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Mentally Healthy at Woodlands

Which feelings do we explicitly teach at Woodlands, and why do we believe they are important?

Teaching feelings explicitly to children will help them become mentally strong. Often, when children do not have the vocabulary and knowledge of different feelings, can show the wrong reactions to them. Children who understand their emotions and have coping skills to deal with them will be more confident that they can make sensible choices.

How are we going to ensure children are well-informed in relation to their feelings?

  • Expose children to the language of feelings, right from their starting point (in EYFS).
  • Use shared language across a range of feelings, so that we are consistent with our approach
  • Increase children’s understanding by revisiting feelings and discussing them in a range of contexts.
  • Use books as a driver for understanding feelings, and increase their feelings ‘word hoard.’

What feelings do we explicitly teach at Woodlands?

Do we teach other feelings?

Yes! However, we know it is important to ensure deep knowledge of what we teach, and so we have chosen to focus on the ones above. This starts right from our earliest classroom, up to Year 6. We also use this in our nurture and Knowledge for Life base, as this helps children identify their feelings quickly, and does not confuse children with different feelings and images when they transition from one class to the other.

How do we teach them?

Throughout school, we use the Zones of Regulation to help children with the application and understanding of their feelings. We use the language of the Zones of Regulation throughout school, and this is expected of every staff member.

Consistent approach to language

Blue Zone – Used to describe a low state of alertness. The blue zones is used to describe when one feels sad, tired, sick or bored.

Green Zone – Use to describe the ideal state of alertness. This is used to describe a calm, happy, focused or content state. The child has the ultimate control here.

Yellow Zone – Use to describe a heightened state of alertness. A person may ne experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness or fear. A child’s energy is elevated, but they feel some self-control.

Red Zone – Used to describe a heightened state of alertness. A person may be angry, feel rage, show explosive behaviour, panic, terror and a significant loss of control.

Toolbox – The strategies that a child or person will use dependent on their level of need.

Stop, Opt, Go – A strategy to support children control their impulses and problem solve better solutions.

Expected behaviours – Behaviours that give people around you good or comfortable thoughts about you.

Unexpected Behaviours – Behaviours that give people uncomfortable thoughts about you.

Big Problems – Problems that many people share and that have no easy, quick or pleasant solution.

Medium problems Problems some people share that can be resolved in an hour to a couple of days.

Little Problem – Problems that only affect one or two people and can be ignored in a matter of minutes.

Inner Critic – Used to describe negative, self-deflating thoughts

Inner coach – Used to describe positive thoughts

Children also have zones check ins throughout the classroom, to help identify to themselves and to others which zone they are in at different points of the day.