Discover & Innovate: Star programme helps students become their own shining star

Discover & Innovate: Star programme helps students become their own shining star

A new model helps students to deal with adversity or trauma. Those who are well-prepared psychologically will flourish even in tough times

The Star model provides a proven framework with structured pathways to build resilience in school communities.

The model, based on years of research and clinical experiences in positive psychology, equips students with the skills to cope with difficulties. This refers to the ability to maintain a healthy level of mental and physical functioning despite adversity or trauma, and promote their wellbeing.

Research shows that students who are well-prepared psychologically will flourish even in challenging circumstances. School is one of the most important aspects of life for teenagers, offering skills and abilities and instilling habits that support their successful adaptation and growth.

Star stands for four psychological components within the model:

  • Set-and-Go examines ways to build a future-oriented, hopeful thinking style.
  • (S)Trength tries to help students identify and build their strong points and virtues.
  • Attention helps students to gradually develop an awareness and increased sensitivity to see the positives in life.
  • Relationship encourages students to build more positive and wholesome interactions, thus improving their relationships with others.

After working together with The Women's Foundation since 2012, the Star model has been integrated into the Life Skills Programme at 15 secondary schools through three structured pathways: Explore, Apply and Rehearse.

Exploration helps students understand key concepts, and engage meaningfully in exploration and reflection through assessments and team activities. Application encourages students to put the new skills and mindsets into action. Lastly, students are encouraged to rehearse, or practise, the skills so that they become a habit. By following these three pathways, wellness, resilience and accomplishment will be achieved.

Over the course of the academic year, students participate in a series of workshops integrated into the school curriculum and extra-curricular initiatives, while practice activities and strategies influence their thinking, personal strengths, positive attitude, and social relationships in their daily lives. Workshops targeting teachers and parents are consistently conducted to build resilient and flourishing family and school communities.

Participating local secondary schools in the academic year (2014-2015) include China Holiness College, Holy Trinity College, Po Leung Kuk Lo Kit Shing (1983) College, Shek Lei Catholic Secondary School, St Catherine School for Girls, United Christian College, HKMA KS Lo College


We would like to warmly acknowledge The Women's Foundation's involvement in the design and development of the research studies and their successful integration into the foundation's exceptional Life Skills Programme. We would like to thank all staff and research assistants who have contributed to the project.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Schools and the Star

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