Life 101

What is Life 101?

Life 101 is the Middle School’s component of our school-wide Student Wellness Program. The Porter-Gaud Student Wellness Program is driven by the school’s core values of WATCH; Words, Actions, Thoughts, Character and Habits. Wellness is an active, ongoing process which involves becoming aware of and taking steps toward a healthier, happier, more successful life.

This program empowers students across all three divisions to acquire, integrate, and practice vital skills related to health and wellness in order to promote social growth and self-awareness. It’s focused on three specific areas which include; spiritual life, social and emotional learning, inclusion and diversity, and leadership.

Life 101 delivers student wellness through a curriculum of mini-courses, workshops, classroom lessons, speaker series, assemblies, presentations, and our school rituals and traditions.

Programming Topics

Week of May 16: Students had their final extended advisory for the year. Faculty and students used this "family bonding time" to close out the year with some fun - scavenger hunts, friendly competitions between advisory groups, and celebrations could be heard throughout the hallways!

Week of May 9: Student vs Faculty Quiz Bowl competition! After practicing with Mr. Lynch all year, our Middle School Quiz bowl students faced off against their teachers. Despite the fierce competition from the students, the faculty prevailed!

Week of April 25: Stand Against Racism:

All students in grade 5-8 are participating in Stand Against Racism activities all this week. This morning during Life 101, students learned about the power of intentional thinking to change the world. They were reminded of how to use the WATCH framework as they seek to find ways to celebrate Diversity. Modeled after Wish or Fortune Trees found in cultures all around the world, students were then invited as advisory groups to create their own strings of wishes. We then gathered as a division and wrapped them around the big Live Oak on the Green. Students were also given t-shirts of different colors and designs as a visible way to celebrate our diversity. You may find pictures from this morning by clicking HERE. Gaudeamus will feature a full write up of events for both Middle School and Upper School, including the announcement of the DIPA logo contest and speaker event for students tomorrow.

Week of April 16:

5th Grade Girls: Our 5th Grade girls worked on Mindfulness techniques with local professional Jennifer Marvel.

5th Grade Boys: Our 5th Grade boys continued their work with counseling professional Kyle Lawton on techniques for listening to their "Inner Coach" - to be positive about themselves and others.

6th Grade Students: Our 6th Grade students reflected on their first year in the Middle School by completing a climate survey.

All 7th Grade Students: Our 7th grade students learned the differences between extroverts and introverts, as well as the ways in which different personality types interact within our world. They then had the opportunity to discover their own personality type, share with one another, and search out famous people with their same personality type.

All 8th Grade Students: In their fourth week of Upper School orientation activities, our 8th grade students met with the Upper School Honor Council members and faculty advisors. Students learned about this leadership opportunity, as well as how the honor code and council are an integral part of Porter-Gaud's Upper School.

Week of April 9:

FCD Prevention Works counselor Becky Bergeron met with 5th-8th graders together to emphasize the dangers of one-time use and/or first-time use of alcohol and other drugs, such as vaping. She encouraged non-use of alcohol and other drugs during adolescence. This is our second year working with FCD Prevention Works for drug and alcohol prevention programming.

Week of April 3:

6th Grade Girls: Girls again worked with the organization MyRemarkable Self. This group partners with our students in learning techniques to support positive belief in self - socially, emotionally, and academically.

8th Grade Students: All 8th grade students met with Mr. Gilman, Head of Upper School, for an overview of scheduling and academics for the 2018-2019 school year. Mr. Gilman's student presentation was then followed by a parent coffee for parents of 8th graders to engage in the same topics.

5th Grade Students, 6th Grade boys, and all 7th Graders: Joe Ryan, who works for the Cyber Crime Task Force for the Attorney General for the State of South Carolina, spoke with our students about Digital Citizenship. Students were reminded of the public and permanent nature of postings to social media and were taught tips to keep them safe when on line.

Week of March 19:

This week's Life 101 will occur on Thursday midday rather than Wednesday morning. We welcome Porter-Gaud Parent Dr. Jeff Cluver to talk with our students about mental health and wellness, including a discussion about connectedness, healthy relationships and relating to others. Dr. Cluver will use scientific studies to drive home the point that happiness is more about connecting with others than anything else. He will close with the importance of looking out for one another. Our students will also have the opportunity to hear from our local police officers who spend time on campus. They will introduce themselves and also talk about steps we can all take to keep one another safe and reassure our students about the safety of Porter-Gaud.

Week of March 12:

5th Grade Girls: Our 5th grade female students worked with local mindfulness instructor Jennifer Marvel. Our students learned stress management techniques and how to build self-esteem through powerful "I am" statements.

5th Grade Boys: Our 5th grade male students worked with counseling professional Kyle Lawton on techniques for managing social conflict, self-regulation, and determining the best ways to react to conflict.

6th Grade Girls: Girls worked with the organization MyRemarkable Self. This group partners with our students in learning techniques to support positive belief in self - socially, emotionally, and academically

7th Grade Students and 6th Grade Boys: Father Bryce led a discussion about how faith and science are not at odds with each other. He challenged students to examine how science asks the "how" things happen while faith exams the "why".

8th Grade Students: All 8th grade students will begin their series of meetings designed to prepare them for Upper School. This week's meeting is with Porter-Gaud's Upper School Dean Anne Frazier and Upper School Counselor Fran Ridgell, who both answered questions students had and provided an overview of Upper School student life.

Week of March 5: This week, our 5th-8th grade girls will engage with our Upper School "Girls In" leadership. In small groups facilitated by the Upper School students and faculty and staff members, our girls will focus on lessons of confidence and explore what real beauty actually is.

Steve Palmer will be talking to 7th and 8th grade boys. He spoke at TedEx here locally, and is the founder of the Indigo Road Company that started some of the best restaurants in Charleston (Indaco, O'Ku, Oak, Macintosh, and others) and the Southeast. He also created a support group called Ben's Friends to promote sobriety and help support those who struggle with addiction in the restaurant industry. There are chapters in Charleston, Raleigh and Atlanta (se more info below). Steve will be talking to our 7th and 8th grade boys about making good decisions in the face of peer pressure.

5th and 6th grade boys worked with Kyle Lawton who does great work with Meeting Street Academy on social and emotional learning. She worked today with all 5th grade boys on emotional recognition and regulation, while Coach Dodds lead a workshop based on the documentary Eye of Storm which speaks of how discrimination and bias is taught and learned and not an inherent trait we are born with

For more information about Life 101 programming, please contact Chris Tate, MS Dean at or 843.402.4759.