Pennington Education
Fostering creativity and resilience



About Me

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I am a primary school teacher, education consultant and PhD candidate passionate about the development of social and emotional skills in children so that they may achieve wellbeing, resilience and academic goals. I provide training, information and resources to teachers and parents so that they can do the same.

Having started studying Psychology at school and then at university, I began my career working in recruitment. A few years in I decided it wasn't for me and studied to become a teacher, knowing I wanted to 'get psychology' into the classroom in some way.

At my first school I was introduced to a social emotional learning (SEL) program and my passion was sparked - I've since completed a Masters research thesis about effective implementation of SEL programs and am now completing my PhD researching the classroom practices most conducive to student wellbeing.

I am so grateful to have been mentored by the student wellbeing specialist Dr Toni Noble, who has believed in me from the start and given me so many opportunities, and my supervisors Professor Alex Yeung and Dr Anthony Dillon.

I understand teachers' workloads and have created workshops and resources to make it easy for them to integrate the development of social and emotional skills along with academic outcomes in their lessons. I am proud to have created The Whole Student with corresponding resources, and to be Head of Professional Development for the Bounce Back! Wellbeing and Resilience Program.

Please get in touch with any questions or comments! I believe that collaboration is the key to success in education, as it is in any industry.

The Whole Student

The promotion of student wellbeing should include explicit instruction of social, emotional and critical and creative thinking skills using pedagogical choices that support students’ autonomy, their feelings of competence and their sense of connection to their peers and teachers. The Whole Student model clarifies this process, and training courses guide educators to apply it to their teaching programs.

The soil represents a classroom environment in which teaching strategies that satisfy basic psychological needs (autonomy (A), belonging (B) and competence (C)) are utilised.

In turn, the soil provides nutrients for the seeds, that is, the explicit instruction of social (S), emotional (E) and critical and creative thinking skills (T). These skills can be taught using a range of programs and frameworks.

A needs supportive classroom environment together with the promotion of SET skills results in two fruits: the academic and personal success of the students.



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At Pennington Education we believe that all students deserve an equal chance to achieve academic and social and emotional outcomes. This means that classes must be differentiated to accommodate different needs. Dr Gillian Pennington is an EAL/D consultant and works with schools to ensure that students who speak languages other than English are supported to reach their potential. For information about her teacher training workshops or school consultancy, please get in touch.