‘Wellbeing week’ at an IB World School in Australia offered everyone a chance to slow down, mindfully participate in community activities and build relationships
At the end of a busy term, when things can start to get frantic, Rivercrest Christian College in Australia, came together to remind the school community of the importance of taking care of their wellbeing.
‘Wellbeing Week’ is an end-of-term awareness campaign aimed at raising the profile of social and emotional learning (SEL). Staff, students and parents learned about positive emotions, such as gratitude and joy. These emotions have strong links with developing wellbeing, according to psychologist Martin Seligman.
Matthew Scott, Deputy Head of Primary: Wellbeing, says: “Wellbeing Week was established as part of our ongoing efforts to engage our students, staff and families with the importance of developing wellbeing and the IB Learner Profile attributes as a community. Our leadership team was well aware of the strong links that positive wellbeing has with academic learning and developing key attributes such as ‘balanced’ and ‘risk-taker’.”
The community took part in various activities, such as a cardboard makerspace task to encourage creativity, chess and games club, gardening club, soccer matches and morning walks.
“Students learned how to balance their lives and make time for the small things like morning walks, playing games with families and spending time outdoors in nature,” says Scott.
Library lessons focused heavily on the importance of ‘slowing down’, and students explored mindfulness and gratitude techniques. “In class, students explored positive emotions like gratitude – which we believe is linked to the IB Learner Profile attribute ‘reflective’. This led to gratitude cards and letters being sent home to parents and caregivers.”
Wellbeing Week also encouraged families to take a break from academic homework and place a greater emphasis on developing relationships with each other. “It is our belief that stronger families will help build a stronger college,” says Scott.
Wellbeing is continually promoted at Rivercrest. It runs various programmes that proactively nurture and encourage positive mental health.
The purpose behind a one-week celebration was for us all to take notice of the significant impact of SEL and to reflect on how we can build key routines and practice into our home lives,” says Scott. “Sometimes a celebration can be a great provocation for reflection and change.”
This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter @IBorganization #IBcommunitystories. Share your great stories and experiences: email firstname.lastname@example.org.