I recently heard a radio comedian saying they would like to return this millennium, they didn’t like it much and could they please have another one. Wars, a pandemic, unprovoked aggression and climate change devastation have all taken their toll. I concur with this view but acknowledge that many are doing their best to promote wellbeing any way they can. This newsletter is full of examples. It isn’t long so please read to the end so you don’t miss any links that may be of interest. The last one is linked to training.
The media is no longer about Covid but about the war in Ukraine and we are all struggling not to feel helpless in the face of what is happening. But to keep strong we must focus on what is within our control. Every small act matters. We can support with donations, show solidarity by upholding sanctions, petition governments to do more to help refugees and continue to speak out against the greed, vanity and callousness that underpin this war – and many other social ills. Wellbeing IS political – kindness, connection, equality, and prioritising the common good over personal interests all matter for creating a better world. It starts small and local but over time conversations create cultures. Several links in this newsletter point to issues of poverty, wellbeing and education.
You have until March 20 to take part in this survey that the Australian Children’s Commissioner has initiated to explore the views of children and families about how the last two years of Covid have affected children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Academic article by Sulimani and Melkman (Feb 2022): School belonging and hope among at-risk youth: the contribution of academic support provided by youth’s social networks.
Article in the Australian Conversation by Dr Gerry Redmond on why poverty must be addressed to improve educational outcomes – applies everywhere!
Face-to-face at last (fingers crossed)!Romania: 30th June to 3rd July: ENSEC conference: Social Emotional Learning and Positive Development – The deadline for submitting papers is 31st March. Register here
Iceland: also last week of June and first week of July: The European Conference for Positive Psychology: Creating a World We Want to Live In. I am doing a workshop on 29th June.
Israel: 12-14 September: Resilience: Regaining Mental Wellness, Health and Normalcy
Australia: Fremantle, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in October and November. Positive Schools conferences. The influence of Positive Schools continued during the pandemic with on-line professional learning, I am proud to be an ambassador for this initiative. More information on the link.
UK: Pedagoo 2022 – Saturday September 10th at Hayling College, is a day for teachers by teachers, now in its 8th year. It is the brainchild of Martyn Reah and the rest of the team from @Teacher5aday. No booking link yet.
TED talk by Richard Wilkinson (Sept 2021) on the link between inequality and anxiety. He is, along with Kate Pickett, the author of The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone.
My keynote at the New Zealand Mental Health in Schools Conference on 8 April 2022, on Social and Emotional Learning for School and Student Wellbeing.
Several books about school wellbeing have been recently published – all coming from slightly different angles.
Published by Sage, The Big Book of Whole School Wellbeing has four editors and many contributors, covering many aspects of school wellbeing, It is a book of great breadth. I am delighted to have written two chapters, one on relationships and one on social emotional learning.
The Educators’ Guide to Whole-School Wellbeing is published by Routledge and is a book of great depth. The authors Denise Quinlan and Lucy Hone are both New Zealand based and run The New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience, where you can find a mass of information, including valuable podcasts.
The Ultimate Guide to Implementing Wellbeing Programmes for School is by Jolanta Burked and also published by Routledge. It aims to help school leaders make informed decisions about interventions.
How to apply for a UK government grant for mental health lead training in the UK 2022/23. Click on this link.
At My Best have some great strength cards, but have also recently published Good Question cards – a resource for personal reflection or initiating conversations.
Strengths in Circles cards are available digitally. These have seven statements for the six ASPIRE principles of agency, safety, positivity, inclusion, respect and equity. They make for great small group discussion topics in social-emotional learning.
Therese Hoyle, advocate for positive playtimes and author of 101 Playground Games and 101 Wet Playtime Games, invites you to download free playground games from her website.
Brainpop is an American company that has developed educational resources with cartoons and videos, mostly for primary aged students. Although the US centric nature of these might be problematic they are worth a look. The link is to the Health and SEL section.
I am running three interactive 90 minute refresher sessions (repeats) for experienced Circle Solutions practitioners and anyone else keen to know more about social-emotional learning. Entitled Actions, Reflections, Questions, they are on Thursday April 7th, Thursday April 28th and Saturday May 21st at different times of the day so that teachers from around the world might have a chance to be there! Times are given for UK, Australia and Singapore. Please click on this link to book.
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