the development of #teacher5aday

It seems a long time since December 2014 and waiting for my turn to talk at the SSAT Teachmeet in Manchester about an idea I had about launching the #teacher5aday hashtag. The original inspiration had come from a presentation I had co-delivered with Tania Harding at TLT14, as a last minute replacement for Mark Healey.


Mark’s presentation, which was based in part on the New Economics Foundation report the “Five Ways to Well-being” (2008) written by Sam Thompson, Jody Aked, Nic Marks and Corrina Cordoniof (, had made quite an impression on me . Probably on reflection, it was one of the most inspirational things I had listened to in a career spanning two decades. It provided me with a positive way to continue the debate about teacher well-being and the positive impact it can have on student outcomes after I had experienced the most negative part of my career to date.

As time has gone by it seems like I am not the only one that had been inspired by Mark’s words .

Fast forward twenty months and #teacher5aday has developed quite considerably.

There have been a number of offshoots in a Damon and Debbie / Brookside style which have been led expertly by a number of amazing practitioners. This is the greatest strength of the community that has developed in my opinion. Teachers have found a way to help each other. People who work in the classroom and understand the daily pressures have shared their views, feelings and opinions and offered their unconditional support.

As September draws near it seems like a good time to reflect on what has happened this year and to think about what might happen next year. A trusted colleague asked me recently how many hashtags had developed since the original #teacher5aday idea was launched. This took me some time to think about and I’ve probably missed out a few but the list below is now quite extensive.

Ideas that run throughout the year (mostly prefixed with #teacher5aday)


#teacher5adayBreakfast @MissVicki_V

HealthyEating @IamMariaAlex @andrew_cowley23

Grow @kohlmand

Write @fabenglishteach @Top_kat1 @rondelle10_b

 Star of the week @MarieP_edu


Sketch @JennaLucas81

Run – @martynreah

5kchallenge – @martynreah

Cook – @andrew_cowley23

SlowChat – a variety of contributors

Read -@LizBPattison @SaysMiss

Retreat – @martynreah

Buddybox -@MrsHumanities

Photo – @Mr_Patel100

Detox – @JosephBaldwin

Student5aday – @JennaLucas81

Monthly Specials

September – September Salubrity – @tinamurray

OutRunSeptember – MacMillan Campaign

October –PE -@MrMcloughlin_PE

November – digital skill share – @MrsHumanities

December – Calendar – @Tim_jumpclarke

January – Pledge – various

February – FitFeb – @MrMcloughlin_PE  @KAB21MAC  @bec_skar

March – MFLmarch – felizzz7

April – Stress Awareness Month – @martynreah

May – OutRunMay – MacMillan Campaign

June – 30DaysWild – The Wildlife Trusts

July – 21daysJuly – @rondelle10_b

August – AugustUnwind – @Vivgrant

The idea isn’t that everyone should do every aspect of the ideas listed above. I was taught the phrase FOMO (frightened of missing out) last term (by a younger colleague), not something that I had been aware, but something I now understand is a concern for others. Instead of thinking that everyone will do everything I hope that people choose to dip in and out of the ideas as and when it is important to them. What I do hope has happened is that there has been an awareness raising of the importance of teacher well-being. That everyone will consider their #teacher5aday every day and not just at weekends or holidays.

The original idea from the NEF report helped people write their original #teacher5aday pledges. Rather than suffering from FOMO I hope teachers choose to consider their #teacher5aday and #connect, #learn, #notice, #exercise and #volunteer when it is right for them.

If you would like to get started and think about how to improve your well-being this might help .

To get some ideas from other teachers working in the classroom day in day out take a look here .

All ideas are welcome so please get in touch if you would like to develop a monthly special or another idea related to #teacher5aday. I’m still practising my ongoing professional learning target of non defensive reactions to feedback.

Healthy regards,


#teacher5adayRun #OutRunSeptember 


See below for the blog I wrote on staffrm about #OutRunMay.

The ideas are the same for #OutRunSeptember

Hope you can join in next month🙂


#teacher5adayRun in May?

Last year I braved the shave for MacMillan. A very enjoyable whole school assembly where I was joined on stage by four colleagues and experienced my most public haircut to date.

Ten minutes later we had raised £2500 pounds and the roof, much to the amusement of the students, but less so our HT. As part of the MacMillan family I now receive emails about their upcoming events and have often wondered since last July how our exploits from last year could be bettered. 

We have a house system at our school and last year the staff were invited to take part in OFSPREAD in January to avoid the New Year blues and poke fun at our friends in suits if they decided to make a visit. Miles were logged in our house teams as we ran, cycled and walked our way to a positive start to the year. The results of our daily activity were posted in reception much to the amusement of the students and as the month past we focused less on self evaluations of progress and more on our collective reducing waistlines and the smiles on our faces.

