After noticing our children were finding returning to school difficult after a holiday period, getting back into the school routine and learning mind-set we introduced our Wellbeing Days which happens the first day back after every holiday. The idea came when our Mental Health Lead was completing her Advanced Mental Health Leads Qualification and found other schools were using this model.
Our Wellbeing Day aims
Our Wellbeing Days are aimed to support children to have a gentle reintroduction to the school day, our school golden rules and how we build our learning power, using our Ready Eddie skills.
One of the key points for the day is that children have time to talk about emotions and have the opportunity to talk about any worries they have.
During the day we discuss the 5 positive steps to wellbeing, and we talk about the importance of positive relationships, being physically active, learning new skills, giving to others – acts of kindness and focusing on the present moment through mindfulness.
What a Wellbeing Day looks like
We always have a whole school assembly discussing an area of mental health and wellbeing which is influenced from our wellbeing audit completed with the children, an example of this is we were able to identify that a large proportion of children said they didn’t feel rested when they woke up. Therefore we made the focus of an assembly ‘The importance of Sleep’ and also sent information home for parents to support their understanding.
During the day, children will usually spend part of it outside, either doing ‘Muddy Club’ activities, or some gardening.
They will usually do a yoga, relaxation activity or a physical game.
They will have the chance to complete activities where they will listen to each other and connect, and also activities which develop self-esteem and belonging to the class or our school.
How our Wellbeing Days are supporting our children and teachers
The children are really enjoying wellbeing days as they like the easy approach back into school systems. They value the chance to talk to adults especially if they have any worries.
Comments from some of our children:
“It’s just a more chilled out day.”
“It’s like a day off school but at school.”
“We’re all chilled. The teacher is more chilled out and we like her more that day.”
Staff enjoy the opportunity to talk to their children and get to know what has been happening in their lives. They have the time to find out more about the children and have developed better relationships as a result of this.
The staff feel the day supports their wellbeing also and isn’t a stressful first day back which the first day of term often can be.
Our plans for the future
Following recent Future in Mind training on emotions, we are going to teach children the six core emotions during our wellbeing days, focusing on one each half term.
We will use the Lifeland emotion storybooks as a basis for some of the work we do, trying to link these to our school’s half termly values and British Values.