Connect - a new psychological wellbeing PSHE curriculum for Reception to Year 6.

Connect is excited to launch a psychological wellbeing curriculum for primary school children.

Today's children face unique challenges and their wellbeing and mental health is under huge pressure. Connect teaches children the key skills they need to support their wellbeing from an early age. Its wellbeing from the word go!

On July 1st 2020, Connect will launch a very special curriculum for primary school children. Why is it so special? Because it will comprehensively teach children in the fundamental skills that underlie psychological wellbeing.

Connect, which has been developed by a team of UK Psychologists over the past 4 years, is held entirely online and includes over 250 lesson plans, to be delivered weekly by primary school teachers during the 7-year primary phase. It is the first wellbeing curriculum to be fully informed by psychological research. Specifically, each term focuses on one of the ‘Six Ways to Wellbeing’ (challenging oneself, giving to others, exercise, self care, connecting with others and embracing the moment). Additionally, throughout the curriculum children learn to use a range of key skills, which have also been demonstrated through psychological research (based on ‘The DNA-V Model’), and provide an exciting new way for children to talk about their thoughts and feelings.

Connect has never been more needed or relevant. From September, new Department for Education’s statutory guidance means schools will be required to teach children a wide range of topics to support mental wellbeing. The Connect curriculum covers all of these statutory outcomes and more, making it simple for schools to meet their statutory obligations to support our children’s mental health.

More and more of our children are suffering with poor psychological wellbeing, and there are growing concerns that there are not enough resources or training available to manage these ever growing numbers. With recent events around the COVID19 and the huge life changes our children have faced, the psychological resilience of our children has never been more important. Schools are therefore being touted as a vehicle for delivering preventative and universal mental health interventions. The idea is that if children can learn about the basics of psychological wellbeing in their primary years then perhaps this will lower the chances of mental health issues and associated difficulties, including referrals to more costly mental health support services, in later years.

School leaders will want to understand as much as possible about the best ways to promote and improve the mental health of their children in a comprehensive way. Yet it can be hard to know which programs and approaches will be of greatest benefit. Connect provides a ready-made, easy-to-use evidence-informed intervention that can solve this problem. With online training, a help forum, prices tailored to the numbers of students in the school and annual rates that are far cheaper than other products on the market, it is expected that schools will jump at the chance to join the Connect community.

“We undertook this work because we believed much more could be done to promote and improve the mental health of children - not just those with particular difficulties, but ALL children. The structure of Connect is based on our very best understanding of the science of human wellbeing and we know of no other SEL (Social & Emotional Learning) curriculum that is driven by science in this way. Our view is that children - all children - deserve to learn, in a truly scientifically informed way, how to live life well; with meaning, purpose and vitality” - Dr Duncan Gillard, Educational Psychologist, Co-founder of Connect PSHE..

Connect is a personal, Social, and Health Education (PSHE) wellbeing curriculum for primary school children. It is a fun, easy-to-use weekly programme that teaches children key skills to promote wellbeing and resilience, and helps schools to meet the upcoming changes in their statutory requirements for PSHE.

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About Connect PSHE

Over the past 4 years a group of educational and clinical psychologists, and teachers, in Bristol have developed a primary school PSHE curriculum based on Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, a mindfulness-based approach to wellbeing. An exciting new approach for children has recently emerged– the DNA-V model– providing a way of talking about thoughts, feelings and behaviour that positively impacts wellbeing. Connect is guided by the scientific literature- psychologically healthy people tend engage in 6 behaviours (connecting with others, challenging oneself, giving to others, exercising, embracing the moment and self-care). We train teaching staff in the DNA-V model, and are committed to providing a curriculum that really works. We have an active Connect research program to measure it’s impact on wellbeing, behaviour, academic performance, and more. We hope that you join us on this journey, as we equip our children with better skills for navigating the trickiness of life.

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