The Importance of Whole School Wellbeing

Imagine you had a precious, priceless seed or maybe even a handful of special seeds.  Would you plant them in a convenient patch of soil and then wait to see if what you’re hoping for actually springs forth? Or would you plant them in a spot well suited to their needs and then tend the soil, enrich its nutrients, ensure it’s well watered and protected from environmental extremities?

To give those seeds the best chance to grow and flourish and reach their full potential, the choice is a simple but important one. 

Likewise, your decision to enrich the wellbeing of your whole school community is a straightforward one and your commitment to that endeavour is supremely important in ensuring each individual and the community as a whole, grow and flourish. 

Research and common sense tell us that individuals within a school community (students, their families, your colleagues, you!) will have the best opportunity to develop and experience good physical, mental, emotional and social health, life satisfaction and a sense of purpose when they are surrounded and supported by people who value and express like qualities.¹ Additionally, wellbeing is enhanced when advocated via a multi-level initiative involving the individual, peers, family, staff, leaders, practices and policies. ² Thus, the importance of a whole school approach!

Whole school wellbeing has even more benefits; individuals are more likely to engage in positive relationships, explore their strengths, accomplish more and contribute in a significant and positive manner to their communities.² On a narrow, but highly publicised measure of whole school wellbeing, it also goes hand in hand with effective learning and successful academic performance.³ 

The pursuit of whole school wellbeing, it seems, has a considerable ripple effect for individuals and the school community collectively! 

The what, how, where and when of implementation can, however, be overwhelming. 

A great starting point is accessing some of the amazing organisations and resources targeting the provision and improvement of whole school wellbeing. Some recent ones include:

The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework - here

Student Wellbeing Hub - here 

Be You - here

A little more formalised, Geelong Grammar School’s Institute of Positive Education (leaders in the field of the whole school wellbeing implementation), advocate 4 key processes: Learn it, live it, teach it, embed it.⁴

Here at Champion Life, we’ve boiled it down to Explore, Experience, Encourage and Evaluate!

Exploring is all about finding out what wellbeing entails for you and for your particular community. Each one is made of up of a unique set of individuals within a unique context requiring a tailor-made plan of action.

Experiencing refers to putting ideas into practice, giving things a go.

To encourage is to acknowledge and celebrate efforts made in relation to improving wellbeing and offer continuing support for people and practices and policies.

Finally, engaging in a process of evaluation allows for updating and modification of wellbeing opportunities in order to respond to the fluid nature of individuals’ and communities’ wellbeing. 

But to really bring things back to basics……the whole school wellbeing ‘ripple’ starts with a single drop.

So when you offer Champion Life experiences to your students, encourage them, participate in the program yourself, emphasise the relevance to wellbeing and spread the Champion Life message…. make some ripples of your own! 

Sources

¹  https://www.studentwellbeinghub.edu.au/docs/default-source/aswf_booklet-pdf.pdf?sfvrsn=0

²  https://www.cese.nsw.gov.au/images/stories/PDF/student_wellbeing_LR_AA.pdf

³  https://documentcentre.education.tas.gov.au/Documents/Student-Health-Ini... 

⁴  https://www.ggs.vic.edu.au/Institute/Resources/Our-Model/key-processes