Wellbeing: Teaching Tools for those returning to school

29 May 2020

6 mins
Young Girl at School
Young Girl at School

As some teachers and pupils gear up for a return to school, we feel that it is important to provide some wellbeing resources that can help ease the transition back for everyone.

With UK schools having been closed for over two months due to COVID-19 and a staggered return occurring even while many uncertainties and anxieties remain, it is crucial that both educators and young people feel as emotionally and psychologically supported as possible.

Below, you can find some of our most essential content on Mental Wellbeing, including a series of free and simple resources around wellbeing and mindfulness and newly updated film lists, as well as teacher feedback on why these resources are of more use now than ever.

Below, Timm Dadds - Teacher of the Year nominee at the 2020 Into Film Awards - discusses the uses of our Mindfulness Through Film resource, and the huge impact it's had in his classroom.

Tim Dadds on Into Film's Mindfulness Through Film resource

The Mindfulness Through Film resource provides teachers with a toolkit of ideas that can be easily adapted to suit the needs of individual schools and can be differentiated to suit a wide range of learners.

It has enabled me to engage and excite pupils in learning about wellbeing whilst also providing the opportunity to further develop their understanding of types of camera shots, recording equipment, lighting, sound mixing and editing skills. The pupils have increased their expertise in film skills as well as developing their ability to discuss, collaborate, problem solve and be creative in a meaningful context.

The 'Mindfulness Through Film' resource gave me the opportunity to ‘check-in' on pupils' well-being, providing me with a useful way to identify those who were in need of further emotional support.

Timm Dadds, Teacher of the Year nominee at the 2020 Into Film Awards

The Mindfulness Through Film resource gave me the opportunity to ‘check-in' on pupils' well-being, providing me with a useful way to identify those who were in need of further emotional support. It also enabled me to highlight to pupils the importance of their wellbeing and then move on to strategies that would help them now or in the future.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of pupils' mental health and emotional wellbeing is upmost in our minds. In an effort to highlight this issue with families, we used the resource as a stimulus for an online learning activity. We shared the information about wellbeing and camera shot types before setting Key Stage 2 pupils a 30 second single shot mindfulness film challenge. For Key Stage 1 pupils, we used the single shot film clip challenge but this time the focus was an activity that made them feel happy and promoted their wellbeing.

The Mindfulness Through Film resource will be a welcome addition to any teacher's armoury when pupils return to schools. It could allow pupils and teachers to identify and address issues in an innovative yet supportive manner. It could also help address issues around engagement and concentration that may arise when pupils are reintroduced to learning after two months of absence from schools."

More Mindfulness Resources

Adjusting back to a normal school environment and schedule gives you and your students a great opportunity to explore the wide range of emotionally resonant and healing films available on on our three newly updated film lists, around feel-good films, emotional wellbeing and transition:

Our recent Sonic Skills: Set for Success resource, created in partnership with Youth Sport Trust, is a PE-led resource that encourages learners to take part in a range of simple mindfulness activities before creating a range of exercises inspired by the speed, enthusiasm and skills of the bright and brilliant protagonist, Sonic the Hedgehog.

Interactive, engaging, cross-curricular and fully motivating - I couldn't have hoped for more. Into Film's Sonic resources greatly improved my class' health and wellbeing from mindfulness activities through creative opportunities with physical activity. They felt empowered and had ownership over their learning. This immersive, contextual learning is what every child needs.

Emily Scott, Into Film Club leader at Munlochy Primary School

Meanwhile, for any young person understandably feeling stressed and overwhelmed during this period, it can be hugely cathartic to watch other student-made films, or to create their own. Films can be entered into our ongoing Film of the Month competition

The second iteration of our Moving Minds filmmaking project will take place later in the year, giving selected young people across the UK the chance to create films around the mental health issues of personal interest and relevance to them. Stay tuned for further details, and check out the films made in our first Moving Minds project below.

Teachers in the south-east of England that are particularly interested in the learning benefits of wellbeing  - especially in such anxious times - may want to consider attending our Wellbeing: Mindfulness on Film training session taking place in Essex this September.

Having recently started teaching, I found it helpful to be given resources and tips to use within a learning environment. It was also great to meet other people at the session to share ideas and have a full discussion about the content of the workshop.

Teacher in Scotland after a Wellbeing: Staying Safe Online CPD session

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