Herbert Thompson Primary School awarded for positive impact work
This award recognises extraordinary schools which have had a positive impact on their learners and the wider community by putting emotional well-being high on the agenda.
There has been a focus to prioritise children and young people’s mental health and well-being throughout the pandemic and Herbert Thompson is creating an environment in which children’s emotional health and well-being thrives.
Joanna Dunne, infant and juniors’ teacher and Thrive Leader, says:
“The school has adopted specific Thrive strategies as part of everyday practice. These were introduced during our ‘5 to Thrive week’, where a new strategy was introduced each day for a week.
One of these strategies has been to greet each child as they come into class, offering a handshake or similar greeting and allowing pupils to develop their own preferred way of saying hello. This has given additional opportunities for eye contact and informal interaction between teacher and pupils, helping to deepen the connection between them. The children now chant a daily mantra which includes positive affirmations egg ‘I am strong, I am loved.’
Other successful activities have included mindfulness sessions, peer massage and those suggested on Thrive’s Facebook page such as the Amygdala first aid kit which puts forward simple strategies to help children’s brains move out of flight/fight/freeze mode and into a calmer, more relaxed state where they are more open to learning.
More recently we have set up our ‘well-being hub’ affectionately known as ‘Y Cwtch’. Children attend for a range of reasons from low self-esteem, those who have experienced significant loss and/or trauma to those who have been at risk of exclusion or permanently excluded. Pupils in Y Cwtch experience a range of wellbeing and therapeutic activities, many of which are based on their Thrive Action plan, enabling them to feel safe, special and develop their ability to self-regulate.
The impact this provision has had for our children, parents, the school and the wider community has been significantly positive. The most relevant measure of success for us is when children are smiling and are asking ‘what are we doing tomorrow?’ and are able to self-regulate their emotions during challenging times.”
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