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Whole school wellbeing ideas

5 ways to wellbeing

Brilliant initiatives to replicate in your school


We have had amazing feedback from our Surrey schools who are running the HeadSmart Wellbeing Ambassadors Programme. This programme is peer-led and trains students in the 5 ways to wellbeing and how to promote wellbeing in their schools. Here are some of the brilliant initiatives taking place which could be easily be replicated in your school.

We have based them around the 5 ways to wellbeing; Connect, Learn, be Active, take Notice, Give and they are from a mix of Primary and Secondary schools.

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  • ‘Morning Greeters’ at the gate, who stand alongside teachers welcoming children into school to start each day with a smile
  • ‘Be Nice to someone New’ campaign to promote connecting
  • ‘Being in someone else’s shoes project’: helping students to understand and relate to differences
  • Empathy project: encouraging students to connect more with people they don’t know
  • ‘Five minute Friendship’ – like speed dating, students are encouraged to talk to new people
  • Have a Buddy Stop / Playground Buddies / Playground Pals
  • Connect bingo during play times and lunchtimes
  • Have a ‘WOW Wednesday!’ lunch time club – the idea of this club is to be out on the playground and field every Wednesday with a different game/activity each week. The Ambassadors will demonstrate the game/activity and then encourage others who are feeling ‘left out’ or not sure what to do at lunch time to join in
  • Have a reading shed and Lego table in the playground
  • Implement a ‘Worry Box’ system in each classroom which the Wellbeing Ambassadors check on a weekly basis
  • Have a ‘feelings’ box – with the school counsellors replying to the comments in a monthly health and wellbeing newsletter
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Ways to wellbeing diagram

Keep learning

  • Have a music day where teachers and students who can play an instrument offer to help others try out new instruments
  • Connect people through learning different foreign languages
  • Carry out a survey to connect students with similar interests
  • Encourage students to learn a new skill in their own time and to send in photos of them doing so
  • Learn new words that relate to wellbeing
  • Keep Learning – teacher reward and acknowledge when students are using 5 Ways
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Be active

  • Sports Leaders leading active play during lunchtime such as: basketball, football, hula-hooping, skipping and den building
  • Run a ‘Be Active’ day during Healthy Living Week where, including activities such as dance, an obstacle course and a treasure hunt
  • ‘Get active’ monthly fun day with sporting activities
  • Happiness walks by the Wellbeing Ambassadors
  • Organise a school hiking trip
  • Create a gardening club
  • Have yoga sessions during school time
  • Have a climbing wall in the playground


  • Put a range of prompt questions up around school to encourage children and adults to take notice of others’ emotions such as: can you find someone who needs a helping hand today?
  • Run a weekly ‘Mindfulness Club’ where students can come along and spend some quiet time colouring, listening to music and making posters to display on the Wellbeing Board
  • Mindful meditation
  • Mindful colouring in tutor time
  • Train your Puppy Mind – Mindfulness Club and Online Mindfulness Resources
  • Have a prayer space event, based around the idea of stillness, where children can come to at lunchtime if they need a place to be still
  • A room to go to where you can calm down and work through tough emotions / distress
  • Play relaxing music at lunchtime
  • Have a ‘Gratitude Project’ – a series of assemblies; videos or resources that encourage students to ‘take notice’ of what is happening in the wider world – such as children who don’t have access to school; women who don’t have rights etc. to encourage students to feel grateful and appreciate more what they do have in their lives such as free education, healthcare etc
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Promoting whole school wellbeing ideas

  • Wellbeing Wednesday
  • Display the 5 steps to wellbeing on the TV screens around school
  • Wellbeing Ambassadors being part of the School Council
  • Wellbeing board outside the dining hall
  • Put posters around the school, with inspirational quotes and positive affirmations.
  • Wellbeing Awards
  • Create an infographic that can be shared with staff, students and parents, which highlights the health and wellbeing initiatives.
  • ‘Bee Positive’ – a campaign for positive messages to be posted around the school and to be given to students;
  • Develop a short film to share with the school about mental health awareness and share simple things that children can do to look after their own health and support others.
  • Keyrings with 5 Ways to Wellbeing
  • 5 Ways Stickers
  • Inspiring Quotes around the school
  • Photos up of Wellbeing Ambassadors
  • Online Wellbeing Web pages with links to wellbeing resources and support; Cool Connecting an Initiative to promote support and connecting with people including signposting to support inside and outside of schools including Young Minds and Kooth;
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Promoting whole school wellbeing poster