Wellbeing in education
Education plays a critical role in promoting and supporting the wellbeing of children and young people.
This page outlines our commitment, and provides resources for educators, learners, parents and whānau to help support the wellbeing of children and young people.
- New Zealand Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy
- Improving pastoral care for domestic tertiary students
- Curriculum leads (wellbeing)
- COVID-19 and wellbeing
- Resources that support our children and young people
- More information
The strategy’s vision is for New Zealand to be the best place in the world for children and young people.
The strategy uses 6 outcomes to describe what wellbeing means for children and young people.
Having access to quality education, health and social services, housing and food, as well as feeling loved, safe and secure within your whānau, family and community are all essential to the wellbeing of every child and young person in Aotearoa.
Healthy active learning
Healthy active learning is an initiative in the Strategy that supports schools, kura and early learning services to improve child and youth wellbeing through healthy eating and quality physical activity.
In 2022, the Education Act was changed to allow the creation of a code of practice for the pastoral care of domestic tertiary students.
New Zealanders identified wellbeing as a priority in Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, and COVID-19 further highlighted the importance of supporting happy, healthy and connected learners.
A culturally responsive inclusive local curriculum or marau ā-kura that supports the identities, languages, cultures of all ākonga also supports ākonga wellbeing. Wellbeing weaves across all curricula.
We have established new 'curriculum lead' positions to provide frontline support to schools, kura, early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo.
The Ministry has a range of resources and information for early learning services and schools, and for families, caregivers and whānau, to help them support children and young people’s wellbeing through the COVID-19 emergency.
Useful resources and links to further information.
Resources for teaching wellbeing and mental health
A mental health education and wellbeing resource for teachers has gone out nationwide to schools whose students are Year 7 and up, including Teen Parent Units, Activity Centres, Alternative Education providers and RTLB Clusters.
'Mental health education and hauora: Teaching interpersonal skills, resilience, and wellbeing' is a practical resource for teaching about mental health, including lesson ideas and activities.
To find out more, here’s Kat Wells, co-author and health teacher from Lynfield College in Tāmaki Makaurau:
Kat Wells: Mental health education and hauora
In 2021 we delivered hard copies of the book to schools and worked alongside the NZ Health Education Association (NZHEA) to provide additional resources supporting its use.
Teachers can download their free version of Mental Health Education and Hauora and supporting resources from NZHEA.
Resources for early learning services, ngā kōhanga reo, schools and kura
Bullying Free NZ has information, resources and tools to help schools build a safe, bullying-free environment.
The student wellbeing spotlight page on TKI supports teachers to explore and implement effective wellbeing practices for their students. It provides videos, questions, group activities, and opportunities for personal reflection to help teachers grow a culture of wellbeing at their school.
'Digital Technology: Safe and responsible use in schools' is a guide to support schools in managing the safe and responsible use of digital technology for learning.
The 'Health conditions in education settings: supporting children and young people' guidelines to help early learning services and schools support learners with health conditions. The guidelines include tips about drafting health care plans, handling medication and where to go for more information on specific conditions.
Inclusive Education has practical guidance to help New Zealand’s teachers and educational leaders recognise, plan for and meet the learning and wellbeing needs of diverse learners.
'Meeting requirements for children’s safety and wellbeing in ECE' is an Education Review Office (ERO) report highlighting how early learning services keep up to date with changing regulations and legal requirements to help manage children’s health and safety effectively.
Melon is an app supported by the Ministry of Health that provides a safe space for people to connect with and support other New Zealanders to uplift their emotional wellbeing.
'Preventing and responding to suicide: Resource kit for schools' contains practical information and guidelines for schools to help them create a positive and safe environment and respond to suicidal behaviours.
The Health & Disability Commissioner's website has information providing health or disability services to students about their responsibilities under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.
'Supporting children in care guide' is a guide to help educators understand and respond to the challenges that children and young people in care may present with because of their possibly traumatic early experiences.
Wellbeing@School is a free survey tool to help schools find out what children and young people think and feel about their school environment.
'Wellbeing for success: A resource for schools' was produced by ERO to help schools evaluate and improve wellbeing.
Resources for learners, parents and whānau
Bullying Free NZ has information, resources and tools to help support students, parents and whānau affected by bullying, understand what they can do about it and how to help build a safe, bullying free environment.
Oat the Goat is an interactive, online story book, that children and parents can read together, to help 4–7-year-olds learn about the power of kindness.
The Tertiary and International Learners Code of Practice describes the minimum standards of advice and care that international students can expect and provides a complaints procedure if they have concerns about their pastoral care.
The Mental Health Foundation has information on mental health conditions, where to get help and how to promote and support wellbeing.
The 'supporting young people with stress, anxiety and/or depression' guidelines were produced by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) for anyone support a young person and helping them to access mental health advice and support.
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