Collis School has a strong background in being a caring and nurturing school that develops our pupil’s emotional well-being. Our school has three main strands to our Personal, Social and Emotional Health curriculum.
Context: At Collis we believe that emotional well-being is central to a child’s healthy development. Our new Well-Being Room alongside our new well-being teacher (Rachel Cronin) will give us the perfect platform to ensure our pupils are academically strong and emotionally resilient.
Why do we need this room?
Educational research has highlighted the following facts.
The Well-being room is used for stories, role-play, meditation, relaxation, visualisations, circle time and philosophical (P4C) activities. The room is big enough for whole classes and is timetabled accordingly.
The space is also be used for smaller groups and social skills & communication groups. The room is a platform for the school’s emotional literacy programme through the Jigsaw and SEAL materials.
It’s all about making children better Learners.
The Building Learning Power (BLP) work of Professor Guy Claxton outlines how to make children effective lifelong learners by equipping young learners with the skills to solve problems. Successful learners draw on their developed skill set when they are ‘stuck’ and importantly this is the point when they are going to learn something new. Thinking through this ‘being stuck’ part of learning something new is where our range of skills and experiences help us through this confusion and come out the other side, which equals learning something new. This point is significant when developing pupils’ emotional resilience so they don’t give up when they face a challenge. See Fig.3.1
Figure 3.1 learning Graphic
As this illustration demonstrates, pupils need to draw on a range of skills that can help them solve the learning problem (and come out of the other side) which will result in having learnt something new. Emotional well-being has a part to play in this model as one of the tools that sharpens their resilience when we are learning something new.
In our fast and changing world utilizing the benefits of emotional resilience in our ‘tool box of skills’ helps us solve the unknown problems of tomorrow and are significant features of today’s successful learners.
What is Relaxation and Meditation?
The term meditation has many different meanings, with the word broadly translating from the verbs of ‘thinking, pondering and contemplating’. This pastime has become particularly popular in the Western world over the last few decades with an openness towards the peaceful and satisfied images of the Tibetan monks as a stress reducing solution for today’s busy world. Various Buddhist references relate to ‘getting to know your mind’, the art and discipline of understanding yourself while focused on a particular thought or subject. For the purposes of school based learning we looked at a non-religious approach to the benefits of meditation and relaxation for young people. The practice of meditation has numerous benefits and characteristics that aid learning or to put it another way using these techniques can make you a better learner.
To clarify relaxation and meditation at Collis is NOT the following:
Daydreaming, trance, sleeping,
Playing with ideas
The Positive Impact
Developed Social skills and well-being and pupil stress reduction
Developed learning skills
Helps resilience and learning
Children become better learners using a range of skills to overcome challenges when they were ‘stuck’ or in the ‘learning pit’
Pupils feel greater ownership of their learning in a specialist environment.
The traditional classroom is not necessarily the best environment in which to develop well-being.
Other benefits: Increases physical relaxation, improved concentration & memory, more control over the thought process, increased tranquillity and the ability to deal with stress, develops social skills, improved mindfulness, enhanced self-understanding, improved creative thinking skills, improved memory, enhanced spiritual development and improved philosophical enquiry (P4C).
Greater energy, more productive learner, more restful sleeps, reduced tension, stress, headaches, blood pressure, less anxious, helps relationships, voice of self criticism is quieter, easier to make decisions, get a feeling for who we are.
Publication: Chapter 3 highlights the activities we use at Collis
Bowkett and Hogston (2016) Jumpstart Well-being, David Fulton