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Facing September With A Plan Webinar Series

Simon Ward is a Senior Educational Psychologist on the Wirral where his specialism is mental health and wellbeing. Prior to this, he was project lead for the targeted mental health in schools work (TaMHS). This involved building the knowledge, skills and confidence base of staff to support promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies. For a number of years, Simon has also been running a variety of projects to develop the wellbeing and resilience of staff, parents and children in an increasing number of schools and settings. His particular interest is in positive psychology and the factors that contribute to individuals, groups and communities flourishing. Alongside his Local Authority work, Simon has worked as an independent trainer/consultant with a range of clients from all sectors.

As a regular trainer, whilst his main focus has been on promoting mental health and well-being, he has also delivered seminars on a variety of related topics including: Increasing motivation and engagement, positive behaviour management, positive leadership, developing coaching and solution oriented approaches.

Simon is also an International Consultant for Cambridge University Press.

This series of webinars will focus on some key ideas and strategies to improve wellbeing and consider their impact on participation, learning and behaviour. In particular, the evidence base of positive psychology and resilience will be drawn upon, with an emphasis on the attitudes, skills and experiences, which promote mental health and improve wellbeing. A Flourishing Model will be introduced that brings these ideas together in order to actively promote wellbeing so that both staff and young people benefit.

There is no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has presented and will continue to present challenges for individuals, families, schools and local communities. Heading back to school as lockdown eases is a key transition that needs to be carefully considered for all involved in the process, with children’s needs and wellbeing placed at its heart. There is a risk that the narrative around school transition and the experiences of children becomes dominated by the language of risk, trauma, damage, or illness These webinars will support schools to help children go back to school in a positive way, focusing on strengths, hope and children’s ability to cope. Understandably, any child returning to school may experience a range of emotions, from feeling happy, excited and relieved to be back, to feeling anxious, afraid or angry. We hope that these webinars offer psychological insights that can help to plan for children’s return to school and that they can be used to help reduce the stresses this transition could pose to create positive new beginnings.

Some thinkers who study disasters frame crises not just in terms of what is lost but also what might be gained – seeing glimmers of possibility. With this in mind, the approach of positive education will be introduced. This has been defined as “education for both traditional skills and for happiness” (Seligman et al., 2009). Whilst historically schools may have aimed for academic excellence as sole evidence for their success, there are growing numbers of schools who are now acknowledging the need to develop students in a more holistic way, with a stronger focus on wellbeing. Schools are looking for effective solutions and strategies to develop wellbeing and improve the mental health of the whole school. Much of this is in recognition of the increasing statistics on psychological distress and mental illness in our children and adolescents, and the realisation of the need to take a more proactive rather than reactive approach to mental health.. Positive Education brings together the science of positive psychology with quality teaching to encourage and support individuals, schools and communities to flourish.

This webinar series is free as a part of SAS Wellbeing Support and will be recorded and made available on the webinars section of our website shortly after the event.

Please register for each of the individual events you wish to attend below. Registration is limited. Click the links on the dates below to register for the events.

14 August at 2:30pm 
Session 1 will focus on :

  • Current context: Covid 19 and return to school
  • Medical vs social model of well-being
  • Positive education
  • What works in promoting  well-being
  • Introducing PERMA

21 August at 2:30pm
Session 2 will focus on :

  • Emotional , psychological and social well-being
  • Positive emotions: savouring, overcoming our negativity bias,
  • Engagement: Flow, self efficacy, mindset, optimism

28 August at 2:30pm
Session 3 will focus on :

  • Relationships: the elements of social well-being
  • Meaning and Purpose: altruism, empathy, strengths
  • Accomplishment: mastery vs performance

4 September at 2:30pm
Session 4 will focus on :

  • Q&A submitted from Sessions 1 – 3