The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that “in order to help their pupils succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”. There is good evidence to support this assertion and Ofsted has highlighted that children and young people themselves say that they want to learn more about how to keep themselves emotionally healthy.
Moreover schools have a duty to promote the wellbeing of students.
At Courtlands Special School we believe that the children’s wellbeing is crucial for their physical and emotional health and for them to be able to learn. We have therefore developed our curriculum to develop and promote emotional wellbeing.
Along with our academic curriculum of English and maths we have identified six key areas that are designed to support healthy wellbeing and promote good mental health.
Figure 1. Six key areas of Courtlands Wellbeing Curriculum.
Healthy body helps children to develop the skills that they need to maintain their physical health. We teach life skills, physical education as well as healthy eating and good life choices.
Healthy mind is designed to support children with their mental health. We explicitly teach strategies to cope with different emotions and explore others feelings and how to best react to them.
Creativity is specifically designed to help children explore the arts and find a way to express themselves through creating. Children are exposed to all mediums within art and are given the time to explore which they enjoy the most.
Exploration is designed specifically to teach the children skills to problem solve. It encompasses scientific enquiry, making calculated and safe risks and how to solve real life problems.
Play learning builds on the EYFS curriculum. We recognise that some of our children find play particularly difficult and therefore we build in modelled play sessions which support children in their development of their social and play skills
We want our children to become active citizens and support this through the wider world curriculum. Within this area of the curriculum we look at how we can learn about others differences and help develop children’s respect and tolerance for all kinds of diversity.
We are incredibly proud of our wellbeing curriculum, it is designed specifically with our children in mind and therefore is entirely bespoke to Courtlands.