Healthy Minds Results - Bounce Forward

Bounce Forward News

1st April 2019

Healthy Minds Results

Designed by The London School of Economics, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and tested in schools over  4-years. Healthy Minds is the only all-encompassing and evidence based personal, social and health curriculum for years 7-10.

Healthy Minds is a four-year curriculum that provides lesson materials each week from years 7 to 10. The curriculum covers standard topics but also focuses on important resilience skills, an understanding and awareness of the usage of social media, mental illness, parenting and the practice of mindfulness.

With funding from the Education Endowment Foundation we organised the trial of this curriculum which took place in 34 state schools across England over the last five years! The results have now been been analysed by researchers at the London School of Economics and the improvements have been outstanding. For example, ‘a typical pupil whose global health is initially ranked as average rises to the 60th percentile’. The Healthy Minds curriculum has shown to ‘increase pupils’ satisfaction with their lives as much as when an adult finds a life partner’.

We all hope that these results will change the way personal, social, health topics are valued and taught in schools. There is a real opportunity with new policy directives such as the proposals to make Health Education (including teaching mental resilience), and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) statutory in secondary schools from 2020. The NHS Five Year Forward that will change how we think about mental health and respond to mental illness. And, Ofsted’s focus in the updated inspection framework on personal development along with the new attention on the curriculum – in terms of both the quality and content of what is taught, rather than the qualification that comes at the end. This trial has proven that when personal, social and health education subjects are prioritised and teachers are properly trained to provide good quality teaching and learning then they can have a positive impact on students.

At the conference our CEO, Lucy Bailey added her perspective about an added benefit that she believes we also learn from this research. At the mid-way point (data was collected at the beginning, middle and end of Healthy Minds teaching), we see a negative effect on internalising behaviour (simply put, how young people are feeling) and this is interesting. Healthy Minds encourages young people to explore and understand positive and negative emotions as natural and not necessarily bad, and so recognising they are feeling sad, or anxious increases half way through. What’s important though, is what they do about it (externalising behaviour) which is shown as having a positive effect at the mid-way point. “This surely is what we want to encourage? Young people recognising, not ignoring their negative emotions and behaving in a way that is helpful to them.” The fact that this mid-way negative effect is also turned into a positive effect by the end is also hugely significant, after all isn’t that what good quality teaching and learning is all about?

You can hear the impact it had on students and teachers themselves here in this BBC Breakfast news report.

The new curriculum was launched at a reception in the House of Commons by Lord Richard Layard on the 29th of November, with a roaring success.  We’re adamant that sharing the results with the press, teachers, MPs and peers will have a hugely beneficial impact on the future of mental health wellbeing within education.

To read the full results report – CLICK HERE

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