Self-Help Wellbeing Resources and Strategies
Books. Websites. Articles.
Ten Traits of Resilience
James Hilton (2018)
Description on Amazon: In an increasingly complex and ever-changing education landscape, school leadership is a rewarding but multifaceted profession. In order to survive in the job long term, school leaders need to understand how they can lead with positivity and purpose, all the while avoiding stress, coping with adversity, and taking better care of themselves physically and mentally. With teacher wellbeing and retention a growing concern, it is essential school leaders pass on this confidence and optimism to their staff members too.
In this thought-provoking book, James Hilton explores ten traits of resilience and demonstrates to school leaders how they can embed these traits into their own practice and into their school to create a climate of resilience in every classroom. Ten Traits of Resilience is packed with practical advice, tips and reflective questions to help school leaders evaluate and improve their current practice, and threaded throughout are also perspectives from a number of education experts, including Ross Morrison McGill, Patrick Ottley-O'Connor, Viv Grant and Kim Johnson.
With a foreword by happiness expert, Dr Andy Cope, this book is ideal for all school leaders and aspiring school leaders looking to promote and maintain a culture of resilience in their schools, in order to improve their own mental health and wellbeing, and that of their staff and pupils too.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The Talking Toolkit is designed to be used as a framework to help line managers have simple, practical conversations with school employees. It should not be used as a sole response to an existing problem with work-related stress in your school.*
The toolkit has six templates for six different conversations, each with a different theme designed to get you talking about issues which may be causing work-related stress or issues which could have the potential to become future causes if not managed properly.
Download a copy here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wwRmLOvJnh2Bu0quKQBIt4XOdznehxdC
Say Yes to New Opportunities! Be Motivated to L.E.A.R.N
Ruth Pearson: Author House UK (2017)
“Listen to your inner voice, and do not let anyone stop you from being the person you know within and need to be.”
Ruth Pearson’s book shares the emotional experiences she went through as a classroom teacher, and how these experiences became the catalyst for her to change her life. She shares these changes with her readers, to teach them how they can proactively look after their personal and professional wellbeing. She teaches how to put the mask on ourselves first before looking after the wellbeing of others.
No matter what you do for a living, you know it can be hard to overcome personal and professional problems. Get the inspiration you need to accomplish your goals and conquer your fears by reading Ruth's
How to Survive in Teaching: without imploding, exploding or walking away
Dr Emma Kell (2018)
How to Survive in Teaching is based upon the voices of almost 4,000 UK teachers, former teachers, school leaders and researchers. The book is a call-to-action and a celebration of the profession. It aims to take an unflinching look at the challenges faced by UK educators today and to get beneath the bones of the teacher crisis. Emma Kell argues that it’s not as simple as ‘workload’ - though workload is indeed an ongoing issue.
Teachers go into the job because they actively want to make a difference to young people. There is a solid thread of moral purpose that runs through all of the responses from participants in the book. Professional integrity, trust and relationships are at the centre of ‘what works’ in some of the excellent schools that are recruiting - and retaining - our best teachers.
What is #Teacher5adayBuddyBox?
#Teacher5adayBuddyBox is a strand of the #Teacher5aday initative with a focus on volunteering. A buddy box is quite simply a box of goodies that gets posted to a buddy.
Who can get involved?
The scheme is open to teachers, educators and other members of school staff that are concerned with improving their wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. It’s particularly awesome if you still love sending and receiving snail mail and are happy to volunteer.
How does it work?
It’s quite simple. You sign up and get matched with a wellbeing buddy and you make contact with them. Swap addresses. You send each other ‘buddy boxes’ throughout the year. They receive their ‘buddy box’. You make them smile. The hardest part is deciding what to send.
What happens once I sign up?
You can sign up anytime but may have to wait for a wellbeing buddy to be available to be matched. Once your buddy has been found you’ll be informed by email/Twitter and you can take it from there. Swap addresses, send your ‘buddy box’, make each other smile.
Remember this is completely voluntary, it is your responsibility to contact your wellbeing buddy and to send out your “buddy box”. You must cover all costs involved. This is completely based upon all participants wanting to sign up and take part out of the kindness of their hearts. I’m afraid neither I, nor anyone involved in #teacher5aday, can accept responsibility if you do not receive a buddy box in exchange. Therefore, please only sign up if you intend to send.
