Galway Community College


The Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) provides for a new area of learning at junior cycle called Wellbeing. Wellbeing will cross the three years of junior cycle and build on substantial work already taking place in schools in support of students’ wellbeing. This area of learning will make the school’s culture and ethos and commitment to wellbeing visible to students. It will include learning opportunities to enhance the physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing of students.
It will enable students to build life skills and develop a strong sense of connectedness to their school and to their community. The junior cycle Wellbeing programme will begin with 300 hours of timetabled engagement in 2017 and build up to 400 hours by 2020 as the new junior cycle is implemented fully in schools. The aim of these guidelines is to support schools in planning and developing a coherent Wellbeing programme that builds on the understandings, practices and curricula for wellbeing already existing in schools.

What is Wellbeing?
It is important that the definition of wellbeing communicates the multidimensional nature of wellbeing and draws on the insights of psychology, philosophy and sociology. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model of human development is helpful as it provides a comprehensive systems-based approach to understanding wellbeing. It begins by acknowledging the importance of the individual and his/her immediate relationships and then moves outwards to show how a consideration of the wider community and social context is needed to accommodate a systems-based and holistic approach to wellbeing. This perspective recognises that sometimes the wellbeing of individuals is hindered by wider social, economic, or cultural factors and conversely, sometimes one’s own behaviour, choices or goals may harm the collective wellbeing, at both a local and global level. In addition, it reminds us that our personal wellbeing and that of our local community is connected to the wider world and is built upon values of justice, equality, solidarity and respect for differences in an interconnected world. In a nutshell, this model demonstrates that to be human is to be relational and wellbeing is always realised in a community.
The following definition, adapted from the WHO (2001) aims to take account of the multi-dimensional nature of wellbeing encompassing social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental and physical wellbeing;

Student wellbeing is present when the student realises his or her abilities, can cope with the stresses of life, has a positive and successful experience of learning and has a sense of purpose and belonging to a wider community, such as the school community.

Galway Community College,
Wellpark Rd,

 091 755464

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