We have all been in the 'same sea' in this global pandemic, but our individual experiences have been very varied i.e. 'different boats'.
This therapeutically designed Programme assists school communities to re-integrate, by supporting teachers and students to create a collective narrative of their diverse experiences during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
Over view of whats on offer
Three Support Packages
Returning to school is full of many uncertainties but what we do know is that the children and staff will have had many difficult experiences, at the least they will have not been able to see people and be in their normal routine for 3 months.
We need to provide a safe, structured, creative way for school communities to make sense of this.
We have designed a whole school creative art project that will use art and storytelling to help children and teachers to express their experiences, make sense of those, understand the experiences of others and help them to create a ritual to capture this history in the making.
Staff will be trained and then supported with reflective practice by trained professionals, so they feel held and contained throughout, while we all navigate these unchartered waters.
What is felt and expressed is let go of so you can be free to live fully in the moment...this fosters mental health and wellbeing.
SUPPORT PACKAGE ONE
TEACHER WELLBEING SUPPORT TRAINING:
Support to process the impact of Lockdown and being back in school.
A 1.5 hour training via zoom for school staff. All costs are generously covered by the LWF.
Teachers will be offered training to help them navigate the emotional aspects of returning to school, and to support the students with this transition. Topics covered will include fear, control, perspective, acceptance, being with the unknown.
On-going support can be provided to teachers and staff to address any issues that may arise amongst staff or students.
SUPPORT PACKAGE TWO
SAME SEA, DIFFERENT BOATS: A THERAPEUTIC ART PROJECT
A 1 hour training via zoom for school staff. All costs are generously covered by the LWF.
A therapeutic art project which uses storytelling to help children to express their experiences, make sense of them, understand others’ experiences and help them to create a ritual to capture the history in the making. The art project is around the idea that we have all been in the same sea but we have all been in different boats. Creating space for making sense of and expressing our experiences in a contained and managed way.
SUPPORT PACKAGE THREE
A WHOLE SCHOOL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
The 1-5 How are you feeling? Scale
A 45 minutes raining via zoom for school staff. All costs are generously covered by the LWF.
A simple and effective whole school communication system whereby students can check in and communicate their level of wellbeing using non verbal cues of their fingers and thumb to teachers in a safe and structured way, allowing them to feel seen and validated. Body connection and regulation exercises are taught, and practical tools are offered to support students to express their feelings.
Thanks for the training. Staff were very positive about it today and there was a buzz about introducing it to the children. I liked how visual it was, especially after transitions today as it is so quick. Will take some time for children to fully understand their feelings but that's OK. They liked the horse lips activity and I am looking forward to the gentle breathing and connection cube regulation tool.
With the gradual return to school, it is important to look after everyone’s mental health in order to support our children and young people.
Many young people are experiencing feelings of anxiety and overwhelm that are more commonly seen in a midlife crisis. They are facing feelings of loss, pointlessness, questioning the systems they were a part of for relevance…this is in children as young as eleven. Many in those transition years 6 and 11/13 are feeling it even more acutely, i.e. the loss of the collective transition process marked by rituals and ceremony. Those who have returned to school are getting used to new rules and the physical challenges in the classroom, as everyone tries to figure out how best to handle the situation. There are many children who are really happy to be back at school and having some semblance of normality within the limits of social distancing. There are so many scenarios we are encountering with a diversity of experience.
We know a child does not exist in a vacuum, and as many parents and teachers are going through various levels of stress, we have to support the whole school community’s mental health. That is why we feel it is so important to offer re-integration training to all staff and continue support for parents.
We have all been in the 'same sea' in this global pandemic, but our individual experiences have been very varied i.e. 'different boats'. Our interventions provide a safe, structured, creative way for school communities to make sense of this experience.
It is essential for everyone’s mental health to allow the space and time to talk, to share and to be creative in those expressions in order to be able to be available and present in the now. Things go awry when we try to forget about things, saying “it wasn’t a big deal, get over it, move on”. This is like saying it is too hard to handle or if we ignore it, it will go away. But the opposite is actually true… if we try to ignore what has happened the brain thinks it is still under threat and keeps reminding us to deal with it, or it starts projecting it onto other situations creating more anxiety and stress. Vanessa McHardy, Psychotherapist and founder of Light Education Training, shares: “What is felt and expressed is let go of so you can be free to live fully in the moment...this fosters mental health and wellbeing.”
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