1st Edition

The Science of Children's Wellbeing Practical Sessions to Support Children Aged 7 to 11

    240 Pages 47 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    240 Pages 47 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    240 Pages 47 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    This essential book is packed full of comprehensive guidelines and practical resources for running wellbeing intervention sessions for children aged 7 to 11, drawing from the scientifically grounded Six Ways to Wellbeing and the DNA-V model.

    Each chapter focuses on one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing, six patterns of action known to correlate highly with aspects of positive mental health and wellbeing. These principles have been translated into 36 step-by-step sessions to develop children’s wellbeing and psychological flexibility and support those struggling with aspects of their mental health. The sessions can be delivered by educators with the whole class, with small groups as targeted wellbeing interventions or easily adapted to fit one-to-one contexts.

    The Six Ways to Wellbeing sessions include:

    Be Active: Staying physically active and exercising regularly.

    Self-Care: Engaging in good quality self-care behaviours.

    Connect with Others: Connecting with others socially in ways that feel genuine, authentic and fulfilling.

    Give to Others: Engaging in kind, thoughtful and giving behaviours toward others and the wider world.

    Challenge Yourself: Encouraging learning that feels personally challenging to grow and develop new skills.

    Embrace the Moment: Taking notice of the world around you and embracing and appreciating the moment.

    Easy to follow and requiring no previous training, this book is the ideal resource for primary school teachers and leaders, psychologists, mental health practitioners, school counsellors, SENCos, LSAs, ELSAs and learning mentors looking to support and improve children’s wellbeing within their professional roles.


    1. The Six Ways to Wellbeing

    2. Be active

    3. Self-Care

    4. Connect with Others

    5. Give to Others

    6. Challenge Yourself

    7. Embrace the Moment

    8. Developing Outcomes and Date Informed Practice

    9. Closing Reflections




    Duncan Gillard is a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)-registered Educational Psychologist and experienced Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) trainer, author and practitioner. He is a Founding Partner at ConnectEd and a co-developer of the evidence-based children’s wellbeing curriculum, Connect PSHE.

    Corinna Grindle is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research interests include curriculum design and effective instruction.

    Nic Hooper is an expert in Clinical Psychology and an academic at Cardiff University, UK.

    Freddy Jackson Brown is a chartered clinical psychologist with 25 years’ experience working with children and families in the NHS.

    Russell Hancock is Creative Director of the award-winning, Bristol-based design studio, Extra Strong. The company specialises in working within the arts and culture sectors and on projects that help improve society. Through this role, Russell created the brand identity for ConnectEd before becoming a co-director.

    All five contributors established the Connect Wellbeing in Education (ConnectEd) Partnership with the mission to increase the use of evidence-based, child-centred, values-led, effective mental health and wellbeing practices in schools.

    "This book gives you a systemic foundation. You’ll be able to support an individual child’s cognitions, affect and behaviour so they grow into flexibility. You’ll be able to build cooperative class groups that function as a team. You’ll have a solid foundation to expand the sessions with your ideas and initiatives. I am confident the opportunity within this book will reward your efforts. It gives you an evidence-informed path so that you can help children grow well, maximise their individual abilities, and be together in supportive classrooms. The way forward is together." – Louise Hayes, Clinical Psychologist, La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia

    "If you care deeply about promoting the wellbeing of children aged 7 – 11 years, this is most definitely the book for you. The authors write with their years of experience held lightly, but their absolute love of DNAV and psychological flexibility shining through. This joyous resource offers children and adults an insight into their discoverer, noticer and advisor skills and values. These skills are explored through embracing the evidence-informed six ways to wellbeing, which will appeal to children and adults alike! This is not just a book, but a framework to develop connectedness, wellbeing and resilience across the whole school community. I will be sharing far and wide."Sarah Sivers, Child and Educational Psychologist, Liminal Space Psychology Service

    "The authors draw upon their expertise in psychology to describe the DNA-V theory in an accessible style, creating a book that is easy-to-read, engaging, and filled with examples and exercises that can be used with children across a range of ages. The activities and exercises in Chapters 2-7 are based on the latest wellbeing research, and the authors offer a clear framework for measuring progress towards values-based outcomes. Practical and effective strategies are shared that can be used by teachers, teaching assistants, learning mentors, ELSAs, psychologists… anyone who has a role in supporting the wellbeing of children and young people!" – Will Shield, Child and Educational Psychologist, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director on the Doctorate in Educational, Child and Community Psychology, University of Exeter

    "I have been working in school systems for more than 20 years. A great deal of my energy is spent on treating pathology and firefighting psychological distress rather than promoting psychological well-being. Imagine what it would be like if we could engineer this to be different? Well, this revolutionary book is proposing just that. And I've been breathing a sigh of relief with every chapter I read because this is the book that has been missing from my shelf for the past 20 years. The authors have managed to bring evidence based and informed practices right where we need them-- to the classroom. Teachers and educators and other frontline staff are working with children on a daily basis who are experiencing distress in their lives. They often know their students well and have both immediate access and trusting relationships. However, without effective skills, training and tools, they may not be able to treat that distress effectively. Many of these young people might not make it to the clinic for therapeutic support so it makes perfect sense to deliver interventions right there in their classrooms amidst their peer group in naturalistic settings. If they do make it to those settings, they may not feel comfortable disclosing what is happening for them to a stranger. Imagine instead if psychological wellbeing was part of the fabric of their curriculum every single day. This book outlines a revolutionary and developmentally sensitive approach to how our school systems and larger health systems should be treating mental health in children. It condenses the scientific literature on third wave behaviour therapeutic approaches and maps it on to what we have learned in more recent times about the science of wellbeing. By putting this science into schools in pre-emptive ways, we could spend way less time treating pathology later in life and increase the coping skills of a vast array of school children for when life's stressors arise. The authors have done an incredible job of teaching us just how to do that in this masterful book. This book will be a wonderful addition to every classroom for children within the ages of 7-11." – Sarah Cassidy, Founder and Director at The Smithsfield Clinic, Chartered Psychologist, Peer-Reviewed ACT Trainer

    "The Science of Wellbeing and Resilience brings current scientific knowledge and expertise to perhaps the most important challenge and priority of our time, positive mental health and wellbeing of young people. This book offers highly accessible, creative and tangible guidance for cultivating school environments that support young people's wellbeing through a comprehensive set of group session plans. This book is a must-read for school-based practitioners who want to see kids thrive!"Jess Kingston, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London

    "Mental health problems among children and youth are on the rise globally. From research, we know well what kind of interventions works to help children and adolescents deal with mental health challenges and thrive. Delivering effective interventions through schools has many advantages, as children spend a lot of time there and there are professionals in schools who have established relationships with them and can learn to deliver such interventions. From my 30 years of experience working in schools as a teacher, and later as a psychologist and researcher, I have seen how difficult it is for teachers and student health professionals to navigate and find good interventions (based on evidence) that are easily available and easy and straightforward to implement. This book offers help with those challenges by laying out a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for working with effective interventions for children in school settings. The sessions presented in the book are easy to choose from to match the needs of the children and use in school settings. Highly recommended!"  Fredrik Livheim, Clinical Psychologist, peer-reviewed ACT-trainer and author of The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Stress Reduction