About National Check-in Week

This event, and the team behind it, were born out of the heart of a social entrepreneur with a mission to reach all children regardless of socio-economic background. For more than 15 years, the team has worked hand in hand with government, school communities, leadership teams, teachers, and students to provide tools, resources and support for continuous reporting of students’ emotional wellbeing and a continuing evidence base of what works. After the past two years, it has become evident that we need to do more. And thus, “National Check-in Week” was conceived.

What is National Check-in Week?

National Check-in Week is an opportunity to bring focus to the wellbeing of students through simple, fast, daily online check-ins. It is a chance to give agency to students and allow them a voice to share how they are feeling.

Through these check-ins, teachers can see the emotional state of their individual students, class or across the whole school in real-time. It is an immediate snapshot that shows students who are not in a state of learner readiness and who might need support from their teacher to prevent big emotions from presenting in the classroom.

Through National Check-in Week, we hope to start important conversations, give voice to students and empower educators with clear, rich data that can help them support student wellbeing by identifying needs and providing the critical ‘what next’.

Why do we need a National Check-in Week?

As we all adjust to a new normal by returning to face-to-face learning and social gatherings, the effects of the past few years on our mental health are becoming clear. Our young people have had their first full year back in school, with our youngest never having experienced school without remote learning. They are relearning social skills and carrying the effects of isolation from friends and family, fear of the pandemic and, in many cases, direct loss due to illness or the breakdown of family units due to parental stresses. Research and our own experience show that this is manifesting through increased anxiety, behavioral incidents and relationship issues in our youth, which are becoming more and more prevalent in classrooms and homes. 

Our first National Check-in Week revealed that 43.1% of students were not in a state ready to learn. Our updated report shows the trends over time for emotional state, readiness to learn and where student wellbeing stands today based on close to 1 million individual check-ins.

The need to understand how our youth feel and provide support has never been more important.  Now, more than ever, it is time to connect with our students to learn how they feel and why they feel that way to support them now and provide the skills they will need to thrive throughout their lives. 

For our educators, it is critical that they have the support they need to reduce their workloads and increase quality teaching time. The wellbeing of our educators is at the core of supporting learning communities. 

This year, off the springboard of National Check-in Week, we are on track to conduct more than 1 million check-ins through the Life Skills GO platform. Next year, we look to make the event even bigger to reach more educators, students, officials and decision makers to help bring the needed focus and support to the wellbeing of our youth. 

And it all starts with us.

A report showed that calls to Kids HelpLine during the height of the pandemic in Australia were primarily due to mental health concerns. Whilst 5–9 year olds are a smaller cohort of users of the Kids Helpline service, responses to that age group have increased by more than 80% over the past 12 months compared with the same period last year. (yourtown & Australian Human Rights Commission, 2020)

…the most important finding was that their relatively poor social and emotional skills had a strong detrimental effect on a number of important academic, work and life outcomes. (OECD report)

“We’ve got massive amounts of anxiety in our students. From physical behaviour, oppositional behaviours, kids not wanting to come to school. They’re melting down at school. We’ve got a lot of, and I’m only a primary school. So, I have no idea how the high schools are handling it. We’ve got lot of self-harm and threatening self-harm and parent anxiety.”

– Lauren, school leader,
school 6, major city, mid ICSEA [source]

National Check-in Week 2022 overview

Schools conducted real-time check-in’s, reporting that it was a very valuable tool to help students identify their feelings and build on emotional literacy as well as capture data on student wellbeing.

“As the Be You chair and class teacher at my school, I feel that this is a very valuable tool that we can use to help students identify their feelings and build on emotional literacy as well as capture data on student wellbeing.”

Darlinda Pooran Singh | Teacher | St Kevin’s P.S Hampton Park – VIC