Book: Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom by @AdrianBethune via @BloomsburyEd

Published by Bloomsbury Education

Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom

£13.39*
8.9

Content

9.0/10

Accessible

9.0/10

Authority

9.0/10

Pedagogical

9.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • The book explores how to manage stresses, anxieties, or feelings that might result in depression. 
  • An examination of our tribal roots, tapping into our pupils’ primitive social instincts and their powerful effects on wellbeing and ability to learn.
  • Practical ideas, tips and strategies that can easily be implemented in any primary classroom.
  • Explores the importance of positive wellbeing of teaching staff.
  • Attention is also given to neuroplasticity - the brain’s ability to change - in how we are able to train ourselves in positive experiences.

For me, welcoming students at the start of the day with a cheery welcome for each child was an important part of the day. In a busy day, it is easy to lose sight of the individuals sat within the classroom environment. Speaking one-on-one with pupils is a privilege, offering insights into their life, learning and level of engagements. Building positive relationships with students, particularly in the primary classroom, is relatively easy, but managing those relationships to help support anxieties, stress and depression is even more important as society becomes more aware of challenges of life, to help young people become more resilient.

In his new book, Adrian Bethune explores different angles of the life of children who are of primary-school age. For example, in a fascinating first chapter, Bethune examines our tribal roots, tapping into our pupils’ primitive social instincts and their powerful effects on wellbeing and ability to learn. Citing the work of Louis Cozolino (Click here to view The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment and Learning in the Classroom by Louis Cozolino on Amazon UK – worthy of a read itself) a tribal classroom embodies tribal qualities including a tribal leader, cooperation, teamwork, equality, fairness, trust and strong personal relationships. Such qualities enable everyone to feel valued and a feeling of a big family, helping secure positive relationships – the role of the teacher in this relationship is to help pupils feel like they belong, which is fundamental to learning. Developing this tribal theme, Bethune the proceeds to share ideas to be implemented in the primary classroom to help cultivate such positive relationships, including the design of a team flag, greetings and endings, teaching social skills, and building humour and games into the setting.

As Adrian has previously been in the presence of the Dalai Lama, it was probably inevitable that the book explores mindfulness and meditation, yet the emphasis is on helping reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Attention is also given to neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to change – in how we are able to train ourselves in positive experiences. Stretching pupils minds is essential in the primary classroom, and attention is given in the book about encouraging children to leave the safety of their comfort zones so that they can fulfil their potential.

Beyond the wellbeing of our pupils, Bethune also acknowledges the importance of teacher wellbeing in being able to be positive role models for our students and own positive health factors. Tips are offered on what teachers should do when they feel swamped, with humour and perspective being central components.

This isn’t just a book about happiness, being happy, or ensuring that young people are smiling in school all day long. It’s not even about being content in life, but this book is about offering pupil strategies to explore how to manage stresses, anxieties, or feelings that might result in depression.

* Price from – correct as of date of publication.

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About @digicoled 246 Articles
Colin Hill - Founder, researcher and editor of ukedchat. Also a bit of a tech geek! Project management, design thinking, and metacognition.

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