We all want the same thing – happy, successful students. And the evidence is clear – when you teach students about wellbeing, it not only improves their wellbeing, it also improves their academic performance (Adler 2016, Lindorff 2020)
There’s also clear evidence that the people students are most influenced by, when it comes to sustained behaviour change, are other students (Paluck et al 2019).
This is the basis of the Student Wellbeing Ambassador Programme (SWAP). It’s designed to train a group of your students in the psychology of wellbeing and give them the tools to influence their peers to effect culture-wide behaviour change for improved wellbeing.
‘There is a strong international evidence base to support the assertion that whole-school
approaches to promoting wellbeing can have an effect on academic attainment’.
Dr Ariel Lindorff, Department of Education, University of Oxford
Oxford Impact Study
No lesson planning is needed, the marking is all covered – just set your students up on the Student Wellbeing Ambassador Programme and let them fill your school or college with the evidence-based wellbeing ideas they’ve learned from the course.
The programme is designed for students from around 14-18 years old, but take a look at the sample material and gauge for yourself which of your students you think would get the most from the course.
Maybe you have a mentoring / buddy programme and you would like your student mentors to have some practical training so they can advise other students about wellbeing.
Perhaps you have a group of prefects or student reps you would like to train up, to teach other students about wellbeing.
You might even have your own dedicated group of student wellbeing ambassadors and you need some way of training them so that they can spread evidence-based wellbeing ideas around your school or college. If not, why not start from scratch? Recruit a group of students specifically for the Student Wellbeing Ambassador Programme and let them transform the wellbeing environment for your students, and staff!
‘There is strong evidence to suggest that whole-school approaches to promoting wellbeing can have positive effects on a wide range of other student outcomes, including mental health, self-esteem, self-efficacy, motivation, behaviour, and decreased probability of dropout’.
Aidan Harvey-Craig wrote the Student Wellbeing Ambassador Programme and his teenage daughter narrates the videos. He is author of the book 18 Wellbeing Hacks for Students: Using Psychology’s Secrets to Survive and Thrive. Aidan has two degrees in psychology and has worked as Head of Psychology, Head of Year, and Student Counsellor in a range of schools in the UK and internationally.
His previous experiences include running Anger Management and Cognitive Skills programmes in a maximum security prison, and working as an editor in a global publisher of online travel information.
Aidan also developed WellSenz – a free, dedicated course app. Here students can choose from nine wellbeing areas that complement what they learn on the course: Thoughts, Nature, Gratitude, Mindful Eating and Kindness.
For each wellbeing area they choose, the app will give them a different wellbeing ‘hack’ to carry out each day. These are simple behaviours that students can build into their routine. As students successfully complete each hack, they check it off and the app tracks their progress of the past weeks and months.
‘This is my kind of book! It's evidence-based, easy to read and so practical. This book will prove so useful to students. A book that will help them understand themselves and the people around them better, as well as equipping them with the tools they need to thrive. Highly recommended’