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.

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‘Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health disorder’  – youngminds.org.uk

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,

Kerry

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