One of the things I do as part of my job is to think creatively about how school staff can work effectively to promote children’s emotional wellbeing and understand their behaviour. Two and a half years ago I developed two group work programmes aimed at key stage two (7-11years) for teaching assistants, learning mentors and family workers to implement in schools. The idea was to work with a group of four children for 40 minutes on a weekly basis for six weeks to enable them to practice and develop new and existing social and emotional skills, with focused support from the school staff delivering the programmes.
The programmes proved to be very successful and popular and I have since trained several members of school staff in a number of schools to implement them. Prompted by Head teachers in the schools I work in who noticed immediate changes in the children who were in the groups, identified an increase in staff confidence and the positive impact of the programme, I decided to explore publishing the programme to enable it to be shared more easily and to make it readily available to all schools.
One year later my initial idea had grown into a 60,000 word book that explains emotional wellbeing, helps staff to understand children’s behaviour and includes strategies to support children. It also contains both group work programmes with detailed facilitator’s guidelines to enable school staff to deliver the programmes easily and effectively themselves.
It has been quite a year and I can’t believe it’s about to happen. I will continue to blog about the book and its content over the next few weeks.