With the help of over 15,000 staff, pupils at more than 100 Cognita schools around the world took part in enriching activities, from discussions about online kindness to workshops on sleep in the digital age.

More than 85,000 students of all ages across over 100 Cognita schools in four regions took part in the group’s fifth annual Global Be Well Day on 29 September, which served to highlight the vital link between wellbeing and education. Throughout the day, which this year centred on digital wellbeing, students took part in fun and enriching workshops, including yoga classes, sharing positive online habits, and art therapy. Students also connected with their peers from around the world through a remarkable virtual choir and a digital penpals programme.

Global Be Well Day is focused on Cognita’s evidence-based Be Well Charter, the foundation upon which every wellbeing action rests. It was designed to embed a culture of genuine wellbeing, educating the school group’s community of more than 100 worldwide schools about the importance of looking after their mental and physical wellbeing and the six contributors to wellbeing: sleep, diet, exercise, connecting, doing and giving. For the duration of one school day every year, Cognita schools around the world focus on one or more of the main contributors to wellbeing, a fundamental aspect of a Cognita holistic education.

Dr Simon Camby, Group Chief Education Officer for Cognita, said:

“While every Cognita school will focus on wellbeing throughout the year, uniting with the wider global Cognita community across all our regions amplifies our collective mission. In an increasingly digital era, our focus on ‘Digital Wellbeing’ is not only timely but crucial for helping students to thrive in a rapidly evolving world. I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations and thanks to teachers and students globally for spotlighting this pressing issue of our time. This annual event underscores the deep bond between education and wellbeing.”

Highlights of the day included boxing classes, smoothie making, and drama and visual art reflections at Stamford American School Hong Kong; a dance performed by all students at El Limonar International School Villamartín in Spain; sunrise yoga for staff and a pyjama day for all at Horizon English School in Dubai, focused on how sleep is impacted by the digital world. At Ranches Primary School in Dubai, students enjoyed a designated screen-free zone for non-digital activities like puzzles, board games, and imaginative play to foster creativity and social interaction. Pupils made digital wellbeing pledges, committing to responsible device usage, including no screens during mealtime.

Global Be Well Day 2023 was also a chance for students to connect with and learn from each other and their community.  Middle schoolers at Florence Bilingual School in Italy collaborated to craft chat bubbles with advice on digital wellness to share with each other and with their younger schoolmates, fostering a respectful and responsible online community. Senior students at Colegio Olinca in Mexico shared advice and insight on digital wellbeing, positive digital habits and online behaviours on Olinca’s social media channels to help inform their wider community.

Students at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai connected with their counterparts at Brighton College (Singapore) through a digital penpals programme, while students at Meoncross School in England shared digital postcards with their peers at El Limonar International School Villamartin in Spain. Students at CHIREC International School in India, connected virtually with students at Stamford American School Hong Kong.

To highlight the importance of digital wellness, Cognita schools around the world also implemented ‘no phone zones’, allowing both students and staff to disconnect from technology and enjoy screen-free activities like puzzles, board games, and imaginative play to foster creativity and social interaction.

Thank you to all our wonderful colleagues for organising such a successful day and for continuing to focus on wellbeing every day.