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Denby Free CE VA Primary School

Imagine. Believe. Achieve. Shine.

“Let your light shine” Matthew ch 5 v16

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Attachment, relationship and emotional awareness

Equality and equity

At Denby Free we are all commited to supporting all of our children to engage with, explore and be able to talk about their emotions. We are concerned that especially over the last couple of years that children have experienced big emotions and that they haven't had school, peers and extended families to be able to support them by mirroring and modelling how to deal with them. When they did have these support networks they might have been interrupted suddenly which caused breaks in routines. There have been so many contributing factors but we are seeing so many more children with high anxiety and anger challenges and we want to support them by helping them to be able to self regulate themselves.


During 2021/22 Mrs Bell and Miss Herrett received training through the Virtual Schools network on becoming and Attachment and relationship school. The training was then cascaded through to all staff at school. The training had a scientific underpinning and linked in strongly with our current strategies and processes. It gave us time to reflect and find ways to find practical ways to support children.


We appreciated that emotional self awareness and regulation is key to supporting children and that this must be a whole school approach. During an INSET day we created a rainbow of emotions which would be displayed in each class. Each class through discussion with the children developed a calm space which the children could use.


Through a pupil questionnaire we found out that 72% of children felt safe in school, 22.4% sometimes and 4.8% didn't. After a discussion with some of the children whose scores were more negative we found that it was the outdoor areas for most as there was a lot of activity, and some had had an accident that week which informed their score. We used this feedback to develop the outside areas along with the children's ideas through school council and class discussions.


On the KS2 playground we have zoned the areas so that we have the middle playground as a calmer area with more activities out to engage the children such as lego and den building. On EYFS/KS1 playground there is lots for the children to engage in already. We have encouraged the children through a selection of games, role play area and toys to also choose these alongside the more physical activities.


This year we are hoping to develop these areas more to address the children's needs and ideas. Within the school community we are encouraging everyone to use and expand the vocabulary around emotions so that the children become more able to recognise their own emotions and then be able to express what they need in a more articulate way. Ultimately we are aiming that most children will be able to self regulate themselves when they are starting to feel anxious or angry and then communicate that to an adult.


Alongside this we are helping the children to see the difference between equality and equity as we all need different things and help.


Being part of the Attachment and Relationship network is a journey. We are all constantly changing and with that our needs. We are working to develop people in our community that can become self aware and learn to live and learn together.



Flipping your lid

Here are a couple of websites to explain this term and how we use it with children.

Hand Model of the Brain for KIDS by Jeanette Yoffe Dan Siegel **Now Spanish French Italian Captions - YouTube

Here is the more theoretical one that can inform adults and older children

Dr Daniel Siegel presenting a Hand Model of the Brain - YouTube