Wellbeing does not mean the absence of anxiety or stress, mental health difficulties or negative emotions in our life. It is about our ability to deal with the normal stresses we face in life and our ability to take care of our physical wellbeing. Developing and sustaining positive wellbeing is a lifelong process for us all.
Wellbeing in education is central to the Department of Education’s mission to enable children and young people to achieve their full potential and contribute to Ireland’s social, cultural and economic development. It has been recognised by the Department that schools play a key role in developing and enhancing young people’s wellbeing with schools and centres for education are now required to have a School Self-Evaluation Wellbeing Promotion Process embedded by 2023.
Barnardos Big Active, supported by ALDI, has been developed to help students learn to be resilient in dealing with anxiety and stress of their daily lives, to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing and to have a sense of belonging to their wider community – as well as teaching them the importance of giving back.
The Body activities will get students active! Schools will take part in a month long physical challenge over what we’re calling the ‘Big Active Month’. This physical challenge, which encourages children to develop and strengthen their body and self-confidence, can take place wherever and whenever suits. You can dance, run, doing Jumping Jacks or a million steps in a month! We recommend your Big Active month takes place before you break for the summer holidays.
The mind activities include breathing activities that provide students with an opportunity to focus on the body and connect with the present, and muscle relaxation activities to help students release tension from their bodies to increase their sense of calmness. Every student that takes part will receive a personal journal designed to give them time to reflect on their feelings and explore the connection between their mind, body and heart.
The heart activities focus on giving back and students will raise funds to support Barnardos’ work with vulnerable children by collecting sponsorship for their month long physical challenge. This is a wonderful way to introduce students to the positive activity of fundraising and for them to become more informed about charitable giving.