Wendy thinks it in unacceptable that New Zealand has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world. Unfortunately, when Wendy started the program New Zealand had the 5th greatest suicide rate in the world, for the past three years suicide rates have risen, and in 2018 the youngest person to commit suicide in the country was as young as ten. Wendy thinks that this is due, in part, to a lack of cultural acceptance of mental health issues and she believes in a school where creating well-rounded people is put ahead of standardised education.
The key to Wendy’s initiative is developing wellbeing throughout the school. The project is ongoing but it is already having a massive impact!
Wendy created a wellbeing program for all students using Tessera testing. She combined created units with a Tessera focus. Teachers and classes were grouped, and staff PD for implementation was provided. The program started on a school wide basis and students and teachers were surveyed to elicit the successes and where change was needed. There was also a staff self-care survey, and further PD for teachers’ wellbeing, resulting in the commencement of staff social events.
So far Wendy’s initiatives have impacted 100% of the 607 students who attend her school, as well as 48 staff members. Students are using specific examples of behaviours demonstrated in class.
“One student discussed a life changing episode with their parents as a direct response to the programme. Another student said “people are treating me differently in class and I like it.” And another student reported “when I write my reflections I now actually consider my choices I’ve made and that helps me.”
Like the idea?
Wendy would love your support for Whole-School Wellbeing, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Wendy and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
#WhatChangeLooksLike #ECStories #EduChange
Developed in collaboration with our epic partner, 21c skills lab.