Before deciding whether you would like to sign up, please read the FAQs at:
If you have read the FAQs and this all sounds good to you, then sign up for the Buddy Box scheme, using the form available at the link below:
Flip the System UK: A Teacher's Manifesto
Lucy Rycroft-Smith & J L Dutaut (2017)
This brave and disruptive book accurately deﬁnes the problems of low teacher morale and offers systemic, future-proof, and realistic solutions to bringing hope, energy and joy back to the profession. The simple answer is staring us in the face: increase teacher agency. Our rallying cry: our profession needs a return to values of humanity, pride, and professionalism.
From research literacy to a collective voice, better CPD to smarter accountability, contributors to this book demonstrate the huge scope for increased teacher inﬂuence at every level of the education sector. Education voices including Sam Twiselton, Alison Peacock, David Weston, and Andy Hargreaves, supported by a broad range of academics and policy makers, vouch for increased teacher agency and stronger, more powerful networks as a means of improv- ing practice, combatting teacher disillusionment, and radically improving UK education. This text offers an exciting and hopeful perspective on education, urging teachers to work together to ‘ﬂip the system’ and challenging policy makers to help … or get out of the way.
Lucy Rycroft-Smith is a maths teacher, now working as a writer and researcher, and makes regular contributions to the Guardian and TES on a variety of educational issues.
JL Dutaut is a teacher of citizenship, media, and government and politics.
Workplace Wellness that Works - 10 Steps to Infuse Wellbeing and Vitality into any Organization
Laura Putnam (2015)
Laura Putnam's book provides a fresh perspective on how to promote employee well-being in the workplace. Based on the latest research and backed by real-world examples and case studies, this book provides the tools needed to start making a difference in employees' health and happiness, and promoting an overall culture of well-being throughout the organization. Readers will come away with concrete, actionable takeaways for tackling the massive obstacle of behavioural change, and will learn how to design and implement an approach that can most benefit their organization. In ten steps, readers will learn how to assess their organization's needs and craft well-being programs that actually benefit leaders, managers and employees.
Leadership Laid Bare!
Graham Wilson (2015)
Graham Wilson's book does not focus on mental health. However, I am pleased to include it here because it is simply the best book on leadership that I have read. It empowers leaders to be themselves, to be happy with their vulnerability, to give their strengths and the power of their role to their teams to be leaders in their own right. 'Leadership Laid Bare' is the book for you if you want to be an authentic leader, to grow as a person through leadership, enable others to do the same, and to promote a culture of wellbeing.
Leadership Laid Bare! is the first in a series of books from Graham Wilson. Graham Wilson has used his 25 years of creating outstanding leaders to bring it all together in one easy to use format that will transform results. Leadership Laid Bare! is for those who want to abandon outdated ways of leading and develop new ways that work. Graham takes you on a journey into why we need to change in today’s digital age, what great leadership looks like and how to develop as a leader. He also shares a range of practical and easy to use leadership tools you can use straight away.
Stand Tall, Little Girl
Hope Virgo (2017)
Hope Virgo suffered with anorexia for over 4 years, before being admitted to a Mental Health Hospital in 2007. She lived in the hospital for a year, fighting one of the hardest battles of her life. Since being discharged, she has fought to stay well. She now wants to use her experiences of mental health illness to champion the rights of others, inspire them to get well, and help break the stigma of mental illness.
Hope lives and works in London. In her spare time, she volunteers for refugee charities, and charities that support young and abandoned children. She is a dedicated runner, and has a keen interest in maintaining good mental health through healthy eating and exercise.
Hope is excited about what the future holds, excited that mental health issues are gradually getting talked about. She is in a whole new place, taking each day as it comes, and living life to the fullest.
Tapton School, Sheffield: Mental Health and Wellbeing
This is a Mental Health and Well Being board directed at pupils which Tapton School displayed in October 2017. It answers the question 'How do you look after your Mental Health and Well Being?' with a number of images and speech bubbles. It has the recurring slogan: 'Not the only one' which is represented by images of pencils, football shirts and skittles. The school is going to design a similar board for staff. Could your pupils design something similar in tutor time, PHSE...?