In May this year Macmillan have set their #OutRunMay challenge . One month, one goal and one amazing way to change the lives of people affected by cancer. The idea involves setting yourself a mileage target and then pushing yourself for 31 days to achieve it – one run at a time. I’m sure after watching the London Marathon tomorrow lots of people will be inspired to apply next year.

My question is why wait to pull on your trainers?

I hope lots of you will join in with #OutRunMay and #volunteer and #exercise in May. Why not take an assembly and invite all of the school to get involved? Set some PE hwk for a change? Make it into a house competition and forget about subordinate clauses and spelling tests for a while.

I’m hoping this #teacher5aday inspired event will lead to a few more #connections and I guarantee you will be amazed what you #notice when you are out and about.  Lots to #learn as well about what you are capable of if you set your mind to it.

#teacher5adayRetreat (2.12 – 4.12.16)

Join me and a few #teacher5aday buddies for a relaxing break where you can reflect on your own #teacher5aday with the intention to go back to school refreshed, rejuvenated and re-energised.

A CPD event with a difference the #teacher5adayRetreat will be delivered by (current practising) teachers for teachers and based on the original principles of #teacher5day including the main idea that teacher and student well-being are different sides of the same coin .

Time to readdress the balance?

Based at the field study centre in Slapton Ley  (Devon) we will meet on Friday evening for a “social get together” and an introduction to the weekend. Saturday (all day) and Sunday (morning) sessions will be based around the five areas of #teacher5aday –

  • #connect
  • #learn
  • #notice
  • #exercise
  • #volunteer

and will also include time for personal reflection.

Optional running sessions will be available on Saturday and Sunday mornings and a walk around Slapton Ley will take place on Sunday morning so don’t forget your trainers and walking boots if that’s you thing.

Thanks to the very generous support of the field centre the inaugural #teacher5adayRetreat will cost £75 and will include all meals, bed linen and towels.

Meals included –

Friday:                  Supper

Saturday:             Breakfast, Packed lunch and Supper

Sunday:                Breakfast and packed lunch

Places are limited so ticketing information will be released soon via Eventbrite.

The nearest train station is at Totnes and pick-ups will be organised for those interested.

Hopefully see you in December,


Time Out or Time in – Heather Lucas @HLucas8

I will be attending, presenting and (most importantly) conversing at PedagooHampshire2016. My presentation is called Time Out or Time In? which looks at the difference between behavioural and relational discipline and why it matters to teachers.


Last year I had little idea of what to expect when I volunteered to attend and to speak. I’m not a teacher or a particularly experienced speaker as yet (I am a Learning Mentor and Parent Support person who has put herself through a Psychology degree and is a magpie for information relevant to social, emotional and behavioural support in school settings), but I’m so glad I went for it as I found a very enthusiastic, inspired and varied group of presenters and attendees. This year I am proud to be listed amongst so many who have continued to inspire me throughout the year on Twitter and #teacher5aday.

Those who know me know that I can never be given too much time to talk about my topic but the exciting focus of a Pedagoo is the development of a conversation. Even though this is a little harder to plan for (what direction will it take?) I am excited about the possibility of developing thinking that is relevant to you and your specific contexts (and if we need more time please invite me to your school). No two contexts are the same and can also change moment to moment, therefore knowledge increases in worth when it is practically applied. I’ll set the scene with some research based approaches and we will develop the ideas together in conversation. The rest is up to you and – as Vivienne Porritt eloquently highlighted last year – it’s only CPD if we do something with it.

So, in brief, what are the differences between behavioural and relational approaches to discipline (I had an article published in TES back in March if you keep back copies)? Most school behaviour policies are built on a ‘behavioural’ model of ‘choices and consequences’ which place the child as a lone actor (you make the choice, you take the consequence, eg. ‘time out’), despite the fact that research indicates that this is essentially out-dated and has an important but limited effect, (I will explain why). Relational discipline however places the child in the context of the relationship and it is the relationship that is the vehicle for the teaching of a different and generally more useful type of discipline (involving collaborative solutions or ‘time in’).  I’ll give you some of the basics about the differences between the two approaches, which part of the brain is activated in each case and the relevance of this, I’ll touch on some important considerations which are likely to confirm but hopefully also challenge your thinking and I’ll have some practical tips and further resources.

Warning: this presentation is not a quick fix for behaviour management. Like all things worthwhile time, effort and outcomes are always related and we can also only skim the topic in the time available. As teachers however you benefit from the reduced stress and increased outcomes (academic and otherwise) found by always increasing your knowledge and combining it with your existing skills and individuality. With behaviour –  it is self-awareness that is the first step, followed by connecting to the child in that particular moment and then using what you know and who you are to make a difference to benefit you both. It’s a process that can be improved every time.

Please bring an open and curious mind. I am looking forward to meeting you.

