EtonHouse is the only school in Bahrain to have Wellbeing as part of the timetable. Read why this is important for childhood development.


Julia Knight reflects on the need for wellbeing in the education sector. The negative effect of the COVID-19 crisis has been well documented over the last 18 months and it … Continued

EtonHouse International

Julia Knight reflects on the need for wellbeing in the education sector.

The negative effect of the COVID-19 crisis has been well documented over the last 18 months and it has realigned priorities for many. However, in all the chaos, could it be that we are also able to reimagine the future?

Education has seen a seismic shift in its ability to adapt quickly to the needs of students and parents. The profession has shown itself to be adaptable and capable of change in the delivery of lessons but is it now time to apply those skills to curriculums and other areas of school life? Have we come to realise that excelling in Maths and English is as important as friendships, playing and being happy? I hope so.

Wellbeing is the current buzz word of education – yet not many schools truly understand what wellbeing is or how to implement it. What wellbeing looks like and how it is implemented is very important as its benefits are great for the school and student and, whilst wellbeing is not something that can be quantified in its own right, educators know that it has a very important impact on test scores.

When people are asked what wellbeing is, there is a range of answers as it is personal to them, the essence of wellbeing is happiness and what makes a person happy is different. There are of course essential elements such as eating healthy, sleeping well, exercise and hobbies but the science behind why these elements are essential requires a deeper understanding too. Teaching this to children from an early age is vital for future examination success. Ultimately, every parent wants their child to thrive academically and find their path as an adult beyond university.

Schools cannot wait until students are 14 – 15 years old to be pushed towards examination success, students must begin the journey much lower down the school in EYFS (Early Years, Foundation Stage). This is where good reading habits are fostered, this is where the love of maths and science blossoms, this is where every single child discovers what they want to be when they grow up. If we can teach children the art of happiness and wellbeing from a young age; teach them who to turn to when they feel unsure in the world; help them to see and regulate their emotions – surely we are building the foundations for teens and young adults to make the right choices when life presents its many challenges?

Schools are turning their faces to the sun and realising that it’s not just the academics which are a major factor in academic success; it is also the resilience of success through failure and the collaborative learning that enables mastery. Students require space to learn – not a desk and chair but an environment that encourages curiosity and inquisitiveness. In short, schools need to adapt to provide inside and outside spaces for learning and discovery, opportunities for collaboration and connection and place wellbeing at its core. We need to reimagine the future as a happier, healthier space for the next generation.

Julia Knight has been teaching for 18 years in London, Bangkok and, now, Bahrain. She writes for many education magazines worldwide and offers teacher training and consultancy. You can follow her on Twitter @KnightWilliams