The Circle of Courage is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy, all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. The model integrates traditional Aboriginal philosophies of child-rearing, the heritage of early pioneers in education and youth work, and contemporary resilience research. It is a non-punitive, integrated, holistic model for building a stronger, more positive personal sense of self, it builds community, and addresses the socio-emotional needs of all youth.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Middle School is creating a culture of faith-filled, resilient, well-rounded students with this model. Students demonstrating the 4 key principles: Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity are recognized by staff weekly on the intercom, each term with a pizza party and at the end of the year with an award.