Click on this link to download the jpg to your desktop: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1WFty940QLYd3JPUHctdkpUSWM/view?usp=sharing or click on the centre of the image of the board.
Tapton School, Sheffield: Mental Health and Wellbeing
This is Tapton School's second board: this time aimed at staff. Staff are invited to write ideas and activities on post-it notes under the different headings.
You can download a jpg of the board by clicking on this link: https://drive.google.com/a/teachwellalliance.com/file/d/0B6h0t-gTSs-7cENqc1c5RFRJbU0/view?usp=sharing or by clicking on the image of the board.
5 guaranteed ways to improve workplace wellbeing
1. Tell someone you work with that they are doing a good job - as often as you like, as many colleagues as you like.
2. Pair up with someone who is on duty. Make a cup of tea/coffee when the other person is on duty. Take it to them.
3. Don't send work-related emails after 5pm. (Sound impossible? Tapton School cuts their server between 5pm - 7am. See 'Case Studies' below).
4. Reduce teaching from the front in each lesson by 25%. During that time, give students tasks which involves them learning for themselves.
5. At least once during the day, even for a few minutes, sit and relax without doing work-related tasks. Have a tea/coffee/drink water. Talk to colleagues. Sit in silence. Listen to music on your earphones. Do deep breathing or Mindfulness meditation. Whatever takes you away from classroom-related activity.
6. Do something to help someone else. Sound unrealistic if you're on your knees yourself? Research tells us that helping someone else makes us feel good about ourselves.
7 Just say 'No'. Yes, you can do this in a positive way. See: 'How to Just Say No' below. It's not a secret. Anyone can do it.
Bonus (but not guaranteed!): This is from 'left field' as they say in the USA. We have no idea if it will work but it's worth a try. Instead of telling your students 'Please get on with your work', substitute the word 'work' for 'learning' so 'Please concentrate on your learning', 'Let's get back to learning, please' etc. Let us know if this makes a difference to students' attitudes towards what they are doing in class.
Simple, low-cost care for staff
As part of a whole-school approach to improving staff wellbeing, the following strategies cost little or nothing but have a beneficial impact on staff morale and wellbeing: Free tea, coffee and cold water. Free biscuits. Free Fruit on Fridays. Set up social club and support social events. Welcome back card for staff absent for a week or more. Make mental well-being a goal for whole organisation, not just for learners: 'Everyone matters' rather than 'Put pupils first'. Make parents aware that you are a well-being organisation. Have teacher/support staff-of-the-week award: for going above and beyond. Early Friday: no-one stays behind.
How to Just Say 'No!'
When you are asked to do something by someone who line manages you and you think it is unreasonable, what do you do? Do you do it, afraid that you might be seen as a troublemaker if you don't?
I've been there and, honestly, I have sometimes just completed the task. But in the end I worked out that there was a way of saying 'No' which took me out of the 'either-or' scenario. Here's what I did.
1) If it was possible in the time to complete the task, I did it and then moved to 2) If it wasn't possible in the time to complete the task, I moved straight to 2)
2) In no more than a third of a side of A4, I wrote a bullet point summary of why it was difficult or impossible to complete the task.
3) I followed this with, in no more than a third of the side of A4, a description in bullet points of the impact on my work and wellbeing of being asked to complete the task in the time provided.
4) In the remaining third of the side of A4, I proposed in bullet points a solution to enable me to complete tasks of this nature in future.
5) I included my name and the date at the foot of the side of A4.
6) I sent an email to the person who asked me to complete the task, with my bulleted document attached. It went something like this:
Hi... or Dear... (whichever is appropriate)
I would appreciate a meeting to discuss [describe the task] that you asked me to do on [enter date you were given the task] by [enter date you were given to complete the task].
I have attached a brief outline of my concerns/thoughts/response [choose one according to context] which I hope will explain why I think a meeting will be helpful.
I am happy to meet after school or during a non-contact period.
