| Teacher's Blog

As a school and as individuals how do we begin to define a term like ‘wellbeing’ and give it the due diligence it needs? In fact, it can be like the proverbial ‘walking through a minefield’.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines wellbeing as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.” All three of these words will mean something very different to us all and as individuals it can be formulated through our life experiences and more importantly for our children, it will be the life experience we afford them. What makes one individual feel happy may be completely different to how another individual will define feeling happy.

However, what should not be disputed is the need to understand how all three of the above impact directly upon our and our children’s daily lives. Whilst children will understand each of the three words at their own level, the context in which they will be able to express these words will vary dramatically depending on what they are expressing, how they are expressing it and to whom they are expressing it to. The impact these words can have on a child’s well-being will differ according to their own circumstances

For our children, these three words are essential in allowing them to follow their academic pathways in the best way possible. It is almost immeasurable to quantify the impact we as parents will have on these three key components and how important a positive approach to all three is crucial in shaping our children’s own well-being.

Fundamental to well-being is the ability to be open and honest about our feelings. However, this is not necessarily something everyone is comfortable doing let alone discussing the things that make them feel happy. Without the ability to feel comfortable and so lacking the ability to discuss happiness, two of the three key facets of well-being are already hidden away. As a consequence, the true value of exploring well-being can never be fully undertaken.

At Sherborne House, our approach to well-being is one that goes beyond just learning and teaching in the classroom. We want our approach to infiltrate all aspects of school life. The health and well-being of the pupils, parents and the staff is promoted through fostering an environment where the whole community is valued and everyone can talk without the fear of judgement. Crazy thoughts and ideas are appreciated and can form the foundation of discussions which allow empathy and compassion to come to the fore.

A final thought on well-being is it should promote further discussion and thought is that only one approach will never allow for effective well-being to flourish. We must all look at how we can embrace and develop a mixture of these thoughts: give (say thank you to someone who helped you), keep learning (discover something new and learn more about it), be active (spend some time on a local walk), take notice (stop and really take in your surroundings) and finally connect (find an old photo of a friend or family and share it with them).

Marc Bennet
Head of Pastoral Care & Safeguarding Lead