Wellbeing in Schools – advice for teachers
Wellbeing in schools is a bigger focus than ever with pupils returning to school after two extended periods learning online at home.
The past year has been challenging for everyone. But our children, in particular, have faced immeasurable change, uncertainty and anxiety.
The impact of the pandemic is undeniable. But the good news is that many schools are making wellbeing a big priority and there are lots of agencies and ideas out there to help support them in this vital process.
The impact of Covid on pupil wellbeing
In a recent survey by Stem4, nine in ten (88%) of teachers said that, over the last three months, they had seen a rise in the number of students with anxiety;
- Nearly half of teachers have seen an increase in students with depression;
- Over 40% found an increase in emotional and behaviour disorders, aggression and concentration issues;
- One in five saw more young people showing signs of self-harm
The bottom line…
More than half of teachers said that their students’ mental health had suffered negative effects as a consequence of the pandemic. (source: Stem4)
“COVID-19 has created a perfect storm of unmet mental health need for children and young people, compromising schools’ and colleges’ ability to deliver on their whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing ”.
(Secondary school teacher, stem4 survey 2020)
The Impact on teachers
Teachers told the Stem4 survey that every child and young person with an untreated mental health condition requires extra help.
In addition, their parents need support to manage the demands of their child’s condition. This can certainly place a big strain on the entire family unit.
- Teachers spend 3.6 hours per week dealing with their students’ mental health difficulties;
- 48% of teachers monitor children who are on waiting lists and whose referrals have been rejected by CAMHS to make sure their conditions do not worsen;
- 57% of teachers fear that students at their school with mental health problems will come to harm while waiting for treatment
Wellbeing in Schools – where to begin
There are many ways to support your pupils and staff’s wellbeing – the first step is to do your research. You can get information, advice and support from many charities and organisations around the UK.
These are just a few of them;
Place2Be Charity provides mental health support in schools
Young Minds has a wealth of resources about mental health
If you’re worried about the immediate welfare of a student, contact Childline
Nip in the Bud has created a mental health training programme for teachers
Nature and wellbeing
For example, air purifying plants, open windows and even nature-themed Wall Art can improve mental health.
We worked with Putney High School to conduct a study into the effect of bringing nature into the classroom. The results were incredible, and showed the huge impact of nature on pupils and teachers’ wellbeing.
You can read about the study and view the results here.
“The school environment has a significant impact on a young person’s emotional welfare. For children’s wellbeing to thrive during school hours, teachers need the confidence and knowledge to nurture young people’s development. Equally, teachers need to be supported with their own mental health throughout their career.”
Wellbeing through your walls
Using our experience of working with schools to develop their wellbeing support, here are a few ideas about how you could use your school’s walls to boost the impact of your provision;
- Welcome walls: create a warm and inviting atmosphere
- School values: build a sense of belonging and unity
- Sports wraps: healthy body, healthy mind
- School canteen art: promotes healthy habits
- Library and literacy: fuel imaginations through reading
- Stairwell makeovers: turn a dull stairwell into a visual delight
- Motivational quotes: boost morale and lift spirits
These are just a few of the ways you can use Wall Art to improve wellbeing.
But, our designs are bespoke, so we can tailor your artwork to your unique wellbeing goals and preferences.
Get in touch
View our Case Studies or browse our online Ideas Book for more inspiration.