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Ed Fest 2019 | Explore the Wellbeing strand

03 Mar 2019
In 2019, Wellington College China will host its fourth annual Festival of Education, an event dedicated to continually advancing the exchange of important ideas, practices and the exploration of potential challenges and opportunities inherent in modern education. The festival, already considered a benchmark international event, continues to expand in scale and ambition this year, offering five distinct strands for attendees to explore: Early Years, which explores the various options on offer for Early Years development strategies, including inquiry into the value of play, the importance of balance, and the need to develop the ‘whole child’ while at the same time appreciating the need to encourage an early ability to focus on assigned tasks. Wellbeing, which tackles the tough questions facing modern education, such as how a child can remain healthy and mentally balanced in environments where academic achievement is often measured in an unforgiving manner.  Also, what can schools do to ensure that success in examinations is not achieved at the expense of a child’s wellbeing, self-worth, and happiness? A Developing Romance, which looks at the complex and ever-evolving relationship between British and Chinese models of education. This involves an exploration of the many ways in which the two countries can come together, learn from each other, and perhaps create a ‘third-way’. Exploring Education, which assesses current educational issues that are not covered by the festival’s other strands, including topics such as psychology, the built-environment of learning, and value of assessments. Multilingualism, which considers the benefits and disadvantages of bi- and multilingual schooling and seeks to understand their effects on children.

While each of the strands holds equal weight and importance at the Festival of Education 2019, wellbeing in education is a growth area of great importance. It is an essential consideration for any educational institution looking to prepare its pupils for the demands of the wider world, allowing them to successfully shape their futures with confidence as well as compassion. As a pillar of Wellington’s holistic approach to developing the whole child, offering them all appropriate forms of wellbeing support is one of our top priorities. To help you get a better sense of how the conversation on wellbeing will be structured at this year’s festival, we’ve compiled a list of the leading speakers, highlighting their backgrounds and the sessions they will be hosting. Explore the Wellbeing strand

Mindfulness, Mental Health and Being Well: A discussion with Ruby Wax

Ruby Wax 

Shanghai | Hangzhou | Tianjin

Ruby has a hugely successful career with BBC television as an interviewer and comedian, and has written, and edited numerous scripts for TV and film including “Absolutely Fabulous” and is the author of two best-selling books, “Sane New World” and “A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled” which combine neuroscience, mindfulness and comedy. She graduated from Oxford in 2013 with a master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.

 Literature and Mental Health: How poetry can keep you sane

Shakespeare Then and Now: How the classics made Shakespeare and why he became our classic

The Arts and the Environment: Why we need the humanities to help solve the planetary crisis of sustainability

Professor Sir Andrew Jonathan Bate

Shanghai | Hangzhou | Tianjin

Jonathan Bate is a British academic, biographer, critic, broadcaster, novelist and scholar. He is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, Provost of Worcester College and was knighted in 2015 for his services to literature scholarship and higher education. He will be giving a talk on “The Arts and the Environment: why we need the humanities to help solve the planetary crisis of sustainability”. You do not want to miss out this.

Wellbeing and Involvement Part 1: A measure for the power of the learning environment for 0 – 18-year olds

Wellbeing and Involvement Part 2: How to raise the levels and with what effect in the early years (from 0 – 7)?

Professor Ferre Laevers Shanghai | Hangzhou | Tianjin

Professor Dr Ferre Laevers is a director of the Research Centre for Experiential Education based at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and co-founder of the European Early Childhood Education Research Association. In Experiential Education the wellbeing and the intensity of the mental activity in the learner (engagement) is seen as a key indicator for the ‘power’ of the learning environment.

Why is play important and how can we use it to helpchildren develop language, social skills, and relationships?

Dr Shari Rosen Shanghai

Dr. Shari D. Rosen is the founder of ELG and a speech-languagepathologist. ELG, based in Shanghai and offering services across Greater China,is a social enterprise that offers educational, behavioural, developmental, andmental health services, primarily for children.

Building Botherdness: How do we get children protected into learning so that they feel invested and care enough to want to learn?

Hywel Roberts


Hywel has been contributing to and advising curriculum designers and innovators from Barnsley to Brussels, from Cairo to Cleethorpes. His award-winning book Oops! Getting Children to Learn Accidentally is published by Crown House Publishing and has proved very popular with educators around the world, featuring on the reading list of many university teacher training courses.

Pedagogies of Power: Building learning to empower children, build a sense of agency and engender wellbeing and good mental health

Debra Kidd Shanghai

Columnist for Teach Primary and a regular writer for Teach Secondary, Debra is the co-founder and organiser of Northern Rocks – one of the largest teaching and learning conferences in the UK. Her teacher training on developing exciting learning contexts for children has taken her all over the world. If the experience of the speakers and the variety of their proposed sessions appeal to your curiosity regarding the fundamental importance of promoting wellbeing in education, then please visit the following link to reserve your tickets for this year’s Festival of Education. Both one-day tickets and full festival tickets are still available, so please join us along with hundreds of festivalgoers for a further exploration of the future of education in China and internationally.

Book your tickets now!