Every student in primary has a dedicated wellbeing lesson each week. The school has partnered with Jigsaw which is one of the UK’s largest providers of PSHE, health and wellbeing programs. This allows us to tailor bespoke wellbeing sessions which are specifically targeted for each year group.
Our younger students will do a lot of work on interpersonal relationships and being able to regulate their behaviour. This is based on the twin pillars of Respect and Kindness. The simplified Respect and Kindness framework allows our younger students to understand our wellbeing goals – which is to give students the tools to develop into children who are respectful of school expectations and cultural differences, who are kind to each other and also kind to themselves.
Emotional coaching is overseen by our Pastoral team as well as our school counsellors and looks to help students who are struggling with emotional issues.
The school also provides the “Haven”, which is a safe, cool area where children can unwind, calm down and, if needed, talk to an adult during playtime.
Mindfulness is also an integral part of our wellbeing provision. There is a large body of educational research that shows that mindfulness mitigates the negative effects of stress and improves students’ ability to stay engaged. This reduces any behavioural problems and allows them to flourish academically.
Our Mindfulness provision is led by teachers who have been trained through the world-renowned Mindful Schools course. Students take part in mindful moments as part of their wellbeing sessions and we also offer a Mandalas and Meditation weekly club where children are taught how to focus, be in the moment and enjoy a rare moment of silence!
Some of our teachers and the Wellbeing team have studied and passed a mindful course. Teachers are now experienced in the foundations of mindfulness, the neurology behind mindfulness and practical mindfulness in the classroom. A weekly mindfulness activity for students is run by the Wellbeing Coordinator and offers a chance for students to switch off, unwind and recharge for an hour before getting back to business and face the challenges that they face each day.
We have an active student leadership team working to ensure that our children have a role within our wellbeing provision. At the beginning of each term Year 6 students are invited (and taught) to write persuasive speeches. Eight students (2 from each Colour Team) are then invited to represent their houses and will work alongside the Wellbeing Coordinator. Some of the areas in which our student leaders are involved include: ensuring that all students have a voice in school decisions, encouraging the formation of friendships at playtime, and providing excellent role models for the rest of the primary school body. Our leadership team also have frequent dialogue with our primary wellbeing coordinator which allows their ideas to be passed on and implemented.
Our Year 6 Wellbeing leaders are often seen as a bridge between senior management and the students. For example, it was noticed that there was a group of students who were idle at playtimes and this often led to children feeling bored or lonely. The Wellbeing leaders were called into action and, after a meeting with the Wellbeing Coordinator and some members of the senior management team, it was agreed that the Wellbeing Leaders would be in charge of promoting, recruiting, organising and running a basketball competition. The 6-week programme helped children to make new friends, learn to encourage teammates and, for some, to discover a new sport. After the event, basketball took off in the playground and the Wellbeing Leaders helped ensure all children were kept busy having fun during playtimes.