You can also Tweet me: @HLucas8

Rocket Boy @campbestival – my weekend of fun and STEArtM activites (@st3amco)

What was obvious after spending the weekend as part of the STEAM Co (@st3amco) crew at Camp Bestival (@campbestival) was that creativity is definitely not dead.

My first question to Nick Corston, the driving force behind STEAM Co ( was , “why spell STEM with an A”?

What become obvious over the course of the next three days was that he is very keen to spread Seth Godin’s message that, “Art is what we call it when what we do might connect people”, something that fits perfectly with the philosophy behind #teacher5aday. This simple modification of traditional STEM based activities allows creative arts an opportunity to contribute. Something in my opinion the government should make a note of.

So what did we do?

We provided the opportunity for children and their parents to create and fire rockets and presented a stage show inspired by ‘Rocket Boys’ written by Homer Hickam.

And it was awesome fun.

A three step guide including a piece of paper and some tape were the resources required to create a rocket. The special ingredient was watching parents and their children working and learning together. Conversations flowed from all concerned about drag, friction, PSI, fins and nose cones. We also laughed and enjoyed each other’s company, celebrating achievements and really learning from our failures. A collection of children and their parents came back every day to build a rocket. Lots modified their designs to make their rockets go higher. Everyone really enjoyed watching the rockets fly.

Nick would like to see the types of activities we provided at Camp Bestival available in all areas of the country. What is different about this project in my opinion is that it is about mobilising the community to lead STEAM Co days. To work in partnership with parents and businesses to provide an adrenaline shot of creativity. A day where thinking and doing activities across the spectrum of STEAM skills engage and excite the students about their possible careers and the opportunities that lay ahead of them.

What Nick is keen to do is create a STEAM Co network. A team of like-minded parents, schools, creatives and local businesses to help roll out the idea across the UK. Building and firing rockets will be part of my curriculum now as my daughters want their own launch pad in our back garden. Could it be part of yours, “because it takes a whole village to inspire a child”. Sponsorship is needed for Pop-Up STEAM Co. Day drop trucks in key locations around the UK which will contain everything you need to run a STEAM Co. Day – just add kids and carers!

Get in touch  with Nick to find out more.

Day 1 #teacher5adaySlowChat – Kerry Macfarlane (@KAB21MAC)

Last year’s #PedagooHampshire15 introduced me to the wonderful world of free, quality CPD, making a tangible impact on my own professional learning and enabling me to extend this impact within my own school. The well-being themed sessions led by @MsHMFL , @KathrynLovewell , @abbiemann1982 and @bec_skar , inspired my interest and involvement with #teacher5aday, which I have since introduced as our core approach in promoting staff well-being. This has been the foundation and motivation upon which our whole school approach to well-being has derived.

The ‘learning conversations’ at #PedagooHampshire15 prompted my thinking and inspired me to take this learning forward into my own school. In her closing note, @LCLL_Director invited us to focus on impact. One year on, I’m thrilled with how much has been achieved, with so much more to come in 2016-17!

I’ve loved my role as Well-being Lead this year, working with SLT to develop our provision. We have taken great strides forwards towards our goals. Well-being of both staff and pupils remains high priority – its inclusion on our SIP for the second year reflects this. Building on the foundation of staff well-being over the past year as integral to our school ethos, I believe we are now better placed to focus on developing our approaches to the well-being of our pupils.

Investing in Pupil Mental ‘Wealth’

A key focus for the coming year is to further develop our provision for pupil mental wealth and well-being.


‘Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health disorder’  –

These statistics send out a resounding message, calling for action. Everything we do as teachers is underpinned by our desire to achieve optimum outcomes for our pupils. Research recognises that children perform better when they are happy:

‘promoting physical and mental health in schools creates a virtuous circle reinforcing children’s attainment and achievement…’ (NAHT, Nov 2014)

It is vital that we find ways to support children to develop their emotional and mental wealth, developing resilience and other key ‘life skills’. We need to reach children early, to help foster in them an understanding of their own well-being and equip them with a ‘survival kit’ now and for the future. This idea of ‘Well-being Literacy’ is key – well-being needs to begin with an understanding of ourselves first.

While PSHE remains non-statutory, is there currently adequate provision within schools to support pupil well-being? How can we ensure we are equipping children with the life skills they need for the future? What can we do to prioritise mental wealth for our pupils?

Next year, I plan to extend our provision to support mental wealth and wellbeing through developing a Pupil ‘Wellbeing Curriculum’. In addition to our new @JigsawPSHE scheme, we will be taking part in a multi-disciplinary trial project for primary schools – ‘The Being Well Agenda’ @BWAgenda, based on ten monthly themes, with key questions to generate thinking and suggested activities. In September, @musicmind will be joining us to lead Pupil Mental Wealth Workshops across the whole school and help us launch our project. It looks to be a very exciting start to the year and so much more on the horizon!

