Health and Well-being Page 2

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Health and Well-Being

Emotional and Social Well-being

The work of Maslow tells us that learning, particularly that which involves higher cognitive skills, will not occur unless the student is feeling safe and secure.

Maslow Pyramid of Needs

The above simplified diagram of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs illustrates the importance of the emotional and social well-being of students. On a daily basis many students will arrive in school with these pre-requisite needs not met. Even the basic need for food is unfulfilled when students of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds arrive without breakfast. Others will be emotionally unsettled by events at home and/or with peers. All of these unmet needs distract the individual from being able to devote all their thinking capacity to their learning. This is sometimes referred to as reticular hijack, where our ability to concentrate and focus is constantly interrupted by other sensory and attentional demands.

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Use a worry box to encourage students to communicate things that are bothering them
Regular circle time exploring socio-emotional themes
Consider the assessment of the emotional well-being of students in parent-teacher meetings; student-teacher meetings and staff meetings
Schools should have a care team to oversee, monitor and regularly review a list of identified vulnerable students. Inclusion on the list should be for wide range of needs and be broader in scope than purely child protection monitoring
Teach emotional literacy
Provide signposting to services that provide support for children and adolescents.

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You may also be interested in the following pages:

Classroom Behaviour

Self Esteem

Self-esteem in Schools

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