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VIEWS & OPINION


Promotingmental wellbeing to youn g people


Comment byDAW


AWNJOTHAM, EduCare Learning Ltd Often when mental health is discussed,


Lt td


depression, anxiety and self-harm are the first things that come to mind. It’s


health is more than just t important to remember t


though.


We all have mental health. Our mental health can just be in different places at different times. This can depend on our lives and what is happening for us. Mental health can change from day to day, week to week, or even year to year.


A young person with a mental illness may be coping still managing to go to school because they are getti


ng help, whilst very well and


someone deemed not to “suffer” with their mental health may suddenly not be able to cope due to something like a sudden bereavement.


With wide TV and press coverage and government campaigns putting it in the spotlight, it’s great to see more and more people are realising that mental health is just as important as physical health. However, we need to remember that mental health shouldn’t just be discussed negatively.We should all look at ways we can build our resilience and improve our mental health.We should talk about good mental health in a positive light.


Rather than waiting until later life, promoting mental wellbeing to young people will help them to develop resilience and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.


We worked with the charity, YoungMinds, in the development of our “MentalWellbeing in Children and Young Peopl created this co urse to allow our customers to acces s


the latest goo d e” course.We


practice in helping children and young people look after their own Mental Health.We chose YoungMinds as they are the leading charity working specifically to help young people and are the experts in this field. YoungMinds define mental health in young people as “the strength and capacity of our minds to grow and develop, to be able to overcome difficulties and challenges, and to make the most of our abilities and opportunities”.


Working in an education setting, you can help young people achieve the above by first understanding what mental health means to them. This will usually mean the ability to enter into and sustain personal relationships, the ability to develop a sense of right and wrong and knowing that it is okay to make mistakes, all whilst retaining a clear sense of identity and self-worth. However, these things can vary slightly from young person to young person, so it’s key that you treat each young person for what they are, individuals. As an adult in a position of responsibility, it’s important that you promote mental wellbeing to individuals by creating a positive culture in your education setting. Ensure that everyone from midday supervisors to the school counsellor and senior leaders understands the positive impact they can have on young people's mental health. For example, this could simply be to reinforce the importance of making the most of all interactions and listen non-judgmentally. Promoting a positive culture should also involve encouraging young people to identify their own support network an d encouraging them to access other types of suppor t.


Ultimately, whilst it is important to promote mental wellbeing to young people in your education setting, schools should also identify the limitations of what staff can help with and be confident enough to recognise when to take further action and refer to appropriate services.


Apri l 2019 2019 hat mental hese illnesses


Is it time to question EdTe


Tech?


Comment by FELICIA JACKSON, Chair of the Learn2Think Foundation


The classroom has gone digital and whether that’s for in-school or distance learning, it can surely only be a good idea?


Display screens, digital connectivity, interactive lessons, apps, email and more. Yet do we really know the exten t to which the use of ICT impacts on education. Certainly, young people today are more comfortable with digital forms of interaction, and a survey from


Promethean reported that 55%of teachers believe engagement can be increased (and behaviour improved) through the use of images, music and more. The extent to which a quantifiable impact on educational achievement can be assessed however remains elusive. BESA’s annual survey of EdTech in schools continues to report that few schools feel they have sufficient information about solutions available or their efficacy or impact.We need to differentiate between ICT that supports digital education (includin g management systems, data gathering and monitoring, servers, wi-fi etc) and communication, and that which provides digital education. With countless vendors claiming their solution is best, in an industry valued by Gartner at £900m a year in the UK alone, what is a school to do?


The question needs to be asked, what is its purpose?What is the challenge or problem that it is expected to solve?Which pupils will most benefit from its use, and which may suffer?Will it highlight inequalities? Perhaps most importantly, what is different and special about your school and what are your specific needs and challenges? one level children should be educated using the tools that be using in their future lives. Engaging games which allow children to learn to code, to create and control an environment can be exciting and fun. Technological improvements and changes are so rapid however, that perhaps a better approach would be teaching children to see digital enhancements as tools and provide them with the means to be creative and fle approaches.


they’ll On


EdTech is about more than technology, i


in schools affects the environment, society and culture of a school, and a child’s learning. As educational technology becomes mainstream, there are other factors that must come into


consideration. Concerns about smartphone use and cyber-bullying are causing political backlash, while data concerns are increasingly driven by GDPR, fear about online safety and data scandals including Facebook and Cambridge Analyti In a world where information lies at our


fingertips, we need to ca.


teach children how to interrogate the world around them, and understand that technology is a tool, not a solution in itself. Questioning lies at the heart of such an approach. Put simply, curiosity and its by-product, questioning, is how the brain makes sense and order of the world, and if we can develop children’s questioning then we can ensure that the child takes ownership of their learning, rather than simply reacting by rote.


Surely that means we should pay more attention to questions. Surely improving the questioning skill of pupils is critical given that the quantity and quality of questions is a d irect measure of pupils ’ level of engagement, of learning taking place and of critical and creative thinking in action? If we can ensure that questioning is at the heart of our educational approach, then the tools we use to implement that approach may become cap technological questions.


www. wwweducation-toda y.co.uk


VIEWS & OPINIO N


t’s about how technology xible in their learning


.co.uk 52 able of solving


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