Mental wellbeing can be defined as feeling good, feeling that life is interesting and worth living, and being able to get on with daily life. Not all young people feel this way, and that can affect their health, behaviour, and academic performance.
Why Should Schools Aim to Assess Students’ Mental Wellbeing?
There are three primary reasons why schools and their staff should assess the mental wellbeing of their students:
To gain a comprehensive understanding of mental wellbeing within the school community.
To identify students who may benefit from the expertise of specialists.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s action plan for supporting mental wellbeing and determine necessary adjustments and enhancements.
How Can You Evaluate Your Students’ Mental Wellbeing?
Selecting the appropriate assessment tool is crucial. These tools, such as questionnaires, are tailored instruments used to collect information about wellbeing. Choosing the right tool will enable you to achieve your objectives effectively.
Consider the environment and methodology for conducting the assessment. It’s important that students feel at ease, secure, and have privacy during the assessment.
Develop a structured approach for recording, analyzing, and utilizing the collected data.
How Can LessonUp Assist in Monitoring and Measuring Wellbeing?
LessonUp facilitates the administration of targeted questionnaires in a secure digital environment, making it convenient for students to provide responses. LessonUp’s interactive features can engage students effectively by presenting challenging questions in an appealing manner. Open-ended questions are often the best way to encourage students to provide in-depth and insightful responses. Students tend to write more when using a keyboard as opposed to pen and paper. While as a teacher, you may not prefer this, it’s valuable to acknowledge this fact. When you create two versions of a questionnaire, one analogue and one digital, each consisting of around 15 questions, you’ll observe that the digital version is completed more swiftly, taking students about 10 minutes less.
To establish a visual connection with students and promote self-reflection, you can incorporate polls using happy-to-sad emojis. Students can use these visuals to indicate their current mental state. By employing specific statements in your polls, you encourage them to explore their emotions without requiring written responses.
Digital quiz questions are ideal for yes/no or true/false answers. Most students enjoy quizzes as they offer an immediate means to express their knowledge. At the beginning of the questionnaire, you can use quiz questions to define complex concepts like “mental wellbeing,” “feeling low,” “feeling happy,” or “feeling capable at school.” This ensures students are well-informed about these concepts and can relate them to their own feelings.
A digital mind map can be used to assess students’ prior knowledge. Start with “mental wellbeing” or “feeling low” at the centre of the map and gauge what each student already understands about these concepts. This approach effectively maps information and evaluates students’ awareness. You can then proceed with a questionnaire, including a mix of quiz questions, open-ended questions, and image-based questions. Variation in question types positively impacts engagement.
LessonUp provides a secure digital environment for students to work within. While they could complete the questionnaire at home, you may prefer them to be at school, under your supervision, to ensure they answer individually and privately. Avoid imposing time constraints and ensure that students cannot view one another’s responses to protect their privacy.
LessonUp automatically records all student responses and stores them securely in student reports. This data can be monitored and analyzed to promote the wellbeing of each student. Your school can then develop a new action plan or enhance existing measures to better address the specific needs of your students.
A noteworthy feature of LessonUp is the ability to provide real-time feedback to students regarding their answers. If an answer appears unclear, you can guide students in the right direction by posting a comment. If you notice that students haven’t grasped the question, you can offer additional explanations or clarifications digitally or in person.
Thomas Courtley is a former faculty leader and teacher from South East England, with a true passion for human culture and society.
For 10 years he worked within the UK educational system, in a variety of teaching roles and, over time, as head of different departments. He worked his way up the ladder with energy and dedication, seizing his chances to implement positive changes within the secondary schools he worked in.
During this period of time, he worked in various roles, starting as a trainee and later taking on responsibilities as a literacy and numeracy coordinator, a history teacher, and a geography teacher. With time, he became head of humanities, geography, PSHE and RE.
His deliberate choice led him to work in the outer South East London area, primarily in comprehensive schools with a substantial population of Pupil Premium Students. His personal background served as a powerful motivation to teach and connect with students who faced similar socio-economic challenges.
Thomas believes that digital tools can support teachers in expressing themselves, engaging students, and promoting equality in the classroom.
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