It’s interesting isn’t it? We often talk about approaches to student wellbeing in school, without ever really chatting to students themselves.

Indeed I’ve spoken to many students in schools all over Australia, and whilst they are aware of phrases like resilience, social & emotional learning and/or wellbeing, not too many can actually articulate what those phrases mean, or what importance they hold for the individual.

So it was interesting to read of a school in New Zealand that held a Wellbeing Week that was run in the most part by Student Wellbeing Leaders.

Year 11 girls participated in an Enlighten Education course around self-worth and self-esteem, while the boys looked at similar issues facilitated by a local police officer.

Meanwhile the Year 13 students worked to prepare a Hope Garden they intend to leave as their legacy to the school. The idea behind the garden is to provide students with a serene spot to reflect and take time out during the day.

The students also worked to form a Peer Mediation group. Older students wear a badge that lets their younger peers know that they can talk to them as a stepping stone before going to an adult for help.

One of the student wellbeing leaders is also one of the senior student peer-mediators and said he liked being able to help other students with problems he had faced in the past.

The students also created a Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD) campaign. Last year, all of the students signed a SADD pledge, with new students adding their names each year.

Some good ideas that also seek to engage the Student Voice as I discussed last week. What does your school do well with regard to student wellbeing? Feel free to share some ideas below!

Author: Dan Haesler is a teacher, consultant and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. His website is: and he tweets at @danhaesler