A Fire Inside - The PERMA model and the importance of health and wellbeing

A Fire Inside - The PERMA model and the importance of health and wellbeing

Lesson 5 of 8 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Health
  • Environmental
  • Disaster resilience
  • Social
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • ...

Lesson summary

This Health and Physical Education (HPE) lesson introduces the PERMA model of wellbeing. There are five building blocks that enable flourishing – Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment (hence PERMA™) – and there are techniques to increase each. This lesson focuses on the PERMA model’s ‘Positive Emotion and Relationships’ aspect with case studies used from ‘A Fire Inside’. Students identify aspects of positive relationships and examine their impact on an individual’s wellbeing. Using the information they have gained in the lesson, students work together to make proposals to improve wellbeing at their school.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the 5 elements of the PERMA model
  • identify evidence of positive relationships impacting upon wellbeing
  • propose strategies to build and utilise positive relationships in times of stress.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • make connections between the PERMA model and prior knowledge
  • use a case study to understand how relationships impact wellbeing
  • propose strategies for improving relationships within their school.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions:

Years 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education (HPE):

  • Evaluate factors that shape identities and critically analyse how individuals impact the identities of others (ACPPS089)
  • Plan, implement and critique strategies to enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS096)

Syllabus outcomes: PDHPE5.1, PDHPE5.6

General capabilities: Critical and Creative ThinkingEthical UnderstandingInformation and Communication Technology (ICT) CapabilityLiteracyPersonal and Social Capability

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 HPE achievement standards: By the end of Year 10, students critically analyse contextual factors that influence identities, relationships, decisions and behaviours. They analyse the impact attitudes and beliefs about diversity have on community connection and wellbeing. They evaluate the outcomes of emotional responses to different situations. 

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: A Fire Inside: Feature Documentary Years 7 to 10

Time required: 100 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student
  • Supplies for poster creation (if desired as an option for Part C)


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Community engagement
  • Empathy
  • Ethical understanding
  • Problem solving
  • Social skills
  • Collaboration      

Additional info

Before teaching the lessons, ensure you have watched the feature documentary ‘A Fire Inside’, rated MA15+ and have gained approval from parents and guardians before viewing the documentary. 

To view the film you can rent or purchase an online copy from Google PlayApple TV, or Prime Video.

Students may develop heightened emotions and discomfort during the film whilst learning about the psychological effects and impact the fires had on animals, people, families, communities, and the country. It is recommended that you direct students to a school counsellor if they require additional support and read through the Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues: Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues.

About the feature documentary - A Fire Inside:

When a volunteer firefighter drives his car to almost certain death, he does it during the worst fires in Australian history because he ‘has a job to do’. Three months later, the fires are out, but his fight is just beginning.

Turning a sensitive lens on the unprecedented devastation of Australia’s 2019/2020 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires; from a country-wide emergency to the astonishing stories of help that emerged, A Fire Inside presents an inspirational look at how people respond to crisis and the impact it has on the human spirit.

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