On the release of A Practical Guide to Pupil Wellbeing, Kirsten Colquhoun, teacher of Business Studies and Head of Guidance from August 2023, takes us through the key topics covered.  

Kirsten was inspired to write A Practical Guide to Pupil Wellbeing in recognition of the need to provide classroom teachers with a clear pathway to ensure that the health and wellbeing needs of pupils are always prioritised. This is something that is central to the ethos of Robert Gordon's College.

The book highlights the importance of being a research-informed teacher and assesses some of the key health and wellbeing areas that class teachers can directly affect. Sound practical advice is offered throughout; Kirsten recognises that teachers have a myriad of demands on their time. 

The focus is on integration: how teachers can make small, organic changes, the cumulative effect of which lead to an enhancement of pupil wellbeing in all areas of the curriculum and school life. This book arms class teachers with a toolkit of information to help them succeed in this endeavour.

A Practical Guide to Wellbeing was released on July 14 2023, by John Catt Education, and is available from the publisher, Amazon, and other online retailers.


Early reviews of A Practical Guide to Wellbeing

This book is nothing short of a work of genius. Kirsten has somehow managed to condense current thinking, evidence, theory and practice around children’s wellbeing into an accessible and engaging book. Her greatest skill, perhaps, lies in how she presents research and science within a narrative that draws on her own vast experience as an educator, mother and human being who is dedicated to helping others successfully navigate the challenges of living and learning in the 21st century.

Everyone with an interest in the wellbeing of our children needs to read this book; it provides the reader with the knowledge and practical skills needed to progress along the path towards a healthier and well-rounded educational landscape.

Lena Carter, Headteacher

If you’re a teacher who is interested in supporting and developing the wellbeing of your pupils, then this is a valuable book. Kirsten has explored what we mean by wellbeing in the classroom, and how wellbeing and academic achievement shouldn’t be seen as separate issues. Engaging with what Kirsten has written will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your classroom culture and the wellbeing of your pupils.

Colin McGill, PGDE Programme Leader & Lecturer in Teacher Education, Edinburgh Naiper University


Kirsten’s book provides a holistic exploration of wellbeing, always focusing on the research behind how we can thrive. What is most impressive is the use of tangible strategies on a whole-school and classroom level, which puts theory into practice and is aided further by case studies and examples. By exploring homework, school inclusion, neurodiversity, and many other topics, Kirsten has created a book that is always relevant and specific to the needs of teachers and leaders, so that we can integrate wellbeing into all areas of our curriculum and school life, rather than bolting them on via generic principles. As Kirsten writes, the key to wellbeing strategies are introducing them as organically as possible, and that’s exactly what this book helps us to do.

Samuel Crome, Deputy Head (pastoral) and author of The Power of Teams


Kirsten’s book is vital reading for classroom teachers and form tutors. Though the pursuit of student wellbeing may appear beyond our remit as classroom teachers, this wonderful book skilfully navigates the complexities, assuring us that our impact is far from negligible. With meticulous attention to detail, it presents an array of research-informed strategies that teachers can seamlessly integrate into their practice. Through the implementation of these evidence-based approaches, we have the power to cultivate a learning environment that fosters both achievement and happiness in our students.

Dr Jo Castelino, science lead, blogger and homework guru


Useful Link

Herald 22nd October 2023: Wellbeing in education and the art of making happy pupils

Blog: Providing teachers with a clear pathway for pupil health and wellbeing needs