Best regards/Yours sincerely
7) During the meeting, as far as you possibly can, tick to the bullet points to focus on the key issues and your reasons why it was problematic to be asked to complete the task. If your line manager tries to divert you away from the document e.g. by referring to your work in general or your lack of cooperation etc, politely reply 'I appreciate that you would like to make other points but I would be grateful if we could focus on my document so that we have the best chance of resolving this particular issue'.
8) At the end of the meeting, offer to make a record of the outcome of the meeting and send a copy to your line manager. Do this, even if there has been no resolution.
9) If there has been no resolution and/or if your line manager has been unhelpful or obstructive, you will have to escalate your concern to the member of staff who is in charge of your line manager for their attention.
So, why follow this process?
Hope this is of help. If you have found other ways of dealing with similar situations, we would love to hear about what you did. Your name and school will be changed to protect your identity, if you so wish.
Set Up a Wellbeing Group
Set up a group responsible for well-being. Include support staff and a cross-section of staff. Make its first task an audit of well-being in your school, college or university. Ensure that it meets at a time already allocated to meetings across the school e.g. faculty meetings.
First Aid for Teacher Burnout
Dr Jenny Grant Rankin (2017)
As summarised on Amazon: Offering clear strategies rooted in research and expert recommendations, First Aid for Teacher Burnout empowers teachers to prevent and recover from burnout while finding success at work. Each chapter explores a different common cause of teacher burnout and provides takeaway strategies and realistic tips. Chapter coverage includes fighting low morale, diminishing stress, streamlining grading, reducing workload, leveraging collaboration, avoiding monotony, using technology to your advantage, managing classroom behavior, advocating for support from your administration, securing the help of parents and community, and more. Full of reflection exercises, confessions from real teachers, and veteran teacher tips, this accessible book provides easy-to-implement steps for alleviating burnout problems so you can enjoy peace and success in your teaching.
The Elephant in the Staffroom
Chris Eyre (2016)
As summarised on Amazon: The Elephant in the Staffroom is the survival guide that every busy teacher needs for practical advice on teacher wellbeing. Written in an informal, conversational style, the book is divided into 40 bite-size chunks, covering a range of essential topics from understanding and avoiding burnout, to successful working patterns, and even surviving the school holidays!
The Ultimate Mental Health Toolkit
Mental Health Foundation/UNUM (7 Separate Modules 2017)
Creating an effective wellbeing strategy is an important component in becoming an employer of choice. Providing the right support through elements like flexible working practices, great leadership, a culture of trust and employee benefits can have a significant effect on staff engagement.
The UNUM toolkit, based on robust research and insights from respected business leaders, is a practical step-by-step guide on how to boost employee wellbeing. Many of its strategies can be adapted to the school/college/university environment.
The 7 modules within the UNUM toolkit (all can be used to update your CPD).
Modules are also available in the 'Docs and Files' section of the Teach Well Alliance Basecamp 'Campfire'. Click here to join the Teach Well Alliance and receive an invite to the conversation: https://goo.gl/forms/RMQWqmBkVlDRH6Ra2
Staying A Head
Viv Grant (2014)
As summarised on Amazon: Staying A Head is a book about overcoming the stresses of school leadership. The book identifies key strategies that school leaders must adopt if they are to rise successfully above the challenges of their roles and maintain their ability to lead and inspire others.
Poster: 50 Ways to Take a Break
Paula Hansen is a graphic designer and has created a number of posters, including this one.Go to http://www.chart-magic.com/project/50-ways-to-take-a-break/to see a good quality image. You can contact Paula at email@example.com
Happy Teacher Revolution, USA
Happy Teacher Revolution (HTR) is a Baltimore-born, international movement with the mission to support the mental health and wellness of teachers. We train and support teachers to lead HTR groups in their own communities. Happy Teacher Revolution helps educators develop self-care strategies that will help them avoid burnout and be able to cope with their daily life. Through the HTR network of educators, teachers engage in self-reflection and explore topics such as caregiver burnout, “second-hand” or vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Mental Health in the Workplace
Mental Health Foundation/ UNUM (7 Modules 2017)
This UK practical resource provides advice and strategies to help you address the issue of mental health and develop strategies to manage your workplace to make it a less stressful place to be. This is a module from the online course described in the post below.
