How to…create happy, positive learners!

by | Oct 4, 2021

At LifeWise, we believe that a Headteacher is happy when their students and teachers are happy, and they have a happy Ofsted inspection!

This belief is fundamental to us and we’re here to assist you in delivering the best PSHE experience available, from lessons to assessments and support for Ofsted inspections.  The LifeWise PSHE curriculum was created by Teachers for Teachers whilst being underpinned by valuable research on the importance of supporting the mental well-being of our children.

In this blog, we explore the benefits of children learning in a happy environment and how this can be achieved in your school.

It’s hoped that every day provides opportunities for our children to experience happiness in and out of school.

There are numerous research projects from across the globe that establish the key factors that affect human wellbeing. “If we go back to childhood… the best wellbeing of an enjoyable adult life… is the child’s emotional health, which… is significantly more important than all the qualifications the person ever obtains”. (Professor Layard, 2018)

As a Headteacher, you will know that one of the best ways to raise academic achievement is by teaching a curriculum that includes wellbeing.  A report by Public Health England called The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment showed that schools that put in place programmes to develop children’s happiness had, on average, an 11% gain in achievement.

We also know that the brain’s capacity to grow, process effectively, and remember are significantly improved when emotions are positive.

A child’s brain isn’t an adult one in miniature, but one born under construction, one that wires itself to its own developing world. And it’s up to us to help create that happy world— both physical and social — one which is rich with wiring instructions. Their happy brain will, in turn, build essential skills and qualities, such as courage, confidence, and resilience.

Further research shows that encouraging children to pursue joint goals, explaining their understanding, expressing different points of view and attempting to reach consensus through discussion have all been found to help learning and understanding. In contrast, observations in primary classrooms suggest that children seldom have the opportunity to engage in productive social interaction in core curricular subjects as activity is rarely organised in ways that will best achieve it.

The fantastic news is that PSHE lessons allow this creation and an exploration of what makes our children happy, and the LifeWise PSHE curriculum is designed with this research in mind. We also offer more face-to-face interaction than any other primary subject because of our focus on collaborative learning.

With our genuinely engaging and industry-leading lessons, students love our PSHE lessons. We mix videos, cartoons, quizzes and topical subjects to engage and inspire. We incorporate physical activities to provide a unique online/offline experience for students.  Our curriculum is designed to have a long term impact on students, ensuring that they are prepared for life.

And if you’re still in doubt, there’s one more consideration.

The most recent report from The Children’s Society highlights the effects of the pandemic on our children. In the last three years, the likelihood of young people having a mental health problem has increased by 50%. That equates to five children in a classroom of 30.

Given this information and the fact that schools are the most significant single influence on a child’s mental health after their family, it’s clear that we have an incredible opportunity to enhance and support our children’s mental health. By ensuring that their experiences with teachers, friendships, and how they play, learn, and grow are positive and happy, we can profoundly affect their well-being and ability to deal with stress and crises. Now is the time.

We’re LifeWise. We’re passionate about PSHE. Get in touch with our team to find out more.

Julie Chudleigh

About the Author

Julie continues to build on her relentless quest for innovative and impactful pedagogy and is motivated by growing knowledge of neuroscience and its impact on ways of learning. After 30 years in both the UK and schools around the globe, supporting inclusive, diverse learners and mentoring PGCE student teachers as a Headteacher, advisor and consultant, we’re absolutely thrilled to have Julie onboard.

She wholeheartedly supports the LifeWise mission to positively prepare children for life. Julie has been involved in opening trauma informed schools, classroom design and creating communication friendly spaces, growing student numbers, raising attainment. She is also a published author but ask her what her greatest accomplishments include and she’ll tell you the success of students thirty years down the line!

Explore more