Lucy Jones Wellbeing Lead at Lancot Primary School in Bedfordshire, on how shared practice helped shape their new approach to pupils' emotional resilience
OUR SCHOOL CHALLENGES
Lockdown has been our biggest challenge, making sure that we are supporting our pupils and their families during this difficult time. Pre-lockdown we were beginning to see more girls referred to our mental health first aiders due to anxiety issues. We are committed to supporting children and staff in their wellbeing and mental health, and have been working closely as a team to put things in place to support our school community. Mental health is so important that we are keen to continue developing strategies and implement new ideas. I attended one Sharing Leading Practice webinar to gather further ideas and discuss other schools’ journeys.
HOW CHALLENGE PARTNERS HAS HELPED
A Sharing Leading Practice webinar gave me more ideas about teaching emotional intelligence to take back to school, and other avenues to research to develop further understanding of how to support mental health and wellbeing. The information about the RULER programme being used at Charles Dickens Research School was very useful and some of the techniques within that — so simple, but effective.
WHAT WE LEARNED AND DID AS A RESULT
I have always believed that positive mental health is extremely important and it will have a detrimental effect on a child’s academic progress if they are struggling. The training reinforced my belief in this and gave me confidence to discuss it with others when implementing change and new approaches. After it, I had a meeting with our headteacher along with the wellbeing team and we have been able to use some of the strategies in our wellbeing action plan. These strategies will be discussed with the rest of the staff at an INSET. We expect the strategies will enable our pupils to talk about their feelings and have their own coping strategies to help deal with them. You can find out more about the RULER programme here and catch-up on the full webinar here.