Key concepts covered: This Professional Development is designed to guide schools through some of the contemporary research and practice about student performance. The work centres around three factors that enable students to become their best. It will also share useful ways of applying the concepts of growth mindset, grit and wellbeing, to help students THRIVE. During his presentations, Luke outlines relevant research through stories, shares case studies of schools who have taken action and made an impact, and gives real life examples and practical take aways from his own experience as an Assistant Principal and as Director of Unleashing Personal Potential. This workshop is an awesome opportunity to learn, reflect, grow, share and take action on helping students THRIVE.

Program Options (Choose from 60 minute sessions, up to a full day with your staff):

Session #1- Thriving with growth mindsets (with a focus on neuroplasticity and creating a culture of stretching).

Session #2- Getting gritty (Application: effective target setting, habit formation, getting out of the learning dip and deliberate practice).

Session #3- Helping kids flourish with wellbeing practices (Application: gratitude and active listening).

Session #4- Implementation plans and support- how to implement at your school.

Session #5- Positive Education practices- research and application for embedding into the life of the school.

Presenter: UPP founder, Luke McKenna is an educator and author who specialises in working with schools to build growth mindsets, grit, wellbeing and leadership for all students. Over the last 10 years, he has worked as a classroom teacher and school administrator. Luke has worked with educators and students across Australian Primary and Secondary schools from the Independent, Catholic and Public sectors. He holds degrees in Business and Education, a Masters of Educational Leadership, and a Professional Certificate in Positive Education. Luke has spoken at The Positive Schools Conference; Griffith University's Professional Development Network Conference; and ACU's Advisory Conferences in Canberra and Brisbane. His work has been published in the Australian Journal of Middle Schooling, Happy Schools and The Positive Times.

Ideas are well grounded in solid scientific scholarship, while providing practical ways to apply that scholarship within the school.”
— Dr Peggy Kern- Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne
One of the best and most useful PDs I have ever been on.
— Hayley Moore- Head of Junior Secondary, Ferny Grove SHS

If you would like to host an open workshop at your school,  or arrange PD for your staff, please contact us to discuss options.

Participant comments about UPP PD days

“Luke McKenna provided one of the best PD sessions that the St Andrew’s school staff have ever experienced. The input on Growth Mindset, Grit and Rigour was real and pertinent to what our profession is all about. As a result of his expertise in the Growth Mindset area, the children of St Andrew’s reaped the benefits from what their teachers / staff were able to relay to them.”
— John Leyden- Principal, St Andrews Catholic School, Ferny Grove
“Best PD I’ve ever attended in 7 years of teaching. The entire day was useful. A fantastic presentation!”
— Teacher- St Clare’s Primary School, Townsville.
“This Twilight was the BEST I have ever been to. Luke was an excellent presenter. He made the ‘after hours’ session very enjoyable. Let’s bring him back for the next twilight!!”
— Teacher- Holy Spirit College, Mackay.
“Luke has a passionate and genuine desire to unleash the potential in all of us. His presentations are engaging for both staff and students. Through the use of anecdotes and solid data and evidence, Luke clearly demonstrates how the growth mindset philosophy can be used to get the best out of our students and ourselves. As a College, we have been on the growth mindset journey for sometime, but Luke’s presentation has enabled us to take the next step and to really embed the philosophy into the culture of our school.”
— Steve Centra- Principal, Lumen Christi College, NSW South Coast
“Luke is a dynamic and charismatic presenter who engages teams with insightful ideas and resources for developing strategies for student success. Whether it be working with teachers on Leadership Development or Wellbeing, Luke is able to unpack the multilayers of research and his own teaching and leading experience for a fun-filled and action-orientated professional development program - one that our teachers have raved about.”
— Mark Fleming- Assistant Principal (Pastoral Care and Religious Education), Southern Cross College, Annandale.
“Luke has a wealth of knowledge based on the latest research and was able to adapt to our school’s needs at this point in time.  I spoke with him beforehand about where we were at in our journey and what we hoped to achieve this year and he was able to cover this brilliantly. He is well prepared, professional and has a dynamic and engaging manner when presenting.”
— Liz Gaber- Dean of Administration and Business Intelligence- St Patricks College, Shorncliffe
“Luke is an excellent presenter, very knowledgeable and has many great stories to share on Growth Mindset, Grit, Well-Being and Student Leadership. He engages his audience whether they are school staff members or students for the entire time of his presentations. We all walk away more informed and ready to put into practice what we have learnt to increase the capacities of the students we teach.”
— Nick Antoniazzi- Deputy Prinicipal (Students)- St Anthony's Catholic College, Townsville

"A great day of learning!" Brad Fox- Principal- Burpengary State School

"Very much enjoyed listening, learning and sharing. Great work." Marita Frazer- STL&N- Varsity College

"I got a lot out of the whole day and particularly enjoyed the balance between key points, research and stories as examples." Brenda Carige- Enhancement Teacher- St Patrick's College, Gympie

"I found it all useful. The chance to listen, discuss, work with others, reflect, share ideas and experience practical aspects really heighten the learning experience." Berni Sligar- Middle Years Coordinator- Brigidine College, Indooroopilly

"A great presentation. Most enjoyable and educational." Paul Pengelly- Prinicipal- Murrumba State Secondary College

"Loved all of it. Fantastic!" Bernadette Toohey- Year 7/8 Pastoral Leader- St John Fisher College

"I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the day. It was extensive, easy to understand and very useful. I really enjoyed the mixture of data, examples and hands on activities. I cannot wait to begin to implement." Ria Thompson- Teacher- Burpengary State School

"Very interesting and helpful. The most productive PD day!"

"A great PD packed with positive ideas that can be put into practice."

"Luke's presentation offered a lot of variety and was well paced to keep me interested. I appreciated the research, relevance and authenticity. I have since shared some of the insights from this PD with a particular year 8 class who is struggling with essay writing- it was like the light turned on for them, we can fail, but we'll learn, don't be afraid to work hard."

"Practical tools to help me with my everyday teaching, and an understanding of how to go about implementing change- excellent!"

"Great information and relevant examples. Highly professional and personable presentation."

"It is fantastic to have so many practical ideas to walk away with."

"A lot of food for thought about how to travel forward. A great day. Very well organised."

"Great PD. Best I've been to this year."

"Great to take goal setting to the next level. Really good to get ideas for how we can improve our own program."

"So many good ideas to think about and incorporate into existing PC program. 10/10"

"Practical ideas to include in my schools' SEL program. I really enjoyed the overview of growth mindset, grit and wellbeing- loved the examples and evidence."

 "It was fantastic. There were so many great ideas and super important messages for us personally and professionally. Entertaining and superbly delivered. Research was shared in a clear and easy to understand way. I wish I had this professional learning ten years ago."

"Luke's presentation was engaging. He was a teacher, so knows what we deal with - the content he presented was relevant and easy to implement. I loved this presentation!"