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Supporting children's mental health and wellbeing
Supporting children's mental health and wellbeing

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Session 5: Wellbeing and mental health in education settings


Around the world, many countries have developed national curricula for pre-school and school-aged children. Each curriculum includes principles aimed at improving children’s emotional and social development. Implementing these aims means that practitioners and teachers have an increasingly important role in creating an environment that is conducive for children to develop good mental health and wellbeing.

In this session, you will explore some of the ways that educators in pre-school and primary school settings are approaching this responsibility. You will discover how the ethos of the early childhood and/or school setting is critical to children’s wellbeing. For example, routines such as circle time (i.e. where the pupils and teacher come together in a physical circle to learn) that are embedded in practice can help adults to listen to children, and are important strategies for the development of good wellbeing and positive mental health.

This is a photograph of children playing.
Figure 1 Children playing together in a day care setting

In this session, you will explore how developing and implementing policies relating to anti-bullying and safeguarding can contribute to improving the mental health of children. Finally, you will consider the significance of play throughout a child’s life in promoting good mental health and wellbeing.

Now listen to the audio introduction to this session.

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By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • explore ways to promote positive wellbeing through the curriculum in early years education settings and primary schools
  • be aware of the critical role of the key worker/person in early care and education settings
  • consider the role of whole school approaches to promoting wellbeing in early years and in primary schools
  • reflect on the role of policies in the prevention of mental health issues.