Wellbeing Week 2017!
Wellbeing Week is just one of the initiatives that we planned this year as a Health Promoting School. The Health Promotion Team decided, after consultation with pupils; school staff; parents and HSE to use the following Five Pillars of Wellbeing as a planning framework.
• Be active
• Keep learning
• Take Notice
• Give to others
These are loosely based on Martin Seligman’s PERMA model for wellbeing and happiness. We also consulted the Department of Education’s Guidelines for Promoting Positive Mental Health and HSE Health promoting Schools Resources. Pre-planning involved pupil; parent and school staff questionnaires and focus groups. Suggestions were gathered and discussed. All pupils were taught explicitly about the concept of wellbeing.
We are social beings and, as such, our connections with other people affect our wellbeing. Wellbeing can be passed on through relationships. Being around people with strong mental wellbeing can improve your own mental wellbeing. We engaged in a number of connecting activities during Wellbeing Week. One example of how we incorporated thing into our week was our walking bus. The whole school community congregated at Saleen Church, the site of the original school. We all walked the ½ a kilometre to our beautiful new school building. Our weekly assembly also helped create a sense of connectedness, especially when the weekly Healthy Hero awards were handed out.
Being active, the second pillar of wellbeing was highlighted as an essential component of wellbeing by 100% of respondents to our planning questionnaire. Every class teacher organised extra physical activities during Wellbeing Week. These included: Pilates; mindful movement; hurling and swimming. Sixth class pupils requested a basketball workshop and our local club provided coaches for two days. Many pupils identified this as their favourite part of the week! Third class also visited the Glen Activity Centre and enjoyed Zorbing; snowboarding and obstacle courses.
This is Donnacha's class at a basketball workshop!
This was a very enjoyable part of Wellbeing Week. We all made an extra effort to adopt an Attitude of Gratitude. We displayed this visually using different type of gratitude trees.
Pupils and teachers who keep gratitude journals explained the practice to others.
We also continued our long term efforts to be mindful and engaged in activities such as: mindful lunches; take 5; raisin exercises; guided meditations and mindful drawing.
Being an active learner is a proven way to enhance wellbeing. We love learning in Scartleigh National School and each made a commitment to try something new. Zentangle was introduced as a new mindful activity. Sinead Moynihan, a local Yoga instructor ran yoga workshops for pupils and teachers. Nikki came to teach us new dances. Everybody learned something new during the week and this certainly had a positive impact on the wellbeing of the school community. This is 2nd class practising yoga!
Give to Others
The final pillar of our wellbeing week was give to others. Many parents and teachers gave their time and expertise voluntarily to make the week a success. Ruth Reidy nutritionist and David’s mum gave a wonderful nutrition workshop. On Friday to wrap up our wellbeing week we did some fundraising activities for a local girl who needs surgery in the USA. We also performed random acts of kindness throughout the week.
Overall our first Wellbeing Week was a great success. We are looking forward to next year’s one already!