A whole learning community approach

An individual educator can make a significant impact; however, the full potential of Be You truly comes to life when implemented as a whole early learning service or school.

Jan 17, 2019

Creating positive change can start from a single action by a single educator. Learning about the vision of Be You; reading a Be You Fact Sheet; starting a conversation with members of your learning community; and prioritising self-care are all examples of steps in the right direction.

An individual educator can make a significant impact; however, the full potential of Be You truly comes to life when implemented as a whole early learning service or school.

Sustained change is best achieved when a service or school makes a commitment to collectively improve the mental health and wellbeing of the whole learning community. This supports educators to share their learnings and translate knowledge into practice, and enables positive changes to policies and procedures, pedagogy and physical environments. 

This approach is supported by a recent report from The Lancet, published in October 2018, outlining how the most effective mental health initiatives use a whole learning community approach that prioritises social and emotional learning.  

Build a whole learning community approach to mental health promotion through leadership support and an Action Team. 

If your service or school is already registered as a Be You Learning Community, speak to your Be You Action Team or leadership about how you can get involved. 

If your service or school is not already registered, start the process now.

1. Gain leadership support: Leadership Handbooks outline the key benefits of engaging in Be You and can be a useful reference when seeking endorsement and support.

2.  Appoint an Action Team Leader: This person will coordinate implementation of a whole learning community approach. They could be a member of your senior leadership team, wellbeing leader, level coordinator, or an educator with experience or a keen interest in mental health and wellbeing.

You may be interested in nominating yourself as the Action Team Leader or joining the Action Team. The Action Team will lead the charge in creating a more mentally healthy learning community, and can include leaders, educators, wellbeing staff, children and young people and family members. Consider if there’s already a group like this that you can draw on, such as a wellbeing or welfare team.

3. Register your early learning service or school as a Be You Learning Community: 

As a registered Be You Learning Community, you’ll be assigned a Be You Consultant to help your Action Team implement Be You. The implementation process is fluid and adaptable to suit your learning community’s individual needs. Your Consultant can talk your Action Team through ways to leverage the good work you’re already doing to support mental health and wellbeing in your learning community. 

Check out the Be You Action Team Handbooks to learn more about implementing Be You. This handy guide details some Planning and Implementation Tools available to support your Action Team in progressing through each step:

• Statement of Commitment: Reinforces leadership commitment to and support of Be You and can be displayed in your reception area or included in important publications.

• Reflection Tool: Provides a pulse check that prompts your Action Team to consider policies, practices and other factors that support or hinder the development and maintenance of a mentally healthy learning community.

• Surveys and Surveys Guide: Helps your Action Team to better understand the needs of your learning community by giving educators, families, children and young people a voice.

• Action Plan template for services and schools: Captures your learning community’s objectives and the actions your Action Team will take to achieve them, documenting resources, timelines and strategies to address challenges along the way.

• Actions Catalogue: Lists quick wins and longer-term actions your Action Team can select from and tailor when putting together an Action Plan.

• Share and Extend Guide: Identifies ways to bring educators together to reinforce a whole learning community approach and allow educators to debrief, share key learnings and discuss how this can be applied to their practice.

Read The Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development.