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Age From: 


Age To: 


Delivered To: 

  • Children/Students


  • Component 2 : Social and emotional learning for students
  • Component 4 : Helping children with mental health difficulties


  • Social and emotional skills
  • Internalising only (anxiety, excessive worrying etc)


Target Group

Optimistic Kids is designed for students aged 9-13 years. The program can be delivered in the classroom or for groups of 10-12 students at a time.

Delivery By: 

  • Primary teachers and staff
  • Allied health professionals


Optimistic Kids is a 10 session group program that aims to build resilience in students so that they have the skills and tools they need to successfully navigate challenges in life.



Optimistic Kids teaches students skills like:

  • factual thinking
  • emotional regulation
  • reducing worry and taking control
  • performing under pressure
  • managing anger and frustration
  • boosting self belief
  • using and developing personal strengths
  • accepting responsibility and credit for their actions
  • rescuing themselves in challenging situations; and
  • problem solving from beginning to end

Optimistic Kids also helps students to understand the link between thoughts and feelings and gain experience in dealing with the 'most-likely' rather than ‘worst case’ scenarios. Students also learn to re-frame setbacks as 'temporary' rather than generalising them to other areas of their life (i.e., catastrophising). This not only assists students to see a problem in perspective, but to recognise that they have a choice about how to respond.

Program Structure / Methods of Delivery: 

Optimistic Kids is a 10 week program that school staff can deliver in their classroom. Each session is made up of a combination of group activities, worksheets, group discussions, videos and relaxation activities. There are also homework activities to help students practise and consolidate new skills.


Each of the 10 sessions is designed to last 90 minutes with a 10 minute break in the middle. Alternatively the program can easily be delivered as 20 sessions of 40 minutes.


The 10 sessions are:

  • Feelings
  • Behaviours and thoughts
  • Facts to back up your thoughts
  • Reducing worry and taking control
  • Performing under pressure
  • Managing anger and frustration
  • Boosting self-belief
  • Using your strengths
  • Goal setting and achieving
  • Putting it all together.

Staff professional learning (PL):

Staff Professional Learning is required for teachers to deliver the program in their classrooms. Training for Optimistic Kids is a two day course run by Simon Andrews (creator of Optimistic Kids).

Trainings are held in a central Adelaide location. If there are 12 or more staff from a particular school, a particular rural region, or interstate, then Simon is happy to travel to that location.


2013 cost is $890 plus GST per person.

All program materials are provided on CD/DVD. The materials include Powerpoint presentations and videos for each session, relaxation and mindfulness recordings, and strength and feeling cards.

One student workbook and one Roundabout diagram is provided. Additional student workbooks and Roundabout diagrams can be purchased for $30 each in a combined package (one workbook plus one diagram), from Optimistic Kids.

Program Specific Audience: 


Structured Sessions: 


Student Assessment Measures: 


Professional Learning: 

  • Professional Learning Available

Professional Learning Compulsory: 


Formal Parent/Carer Component Provided: 

Evidence of Effectiveness

Evidence of Effectiveness Rating: 


Evidence of Effectiveness Description: 

There were no evaluations submitted that met the inclusion criteria.

Competency 1 : Self Awareness: 


Competency 3 : Self-management: 


Competency 4 : Responsible decision-making: 


Competency 5 : Relationship skills: 


Identified Theoretical Framework: 


Identified Theoretical Framework Description: 

Optimistic Kids draws on a cognitive behaviour therapy framework to teach students the resilience skills they need to successfully navigate every day challenges.

Survey/Audit Tools Available: 



Simon Andrews

About the Author(s): 

Simon Andrews holds a Masters Degree in Psychology. He is a Registered Psychologist (1996), and an approved Supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Private Practising Psychologists (IPPP), a Member of the Clinical College of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), and the South Australian Society of Hypnotherapy (SASH).  He is a Guest Lecturer at the University of South Australia, School of Psychology.

Simon trained in the Penn Resiliency Program with Martin Seligman’s team in Pennsylvania in 2001. He ran the PRP in South Australia from 2001 to 2009. In 2008 and 2010 he was a member of the Practitioners Advisory Board for the Australian Positive Psychology and WellBeing Conferences, including presenting at the 2008 event.

In 2010 he wrote the Optimistic Kids program based on his research and experience with Australian students. He now runs the OK group with students, as well as training school staff to do so.

Contact Information: 

Program materials and training

Name: Simon Andrews, Principal Psychologist, Optimistic Kids

Address: 9 Walters Street, Tea Tree Gully SA 5091

Phone: 08 8264 2311

Fax: 08 8264 4461