Geelong Grammar School


About GGS

Geelong Grammar School (GGS) is an Anglican, co-educational boarding and day school based in the city of Geelong, southwest of Melbourne. GGS has approximately 1,500 students from pre-school to secondary and has a long history with positive psychology starting in 2008.

GGS has pioneered many innovative programs to embed positive psychology in their teaching and culture.

The Challenge

GGS became aware of a need to re-invigorate and continue evolving their Positive Education approach and programs in order to enhance wellbeing and performance outcomes for their students, in particular to continue to engage strongly with students in the secondary school.

GGS was interested to incorporate a coaching approach into their programs in order to provide more individualised support to students to set and strive for meaningful goals.

Our Solution

Starting in early 2021, The Positivity Institute collaborated with GGS to bring to life the strategic vision for a coaching culture at the school. This has included the introduction of Learning Coaches, teachers who have received specialist training in coaching skills.

It was agreed that a coaching culture would be evident when coaching is used consistently by all partners across the school community, to help develop learning, understanding and personal responsibility in others.

To meet this goal The Positivity Institute has to date designed and delivered professional learning including:

  • An introduction to Creating a Coaching Culture for all staff.

  • Coaching skills workshops for all appointed Learning Coaches

  • Coaching workshops for other interested staff to continue to grow the coaching culture with a team of internal Coaching Champions.

Our Results


GGS is now in the 3rd year of establishing a coaching approach which is embedded in their wellbeing programmes. A coaching structure has been created as part of the Pathways Programme for Senior Years to support all students to complete Student Action Plans which identify goals and the actions they can take to accomplish them.

The Student Action Plans incorporate targets related to wellbeing, learning and growth, allowing students to personalise and apply the wellbeing science that is taught throughout the school.

The structure gives all senior students the opportunity to engage in a timetabled coaching cycle each semester during which they meet one on one several times with the teacher who has been assigned to be their Learning Coach. The Student Action Plans are reviewed and updated each coaching cycle. Feedback and observation suggests that the coaching has facilitated greater reflection and self-regulation for students.

GGS seeks out feedback from students each semester regarding their experience of coaching and there has been considerable positive feedback from both students and learning coaches to date.

A majority of students report that the coaching interactions have been useful, and the Learning coaches are observing a growing willingness in students to participate and engage in the coaching conversations.

The Learning coaches themselves are starting to experiment with different strategies, enjoying the opportunity to try out ideas and share coaching practices.

What next for Geelong Grammar School?

GGS continues to both evaluate the success of the student coaching approach, and consider ways in which the program structure can be further improved.

Now that a coaching approach is embedded for the senior students at GGS, there is desire to re-invigorate and further develop coaching opportunities for staff. GGS has had a team of self-selected staff member coaches in the past and has also utilised external coaches to support school leaders. There are now plans to re-invigorate the coaching team and offer current interested staff members the opportunity to develop coaching skills. This would facilitate a peer coaching model for the staff.

Another project being considered is offering students the opportunity to develop coaching skills as a valuable leadership tool which they could utilise both at school and after they graduate.


“Working with The Positivity Institute has been energising. I know they have their finger on the pulse of best practice and I appreciate being able to bring in experts who will actively engage with us to understand our needs and provide a tailored approach in their development and delivery of programs.”

Geelong Grammar School, 2023

The Positivity Institute