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Health and Wellbeing

Summer Holiday Relaxation Tips for Teachers

Congratulations! You’ve made it through another year. Now put down that box of books, stow away your green and purple pens, and take a deep breath. It’s difficult to disengage as a teacher. You’re so used to being in “I have too much marking” mode, it becomes normal. However, working in one of the world’s most stressful professions, it’s important that you take some time out for yourself and relax. But how can you relax when someone points out your “excessive” holidays for the umpteenth time? Ignore the Naysayers Take no notice of it. No, you don’t work 09:00-15:30, and the rest of us...

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Dealing With SEMH Issues in the Classroom

Social, Emotional, and Mental Health (SEMH) issues have become the proverbial elephant in the classroom, and are now recognised in the 2014 SEND Code of Practice. It’s vitally important to notice these issues as they develop in children and to take action, as it can affect their education, future life prospects, and how they develop relationships and attitudes as they grow older. Often, SEMH issues stem from other, concealed issues, whether these be problems at home, depression, anxiety at school, or disorders such as ADHD. Whatever the catalyst for this trend – social media, societal change, increasing academic pressure, or improved diagnosis –...

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Supporting GCSE and BTEC Students Through Examination Stress

We spend so much time focusing on the outcome of examinations and students’ results, it’s easy to forget about the impact this is having on their mental health. In this country, 80% of young people believe that exam pressure has significantly impacted on their mental health. When you consider that three quarters of long-term mental health issues start in childhood, that’s indicative of a huge problem facing today’s youth. Recent and ongoing reforms to GCSE examinations are compounding the issue, and many pupils feel they are left in limbo by the confusion this has caused. Unfortunately, it looks like the situation...

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The Ultimate Guide to Teacher Stress Relief

We are in the grip of a teacher stress epidemic. 3,750 teachers were signed off on long-term sick leave last year due to stress. That’s one in every 83 teachers, so chances are, you already know somebody who’s at the tipping point. In fact, 75% of teachers report high levels of stress, which is a significant margin over other occupations. The outcome is clear: teachers – particularly NQTs – are leaving the profession in droves. All statistics point to teacher stress being a negative thing, but the fact is, being subjected to some stress can be good for you. It can push...

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Grief: A Layer Of Mental Health We Should Be Talking About

Does anyone know how to talk to a child about grief and loss? It's a sincere question, because I certainly don't have the answer. I can only use my own experience to inform my past-self which perhaps isn't as helpful as I like to imagine. One thing I wish I had known as a child experiencing grief was that talking about it doesn't have to be awkward, and it's not something that an adult will consider to be an inappropriate topic. The amount of resources out there is heartening; I hope that other people find them useful and supportive. Heads Together...

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The Growth Mindset in Education

“I can’t do it”. Sometimes, this pessimistic four-word mantra can be difficult to brush aside. It’s all too easy to believe that the 5k run you foolishly agreed to, the 50,000 word writing challenge you signed up for on a whimsy, or even an average Thursday morning lesson with the class from hell are insurmountable obstacles, designed to waste your time and embarrass your ego. In many cases, this might be true. You can’t possibly run that far, or for that long. Yet. I can’t do it yet....

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Surviving Or Thriving? Let’s Talk Mental Wellness

Even when it’s not in the news (which is becoming less and less), mental health is still there. It lurks in the background and, for a huge number of people, it is an inescapable and invasive presence. While we, as a society, are gradually getting better at talking about mental health, many organisations argue that there is still a lot of work to be done if we’re to address a health crisis of epidemic proportions....

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