If you were asked today ‘what topics were you taught in school?’ what would spring to mind? You might answer with a list of subjects such as English, Irish or Maths. Would self-care, effective communication, relational well-being or healthy coping strategies be amongst the things you recall learning? Sadly, probably not.
Today, however, teaching our children about how to keep themselves mentally and physically well is slowly becoming a priority. We are beginning to recognise that without knowing how to look after our mental and physical health we can struggle. Fostering well-being in school teaches children essential skills in a safe and supportive environment, which can then be carried through to adulthood.
Well-being is multi-faceted. There are five different aspects to it:
· emotional (affect/feeling)
· psychological (positive functioning)
· social (relations with othersin society)
· physical (physical health)
· and spiritual (sense of meaning and purpose in life) well-being
Taking a holistic approaching, and ensuring all aspects are developed, will benefit pupils as they go through the school system. It requires commitment from parents, teachers and the community to ensure that a child’s environment supports well-being in all areas of their life.
Ag Eisteacht are running a DES Approved Summer Course in conjunction with five education centres in Cork, West Cork, Portlaoise, Waterford, County Kerry. Skills for listening to and supporting those in the School Community is designed to help the School Community blossom through enhanced relationships.
 (Grogan, Holland and O’Dea, 2015)