Wellbeing @ Spire
Here at Spire Junior School, we are passionate about the health and safety of our children. We believe that learning through health and well-being enables children and young people to: make informed decisions in order to improve their mental, emotional, social and physical well-being, experience challenges and gain resilience and confidence to face these obstacles and overcome them and succeed.
Feelings of well-being are fundamental to the overall health of an individual; enabling them to successfully overcome difficulties and achieve what they want out of life as well as having the self-belief to aim high and thrive.
A child’s health and well-being has an impact on a their education and their ability to learn. Research evidence shows that education and health are closely linked, so promoting the health and well-being of pupils within schools has the potential to improve their educational outcomes as well as developing their social and emotional skills. There is also evidence that suggests that if a school enhances a learner’s well-being that:
*participation in learning increases,
*academic engagement increases,
*academic achievement and performance are higher.
At Spire Junior School we have a trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) who delivers sessions to individual children or small groups of children. During these sessions the child will have the opportunity to raise any problems or worries that they are experiencing and be able to discuss them in a calm and confidential environment. Children may, for example, receive support to recognise and manage their emotions, raise their self-esteem, improve peer relationships, recover from significant loss or bereavement, resolve conflict effectively, control their anger management and to learn relaxation techniques.
At our school, we recognise that children learn more effectively and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. We know that the ability to learn is adversely affected by emotional and psychological difficulties, therefore we see the importance of addressing these issues and giving our children the support and guidance to resolve conflicts and give them the tools and coping strategies for self-regulation. There will always be children and young people in our schools facing life changes that detract from their ability to engage with learning, if we give them a chance to think about these difficulties it will increase their resilience. We believe that all children should be nurtured in accordance with their individual needs. Just as with learning, some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others.
ELSA is a very important part of a child’s academic life and their well-being, as it has been proven that children who learn how to understand emotions in themselves are better equipped to regulate themselves and others, allowing them to be able to regulate their own responses to strong emotions. Helping children to identify and label feelings, and teaching them a variety of emotional vocabulary, so that they can express themselves and talk about their feelings is crucial for a happy and healthy mind. Emotional awareness helps us to know what we need and want, (or do not want) making it easier to make positive choices. It helps us build stronger relationships, that is because being aware of our emotions can help us talk about our feelings more clearly and confidently, avoid or resolve conflicts in a positive manner and move past difficult feelings more easily.
Here are some well-being posters made by our Year 4 children to celebrate 'Mental Health Awareness Week'.
Our 'Nurture Group' have linked up with a local pottery shop to paint a piece of pottery each. They were so happy when they received the varnished pieces back.
Our Year 6 Forest School Group is led by Mr James and offers the opportunity for some children to access the curriculum in an active outdoor environment.
Research suggests that Forest Schools make a difference in the following ways:
- Confidence: children have the freedom, time and space to learn and demonstrate independence.
- Social skills: children gain increased awareness of the consequences of their actions on peers through team activities such as sharing tools and participating in play.
- Communication: language development is prompted by the children’s sensory experiences.