An idea that resonated with my new class today was taking an MOT for your wellbeing.

It was my very first session with this group of Y10/11 young people in Manchester Communication Academy’s alternative provision, and we were starting by exploring what a good life involves.

Before I introduced the science, psychology, philosophy, and my own lived experience, I gave them the necessary space to form their own ideas first.

So an activity we worked on started by framing life as a journey.

A question they examined was:

What do you need for a good journey?

Through group work, they identified themselves as the drivers, and so I asked them what they were driving.

They soon after recognised their brains (and bodies) as the vehicles they are driving in their own life’s journey.

I shared a story of when I was travelling somewhere with my mum, and the car broke down. We ended up waiting over two hours at the side of the road for someone to come pick us up.

We never arrived at our destination (wherever that could have been).

A student jumped a couple of steps ahead of me and said:

We should have an MOT for ourselves!

He was basically doing my job for me.

I told them that the very next part of the session was about doing an MOT for their mental and physical health, as well as 5 other key areas of wellbeing.

The Flourishing Measure, created by Harvard, is a set of 12 questions covering health, happiness, meaning & purpose, character, relationships, and financial stability.

I use it to help students understand, monitor, and improve their complete wellbeing along with other tools and forms of education that help them think well.

My students, their permanent teacher who was observing and I all completed this invaluable MOT at the start of our journey on the programme today, as we will at the end to see any progress we make.

But we’ll be checking in each week with a shorter version I created to notice any changes more frequently… and learn what might cause them.

This is something I use myself on my #FridayFlourish, and I strongly recommend you do too.

Whatever car you may have, it’s nowhere near as important as your wellbeing.

So give yourself a Wellbeing MOT, and look out for more tips and resources to help you and your young flourish!


Written by Luke Swann

Take the flourishing quiz: (note: this doesn’t include financial stability. See Harvard link)

Harvard’s The Human Flourishing Program:

The adapted measure for adolescent wellbeing:

#NewPurpose #ThinkWellLiveBetter #KnowYourself #PurposeProject #Flourish