Wellbeing does not mean the absence of anxiety or stress, mental health difficulties or negative emotions in our life. It is about our ability to deal with the normal stresses we face in life and our ability to take care of our physical wellbeing. Developing and sustaining positive wellbeing is a lifelong process for us all.
The promotion of wellbeing is central to the Department of Education’s mission to enable children and young people to achieve their full potential and contribute to Ireland’s social, cultural and economic development. It has been recognised by the Department that schools play a key role in developing and enhancing young people’s wellbeing with schools and centres for education are now required to have a School Self-Evaluation Wellbeing Promotion Process embedded by 2023.
Barnardos Big Active has been developed to help students learn to be resilient in dealing with anxiety and stress of their daily lives, to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing and to have a sense of belonging to their wider community. The initiative aims to support objectives and learning traditionally included in CSPE, PE, and SPHE and can incrementally develop the learning outcomes from these specifications.
There are lots of fun activities available here to keep students engaged and activities that groups and classmates can do together.
It is also important that you as an educator take care of yourself. The Wellbeing for Parents section here also provides tips on how to check in and be kind to yourself. You may find this useful whether you are a parent or not.
The heart activities focus on understanding and managing feelings. These activities will support students to foster feelings of kindness for themselves and others. Together you can help your child to learn more words to describe their feelings and support the daily practice of recognising how things make us feel.
The Body activities are divided into breathing activities - activities to provide students with an opportunity to focus on the body and connect with the present, and muscle relaxation activities to help students release tension from their bodies to increase their sense of calmness.
The Mind activities will support students to have an awareness of their own thoughts and learn how to increase positive thoughts.