Wellbeing IN the curriculum


We've produced some handy cards that can be printed and laminated for staff, TAs, ELSAs, or parents to support children's wellbeing by linking aspects of the KS1 and KS2 curriculum for English, Maths and Science to the five 'Ways to Wellbeing' adopted by the NHS. Below you'll find a rationale, explaining how the curriculum can help to develop a robust sense of wellbeing in children and young people, followed by a brief statement about why each subject is important to wellbeing. Each set of cards is listed in the downloads section.

Rationale: In 2008, the New Economics Foundation, on behalf of Foresight, set out 5 actions to improve personal wellbeing. These became the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ and have been adopted by the NHS, Mind and many other public health organisations and mental health charities.

It is our belief that knowledge about how young people can incorporate these elements into their lives can be taught through the curriculum and does not have to rely on discrete sessions alone. We champion the approach of little and often to remind young people of the daily habits they can adopt to look after their wellbeing.

Guidance for Teachers: The purpose of these cards is to provide you with examples and inspiration of how you can weave the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ into the daily fabric of your lessons. They are intended to provide a starting point to create your own. Alternatively, they could be used as ‘do now’ activities as pupils enter the room, or as meaningful homework tasks that improves focus and wellbeing in a way that helps develop lifelong habits to support health, learning and success. On one card for each key stage will be a brief explanation of why the 5 ways to wellbeing are so important.

English and Wellbeing

In 2018, the National Literacy Trust published a report on ‘Mental wellbeing, reading and writing’ and found that children who enjoyed and actively engaged with reading and writing were three times more likely to have high levels of mental wellbeing than their least engaged peers. Reading leads to a developed vocabulary which means that children can articulate their feelings more accurately, they connect and empathise with characters and can read about other people who may have had similar experiences to them, making them feel less alone. It can also increase both self confidence and self awareness. Writing can provide an outlet for emotions and can also help to crystallize and make sense of feelings which could otherwise be nebulous.

Maths and Wellbeing


Maths can be used to support and improve wellbeing for the following reasons:

  • Being competent with numeracy can impact on our self-esteem and the chances we have in life.
  • We use maths in every aspect of our lives at work and in practical everyday activities at home and beyond.
  • We use maths when we go shopping or plan a holiday, decide on a mortgage or decorate a room.
  • Good numeracy is essential to parents helping their children learn, patients understanding health information, citizens making sense of statistics and economic news.
  • Decisions in life are so often based on numerical information; to make the best choices, we need to be numerate. A report for National Numeracy by Pro Bono Economics found that the average cost to individuals with poor numeracy is £460 a year.

Science and Wellbeing

Science naturally lends itself to the 5 ways to wellbeing. Apart from the obvious study of how to stay healthy, it involves the close, careful and accurate observations of the world around us – in other words, we need to notice. It encourages us to keep questioning, keep learning, it is frequently collaborative, requiring us to connect to share understanding and findings with others. It often involves active exploration and provides us with a means to give back to the world. Above all, Science fosters a sense of awe and wonder – there is always more to discover.


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