Ryefield Primary School is an Academy School based in a socially diverse area in Hillingdon in north-west London.
Head Teacher, Colin Tucker, commenced in 2016. Found a school that was inclusive and caring. He wanted to understand what it was about the school that sustained this in order that he could ensure that it was sustainable and could be built upon – installing it into the culture of the school.
Colin asked the school’s Educational Psychologist to develop a programme that would aim to enhance the emotional resilience of all the pupils. The aim of the programme is to develop the emotional intelligence of pupils.
The schools established 6 categories vital in developing emotionally well-rounded children.
- Intrapersonal skills: Intrapersonal communication is a self-talk conversation. Emotions, feelings, perceptions and attitude within a person are called interpersonal skills.
- Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal communication is the ability of an individual to communicate or interact well with other people
- Adaptability: Adaptability is a critical quality that employers seek in early 21st-century employees. With rapid changes in technology, diversity and society, companies need employees who are open to new ideas, flexible enough to work through challenging issues, and generally able to cope when things don’t go as planned.
- Stress Management: Stress management are techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. It allows them to rationalise and respond appropriately to any external stimulus that triggers the “fight-or-flight” reaction.
- General Mood: A mood is defined as the prevailing psychological state of mind. It is further defined as a feeling, state or prolonged emotion that influences the whole of one’s psychic life. It can relate to passion or feeling.
- Life Skills: This is a skill that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life.
Children are set 10 challenges (moments) to complete over the course of the year and are rewarded for the progress they make. Children who achieve all 10 receive a special award and this is celebrated across the whole school. The challenges are different for each year group.
All pupils undertook a GL Assessment PASS test (Pupils Attitude to Staff and Self) at the start of the year and this will be repeated at the end of the year to measure progress. The Head Teacher has involved those children with lower scores on the test to be involved in the programme development and this has improved their self esteem.
The programme is not specifically labelled as being around emotional wellbeing and mental health.
It has had a very positive impact on the culture of the school, further enhancing the inclusive and caring nature that already existed.
The Head has undertaken the Mental Health First Aid instructors training and has run a course for staff and parents. He plans to run another course for parents in the coming year as this has proven so successful in engagement.