Whole School Emotional Wellbeing | YoungMinds

Whole School Emotional Wellbeing | YoungMinds



growing numbers of schools have begun recognizing the link between emotional well-being and learning and had started introducing strategies to support both pupils and staff young minds has developed the young minds in schools project to support emotional well-being in schools one thing that we're doing as part of the project is going into schools and listening to professionals parents and pupils and asking them what works well in their schools and then sharing that with schools in their locality or wider through posting it on our website a group of schools young minds has been working with in Tottenham in North London are sharing their good practice we do a number of things to support the emotional well-being of our people so first of all we've reset the environment which is key it's kind of an quite an open ethos and homely place creating a well structured calm atmosphere with very clear boundaries enables children to feel emotionally very secure while they're at school and that enables them to do well in the learning environment the hardest time for most children emotionally is lunchtime because that's the time when they spend most of the time on their own and they have to negotiate with their peers in order to play games and that's when they might get upset with each other and so usually at the end of playtime we have an exercise session it's a kind of Zumba so it's quite sort of active and quite loud music and the children are encouraged to really exercise we believe it's about working off all those frustrations and having a healthy body is really key to that sense of well-being at the end of Samba we have introduced crossovers which comes from brain gym and after crossovers they do hook ups to calm them down ready to come in hopefully calm again on returning to class the children take part in a whole class mindfulness exercise the school introduced the routine to every class after discovering its benefits through young minds in schools training another local school Wellborn primary has found the most effective way of using a therapist who comes in one day a week when I first came to the school the previous therapist only saw children one-to-one so the head teacher wanted a more integrated counseling approach so I set up talk time it's a lunchtime drop-in surface for children in years five and six children are able to put in a request slip into a worry box that way they know that I'll come by on a Tuesday morning empty the box and prioritize which children I'm going to see that day there are four slots in anyone lunchtime so I see children for up to 15 minutes they have come and discussed with me issues ranging from parental conflict bereavement divorce and separation bullying and friendship issues I have a range of toys and art materials in the room children can find it difficult to verbalize exactly what it is they're feeling so I will say show me how you're feeling sometimes they want to come and play out what's going on at home so they'll take my dolls house and they'll set the figures up and they'll play out scenarios children are often holding a lot of feelings and emotions inside which interfere with their learning Wellborn primary has also employed a learning mentor who has particular responsibility for emotionally vulnerable children we have full time learning mentor whose role is to support to support children's emotional well-being and their learning because the two go hand in hand so who would like to begin tune in this week Nevaeh would you please I'm really sorry to hear that one of the most important things she does is run some intervention groups for targeted groups of children so for example she runs a girl's friendship group and Nevaeh if I heard you right you were saying that somebody who's close to you is in hospital and you're very worried about them does anybody have any suggestions for in a very how she might deal with her worries the children have been identified at the club by the class teacher as maybe they do some work on developing their relationships to support their learning so it doesn't distract from their learning the local secondary school also recognizes that emotional well-being is at the heart of all learning and has made it a priority at glaze Moore we consider emotional well-being to be very important and so we take a whole school approach to it children are encouraged to be kind to each other the relationships between staff and children and and children and children are very positive and it's background or the framework that that creates that enables the children to feel secure and stable within the school this school is absolutely fantastic when it comes to emotional well-being of students we have a sectional department called Groveland that deals with one-to-one mentoring we deal with students that have maybe behavior of difficulty those or emotional or social difficulties we've drawn them from the curriculum and create a special timetable for them so they can access the learning they can address the skills that might be quite difficult it's a whole program for a year tailored for them in order for them to be able to reintegrate properly back into the curriculum in our peer listening program at the moment I'm working with the year seven every Friday I'd go talk to her before I side work with her she was very scared and whenever we talked she used she sort of shy away but eventually because we came we've become friends now she talks to me and she opens up and she says exactly what her problems are and she trusts me to help her we are claims more were involved in the project called value life and we do with Antigone a math crime we try and promote that to children at our school it has made a really good impact and I think that it has got a lot of attention from the press and showing that children and people in Tottenham I'm all bad and we can make a change if you really want to young people who've suffered mental health problems themselves are helping develop the way young minds in schools works my mental health problems began at the age of 14 I started self-harming and unfortunately I wasn't given the help that I needed at the time and so the situation escalated until I reached crisis point this is why I'm really really passionate about schools giving young people the emotional support they need earlier on to stop them reaching crisis point a group of us set up a Schools Initiative good seed C stands for supporting emotional and educational development and this acts as a quality assurance mark or a kite mark to recognize and reward those schools that have made a substantial effort in supporting the emotional well-being of their students training is of course vital and young minds in schools runs a series of courses young minds as providing training in a range of topics particularly in attachment neuroscience and learning looking at how attachment anxiety can impact on the learning of vulnerable pupils in schools another training we've been developing is psychological perspectives on behavior encouraging schools to think not just in terms of rewards and sanctions but to become more aware of the other models the other models that inform our thinking and hence the support we can put in place for pupils with behavior emotional social difficulties with the young minds in Schools Project we felt that we knew that there were things that children were worried about or upset about or emotionally distressed about but what we and we knew how to identify it but what we didn't know was how to help the children and I think one of the things that young minds is giving us is another way it's a tool to use to help support the children so it's giving us skills and ideas on how to help and I think that's what we were missing before I attended the attachment neuroscience and learning training at young minds I think it's given teachers support in actually giving a label or identifying why it is that certain children behave in a particular way and so give them about an insight into it and strategies for them to cope with it so in that sense it's enabled some teachers to manage that sort of behavior in class better I think one of the things that's central to the work we've been doing with schools over a number of years is the idea of a risk and resilience model the key to that I think he's understanding risk which is about what contributes to vulnerability in children predisposes them towards mental health problems and that and the issue there is how do we minimize risk and then the other side of that balance is about resilience and building the capacity to be able to cope better with adversity despite the risk that might be present in their environments this sort of training we provide we'll look at some very practical things that that schools can do to to promote resilience so for instance one of the key components is about capacity for empathy and understanding other people's thoughts and feelings as a way to managing your own as well as relating to other people so simple things like having a discussion about a piece of literature what might be going on inside the head of a character that means they behave in particular ways so you could do that through the curriculum you could do it as part of the the English language curriculum but equally you could have a discussion where there's an opportunity around last night's EastEnders or Coronation Street it doesn't have to be Jane Austen that you're talking about to have those sorts of discussions with children but it helps them develop a language for feelings to differentiate feelings the cascading staff meetings that we've done cascading the the training that some of us have attended at young minds has given staff a good overview I think it's a raising staffs awareness and profile about how children can be affected by the social-emotional aspects of learning and how that then impacts on their classroom the young minds program has been absolutely brilliant I think most importantly for the training that the young minds has offered staff I learned things that I didn't know before in terms of students their behavior their emotional well-being so that's helped me to be able to actually cascade that training down to other members of staff so I think the training for me has been very very invaluable the training that we had with young minds was it was in two parts so we had the training for the intervention itself but then also the sort of the more theoretical training about the science behind the work that we've been doing and the idea was that we'd come back and share that training in a more condensed form with with all of the staff that training was absolutely fantastic I have to say what's unique about the training that we're delivering is that the training is designed to support children's emotional well-being within the context of the curriculum so we're looking at therapeutic teaching approaches that bring psychological mindedness to the educational environment so it's not about taking the child out and doing something different with them and then bringing them back to the classroom but looking to see how we can use particularly literacy reading and writing to support the child in processing their emotional difficulties to use reading to support the parent be involved in a positive way with their child's learning you

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