Just as many of us are coming out of the pandemic, Ukraine is being devastated by Putin’s war and climate change is increasingly impacting on the health of our planet. It is hard to even think about wellbeing in such circumstances but there is no alternative for ourselves, others and especially kids. This newsletter informs readers of various organisations and events that might lift your spirits, alongside some excellent training opportunities. We include some research and good reads. Just click on the links for more information. Also a plea for help at the end – and not for funds!
Minds Ahead have a School Mental Health Specialist Program available either as a post-graduate diploma or a Master’s degree, delivered part-time and suitable for both UK and Internationally based students, This is DfE approved and part-funding is available for senior mental health leads in schools.
Positive Schools are offering schools access to their platform for (Aus)$499 – which is about £280. It includes online access to 100’s of presentations, articles and podcasts presented at the 2020 and 2021 conferences around Australia. More are added weekly. All presentations are unique and unavailable elsewhere. You can hear from renowned educators such as Pasi Sahlberg, Richard Ryan, Helen Street, Alfie Khon, Michael Carr-Gregg (and me!) Incredibly good value.
Mental Health Awareness week in the UK is May 9-15 2022, and this year will explore the impact of loneliness on Mental Heath and how we can all play our part in reducing this in our communities.
Several of these conferences were listed in the last newsletter but they are worth repeating. Let us know if you are running a conference congruent with Growing Great Schools and would like people to know about it!
Online: May 18 – 20: International Conference on Transformative Education
Iceland: 30 June to 3 July: European Conference on Positive Psychology: Creating a World We Want to Live In.
Romania & online: 30 June to 3 July: ENSEC conference: Social Emotional Learning and Positive Development – Deadline for submissions extended to 10th May.
Israel: 12-14 September: Resilience: Regaining Mental Wellness, Health and Normalcy
Australia: Fremantle, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in October and November. Positive Schools conferences.
Research and Reading
BPS Research Digest: Does a school day that starts later work better for teenagers?
In the Conversation: Lockdown Schooling: International reasons to be hopeful
In the Harvard Business Review. How to Actually Change Someone’s Mind
In the Conversation: Why people don’t stand up against bullying. This includes the potential power of bystanders and how to intervene.
Minds Ahead: Lessons from the 2021 Good Childhood Report.
On our website: Vicky Childs, Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion/ SENCo at John Ray Junior School in Essex, sets out How Circle Solutions has impacted the pupil wellbeing and emotional development of our pupils, in a presentation made at the Schools and Academies Show in London on 27 April 2022.
Growing Great Kids
I am writing a series of blogs on the website on Growing Great Kids. Inspired by the experiences of my grandchildren and their parents as they navigate this new world around them, this is a step -by -step guide on what babies and children need to develop well, feel positively connected, thrive and learn.
The first article is on positive attachment and why the popular view of ‘controlled crying’ with little ones undermines an infant’s sense of security, agency and potentially their future ability to regulate emotions. This impacts on their ability to establish and maintain healthy relationships – the foundation of wellbeing.
The second is on talking with babies – right from birth –and how this supports their developing thinking skills. Comments welcome – though you need to be signed into the site. I am also posting these on Linked-In.
Action on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
It is easy to feel helpless about what is happening to our planet but these organisations are showing what is possible. Anyone directly involved with teaching might value getting involved with these wonderful initiatives:
- Teaspoons of Change: How little actions make big differences when we all do them
- World’s Largest Lesson: Promoting the use of the Sustainable Development Goals in schools across the world
CAN YOU HELP?
Gran and Me: No More Blah, Blah, Blah!
This story on social action on climate change is for children between 8 and 12. It does not dodge the seriousness of the issue but incorporates both humour and hope. The draft has been read by students across the world and amended on the basis of their comments. Visuals are by the wonderful Elizabeth Stanley who has illustrated several of my books, including the Wellbeing Stories.
It has been endorsed by Greenpeace UK who say: “This tale of an inspiring young activist and their Gran covers all the bases of successful climate change campaigning: strategic planning, bold actions and cookies! ”
The market for children’s books, however, is saturated and I am struggling to get either an agent or a publisher. If you know anyone who can help or who is willing to endorse this (especially if they are well-known) please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org and if you want a copy of the draft manuscript that’s fine too but I will ask for feedback! Thanks