Students ‘more positive about my life’ after new Wellbeing WorkOut session

by | May 17, 2019 | News

On 16th May, Worktree delivered its first day of ‘Wellbeing WorkOut’ sessions for Year 8 students at St. Paul’s Catholic School.

Four groups of approximately 60 students participated in a one-hour carousel of peer conversations about wellbeing. Each conversation was preceded by a screen statistic on a related issue – sleep, social media, eating, exercise, loneliness, bullying, exams and kindness – presented in a gameshow-style quiz format. Students were then prompted to ask questions about that issue in their conversations. The aim was to share ideas on managing wellbeing and to develop ways supportive peer relationships in the process.

“It was a very successful activity,” said Paul Tillman, Assistant Headteacher. “Pupils were talking with others they wouldn’t normally engage with. The structure of Wellbeing WorkOut allowed more vulnerable and less confident pupils to express themselves.”

A short student questionnaire immediately after the event showed:

  • 57% agreement with the statement ‘The session helped me a lot’
  • 53% agreement with the statement ‘I now feel less anxious’
  • 60% agreement with the statement ‘I now feel more positive about my life’.

Many of the students’ written comments said they enjoyed ‘talking with people I wouldn’t normally talk to’ or ‘people I didn’t know before’. Several said the activity helped them develop their conversation skills and some said it helped them to feel ‘less awkward’.

One student said: “Now I know I’m not alone in how I feel.”

Student Alice Asamoah said: “The session made me happy. I talked to some boys I’d never talked to before. It made me feel more calm with them. I learned it’s always good to know how people feel and you need to be careful about the way you act. What we’ve done today, I want to take as my own practice in life. I want to talk to all different types of people. You’ve got to be courageous to get to know more people.”

Student Niyi Fadima said: “It felt nice to get my emotions out. Now I’m going to start conversations more with people I don’t know. I think this should be done with all students.”

Student Alexandra McCarthy said: “I found the session really interesting. I learned that things are not always as bad as they seem. I plan now to be more optimistic about my life.”

Student Penial Blessings said: “I felt anxious when I came in, but I felt more calm doing it. It was interesting to find that other people felt lonely. It surprised me to find that some people who have friends can still feel lonely, even people you really didn’t expect to.”

Student Sam Sasikani said: “It helped me share my feelings and thoughts. It made me want to help people, cheer them up.”

Student Miriam Fraser said: “It surprised me how much people want to talk. The session felt very personal to me. The target action I set myself at the end of the session was to climb trees more.”

Student Matthew Geary said: “There’s a few people who I kind of disliked before and I realised they didn’t hate me that much. You got a chance to act how you would to a normal person without their friends being around telling them to act different.”

Student Edith Appiah said: “Some people I thought were annoying, I got to know them. It makes me understand more people. Normally I keep my distance from people I don’t really know, now I can be more open, I’ll go up to people and say hi. This session should be for Year 7 to 11.”

Kay Klymyszyn, Head of Year 8, said:  “What I liked most was watching the pupils develop their communication skills.  The students gave great feedback.”

Worktree plans to develop ‘Wellbeing WorkOut’ further and is currently offering it to students in all secondary school year groups. If you are interested to find out more, contact tom.bulman@worktree.org, tel 07962 838685.

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