New in 2019, Wellbeing WorkOut builds on what schools are already doing to develop students’ communication skills, prevent bullying, help students identify when others need help and have a more positive attitude to life and school.
It is intended for secondary school students aged 11-16, but has been effective with other ages including sixth formers and in primary schools. It can be run with a single group of 30 students or a whole year group as a series of consecutive sessions.
What are the benefits?
Improve Student Wellbeing
Research shows a growing number of school students experience anxiety, depression and loneliness. Wellbeing WorkOut aids them through peer-to-peer communication.
Improve Student Relationships
Simply talking to other students – creating and growing relationships with peers in the same space – helps improve wellbeing and confidence.
Enabling Staff to Help
By demonstrating and training school staff to use effective facilitation techniques. Worktree enables schools to deliver these sessions independently.
How it works
In a Wellbeing WorkOut session, a trained facilitator instructs an outside circle of students to move around an inside circle of students so that each student has 8 x 6-minute one-to-one conversations in an hour. Students are taught the techniques of open questioning and active listening, and given a Conversation Skill Check card.
Between each round, the facilitator presents headline statistics from adolescent mental health research findings, and prompts students with a series of powerful open questions to ask in the next round.
This is a conversation, not a one-sided interview. Students are taught and encouraged to converse with mutual respect, to focus on questioning rather than advice giving.
At the end of the session, students write on the back of their cards one or two actions they will take to improve their wellbeing.
Students take a minute to complete a short questionnaire before/after the carousel of conversations. Aggregate results from pilot sessions show:
Increase in ‘I feel self-confident’
Increase in ‘I relate well to my fellow students’
Increase in ‘I have a positive attitude to life’.
This activity is not intended to identify issues of mental ill health, nor replace specialist counselling or therapy, just to share experiences of wellbeing as a teenager. Students are instructed at the start to share only information about themselves which they feel comfortable sharing. The conversations are essentially private, as they would be in the playground. Students are informed that, if seriously concerned about another’s safety as a direct result of a conversation, they should report it to the teacher in charge of the session.