Promoting Positive Mental Health in the Primary School : Theory into Practice book cover
1st Edition

Promoting Positive Mental Health in the Primary School
Theory into Practice

ISBN 9781138587267
Published October 22, 2019 by Routledge
170 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Mental health and wellbeing is a hugely important agenda in education, both nationally and internationally. Promoting Positive Mental Health in the Primary School unpacks scientific and psychological research and evidence to explain positive mental health through the lens of a primary classroom in the language of teaching professionals.

Chapter by chapter, the book focuses on specific elements fundamental to positive mental health promotion in the classroom, including developing positive relationships, emotional literacy, empowering children as learners as well as the importance of teacher wellbeing, and illustrates how these can be achieved. It offers:

  • An examination into the connection between positive mental health and good teaching
  • Guidance underpinned by evidence for teachers and school leaders who wish to embed a consistent approach to positive mental health promotion
  • Practical suggestions for whole school professional learning

Written from first-hand experience in both teaching and research, this accessible text makes positive mental health promotion meaningful to teachers, helping them build understanding and move from theory into practice. It is an essential resource for all practising teachers, trainee teachers, school support staff and school leaders.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  Introduction  Part I: Theoretical and contextual background  Chapter 1 – What is positive mental health  Chapter 2 – Positive mental health promotion in schools  Part II: How to promote positive mental health in school  Introduction to Part 2  Chapter 3 – Positive Relationships  Chapter 4 – Ethos  Chapter 5 – Emotional literacy  Chapter 6 – Empowering children as learners  Chapter 7 – Embedded promotion and targeted action  Part III: Strategies for developing whole school approaches, including those to promote teacher wellbeing  Chapter 8 – The importance of a whole school approach  Chapter 9 – Teacher wellbeing  Appendix  References

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Deborah Holt, formerly a primary school teacher and headteacher, is a lecturer and researcher of positive mental health promotion in education at the University of Edinburgh.


Tina Stones, EdD student at University of Edinburgh

Following the introduction of ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’ agenda in Scotland and ‘Every Child Matters’ in England, there has been an increased interest in wellbeing in education.

Further, ‘The Good Childhood Inquiry’ raised the profile of the emotional wellbeing of children and schools have a responsibility to develop the wellbeing of the children. Research suggests the implementation has been complex and not all teachers view the promotion of positive mental health as their responsibility. I would suggest that there is a real need for this book and the markets would include schools, FE colleges and HE institutions. Since the introduction of OECD measurements of the wellbeing of young people the international market will also be a possibility.

I expect a sustained interest in the field of positive mental health promotion in education. I believe the topic will grow and evolve as the needs and complexities of childhood and youth grow and change.

I don’t believe the book will become quickly out of date so long as it does not focus too strongly on the current policy context. Emotional literacy, wellbeing, resilience, positive mental health, nurture and positive relationships are likely to remain important agendas for primary school teachers. The evidence base for nurturing environments is growing and is likely to further expand in the future.

Dr Richard Woolley, University of Worcester

Mental health is an area very much to the fore in education at the present time, and will continue to be important. In England, Ofsted will focus increasingly on children’s well-being as a part of inspections, which will further raise the profile of positive mental health. A book that explores issues in way that is accessible to primary school teachers will be beneficial.