Visit by 15 Schools from Hong Kong to share mental health and wellbeing practices

Since 2020 the Applied Research and Evaluation team within the Anna Freud centre have been working with Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters on Project Wellbeing sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. It aims at improving student wellbeing through developing their social and emotional skills, positive mindsets, resilience, and cultivating an enabling school culture.

As part of the project a delegation of mainly school staff from 15 primary and secondary schools from Hong Kong visited London on a study trip hosted at Anna Freud to learn from practice in the UK. 

Within their full week’s itinerary, which included school training: relational approaches to supporting young people; a visit to see the work carried out in Brent West community services who deliver wellbeing support to children and young people with special education needs; plus visits to various primary and secondary schools and family schools; and overview of the work of the Anna Freud centre and research teams, the CORC team spent an afternoon providing training and sharing different approaches to wellbeing measurement in schools.

Nick Tait, CORC’s Programme Manager (ex School Head) and Rachael Grant, Regional Manager (ex School Teacher and Year lead) delivered an interactive session ‘Evaluating practices in schools and collecting and acting on wellbeing data’

Various resources were provided, which are also available here, including our Mental Health Toolkit for Schools and Colleges for discussion in groups. Whilst there are culture differences, there were also commonalities between children from one nation to another.  

The length of surveys expected to be completed authentically without pupils losing interest was raised, with some surveys being longer than others.  CORC recommended that engaging the children in ‘why’ the surveys are taking place as part of the process, informing them of the aims of the outcomes which would benefit them results in better interaction.

There was positive comment on the engaging nature of the way the surveys were worded, as if they felt like you’re talking to a friend. The choice of words and language make a lot of difference.

An overall take out was that relationship is key to helping young people. Some quotes from the delegates around this topic included:

Generating awareness within your staff, about your pupils is a real benefit to a school's culture and performance, and of course everyone's mental wellbeing. 

If you'd like any tailored support around this for your schools(s), the CORC team will be happy to help. 

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