Recently Mr Tim Conroy-Stocker, Secondary Special Educational Needs (SEN) Advisor of English Schools Foundation (ESF) shared his thoughts on the importance of students’ wellbeing and achievement. Tim further elaborated on the challenges that the pressure to succeed are creating for students, parents, teachers and school leaders.

Tim has confirmed his participation as a speaker at Asia-Pacific International Schools Conference (AISC), which will be held this December 9-10 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

AISC : What are the challenges to wellbeing?

Tim : On a daily basis children face massive challenges to their wellbeing and mental health. Whilst GDP and wealth have increased in most developed countries happiness of children and adults has not. Hong Kong currently ranks 123/140 on the Happy Planet Index, a global measure of sustainable wellbeing, below Australia, South Korea, Japan, and Thailand.

Many links are made by media to the pressure to succeed and how this impacts on student rates of anxiety and depression. In a survey of local secondary school students in Hong Kong 32.7% of the students reported at least one form of deliberate self-harm, 13.7% of the respondents had suicidal thoughts, 4.9% had devised specific suicidal plans, and 4.7% had actually attempted suicide. (Shek and Yu, 2012).

AISC: What will Tim tell us about “Student and teacher wellbeing” at AISC 2016?

Tim : Large numbers of schools in Hong Kong are starting to give curriculum time to frameworks and approaches that support student wellbeing. Some examples are:

1. PERMAaisc20160913_5keys

A number of schools in Hong Kong are starting to use 
 as a framework for supporting student wellbeing.

Martin Seligman’s research into how people can learn to flourish identifies 5 key factors in a unified model of wellbeing:
(image from Martin Seligman’s Flourish, 2011)


2. Five Ways to Wellbeing is a set of evidence-based actions which promote student wellbeing.

They are: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. These activities are simple things individuals can do in their everyday lives.


3. Mindfulness

In the past few years large numbers of teachers haveaisc20160913_frog
found the benefits of mindfulness for themselves and their children. One such program Mindfulness Matters has over 50 trained teachers in Hong Kong. In 8-10 week programs students learn how to pay attention to their body and their feelings, improving their focus, and their ability to deal with the day to day ups and downs of school.

“Teacher and student wellbeing” is one of the themes Stream B of Asia-Pacific International Schools Conference (AISC). AISC delegates will be able to join Tim Conroy-Stocker and other leaders in the field of wellbeing to discuss frameworks and activities to support student wellbeing and achievement. Experience learning for yourself, and collect inspirational ideas and activities to take back to your own educational environment.

Read the last interview with Tim Conroy-Stocker : “Wellbeing and achievement: Two sides of the same coin”