Ultimate Guide for Health and Wellbeing
Published on 10/01/2023
Supporting children's mental and physical health and emotional wellbeing is vital.
IDL's Wellbeing programme is designed to help support children's mental wellbeing and encourage positive emotions. This is especially useful in light of Covid-19, new Ofsted requirements, and the need to support children's health and welfare.
So how can you help support young people's health and wellbeing? This guide will look at some of the most important aspects of mental and physical health.
Getting enough sleep
This is crucial for good health and wellbeing. It is recommended that children aged 7-13 years old get 9-11 hours of sleep every night during the school week and 10-12 hours on weekends. If children in the classroom are struggling or inattentive, it may be because they are not getting sufficient sleep at home. You can talk to children and their parents about ways to improve sleep, such as:
- establishing a regular bedtime routine
- avoiding caffeine and sugary drinks before bed
- making sure the bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool
- encouraging children to avoid screen time in the hour before bed
Eating a balanced diet
Eating well is important for good health. Many schools now run breakfast clubs to ensure that children have a good meal before they start lessons. Other ways schools can help are by:
- providing healthy lunch options
- promoting water consumption throughout the day
- talking to children about healthy food options
Keeping physically active doesn't mean that children have to do intensive exercise. However, they should be active every day. Physical activity can include:
- walking or cycling to school
- playing in the playground
- taking part in organised sports clubs
Learning about emotions
This can also help children to understand and manage their feelings. This can be done through classroom activities, discussions, and assemblies. It is important that children feel able to talk about their emotions openly without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. Ways to do this include:
- using puppets or other props to act out different emotions
- discussing how different events in our lives can make us feel
- watching films or reading books that deal with emotions
This technique can help children focus on the present moment and become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness can be practised in many different ways, such as through:
- breathing exercises
- relaxation techniques
- gentle yoga or stretching
Children can learn how to manage stress in healthy ways. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualisation techniques are all effective ways to manage stress. Ways to do this include:
- setting aside time each day for relaxation
- teaching children how to take slow, deep breaths
- showing them how to tense and relax different muscle groups
- helping them to visualise a calm place or situation
Activities outdoors for learning increase health, wellbeing and environmental awareness. There are many different types of outdoor learning, all of which provide fantastic learning experiences for children and young people. If there's space, a garden on the school grounds is an excellent way for children to learn about horticulture. There are also outdoor learning centres (OLCs) catering to school groups. Some examples of other types of outdoor learning are:
- environmental education
- field studies
- going for walks in the woods or countryside
Positive social media and internet use
Most children now have access to the internet and social media, so it's essential to make sure they are using it in a positive way. There are a number of things you can do to promote positive and responsible social media and internet use, including:
- Encouraging children to only share personal information with people they know and trust
- Teaching them how to spot fake news and online scams
- Talking to them about cyberbullying and what to do if they experience it
- Showing them how to report inappropriate content
Developing a solid sense of self-identity and self-esteem
Children need to feel good about themselves in order to be mentally healthy. There are several things you can do to promote a strong sense of self-identity and self-esteem, including:
- Encouraging children to celebrate their achievements, no matter how small
- Helping them to understand that everyone is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses
- Teaching them how to deal with failure and setbacks
- Allowing them to have a say in decisions that affect them
- Encouraging them to be independent and take on new challenges
A supportive classroom environment
Children need to feel safe and respected. You can support this by having a positive relationship with each child, maintaining open communication, and setting clear expectations. A supportive environment also means focusing not only on academic achievements but also the health and wellbeing of learners. This can be done by:
- establishing ground rules at the beginning of the year
- using positive reinforcement
- maintaining open communication with parents and carers
Supporting children's health and wellbeing
Finally, it is also important to create a school environment where pupils feel safe, happy, and valued. This can be achieved by having a positive behaviour policy in place, ensuring that all staff are approachable and friendly and promoting an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome.
By taking these steps, you can help support the mental and physical health and emotional wellbeing of children in your care.
Children who feel happy and healthy are more likely to attend school, engage with their learning, and achieve their academic potential. By taking a few simple steps, you can make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of young people.
IDL Wellbeing is now available!
IDL Wellbeing is a simple-to-use product that schools can use to help nurture good mental health for their pupils. This exciting new programme has been developed in response to the impact of Covid, rising demand from schools, and new Ofsted requirements.
The programme includes tools and techniques that children can use together or individually to help improve their resilience, emotional awareness, and mindfulness. For more information about IDL Wellbeing, please visit our website or contact us.