[Click on the link to download to your desktop]
This Much I Know About Love Over Fear: Creating a Culture for Truly Great Teaching
John Tomsett (2015)
'You grow great teachers who grow a truly great school'.
Description on Amazon: This Much I Know about Love Over Fear is a compelling account of leading a values-driven school where people matter above all else. [John Tomsett is Headteacher of Huntington School in York].
Weaving autobiography with an account of his experience of headship, John Tomsett explains how, in an increasingly pressurised education system, he creates the conditions in which staff and students can thrive. Too many of our state schools have become scared, soulless places.
John Tomsett draws on his extensive experience and knowledge and calls for all those involved in education to find the courage to develop a leadership-wisdom which emphasises love over fear. Creating a truly great school takes patience. Ultimately, truly great schools don't suddenly exist. You grow great teachers first, who, in turn, grow a truly great school. There is a huge fork in the road for head teachers: one route leads to executive headship across a number of schools and the other takes head teachers back into the classroom to be the head teacher. John strongly believes that if the head teacher is not teaching, or engaged in helping others to improve their teaching, in their school, then they are missing the point. The only thing head teachers need obsess themselves with is improving the quality of teaching, both their colleagues' and their own.
'This Much I Know about Love Over Fear' is an authentic personal narrative of teaching, leadership and discovering what really matters. It gets to the heart of what is valuable in education and offers advice for those working in schools.
Mark, Plan, Teach
Ross Morrison McGill (2017)
There are three things that every teacher must do: mark work, plan lessons and teach students well. This brand new book from Ross Morrison McGill, bestselling author of 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Outstanding Lessons and Teacher Toolkit, is packed full of practical ideas that will help teachers refine the key elements of their profession. Mark. Plan. Teach. shows how each stage of the teaching process informs the next, building a cyclical framework that underpins everything that teachers do.
With teachers' workload at record levels and teacher recruitment and retention the number one issue in education, ideas that really work and will help teachers not only survive but thrive in the classroom are in demand. Every idea in Mark. Plan. Teach. can be implemented by all primary and secondary teachers at any stage of their career and will genuinely improve practice. The ideas have been tried and tested and are supported by evidence that explains why they work, including current educational research and psychological insights from Dr Tim O'Brien, leading psychologist and Visiting Fellow at UCL Institute of Education.
Mark. Plan. Teach. will enable all teachers to maximise the impact of their teaching and, in doing so, save time, reduce workload and take back control of the classroom.
What can we learn about staff wellbeing from Harrop Fold, the school featured in the Channel 4 documentary 'Educating Greater Manchester'?
If you haven't seen 'Educating Greater Manchester' with Harrop Fold School, it is available online at 'All 4' at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/educating-greater-manchester/on-demand/61519-001 The school, once described as the one of the worst in the country, was turned round by the headteacher, Drew Povey, and his brilliant staff.
Harrop Fold is exemplary in the care it takes of its pupils' wellbeing. Underlying this, but not featured in the documentary which focuses on the relationships between staff and pupils, are indicators of positive staff wellbeing. So, what are they?
Teach Well Alliance Booklets
Click on the provider's logo or on the link below the description to be taken to their website or to email them. We have been in touch with each of the companies below, reviewed testimonials where provided and are happy to recommend them. However, please do your own fact-finding, as we are unable to guarantee that any of the wellbeing providers will be right for you or your school. None of the companies pay to feature on our website.
The Inner Child Ltd
The Inner Child community is based on a core belief that mental health and wellbeing challenges are a normal part of our modern lives, that we can manage them with awareness and the appropriate support and kindness. Through acceptance, openness, and workplace flexibility, everyone can be healthy and continue to add huge value to their work endeavours.
There is also a company behind this community that provides executive level coaching, team and systemic coaching, physical coaching through awareness of your body being more than a vehicle for your head, psychometrics, Lego® Serious Play® tools and techniques, and much more.
Juliet Adloune: Mental Health First Aid Instructor
Juliet Adloune, based in Cambridgeshire, has worked as an adviser and consultant in school improvement for over 15 years. She has previous experience in teaching in Primary schools and leadership experience at all levels, including Headship.
