The Second World Anti-Bullying Forum

June 2019- Anne Marie Kavanagh

The second World Anti-Bullying Forum took place in Dublin City University on June 4th-6th 2019. This biennial, multidisciplinary conference brings academics, practitioners and decision-makers from across the globe together to critically engage with, discuss and share expertise on how best to challenge the endemic and pernicious social ill of bullying.

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Glasgow

January 2019

The Five Nations Network is a funded initiative which was set up in 2000 (see www.fivenations.net for more details). Its main focus is on citizenship and values education across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It holds an annual conference in one of the five nations annually and this year it was the turn of Scotland. Delegates are invited to attend and some teachers receive funding for this purpose. I was fortunate to be part of the Republic of Ireland group who went to Glasgow in January and this blog outlines the main “big ideas” that were discussed there among teachers, school heads and teacher educators, along with some resources that were indicated.

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Authors and Editors of SPHE publications with Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon

The SPHE Network publication Understanding Wellbeing in Changing Times: the Role of SPHE was launched by Dr. Niall Muldoon (Ombudsman for Children) on the 10th February in St. Patrick’s College. On the night he spoke about the importance of mental wellbeing, and building children’s and young people’s capacity to deal with the trials and tribulations that life inevitably throws at us.

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Three members of the SPHE Network recently presented papers at an international conference on racism hosted by the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) at the University of Edinburgh.   The conference, which focused on confronting racial inequality through education and action, explored contemporary discourses, theories, policies and practices from a diversity of educational contexts and settings.

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This short blog addresses how SPHE is used to teach students about life, namely, bereavement (e.g., death, separation, loss of a friendship, moving to a new home). Also addressed is the new policy document ‘Wellbeing in Schools’ (DES, 2015), peer-support programmes Rainbows and Seasons for Growth, and curricular programme Zippy’s Friends.

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SPHE is not simply a subject on the curriculum. It involves discrete lessons but also applying the learning throughout the school day. Most importantly it shapes the ethos of the school. The values, attitudes, knowledge and skills which the staff want the children to learn shape the way the school community organises itself, so that those values are experienced and lived by the children. Care, support, listening, emotional awareness and communication are core values and skills in the SPHE curriculum and in the school which prioritises SPHE .

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Every month, members of the SPHE Network share their thoughts on relevant developments, policies, events or resources in the areas of social, personal and health education. We are delighted to publish our inaugural blog post from Professor Mark Morgan, Cregan Professor of Education & Psychology, St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra.

In comparison to many countries which have tried to ensure that their holistic school programmes convey the right message, with the title SPHE, we got it so right! Virtually every education system in the world recognises the need for a social/emotional/personal/health dimension to education and the title reflects an emphasis in each case. In some countries the label is Social-Emotional Learning, while in others the title is SEAL (Social Emotional and Academic Learning). With Social, Personal and Health Education we have combined more relevant strands than other countries in a way that is totally consistent with recent research findings.

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