Wellbeing is all about our holistic health, including the physical and emotional. When we have good levels of wellbeing, we feel that life is in balance and that we can generally cope well. We feel motivated and engaged, we’re resilient and able to deal effectively with daily troubles, as well as ’bounce back’ from life’s challenges.
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ALT Mental Health Champions
Good staff wellbeing is essential for cultivating a mentally healthy school, for retaining and motivating staff and for promoting pupil wellbeing and attainment.
As school staff juggle a multitude of different tasks and demands, it is important that everyone is given the right emotional and practical support so that they can, in turn, support their pupils.
In addition to having a positive impact on colleagues and children, staff wellbeing can improve performance and job satisfaction, which can lead to reduced staff turnover. It can also help to reduce absence (both short and long term), increase productivity and promote staff engagement.
Wellbeing Guidance and Support
Webinars from the Educational Psychologist Team to support staff
A team of psychologists from across Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have published three webinars to support staff as they (start to) return to school following COVID-19.
1. This first module outlines how we understand the experiences and emotional response associated with pandemics, and ways to ease the transition that might be helpful for all.
2. The second module introduces Seligman’s PERMA model, a useful model for well-being and resilience which can be applied to everyday life.
3. The third module focuses on the needs of children and young people that have experienced loss and bereavement over the last few months.
Without time for reflection and discussion (which is recommended), the webinars run for 15 – 20 minutes each. Please also see here for additional resources:
Key websites for general information/advice and resources on child mental health and wellbeing
- MindEd: is a free educational e-learning resource for professionals on children and young people’s mental health. Their resources can be used for individual professional training as well as for prompting wider staff discussion. They are highlighted across this website.
- KidsMatter: an Australian website, which pulls together quality materials and resources for primary school teachers.
- Anna Freud National Centre for Children & Families: working to transform current mental health provision by improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of treatment.
- Place2Be: providing emotional and therapeutic services in primary and secondary schools, building children’s resilience through talking, creative work and play.
- YoungMinds: working to prevent mental health illness from developing and to improve early intervention and care for children and young people living with a mental health problem.
Charlie Waller Memorial Trust: working to educate young people about the importance of staying mentally well and helping them understand how to maintain wellbeing.
Wellbeing for pupils:
- Nosy Crow - Coronovirus : A book for children, blog linked to the book - answering the key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds
- Childline Calm Zone. A great collection of activities and tools to use with children to develop a culture of calm. These could form part of a teaching plan to be sent home or simply send the link to parents.
- Public Health England Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Released this week, the guidance contains a number of helpful sections for the wellbeing of young people in quarantine. They include details of how children and young people of different ages may react to stress and addresses specifically the needs of SEND pupils.
Wellbeing for staff:
- Youngminds 10 Wellbeing tips for School Staff. A quick check list of steps to take to maintain positive wellbeing
- Education Support Partnership. ‘Remember, we’re still here for you’ is the message from the organisation that provides support to all those working in education. Their free, confidential helpline is always there 24/7 with trained counsellors to listen and help: 08000 562 561. They also provide other services.
- Chartered College of Teaching Text Service : TeachTogether which will send stories from teachers, evidence-based wellbeing advice and links to useful activities every week.
There are a number of examples on Twitter at the moment of ALT colleagues sharing helpful guidance to keeping mentally and physically active; through @ActiveLearningT, @schamberlainCEO, @reddersA we are being pro-active in sharing as many as possible.