Following training accredited by The Royal Society of Public Health, Mental Health First Aid England has now allowed Juliet Adloune to deliver Adult MHFA courses which are internationally recognised training courses. Juliet has a strong commitment to promoting mental health and well-being for all adults in schools and is therefore offering courses at reduced rates for school staff and Governors.
Teacher Coach (USA)
Teacher Coach is the first hybrid training platform for educators and parents, generating revenue for the school district. Teacher Coach is a virtual training medium, providing personal growth and professional development through online learning, coaching and webinars. Through our innovative Learning Engagement System (LES), districts can build a custom library and even create/sell their own training.
Branded dedicated district portals, monitored through a control management system, deliver our brief learning instalments from national experts in multiple fields, supporting educators' busy schedules. Financial support from local, regional, and state sponsors helps subsidise training for the district.
Rainbow Education Group
Gail has been working within HR and Education for 22 years and is passionate about developing the self-awareness and Emotional Intelligence of young people in order to enhance their future employability. As a Supply Teacher, Gail works with children and teaching staff on a regular basis.
She is currently championing the use of 'Insights' to enhance the self-perception, confidence and communication skills of teenagers. The 'Insights Discovery' evaluator is approved by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and uses four colours to represent how each person behaves. The evaluator is a questionnaire based on word pairs; the responses produce an Insights Personal Profile. Gail is committed to using Insights to provide bespoke CPD to teaching staff.
Gail is also an advocate for Well-being and Resilience Training, drawing on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques & her extensive experience of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Gail has a BA (Hons) in Applied Human Communication and an NVQ (Level 3) in Training and Development. She is a Fellow of the RSA: '21st Century Enlightenment', and a dedicated mother to two young teenage girls and a dog called Topsy.
Leadership Coach & Educational Consultant
Having been a senior leader in school, including four Deputy Headships in Inner London secondary schools, Trish retrained to become a professional leadership coach and now specialises in coaching leaders in education.
Trish is passionate about education and works in schools to support senior leaders in these difficult but potentially rewarding times.
Trish's experience enables her to understand the complexities of the problems brought by senior leaders to the coaching relationship. She places teachers' wellbeing at the centre of her work and the development of emotional intelligence at the heart of the school community.
Visit Trish's website at: www.trishdooley.com
Listening to Your Voice
Listening To Your Voice is about transformation. Ruth Pearson offers bespoke training and coaching services to schools and other places of learning. All services are based on the coaching and training model called 5STEPS2LEARN which Ruth developed. This programme integrates leadership, learning and wellbeing. She works with others to prevent work-related stress but also shares practical ways to bounce back from stressful times in life which could be personal, professional or both.
Ruth's services are delivered in person, in and around London, but online services are also available. Listening to Your Voice helps individuals and teams to take responsibility for their wellbeing by teaching them strategies on how to have a positive mindset and use others in their life to proactively manage changes.
Visit our website at: https://www.listeningtoyourvoice.co.uk
The Vitality Fairy
Julie Silver is known as The Vitality Fairy and the author of 'Food Awakening - Nutrition for NOW'. She is a qualified nutritional therapist and stress management consultant who offers one-to-one nutrition consultations, healthy eating workshops, corporate wellness programmes and talks and workshops in various organisations. Julie has diplomas in nutrition, stress management & holistic therapies. She writes health information for many publications and blogs and she has appeared on TV & Radio inspiring others to live to their true potential.
More on Julie's website at: www.vitalityfairy.co.uk
Empowering Resilience in Education
Do your students know what to do when they don’t know what to do?
Inner Armour is powered by Positive Psychology.
We train and equip teachers, teenagers & graduates across the U.K & internationally to manage, improve and protect their own mental health. We teach them professionally how to build mental inner armour that can last a lifetime.
We specialise in delivering the Self-Evolving Positive Psychology Team (SEPPT) training and have been described as the 'special forces' of mental health in education. We train staff seamlessly to execute outstanding mental health provision long after we have gone.
