Pictured at the launch of Wellbeing in Schools Everyday were John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy Prison with Dr. Fionnuala Tynan, and Dr. Margaret Nohilly, lecturers in Education at Mary Immaculate College Limerick, Ann Higgins, Acting Director of CDU, MIC and Professor Teresa O’Doherty, Dean of Education, MIC. Picture: Don Moloney / Press 22
Wellbeing in Schools Everyday publication launched by Mary Immaculate College lecturers
Thursday, March 15 saw the launch of a new publication entitled ‘Wellbeing in Schools Everyday: A whole-school approach to the practical implementation of wellbeing’, a publication that will support teachers in promoting the wellbeing of pupils and staff.
In 2015, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health published ‘Well-being in Primary Schools: Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion’, which acknowledged the importance of wellbeing in education. Yet wellbeing is not a subject in the Primary School Curriculum. This raises the issues of when to teach wellbeing, where it fits into the curriculum, what to teach and how to teach it.
Wellbeing in Schools Everyday (WISE) has been developed by teacher educators at Mary Immaculate College, Dr. Fionnuala Tynan and Dr. Margaret Nohilly, in response to teachers’ needs to understand wellbeing in an educational context and to develop a range of skills and strategies to support wellbeing in schools.
The publication, which was officially launched by John Lonergan, former Governor at Mountjoy Prison, incorporates the voices of Irish teachers, in both mainstream and special-school settings, regarding what is possible in the promotion of wellbeing on a day-to-day basis. It provides a wealth of practical strategies that can be used to enhance the development of wellbeing across the primary school. The authors promote wellbeing as positive educational experiences for all pupils. Their work on creating a shared understanding of wellbeing, developing a whole-school approach to wellbeing, creating a positive school culture and climate, developing a positive classroom environment, supporting pupils’ wellbeing during break times, teaching wellbeing across the curriculum, developing wellbeing skills across the continuum of support and promoting wellbeing through the school self-evaluation process is supplemented with the work of Dr Ann Caulfield, co-founder of Mindfulness Matters, on teacher wellbeing; Steve Lane, primary teacher and co-founder of MindSETs Training, on leading wellbeing in the school community, Dr Richard Bowles, lecturer in Physical Education, MIC, on attaining wellbeing through physical education, and Patrick Burke, lecturer in Education, MIC on exploring wellbeing through children’s literature.
Speaking at the launch Dr. Fionnuala Tynan said: “We are delighted to have produced a book in conjunction with teachers and pupils from mainstream and special schools in Ireland. The book is a response to the needs of teachers regarding how they can best support the wellbeing of their pupils. It is a testimony to the quality of Irish teachers that they are actively seeking ways to create positive educational experiences for the pupils they teach. This book seeks to create an understanding of the concept of wellbeing and provides a wide range of strategies to support pupils’ and teachers’ wellbeing through the taught and hidden curriculum”.
Dr. Margaret Nohilly echoed these sentiments saying “We were delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues in the education centre network on such a valuable and meaningful project. Furthermore, we are very grateful to the contributing authors Dr. Richard Bowles, Patrick Burke, Dr. Ann Caulfield and Steve Lane for the significant insights on wellbeing that they have added to this publication. Their contributions have enhanced this publication very much, with their specialist perspectives on particular areas of wellbeing”.
‘Wellbeing in Schools Everyday: A whole-school approach to the practical implementation of wellbeing’ is published by the Curriculum Development Unit of MIC and is available to purchase online.
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