by LBI in 2020 and Central Queensland University in 2021.
  • 2022 – Deepening focus around trauma, attachment and growth action planning.
  • 2023 – Dedicated IMPACT train-the-trainers, focus on taking IMPACT content to explicit teaching with students. The 2023 project goal is as follows:
    • The Tenison Woods College community will co-create sustainable methods, tools and strategies that explicitly engage students in the processes of building and sustaining a wellbeing-and-trauma responsive educational community.
Tenison Woods College

Tenison Woods College community of practice reflective session

Commentary and Further Information

Local Quote

Impact and Role of Intentional Practice

Throughout our journey of implementing intentional practices to support the needs of staff, students and parents, we have seen a natural response from our staff to look below the surface to support the raised concern. The willingness and confidence our staff have shown to respond with a growth intent has supported a pedagogical shift

Local Quote

The Importance of Under the Surface Thinking

The LBI tools and strategies have been further embedded into the daily work of staff at TWC with staff consistently using under the surface thinking to explain student behaviours. Students have begun utilising What-What-How® as peer mentors which we look forward to evolving.

Local Quote

The Role of Growth Action Planning

The side-by-side formulation of GrowthAction Plans (mapped to the What-What-How®) has been instrumental in supporting us as educators to develop shared growth intent (goals) and identify small steps of growth (change), thus building our capacity to ‘respond rather than react’ or act in an intentional manner.

Leadership Team