YoungMinds in Schools: Whole-school emotional wellbeing
Whole-school emotional wellbeing is essential if pupils are to develop a positive sense of their own wellbeing.
YoungMinds in Schools has been developing training to enable schools to employ workable strategies to support whole-school emotional wellbeing in order to be happy, functional institutions. Working with a group of schools in Tottenham (Bruce Grove Primary School, Ferry Lane Primary School, Welbourne Primary School and Galdesmore Community School) YoungMinds in Schools’ Dr Trisha Waters and Roger Catchpole provided training and development to support emotional wellbeing as well as asking the schools what they already did well in this area.
In order to share this best practice, YoungMinds in Schools has produced a series of short films including this one on whole school emotional wellbeing. The film clearly details the wellbeing issues typically faced by many schools and shows how the case study schools in Tottenham have endeavoured to find creative solutions that support their children most effectively.
Many schools identify that lunchtime can be a hard time emotionally for children. Employing play leaders or organizing safe opportunities for collaborative play can help tremendously. A quick search on Google Scholar reveals much research on the importance of play for sound cognitive and emotional development so it’s essential that all children have opportunities for play that don’t lead to emotional distress. One solution as depicted in the film is to run an exercise session immediately after play time so that children can work off any lingering frustrations. These exercise sessions also help to promote healthy physical wellbeing.
Whole-class mindfulness is another feature of whole school emotional wellbeing and was included in the training delivered by YoungMinds. In the case studies in the film, children are helped to develop relationships that will support their learning through mindfulness. By encouraging children to be kind to one another they are more likely to feel stable and secure at school. This develops compassion and a capacity for empathy.
Psychosocial perspectives on behaviour are another feature of whole-school emotional wellbeing. Training in this area helped to give teachers a greater depth of understanding about the behaviour that takes place in the classroom. These perspectives can help to develop a language for feelings and encourage children to differentiate between the feelings that they experience throughout the school day.
Whole-school emotional wellbeing is ultimately about psychological mindedness in schools. And any strategies designed to support this essential strand of life in schools is bound to significantly enhance the school experience of children and young people.