Visit our website at: https://innerarmour.org/
The Mental Health Core Standards
The report 'Thriving at Work' (Oct 2017) recommends that employers adhere to 'Mental Health Core Standards'.
How could your school do this?
Offer health checks to your teachers and support staff
Take action - increase wellbeing
Do you offer work place health checks for your staff?
An unhealthy and unhappy workforce can be costly:
Evidence shows that workplace health initiatives can deliver a wide range of benefits, to both employers and staff. Staff enjoy improved wellbeing, and workplace health checks can even pick-up conditions before they cause symptoms. Employees working for firms that promote wellness are more likely to be engaged, and think positively of their employers.
British Heart Foundation research shows that employers who invest in appropriate and successful workplace health initiatives have the potential to see a return on investment of between £2 and £34 for every £1 spent. Typically, programmes that address overall health pay back over two to three years, while more targeted interventions – such as weight management, or smoking cessation - can be even quicker.
Liaise with your local Health Authority to request support to provide health checks in your school.
Should you have the flu jab?
Don't wait - Vaccinate!
The average absence due to flu is one week.
If your school pays for 50 staff who are not eligible for a free flu jab to be vaccinated, it will cost no more than paying for a supply teacher for two days. It makes wellbeing sense. It makes financial sense.
Yes - you should have the flu jab: if you are over 65. Or if you have any of the following conditions, irrespective of your age:
Your GP may advise you to have a flu jab if you have serious liver disease or a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy or learning disability.
If you are pregnant, you should also have the flu jab.
Vaccinations are free from your GP for the above groups.
For staff who fall outside these groups, the cost of flu jabs is usually no more than £10 from pharmacies. Why not ask your school to pay for vaccinations for staff who are not eligible for a free jab? You may be able to arrange for a local store or pharmacy to visit your school, college or university.
What is Strengthscope?
How can it help your school leadership?
A Strengthscope Assessment identifies a leader's strengths, as well as enabling a 360 anonymous review of how your leaders work together as a team.
The Teach Well Alliance is certified to conduct Strengthscope assessments. Each assessment includes a one-hour coaching session to review the leader's strengths and consider areas for development.
Strengthscope is the only strengths-based assessment tool approved by the British Psychological Society (BPS). An assessment can only be carried out by a qualified practitioner.
Combine the Teach Well Toolkit with Strengthscope and leverage the leadership strengths which engage staff, support well-being and improve teaching and learning.
Strengthscope can also be used independently of the Teach Well Toolkit.
What is Strengthscope?
A strengths-based developmental profiler
Strengthscope helps you discover and make the most of your strengths. It enables you to understand and tackle the challenges you face. It helps you to bring the best version of you to school each day.
A strengths-based leadership tool
Strengthscope Leader is a unique 360 leadership profiler that is designed to help you understand your leadership strengths, identify risks/weaker areas and assess the impact of your behaviour on outcomes in your school to help improve your effectiveness and increase staff well-being. In this video, you will learn how StrengthscopeLeader can help you to lead with your strengths.
Strengths Engagement Index
The Strengthscope Engagement Index measures the motivation and involvement of staff on two separate occasions: the first before a well-being action plan is put in place, and again at the end of a 12-month wellbeing programme. The Engagement Index online survey is taken in conjunction with the Strengthscope individual profiling tool and the StrengthscopeLeader profiler. The Teach Well Alliance is unique in adapting the results of the Strengthscope Engagement Index to improve relationships and wellbeing in schools. Watch the video for an overview of the benefits of using the Index.
Complete the form below to request more information about Strengthscope
Marking & Feedback: @MrsHumanities
Strategies to reduce marking workload, and assess and provide feedback more effectively
I think we all know by now that I actually love providing feedback in all shapes and forms. Over the past 3 years I’ve tried a large variety of methods to find what works best. Some methods are my go to approaches, a few I come back to now and then, others I’ve tried the once and binned.
I thought I’d share my top 5 feedback approaches that have become my #feedbackNOTmarking toolkit.
ACE Peer Assessment or the more recent take on it SpACE Peer Assessment.
