Improving the mental health and wellbeing of pupils through positive psychology

Creating flourishing schools

Education is one of the biggest influences in children’s lives and a wonderful opportunity to help children develop resilient and positive habits that will enable them to grow in to happy, healthy and successful adults.

Pebble courses have been created to support schools tackling one of the biggest challenges they currently face – improving the mental health and wellbeing of pupils. They do this through the use of Positive Psychology – the scientific study of human flourishing.

Positive Psychology is an evidence-based discipline that seeks to help people create lives of meaning, happiness, wellbeing and optimism. It is not just “positive thinking”. It also helps people become more resilient when faced with setbacks and challenges and to cope more easily with failures, while treating both themselves and others with greater compassion and understanding. In short it is about living your best life – independent of your external circumstances.

When this science is applied in schools it is called Positive Education. While it is most associated with the benefits it gives to pupils, both in terms of wellbeing and academic progress, is also benefits all school staff who embrace the principles and embed them into their own lives.

Prof Martin Seligman began the whole positive psychology movement. He felt the traditional view of psychology and wellness which focused on moving people from -10 to 0 was too limited and instead turned his attention, and considerable influence and resources into developing ways of helping people move from 0 to +10.

Since then Positive Education has become a world-wide movement encompassing schools from many countries including, Mexico, Peru, Bhutan, the UK and the USA. There is now an International Positive Education Network which holds several events each year as more and more schools experience the benefit that Positive Education brings to their whole community.

There are two main courses we offer to support positive education in schools:

Everyday Magic

A 6-day programme for schools wishing to introduce Positive Education into their classroom.
Schools today do not just aim for students to achieve their academic potential. They also aim to develop them as emotionally resilient, happy, responsible and ultimately productive members of society.
This means preparing students with life skills such as: grit, optimism, resilience, growth mindset, engagement, focus and positive wellbeing among many others. This is why many schools are turning to Positive Education.

Among the topics covered are:
• What Positive Education is and what it can do
• How the brain works in relation to learning and memory, stress, worry, confidence, compassion, calmness and flourishing
• Positive Education for different age groups (the course is aimed at KS2 but is easily adapted)
• Developing focus and concentration
• Dealing with big feelings – frustration, anger, sorrow
• Facing challenges and learning from mistakes
• Creating self-compassion and dealing with the inner critic
• Self-worth and growth mindset
• Improvising skills, quick thinking and mental agility
• Character strengths
From the outset the course emphasises applying the skills in a practical way. Sessions are engaging and participatory, with plenty of practise and discussion. By the end of the programme participants will be able to structure a series of bespoke Positive Education lessons as well blend the skills and techniques into everyday teaching.

Creating the Mindful Classroom

A 2-day programme bringing the benefits of mindfulness into the classroom.
At its heart mindfulness is about building brilliant brains and calm minds. It is about learning to find peace, focus and even happiness in a busy, frantic and sometimes worrying world. How does it do all that? By harnessing how our minds and brains work best and using that to create clarity, peace, focus, creativity and contentment.

It is often said that mindfulness is simple but not necessarily easy. It is simple because no special equipment is needed, the foundations are easily understood by both adults and children, and it can be fun. It’s not easy because it requires some commitment, practice, an open mind, and a little bit of time.

Mindfulness itself consists of two parts. There is the formal practice. This is setting some time aside to do some mindfulness exercises. Many people have an image of meditation as sitting quietly, eyes closed, focusing on your breathing. This is certainly a part of mindfulness, but so is focusing on sounds, moving mindfully, eating chocolate, paying attention to your driving, your walking or your thinking.

After formal practice comes putting mindfulness into use, and this is the truly amazing part. You can use what you learn in practice to feel calmer in frantic moment, recover from setbacks, deal with exam nerves, bring joy and happiness to your day, feel a greater sense of connection to friends, make better decisions, and be more creative. Whenever you need to, wherever you need to.
This is a mindfulness course specifically designed to help your school bring mindfulness to both staff and pupils in the easiest way possible. Its main aim is to make mindfulness part of life for everyone in the school community.

Creating the Mindful Classroom will give you a thorough grounding in the theory, practice and the teaching of mindfulness, as well as the ability to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness in your own life.

It is highly practical, bringing together the latest research into mindfulness with practical tips and techniques that can be used in many different ways and areas of school life. You will learn ways of making mindfulness part of the school day in simple, effective and fun ways, covering both the formal and the informal practice.

Participants will receive a qualification recognised by the Complementary Medicine Association upon successful completion of the programme.

Among the topics covered are:
• What Mindfulness is and what it can do
• The science of Mindfulness and benefits in the classroom
• Mindfulness for concentration
• Mindfulness for emotional regulation
• Mindfulness exercises to use in the classroom
• Making Mindfulness part of every day.

Everyday Magic

Cost = £650 per teacher. Discounts available for more than one teacher from the same school.

Creating the Mindful Classroom

Cost = £350 per teacher. Discounts available for more than one teacher from the same school.

Available Nationwide

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