No Classroom is an Island

Musings by Claire and Rachael

Dragonfly: Impact Education

The Chicken, the Egg and the Key to Success

by claire pass Feb 10, 2020


Ask any parent what they wish most for their child and the answer will likely be ‘for them to be happy’. From the minute we become parents, our happiness is forever linked to the well-being of our child in a way they will never quite understand unless they too become a parent one day. However, that seemingly simple first wish for them becomes more elusive, more complicated with each passing year (and each eye roll!). What is happiness? How do they get it? How can they keep it?

The truth is, they have to grow it. And in a world where increasing numbers of adults have ‘lost their happy’ and so look for it in external things – their achievements, their status, their possessions, their appearance – how can we help our young ones to spot the little seeds of their happiness and nurture them until they bloom?

What is Happiness?

Well, the first step is to realise...

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Value Led Leadership: Swimming Against the Tide in a Competitive Culture of EducationĀ 

Heading down for our visit to The Duston School, to be shown around by the affable Mr Sam Strickland, we were buzzing with questions. Our agenda was pretty clearly defined in our minds. We’re interested in how schools can support wellbeing and the mental health of staff and students, not as a tokenistic one-off or tick box gesture, but by weaving it through the fabric of the school culture and the stitching of the curriculum.  

We wanted to know how this head could bring about such a massive change while simultaneously looking after staff wellbeing (in a school that just prior to his tenure had been moved from Outstanding to Requiring Improvement because of variation in teaching quality, outcomes, and the behaviour and welfare of students). Most of all, we wondered how you could balance wellbeing and rigour. Ultimately, education is about providing opportunity and equality and these things happen at the point of that balance. So how is it done at Duston? 


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That bully needs to talk! (And itā€™s in everyoneā€™s interest that they do.)

by rachael bushby Jan 31, 2020

10 things you can do to make bullying better and why.

You freeze. The hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Your blood boils. You are resisting full fight mode. ‘Don’t say anything, dad - it’ll make it worse!’ says a little voice. The same little voice that has been gathering all its strength for hours, days, weeks, months, (years even) … to tell you they’re being bullied. Or try to explain they’re being pushed out, just little by little, until they’re made to feel worthless and humiliated. Or - if they’re really brave – to finally find the courage to tell you they believed by sending that nude photo, they’d be liked and accepted - but instead it’s been sent to everyone in the WhatsApp group  (the one that was set up especially to talk about them) and now they just want to crawl under their duvet and hide from the jubilant taunts of the keyboard warriors. Toxic. Insidious. All too common. But what do we...

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5 reasons why mixing business with pleasure might just pay off

 The Dragonfly Diaries

The sun was shining, our kids were playing, everything was fine… but we were dreamless. And it was affecting our mental health.

After teaching together for over twelve years, we were chomping at the bit to do something we were immensely passionate about: to support young people with their well-being in a meaningful and genuine way, without being measured by data trends or value-added outcomes. Our journey started that day - ‘shall we do it?’ became ‘how shall we do it?’. ‘Dragonfly’ was born.

Our own mental health wasn’t out of the woods though! We approach business like we approach life – with an over-zealous and tenacious drive that has the potential to burn us out and bankrupt us to boot. Luck (not judgement) stepped in at that point and our support network became our safety net. By drawing on the amazing skills, talents and resources of our nearest and dearest and realising you can mix business...

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We wholly believe in the potential of young people and their ability to soar through life and make a success of the path in which they choose to go down. But we also recognise that whilst modern life is bursting with opportunity, it’s also a bit scary and complicated.
We know first-hand that some children are dealing with some big issues. We’ve found that they often need an outlet, a listening ear, a chat, a different perspective. And the people that look after them – their families, their carers and their teachers – sometimes need a little help too. That’s where we come in.
Through bespoke one-to-one sessions, workshops, presentations, training, talks and programmes - our ambition is simple: to create a world where our children are emotionally healthy, with the tools to successfully steer through modern life.