SenseAbility FAQs

How do I prepare my school for the implementation of SenseAbility?

We suggest that you discuss the introduction of SenseAbility with your school's leadership team. The following are useful questions to consider before implementing SenseAbility:

  • Which year level/s or groups of students would benefit the most?
  • Which school teams need to be involved in the planning and delivery?
  • What curriculum links can we make using SenseAbility?
  • What type of classroom environment is best suited for delivery (e.g. open learning space, small classroom with breakout space)?
  • What current programs do we run which could be enhanced by SenseAbility?

Should we engage others in the school community (e.g. student wellbeing coordinator, youth resource team, pre-service teachers, peer support leaders, junior/senior sub school leaders) to support delivery?

If several teachers in a single school are planning to deliver SenseAbility, try to make time to discuss the approach as a teaching group, with a more experienced teacher offering guidance on effective delivery.

Some important questions to consider when undertaking specific planning include:

  • Which modules should be covered and when?
  • Which curriculum area should the program fall under?
  • Who will lead the delivery and implementation?

You may consider presenting background information on the program and sharing resources with your staff so they can gain an understanding of the importance of teaching Life Senses and Essential Skills for building resilience in young people. You also may consider sending a letter to parents informing them of the program and encouraging them to discuss it with their children.

What type of professional learning is available to support the delivery of SenseAbility?

SenseAbility e-learning is a free professional learning program designed for the education, health and community sectors. It was developed to assist teachers and others who work with young people in delivering SenseAbility and, in particular, the Essential Skills module. 

This program will cover approximately three hours of professional learning and you will receive a certificate upon completion.

The six topics covered are:

  • introduction
  • thinking well
  • thinking errors
  • emotional fitness
  • keeping well
  • application and delivery.

Should I invite external community or health personnel to deliver the program?

Many schools have invited community organisations and wellbeing staff to co-deliver SenseAbility. While not mandatory, it does offer benefits. The different expertise and skills others bring to the program can build your teachers' capacities to deliver a strength-based resilience the program and improve teacher-student relationships. It can also expose students to support or services beyond the school.

How much knowledge do teachers need about cognitive behavioural principles?

The Essential Skills module and DVD clearly explain and demonstrate cognitive behaviour principles. Each module also includes research and professional reading reference lists teachers can utilise.

How do we handle students who may be experiencing mental health difficulties such as depression?

SenseAbility is likely to be useful for all students, regardless of their current mental health. Some students experiencing difficulty may not wish to participate or get involved, but the skill sets may still be useful. It is possible that these students will get more out of the program by working in small groups or as individuals with a teacher or counsellor. Of course, students experiencing significant difficulties should be referred to a school counsellor or community service where possible (sources of support are identified in the SenseAbility materials).

What if I lose or damage the CD/Essential Skills DVD?

We suggest you load the CD and Essential Skills DVD on to your school's network, so all teachers can freely access it. The curriculum and resources can also be downloaded for free from our website and the DVD can be viewed online the SenseAbility YouTube channel.

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