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Wellbeing at the Heart of Learning: Supporting Students and Teachers

To deliver a true whole-school approach to wellbeing schools should look to implement comprehensive wellbeing programmes that involve collaboration between senior leaders, teachers, staff, parents, and the wider community.

Anyone that has flown in the last decade will have undoubtably heard the pre-flight safety announcement. One of the key messages is for passengers to put on their own oxygen mask before helping others. This analogy is similar to the approach that school leaders should take when approaching wellbeing.

When considering wellbeing strategies, schools regularly (and rightly) place their focus at student-facing activities but neglect staff.
Wellbeing is often treated as a fad or in a similar vein to national day holidays like Mental Health Awareness, but successful wellbeing activities need to be engrained within all aspects of school life

To deliver a true whole-school approach to wellbeing schools should look to implement comprehensive wellbeing programmes that involve collaboration between senior leaders, teachers, staff, parents, and the wider community.
Mental health and wellbeing need to become integral to the school’s culture and ethos.

Let’s delve into why understanding wellbeing matters and how a focus on wellbeing can be at the core of effective teaching and learning for students and teachers.


Why Wellbeing Matters

1. Students’ Wellbeing

  • Holistic Development: Wellbeing encompasses physical, emotional, and social aspects. When students feel safe, supported, and emotionally balanced, they are better equipped to engage in learning.
  • Positive Learning Environment: A nurturing atmosphere promotes curiosity, creativity, and resilience. Students thrive when their wellbeing needs are met.

2. Teachers’ Wellbeing

  • Inspired Educators: Teachers who prioritise their wellbeing can be more effective in the classroom. When teachers feel valued and supported, they can feel more inclined inspire and motivate their students.
  • Reducing Burnout: Teaching can be demanding. Wellbeing practices help prevent burnout, ensuring teachers remain passionate about their profession.

Strategies for Wellbeing

Being aware of the benefits of monitoring wellbeing is a vital piece of the jigsaw. But the picture will never be complete without exploring some strategies that can benefit wellbeing of your students and teachers.

Schools should be looking to adopt an approach that involves staff, students, and families. With a focus on prioritising social, emotional, and mental wellbeing across the entire school community.

1. Student-Centred Approaches

  • Curriculum Integration: Embed mental health, wellbeing, and resilience topics into the curriculum. Teach coping skills, emotional regulation, and self-care.
  • Mindfulness Practices: Teach mindfulness techniques to help students manage stress and enhance focus.
  • Physical Activity Advocacy: Promote regular physical activity. Active breaks, sports, and outdoor time contribute to wellbeing.
  • Feedback Opportunities: Create channels for student feedback. Involve them in decision-making processes related to wellbeing initiatives.

2. Teacher Support

  • Mental Health Training: Provide training for staff on mental health awareness, stress management, and resilience. Equip them to recognise signs of distress and offer appropriate support
  • Collaboration and Connection: Foster a sense of community among teachers. Peer support and mentorship contribute to overall wellbeing.
  • Self-Care: Encourage teachers to prioritise self-care. Simple practices like mindfulness, exercise, and adequate rest make a difference.
  • Positive Teacher Appraisal: Create an appraisal system that emphasises encouragement and praise. Recognise and celebrate teachers’ efforts and achievements.


In summary

Wellbeing isn’t an isolated concept. It’s intertwined with effective teaching and learning and needs to sit at the core of a school’s foundation. By prioritising wellbeing for both students and teachers, schools can create a harmonious educational ecosystem where everyone thrives.

Remember, teacher wellbeing directly impacts student success! For more ideas, you can explore resources like the Teacher Wellbeing Toolkit.


Learn more
If you would like to find out more about how to support wellbeing in your school be sure to check out our 'Five Fundamentals to Support Student Wellbeing' and 'The Wellbeing Challenge' eBooks. 

You can also talk to one of our experts and learn about how Firefly supports schools all around the world. 

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