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Ways of Wellbeing (WOW) Curriculum

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based actions which promote people’s wellbeing. They were developed by the New Economics Foundation and based on the findings of the 2008 Government Office for Science Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing that aimed to develop a long term vision for maximizing wellbeing in the UK. This has been used to develop Soundwell’s Ways of Wellbeing (WoW) Curriculum.  

At Soundwell wellbeing amongst both pupils and staff is a priority. We aim to provide a curriculum that is enriching to both young people and staff’s social and emotional development. We aim to provide a curriculum that will take into consideration young people’s holistic needs to help them develop greater awareness of themselves in relation to their health, their wellbeing, their community and their values. Our WOW curriculum will complement the Academy focus areas of Nurture, Communication and the growth mindset and will have cross-curricular links embedded from a therapeutically informed approach.  

The WOW curriculum will run every afternoon for Lesson 5.  

There are 5 WoW areas: 

  • Connect 

  • Be Healthy 

  • Me in My environment (Life skills/Careers focus for KS3/4)  

  • Learn (PSHE Jigsaw) 

  • Give 

All sessions start with a check in and warm up game, there is then a main task and end with a check out.  


There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. 

It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. Connect sessions will help young people develop language and communication skills and build on positive social relationships.  

Be healthy 

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being. Be healthy sessions will help young people develop an awareness of their own health, healthy choices and the feelings and emotions associated with physical health.  

Me in My Environment 

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. 

Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations. Me in my environment will help young people be aware of their environment, it will also help them be able to take part in their community through a focus on life skills, careers and independent living.  


Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression. The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing. In Learn sessions, young people will follow the ‘Jigsaw’ PSHE curriculum. 


Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing. In give sessions, young people will take ownership for developing projects of volunteering and fund raising, developing empathy, care and positive relationships and looking at how they fit into their community.