Wellbeing has become a common selling point for many schools but understanding what a school means when it says it focuses on student wellbeing is not always easy for parents.
With 40 schools in the UK, Cognita found themselves in a fortunate position to properly define wellbeing for its 9,500 students, recruiting a Director of Wellbeing early in 2019 and making it a collective priority before, throughout and after the global pandemic.
Cognita schools have a common language and understanding around wellbeing which they call the Be Well Charter. The Charter is used as a structure to group wellbeing resources – both curated from external sources and created with experts – for teachers, parents and students, and to provide a framework to help everyone have more informed conversations.
Beth Kerr, Cognita’s Group Director of Wellbeing says: ‘Cognita addresses wellbeing differently because our approach begins with wellbeing. You won’t find any parent or teacher who would say that wellbeing is unimportant, but at Cognita we begin with that and build the education on top. Happy pupils will always learn more’.
An uplifting example of Cognita’s focus on wellbeing was the organisation of the Cognita Home Games during lockdown last year. The global event involved over 10,000 students and their families training to compete in challenges and activities for their school and region, which brought many communities together despite being physically apart.
In addition, all Cognita schools join together on a dedicated Global Be Well Day each year to celebrate the collective commitment to wellbeing. It is an annual reminder of the priority placed on equipping young people with the confidence and resourcefulness that prepares and enables them to grow, thrive and find their success in an ever-changing world. Each Cognita school is different, reflecting the needs of the local families they serve, but all are weaving wellbeing into everything they do in the right way for their school community.