Wired For Well-Being is a new 3 -level SPHE and well-being programme designed for Junior Cycle students. It aims to teach students to understand and enhance their own well-being through a range of evidence-based strategies and skills. It was created in line with the SPHE curriculum objectives and the Well-Being Indicators outlined in the Well-Being Guidelines for Junior Cycle (DES, 2018) The programme is incremental in nature – concepts and skills are reinforced and revised throughout the 3 levels. Concepts from the Weaving Well-Being programme (primary level) are also reinforced and further embedded. However, each level can  be delivered as a stand-alone course also. The programme is drawn from the fields of Positive Psychology and Neuroscience, in order to develop positive well-being habits for life.

What is Well-Being

‘Well-Being is present when a person realises their potential, is resilient in dealing with the normal stresses of their life, takes care of their physical well-being and has a sense of purpose and belonging to a wider community. It is a fluid way of being and needs nurturing throughout life’ -World Health Organisation, 2001. This is one of the most well-known definitions of well-being and it is referenced in the Well- Being Policy Statement and Framework for Practice (Department of Education, 2019). It encompasses the different dimensions of well-being including physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual. The Wired for Well-Being programme has adapted this definition as a basis for introducing the concept of well-being to students using the following terms:

Outline of Lessons

Each level has 8 lessons, containing the following elements:

  • Lesson plan – containing relevant SPHE modules and DES well-being indicators (resilient, connected, respected, active, aware, responsible), lesson outcomes, resources, body and mind check-in, warm -up activity, subsequent development,  supplementary photocopiable  resources.
  • PowerPoint slides – containing all relevant material for the presentation of the lesson, including a multi-media element and links to online research articles for further information if required.
  • Pupil Book – containing 2 Pupil Activities per lesson, key message, self-assessment of learning outcomes and homework activity.
  • Parent/Guardian/Carer Guide – (in the centre of each Pupil Book) to encourage parents to support their child in using the skills.

Background to the Wired for Well-Being Programme

Positive Psychology is the science of well-being and was initiated by Professor Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. Seligman observed that psychology up to that point was deficit-based. He called for more research to be conducted into the components of well-being and flourishing. Positive Psychology is therefore the study of well-being, resilience and optimal human functioning. It is founded on the concept of identifying and developing personal strengths and competencies, as opposed to correcting weaknesses. Positive Psychology uses evidence-based interventions that help individuals not only to cope, but to thrive and engage with life on an optimal level, whenever possible.

About the Author: Fiona Forman

Fiona Forman is an author, speaker, facilitator and trainer in the area of well-being and Positive Psychology. Having spent many years as a primary school teacher, she is absolutely passionate about placing well-being at the heart of school life and she has seen first-hand the great benefits of empowering children, teachers and parents to understand, value and enhance their own mental health. Fiona holds an M. Sc. in Applied Positive Psychology, the science of well-being, from the University of East London. She is the co-author of Weaving Well-Being, a positive mental health programme for primary school children that is now in use in the majority of Irish Primary Schools.

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Aim of the Programme

Wired for Well-Being aims to introduce young people to skills and strategies from the fields of Positive Psychology and Neuroscience to empower them to become active participants in understanding, creating and maintaining their well-being and resilience. In doing so, it aims to help young people to reach their potential, to flourish and to become thriving citizens.

The concept of Well-Being can be quite an abstract concept for young people, so the first lesson aims to give a concrete understanding of its components and the reasons why it is so important. High levels of well-being are associated with a wide range of other successful outcomes including greater levels of happiness, health, success, confidence and contribution to the wider community (Lyubormirsky, King & Deiner, 2005).