During the week of #teacher5adaySlowChat (29.8- 2.9), I’m really looking forward to hosting a day of chat, getting the conversations started to reflect and share ideas as to how we can develop whole school approaches to both staff and pupil well-being, looking in particular at ways to foreground pupil mental wealth.

I’m really excited to be kicking off the week on Monday 29th August, with this set of questions as a basis for discussion throughout the day:

  1. Why is staff well-being a key foundation upon which to build a thriving school? How can we ensure that staff well-being remains priority? What systems and strategies can help us achieve this?
  2. What can you suggest are useful starting points for schools beginning their journey in promoting well-being for both staff and pupils?
  3. What essential ‘life skills’ should belong in a pupil well-being ‘Survival Kit’? How can we develop these skills within and beyond the curriculum?
  4. What systems and strategies across whole school are effective in promoting pupil mental ‘wealth’ and well-being?
  5. How can we ensure that provision to promote positive pupil mental wealth remains high priority?

Really hope you’ll join me for a day of well-being themed chat on Monday 29th August!

I’m looking forward to carrying on the conversation further at #PedagooHampshire16 on 17.9, sharing how we are developing both staff and pupil wellbeing across the whole school, taking ‘learning into development’.

Thanks all,


Day 2 #teacher5adaySlowChat -Jenna Lucas (@JennaLucas81)

As teachers, we pride ourselves on providing a broad and balanced curriculum to the pupils in our care. We teach the whole child, and quite rightly so. But with external pressures growing on schools, including curriculum and assessment changes, are we mindful of the effects on the very people we are here for? As a primary teacher, I am saddened each year when reading stories of young children feeling stressed, going home in tears, anxious about SATs. Children worrying over terminology like ‘Expected Standard’ or ‘Age Related Expectations’ just doesn’t seem right. And many teachers often report of a narrowing of the curriculum in Years 2 and 6, in order to meet those expectations.

Of course subjects like PSHE/Citizenship have ensured that our broad and balanced curriculums include more than just academic subjects. Many schools have bought into schemes to support their deliverance of a weekly PSHE lesson. But is this enough to support the well-being of all children?

I have been working on pupil well-being with our School Council this year. An initial pupil questionnaire showed that the children had limited suggestions as to how to support their own well-being. It also highlighted the need for us to widen current provision in order to raise the profile of well-being and ways in which children can manage and nurture their own.

My involvement in #Teacher5aday has taught me a great deal about well-being. I am more aware of my own, as well as the well-being of those around me. But I have also seen how so many of the incredible initiatives (based around the NFER’s recommended pillars of exercise, connect, volunteer, notice and learn) can be applied to the lives of the children we teach.

As a result, the 5 pillars of well-being have been introduced across our school.  I spent time with the children, showing examples of some of the many things that teachers from around the globe have been involved in as part of #Teacher5aday. This led to an initial list of 15 suggested activities (#Student5aday), created by the children, for pupils to take part in over the Christmas holidays. Since then, termly suggested activities have been shared across the school.

From September, however, I want to implement #student5aday beyond suggested activities for the children to take part in. Although this will still have its place, I want to see it further embedded throughout school life. As teachers, how can we ensure there are enough opportunities for our pupils to exercise, connect, volunteer, notice and learn (beyond statutory National Curriculum objectives)?

Some ideas I have come up with so far include the following:

  • Exercise: further embrace our school development of outdoor learning/ use of software such as Go Noodle in the classroom.
  • Connect: opportunities to work across year groups/ links with other schools/ developing international links.
  • Volunteer: new School Council members wanted/ pupil fundraising/ class and school jobs)
  • Notice: time for mindfulness activities/sketch/photography groups)
  • Learn: extra-curricular activities/ personalised school curriculum/use of local area).

To support this endeavour, last year’s School Council started a guide to #student5aday that will be shared with parents in a hope to further raise the profile and inform them of how they might support the emotional and physical well-being of their children. In time, a pupil journal (similar to the #teacher5aday journal organised by Naomi Ward) would be a wonderful way to celebrate what is happening in school.

During the Slow Chat on 20 August, I will be asking the following questions:

  • Many schools celebrate a themed Well-being Week, and have a weekly PSHE slot as part of their curriculum. But how can we ensure the elements of exercise, connect, volunteer, notice and learn are further embedded throughout school life?
  • With curriculum/assessment/target pressures, how can we make time for #student5aday?
  • How can we support pupils in taking more responsibility for their own well-being?
  • How can we support the well-being of our school’s parents and families?

I look forward to exploring these ideas further at Pedagoo Hampshire on Saturday 17 September, where I will be with Kerry MacFarlane, sharing our school’s ‘well-being journey’.

Before that, please join me on Tuesday 30 August, via the hashtag #Teacher5adayslowchat.

Thank you