There have been growing concerns surrounding the health and wellbeing of young learners in the last decade and the chaos wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic on the academic year has arguably exacerbated the issue. Regardless of our subject expertise, it is the responsibility for all educational practitioners to ‘have knowledge and understanding of contexts for learning to fulfil their responsibilities in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and interdisciplinary learning’ (General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2012). The implementation of online learning had the potential to amplify many a learner’s mental health issues. Put simply, I believe some students would not cope with the transfer to an online learning environment. The potential for young people to struggle with their emotions cannot be understated: ‘The emotional distress experienced by children is said to be greater for children than adults, since they have a longer period in which to live with genetic knowledge and fewer capabilities for dealing with it’ (Michie, Bobrow & Marteau 2001, pg. 519). I wanted to use this enquiry to bring awareness to young people’s own mental wellbeing.
The aim of this study was to not only measure wellbeing but gather valuable insight from the pupil voice in how to cater for their wellbeing in an online environment. The aim was to implement an accessible and straightforward way of recording and analysing student wellbeing. Ultimately, the enquiry aimed to identify the impact of implementing a wellness check, using emojis, to assess student wellbeing during digital learning.