Happiness lessons for eight-year-olds – gimmick or good practice?

The UK government has unveiled plans to trial ‘happiness lessons’ for eight-year-olds. In an article for the Telegraph, Danuta Tomasz, Cognita’s Assistant Director of Education, Europe contests that while the government surely has the best intentions, no school can bolt on a ten-point wellbeing plan and expect their pupils to be happy and stress-free as a result.

A supportive, healthy environment has to be intrinsic to the ethos of a school. It cannot be delivered by a government project. There is a danger that by isolating wellbeing as something to be taught in distinct lessons we are tempted to view it as an add-on, a faddish notion that can be dismissed when the media’s attention flits to the next gimmick. And it isn’t.

Wellbeing and good mental health have to be fundamental to the daily practice of a school. Techniques on how to manage stress and anxiety must be part of an overall, school-wide culture of support and wellbeing. They must be embedded right across the curriculum, not just bolt-on lessons.

You can read the article in full on the Telegraph website: Parents are right to be sceptical about happiness lessons for eight-year-olds.

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