What are Every Learner's Most Important Lessons?...
Increasingly, both Education and Mental Health services are better informed about the prevalence of poor wellbeing in our young people,
and the impact this can have; 10% of today’s children warrant a mental health diagnosis, and an estimated 75% of our adult mental-health service users developed their illness before their 18th birthday. Despite these alarming statistics, there are very few opportunities available for
our children to meaningfully learn about the issues that affect their mental health.
With all evidence pointing to a long overdue need to equip them with the knowledge and tools to both understand and manage their
emotional health, we've recently teamed up with Derbyshire Adult & Community Education Services (DACES) to develop such resources.
DACES provides education for 14-19 year olds who cannot access mainstream education for reasons such as challenging
behaviour, autism, school phobia, being in care etc., and consequently experience various wellbeing issues. In direct response to those,
we've produced 20 lesson plans which; through a range of creative and practical activities; are all designed to enable teachers to authentically
explore subjects such as resilience, anger, anxiety, sleep, peer-relationships, social isolation and screen-use with their learners;
to explore how their brains work and to help learners take responsibility for cultivating emotional wellness in themselves and their peers.
Recognised by European education network ‘IMPADA’ as an example of good practice, you can read more about the project here (case study 35).
Impact on Learner's Wellbeing
The below quote comes from a DACES tutor after using our 'Take a Breath' lesson plan to explore stress and anxiety with his learners;
“The session helped students to identify their stress, anger and anxieties; and what triggered these;
and offered strategies to help learners to deal with them.
The session clearly enabled student self-assessment within a peer context, opening a dialogue about
self-awareness, what strategies they already employ, and suggesting what they could
do differently in stressful situations.
All staff understood the value and did not need mentoring in how to deliver the activities.
Our Learning Support Assistant commented how the pictorial representation of learner's stress levels over a 24 hour time line had elucidated helpful information related to their sleeping patterns, stressful home lives and general high anxiety levels.
As a direct result of this lesson, we have embedded colour and bar charts to non-verbally express levels
of anxiety with one learner in particular. Overall, very positive outcomes and we are keen to try additional lessons.”
FREE Resources to Download
The below are two examples of the session plan PDFs, which you can download for FREE
All About Anxiety 'Take a Breath' Lesson
Exploring where anxiety comes from, how to recognise it and
different ways to manage it
Peer Relationships 'Trophy Cabinet' Lesson
Exploring the characteristics and personalities of peers
and the changing dynamics of friendships
If you’re interested in finding our more, or want to talk to us about developing teaching & learning resources for your service-users, please contact us.