Over 65% of young people in the UK are presenting symptoms of anxiety and over 231,000 prescriptions for antidepressants have been given to children under 16 in the last year.

Mental wellbeing is crucial as it is impossible for young people in the wrong state of mind to recover lost learning, the situation being more acute in disadvantaged cohorts¹

SMART Technologies, the EdTech company with a 30- year track record of creating learning solutions that encourage student collaboration and engagement, and GLUU, a UK pioneer in integrating mental health into the National Curriculum, today announced a collaboration to better support school leaders and teachers in addressing the mental health of learners.

Research is showing a worrying and accelerating increase in children suffering severe anxiety or showing symptoms of extreme stress – even in children as young as 7 years old.  Educators have long known that mental wellbeing and attainment go hand-in-hand; if children are struggling emotionally or socially, they are more likely to face academic challenges. In the wake of social isolation, terrifying news headlines, and nearly a school year of lost instructional time, students are facing unprecedented stressors. And, whilst Government seeks to add long term capacity to the mental health system over the course of several years, educators face an urgent need for tools that can be used immediately in the classroom.

To help, GLUU and SMART have come together to support educators in quickly accessing tools and resources that support the immediate needs of students as they return to the classroom. Beginning over the next couple of weeks, teachers will be able to access, for free, mental wellbeing resources covering key areas of concern for students around the world.

The eight focus areas split into four activities for each and can be used as a series of activities or as independent, one-off tasks for students aged six to twelve. Using GLUU’s content and Lumio’s platform has allowed for engaging, interactive activities such as word searches, quizzes, and exit tickets that students can interact with from their own device. All of these activities foster critical thinking and are designed to be delivered to individuals, small groups, or whole classes. This makes these new mental health resources accessible and scalable for teachers and learners.

Jeff Lowe, EVP at SMART Technologies said: “We’ve heard from all around the world that there has never been a more urgent need to adjust curriculum and pedagogies to reflect the emerging landscape resulting from COVID-19. It is vital that we respond quickly but thoughtfully to help schools help children by evolving a new model which places equal emphasis on wellbeing, and we are pleased to be working with GLUU to deliver much needed support to teachers.”

Christine Major, CEO at GLUU commented: “We need to support school leaders, teachers and our pupils now, and being able to do so at scale is key. SMART is one of the most trusted educational brands globally and our collaboration will mean that tens of thousands of teachers can access immediate, free mental wellbeing support crafted by leaders in this field.”

Lumio is a digital learning tool that lets teachers transform lessons into active, collaborative learning experiences that engage students on their devices, wherever they are. Teachers use Lumio to enhance PDFs, Google Slides, and Microsoft files with interactive activities and multimedia content, then deliver them to students via Google or Microsoft Teams. Students engage with Lumio lessons individually and in groups, actively exploring, creating, and collaborating using their devices, in class and at home. Teachers get meaningful, ongoing insight into students’ progress, so they can see where everyone is in their learning.

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