Well-Being Working Group

Coordinator: Sara DAGOSTINI
Contact: wellbeing@uccleparents.org

Sara Dagostini, Coordinator of the APEEE's Well-Being Working Group

The Well-being of Children and Adolescents Working Group explores, proposes and develops initiatives to ensure pupils’ well-being at school, focusing on aspects of school life that are beyond the purely pedagogical: the emotional balance of adolescents inside and outside the classroom, the development of healthy relationship with peers and adults, and indirectly the quality and safety of the physical environment. Recently the groups has started focusing also on the mental health of the pupils. The group actively works to address the challenges faced by today's children, parents and teachers.

General Scope of Activity: The target audience of our work is the pupils, but we also work through teachers and parents. The main channels are:

  • Ateliers for pupils and interventions in class
  • Parent and pupil lunchtime conferences

Current initiatives include:

  • EVRAS (Éducation à la vie relationnelle, affective et sexuelle): prevention programme under implementation in Secondary
  • Substance abuse prevention (Secondary): policy and prevention programme under development
  • Digital risks: policy and prevention programme to be developed
  • Mindfulness: prevention programme to be explored for Secondary
  • Values: prevention programme under implementation in Secondary
  • Several conferences: digital risks, mental health (for students, parents and educators)
  • Child protection and smart phone policies: as part of school-level working groups

New initiatives to be explored, mainly for Secondary:

  • Communication for students (assertive communication), for parents and teachers (emphatic communication)
  • Conflict management
  • Cyberbullying
  • Food and nutrition. Understanding the impact of sugar
  • Health and sleep

Participation and Working Methods: The group accepts committed Board Members and parents interested in identifying good quality speakers, initiating projects, and providing logistical support for events. The Well-Being Group encourages participation from all language sections to help broaden and enrich the programmes and approaches.

The group is divided into small subgroups per topic, with one or few members assigned to each project. Communication is primarily by email or phone but we also organise two or three general meetings every year to discuss, brainstorm and agree on new initiatives; separate meetings may also be organised for individual projects or initiatives. Members of the group may take meetings with the school management, educational advisors, teachers or the student committee (CdE) to forward our objectives. We also give non-binding opinions on projects submitted for APEEE funding within the scope of our work. The group reports to the APEEE Board on the progress of its activities and presents formal position papers on issues of high importance.

If you are interested in one or more of these activities, please contact our Secretariat at: info@uccleparents.org

Mandate of the APEEE's Well-Being Working Group (January 2021)

See related issues and positions: Child Protection Policy, Drugs and Addictions and Mobile Phone Policy

2021 Priorities

In 2021 we will continue with several actions carried out in recent years but will also initiate new proposals. The big challenge for school year 2020-2021 is to cope with the constantly changing measures which impact our programming. The focus is both: Mental health both for students and parents and continuity of programs for students. The group is collaborating with the school on a mental health survey, to identify well-being needs for students and related tailor-made programs and has also offered an online conference for parents about mental health and screens.

The group is working on exploring possibilities to continue EVRAS and Values in the current COVID-19 context. It is also seeking new initiatives relating to the use of screens and a safe online behaviour and exploring ways to introduce Mindfulness in both Primary and Secondary schools (introduction Mindfulness and yoga programs for the larger school population have thus far failed due to a lack of rooms on campus). Not least, to help everyone stay safe and healthy.

Our work addresses the following key issues:

  • School-wide Child Protection Policy based on the system-level recommendation. We participate in the drafting of the news policy with colleagues in the APEEE Legal Working Group.
  • Mental health both for students and parents in close cooperation with the school psychologists and Student Committee (CdE), including the creation of a Mental Health Survey.
  • Implementation of EVRAS, currently ongoing together with the school. In addition, the group will explore the possibility to extend EVRAS to late primary.
  • Substance abuse and prevention policy with the school. The group aims to propose a new prevention programme for Secondary students and a conference to raise awareness among parents.
  • Carry out initiatives relating to the use of screens and mobile phones.
  • Continue exploring ways to introduce Mindfulness in both Primary and Secondary schools.
  • Renewed emphasis on Values in the lives of our students through student workshops.
  • Raise awareness of positive communication among parents and teachers.
  • Explore possibility about management of conflicts among pupils.
  • Educate parents and children to healthy nutrition.

Useful documents

“HIGH FIVE” - A helpful guide for students during distance learning (May 2021) -
Primary students | S1-S3 students | S4-S7 students
“HIGH FIVE” - A helpful guide for parents to support students during distance learning (May 2021) - Primary parents | S1-S3 parents | S4-S7 parents
APEEE Internet Safety Tips (July 2021)