Top Tips for Promoting Emotional Wellbeing in Schools
Promoting emotional wellbeing in school can have a fantastic effect on the personal and academic development of your students. If a child is experiencing emotional distress, or exhibiting behavioural difficulties, then they’re more likely to have a lower attendance, which can negatively impact their academic performance. By implementing routines and habits within the classroom and pastoral strategy for your school, children are more likely to find school a haven and embrace learning with vigour.
Emotionally literate schools
Generally, schools that are the most effective at promoting emotional wellbeing adopt a whole-school approach with a unified strategy across all year groups. Schools that are competent at implementing strong pastoral care alongside their academic provision are considered emotionally literate.
These schools generally excel in the following four areas:
- Placing positive relationships at the heart of the school, emphasising an inclusive and supportive culture.
- Encouraging autonomy and independence.
- Developing a strong sense of purpose and shared values amongst students and staff.
- High expectations for students with clear boundaries and rules.
Emotionally literate schools excel at embracing a holistic approach to school life and recognise the impact of promoting emotional wellbeing on academic achievement.
If you’re looking to become an emotionally literate school by promoting emotional wellbeing both inside and outside your classrooms, we’ve compiled a list of approaches that you can implement across your curriculum.
Daily deep breathing
Implementing daily breathing exercises to start the school day is a great way to promote emotional wellbeing. Deep breathing is a great way to reset and refocus the mind, allowing children to let go of any causes of stress from their morning, so that they can fully immerse themselves in their learning environment.
By slowing the heart rate and clearing the mind, deep breathing is a great start to the day, and can be implemented with just five minutes of breathing exercises at the beginning of the day. This also equips students with the tools to use deep breathing at other points throughout their day if necessary.
If you’re looking to learn more about deep breathing, The Global Classroom’s Deep Breath Hub is home to a host of breathing resources that are free for you to use.
Undertaking physical activities on a regular basis is proven to develop and maintain a healthy body and mind. This is why the UK’s Chief Medical Officers recommend that children aged 5-16 should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
Unfortunately, many children don’t hit this target and this can lead to irritability, limited attention spans and grogginess in the classroom, which can all hinder their ability to learn. This is why lots of schools provide additional physical activities alongside the two hours of PE lessons each week.
This could be:
- Partaking in the ‘Daily Mile’ challenge, where all children walk, jog or run for 15 minutes every day.
- Starting each lesson with a muscle shake out, or some star jumps.
- Beginning the day with a Wake and Shake session – this could even be student-led.
By keeping students active, schools can promote emotional wellbeing, whilst simultaneously improving their fitness levels.
If a child is struggling with friendships at school, lunch and break times can be really difficult. Lunch time can also be a time for students to dwell on and overthink any challenges they’re facing on that particular day.
Lunchtime clubs are an excellent way to facilitate social interactions whilst also providing a safe space that allows children to engage their brain with something other than their emotional concerns. Activities can range from sports clubs to clubs focusing on hobbies, such as film, drama, baking or books.
These extracurricular activities will create a sense of belonging and community for students, allowing them to feel included and accepted. These sessions also allow students to reset and refocus for the afternoon of learning that lies ahead.
With exam pressure, social media, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting emotional wellbeing in schools is more important than ever. The Global Classroom has always recognised the importance of a healthy body and a healthy mind for children to be successful, and you can explore our full range of free classroom resources on our website, which are perfect for promoting emotional wellbeing in schools.