This technique I use frequently with my classes. Often when students are working on an extended piece of writing or a prolonged task I will get them to stop where they are (usually about half way into the task) and get them to ACE their peers work. Students will peer assess in purple pen using the coding system and write comments/questions at the end or in the margins. Once peer assessed the work is returned to the student and they act on the feedback there and then in pink pen. They then continue with the task and each time they make the suggested improvements, these could be anything from the spelling of a key work to the use of data as evidence, they do it in pink to clearly demonstrate the improvements and progress they have made in the remainder of the work. I usually use this approach with Key Stage 3.
I also however use ACE peer assessment with my 6th formers however rather than being carried out during a piece of work, students will peer assess at the end of an essay or extended piece. They are given time to act on the feedback before submitting the work as complete.
Marking and Feedback Grids
I use these in one of two ways. Firstly as a students work through an extended piece or assessment they are given the feedback gridas an outline of the success criteria they need to meet; as they achieve the criteria it is highlighted and discussions occur in relation to the next steps that could be taken to improve it. Depending on the age range and ability, sometimes I will write what to do next, highlight in a different colour next steps or give a specific task that will enable the next steps to be completed. The second way in which I use them are for the summative assessment of piece of work, I will create the feedback grid as a way of identifying the successes and areas of improvement for the student. Students will read and then reflect upon the feedback to identify their own targets and next steps to focus on through the next topic or piece of work.
Double ticks, successes and next steps
This approach I use for formative assessment throughout the term. I quite simply single and double tick pieces of work. Double ticks identify to students that these are particularly strong aspects of the work and they have to explain through annotations in the margin or at the end why it was double ticked – this is in relation to the skills used within the work such as use of evidence, use of case study facts, stats and specifics and so on, rather than topic specific achievements. At the end of a marking session I will write a brief and concise comment in relation to their successes and next steps. Students will then act on the next steps feedback if it requires to so for instance a question to move their understanding on or to develop an answer they’ve given or it can be a target they need to focus on in the remainder of the topic again to move their learning and progress on. When possible I also carry out double ticks as I walk around the classroom looking at and discussing work with students, usually we will verbally discuss why the double tick has been given.
Whole class feedback and feedforward
Sometimes it is not necessary to write diagnostic comments in students' books, particularly in relation to everyday classwork, so I use the whole class feedback approach. On a regular basis I will take a look through students' books and record which students require praise for any particularly outstanding work, any students with unfinished work, any reoccurring misconceptions and SPaG errors and next steps that apply to more than one student on my feedforward sheet.
I then use this information to plan the next sequence of lessons to ensure misconceptions are dealt with and students have an opportunity to act on the next steps. The whole class feedback sheet is shared with the students by scanning and projecting it onto the whiteboard. In the assessment of understanding section I RAG the students understanding of the work undertaken and those with in the Red section I deal with first in class to ensure their understanding is clear and their learning and move forward. I no longer display this aspect to the class and cover it up; this is just me to help with support students with appropriate in class intervention strategies. Students write down comments relevant to them. To find out more on how I use this, head over to my original post on it here.
This is my most powerful feedback tool, my voice. Before starting an extended piece of work, a project or a summatively assessed piece, we feedback by discussing the success criteria, what a good one looks like, what the mark scheme might want from us, what skills will be used etc. Sometimes we discuss work that has been similar in terms of the skills used and think about the challenges faced and how they could be overcome this time around. We do this verbally, usually discussing in groups, with discussion as a class followed by confirmation from me.
Students then start the work and are provided with verbal feedback as they work through it, this might be from myself or their peers. Simple discussions of where the work is going and how it could be improved. It’s timely and purposeful. Verbal feedback isn’t just given for extended pieces of work but also those little tasks, usually in the form of discussions of clarification. The last verbal approach is feeding forward, whereby students and I discuss as a class, individual or in groups the successes and potential improvements for future work, students discuss the challenges they faced and may then make note of their reflections in their books for future reference.
Well there’s a guide to my feedback toolkit, I hope this post is of some use to you.
St Matthias Primary School, Tower Hamlets
Headteacher: Clare Sealy
Feedback and Marking Policy
Kingham Primary School, Oxfordshire
Headteacher: Bretta Townend-Jowitt