Learning community

This workshop is meant especially for staff in VET to learn more about promoting mental well-being. It is also useful in teaching students. You will find more material to use with students in the end of this page.

The goal of the workshop is to realize the meaning of a safe learning atmosphere for well-being of students and staff and to get some ideas for building a safe learning community.

The structure of the workshop

1. Warming up: icebreaker excercise
2. Introducing the theme: Learning community
3. Orientation and excercises

1. At the beginning of the workshop, please carry out icebreaker exercise 

2. Introducing the theme: Learning community

Schools form communities on many levels, for instance on a whole-school level, a department level, a class level and a staff level. Forming a safe and a caring community is one of the most essential aims in schools when promoting mental wellbeing of students.

In a safe group a student doesn’t need to spoil potential in defencing him / herself but he / she can concentrate on learning. That’s why grouping on each level should be a part of a semester plan in all VETs.

There are many possibilities to support group forming. Student councils and other more or less organized peer student groups proceed grouping naturally in their activities. The staff, like head masters, teachers and councellors, form community by grouping exercises and also in their talk: by talking about ”us” and ”our school” the spirit of school spreads.

The strategy of the school can also emphasise on a learning community, for example by naming values or creating a slogan like “in our school no one is left alone”. Open days, celebrations and other traditions are an important way to form “our school” spirit. Help for grouping can also be asked from local youth workers whose services may be valuable on grouping days or in demanding situations.

3. Orientation and excercises

Drama exercise and discussion
- Please stand up and and form a statue, one by one, about a school community (students and staff) that doesn´t support its members and care for them. What does it feel like to study or work in a school like that?
- Please form another statue where the community is supportive and caring. What does it feel like to study or work in a school like that? Please discuss what a warm and a supportive learning community demands and offers to its members.

Safety net
- Please study the Safety net tool either on screen or on copies. As a privat person and a member of staff you belong to the safety net of many people. Which roles do you have? Discuss this in pairs and later in group.

After you have received further information of the theme you may go through and test shared best practices.


Safety Net
Safety net introduces people who can support a student at home, in school and in spare time.
A student can draw a safety net on his/her own or draw circles on a copy of the safety net: "Please draw a green circle around the people who already belong to your safety net and a yellow circle around the people who could belong to your safety net."

Training program at Tietgen
2 week Training program was introduced during the project.  During program students are given knowledge about wellbeing but also tools for wellbeing, knowledge about their strenghts and tools to make personal change. Program can be carried out as whole or you may use parts of it. You may find also exercises on the materials.

How to teach about theme "Learning Community" - a video from Liethuania

Math Hoogakker from M5 was telling us about bullying and prevention of it. Here´s Math´s materials. 

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