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Making a difference to mental health and wellbeing


During the course of my own career as an editor, there have been plenty of times when I have felt under stress at work, either because of the work itself or because my mind has been occupied by something happening in another part of my life. As teachers and principals – as individuals – it is likely that this is familiar to you too.

I am lucky that my employer provides wellbeing support, as well as facilitating workplace yoga and offering flexibility in the working day to allow employees to undertake team sports or go to the gym.

The same initiatives might not be workable in a teaching environment but many of you will have your own school-appropriate initiatives in place.

Taking care of teachers

In the In focus section of the latest issue of Cambridge Outlook magazine, Professor Jonathan Glazzard of the UK’s Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools highlights how critically important it is for teachers to have healthy minds – warning of the potential impact for students if a teacher’s mental health needs are unsupported.

Sometimes, it’s the small things that make all the difference, as former school head Kevin Hawkins will agree. Kevin, who provides mindfulness training for schools, shared his top tips for teacher wellbeing with us.

“Teenagers are in a maelstrom of change”

The bigger part of Cambridge Outlook’s wellbeing section is dedicated to that group of people whose futures we are all invested in – students. As adolescents, they will be experiencing many situations for the first time so the stress that can come with some of those situations will be new to them. They will still be learning to understand their emotions – emotions that are ever-changing.

In particular, “teenagers are in a maelstrom of change”, as author Nicola Morgan puts it. Her expert books and guides are designed to arm students, their teachers and parents with the knowledge they need to help them understand the teenage brain and in turn try to manage their stress.

Head teacher Howard Thomas and students from The British School of Córdoba

Inspiring initiatives from around the world

In putting together this issue, I had the pleasure of interviewing the staff of three very different schools in the Cambridge international community to find out what student wellbeing means to them. Their inspiring ideas can be found here.

As always, there’s lots more to read about in Cambridge Outlook – from information on new resources and advice on training to news on the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and what’s happening in other schools around the world.

We’d love to hear from your school too. Get in touch at outlook@cambridgeinternational.org

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