The Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Wellbeing / PERMA

Wellbeing / PERMA

Well-being at R.B.A.I.

At RBAI we have identified the well-being of our pupils as a priority. Our aim is to arm them with the knowledge to allow them to monitor their own well-being, but also to provide a framework that they can follow to improve their life experiences.

We are doing this by teaching our pupils about the three strands of our well-being framework

  1. PERMA
  2. Self-awareness
  3. Mental Health

Each strand will be covered in the PD programme explicitly and should be promoted through all areas of the school. PERMA is the acronym created by Dr Martin Seligman to promote positive psychology and he is a world leader in this field. Self-awareness and Mental Health will encourage our pupils to be introspective. This will be led on a three-year cycle in line with the findings of the University of Melbourne Well-being Profiler.

PERMA Definitions


It is important that we have clear definitions for each strand of PERMA which relate to the needs of the pupils in our school. The main theory is that each stakeholder identifies what works for them and then they use this repeatedly to promote the given response. PERMA refers to

Positive Emotions





Our journey

The journey began with the Principal embarking on a Churchill Fellowship. This prestigious award took her to Australia to work with other pioneering schools in the field of Well-being and the University of Melbourne. On her return, Mr Allen was appointed Senior Teacher in charge of Pupil Well-being. Mr Allen worked with the University of Melbourne to conduct their Well-being Profiler with our pupils. This gave us an insight into 44 different areas of our pupils lives that directly relate to well-being. This knowledge allowed us to create bespoke lessons to target the findings of the profiler. In addition to this Mr Allen has been working with QUB in their work with well-being. The Principal then sanctioned a co-produced PhD project between RBAI and QUB. Ruth Neill is the PhD student at QUB who has been exploring the link between well-being and physical activity. This process is on-going and Ruth continues to develop an intervention to promote positive well-being in young people.

RBAI’s commitment to the well-being of our pupils continues. Following on from the Principal’s Churchill Fellowship and the appointment of Mr Allen to research and develop methods to improve well-being, we have been working with Queen's University Belfast. Over the past year QUB and RBAI have been co-producing a school-based programme designed to improve well-being. Following phase 1 of the research, feedback from students and teachers was used to design the 6-week programme. Phase 2 of the research now involves refining the programme within the school setting with a group of 9 students. The first wave of development of the programme is complete and in this term we are now moving into the second phase of refining the programme using feedback we have received.

03 2021
CCF Ballykinler
04 2021
1st XI v Wallace
04 2021
1st XV v ERGS
04 2021
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
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