What is Well-Being?
The nature of well-being is complex and means different things to different people. As a starting point, we can consider well-being to be a positive sense of self / spirit and belonging that we feel when our cognitive, emotional, social and physical needs are being met. Well-being in early years and school settings is about helping children and students become more resilient, so that they can make positive, healthy choices to support learning and achievement, now and in the future.
What Makes up Well-Being?
Well-being can be seen as having four interconnected elements that are critical to student development, with self / spirit at the centre. The concept of self / spirit has different meanings for different people. It can include cultural heritage, language, community, religion or a broader spirituality.
• Physical — the growth and development of the body, affected by physical activity, sleep patterns, healthy eating and healthy life choices.
• Cognitive — the development of abilities and skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and the ability to be flexible and innovative.
• Emotional — the ability to learn about and experience emotions, and understand how to recognize, manage, and cope with them. It includes developing a sense of empathy, confidence, purpose and resilience.
• Social — the development of self-awareness, including the sense of belonging, collaboration, relationships with others, and communication skills. Promoting student well-being is about fostering learning environments that encompass all of these four elements (cognitive, emotional, social, physical), including the self / spirit. Educators and staff who are motivated and enthusiastic about their work are an essential part of promoting student well-being and achievement.